Saturn, your friend.


Author’s Note: I’m perfectly fine. I’m not emotionally disturbed. Please don’t get worried. I’m out of my ‘bad’ phase for more than a year now, and this is more like ‘Lessons learnt and not to be forgotten’, than some emotional rant. If it helps, this was written in cold blood, not in an emotionally charged state.

I’m not an expert in Astrology. Or even an intermediate, for that matter.

But I do know that when Saturn turns out your ruling planet, you have nothing but seven and a half years of pure hell. Or rather, Mr. Murphy has a field day for that period of time. Everything that can go wrong does. You can never seem to say the right things to people – everyone seems to have morphed into your prospective mother-in-law, and takes offense at every word you utter – your boss, your friends, your in-laws, your parents… everyone. You cannot seem to remember any damn thing you study. There’s always something failing with your work – either business conditions are tanking badly, or things inevitably go wrong in spite of your taking the best care. Your children are disappointing you. Your better half falls short. Or your wedding is being postponed to seemingly never. You never have any peace of mind. You lose faith in life, God, everything you believed in.

But it isn’t bad luck. Saturn is the planet denoting hard work and effort. Saturn is just teaching you, during his reign, to learn to appreciate the power of hard and meticulous work. Which you will definitely not learn with Guru-bhala. Or with Mercury or Venus presiding over you, when you suddenly seem to get lucky with business dealings and the opposite sex. Or you shoplift like crazy and never seem to get caught once. Attractive people are suddenly laughing at your lamest jokes. Heck, with a life like that, would you even want to try being good at anything?

So when Saturn rules, you slog. You learn to have faith in nothing but your own hard work. You learn to double-check, triple-check, double-double-check everything you do. You become more careful. You sharpen you skills. You try your best to be the best there is. You put in  your hardest efforts into everything you do. You learn not to give up in the face of failure. You get so used to failure that after the first few times you actually become immune to it.

You take pride in your achievements, because you know they are all of your own doing. You begin to respect yourself. And others who see you put in your best efforts begin to respect you too…. no more ‘Oh, she got lucky’ nonsense.

Failure becomes your friend. You learn to pick up the pieces and move on quickly. You learn to analyze why you failed, what you could have done to avoid failing. After the initial bouts of escapism, you are able to look your failure in the eye.

And so when Jupiter moves in, or Venus does, you’re sharp enough to make the most of it. You play like you have nothing to lose. You have no more inhibitions because you are so used to playing to survive that higher fears don’t come to your mind at all. You are edgy, bold, sharp, swift, hungry AND lucky. So when things fall into place, you are able to make the best of the situation because you are used to making the most of worse.

Saturn teaches you to be thankful. You never take anything for granted anymore. Not people, not circumstances, not favours, not being able to slip into bed with nothing on your mind and sleep peacefully. And, you are able to be happy because it’s a different situation from being as unhappy as you were before. “Thank god things are better” is what runs in your mind, and keeps you happy.

You have a minimal amount of discontent you tend to have at all given times, be it the best of times or the worst of times. When everything’s going well, where do you put that discontent? That’s how you get spoilt brats who’ve never felt pain or hurt. That’s how you get petty high-class ladies’ circle politics. Without Saturn, it’s highly unlikely you’ll have peace of mind when the going is good.

Thanks to Saturn, you learn to be compassionate. Winners are less likely to be empathetic. When you’ve failed a few times, it’s easier for you to believe failure can happen to the best of us at times. You are more understanding of others, more sympathetic, and able to give better advice than those who haven’t seen a day of failure in their lives.

And Murphy’s law is not some preachy thing to say ‘Life is totally screwed-up’ or some such pessimistic thing. It is something that is used in design to make products and processes that are robust and not as prone to failure as they would be without acknowledgment that failure is possible. Murphy’s Law is not about the worst, but about planning for the worst.

Once again, this is not a treatise on astrology or astronomy. It’s more of a piece on how to deal with bad times, and the Saturn analogy seemed to be the best way to explain what I felt. I might not even be technically right about the whole thing, for all I know.

This is not an attempt at being preachy, or to defend astrology. There are various arguments for and against astrology and I don’t see the point of forcing my point of view on anyone else. This seems the most appropriate analogy to tell people it’s okay to fail, sometimes things go wrong, but this too shall pass. And then things will go right, but that too shall pass. It’s about how we make the most of our bad times, and how those ‘bad’ times are necessary to make us appreciate the good times all the more.

And occasionally, it’s easier to blame  your failure on bad timing, or the stars, to numb the pain while you pick up the pieces and move on, and then are able to look back at your mistakes more clearly as you are over the escapism.

I have been through a few such periods in my life. I suppose everyone has been through multiple such periods in their lives. And in retrospect, I find I cannot blame my circumstances in the past at all, because they have made me what I am, and I am happy and satisfied to be what I am now; I have few regrets, if any.

And this piece is just to remind me when I’m going through a bad phase, that it is not the end of the world, and that this too shall pass, and any bad time can only serve to make me stronger. And, as my mother keeps saying, “High Hills Grow Less; That which is lightly got is little valued”.  I put this on my blog because when I’m down and nearly out, I tend to look at past times, including past blogposts, hoping to reclaim a past self which was more optimistic.

And if this logic helps you in some way, I’m gladder for it.

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
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5 Responses to Saturn, your friend.

  1. buddy says:

    I just discovered 2 more planets mandhi and gulika that are supposed to explain the craziness in my life

    PS: nice way of putting saturnitis

  2. the Monk says:

    That was one of the best bits of writing I’ve read in a long while. Thanks.

  3. S says:

    Saturn or not, I believe the point of this essay was “bad luck is good”, and it is well-written and persuasive. (But “But it isn’t bad luck” you say?)

  4. Prithvi says:

    Another great post, Priya. Couldn’t have been more aptly described. Eagerly waiting for your next one.

  5. Chethan B says:

    wow! n be gladder 🙂

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