“Most philosophers have known, at least since around 500 B.C., that the world perceived by our senses is not “the real world” but a construct we create — our own private work of art.”
– Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger (Vol. 1)
On December 19th, 2017 Saturn will return to his place of rulership in the cardinal earth sign of Capricorn. This two and half year transit will catalyze a significant shift in your perceptions of reality. As Saturn shifts into to his own austere environment, it would be wise to slow down and take a long pause for reflection.
With Saturn’s shift, the tone of things will change. Doors that have been left open will close. And all that has been meandering around in penultimate tones will be forced to find a conclusion.
“the main thing I learned in my experiments is that “reality” is always plural and mutable.”
When Saturn is in Capricorn you will face a much starker reality than Sagittarius’ holy crusade. These next couple of years will call more upon your evolutionary instincts, which are ingenious, responsive, and sometimes even profoundly graceful. In Capricorn, survival depends on intelligent adaptation and necessity is revered as the great mother of invention.
“The Investigator remembers thinking…that whatever he had tuned in to was not “Cosmic Consciousness” but a kind of planetary consciousness; he wondered who coined the term, ‘cosmic consciousness,’ and what it contained…”
I want you to imagine the relationship of the previous Saturn transit through Sagittarius to this upcoming one in Capricorn as being a dramatic progression and evolution of form. For the musically minded, think of Saturn in Sagittarius as being like Beethoven’s 9th and Saturn in Capricorn as being like Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
The spirit of Saturn in Sagittarius was one that sought great knowledge and holy revelation. A newfound craving for sublimity resounded and many were lured into the wilderness in search of moral, intellectual, spiritual, or philosophical greatness.
Excited by an infectious and impulsive spirit, the quests begun during Saturn in Sagittarius asked that you lift your own philosophical body-weight. Brutally challenged by your own naïveté, you undoubtedly found yourself stranded in many unknown ideological territories scrambling to find something to believe in, something in which to put your faith.
“…belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence. The more certitude one assumes, the less there is left to think about.”
Hypocrisy arises from the pretense that you are reaching high when in reality, you are clinging to whatever offers you the most security. Suffice it to say that Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius was a careful study in the collective human response to fear, allowing you to better understand how it is that you become entrapped.
When you thought the world was ending, to what lifeboat did you find yourself clinging for dear life?
“When dogma enters the brain, all intellectual activity ceases.”
Reflect honestly about where you fell prey to dogma over the last two years. And then stop wasting your time condemning others for doing so. Conserve those energies for your own constructive and creative work.
“It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea.”
Do not think the next two years will be a time to rest on your laurels. While Saturn is in Capricorn, the bones of all that has been loved and lost will be crushed and turned into the mortar that lays the foundation for your great work.
“…We still, due to language, think that behind the flowing, meandering, interacting, evolving universe created by perception is one solid monolithic “reality” hard and crisply outlined as an iron bar.”
During this Saturn transit, you will be moved to create much needed boundaries, demanding your right to privacy and to moments of silence. Acknowledging that you need space and distance is not the problem, but is in fact the solution.
True to his melancholic form, Saturn in Capricorn will summon a sharper sense of time’s devouring nature. As many magicians and philosophers know, meditation upon your own birth and death is what brings life into full bloom! Thus, it is Saturn’s limitations and boundaries that give your life it’s full dimension.
It is time’s devouring nature that allows for some moments to be so poignant.
Thus, it must be acknowledged that Saturn in Capricorn is not a glowering and malevolent spirit that seeks to destroy your sense of security. Instead, Saturn in Capricorn seeks to concentrate your vitality, letting all your thoughts and deeds be inspired by a potent sense of purpose!
“Reality” is a word in the English language which happens to be (a) a noun and (b) singular…The notion that “reality” is singular, like a hermetically sealed jar, does not jibe with scientific findings which, in this century, suggest that “reality” may better be considered as flowing and meandering, like a river, or interacting, like a dance, or evolving, like life itself…
While Saturn is in Capricorn, the rhythms of natural law will return to form. Thus, you will be greatly rewarded for your strength and your flexibility. But there will be no short-cuts, secrets, weird tricks, cheats, or hacks that will get you to the top.
Saturn’s goal is to teach you to focus your imagination to work within the boundaries of time and space.
When you are in error about your relationship to natural law, the difficult obstacles that Saturn is notorious for will arise.
You may believe you can fly, but Saturn will hit you with gravity until you learn to be more resolute about fundamental conditions. Gravity is an essential reality check.
Dedicate yourself to moving within gravity, following the meandering and evolving flow of life and Saturn’s transit through Capricorn will bring you great rewards!
Properly understood, Saturn is not an agent of deprivation, but of maturation. Maturity arises only after you have accepted that avoidance of reality offers no chance for liberation. It is only by undertaking Saturn’s lessons that you can become strong enough to free yourself from the chains that bind.
As many astrologers have noted, Saturn’s transit through Capricorn will force many confrontations with institutional authoritarianism. This is because Saturn in Capricorn’s great strength lies in perceiving definitions and dimensions of reality.
Authoritarianism is the most extreme definition of reality, which uses paralyzing fear to imprint political, religious, or scientific ideology upon you. Like a sure-footed mountain goat, Saturn in Capricorn can empower you to withstand the initial emotional reaction of fear and panic, remaining stable in the face of the most wicked avalanches.
Do not let others command your beliefs. You have had plenty of time to know your own heart. No matter what someone’s status, position or expertise may be, nobody knows your heart better than you.
Now during Saturn in Capricorn, the chains of institutional authority laid upon you will grow very heavy. Naturally, you will become weary and this burdensome condition will force you to make a choice. You can allow dogmatism and its many debts to drag you down into death. Or you can reclaim your sovereignty through intelligent questioning, wit, and humor.
When summoned with sincerity, Capricorn’s evolutionary spirit of survival offers more responsive intelligence and adaptability than you will know what to do with. In this way, Capricorn offers freedom from rigid forms. After all, to be a goatfish, one can not fully believe in being either a goat or a fish.
“…everybody who makes a strong impression on your nervous system reincarnates with you.”
Saturn in Capricorn demands respect for the wisdom of the past. To understand what I mean, think of Picasso, who was able to make innovations to art only after mastering its traditional forms. Likewise, this transit of Saturn through Capricorn will teach you that you can not create any worthwhile future without absorbing and respecting great wisdom from the past. In short, you must become a master builder before you can begin to innovate and deconstruct.
In the Information Age, there are very few elders and wise people who understand the full scope of the apocalyptic psychedelic meltdown that modern culture is currently undergoing. Fortunately for us all, there is Robert Anton Wilson, a self-described guerilla-ontologist who seems to have offered more relevant philosophical insights about the era of the millennium than any other person I can think of.
Robert Anton Wilson was born in 1932 with his Sun conjunct Saturn in Capricorn. From the 1960’s onward, his voluminous writings can be seen as a herald for the wisdom of Saturn in Capricorn.
With the tenacity of Capricorn’s instinct for survival, Robert Anton Wilson survived childhood polio and poverty, only to become a philosopher, which entailed a lot more suffering and poverty. He was a journalist, novelist, comedian, a magician, a psychonaut, and an otherwise adventurous collector of miscellaneous thoughts.
Gifted with Saturn in Capricorn’s ability to adapt to any environment, Robert Anton Wilson explored as many different fields, ideologies, and belief systems as possible. He became expert in many subjects including General Semantics, quantum physics, Sufism and the occult practices of Aleister Crowley.
By mastering so many different systems of thought,(which he termed reality tunnels) Wilson demonstrated that it is flexibility of belief which preserves intelligence.
The only reason most people remain in the same jobs, the same towns, the same belief-systems, year after year, decade after decade, is that cultural conditioning, in every tribe, is a process of gradually narrowing your tunnel- reality. The way to stay young is to make a quantum jump every so often and land yourself in a new reality-matrix.
Wilson emphasized that any religious, scientific, or linguistic paradigm should be understood as a model of reality, useful for attaining results, but never capable of offering all the answers….both Astrology and the English language included.
As a true angel of Saturn’s under appreciated teaching style, the wisdom of Robert Anton Wilson can pull you out of a bad trip, untie the knots in your head and remind you of what you are really here to learn in this life.
“I reached a depth of despair and deliberately decided to love the world instead of pitying myself; and, afterwards, I was no longer afraid of anything.”
Robert Anton Wilson’s way of seeing the world was so powerful, not because he asserted his authority but because he overflowed with natural humor and demonstrated his conscious choice to be optimistic.
“An optimistic mind-set finds dozens of possible solutions for every problem that the pessimist regards as incurable.”
Calling many back from insanity, reading his work can help you turn the story of your mental breakdown into an amusing limerick. Robert Anton Wilson asks you to stop being so serious. Far better than protesting and starting wars, find a way to laugh at yourself and others in a manner that frees you from enslavement to dogmatism.
To demonstrate how one might stop struggling with an idea in order to flow with experience more organically, consider how you might respond to the fundamental New Age doctrine that states: “you create your own reality.”
While this belief may be very useful, inspiring much healing and change for the better, it is also a belief that must be discarded at certain junctures. Thus, your relationship to a belief like “you create your own reality” must remain flexible. Full denial or full acceptance of such an idea, like all forms of extremism, ends up producing insanity.
If a car hits you and puts you in the hospital, I do not believe this is because you “really wanted” to be hit by a car, or that you “needed” to be hit by a car, as two popular New Age bromides have it…. once you have been hit by a car, the meaning of the experience depends entirely on you and the results depend partly on you (and partly on your doctors).
Cosmic Trigger Warning
To start this transit of Saturn in Capricorn off to a good start, I highly recommend reading any of Robert Anton Wilson’s books. But if you need a tip on where to start, try Cosmic Trigger, a totally mesmerizing read as funny and ingenious as it is tragic. The journey he shares in those chapters will inspire you to find Saturn’s sense of humor in whatever events may unfold over the next two-and-a-half years.
Saturn will be in Capricorn until December 2020. Over the next two and half years, expect to be dealt a massive reality check! Through many poignantly painful and humorous lessons, you will learn why it is a mistake to assume that strength is derived from hardness and rigidity.
I prefer to create for each hour the happiest, funniest and most romantic reality-tunnel consistent with the signals my brain apprehends.
The world’s most peaceful and content people know that life is a dance, an ecstatic flourishing of motion in response to a ceaseless rhythm. When life is not a dance, it becomes war, an embroiled tension that demands release before turning back into a dance.
For any sentient being who wishes to remain a dancer, know that your strength is born from attention to both form and flexibility.
Let Saturn’s transit through Capricorn teach you to have reverence for form (ideas, beliefs and philosophies) whilst maintaining the flexibility of sensate responsiveness. All great dancers know how to strike a pose and then dissolve.
Your life is your own private work of art and your only destiny is to master this art. That should be all the reality check you’ll need until 2020.