I am reluctant to talk about my visions on the whole, I would rather talk of knowledge on a practical level of what I know. Visions are in general unexplained phenomena which take years to be explained. But in the interests of emptying myself which is the shaman’s practice I will tell you about my Saturn return.
The Saturn Return is an astrological phenomenon that occurs at around the age of thirty, coinciding with the time it takes the planet Saturn to make one orbit around the sun. It is believed by astrologers that as Saturn “returns” to the degree in which it occupied at the time of birth a person crosses over a major threshold and into the next stage of life. With the first Saturn Return, a person leaves youth behind and enters adulthood. With the second Return, maturity. And the third and usually final Return, a person enters wise old age.
The first Saturn Return is famous because it represents the first test of character and the structures a person has built their life upon. According to traditions, should these structures be unsound, or if a person is living out of touch with his or her true values, the Saturn Return will be a time of upheaval and limitations as Saturn forces him or her to expel old concepts and worn out patterns of living. It is not uncommon for relationships and jobs to end during this time of life restructuring and re-evaluation.
I was working in a holiday home by the sea in a place not far from where I live now. I had for many years struggled with my self-importance. Self indulgence seemed to engulfed me on a day-to-day basis; I felt pity for myself and the world. And as I worked in this place my problems seemed to manifest themselves. I had been homeless for a time and I was reliant on my employer for a place to stay. I was at my lowest ebb, lower than I had been for a long while. I found it difficult to keep my head above water; maintaining my position in this establishment was near impossible with the difficulties I was experiencing.
Then one day I had a moment of clarity – a sense of giving up and abandoning myself to what might be. I had made a friend in this place, I can’t even remember his name but he was a decent person I liked. I stepped outside of the building onto the patio to gaze at the world for a moment while on a break.
My friend stood next to me. I remember looking down to see I was standing on a grate – I made a pun to myself of the word imaging it spelt GREAT and that “I was standing on the GREAT”. We stood in silence it seemed a sombre moment. But just then he said to me “Just look at that”…
I surveyed the horizon looking out to sea, the man to my right pointing. I could not believe what I saw. Instead of the seeing the sun setting on the horizon, I now saw Saturn with its rings. It was enormous and utterly eclipsed my mind. I had entered into a state of wakeful dreaming. As I stood there gazing at the scene something had shifted within me and I was in a dream-like vision, I could not have even imagined. My friend was calm, as if his eyes had seen this many times before (I doubt he was seeing the same as I was) Just for a moment I stood there between the worlds of waking experience and that which is dreamed. And Saturn returned to me.
It was an omen of prolific proportions. As is the nature of these things I thought I knew but in a sense was totally unaware of its significance. Particularly as only until recently did I discover the term ‘Saturn Return’ and understand its meaning. But now many years on I see the significance. This for me was a moment of portent and promise – a return to not quite to sanity but to a place of well-being and a place where I could be free.
The man left the place I was working – thrown out I was told. As was I a short time after. But there was no regret for me due to what I had seen. I felt uplifted, as if I had passed a test. And the stage was set for me to continue on my path of discovery.