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The Time of Your Life: Saturn's Cycle Around Your Birth Chart
This article was written & published on 19th March 2006
As Saturn moves through the Zodiac it cycles around your birth chart. When it crosses the angles of your chart - the Ascendant, IC, the Descendant, and the MC - a new phase of your life begins. With each new phase, you have the opportunity to develop the themes of your life's purpose to a whole new level.
One complete revolution takes just under thirty years, so to understand your development you must broaden your perspective to encompass at least three decades. With every thirty-year period you, ideally, spiral up to a new level of experience, rather than circling around again at the same level.
Here is a simplified birth chart showing the angles, the direction of Saturn's movement around the chart wheel, and the four phases of growth that correspond with Saturn's movement:
Saturn's passages across the four angles mark decisive moments in life. They can be experienced as struggles and times of crisis, but they can also be times of liberation from the past and breaking out of a shell that has been protective in the last phase but which is now restrictive and stops us moving forwards in our growth.
Withdrawal phase: Saturn moving across the Ascendant marks a new contract with life, almost like a new incarnation. Consequently, you may feel vulnerable, sensitive and uncertain as you begin this new exploration of yourself and your life, as if you once again have a thin skin. As Saturn moves through the 1st, 2nd and 3rd houses you build new strength, gather new resources, and learn new skills. You are intensively involved in discovering a new you and preparing to unfold a new level of your purpose - your life's work. But to do so you must let go of the past 14 years of experience - the successes and failures, the glories and the mistakes, and the habits of a lifetime - otherwise they will hinder your progression and hold you back.
Development phase: Crossing the IC, there is a distinct change of energy in readiness for approximately 14 years of ascent. During this phase you will need to consolidate your foundations, dig deep inside, draw out the new you, and devote careful efforts to clearing away the rubble of the past so that the future has the best footing and the new work to be done in unfolding your life's purpose can continue unobstructed by historic residues. Although still self-involved, you will need to prepare to bring your newly-discovered and carefully-honed treasures to the world in the next phase.
Achievement phase: When Saturn moves into the 7th house there is a need to move into a social phase of your life. You can no longer rummage around in your own basement, and you may no longer want to either. Society, and individuals, must now be engaged with, and everything that you have learned during the past 14 years needs to be put into your relationship with the world around you. This phase can have a 'curtain up' effect on your performance, hence its title. Your responsibilities to other people and to society in general are emphasised, as you make your contribution in public and manifest your destiny in the world.
Stabilisation phase: This marks the point of culmination. What was begun 14 years ago when Saturn crossed the IC is now brought to fruition, and the results are clear for you to see. This can therefore be a time of great satisfaction, or dissatisfaction, or both. Often we focus only on outer success, and so if you have neglected our inner world over the past 14 years the sheen may be taken off your outer achievements and your attention may turn within. A major re-appraisal of your values, your goals, and your direction can take place, setting the tone for the next 14 years of development. No matter what happens, it is now time to share the fruits of your labours with society, and to prepare to let go once again in readiness for the next phase where you will be called upon to discover a new you so that you can unfold the next stage of your journey.
How to work out your Saturn phases:
To find the dates of your Saturn cycle you will need to know your exact time of birth, not just the date, and of course the place. This is because Saturn's cycle is measured from the angles of the birth chart, which cannot be calculated without an accurate birth time and place.
You then need to obtain a copy of your birth chart, and an ephemeris of Saturn's motion. You can get your chart calculated online (see links section of this website), and you can also find ephemerides online, but if you are a newcomer to astrology you will need to consult a competent astrologer to work out your Saturn cycle dates for you.
If you do not know of any astrologers in your area, please use the contact section of this website where you will find an email address you can use and, if you know your exact time of birth as well as the date and place, we can help you with your Saturn cycle dates.
For an example of how these phases work, see this article on Prince's career in music:
Prince, Master of Music: Saturns cycles in his career
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