This essay continues my series of my Saturn transiting through the houses, which is, so far the twelfth, first, second and now third. I’m about 1/3 of the way through, and this is my current report.

My second house Saturn journey appeared straightforward at first, but in hindsight not at all. The second house holds our gifts, talents and skills; these are the resources we have – material, spiritual and emotional – and these can be liabilities when they are under developmental tension, receiving hard aspects in our natal chart. I have natal Neptune in my second house quincunx my Cancer Sun.

Within a month of Saturn entering my third house, which also coincided with my Uranus opposition, a Pluto-Moon transit (and transiting Saturn was also being squared by Neptune), I went from being highly sensitive to a full-on Empath. I have no idea why or how this happened, just that I became overwhelmed by emotions that weren’t mine. Saturated by external environmental energies I didn’t know how to manage, this created a lot of anxiety, uncertainty and at times, terror. Because I didn’t know how to deal with other energies in my energy body, all kinds of emotional and spiritual crises ensued. Surviving adversity is a transiting second house Saturn theme.

With new survival needs, helpers and guides often appear during our Saturn second transit and this can necessarily extend into the third house time. Which brings me to today. I’ve had to develop new skills, to understand my environment, to work with my mind, and to learn – the subject of Saturn’s transit through the third house.

Traveling in New Third House Territory

Imagine an 80 mph car ride on a three lane highway; you are driving, navigating, sometimes moving too quickly to think about what you’re seeing. That’s the third house: Quick. Adaptive. New information and data. Questions. Improvisation. But now Saturn’s sitting shotgun, going “Slow down. Did you see that!? Why did you turn there??, forever offering instructive advice, in the way Saturn does- by giving you hard reality-check experiences, like seeing where you’ve taken a wrong turn into a bad neighborhood.

With transiting Saturn now in the third house, our mental, spiritual or physical environment is being made brand new. As with any new environment in which we find our self, we’ve got to understand the lay of the land, how things work here, to get any mastery. Imagine your first day of school, you know you’re expected in first period but you have no idea how to get there. How to orient yourself? During Saturn’s transit here it becomes ultra important to figure things out.

“If we must travel beyond our known territory, then a guide or at least a map is necessary. Instinctive survival in an unknown land is unreliable at best, so we often find that when Saturn is transiting the third house we become obsessed with detail. It is necessary to develop one’s mind so that it becomes more capable of making subtle distinctions…” – Erin Sullivan, Saturn In Transit

Anxiety is a common third house experience. We feel uncertain as we reach out into a new environment. Even if we’re in the same place, feel we’ve never been “here”, before – not exactly. One way through the fear/anxiety of a third house Saturn transit is by getting intimately specific and discerning about our concrete experience, examine how our mind is interacting with what is happening in the here and now. Saturn asks us to deliberately slow down to examine our mental perceptions, thoughts, awareness, to focus on how we relate to mind, itself.

For instance, I’ve noticed my tendency to doubt, to question things without examination. A doubt or fear comes up, and I swat away at it like a fly, dismissively saying, “Ooh, that’s not true…” yet when I dismiss my concerns I lose center, get conflicted, and my energy field becomes vulnerable to picking up others’ energetic junk. Instead, if I sink into the mental doubt and ask: Okay, what’s my question? Is this the right approach to take? Do I really believe this? etc… let me feel into this. Then I’m free to answer from a deeper place of knowing.

Getting An Education

“One could consider the third house transit an education, no matter how it presents itself in events, circumstances, feelings. This education might be obvious, or subtle.” – Erin Sullivan, Saturn in Transit

Since Saturn casts a stark, sometimes unwelcome light on our mind, self-defeating mental habits, negative thoughts can happen. You don’t want to take this so seriously that it paralyzes you, but use it to inform you about areas that you can take action on. For instance, I’ve had periodic insecurity/fear about my knowledge. In my childhood home, there was only room for one person’s knowledge and enlightenment- my father – and yet understanding this, energetically, during this time has freed me up to separate my energy from his, to clear it.

I’ve also been working with a helper who is literally teaching me how to work with my mind and the energy of my environment. I’m in elementary school again. I’m mentally training myself to notice how my environment and perceptions interact, and I have to be super-conscious, because a slip in thinking, or lapse of unawareness, can leave my energy body open to gunky environmental energies. As my environment challenges me, I receive direct feedback (either I feel bad, or I feel good) on how I’m doing with my learning. The third house throws new stuff at us, calling on our improvisational abilities. Saturn offers fairly instant feedback, letting us know where we stand. It’s all very in-the-moment that way.

As Rob Hand says of this transit, in his Planets In Transit, “The main issue you will confront at this time is the actual structuring of your mind and how it operates on a day-to-day level, in other words, your everyday mental patterns, attitudes, habits, styles of speaking and ways of listening to others. Normally you take these issues for granted…They are very important in structuring your world.”

Siblings, Your Neighborhood and Environment

“You may have trouble with people in your immediate environment, especially relatives and close neighbors.” -Rob Hand

Environment has been a huge theme for me so far. My neighbors are crazy. I say this without affectionate. I feel their energies, unfortunately. I’ve had problems with mentally unwell neighbors wandering into my house uninvited, with mail being consistently stolen, and extreme weather taking out communication lines, so my immediate environment has taken on numerous troubling, dark Saturnian tones. This, combined with Pluto also transiting my third, as my astrology friend, Paul proclaimed at my last Solar Return, quipped “Well, you haven’t killed your neighbors yet!” Seriously. This has contributed to the decision that I need to move. This is not necessarily negative- I haven’t wanted to be here for a long time and this is showing me that. Leave it to timekeeper Saturn to say “Time to go, time to move!” It’s the information-feedback loop of the this transit.

Since my relationship with my sibling is private, I’m not going to go into much detail with this but to say that this transit can bring up sides of your relationship that you’d pushed aside, or not thoroughly examined till now. Saturn shines a cold, hard, ultimately clarifying light on all third house matters, so naturally our sibling relationships are under his scrutiny. Saturn’s sober clarity gives invites us to drop any unrealistic expectations or wishes we’ve had for our siblings to be anything other than what they are. It’s tough. Siblings always bring up our shadow side, as they often carry the self-parts we wish we’d been (we’re the smart one; they’re the beautiful one, etc.), or we dump our shadow onto them (they’re the materialistic one; we’re the spiritual one, etc.). If we want them to be someone other than who they actually are, we will face that now, maybe in unpleasant ways, or perhaps in more subtle ways that draw this realization out.

Thinking & Knowing

The promise of the Saturn third house transit may be the acquisition of new skills, new forms of self-expression, new ways of perceiving the world and interacting with it, but as Saturn functions as a structural funnel, a focused, dedicated container for interfacing practical information about the here and now with our mind, it’s not light and easy. At times, we may feel bored, our natural curiosity (a third house resource) stymied, frustrated by the limited, concrete nature of our immediate reality, question whether we’re learning anything, or wonder, what’s the point of this task that has no end in sight? That’s Saturn. Yet, in a pinch, we always have the ability to tap into our intuitive knowing.

Erin Sullivan spoke about Theseus’ labyrinth. It’s an apt metaphor. The third house presents an unfamiliar new world, and it feels a lot like a maze, a task with no real logic or order to it. We may not know which way to turn, but we have our intuition. I’ve noticed that as long as I take my intuition on the journey, the concrete walls of the labyrinth aren’t so solid, so formidable. And it helps to have a thread to follow- a guide, someone who has walked these same steps we now travel.

The third house is the part of the chart where we reach out into the world, interact, learn. It’s a place of surprises and new discoveries and Saturn makes these more tangible, real, necessary to our growth. It can be a very uncertain time, in my experience, but in moments of third house uncertainty, we may be surprised to discover we know much more than we thought. And that’s exciting, magical –and likely the booty of the Saturn third house journey.