…in astrological terms, being 59 means you’re in the middle of your second Saturn Return, when Saturn transits its own place for the second time in your life. It’s generally regarded as a pretty heavy time, of restrictions and difficulties.
By accident, I’ve just stumbled on the blog of a fellow astrologer who was born in the same year and is therefore also experiencing his Saturn Return. He wibbles on about it quite a bit, about the fear, the doubts and so on. Makes a bit of a deal of it.
For me the Saturn Return (so far – I’ve still got the third and last ‘hit’ to go) hasn’t been too different from life during the last few years, except ratcheted up by a factor of two or three – it’s just yet more of the same old worries about money and security that I deal with all the time. It’s wearing, wearying and tiresome, but I know I can deal with it. Sometimes I think that the worst thing that Saturn could do to me would be for me to win the Lottery jackpot; I think I’d lose all sense of purpose if I had nothing at all to worry about.
As I said, this astrologer makes a big thing of what he’s going through – but he’s right about at least one thing. It really does make you think and wonder about your personal future, about your purpose, about what you’ll leave behind. That’s been on my mind a lot lately, and I’m beginning to lay plans.
On a slightly different topic – this astrologer is spending his Saturn Return travelling. He’s presently going around a few of the prettier bits of the West Country and Wales, before travelling to Palestine to work (apparently, he’s none too clear on just what he’ll be doing there) as a ‘spiritual activist’.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favour of him and others going out to help there. But I do wonder – why this activist focus on Palestine, why do so many people think that it’s so overwhelmingly important in the world that they have to drop everything to fly out there and give some sort of help? There are plenty of other conflicts, plenty of other oppressed peoples desperately needing aid – just look at the news.
Plus, what about all the communities needing help in this country? As I said, this astrologer is “travelling around Britain”, but is keeping to just a few of the nicer bits. No cities or ravaged industrial areas (or any part of Scotland even) feature on his itinerary. That’s his choice, of course; but I do wonder why he misses out so much. (Yeah, I’m a nosy cow; with a Scorpio Moon, I’m always wondering about peoples’ inner motivations.) Somebody experienced in counselling, community organising and conflict resolution, as he is, could find plenty of purposeful and rewarding work without having to leave home.
For lots of peace/leftist activists, Palestine is the big focus of their attentions; I get the distinct feeling that it has hugely symbolic and psychological associations for them, far beyond the mere matters of politics and human rights. The same thing goes goes for many other groupings of course; anti-abortionists hold up picture of babies and scream about “murder of the innocents”, animal-rights activists do the same with animals, Christian fundamentalists do it with Bibles. And so on. All invest the object of their particular cause with enormous symbolic significance that more often than not obscures the reality of that object. With some groupings, to point at that their presentation of their symbol does not accord with reality is to invite attack as “The Enemy”. Try telling some Christian fundies that the Bible isn’t inerrent, or an ALF activist that medical researchers try to treat their animal subject humanely (to take just two examples) and you find out the huge personal and psychological investment they have in their pet cause, their fetish-object. So much so that any hint that their view of this fetish-object does not accord with reality actually threatens their sense of identity.
Anyway, I’m trying to point out that people rarely apply rationality to the causes they hold dear; and much prefer to construct something that fits in with their thinking, rather than change their thinking. I was reminded of this the other day, when I came across an article opining that children with autism and Aspergers Syndrome (the fluff-bunny New Agey writer clearly had no idea that there are many adults on the autism spectrum) are “transhuman” and the next stage in human evolution. Now, as an adult with Asperger’s, the prospect of being put on a pedestal and labelled “transhuman” doesn’t thrill me at all, any more than being labelled “mentally ill” or “dysfunctional”. I am a human person and want to be accepted as such, not hidden away under a label. Putting a catch-all label on somebody effectively makes them Other, so that you don’t have to bother with dealing with them on a human level.
It’s my feeling that the many political and human rights activists who are so caught up in the Palestinian cause think the same way about Palestinians; for them, Palestinians have become symbols of human suffering and wrongdoing, something to hang their righteous anger on, something to march for and shout about, not human beings. The astrologer who is going to Palestine actually writes that he admires them for their large families and is looking forward to being amongst one – even though he’s certainly intelligent enough to realise that Palestinian women don’t have much choice about marrying and having children, that big families are the norm in places like Palestine largely because there is little in the way of material and social stability and that the small, fragmented families that he despises in the West are the result of social stability and universal welfare. It’s clear that big, nurturing, close families are something he longs for.