Recently I have been receiving evidence (if evidence were still needed) that Astrology is real: all too real in fact. To wit: I have had people approach me various problems, some quite serious, and ask me if I thought there was a supernatural cause for them? On examining their natal charts I discovered that in each instance, at the time the client claimed to be experiencing a calamity, Saturn was transitting one or more planets in their natal chart. I even found one instance where, a querent had a number of planets clustered together in their horoscope. They had a list of problems, and through back-checking, each problem occurred as Saturn transitted each successive planet in the cluster. The correlation staggered me: as transitting Saturn went conjunct natal Venus, romantic problems occurred; as it went conjunct natal Mercury, communication problems with colleagues occured; etc etc etc.
The positive in all this negativity is that if – as I believe – such problems can be directly linked to Saturn, it is also possible to predict when the same problems will alleviate themselves. The planet Saturn has a twenty-nine year orbit around the Sun, which in astrological terms means it takes twenty-nine months or just under two-and-a-half years to pass through each Zodiacal sign. However, because it goes retrograde on a regular basis, its passage through a sign is not straightforward. So, for example, although Saturn is only retrograde for approximately four-and-a-half months, it will not exit its Shadow until eight months after first turning retrograde. During this time it will have gone back and then forward over a 7 degree section of the horoscope which, if you have any planets or major angles there, is going to feel pretty shitty (See here).
To conclude, I would like to make two points. Firstly, if you are having a rough time, do not automatically assume that you are being maliciously attacked, either occultly or otherwise. Instead, get an astrologer to analyse your natal chart with respect to current transits, to see if it isn’t actually something that will pass of its own accord. Secondly: try to avoid reading too many astrological websites about Saturn!!! I have found that although many of them say things along the lines of you will experience a tough time during this period, etc, few of them provide actual solutions as to what to do in the meantime. This is where Hermetic Magic comes in. Hermeticism is firmly rooted in the astrological paradigm, but its scope is far more ambitious than astrology – or what most modern astrologers believe to be astrology. One of my favourite quotes from the Corpus Hermeticum is this:
Nay more, if we must boldly speak the truth, the true “man” is e’en higher than the gods, or at the [very] least the gods and men are very whit in power each with the other equal.
For no one of the gods in heaven shall come down to the earth, o’er-stepping heaven’s limit; whereas man doth mount up to heaven and measure it; he knows what things of it are high, what things are low, and learns precisely all things else besides. And greater thing than all; without e’en quitting earth, he doth ascend above. So vast a sweep doth he possess of ecstasy.
The “Gods” referred to are the Planets of Classical Astrology – that is to say, the ancients believed that the planets were not just named after the gods, they ensouled them. Hence, Hermes Trismegistus is saying that it is possible for a human to raise his or her consciousness (“mount up to heaven”) to become higher than the gods and hence ultimately transcend their influence – and achieve true Free Will. A magical system such as the Golden Dawn believes that the occult techniques it teaches to Adepts enable an initiate to do just this. Even if one is not an experienced magician, the simple act of becoming aware of the planetary influences which affect you at any given time is the first step in being able to lessen their power over you.