Saturn’s transit through the first house, while a relief from the challenging twelfth, was far from roses and ponies. While my personal account struck a chord with many readers, more than a handful also wrote to me describing how much harder the first house Saturn transit was, than the twelfth, for them. The common thread for those readers involved feelings of depression, uncertainty and anxiety.
No Saturn house transit works in a vacuum, each builds on the last. When Saturn entered my twelfth house, I lost steam physically, emotionally, spiritually; when Saturn entered my first, I rejoiced with the promise of new life, spent a lot of time streamlining so I could work on rebuilding myself and still managed to make a new career move. Yet it took a lot of time and energy to market my new business, and since energy is not in abundance during a Saturn first house transit, I knew I couldn’t keep it up. As Saturn moved into my second house, I decided to choose with my values (a sustainable workload and self-care) instead of ambition. Since the astrology textbooks often talk about tightened financial belts when Saturn enters the second, with that decision, I expected as much, although, according to Rob Hand, “this is not necessarily true, although it can be. If material wealth is keeping you from discovering your true values, then you are likely to experience financial losses.” Consistent with choosing to work in alignment with my values, nothing like the above happened. Instead, I experienced personal victories around my self-worth and ability.
Not Only Money, Honey
When we speak of the resources necessary to our survival we’re speaking for the second house, specifically our second house. Humans, being different, have different ideas about what makes them feel secure, with different dollar amounts and valuations, but without an understanding of what we have (talents, gifts, skills, values, abilities), and how we can put that to use to survive in the world, we will feel insecure and experience lagging confidence– a second house problem.
Enter Saturn transiting the second. Saturn prods us to figure out what we “have”. These may be bankable, like we are technically proficient, or we may think they aren’t -maybe we are good at encouraging others. Do we value those in our self? If we feel we have valuable internal resources, we tend to manifest those abilities in terms of external resources, i.e., being paid money. This is the time to take stock of what we have, in every sense of the word, from the condition of our bank account, to how well our car runs, to our self-esteem – which directly affects what we feel we have to offer others. What are your talents, gifts, innate resources and skills? What is it that you do exceptionally well? What do you value, spiritually, psychologically, morally? These second house questions take on importance during Saturn’s transit through the second, and our answers determine the outcome.
Consolidation and Recognition of Resources
Your survival skills, your ability to think: “I’m going to make it after all” (just like the Mary
Tyler Moore theme song) is directly linked to the health of your second house planets. Often people with afflicted natal second house planets, or the south node here, really have to work on releasing survival fears and believing that we can survive anything. During Saturn’s transit, any financial dependencies need to be clearly faced and assessed for their durability and overall health, while compassionately acknowledging that humans are naturally interdependent and some of us have more earning ability than others. I’ve known people with the natal south node here who, due to health reasons, are financial dependents to a large degree. The same inequity could occur between a stay at home parent and “the breadwinner”. In a culture that links earning ability to self-worth, transiting Saturn won’t let us get away with sweeping how we really feel about our earning abilities under the carpet. We may need to bolster our self-esteem. We may need to find a way to make peace with the financial inequities that bother us in our primary relationships.
Money fears are inextricably linked to survival fears. Especially if we have a personal history of poverty, ill health or not having enough resources, like food or shelter, to thrive, Saturn transiting the second pits us against our questions about our own financial viability, perhaps forcing us to see economic disparities or, historically, where we actually didn’t have enough. This Saturn transit coincided with a major Pluto transit, for me, and for a period of time much of my healing work revolved around not having enough money and resources during childhood. That said, our survival skills are not only measured in money; we have inner resources. And those need our awareness.
“Humans are not born with natural skills for survival,” writes Joanne Wickenberg, in the introduction to the second house section of her excellent book entitled In Search of a Fulfilling Career. “Skills for survival must be developed…skills that aren’t always inherent…skills that require effort and adjustment.” Joanne goes on to say that: “Many astrologers have failed to recognize the deeper issues of this very important house in describing personal strengths and skills need to maintain a career. These skills and strengths are defined by the sign on your second house cusp…developed through the experiences described by the house and the sign of the second house ruler…(and) planets in the second house describe other personality functions that need to be expressed productively.” Her description is totally consistent with my experience. I have Scorpio on my second house cusp, its ruling planet, Pluto, in my twelfth in a tight t-square to my Sun and my Mars. Neptune, Ceres and Juno in Sagittarius all reside in my second house and is quincunx my Sun. Survival has been a lifelong issue for me. That said, extreme experiences (Pluto t-square) have developed psychological resources and astrology (Scorpio) to help others through adversity and that’s what I’m paid to do. My connection to the realm of spirit and archetypes, like astrology, (Neptune), my ability to see the big picture and offer perspective and possibilities (Sagittarius) has helped me to disseminate and publish spiritual information that is healing and nurturing (Ceres). My marriage (Juno) has both taught and allowed me to value my more intangible qualities– spiritual skills and strengths I’ve developed— instead of measuring my worth by money. If you’re having this transit, I suggest you take stock of your chart, as I did, for your strengths, talents and skills. In a nutshell, we each have inherent resources, but we must first recognize them!
As for money, generally, getting practical and organised in this department comes relatively easy and gives you a sense of security. New forms of financial support and streams of income can be established. I have a friend who moved to a new town during this Saturn transit, to discover that in this new town her Medicare benefits allowed her to receive all kinds of reduced rate alternative health treatments. As Rob Hand says, “Be careful with your finances, and be economical. Above all do not become concerned with them any more than you have to in order to function in your everyday world.” And if you need a financial colonic/makeover, there’s an excellent book called Your Money or Your Life, too.
Self-Esteem, Risk Taking and Experiencing a Victory
One of the things I often say when working with clients who have a strongly-teneted second house is thus: You have a need to experience at least several personal victories in life, victories that are going to require you to take risks. For Neptune and Jupiter, what’s required is a leap of faith. For Pluto, it’s being willing to give up everything and start over. For Saturn, it’s trusting in one’s own authority. For the Sun, it’s a lifelong process of not underestimating what one is capable of doing and who they can become. If we don’t undertake the second house invitation we are plagued with a form of insecurity and anxiety born of not actually living our full potential. This often manifests as making “safe” career choices where we are promised a retirement package but live our lives feeling unfulfilled, underutilized, bored. The artist becomes a banker; the poet, a lawyer. You know the story because you’ve seen or heard it a million times before. To truly lead a fulfilling life we need to walk to the edge of the diving board and jump.
Saturn transiting the second house begs us to take a risk into territory that feels edgy, unfamiliar and even a little scary. For me, I decided to jump into self-publishing. It was such a huge learning curve, but it is the book (Karmic Dates and Momentary Mates) I’m most proud of because I did it all myself. Okay, almost all of it: I hired helpers who had skills I didn’t have. Helpers, Erin Sullivan says in her book Saturn in Transit, surround us during the Saturn second house transit. Any time we attempt to do something risky and scary during this time, co-operators are standing by to help.
Which brings me to another lesson inherent to this passage. Saturn wants us to turn our fearfulness into resourcefulness. We do this by assessing what we have and using it in the material world. Because of the earthy nature of both Saturn and the second, I found that there’s an agreeableness with this archetype and house combination. Once we embrace the risk aspect, actions taken, while not effortless, feel inherently doable. Since Saturn rules our fear, and the second, survival resources, by now you might notice that the biggest fear here is fear itself. So don’t sell out. Trust in what you have, internal (talents, skills), and external. Dare to follow through on what you began when Saturn transited your first house. Make choices from your true values.
The Possession That Will Not Leave You
“Traditional texts call the second house ‘movable possessions’. This, I suppose means we can pack them up and take them with us. What more moveable a resource do we possess than our concept of the value of our own self? When Saturn is transiting the second we gain insight into patterns that have established the bases upon which we build our values, loves and worth.” -Erin Sullivan, Saturn in Transit
As a health coach and someone who lives with the reality of surviving chronic illness 24/7, I would be remiss if I did not mention the connection to health and the second house. Your health is a resource; it is what you have that only totally influences your ability to earn money and survive. Saturn transiting the second is a good time to take stock of your health for that reason. Your health may be a gift, a possession, resource… but it is not a given. Your health can leave you at any time.
Which brings me to the one possession that will never leave you: You. I was talking to April while visiting her in San Diego last spring when I learned she has natal Saturn in her second house. Eager to hear from an expert about how this actually worked, we traded notes. April described how early experiences with loss taught her that fortunes are precarious, that since people in her life might not be around forever she could only rely on herself. At the time of our discussion I’d just passed through the proverbial eye-of-the-public-speaking-needle, having been brought to my knees by a risk I had taken, and losing all my fears of judgment and imminent death in the process, a new shift in my psyche had occurred. When I said, “I am in a new place. I care far more about taking care my self, and what I think of me, than what others think of me,” I knew it was a shift that had substance and staying power. April reinforced this with, “Yes, you’ve got it. That’s what Saturn in the second is about.” I walked away confident and with this insight: Saturn in the second wants one thing above all, for you to take care of numero uno, stand on your own two feet and feel the gravitas of doing so. Doing what you need to do, for you and only you, is pinnacle to your growth during this transit.
We all have something singular within our possession that no one else has: Our essential self. The Universe or the Cosmos or God had enough confidence in our ability to support that self that we were given life. If we trust in our self, if we trust in the fact that we were given what we already need to thrive, it’s impossible to let our self down (can you hear my Neptune preaching, here?). Sometimes our survival skills aren’t always apparent, and as Joanne Wickenberg said, even inherent. In other words, just because we’re given our second house gifts doesn’t mean we will open them, take them out and utilise them. But the second house Saturn invitation is to take stock of what we have and do exactly that. When we do, when we discover what we can do, when we take inventory of what we do have and how to nurture and care for that, instead of focusing on what we don’t, we earn the most precious commodity going in this world: a substantial sense of self worth. And that, my friends, is priceless.