The Cold Ruler of the Winter
This time of year is ruled by images of death and rebirth, transformation and regeneration, the Holly King and Lord of the Wild Hunt are the dark aspects of the Witch’s God that are sovereign during the dark half of the year. Winter is connected to the end of the life cycle and thus is populated by images of crone goddesses and old father time bearing the sickle of Saturn; Underworld deities are at the height of their power as the verdant life force of the Earth has withdrawn itself into her dark depths. The element of this season is appropriately Earth, the most dense of the four powers. Earth is the matter that is burned in the fire that keeps us warm. It is also the frozen soil that gives very little during these lean months before spring. At this time we are withdrawn, living the majority of our days indoors trying to stay warm and wait for spring. Our bodies are indoors and our thoughts also turn inward taking stock of the past year and laying the foundations for the next. The focus is on the material world of the home, health, and wealth as the sun goes into Capricorn at the Winter Solstice. We are now passed Imbolc and the Sun has entered Aquarius where we begin to contemplate the abstract ideas of our own personal philosophy and where that is taking us, and is that somewhere that we want to be?
Image courtesy of Carey Ward Photography
Saturn is associated with karma and restriction. It was known historically as the Greater Malefic and was a more pronounced manifestation of the energies of the planet Mars. Many of the associations Saturn has in medieval astrology are negative, but further study and understanding leads us to uncover the benign aspects of this Planet. Since it is the slowest moving of the planets it is good for things that come to fruition over along amount of time. The persistent nature of the great task master lays a strong foundation for what we wish to build in the future. It also rules over boundaries and thresholds and helps us to separate that which does not serve us, and helps us to move beyond such things. When people have a strong Saturnian aspect in their natal charts that are often struck with hardship and struggle in that area. For example, Saturn is in Sagittarius in my chart which relates to travel, study, religion beliefs; it is also retrograde which increases the lessons in these areas. While spirituality has always been of importance to me it has also opened my eyes to struggles I wouldn’t have otherwise seen or experienced.
Saturn can provide us with experiences and opportunities that can bring us major growth, however that growth usually comes from restriction in some way. We mature through struggle, and when we are restricted from the outside we are able to turn within and facilitate the inner growth needed to cause outside changes. This usually involves dealing with issues from the past that have been repressed, and confronting the foundations of harmful ideologies, but in the end these are some of the greatest lessons learned.