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Saturn in Virgo: The Power of Acceptance
Written & published: September 2007
On Sunday 2nd September Saturn moved from Leo into Virgo. It had been in Leo for two years, and will be in Virgo for another two years, moving into Libra in October 2009. So what can we do with this shift? What can we use it for? What follows is a small beginning in answer to those questions to encourage your own exploration.
One of the things we can use this phase for is to unravel and undo the knots we tie ourselves in. On the less health-promoting side of the equation, Saturn symbolises fearful contraction, over-concern, worry, anxiety and energy-sapping fixations, and Virgo represents our ability to get so convolutedly lost in the minutiae of life that we temporarily forget how to expand, let go, and digest experience. So we can use this time to unweave those things that are too tightly woven, to bring fluidity and movement to those things that have become clogged up.
When we're afraid we can slip into a tendency to cling, clutch, and control. This tendency is likely to become highlighted while Saturn makes its journey through Virgo, the purpose being for us to say "Okay, yes, this control habit has outlived its usefulness and now I can shift to a way of doing things that promotes my wholeness, not my disintegration or my separation." Otherwise, our need for tight control could hold us back even more as we try even further to micro-manage everything inside us and outside us, and we could thereby lay down a thicker pattern of controlling as a way to 'order the chaos'. What we really need to re-learn is how to tune into the organic and intrinsic self-organising principles of the Universe and align ourselves with them, so that we feel safe and are never overwhelmed by inner or outer experiences.
It's a good time to look after the small cogs in the wheel that make the big cogs turn. Increased denial of the importance of the small cogs, the little people, the little things, is possible while Saturn's in Virgo, as is a collective and personal exacerbation of bureaucratic protocols, causing imagination, enthusiasm, and heart to dry up and become stagnant. Fluidity is of paramount importance on every level, so that life doesn't become stuck in a spiral of moribund repetition and drudgery. Grounding passions and visions is not the same thing as snuffing them out or stifling them under mountains of paperwork - literal or metaphorical. Rules are meant to enable, not disable, so facilitation is key.
The tendency to harshly judge and negate might well worsen for a while. The solution? A good one is to be found in what has been called the radical acceptance of everything. Sounds permissive? Not so.
The radical acceptance of everything perfectly encapsulates the apparent paradox of the Virgo-Pisces polarity in the Zodiac wheel. It is an approach to our inner selves, first and foremost, and then to the inner selves of others. It has been written about so brilliantly by Ann Weiser Cornell in her book 'The Radical Acceptance of Everything'. Of this, she evokes the Virgo-Pisces combination when she says:
"There is a state of deep listening to ourselves that gets past all the blocks and inner tangles. The first experience is relief. After that, people have aha! moments and begin to live in new ways."
"Self-criticism and self-consciousness hold the stuckness in place. But most people try to get rid of the self-criticism by judging it in turn. 'Bad inner critic! Go away!' No wonder this doesn't work very well. What we'll do instead is show you how to be accepting toward every part of yourself. It's amazing what starts to happen when people really get this."
The theme of Virgo-Pisces is becoming whole, integrating all the parts into a smoothly-functioning, healthy, happy unit. The radical acceptance of everything is the 'means whereby', as FM Alexander of Alexander Technique fame would phrase it. With Saturn in Virgo we need pragmatism, and this approach of turning to each part and welcoming it into the whole is exactly that, combining Piscean empathy with Virgoan precision and thus ensuring that there is no drought or infertility within the psyche or the body.
"So the radical acceptance of everything brings a new possibility of trust, a feeling of greater wholeness to the Focusing process. As guides we are no longer guardians of the gate, watching to allow in some experiences and exclude others. Instead, we are holders of the open space that includes whatever wants to come. We are not afraid of what comes in the focuser. We know that there are no enemies in the inner world. We enable the focuser to form a positive relationship with what comes, a relationship of listening and acceptance or, if that isn't possible, a relationship with the part that finds it hard to accept what's there. The spirit is one of inclusion, not exclusion. The attitude is one of welcome."
Instead of Saturn in Virgo representing a new round of self-judgement, self-righteousness, micro-managing and bureaucratic authoritarianism, ever-tightening strictures on the self mirrored by ever-increasing control-freakery in our societies, we can use it to loosen the suffocating fabric of denial, denigration, deprivation, and cruel rules, paving the way for an opening up, a harvesting process, where the fruits of experience ripen in plenty, symbolised by the thousands-of-years-old assocations of the festival of the Saturnalia with Saturn and the Autumn harvest with Virgo. It is the difference between closing down and opening up, erecting barriers or allowing appropriate sifting and sorting, and it starts with a very down-to-earth way to accept and embrace each part's essential place within the overall tapestry of existence.
"The very parts of ourselves that we try to get rid of and deny are like “treasure maps” — they point to where a part of our wholeness has been pushed away and is waiting to be re-included."
Ann Weiser Cornell, featuring Barbara McGavin - The Radical Acceptance of Everything - click here
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