One of the bittersweet things about astrology coming back into vogue is that it’s been seized by the more emotion-centered side of “woo”; that now, people that astrology is meant to make them feel good. I get complaints about another article I wrote on Saturn, chiefly because I’m not whipping out my tit and nursing my readers. Am I fearless warrior? Probably not, but I ain’t Captain Save-a-Ho either, and astrology isn’t necessarily for making people feel good about themselves. I never want to get myself involved in something that would require so much emotional labor, but it seems that this is demanded of astrologers now.
I will not do this. It’s just not the kind of astrologer I am in my own space, in my own voice. I try sometimes, but I just can’t mother other adults.
Do you know anyone who is always the odd man out, the one who is always alone, and even when they try to fit in, simply cannot do it? You wonder why this person just can’t fall in line, just can’t get along, just can’t manage to make friends or be part of the group. You do everything you can, but it just doesn’t work. Whether by circumstance or personality, or both, some people simply just end up alone, loners, weirdos, awkward. They make people uncomfortable because they’re uncomfortable. It’s like they don’t know what to do in a social situation or they obviously don’t want to be there.
It’s really the simplest thing in the world to make friends, isn’t?
This person probably has Saturn in aspect to the Moon or ascendant. Saturn deprives, and here, it deprives the native of trust and the ability to get or ask for what they need. The Moon is primitive; it represents the things present from early life. Saturn in harsh aspect to the Moon deprives from the very beginning, perhaps even from before the child is born. The circumstances are already laid out, and the child is not going to get what he or she needs and will not be allowed to do so. There is harshness in one or both parent, and a lack of love, nurturing, and trust.
Consider the following: a woman with Saturn opposing the Moon on the 1st/7th house axis has never really been able to make and keep friends. She has strained relationships with her parents and siblings. Her romantic relationships are either very short-lived or very, very long, without much affection or fun. When someone gets close, she pushes them away, or she finds ways to keep them at bay. She works a lot and blames that. Eventually, people get sick of her and drop her, and she wonders why she’s alone. She feels that having to do any emotional work in a relationship is a great burden; she often finds herself in relationships where she’s required to give much more than she gets, and the only way to rectify that is to end the relationship. Yet, there are people all around who are good people to be friends with, and yet, she can’t seem to make friends with those people. She’s gone through college and jobs, moved to new cities, places she’s been at for years, without making any friends.
Someone with the Moon or ascendant in harsh aspect to Saturn has a hole where there should have been socialization. Many of them have been socialized incorrectly, and they are always going to be awkward in some way or form, even if they learn to compensate for it. They can be great mimickers, pretending to be comfortable in social situations, but they are never, truly at home with other people. They may recreate the situations that cause the pain. Like woman above who sabotages her friendships, these folks tend to create isolation because this is what they know best.
Consider this woman with Saturn conjunct the Moon opposing the Ascendant: she’s the daughter of diplomats and spent her childhood living in different countries. She speaks quite a few languages, and she has lived in quite a few places. However, her closest friends and her lovers are rarely from her own culture, and there is always a language or cultural divide between her and them, a wall that always separates them. She tries to make friends, but for some reason, she can’t really become a part of any group or clique. She tries very, very hard, with the enthusiasm of a puppy, but is always tagging along.
Another woman with Saturn in the 1st house widely conjunct her ascendant has always felt like the city and country she grew up in isn’t for her. She has tried to find love but only finds men who exploit her. It’s as if she’s attracted to men who don’t want her or only want to torture her.
Another woman with the Moon conjunct Saturn in the 12th house conjunct the Ascendant has been a mistress of a married man for years, laboring under the belief that he and his wife are no longer interested in each other but stay together for the children…even though those children are full-grown adults, adults who are older than this woman is. This is what passes as love.
A man with Saturn in the 9th house square the Ascendant feels like a stranger in his own country and can only thrive living far away from his country of birth and literally wants to dissolve his American identity, marry into another culture, and somehow become part of a new country, even though he can never really belong to that culture.
Another man with the Moon in Gemini square his Pisces ascendant can’t manage to relate to people in a way that makes them want to be around him. He’ll make a joke, drive into the ground, where it just becomes a repeated insult. Finally, people just shut him out, and he’s left alone to wonder why.
Another man with Saturn opposite the Moon on the Capricorn/Cancer axis, with the Moon in Capricorn, grew up in rural poverty as his biological father’s personal punching bag, and while he has learned to be a wonderful politician, had few close friends. He was saved from this as a child when his mother left his father and married a kind man who pulled the family out of poverty. However, he has never really gained his self-esteem. The subject’s first wife practically openly married him as a stepping stone to financial and social gain, and in many of his jobs, he slaves away to excellence for little pay and no respect; it’s as if the companies he work for don’t care that they couldn’t function without him.
Almost all of these people also grew up somehow isolated from their peers as children, either due to geography, religious or political dogma of the parents, poverty, or physical characteristics.
One thing you notice with these people is that they perpetuate the isolation by making choices that will isolate them. They know how to be the scapegoat, the weirdo, the iconoclast, the contrarian. Many of them will actively keep people away. They don’t learn to socialize the way others do, so they never really learn how to be intimate. They may still try too hard to impress others or don’t try hard enough.
Like with a lot of Saturn aspects, the self-punishment that it brings has a start in early life. For example, those with Saturn in harsh aspect to Mars become cowards often because someone was always harping on every bold or independent move they ever made, or were so threatened by the child’s energy and independence that they decided that the best thing to do was to kill the natural Martian expression through fear or oppression.
Likewise, Saturn in harsh aspect to the Moon or Ascendant usually starts in childhood. Commonly, one or both parents is abusive and neglectful. The individual child may be targeted especially for deprivation; the child can’t have what the other children get, whether it’s affection, freedom, or trust. The child may also be forced to toughen up or to learn harsh lessons by a dysfunctional parent who thinks that treating a child harshly prepares them for a harsh world. What this actually does is teach the child that if even the parent doesn’t love them, then no one will, and if the parent can’t be trusted, there is no one to trust.
They may be scapegoats for other people’s problems, and they are conditioned to blame themselves when anything goes wrong. What ends up happening is that whenever something goes wrong, they automatically look guilty, and they’re thus blame. Since they have no one who will protect them or advocate for them, all they can do is accept whatever comes their way. They can’t win, so they may very well hate other people and want nothing to do with them. They may also learn to manipulate and use people for their own gain if there are other factors favorable to it. If they’re still in the doormat phase of the Saturn-Moon or Saturn-Ascendant aspect, they may still be trying to make their peace with humanity by accepting that others will wipe their feet on them, but there could be a silver lining or some material gain in it. After all, they have no loyalty to anyone, so
This is where the other side of this aspect comes in: the bitterness. I don’t mean “bitter” the way people use it erroneously as a barb against women who don’t act as if they exist to make the world smile. I mean bitter, as in resentment against unfair treatment. There is always some resentment. Consider conservationist Dian Fossey, with her Capricorn Saturn in the 10th house square her Aries ascendant, or Florence King, a woman who made a writing career based on misanthropy, with her Gemini Moon square her Saturn in PiscesThere was much love for gorillas, but not much for people. Eventually, people disappoint, abuse, and exploit so much that the individual just departs from them as much as they can, if not in the mind than in the body.
These people could probably man a lighthouse for a season, so long as they have the things they prize over people (books, video games, whatever) and enough of the necessities. They can get used to being alone, to being silent, to watching birds and squirrels and living alone with their memories and fantasies of a better life, in a better place, somewhere where they’re not who they are and no one knows them.
That’s isolation. On the other side is the aching loneliness. They’re so accustomed to loneliness that they may eschew meaningful contact because they don’t know what it feels like to not be lonely. They’d rather be in social situations in which they don’t get the friendship and care they desperately want because they don’t know what that is; they’re trained to know denial, and to think that being denied what they need is some sort of love. They don’t know the lightness of love; they know the oppression of expectation and demand. They find people who leave them lonely, who make them feel worse about themselves, who further isolate them from people. They find abusers and exploiters.
The thing that actually saves these people and helps them heal is not forgiveness. It’s to do the forbidden: to feel and accept the hatred in their hearts. Hatred is taboo, but it’s not the irrational hatred of bigotry or xenophobia. It’s the hatred one feels against those who have hurt them, who know they did it. It’s for those who have personally robbed them of their dignity, who have sought to destroy them in some manner. It’s righteous hatred, and it doesn’t go away with yoga and juice cleanses and insisting that one is spiritual or enlightened. It’s a demon that feeds on pretension.
Those with Saturn harshly aspecting the Moon and the ascendant are in danger of hating the wrong people otherwise; they’re angry at specific people, but they tend to feel deprived by whomever the Moon may represent in their lives other than that individual. For example, if the Moon is in the 12th house, they may be conspiracy theorists who think the government is out to get them. If it’s in the 10th house, they may hate the rich and powerful. If it’s in the 7th house, the opposite gender, if in the 1st house, their own gender. They push those people away and wonder why they’re alone.
If anyone needs to do shadow work before they can grow, it’s these people. They already have the isolation that is needed to squarely look at one’s self.