Art by Nancy Bright

Looking ahead to my own progressed Lunar Return (when the progressed Moon returns to its place in the birthchart), I found this great article called “Cycles within Cycles.”

Often we think of a planetary event like the Saturn Return (when transiting Saturn returns to its place in the birthchart) or the Uranus square or opposition. But in reality each cycle is a dance that opens channels of awareness, preparing us for the next dance. The second Saturn Return at age 56-58 is follows shortly by the closing square of Uranus to its natal place, resulting in a shedding of the calcified personality that Saturn has eroded and the emergence of a newly restored exhilaration. What is less well-known is the doorway created by the Progressed Lunar return which takes place shortly before each Saturn return, approximately every 27 years.

Saturn is the Lord of Discipline. He cut off his father Uranus’ genitals and flung them into the sea. The waters were fertilized, and Aphrodite sprang from the foam. This simple story is very reflective of the Saturn return. Something that seems very valuable must be sacrificed in order for something beautiful to be born. Saturn was not just severing his father’s genitals: he was removing him from his entrenched place of power, dispersing his fertility and power to other things and relegating him to his place in Heaven where he belonged. Likewise in the Saturn return, one must sever one’s self from what is unnecessary so that energy can be released and utilized for something better, no matter how painful the process. Uranus is thus known as the Father of the Heavens, his wife Gaia the Earth.

Those who follow Egyptian mythology will know these archetypes as Nuit and Geb. Saturn can be seen as a duality of Ra and Thoth by following Plutarch’s version of the birth of Nuit’s children. In its rigid, unchanging form, Saturn is Ra: he sealed up his Mother’s womb so that Horus could not be born, thinking he could rule forever and evade prophecy. However, Thoth played a trick on him and added 5 days to the end of the calendar (representing the symbolic difference between a calendar year and a lunar year), henceforth allowing Nuit’s other children, Osiris, Isis, Horus, Set, and Nephthys to be born since Ra was not paying attention. A Saturn return can be very much like this. Change may be resisted and self-deception attempted despite knowing full well what must occur or be done. But sooner or later, the true nature of the situation must be shown allowing growth to occur.

The Lunar influence of a Saturn return is not an accident. Just prior to one’s Saturn return, which occurs around age 29 1/2, one experiences their Progressed Lunar Return. . . . When [the Moon] comes back, you are able to integrate all of the emotional information that you have been collecting for the last 28 or so years into a cohesive working whole. Emotional issues that were confusing before suddenly become clear. You will need this clarity in the next couple of years.

This scenario is again reflective of the duality of Ra and Thoth, or the Sun and the Moon in classical Egyptian mythology. Ra, the Sun or Saturn, is blinded by his power and refuses to relinquish, though he knows very well that it has been foreseen that Horus will overtake his power eventually. Thoth, the Moon, is a reflection of Ra. In his pale silvery light he is able to see what Ra will not, and subsequently trick his brother into doing what must be done: the true face of Saturn. The Moon offers one the perspective one needs in order to see through some of the rigidity Saturn displays, especially when its power is threatened.

As I stated before, Saturn is the Lord of Discipline. Just as the Moon has been busy collecting emotional information for the last 29 years, so has Saturn been collecting constructive information about what works in one’s life and what doesn’t. When Saturn reaches its natal point in one’s chart, that same completeness that the Moon enabled with one’s emotions is triggered in one’s sense of order and discipline. This knowledge in mind, Saturn begins getting rid of anything it doesn’t need. . . .

I like the poetry of this connection between the Moon and Saturn and find it very illustrative of the Saturn Return process that is so often feared.

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