“Things were better when I was a kid.” We’ve all heard this. When I was in my 20’s a friend, also in her 20’s, commented that they didn’t make good rock music anymore (like they did in the 1960s). I was shocked that someone my age (at the time) would say something I’d only then heard from the elderly.
The feeling that the present is worse than the past seems more than a bad attitude. It seems, almost, like an illness that can strike any of us.
And the past has seemed better to those in the past. A June 2011 Smithsonian article describes the 14th century Japanese writer Kenko. The article says that a translator of Kenko’s work named Donald Keene said “there flows through the essays ‘the conviction that the world is steadily growing worse.’”
And that was in the 14th century. If the past is always better, the 14th century should have been great.
So why is there a pervasive tendency as we get older to think the past was better?
I think it’s because it’s true. As we get older, we are closer to dying. The past is better because we were further away from dying. My own perception is that no matter what our beliefs, our fear of death is very close to the surface.
This is an astrology blog, so how does it relate?
“The past was better” is from the mouth of SATURN.
Saturn is: reality, responsibility, seriousness, the cross of matter, karma, time, restriction, discipline, control, structure, limitations and hard work. The area where Saturn is in your chart indicates an area of difficulty and of restriction. It’s your cross to bear.
I believe Saturn sees the past as better because TIME moves us all into the serious matter of seeing that our lives have a limit. So the mythical past becomes fuzzier but idealized as it recedes in the rear view mirror.
This is such a heavy topic, talking about Saturn and the limits of our physical existence. That’s why people with difficult Saturn placements or lots of Capricorn in their charts are melancholy by nature.
Being a Capricorn, I like to take the topic head on. That’s because being a Capricorn, there is actually much I like about Saturn.
Something our culture has lost (it was better the past 🙂 ) is the concept of “wise elders.” I’m one of those souls who related more to grandparents than parents and prefer older company. I love serious talk. Bring it on, Saturn.
Saturn is the “sadder but wiser girl,” sung about in the Music Man. Saturn is the school of hard knocks. You own everything you learn.
Saturn is Father Time who says harshly to you, “Have you done what you were supposed to do in this life?” Time makes that message more pressing.
When I look at a chart, I look to Saturn to see where our insecurities lie. For example, I have Saturn in the house of communication. I studied a language and here I am writing. I went in the direction of language before I understood astrology. What I learned from learning a language is that I did not communicate very well. Bless her soul, my mother could have told you that. But I learned it by unconsciously going right into my Saturn.
Some of us avoid our Saturns and some are attracted to our Saturns. The placement of Saturn can tell you whether you are doing something for enjoyment or if you are attracted to that area of your personality that needs development.
Let’s look at some Saturns in the charts I’ve written about recently.
Christopher Hitchens (writer) – Saturn in Leo suggests that he lacks confidence and emotional openness. Leo rules the heart, so there could be heart problems.
Lance Armstrong (athlete) – Saturn in Gemini suggests difficulty in communicating and friendships. Gemini rules the lungs, so there could be breathing problems.
John Kasich (Ohio governor) – Saturn in Libra suggests difficulty in partnerships. Libra rules the abdomen so there could be problems with organs in that area.
Joe Simpson (mountaineer) – Saturn in Capricorn suggests difficulty with responsibility and seriousness. Capricorn rules the knees, enough said.
Saturn, the end.