The tradition of astrology is one in which the client asks questions and the astrologer answers them. The success of the astrologer is generally determined by the accuracy of these answers. This tradition, though, can limit the potentials of astrology, and more importantly, the person who uses it. The reason is that being right is not always helpful. With respect to a natal chart, for example, if an astrologer says, "Pluto in your 7th house indicates that you attract powerful and manipulative partners," this may be correct. But, where does that leave you? Must all your partners be manipulative? The accuracy of the statement reinforces your negative experiences in relationships. The astrologer may be right, but what's been the effect? It has reduced your hopes for a trusting, non-manipulative partnership. Is this really helpful?
It's understandable that people want answers and that coming up with correct ones demonstrates the skill of the astrologer and the accuracy of astrology. However, the role of the astrologer is much more than the reporter of facts. The astrologer can be a creative agent, a source of ideas and inspiration for creating the future. But, this possibility can only arise if we do indeed have some choice in life. If it's all fated, then there's nothing anyone can do about it. However, if life is a mix of Fate and Free Will (and I believe it is), then there is a place to influence the future. This is a very significant role for astrology.
Saturn, Creative Prediction and Planetary Meanings
Creative Prediction, as I call it, is not about saying that you've got transiting Saturn square your Venus and this is a great time to party. It is, rather, a means of finding positive value in any transit, progression, etc. The key to this is meaning. What is the meaning of transiting Saturn? If you believe that its only meaning is punishment, then you might as well stop reading now. Certainly, Saturn has its demanding side. It holds us accountable and places us up against limits. But, it also has the potential to help us build, construct and shape ourselves and our lives with conscious purpose.
Saturn's square to Venus is about reshaping love. The form can come with challenges, that's the most common expression of the square. But, these challenges are most likely to be fair, within your capacity to meet them and, thus, to strengthen Venus in your life. A more detailed description of how this might be done would come through the sign and house placements of Saturn and Venus, as well as other aspects and chart factors.
We can tell a constructive story about any upcoming cycle (or any chart pattern, for that matter). With this approach the astrologer helps the client (or him/herself) produce desirable and realistic images for the future. This creative approach is only limited by the imagination of the astrologer. Good astrology, of course, is true to the symbolism; it's inaccurate to say that Saturn square Venus means expansion of love. Nope, Saturn is contraction, but the good astrologer understands the value of contraction and how to use it productively.
If you're short on ideas about combining the meanings of Saturn and Venus (or any other astrological factors), try astrological brainstorming. Take a list of keywords for Saturn and Venus and combine them in as many ways as you can. Even non-sensical ones can trigger creative ideas. For example, with Saturn we have: mature, patient, responsible, constructive, delayed, frustrated, serious, practical, etc. For Venus we have: love, beauty, grace, charm, art, pleasure, etc. Saturn-Venus, then, can bring mature love, constructive art, responsible pleasure, etc. Add the signs for more details. Transiting Saturn in Aries, for example, describes new order or structures, the necessity for independence or being a pioneer. The house Saturn is transiting describes where this can best be expressed. If transiting Saturn is now moving through the 8th house square natal Venus in Cancer in the 11th, this can mean (among other things) that the need to define (Saturn) new conditions (Aries) in intimacy (8th house) challenges old relationships (Venus in Cancer) with friends (11th house). Or, the need to focus (Saturn) on one person (Aries) through deep emotional work (8th house) meets the resistance (square) of your old love (Venus in Cancer) community activities (11th).
Stringing together factors like these can feel awkward at first, but it's a useful step towards the creative fluency that makes for effective astrological counseling. Working this way means that the astrologer is dealing with possibilities, not absolute answers. This is vital to the process of discovery that makes choice possible and cultivates creativity. The astrologer, then, changes roles from the arbiter of reality to an agent of change, from having the right answer to supplying a variety of possible answers. This also means that the astrologer must be willing to give up her/his power of being right. The desire to create and contribute must at least equal the ego's needs to control with absolutes. This kind of flexibility is appropriate for the health and well-being of the astrologer and the client. It empowers the client who is to be encouraged to reinterpret the information other ways as she/he sees fit.
Natal Chart Interpretation Principles
These same principles apply to interpreting a natal chart, as well. Too often I've seen astrologers (including myself) victimized by the limits they impose on themselves through their interpretations. "I've got the Moon in Scorpio, so I should just accept emotional suffering in my life." Statements like these are not meaningful, they are curses. They may provide some certainty. (Negativity is an excellent way to control reality.) But, they disempower the person who hears them. If astrology is to be of service to individuals and to our society, it will do well to open itself to all the possibilities available. At this time we no longer need the dogmatic beliefs of the past. Pluto in Sagittarius reminds us that this is a time when religions and philosophies will be transformed or fall into further corruption. Astrology is no exception to this. Approaching astrology with an open mind and heart is the best way to harvest its unlimited supply of inspiration and useful ideas.
Jeff Jawer is available for private consultations and can be reached at Jawer@bigfoot.com, (619)284-1986, (888)287-9143 or 4555 Vandever Ave.,18A, San Diego, CA 92120. He is well known in the astrological community as an innovative and dynamic teacher, writer and counselor. Jeff holds a B.A. in "The History and Science of Astrology" from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) and is professionally certified by the American Federation of Astrologers (PMAFA). Jeff lectures at astrological conferences throughout the world. His scores of articles have appeared in astrology journals in Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Spain and the U.S., among others. He's co-authored 4 books for Llewellyn Publications. Jeff co-founded AFAN and UAC and helped teach the first Astro*Carto*Graphy certification course with Jim Lewis.
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