Part 1 of 2
© 2010 by Joyce Mason
“Mature” relationship, by the very use of the adjective mature involves making peace with Saturn. There is a good reason why Saturn is exalted—best placed—in the sign of Libra. We all want relationships that endure, relationships that are “there for us.” We want love that’s steady and reliable, a love that creates just enough boundaries so we can feel safe to be ourselves, even when we push the envelope. (If we can’t push the envelope in a relationship, we can’t grow and the partnership withers.)
Regardless of where Saturn is placed in our natal charts, while it’s passing through the sign of Libra, Saturn’s relationship to relationship is highlighted for our common consideration.
I admire Donna Cunningham for stating publicly an opinion I share with her in a post on her outstanding blog, SkyWriter. Success in relationship has much more to do with personal history than the contents of our astrological make-up bag. This doesn’t mean we can’t learn from our natal charts and transits, but I think it means we have to look, first, at our own life stories. Our history tells us how we have played the astrological energies to date, whether we were conscious of them or not. (I was not conscious of mine before my first astrology class.) The way we explore our love history is by keeping an ongoing journal or creating a relationship timeline.
Of course, if you haven’t kept a journal your entire life, you don’t have your relationship history recorded. That is the case for most people. Even if you did, how would you ever mine anything out of all that scribbling? This calls for a different kind of exercise.
The Relationship Timeline
Recently, I joined a study group based on the book, Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life (Schlitz, Vieten, and Amorok). I can’t recommend this book enough for all spiritual travelers. One of the exercises the authors invite readers to do: make a chart of your life in seven-year cycles (Saturn cycles!). On the chart, you note when you had major changes of consciousness. They could be a tragic, joyful, or inspiring life events that led you to see your part in the cosmic whole or anything that seriously altered your worldview. I did it. What a revelation.
You could do the same thing with your relationship history. Make three columns, one skinny one for Dates and two wider ones for Relationship Events and Feelings About Events. (See Illustration. Here’s a link to download a blank Relationship History Form.)
Your first page is age 0-7 with the year below your age to help jog your memory. Second page is age 8-14, and so on. (Warning: The exercise takes longer the longer you’ve lived, but it's worth every minute of your time.) Quietly contemplate what was going on with you in relationships on each of those pages and time spans. Something wonderful about the memory. It will retain what’s important. I call that appearing in yellow highlighter in your mind. You don’t need to remember an event every year. What’s important will bubble up. Write it down.
While "romantic" relationships are the focus, don't limit yourself to them on the form. Especially in early life, your relationship to your parents and siblings impact the quality of subsequent ties. Include major ups-and-downs with family.Once you’ve filled in the form (it’ll take an hour or two, depending on your age), scan the pages for patterns. What jumps out at you about your relationships? What were the key experiences and the feelings that went with them? Did you have similar reactions to like events?
How did you get into relationships? How did you get out of them? Was it graceful or always devastating? Do you recall the context?For example, by doing a lot of memoir writing myself, I began to understand that I got into relationships that were wrong for me at my most vulnerable points of personal transition. A big one was between high school and college, my first “coming of age” step away from the parental nest and mom’s apron strings. That’s when I met a young man who had such an impact on me; it took me decades to get over him.
Another transition was when I moved to California—alone. For the first time, I stood wobbly on my own two feet. In this new place so far from home and roots, I had to create my own life. That’s when I met and married my first husband, an adventure in learning I’m grateful to have behind me, even while appreciating its gifts. I’m not sure I would have entered either of these relationships if I hadn’t encountered these men when I was exceptionally vulnerable and felt there wasn’t much Saturn stability in sight.
That’s when I tended—and am sure a lot of other people do, too—to grab the first person to hold onto without doing a thorough background check. I’ve since realized I do the same thing in friendships, another kind of relationship.
Next: More Saturn in Libra Exercises to Understand your Relationships (Part 2 of 2)
For more tips on relationship and how to manifest it, including flower essences that can help the process, read Finding Love in Later Life—Spirited Edition.
Saturn in Libra and Relationships, published on Sasstrology as Part of the 2010 International Astrology Day Blogathon. The purpose of this web-based event is to create a permanent library of articles about how to deal with the stresses of the Cardinal T-Square of Pluto, Saturn and Uranus. The main page for the Blogathon collections is at The Cardinal T-Square of 2010: Saturn, Uranus, Pluto.