One of the major ingresses of 2023 is Saturn entering Pisces on March 7, so I want to share with you some themes that the next two and a half years hold related to Saturn’s travels in this sign.
In some immediate sense, Saturn and Pisces are antithetical. Saturn is about boundaries, structure, and hard realities on the one hand, and Pisces is boundary-less, imaginative, dreamy and fantastical. Saturn is sobriety, while Pisces is intoxication (potentially). But if we probe deeper, we can think about the processes by which a dream becomes a reality, and how Saturn in Pisces can turn our attention to these dynamics.
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Watch this teaching on YouTube or keep reading below:
What is Reality?
A few years ago I came across a scholar’s definition of “real life” in a book about the evolution of human religion (by Robert Bellah). Bellah described two different kinds of realities – one related to fundamental anxiety (of death) and the movement we make through the world to work and get things done, how we relate to objectives and tasks. It is in this state of consciousness that we manage to get to appointments on time, take care of chores or work, and generally take care of the tasks that ensure our existence at a basic level. This type of reality is tapped into a cultural grid of what is normal or socially accepted – such as how we obtain the water we need to drink. Depending on our social environment, we may get water from the tap, from the store, from a spring directly, or so on. There are certain rules and social consequences that exist in this shared reality, so while theoretically I can go to the grocery store naked if I want, it will set off a series of consequences related to the matrix of the social reality, such as getting arrested or taken in for psychiatric observation.
Bellah explains that no one likes to live in “normal reality” forever, and that we periodically escape from it through games or play, entertainment, daydream, sleep and enter other worlds. It is in a more hypnotic trance or flow state that we are engaged in games or playing music, or take in a film. He explains that at times, the other worlds we touch awaken us to change our “real life”, such as if a person were to have a profound realization watching a film that influenced how stye live their life.
Bellah also speaks to the state of consciousness that is religious experience – as opposed to “real life” which operates in standard time and standard space (which allows us to get to appointments on socially agreed time, for example), time seems to change, stretch, expand, or speed up. We might feel an ecstasy, a visitation of the sublime, feel a sense of profound peace or perfection. Our experience essentially becomes more psychedelic and we are in communion with the Universe.
In sharing the definitions of these different reality states and how they interact, Bellah informs the reader that the “real life” is not as real as we tend to imagine, but rather they are constructs put into place that we culturally agree upon. And they are real enough to the extent that the architecture of this reality influences things like our freedom, rights, socioeconomic ability, and so on. It is a plane of existence that has social consequences, but is not in of itself an ultimate reality – rather a construction.
Saturn and Pisces both have the capacity to “enter different worlds”
Pisces straddles multiple worlds by its nature. It is often said to have “one foot in reality and one foot in the dream”. Consider the show Insecure created by Issa Rae. Issa’s character is engaged in real situations throughout the show but frequently has scenes play out in her imagination and the narrative toggles us back and forth between what is actually happening versus what Issa is imagining. (Not surprisingly, she has Pisces placements)
Pisces is to some degree anchored on earth but also existing in another place – like the medium who senses the presence of people who have passed on, the mystic who sees auras, the kid at school who is deep into reading fantasy books, the daydreamer who is deep in reverie (cue waving your hand in front of their face… hey are you there?)
This quality of being in different worlds has an obvious romantic quality to it, and also its own set of ‘dangers’ for lack of a better word. Sometimes it takes the form of disassociation. Sometimes the split between worlds is too thick (resulting in existential depression that real life is boring or not magical). Sometimes the split between worlds is way too thin (like in moments of psychosis when one’s inner psychological reality and one’s external world become one, and the person can’t tell the difference). Sometimes the tracks aren’t working together (a person fantasizes and daydreams, but does nothing to actualize those realities).
Now how Saturn enters other worlds is through the portal of depression or distance/isolation from the world. There are certain times where our Saturnian function is lined up with doing things competently in the world and we feel the drive to advance our career, for example. We see the mountain and we’re climbing it.
The Saturnian liability in this kind of behavior is that of living a hollowed existence. We might find ourselves reaching a milestone we imagined would be amazing but we get there and feel meh about it. Or we gather up and direct our life-force energy to play a social game well (and succeed/perform/get to the top) only to actually feel disconnected.
Saturn’s other impulses involve depression and taking a step away from the machinations of the world. This may be the state of consciousness that overcomes us when we have a difficult time having light conversation at parties (we’d rather be alone) or we can’t keep up with the demands of our career because what does it all mean, anyway? Sometimes we resist this and try anyway to push, and get a grip.
In the state of melancholy that this experience is, other worlds open up. Culturally, it has been my experience and understanding that we don’t have a lot of approval/permission or understanding for this particular terrain. One runs the risk of not going deep down enough (trying to stay up, stay happy, stay in control), getting stuck somewhere in the middle (resisting the descent but not being able to come up anyway), and not really knowing how to relate to this space in general.
It’s like we need the tools, wisdom, capacity (Saturn) to relate to the mystical, psychological, or soulful opening that happens inside of our lows and depressions. For those that do find the ability to touch the bottom and come back up (like the very cycles of nature of day and night, seasons), we end up encountering truths or parts of our soul that powerfully inform how we live in our upward ascents. It is like having a crisis in meaning and getting depressed, finding what really matters to us when we’re down, and then integrating that awareness in the very way we are choosing to live our lives.
So while we associate Saturn with reality and the ‘real world’, it’s also true of Saturn that the melancholic states it is associated with are also portals that have the power to mutate our self-concept and our very reality.
Learning how to navigate multiple worlds
We are given the challenge in this life to know how to exist in multiple realms. Many skilled intuitives/psychics/healers for example go through the struggle of learning how to bring their gift into the social marketplace and to create a business which sustains them in a real way. Or maybe a person has to navigate understanding their complex, sensitive inner world and how they want to be in friendships, community and romantic relationships. We are working to combine or integrate ‘worlds’ all of the time. Maybe a person is working to unravel their reactive trauma responses (a world and intoxicant of its own) so that they aren’t perpetuating them into their real life situations and relationships – maybe this also requires adjusting the real life situations that they are in, such as extricating themselves from places that keep them stuck in the place they are healing (like a person recovering from alcoholism doesn’t hang out in bars anymore).
Perhaps this time period of Saturn in Pisces stresses that there are multiple architectures in reality to be aware of. The socially constructed reality has certain rules that when we learn how to play them (and even skillfully break them) we are able to experience certain successes. The spiritual worlds and the natural worlds also have architecture, which is essentially what people are working to figure out when they play with spiritual tools around manifestation for example.
We could take into account the real degree of confusion or not-knowing we have in navigating certain realms, and that this is a time of learning how to be more skillful in the worlds (note, plural).
Saturn in Pisces is in Jupiter’s home (Jupiter as the traditional ruler of Pisces) and so we can really consider that in this time of learning we need teachers (Jupiter). Teachers come in many forms – sometimes we learn from other people, sometimes we learn directly from plants or planets or spirit guides. We also learn from the feedback that life directly gives us. Having teachers and guides we trust and feel an alliance with goes a long way in navigating the initiations.
Becoming sober of illusions
One of the biggest assignments that Saturn in Pisces asks of us is to become more sober in the places we are intoxicated. This is not so that we have to settle for some depressing, boring, agonizing reality in its stead. I’ve actually really come to see that the truest, deepest thing that we desire or dream of (and get twisted up about) is connected to us, it is possible. But there are layers of illusion that crust over it that have to be addressed. Once we mature our vision and touch our dreams from that place, we are often glad that the younger version of ourselves didn’t get what they thought they wanted, anyway.
Let’s take an example of the romantic who wants to experience ‘The One’ and find their soulmate – a very Pisces dream, truly. A lot of the sentiment and desire in this is innocent – the desire to be so ecstatic, to feel so connected, to feel so met, to love so deeply.
However, to what extent is the possibility of manifesting a deep, beautiful relationship with a foundation challenged or compromised by the following illusions and intoxicants:
- early childhood wounding or attachment trauma that is unconsciously running the show
- the desire to be ‘rescued’ or ‘saved’ in some way by the other or the dream the other provides
- nervous system addictions to particular feeling states or emotional cycles
- wanting ‘The One’ and the high they provide so badly that a person neglects addressing particular issues in the relationship – feeding the illusion or dream more than the reality of what is happening with the other
- having a hard time seeing others clearly or as they are and trying to fit them into the mental fantasy of what ‘The One’ should look like, overlooking or underemphasizing certain things just to maintain one’s fantasy
You get my point?
It’s also not the other side of the pendulum – that true love is just a fairytale myth and isn’t real. It’s the reality that there may be parts of our dream that is in conversation with immature or uninitiated parts of us that are trying to get the thing but doing it in a way that’s not ‘functional’ or ‘healthy’ or ‘sober’.
Taking the deepest responsibility for our relationship to our dreams and illusions
These lessons like the ones I was speaking to above are hard and sometimes gut-wrenching to learn (trust me, I know 😩). No one likes to feel their innocence or their garden of Eden challenged or rained on. We can also feel shame for feeling so naive, gullible, or drunk.
A higher potential of Saturn in Pisces speaks to me of cultivating and manifesting a dream into reality that is not just some wispy feather or place of a damsel resting in temporary protection (I have my dream but I’m at risk of profound emotional instability should anything take it away from me) – but it’s a real anchor in our souls. We’ve gone through the initiations to have the responsibility, maturity, and capacity to relate to the depth of the dream that muses our life.
People avoid or delay this maturation process when they don’t take responsibility. When we experience disappointment or disillusionment and enter into the space of:
- God hates me or I’m just being ‘punished’
- It’ll never happen for me
- It’s everyone else’s fault
- or whatever tricky illusion we ally with that maintains our despair and immaturity
Being spiritual (Pisces) doesn’t mean we’re mature (Saturn) about it. Spiritual maturity should be worth pursuing to anyone on this path – it’s not cute to feed all that spiritual energy and opening into a young or wounded part of ourselves that we mistake as some kind of despairing wisdom of the truth.
As someone who has been inside of those gates (feeling punished by God, feeling victimized by life, feeling like it will never work out for me) I understand their pull. I also had these kinds of struggles even when intellectually I knew I was doing it. The main thing that has liberated me (sequentially, as the work is ongoing) has been knowledge – a Jupiter (Pisces) theme and having the experiences and teachers that have guided me into applying that knowledge.
Maturing our places of non-sobriety, maturing our illusions, and coming into deeper resonance with the dream that muses us is not something that happens overnight. This is likely a place where Saturn will be working us during this time of Saturn in Pisces, but if we follow the medicine of it we can come out stronger and more connected at a foundational level to the very dreams that enchant our existence.
The moments of despair or lapses in faith and trust do not need to be the end of the story – those are moments of touching bottom before the breakthrough. The more comfortable we can become with that discomfort, the less susceptible we are as well to gripping/clinging onto beliefs or visions just to feel better and we can be more patient in our cultivation of touching something truer, something that really lands.
I hope you found this helpful and that it supports you in touching and meeting some deeper truths in the next two and a half years. We love to see the dream realized and while dreams are very beautiful and sweet in of themselves, they work us to the bone too.
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