Thursday, March 4, 2010

Saturn in Libra: "Form" Your Love Life, Chart Your Relationship History

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.

This article is featured in 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.


Tony Vowles said...

Hey Joyce! That's the best article I've seen on this topic - some really good advice. Thankyou!

Susie said...

I will give this chart a go. I have never kept a journal, so trying to think back is going to be a chore for me. I just don't remember the years of most things. It will be interesting to see what patterns emerge. I am enjoying the blogathon very much. There is so much information. Great learning experience.

Joyce Mason said...

Thanks, Tony! I appreciate your vote of confidence and positive feedback.

Susie, I find recapturing memories works a bit like finding the end of a string. Pull it out a bit (the first memory or two) and the others usually come behind it. I think you'll find this exercise worth your while! Thanks for taking time to comment.

bellagarota said...

I think my pattern is about betrayal.
When I was 7 my dad started drinking and yelling a lot and continued for years (it's weird - everytime I tell someone about my dad drinking I ALWAYS remember this specific age - 7 - this is the age in my head, although I haven't checked with anyone) - I felt betrayed by him, at 14 I failed my highschool admission (I felt betrayed by myself and others that failed to support me - my sister moved out just then), at 21 it wasn't something major but I remember losing a job in a very ugly way(I felt betrayed by the friend that recommended it) and I had my first huge fight with my sister and at 29 I don't know - I am not there yet.
In the end things turned out pretty ok: dad is sober again and he is like a new dad that I never dreamed of, I ended up in an even better highschool than the one I was aiming for, I finally have a job and got away from the influence of that 'friend' but the feeling of betrayal and abandonment still inhibit me from getting in personal romantic relationships.
I hope Saturn has the answer to that one too!

Dizzy said...

This was a really useful exercise! Unfortunately I haven't had any actual relationships, closest have been various unrequited crushes and one CHS (consecutive hookup situation) with a married guy living across the country.

Age 7 nothing happened, age 8 I had my first crush. Age 14 I had been playing my instrument for a year (I'm now a musician) and had a great year academically and musically (prodigy-like), I also had a huge crush on my music teacher and I feel there was some mutual attraction, though neither of us did anything. A crush that started the end of my 17th year (I had pluto conj venus during this, yikes) came to a head near the end of my 21st year. I had indicated interest several times, he said he was not but there remained the attraction. We hooked up and then he cut off contact with me and all of my friends, and dropped out of school. Said he knew I wouldn't say no and he was lonely. Not a whole lot until age 26, had a crush that ended up with the guy telling me "i am only interested in having sex with you", so of course this went nowhere. Then the aforementioned CFS happened over the course of a year, though haven't heard from him in 4 months. I've tried some online dating services and nothing has happened.

I've saturn at 14 libra natally in my 7th house, in a stellium with sun, mercury, jupiter, and pluto, all square moon in cancer, and sextile mc/neptune in sag. So relationship issues are very important to me, it's killing me to not have anything! If the pattern is correct, however, I should have something picking up soon. Seems like the most active time recently was around when saturn entered my 7th house (DC at 9 virgo)

Joyce Mason said...

Hi, Dizzy--Glad you found this exercise useful! I agree; you're due if not overdue for some relationship action. Sometimes wanting it too much gets in the way. Although it focuses on people over 50, there's still a lot of info in a post on my other blog that you might find a helpful complement to this one: Finding Love in Later Life--Spirited Edition. Wishing you love and continued self-understanding. Come back and let me know what happens over the next year.

Emma43 said...

I am a Libra and currently experiencing harsh Saturn in my sign, my past 6 and only relationships have been ones of unrequited Love (all of the love never being returned by my lover) so I find it hard to ever let myself love again. I promised myself after my 5th relationship that I would never let anyone hurt me like that agin but lo and behold I let myself fall for someone who I thought was perfect and couldnt possibly hurt me if He tried. I find it so increadibly hard to let myself fall for anyone again, yet being a Libran, I would rather Die than be alone without a partner. I just want to know if Saturns transit going through Libra at the moment could help me find someone who is right for me. I couldnt stand one more relationship ending over unrequited Love!

Joyce Mason said...

Emma, thanks for your comment and sharing your concerns. Libra is the sign in which Saturn is exalted or best placed. As a Libra Sun, Saturn in your sign is a golden opportunity to focus on learning as much as possible about relationships—perhaps why you are drawn to partners that ultimately aren’t that interested. Love is always a gamble, and there are no guarantees. Nearly everyone with the right partner got there through the stepping stones of wrong choices and wisdom for the pain. Saturn in Libra is a great time for you to put effort into learning about relationships. Several of my articles on this and my other blog come to mind that might be helpful: Tools for Saturn in Libra, High Signs 2: Living on the Upside of the Zodiac (includes Libra), and Finding Love in Later Life—Spirited Edition. While the latter is geared toward people 50 and older--and not knowing your age--the basic information applies regardless of age. I wish you love—especially the reciprocal kind.