Saturn in Libra – Dancing with the Tarot

On the 21st July 2010, Saturn will re-enter Libra and remain in his sign of exaltation until the 5th October 2012. It may seem strange that grumpy old Saturn is happy in Libra which traditionally rules relationships yet there is an elegant interplay at work.

Relationships of all kinds but perhaps most specifically our one-to-one relationships take work. Saturn’s entry into Libra reminds us that we cannot be at peace with another without experiencing peace within. Love takes time to build, needs a structure and we have a duty to cherish one another. Love is a responsibility which simply means love is the ability to respond to the other. In responding to the other we readjust ourselves, sometimes to our benefit and sometimes to our detriment. The endless round of give and take in a relationship can enable us to learn and grow or bring us to our knees.

Saturn teaches us mastery of these things. He will reduce issues to their bare bones in order for us to take a good hard look at the very foundations. He lets us know where we need to learn and grow and shows us where our fears restrict us. He holds us back until we have fully learned the lesson and demands that we overcome doubt. Through Saturn we learn the value of discipline, the consequence of our actions and where our inner authority lies. In Libra he will weigh upon us until we reset our inner scales.

In the tarot, Saturn in Libra is represented by The World (Saturn) and Justice (Libra). The associated minor arcana card is the 3 Swords.

 In the World card we see an hermaphrodite dancing. In the four corners are representations of the 4 fixed signs Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. They stand for the four winds, the four elements, the four archangels. The hermaphrodite dances in the centre of the card carrying two wands. In the Magician card we see his arm raised with the wand pointing to the sky, the four elements under his control. The difference with the character in the world card is that now they have no need to control the elements – they have achieved an inner harmony with the universe so that they can simply dance with the energy, holding the batons lightly. They are simply part of the cosmic dance. But notice too that the dancer is surrounded by a circular wreath. This to me shows that there are certain boundaries that cannot be crossed on the earth plane (Saturn rules bounderies) and that where there is an end there is also a beginning. Once a goal is achieved, a new goal often comes to take it’s place – much like the goat seeks to climb higher and higher mountains.

Combined with the Justice card, the imagery shows that we can attain our worldly desires but only through balancing them with the needs of the Earth. Justice with the sword raised shows that we must cut away everything that is not the truth. It is not about punishment, only action and consequence. Sometimes we cannot see the bigger picture and therefore sometimes it feels that life just isn’t fair. The World and Justice bring a strong sense that we must have an awareness of both cosmic and earthly law.

The Major Arcana cards are rather like the transiting planets in that they suggest a tide of energy that cannot be ignored (much as we may try to!). It is the Minor Arcana however which shows us our more earthly experience and sometimes what we can do in order to move with the current flow of universal energy.

The Minor Arcana card which relates to Saturn in Libra is the sorrowful 3 of Swords. The pain of this card is very real. Here is a sharp and painful wound. What we once thought has now been cruelly cut away from us. We were wrong or wronged – maybe a bit of both. There has been heartbreak, loss, seperation.

This is a difficult card because it shows us that we can no longer deny our pain. A tarot master many years ago said she likened this card to an abcess that needs to be lanced in order for it to drain – painful but necessary. Sometimes we lock away our pain where it festers and grows, eating away at our ability to love. It is only by really experiencing the pain that we can move through it.

And perhaps this is what is required of us with Saturn in Libra. The universe tells us that we can achieve peace both inner and outer. To do this we must weigh our personal desires against the collective and our collective desire as a human race to the needs of the planet. In order to to this, each of us on a personal level is is asked to look within and deal with disappointment, sorrow, loss and heartache. Through doing this on an individual level, we learn to accept ourselves, take responsibility for our own emotions and in so doing, clear the way for us to relate to each other on a more equal level. I don’t believe we are ‘meant to suffer’ in order to learn however if we have suffered then we can learn a great deal from it. Another aspect of the 3 of Swords is having to face a ‘painful’ reality. Sometimes we don’t want to see something so we label it as something else, don’t think about it, ignore it and all manner of excuses. But in order to fully experience and appreciate reality we need to see it clearly for what it is. Saturn will force us to look at the facts and chip away at all the rest.

Whilst the 3 of Swords is the card that we don’t necessarily want to see in a reading, it is a very necessary part of life. We make a choice in the 2 swords, the consequences of which have to be faced in the three. We must recognise the truth, whatever that is in order to move to healing (the 4 swords). Saturn is bringing us an opportunity to deal with our inner pain in order that we can regain balance in the world and experience a deeper commitment in our relationships. Whilst his lessons may seem stern and heavy, once we have offloaded our ‘baggage’ we will discover that we too can dance lightly on the Earth.

13 thoughts on “Saturn in Libra – Dancing with the Tarot”

  1. I really enjoyed this, especially your description of the World card, it gave me a new understanding . I also recognised the wisdom in your explanation of the 3 of swords (a card I always found scary!)

    Any plans to write a book about the tarot? I would love to read it as you have given me more understanding of these two cards than lots of reading on tarot has ever done, but maybe it is because your writing always really ‘speaks to me’.

    Hmmm, wonder astrologically why that is? I wonder where I tap into your writing and ‘receive’ you?

    Anyway, nice writing Leah! 🙂

  2. Leah Whitehorse

    Ah Susannah, your kindness and support is hugely appreciated. To tell the truth, I was a little nervous of mixing my love of tarot with astrology on here but I just decided to go with it. I have plans to write several books – I need to just get on with it *laughs*. Perhaps we have a Neptune connection – or Mercury perhaps? I thoroughly enjoy your writing too – Mutual appreciation 🙂

  3. The Three of Swords is an interesting card. There’s a sense of release with this Three, as evidenced in the following Four of Swords. Personally, I’ve always found this card to be linked with getting some “bad” but necessary news. And in the receiving of that news is a sigh of relief. Yeah, you didn’t want to hear it and you might have even dreaded it, feeling it was somehow inevitable, but now that it’s finally been said you can exhale, grieve a bit, and then move on. There’s also see an awakening in the Three of Swords. An embracing of one’s disappointment and, because of that, an ability to put the past behind and, after the brief rest in the Four of Swords, get up and go.

    So, I’m not completely buying the Dread and Sorrow and Tears of the Three of Swords. One would have to see the corresponding cards in order to hear what the card is saying. And with the World and Justice, I do think it points to a slight hiccup with some “bad” news and then the ability to shrug it off and move on.

    Just my two cents. 🙂

  4. Leah Whitehorse

    Hi Jonathan – Your two cents is entirely welcome 🙂 Yes I understand the sense of relief this card can bring. It’s very cleansing in many ways. I can’t help but make a small shudder when I see it come up in a reading though (lol). But you are of course right in that it depends on the surrounding cards.

  5. Hmm, yes, I thought Mercury too – mine is at 3 degrees Leo conjunct my IC at 6 degrees. (I also have a Taurus Moon, Leo Sun and Gemini Asc). Any connections with you?

  6. Leah Whitehorse

    Hi Susannah
    Ah well we have some connection there 🙂 My Ascendant is at 6 degrees Leo and my Sun is in Taurus x

  7. Isn’t Satrun a planet, but Libra is a sign and these are two different things,but you seem to treat them the same?

  8. It was the World card and Justice I was wondering about. One is a planet and the other is a sign and yet you seem to treat them the same or don’t treat them differently.

  9. Hi
    Yes Saturn is a planet and Libra is a sign. When a planet is in a sign that planet expresses itself through the energy of that sign. It’s about blending the meanings of each together to try and understand how that planet might act. For example Saturn is associated with duty and Libra with relationships so Saturn transitting Libra could be asking us to to look at what duties we have to another person. Or what responsiblities (Saturn) do we have to our partners (Libra)?
    What do you feel about Saturn in Libra?

  10. I was working with the two cards intuitively blending the meanings of both to see how they interact and the story that ties them together.
    How would you interpret the the two cards or bring out their difference?

  11. Well I’m just a beginer and don’t know so I cheeted a bit and asked johnballantrae001 on youtube and he emailed:
    >Thanks for your note. >Let’s say that the question is: What is the point of Saturn in Libra, or what can we get from Saturn’s transit through this sign? It’s always easier to get an answer if we have a question.

    >So if we combine the World with Justice, then:

    >The transit will show us how to bring anything to a successful conclusion (The World).

    >The connection with Justice would show – if we superimpose this card on The World – that we need to balance what we desire with what we use our will power on (the right-hand column connects Scorpio with Leo).

    >The left-hand column connects Aquarius with Taurus and with the handle of the sword nearer to Taurus – then if we act, we can have that which we know. If we don’t know love, for instance, or don’t know what love is, we can’t have it. If we want wealth, we have to have some knowledge of what wealth means to us – then there’s a chance we can have it.

    >Remembering, of course, that there may be something important behind the curtain that we can’t see. So we can only do what we can, and act with imperfect knowledge. We ought not to wait until we have a perfect moment before we take action.

    >Hope this helps. Ask again if this isn’t what you were looking for.

  12. Hi
    Hey it’s not cheating at all 🙂 When you’re a beginner it’s great to ask questions and get different astrologer’s/tarot reader’s ideas so that you can eventually come up with your own understanding. Thanks for putting John’s answer. He’s coming at it from a slightly different angle to me but I like how he has superimposed one card on the other, bringing out the symbol of the sword in connection to the sign of Taurus (ruled also by Venus like Libra).
    With both tarot and astrology there are traditional meanings to the cards and planets but also then there are personal meanings that grow over time. If you’re learning tarot, you may find tarot-town helpful if you haven’t discovered it already http://www.tarot-town.com and there’s also a great podcast on iTunes called Beyond Worlds – Tarot Tribe 🙂

  13. Thanks for your understanding. I will definately join in with tarottown. Didn’t know about them.

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