Saturn/Pluto: Six Scenes from Our Ordinary Lives

I’m starting to keep track of situations that remind me of the aura of the rare Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn that pervades Earth’s atmosphere during this month, and continues until mid-December 2020. (Remember, the lead-up was most of 2019, and the exact conjunction was January 12, 2020, less than one week ago.)

Here goes:

A young friend of mine’s Mom is a nurse. His grandmother, her mom, from whom she has been somewhat estranged for many years, is dying of congestive heart failure, with fluid on the lungs and double pneumonia. She wants to go home from the hospital, where she would have to be cared for 24×7. Instead, her daughter tells her son that she’s going to get Family Leave from her hospital job, bring her Mom to her own home, and care for her during her dying process: “We may have had our disagreements,” she concludes, “but she IS my Mom.”

This story brought tears to my eyes. All the aliveness (Pluto) damned up (Saturn) between this daughter and her mother (un-evolved Pluto, which can hold grudges, and seek power over, revenge, etc) is to finally be allowed to flow freely into healing during the most raw and intimate time, while one is dying (Pluto governs birth and death).

In a blended family of over 30 years, in which the Mom had taken great pride in cultivating a peaceful atmosphere for her two children and his child: a sudden enormous eruption during Christmas vacation punctures the air when the normally placid adult child of the father gets triggered for the first time back to childhood wounds from one of the adult children of the mother. This is causing stress between the parents.

As a friend of mine says, blood is always thicker than water . . . And, I would add, Saturn’s “smoothing over differences” often translated as “politeness,” couldn’t deny Pluto’s furious buried rage any longer.

Ongoing push-pull between a man and his long-time lover — alternately feeling squeezed, suffocated and then, when apart, missing her desperately and getting back together again. This powerful, devastating oscillation happened three times. Then, in one fell swoop, he falls in love with someone else, leaving his first lover hanging, furious, unable to even consciously close the cycle with him, and him seemingly clueless as to what he has just done.

In this case, I see Saturn/Pluto as the alternating push pull, feeling squeezed (Saturn constricts, covers Pluto’s aliveness) and then missing her desperately — her Plutonian aliveness obsessively stimulates his, but he has now walled himself off (Saturn) from her, by suddenly romancing someone new . . . and by the way, he seems to lack Saturn’s accountability for his doubly obsessive (Pluto) behavior.

A young friend’s Mom tells him he’s going to have to get his own car insurance now. He gets defensive. Then, a few days later, he discovers that his car damaged another car — barely brushing the paint off the side of the car on his left — while he was backing out of a tight parallel parking space slowly, making sure his car didn’t touch the car on the right. He finds out he did this, because the damaged car’s owner contacts him. Though his own car suffered no damage, and though he doesn’t remember any contact with this car, he agreed that he probably did it.

Here I look at this scene as likely involving prolonged set of legal protocols (Saturn) that he will have to follow in order to mollify the other owner, whose car was a rental, and who has just moved to town, with no money. Many scenes can be imagined here, in cluding a paranoid (Pluto) one: of the damaged rental car’s driver trying to take (Plutonian) power over my friend. Plus, due to the accident, my friend’s insurance will go up (both Saturn and Pluto refer to karma) before he even gets it

And finally, an example from my own life:.

My car has had a rusting underside for years now (yes, they salt the roads here). A 2006 Prius, I’ve had the car for 13 years. Now something’s going on with the ABS brake system. Long story, involves car being towed, twice, first to my longstanding mechanic via AAA, then to my son’s mechanic; (I had to pay for the second tow). They say they can fix it next Tuesday for $300. (My own mechanic would charge $700). True? Already put out $60 for the second tow and $120 for the initial diagnosis.

In this case, again, one of a prolonged set of Saturn protocols (in this case financial and mechanical)  that I must follow (Saturn) in order to make a momentous (Saturn/Pluto) decision as to whether it’s really worth it to keep this car any longer. Has the Prius outlived its Plutonian aliveness? BTW: I’m reminded of the two overarching statements that I make which are ALWAYS TRUE. Prove me wrong!

1. What we are doing on this planet is moving stuff around.

2. Moving stuff around is always an excuse for relationships.

In working with the situation presented by my rusty car, I’ve met several new people with whom I had fun conversations — including the tow truck driver who said he would pretend that he had towed it from a nearby mall, rather than from the first mechanic’s shop — and I should then contact Triple A and tell them that they didn’t respond to my request, but should reimburse me the $60 — to which I laughed, and said, “Oh I get it!” without committing to going along with and thus benefitting from his lie. Afterwards, I thought to myself: did I do the right thing (Saturn) by just letting him make a connection with me through what he thought would be a mutual manipulation of the insurance company, but without calling him out on it as a stern judge (Saturn)? It’s not the kind of karma (Saturn) I would like to take on. But I do appreciate his effort on my behalf! Yep, movin’ stuff around as an excuse for relationships!

Notice, in each of these five cases, the Saturn/Pluto situation is difficult, involves weighty matters, and takes a relatively prolonged time to resolve.

What I also notice during this time, and I mentioned it during my recent Massachusetts posts, when relating my conversations at the airport: I find it easy to contact people’s real feelings these days. All we have to do is open to them on a soul level, even strangers on the phone, and they are quick to move beyond Saturn’s polite mask to Pluto’s full-on penetration to whatever is raw and real. For example, again:

Yesterday, when I finally phone a bank to pay an old bill, I speak to a young man and ask him how he’s doing in 2020: He replies, but in an oddly cheerful tone, “Well my girl friend of seven years, and we managed to have three children during that time, has just walked out on us. Then he paused, and said, “But I wouldn’t have it any other way.” I.e., he was grateful and appreciative that he can enjoy and nurture this precious gift of three children. We spoke in this penetrating, personal manner (Pluto) for maybe five more minutes, and then finally returned to the business of paying that old (Saturn) $107.20 bill.

In this sixth, and for now, final case, I noticed how alive (Pluto) I felt when I hung up the phone. Just this short period of vulnerable intimacy (Pluto) with a stranger (Saturn) had rendered both of us more able to face whatever comes next during this immensely difficult Saturn/Pluto ordeal.

Remember: Saturn’s walls cover Pluto’s aliveness. Those walls are artificial, constructed through human culture. Pluto is of Nature, and has no walls. Everything flows, birth through death, through various states, their boundaries  permeable, elastic, rather than stuck and bitter.

In all these and other hard (Saturn) prolonged dramas that often feel like life or death (Pluto), let us, remember to see through Saturn forms to Pluto’s aliveness, by moving into the intensely full and mysterious moment that we are immersed in now, right now.

For this moment is not a point, but a space. The Now can be large or small; can expand  indefinitely, into inner and outer realms. In this manner, we intensify the expressive, infinitely creative quality of whatever happens next.

About Ann Kreilkamp

PhD Philosophy, 1972. Rogue philosopher ever since.
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