When you read about the sun sign Aquarius, you’ll often hear about its “detachment.” With Saturn transiting this sign and bringing us “social distancing,” it’s a good time to think about what this means.
The forced “meditation retreat” of 2020 allowed a lot of observation of self and others. For me personally, I came to understand why the Western “mind” (and guns and germs) took over the world. Detachment is part of it.
2020 also helped me understand some nuances of meditation that I didn’t fully understand. Meditation tries to bring you to the present, to remain there during all activities. How does that align with the addict who gives up the future self for a constant present stimulation?
As a meditator, you are trying to observe, to detach from reaction. How does that differ from dissociation, where you remove “self” from unpleasant situations?
All elements contain three signs; for air those are: Gemini the mutable or flexible one; Libra the cardinal or initiating one; and Aquarius the fixed or steady one.
Air is about idea, socialization, communication, interaction, mental stimulation, pure intelligence. Fixed signs are focused and steady, sometimes obsessed. For Aquarius, it’s fixed focus on ideas and specifically futuristic ones or “how things should be.” How things “should” be comes in two forms: judgment or idealism.
Aquarius takes on the idealistic lens (Capricorn, the earth sign preceding it which is ruled by Saturn tends to take the judgmental route). Saturn, the great taskmaster, is the planet that rules time, limits, rules, law and order. Saturn is judgment and Aquarius is idealism so we have lots of people judging you right now for social behavior that deviates from an ideal, in this case a hygienic ideal.
By the end of Saturn’s transit of Aquarius in spring of 2023, I would expect more idealistic groupings of individuals with equally fervent demands and rules of entry. Aquarius rules brotherhoods and non-family unions which can make them more egalitarian. But sometimes it also brings in the Capricorn/Saturn elements of hierarchy and exclusion.
The detachment that Aquarius is known for can be seen, I believe, in all air signs. It’s more noticeable in Aquarius because of its fixed nature. Sometimes with your air sign friends, you may feel that they are not there, have gone somewhere in their minds.
Air is creating the ideal situation in the mind. Gemini is connecting the dots, thinking of the possibilities, traveling the world. Libra is focused on relationships, how to be popular, reacting to the environment to form its sense of self. Aquarius is innovating, finding ways to live the idealistic life, separating from an emotional and needy humanity for a breath of freedom.
The detachment of air is what allows it to see the possibilities of life. In this way, there can be opportunism of both the positive and negative kind. Air can see the gaps in others’ thinking and fill those gaps with life activity or consumer products. Air is faster than earth or water so can take advantage of these slower elements and those that live under their influence. Fire is fast but needs air to move. Many an idea is started by air and moved by fire.
The United States has the moon in Aquarius. The moon is the reactive nature; in a nation’s horoscope, the “people.” The people of the United States are idealistic, we have a constitution that is very Aquarius in nature – it honors the individual.
That the United States constitution honored the individual yet some of those that wrote it held men and women in bondage is another quality of air – the ability to dissociate. Detachment allows for possibility. When reaction and response is needed, detachment can re-attach. Dissociation, in contrast, can’t or won’t help put out the raging fire.
Aquarius Dissociation and Rationalization
The Western mind can’t be identified as one particular sign, but I do think it is air in quality. The ability to write a document about freedom while holding people in captivity takes both idealism and dissociation from the horrific pain of others. The ability of these same individuals to attend religious services and then return home to torture others is another example; it’s not extreme, it really happens.
As Saturn entered Aquarius in March 2020, my moon-in-Aquarius country fought over and is still fighting over reality. A global pandemic causes much reaction amongst humans as one day we are going to die and threats to our lives remind of us this. Our fears evacuated our bodies like toxins will in a virulent upheaval. When in fear, all idealism is tossed aside.
One of the responses to this situation was to pretend it didn’t exist. While I’ve seen that reaction before in individuals avoiding problems, I hadn’t realized the prevalence of this type of reaction. It explains everything about how we’ve come to be where we are in the Western world.
The Western mind took over because it has strong ideals, many of them very good for all. But the ability to dissociate allows for an opportunism that removes itself from the pain of others and to avoid the ugly by-products of one’s actions. And when the ugly by-products make themselves known, the mind uses its most effective trick – rationalization – to further dissociate. The mind can create a rationalization – a story – for any situation. That’s its role.
The mind is both an asset and liability and the trick of meditation is to attempt to remove the liability portion as our ability to dissociate and rationalize does not merely affect others; it affects our own well being. But keeping the asset portion brings us the life enhancements the Western world today enjoys and enhancements others would like to share in – indoor running water, constant electricity, consistent food supply, etc.
Saturn in Aquarius
Saturn in Aquarius is contracting, as Saturn does, group ideals and experiences. Saturn in Aquarius is challenging ideals against reality – Saturn is time, the “real” world you wake up to each morning.
The world outside the window is the result of shared beliefs and actions mixed with nature’s patterns. Much of what humans complain about, I believe, stems not from divine interventions but human activity and response. Nature isn’t deemed evil – humans are.
When ideals don’t match reality, you have the sound of words and ink scratches on paper. That’s all. Saturn is asking for the ideal to be real.