My husband and I have mutual affection for older couples; we love watching them together and turning to one another, saying, ‘that’ll be you and I one day’. I adore those elder elegant couples who’ve weathered time so well, gracefully. I love observing those little private moments we all share in relationship. A seventy-odd year old woman talking to her husband, as though to the air. He, half-listening, interrupting to ask his beloved if she remembered to take her pills today. She, replying no he hadn’t, and he, ‘let me get them for you…’
Not to romanticize growing old together, it takes a lot of work to get to the graceful, wise and cute stage, hence my fascination. Because as we partner up to grow old together, a sure thing is never really a sure thing, is it? Promises are made; some break. Relationships don’t just require one single vow of dedication. We make the commitment to show up, and keep showing up.
On a mundane level that’s a satisfying thing about being (happily) married. When you and your partner make plans, you both show up. Date night is a for sure. Indian or sushi, it matters not; what matters is the sacred loop of trust, the power of keeping a commitment. Couples who treat their commitments as though it were a precious crystal glass, stay together. Troubled couples often have a relationship landscape strewn with broken glass promises; every new step could be into pain, heartbreak. When it’s too dangerous to count on someone, it’s hard to love openly, plainly. And broken promises have a way of distancing, of keeping us far apart. We’re afraid, so we don’t show up. Saturn teaches that most critical 7th house/Libra lesson: trust. How much do we trust each other? How much do we trust our self? When we’re not afraid to trust, when we really give it our all- we feet-first commit.
Saturn’s transit through Libra (October 29, 2009 through October 5, 2012), brings the opportunity to create a more satisfying structure, form and pattern in our relationships. Some couples will commit with real intention to be there for one another. Some couples will have to address critical weaknesses in the partnership, take off the rose colored glasses, examine the flaws in one’s self, and in any habitual patterns of relating which are no longer useful for the partnership. Saturn highlights maturational processes; if we feel like we’re beating a dead horse type issue, maybe that’s because we’ve outgrown this particular issue. If there’s something coming between us, we can still pull our head under the covers, but it probably won’t go away. Steven Forrest affectionately calls Saturn a tough old bird, offering gifts of maturity and wisdom through reality testing. Shaky relationship realities will be tested. But. With clear-seeing Saturn on our side, we can have more satisfying partnerships when we ask our self to see what’s actually there, instead of what (or who) we want to see.
Saturn always applies corrective action to the sign it transits. In Libra, we’re talking about balancing our relationships. If we’ve swung to an Aries extreme, acting as though we’re one person in this relationship and not two, we need to work on developing ‘us’ consciousness; to literally think about how our actions will influence the gestalt of the partnership. Maybe we’ve swung to the other side of the scale, and are having trouble feeling our self-gravitas. Maybe it’s difficult to honor the importance of our opinion or thoughts; or when others press us with their desires, goals, wants, we find it difficult to see ours as as significant as theirs. Uh-oh. We’ve become a Libra doormat. If we’re uncertain what to do about a troubling relationship, we’d do well to take responsibility for our own happiness. To commit to a significant other, we’ve got to commit to our own significant self, first.
Through the strengthening force of my own Pluto transit, I’ve been counseling individuals facing incredible hardship, and the most beautiful stories come to me. One client has a medical history a mile long and keeping in client confidence let’s suffice it to say this latest crisis would have most of us trembling in our boots begging for the Maker’s mercy. It’s those times that show us how strong love is. Last week, she and her husband were, yet again, together in the doctors office. I joked that by now surely they’d learned to take it all in stride. Maybe, I joked, they should just go ahead and book their next anniversary at the emergency room. She laughed saying: ‘That’s exactly how it is between us. These intense physical things don’t scare us. We don’t let them stop us from living.’
Relationships can have that strengthening effect, surprising us in our darkest hour. I should think that’s what we would all want from a partner. I recently went on a backpacking trip with my husband and stepkids. I was filled with trepidation about this; I’d never been backpacking before and even though I offered to contribute to the planning on the days leading up to said trip, I was clueless about how to manage this and so many other life pile ups. I’d had a headache for two days straight. Plus, it was my birthday. I didn’t want to go, but I went anyhow. The most memorable moment and turning point of the journey, for me, was when I laid my head in my husband’s lap and cried. I didn’t know if I had it in me to continue… In a few minutes I was laughing again. Head in lap, my sweetheart reminded me of the power of being present to one another, through thick and thin. Holding each other through doubt, despair, self-questioning, carrying one another back to laughter.
Relationships take work. There’s got to be plenty of love, otherwise we won’t survive the thin. Saturn’s transit into Libra begins with a sharp square to Pluto and an opposition to Uranus-Jupiter. Is this a key? It would appear that if the global and personal evolutionary impetus is to break new ground, through Saturn in Libra, our relationships can hold a center of gravity and also lay substantial track for these changes. We need each other. During truly tough times, our relationships can make or break us. Unfortunately, we need look no further than an unhappy relationship to see this; partnerships that don’t help us self-actualize & move us closer to our dreams, creates difficult karma.
The planets are moving us into new unknown territory, but the planets don’t supply the love we need to get to the other side. We do. Maybe, if we provide the love and the clarity of heart, Saturn will throw it’s bony old arms around us and carry us over the bridal threshold into a whole new territory- maybe even a whole new world.