Meeting your Fairy God-Planets
Of all the questions I get asked as an astrologer, perhaps the most pertinent one I get is “what is the benefit of getting an astrology reading?”
Unfortunately, most peoples’ views on astrology are limited to the fluff they read in glossy magazines and at the back of newspapers.
Not only does this make a mockery of one of the most ancient and sophisticated systems of esoteric knowledge known to man, it also alienates us from our discourse with the Divine and a chance to work hand-in-hand with our very own fairy godmothers -the planets!
People often bemoan the fact that they don’t have a fairy godmother waiting in the wings –no pun intended –ready to assist them in making difficult decisions or to help them out of sticky situations.
If only these people would stop to listen they’d realise that there is an entire host of planets in the heavens waiting to help them with their most salient problems and distressing decisions.
They just need to learn how to listen.
Oftentimes it feels like something “out there” is running the show –that we are at the mercy of a harsh puppet master dealing us with what seems like endless blows to our sense of self and cruel twists of fate. However, if people realised that the apparent effects of these “blows” would be lessened if they looked to the planets for answers would they then be prepared to take responsibility for their lives?
Would they learn the language of the stars?
Saturn the Anti-Hero as Fairy God-Mother: How to work with Saturn Transits and Progressions
Stephen Arroyo says that planetary transits and progressions symbolise “the hands of a clock which tick off karmic events and situations which we need to meet in the outer world.”
We can't hold back the motion of the tides much like we can’t stop Saturn from making its way round our chart where it will inevitably oppose its natal position, square our Sun, conjunct our Venus and so forth.
His movement around our birth chart touches on the areas in our lives where there is “inner housekeeping” to be done and the more we co-operate with him the easier working with his energy becomes.
The first step in working with Saturn or, indeed, any other planetary energy, is foresight.
Foresight leads to insight, which unlocks one of the many advantages of working with divinatory systems like Astrology. Arming ourselves with the necessary wisdom and foresight can help lessen the blows that these planetary “malefics” bring us and help us become co-creators of our reality.
So if Saturn is approaching our Venus we know that there will be some hard lessons (Saturn) afoot that will stir up issues regarding self-worth (Venus).
This foresight allows us to do the necessary inner work that Saturn requires of us rather than experiencing his presence as something that is happening to us. When we are conscious of something, then we’ve already won half the battle since consciousness, in its simplest definition means awareness. However, “to master pure awareness, you must learn how to live it,” says Chopra.
What is consciousness?
According to Chopra:
“Consciousness is the potential for all creation."
So if transiting Saturn is conjuncting natal Venus then we can acknowledge that the need to work on and heal some aspect of our self-value is being asked of us.
Saturn teaches us through pain and frustration and nothing spurs us on to new growth more than limitation and despair. With that in mind, becoming familiar with our charts and anticipating upcoming transits –particularly “difficult” ones involving hard-hitters like Saturn or Pluto –can help us work creatively with the planetary energies rather than being blindly at their mercy.
The Dweller at the Threshold
The more "painful" a transit, the richer the treasure we find buried in our depths. Saturn is known as the “dweller at the threshold” and in myth and lore, the hero is often led to treasure being guarded at the threshold showing that if we are prepared to do battle with our demons then we can reap enormous rewards for the hero is often lead to hidden treasure when he has successfully slayed the beast at the threshold.
A more mundane example of this would be in our professional working lives for the amount of work done and the number of hours put in increases our earning potential –this is also true of the planets and how they operate in our lives.
Often the harsher and more frustrating the experience, the more work we have to do to overcome our feelings of frustration. By working through our pain we find the golden nuggets buried in a hidden treasure trove, ready to be dug up so they can be integrated into our psyches and shine their light in our souls.
The work we do with Saturn and, indeed, all difficult planetary sojourns leads us to the hidden treasure of our potentials. It isn’t for nothing that Saturn is called the “task-master” for when we attend to our tasks, when we do our inner “work”, we help effect profound changes in our lives thereby unearthing a secret treasure trove of possibilities and hidden potentials.
Cinderella and Astrology
Nothing highlights the capacity for human potential more than myth and fairytales.
We are all familiar with the tale of Cinderella –versions of which have been found in cultures as far apart as China and Egypt, Germany and Persia. It is one of the most ancient examples of a rags-to-riches story –a classic depiction of a downtrodden, woebegone waif triumphing over adversity.
In one version of the tale, the gentle and hardworking Cinderella is visited by her fairy godmother in her hour of need and uses her magic to get Cinderella ready for the ball.
Planetary transits and progressions, both “good” and “bad”, are much like fairy godmothers in that they give us exactly what we need when we need it.
Cinderella didn’t always have lady luck on her side –she didn’t always have “access” to a fairy godmother to see to her every whim. In fact, she had to endure many hardships in her life; the early death of her mother, becoming a slave to her family and being endlessly tormented by her stepsisters and stepmother. However, through her humility, hard work and above all, her grace, she is granted access to the Otherworld –her fairy godmother.
This hints at the responsibility we must take to do our own “inner work”, our own “inner housekeeping”, and to have faith and trust in the process. It also follows the old adage -when student is ready, teacher appears.
Hard Work and Angelic Benediction
It isn’t a coincidence that angelic benediction is never granted to the characters in myth who are selfish, greedy or lazy. “Pray, but move your feet” as the saying goes.
Heaven truly helps those who help themselves and only by working with our transits, by developing a discourse with our planets, can we truly be helped by the myriad gifts they wish to bestow.
When we work with Astrology we can decode these celestial clues by tapping into the vast symbolic language of the planets involved in our progressions and transits. Our fairy godmother may not appear to us in the guise we would like her to but we can be sure that, whatever the circumstances, she will bring us exactly what we need for she always has our best interests at heart.
Often we encounter the wave of her magic wand through the “hard” lessons in our lives for it is ultimately through challenge and frustration that she gives us the opportunity to slough off outworn ways of being and adopt positive new life models that are a more appropriate expression for who we have become (and who we've always secretly been).
Her arrival coincides with our deep desire to transform –a heed to an unconscious call that suggests that we are ready to make like caterpillars and aid her in our own metamorphosis.
Going to the Ball
We are never the same after our fairy godmother enters our lives. The inevitable transformation that takes place after we meet her means that we will be better equipped to “go to the ball”, a symbol that we are ready to move into a higher level of awareness.
Stagnant energy must be renewed and revitalised but sometimes we need a push from our invisible helpers, our fairy godmothers, to get us moving along our path.
It is important to note that her magic usually comes with conditions and does not last indefinitely –Cinderella, after all, must leave the ball before midnight. This suggests that we must temper the magical blessings of the Otherworld with a little effort, sacrifice and moderation on our part.
There must be a willingness to implement change in our lives for magic to take root.
It is not enough to merely come into contact with magical forces.
Once we have made contact we must take action to help bring magic into being through hard work, humility and grace. Her blessings only represent one part of the magic formula –it is up to us to temper her offerings with a little of our very own "earth magic" so that we can lay a positive foundation for change in our lives.
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