Mercury and Venus are, of course, at home in any age. But what is often optimistically called the Age of Aquarius is ruled by Saturn. Once thought of as a “malefic”, at least in Western astrology, Saturn is unknowingly worshiped by those looking toward a “global consciousness shift” as the God of the Age, with our old friend and protector Jupiter left behind.
While Saturn, it is true, has traditionally been given a bad reputation which he has not fairly earned, it is fair that we should be wary of him. His ways are not ours; on the downward arc, Saturn enveloped us in the metaphysical crystal prison of matter, while on the upward arc, he looks like a fearful void or Nothingness. In the first case, we resent him, and in the second we are existentially terrified of him. But, either way, he holds the necessary position of determining when we take on form and when we are divested of it; when embodied, we are so afraid of a formlessness which we no longer recognize that we have trouble imagining it being anything but oblivion, yet it is an important and unavoidable transition. Saturn thus deserves to be honored.
We do indeed live in an age in which Saturn is ascendant, albeit in an unrecognized fashion. Decay runs rampant. This is not doom-saying; decay is not a bad thing, inherently, though intelligent creatures that we are ought to be able to find healthier ways of relating to it than we do at present.
This brings us to the New Age. There are people in this world who, in the name of rather ill-defined “metaphysics” worship the crystalizations of Saturn without understanding what they are doing. The ego itself has become the god enthroned in the Holy of Holies, with “laws of manifestation” and “self-actualization” being the highest ideals which many can imagine. With the loss or neglect of genuine Tradition at the impetus of a few centuries of hardcore materialism (another unrecognized saturnine influence), the merciful focusing of Saturn’s ray through Jupiter’s kingship have all but disappeared.
Christianity today, instead of relying upon the genuine Tradition uncovered and passed down by the Apostles, Desert Fathers, and others of a jovial bent — including apophatic and mystical theologies, theurgic prayer, and the Sacraments — tries to defy the force of decay by interpreting Saturn’s Law through martial aggression, thus transforming it into harsh condemnation. Islam has chosen a similar course. On the other hand, those in the purview of New Age and New Thought ideologies have their eyes so covered by the false sun of ego and the ersatz moon of desire that they can only see in the process of decay a “liberating iconoclasm” opening the doors for more personally enjoyable manifestations.
The Law resides in Saturn, but it issues from Jupiter. Jupiter is the ruler who genuinely cares about us and our progress, but because he expresses the Law to us more or less directly, we target him with our immature and petulant need to be “free individuals” in every meaningless way, not understanding that the liberty which matters comes through comprehending the Reality behind the Law rather than trying in vain to defy it, turn it to selfish purpose, or merely pretend it isn’t there.
“Melchizedek” is the Great Jupiter, the High Priest who interprets and presides over the Law, but the Law is one of mercy. We are given a living metaphor in the physical planets themselves. Saturn is much further out from Earth’s orbit than Jupiter, so Saturn’s demesne looks like an icy chaos from which could come all manner of unknown and unimaginable threats; though “gravity” is a metaphysical property of Saturn, the physical planet of Jupiter is such a massive body that astronomers say his gravitational field sling-shots uncountable potentially dangerous objects back out of the solar system before they can even get within planetary shouting range. In Vedic astrology, Jupiter is Guru, the Preceptor and Initiator — literally “the one with gravity”.
Those of us who are serious about our spirituality in this Age of Aquarius must place especial focus on a healthy relationship with Jupiter. Taking seriously such important factors as Tradition, Guru, High Priest, initiation, and so forth, is interpreted today as rank dogmatism. It is true that overemphasis on them to the exclusion of personal work and study is also unhealthy (being a solar rather than jovial neglect), but overbalancing to one extreme in order to avoid another is not a wise strategy.
Aum Drām Dattatreyāya Namaḥ