"if you surrendered to the air, you could ride it" - toni morrison, song of solomon
i haven't been able to write much for the last half of this year, especially for pleasure. i feel like i've been existing at a different tempo, learning new rhythms of existing. no confirmed diagnosis yet of what is happening in my body, which is frustrating, but there are hypotheses. something to do with oxygen having difficulty reaching my muscles -- my capillaries possibly becoming thinner, unable to feed my muscles with blood -- my body struggling to generate energy on a cellular level -- the part of my brain that tells me i'm sick and to stay in bed, doesn't switch off. strange, dull pain emanating from somewhere deep. on the worst days, the edges of my body feel uneven, shimmering. my head is too heavy to lift from the pillow. in conversation, i lunge for words and memories like trying to catch a fly determined to escape my grasp.
experiencing this has been hard. it's only been six months, and it's already one of the hardest things i've ever experienced in my life. i struggle to imagine how the difficulty would accumulate for those whose experiences span much longer than mine.
this has been a real, threshold moment. which brings me to the saturn return - the doorstep of adulthood. the moment you learn that life's hard realities apply to you, just as much as they apply to others. sometimes things don't turn out the way you wanted. sometimes we fail. sometimes dreams and visions can't come to fruition. when they do, it might be muddled with unexpected loss, as different desires come at the expense of each other. saturn teaches us that we can't have it all. saturn might even teach us that we never really wanted it all in the first place.
learning about day and night sect really shifted my relationship to saturn. i've always felt a bit unsure about how more traditional approaches to astrology can seem a bit fatalistic. i.e. i have a night chart, so saturn is always going to feel a bit unfortunate, and be less likely to bring the kinds of hard earned success it might bring to people with diurnal charts. it seems in a way that one of saturn's lessons is to resist black and white thinking and to understand the ambiguity that underlies reality -- philosophies, values, ways of understanding (jupiter) are in constant tension with how reality works, which is often random and difficult to understand. perhaps a saturn lesson for astrologers is to reconcile with the limits of astrology itself.
i'm revisiting leisa schaim's tips for successfully navigating your saturn return. in aquarius, saturn will be focused on community, values, ideas. understanding ourselves as social beings, but also fundamentally a bit lonely. fearful of being pressured into community, but needing that community nonetheless. as always, saturn's movement is timely. how can we come together freely? how do we build community that sustains, is focused on longevity?
reading leah lakshmi piepzna-samarasinha's care work: dreaming disability justice, i am struck by the ways disabled and chronically ill queer and trans, black and poc communities are able to care for each other while simultaneously needing care. "how to learn to care for each other when everyone is sick, tired, crazy, and brilliant". learning not to see caring as transactional and one-for-one, but as something that feeds in many directions. i feel as though that requires trust, but perhaps not the kind of emotional trust that comes from close relationship. a global trust? a trust based in values?
the meeting of jupiter and saturn in aquarius especially speaks to this potential of community and trust. measured faith - beliefs that endure.
i'm willing to let the meaning unfold over the next few years. it's tempting to try to predict, especially in a state of uncertainty. but more than ever, i'm aware of my brain's limits, even as i write this and feel my concentration becoming blurry. being sick has taught me to take it a day at a time.