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Painting by Cy Twombly. Photo by Wolf Gang on flickr. CC 2.0

I learned early on in my astrology studies that Pluto was associated with transformation. And I knew to always toss that in as a keyword whenever I thought about or discussed Pluto in an astrological context.

I think most of us are entranced and enamored by the concept of transformation, because many people want to experience transformation. Transformation is a profound change in oneself or in one’s circumstances. If there is a tendency to be discontented with circumstances, or with some element of them, then transformation becomes very appealing.

Some of the appeal of saying that a planet is in charge of transformation is that it takes the pain of effort or self-will away from the experience. The thought is, okay, this planet is going to come along, and some aspect of my life is going to transform. And then it’s easy to remove ourselves from the equation and hand that agency over to the planet.  This is built on the assumption that planets are causal agents.

But transformation remains a buzzword because it seems romantically ideal. If we transform, then the most challenging aspects of our personalities will be different forever, and life will be better. Or if our lives transform, then some element of it that we’re really hoping will change will do so, and that change will be positive, and we’ll be happy.

Well, that’s fine, and that does happen in some people’s lives in alignment with a Pluto transit, absolutely. I see it in client sessions and in my own life and those of my loved ones.

But there are two points I want to make in this article.

First — that many times, a transformation that is not imposed from the “outside”, by an outside event, is always preceded by an inner desire that is strong enough to provide fuel to a sustained change in behavior.

Second — A major astrological power player in the transformation game is absolutely Saturn. Saturn creates crisp clarity, puts up impassable walls when necessary, and bestows the wisdom of no shortcuts. The wisdom of no short cuts means the only way to get around something is to go through it. So in the paradoxical converse, Saturn encourages the creation of a way where there seems to be no way. And that way almost always has to do with confrontation, inner strength, and will. Saturn gets to the core and re-writes the program code from there. Kind of like what happens in deep mediation.

I acknowledge that different people have different experiences of Saturn. If you have Saturn in a night chart in particular, I’d love to hear a story about a Saturn transit you’ve had, either in the comments below or via the Get In Touch/ Contact section on this website. Saturn in night charts can have to do with an experience of suffering that is not as subject to one’s will as would be in day charts — but of course a lot factors into this, including what one makes of these experiences.

And of course plenty of people have extremely positive experiences timed to Saturn transits, as well.

I was inspired to write this post when watching Michael Chernow being interviewed by Gary V on youtube, in which the Chernow says he is 15 years sober.

He is a restauranteur and at age 28 was being fired from their bartending job at which he worked for eight years, due to his problematic drinking. He begged to keep his job, and his boss, who he’d obviously grown close with over the course of eight years, said yes, and told Chernow that he had to come in to work every morning to clean at 8 am, and call him at that time. If Chernow arrived or called one minute past 8 am, he would be fired.

And while Chernow successfully did it, he made the comment that no change imposed from the outside is ever effective. A real transformation is always initiated from a deep internal desire to change.

And there are of course different kinds of transformations, like becoming a parent, career shifts, living with illness, identity changes within one’s family or community, changes in attitude, belief, point of view or self understanding, or how one presents oneself to others. And these all have their own modes of transformative processes.

But in each one, the core of a person is impacted, and something essential is re-written at a very basic level.

As I was writing this article I did some light searching to discover Michael Chernow’s birth date and age. He said himself on Twitter that his birthday is October 21, but his age is difficult to find. If he was born in 1980 as some sites suggest, then he was born with a Sun-Pluto conjunction — but that is not at all verified, so I won’t speculate.

I’ll close this by building on a thought that Judith Hill shared, which is that we should give the outer planets enough time to speak for themselves in terms of astrological effect. Maybe not as much time as the original seven have had, but we should approach them with an open attitude, not necessarily pre-conceived notions that may block true understanding. In the meantime, we might discover that the original seven have processes and significations that are are fruitful to acknowledge.




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