Secrets of Magic No 33: Saturn sets limits

Saturn is the last planet the ancients could see. The next planet from the sun after Jupiter, Saturn too is a gas giant, one surrounded with spectacular rings, photographed by the spacecraft Cassini-Huygens during its exploratory mission beginning in 2004 and ending in 2017.

As the slowest and farthest planet known to the ancients, Saturn seemed to define the limits of the universe. For that reason the sphere of Saturn has been considered the sphere of structure, endings, and even death.

Saturn’s orbit lasts for 28 years. It takes that long to return to the place where it was located in the sky when we were born. With each orbit we celebrate what astrologers know as a Saturn return, at age 28, 56, 84, and 112 (although very few humans live so long!) At age 28 many of us have left the concerns of youth and established ourselves in our adult lives. By age 56 our children have grown, our bodies are changing, and we re-consider the direction of our lives. Age 84 is in the area of the life expectancy of people in the developed world. Improvements in health care strive to increase this to 112!

The ancients considered Saturn to represent a grim power. Although the power of limitation can be frightening, it is structure that provides us with the support we need to live our lives. In this way the power of Saturn is similar to the power of earth: heavy, dark, but stable and solid. Saturn’s power also resembles the power of the dark moon to bring situations to an end.

We use the energy limits when we decide to take care of our health. We might limit our intake of certain foods, require ourselves to exercise, set a bedtime to ensure we get enough sleep. When we exercise authority we often set limits for others, setting scheduled, assigning deadlines, and establishing rules. The power of limits also helps us to defend ourselves, by determining a threshold for the power others exercise over our lives.

I exercise the power of limits.

Practice: Saturn return meditation
Have you experienced a Saturn return? Think about the events that happened to you during that year. What things ended, what new things happened in your life? If a Saturn return is coming up, how might your life be changing?

What limits do you set on others when you exercise authority? Are these limits often perceived by others as rigid? You might need to loosen the strict grip of Saturn. Are your limits often ignored? You may need to bring a little more Saturn into your life to enforce necessary limits.

Do you feel constricted by the limits others place on you? You might use a little more Mars energy, exercising the power to run your own life, and claiming Jupiter’s authority over yourself.

Write a journal entry describing the foods you do not eat, either because they are processed or high in calories, or because you have discovered they are not good for you. Are there foods you eat often that you know you should eat less, or not at all? How much sleep do you get and how much do you need? Setting a bedtime and sticking to it can help you get the sleep you need.

Is there a situation that you know you must bring to an end? Write a journal entry describing this. Once you have defined the circumstances, you can bring the secrets of magic to bear on the situation, to set limits, resolve the situation, and bring it to a conclusion.

Secrets of Magic No 34: Relax

We can get so tense about achieving exactly the result we want that we get in our own way. The first step in using magic effectively is to learn to relax. This is very easy to say but sometimes hard to do!

Many of us work at jobs that stress our bodies. Office workers sit for long stretches. Keyboarders use the same motions repetitively. Cleaners, construction workers, wait staff, all work hard physically all day long. Whatever we do, whether we move a lot during the day or hardly move at all, we can all benefit from taking a stretch break. Stand up, bend over, take deep breaths. Many of us carry tension in our shoulders, jaws, clenched stomachs. Shaking ourselves out can help loosen that tension.

Magic starts with tuning into our bodies. Try checking in with yourself several times a day. Are you tired, hungry, cold, hot? Check your tension trouble areas, and tense and relax those muscles, releasing the tension.

I relax my body at will.

Practice: Full body relaxation.

Each night this week as you lie in bed, do a full body relaxation. Lying on your back, tense each of your muscles in turn, then relax them. Start with your toes, then move through your legs, back, stomach, chest, arms, hands and fingers, shoulders, neck, and face. See how many muscles you can move individually. If you find that your mind wanders during the practice, try saying the affirmation while you do it. This practice can help you relax into sleep too!

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