“The woman who is virgin, one-in-herself, does what she does… because what she does is true.” – Esther Harding, quoted in Surviving Saturn’s Return

saturnOn April 7, Saturn will return to Virgo. It’s time to reconnect with inner essence — to bring your energy back inward to clarify who you are and what really matters to you. Virgo the Virgin is the sign of purification, and her purpose is to strip away whatever is in the way of connecting with and expressing your deepest self.

The sign that Saturn is traveling through shows where “the work” is, and for the next three months, some serious housecleaning is called for — purging and creating order in the cluttered and chaotic spaces of your home and/or work space, as well as cleaning up your internal landscape by improving your diet and self-care routines. Saturn will be in Virgo until July 21, when the ringed planet returns to Libra — the sign of partnership — for the next two years.

The Virgin archetype, as described by Marion Woodman, signifies “She who is who she is because that is what she is.” When you let go of the “stuff” in your life — possessions, jobs, relationships, habits, time commitments — that no longer serve you, what’s left?

The Saturn in Virgo project started back in September 2007, initiating about two years of intense inner and outer cleansing. In October of last year, Saturn shifted into Libra, and it was time to put all that inner work to the test in the realm of relationships. Now, the energy returns inward, and once again the work is to streamline your schedule, purify your body and mind, clean your home, get organized, and simplify your life.

“Cynicism is Obedience”

“Optimism is a political act. Those who benefit from the status quo are perfectly happy for us to think nothing is going to get any better. In fact, these days, cynicism is obedience. What’s really radical is being willing to look right at the problems we face and still insist that we can solve them. A stubborn commitment to solving problems and a faith in our ability to do so doesn’t need to be naïve.” – Alex Steffen, interview in The Sun

uranusThis summer, cosmically speaking, is when the heat is truly on. The transit that astrologers have been speculating about for years — the “Cardinal Cross” of 2010-2014 — will kick in around the Summer Solstice (June 21). This rare planetary alignment asks the essential question of our time: Will we make the radical changes necessary to avert destroying ourselves and the planet? Environmental researchers say that how we respond during the next five years is critical in terms of turning the tide.

Saturn in Virgo will exactly oppose Uranus in Pisces on April 26, a wake-up call for pragmatic action toward creating a new world. This is the fourth of five exact hits of this transit, which started in the fall of 2008 and will climax in July as part of the Cardinal Cross. I wrote about the Saturn-Uranus opposition in September 2009 (Facing the Fear of Change), at the time of the last exact hit.

“To understand that I can make a difference is so freeing,” writes Colin Beavan in No Impact Man (appropriately released in September 2009). The book describes Beavan and his family’s year of attempting to live without making an environmental footprint, an experiment his started “as an expression of my victimhood and powerlessness.” Through the course of the year, as he completely transforms his life, he finds that the changes he makes are changing him.

Victimhood and powerlessness are shadow aspects of Pisces, and often accompany awareness of the magnitude of the challenges we face. Ideally, the Uranus in Pisces revolution in consciousness (since 2003) awakens in us the faith that it’s not too late to change course. The understanding that what appears to be solid matter is a constantly-changing swirl of energy reveals that reality isn’t so fixed. It’s possible to use our ingenuity and imagination to create a sustainable world.

Saturn in Virgo, a pragmatic Earth sign, is the realist. Realism, in our culture, has become equated with cynicism, but a more practical version of Virgo realism gets busy doing the work at hand to make the world a better place. By starting where we are, and taking the most appropriate step forward, our faith in the possibility of collective change increases.

“[I]nstead of trying to save the world by sitting around figuring out the best course of action,” Beavan writes, “We should just start trying to save the world. If we all just start trying from where we are, even if some of us fail, one of us or a couple of thousand of us will cross the finish line and get the job done. And if we don’t, we will inspire other thousands to start from where they are.”