Astrology of Travel, Saturn: Running With the Devil

DSC00101Travel is stunningly synchronistic: our destinations choose us, for, wherever you go, there you are. Unsurprisingly one’s travel agenda often brings along one’s transits. Mine currently: Saturn and Pluto, not anyone’s idea of a vacation. Foreknowledge may be forewarned, but nothing prepared me for… duh duh duh… a double Saturn line (and a Saturn lunation). Never have I so clearly experienced, as Liz Greene describes, Saturn as the Devil. My own little Gemini Saturn has been good to me, but a triple dose was bedeviling. The Devil almost completely tricked me into succumbing to defeat; there were certainly enough problems. Yet, negativity, defeat, self-remorse…that’s how the Devil works his evil ways. Below, my astro-travel logue into the dark of Spain (Saturn in bold).

“Saturn urges us to identify more and more with our interpretations, so that eventually we isolate our selves so completely that we are indeed in Hell- a hell of dissociation from the deepest underlying currents of life. In this way, Saturn is the great teacher, disguised as the bringer of pain and limitation, for it is only at the point of darkness and decay that we become aware of the Other within us, the true creative power of the Self.” -Liz Greene, Relating

Friday, June 11, 11 AM. Waxing Gemini New Moon joined my 9th house Saturn.

I arrive, alone, at SFO to embark on a 5 airport leapfrog journey. My husband is flying separately, and we will meet in Girona, Spain a day later. Upon arrival at Salt Lake City, UT, I learn all flights are delayed. Countless delays: tornados in Denver, and a news flash on CNN says a flash flood in Arkansas campground kills twenty. After two failed re-bookings, it’s become impossible to make my connection to London so the agent suggests I turn around and go back to SFO and catch the 1PM flight tomorrow, which, synchronously is my husband’s flight. I spend the night in Salt Lake City Airport Hilton. 24 hours later, I arrive where I began.

Sunday, June 13, Midnight.“The planet Saturn is often associated with hard work. If you work hard and are thorough then you reap the rewards along this line. You have a sense of purpose and the ability to focus on your targets. However, if you try to take short cuts and do not complete projects then you are likely to be frustrated in your efforts to achieve your aims.”Saturn local space line, orb 0’ (strong)

We arrive in Barcelona. More delays. Our bags are missing. We get in the cab and start our journey to Girona, about 50 km away. We thought it would be a 20 Euro fare, but as I read over our paperwork, the cab will cost 200 Euro so we ask to be deposited at the train station. This train ride, like everything else during the  journey, takes far longer than we anticipate. We arrive, having missed our check in time of 11PM, and so in addition to the night we’ve already missed, we must pay extra for our apartment manager for the late meeting. Our room? It is spartan and small, more resembling a college dorm room than the spacious pictures we’d viewed online. We also have no internet (necessary, this is my husband’s business trip). Can we move? We’re locked into our commitment. And I’m starving. The only place open is a bar serving potato chips and olives. The first day we are afraid to leave the boundaries of the hotel for fear we’ll miss our luggage. It turns out to be a good call – we are having coffee just around the corner when we happen to find the delivery guy standing outside our locked door, on cell, claiming he could not reach us. Total travel time (-9 for time change): 52 hours (by comparison a flight around the world is a mere 40 hours).

“You feel drawn to a comfortable home, one that enables you to feel supported and safe – a haven that reflects your deepest personal needs.” Moon on the IC, 3’ (moderate influence)

Our apartment manager raises our rent, and moves us to an apartment bigger than a breadbox called ‘gothic apartments’, located next to a medieval fortress. Decorated in black and white, the apartment is a study in minimalism. We are met with a horrid smell of something dead -rotting trash that doesn’t go away for the entire stay. Locked up and silent as a tomb, I darkly joke that when they’re not renting this space out to unsuspecting travelers it doubles as a morgue. Is it a coincidence that, directly next to our apartment, is a bruja (witchcraft) shop? Despite the promise of internet, the only signal we can receive is in the shared stairwell. So, to answer emails, John pulls a chair into the dark hallway. At least we’re comfortable (Moon).

“Relationships can be rewarding in this location but you need to be careful to ensure that your sense of duty is complemented by a sense of joy. Your lesson on this line is to be prudent and wise in relationships, rather than falling prey to pessimism… ” -Saturn line setting on the Descendant, orb 0’26” (strong)

Over breakfast, we reflect on this dark cloud. We are accustomed to travelers luck. Because John is well-organized and so efficient, the consequences of being less prepared are never too severe, but on this trip we spend much more time and money fixing our mistakes & taking consequences.

Frankly, the trip started out crazy because we’d read our calendars wrong. We’d scheduled our flight out during his daughter’s high school graduation. Since the cost of changing his ticket was high, and for me impossible to change, I’d arrive early, which neither of us wanted. Fresh guilt wells up inside of me:  John had expressed confusion about graduation dates and I’d neglected to look in my own calendar, instead, impatiently telling myself (and not for the first time) that he’s the travel expert and it would all work out. Today, that sounds like a sorry excuse. The reality is, even though I grudgingly do it, I strongly dislike and sometimes totally reject spending time and attention on the details of daily life. Scheduling, planning and fixing broken problems… all take energy away from the more intuitive way I prefer to function. My Ninth House Saturn in Gemini loves the world of ideas, and the freedom to explore them, but since my Third House Pluto transit kicked in, my vision has become myopically and horrifyingly all things Third House. Frankly, with my recently inherited family and an eighty year old home there have been so many more mundane issues to manage… and I don’t like it one bit!

The Devil had spoken. And with the morbid ownership of my preference to remain in the dark about my self, the ‘curse’ lifted. A deeper self-integration sparked, those last few days we experienced the Spain everyone loves: great architecture & fantastic art.

Urging us to believe our circumstances, the Devil capably turns our life into hell. Interesting that, in the thick of my negativity, I desperately wanted to blame something else: maybe I had spent a past life in Spain being persecuted… surely that would surely explain things? Yet oversimplifying the Devil is a trap, because the dumber we claim to be, the craftier the Devil gets. Negativity, blame, pessimism, self-righteousness – that’s Saturn, the Trickster – and that’s how we stay in the death grip of being our own worst enemy.  So what appeases that Devil which we call Saturn? Integration. Only when we go into the darkness of our character and own the things, circumstances, activities and people we most despise, even hate, as pieces of our rejected self, do we trigger the alchemy of Saturn. We become more whole.

There are some journeys we’d never undertake, had we known all the problems we’d face. But if we were to label all those journeys ‘bad’ or negative we miss the richness of self-discovery. Through naming the darkness in my Self, the Devil was satisfied… and then the Devil willingly offered me a glass of red wine. Spanish red wine, of course.

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