Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, many of the decisions we make (or don’t make) and actions we take (or don’t take), come from a place of fear.
To a certain extent, a healthy level of fear is what keeps us safe. It’s what has helped the human race to survive and thrive. Problems arise when our level of fear becomes disproportionate to the threat at hand, or when we use fear to control and manipulate others, or to allow ourselves to be controlled and manipulated.
Most of us, if we are honest and self-aware, would admit to occasionally experiencing levels of anxiety that are irrational and out of proportion, to some degree.
These anxieties can all too easily inform our behaviour. We become overly defensive out of a fear of being challenged or rejected, for example, or at the extreme end of the scale, we fall into paranoia, believing everyone is out to get us.
My e-book, Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide through the Dark discusses the issue of keeping safe, fear and control in depth and discusses how Saturn in Scorpio, for all its dark and difficult associations, offers us a genuine opportunity for healing (you can read an excerpt from this section here).
Ultimately, living through fear is isolating. It can act as an impenetrable barrier that stands between us and the formation of close relationships (intimacy is another key theme for Saturn in Scorpio, read an excerpt here). When we reach out to another out of a desire to form an intimate bond with them, one of the things we dread the most is being rebuffed.
Keeping our fear of rejection in the correct perspective is essential if we are to fulfil our need for emotional and physical closeness.
From Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide through the Dark…
Saturn signifies our fear of rejection. Scorpio and its ruler Pluto symbolise our compulsion to survive the ultimate rejection, the end of life. To be rejected and abandoned at birth by those who conceived us, ultimately means to be left to die.
While this is no longer true for most of humanity in the 21st century, it is still an almost certainty in the animal kingdom. It’s not surprising, then, that being rejected is a primal fear, a part of our shadow.
We know we have touched that shadow when we become emotionally stirred, not just by rejection itself but by the mere anticipation of rejection. Scorpio is about our desires, particularly the desires we are deeply attached to.
Whenever we are in a situation where someone else is in control of fulfilling of our desires, or not, we tend to feel very uncomfortable. Asking someone on a date, going for a job we really want, or asking a relative for money, are all things that many of us approach with some degree of anxiety. We are all too aware that someone else holds the power to say no, to deny our desires.
The fear of rejection, if out of control, can limit our life experience and choices. Being resilient enough to bounce back after rejection and try again is a life skill we need to learn if we are to succeed on our life path. If fear prevents us from going for what we want, we deny ourselves the opportunity for fulfilment.
Saturn’s transit through Scorpio is a good time to consider our attitude and response to rejection. For some this may involve deep therapeutic work, as we confront rejection and abandonment issues from our early life, or even from past lives if we have chosen to work on that level.
For all of us, it would be a useful exercise to seek out new strategies for dealing with rejection.
When we are rebuffed we become upset, sad or angry, to some degree. We may even go into shock if the rejection is sudden, surprising or severe. It’s okay to feel like this. We have lost something – whether it is something we actually had or something we simply wanted to have – and we need to grieve.
Family and friends can be a great support after a rejection. If we find ourselves falling into a negative place where we feel worthless because we have been rejected, they can be on hand to remind us that our inner dialogue “nobody loves me / I never get what I want” etc is not the reality, that life isn’t hopeless and that we’re not doomed to fail indefinitely. It’s natural to want to hide away from the world for a while to lick our wounds, but it’s not healthy to isolate ourself for too long.
When you have been rejected, your self-esteem has been wounded, so instead of focusing on negative thinking, focus on strategies for rebuilding it. Make a new plan, set new goals, use visualisation techniques to imagine a better future. Engage in activities you enjoy and know you are good at. Spend time around people who lift your spirits.
At the same time, acknowledge that you may be grieving and allow yourself space and an appropriate amount of time to get yourself back on your feet. Know that there will come a time when you will feel strong enough to get back out there and go for what you want again. Remember that some of life’s most successful people suffered rejection before they finally made it.
As ever, in going for what we want, Saturn urges us to be realistic and practical. That supermodel off the TV is never going to date you no matter how often you ask her! You might never get the great new job if you don’t work hard to gain the right experience or the right qualifications. Saturn reminds us that in our rules-driven society, being accepted is a bit like gaining respect. It usually needs to be earned.
There’s no doubt that Saturn in Scorpio is an important transit for relationships. It’s an opportunity to build on the work we began when Saturn was in Libra (balance, give and take, compromise, negotiation, the art of being nice to each other, playing fair). Saturn in Scorpio takes us much deeper and asks us to face up to where we aren’t playing nice in relation to others (even when we believed we were) or where we may have allowed others to control and abuse us (even if we weren’t aware of the manipulation at the time).
Once we invite the energies of Saturn in Scorpio in, what is exposed can be extreme, so we need to be prepared, because once we access the darker reaches of our psyche, the toxic ‘stuff’ that comes out isn’t going back in. The gift of Saturn in Scorpio is that it provides the platform for us to deal with the dark stuff, to hold it up to the light to be purged and healed.
After exposure, reparation must take place and the slow process of healing, acceptance and forgiveness, including self-forgiveness, needs to begin. Here is an excerpt from Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide through the Dark on anger, vengeance and forgiveness:
Scorpio has a reputation for being the sign associated with revenge. A wronged Scorpio is said to have a long memory, harbouring resentments long after other signs have forgiven and forgotten.
Taking vengeance when we have been wronged can seem like the only way to get recompense, especially when we are still in the throes of anger about what has been done to us. Usually, anger is a healthy first reaction when we have been wounded, the first clue that our boundaries have been crossed. Eventually though, the anger dissipates and with it the need to take revenge.
However, if we have held onto anger and resentment from past hurts, these feelings may rise to the surface during Saturn in Scorpio. Perhaps we find ourselves in a situation similar to that which first hurt us and need to face the deeply buried feelings that arise around it?
Anger, while a stop on the road to recovering our equilibrium, should not be an end in itself. Saturn in Scorpio reminds us that there are two kinds of anger. Mars, Scorpio’s traditional ruler, is associated with quick-to-ignite, fast-to-burn-itself-out anger. Mars’ revenge is instantaneous, reckless and reactionary.
Pluto, Scorpio’s modern ruler, represents the slow burn of buried rage. This is where resentments, small or large, build up over time and linger long, clawing deep into our psyche. Pluto revenge is strategic and cuts deep. It’s the kind that is served cold.
Both types of angry revenge, while perhaps providing some amount of relief or satisfaction, are ultimately self-damaging. Revenge reduces us to the level of those who have wronged us. We cheat on them because they have cheated on us, steal from them because they stole from us, subject them to violence because we suffered at their hands. Often, perhaps without even realising it, we exact our revenge not on those who hurt us in the first place, but take it out on those who happen to be close at hand.
Tempting as it can be to take revenge, and with Saturn in Scorpio we will feel tempted, this course of action just keeps the cycle going and puts us in the path of Saturn’s Karma. However, we should not confuse vengeance with justice. Saturn is a key significator of justice, in particular justice meted out by society. If you are a victim of an illegal offence it’s usually the right course of action to seek due recompense through the law. Saturn’s justice usually sees to it that wrongdoers are made to pay for their transgressions and seeing this kind of justice done can be an important step on the road to healing.
Often though, we cannot seek justice through legal means. Your partner hasn’t committed a crime by leaving you for someone else, even though the betrayal you feel may be worse than if he’d emptied your bank account. So, if you can’t get justice and if it’s not healthy to follow the path of anger, hatred and vengeance, what can you do?
When you have been hurt, the best sort of revenge is usually to learn the lessons you need to learn, let go, get on with your life, bounce back and be happy. This is easy to say, but not so easy to do. It requires time and patience and involves acceptance and forgiveness.
Saturn in Scorpio provides us with an opportunity to learn to forgive, for the sake of our health, self-esteem and wellbeing. The idea of forgiveness will be familiar to anyone who has studied or followed a religion and it seems that, in this context, religion may have got it right, because studies show that those who are able to forgive are happier and healthier than those who hold onto resentment.
People who are forgiving tend to be selfless and empathetic. Often, they can understand the viewpoint of the person who has hurt them, even if they don’t agree with it. This makes it easier for a forgiving person to let bygones be bygones. Their close relationships mean a lot to them and they are able to disregard more trivial misdemeanours, without becoming pushovers.
Sometimes, what is done to us is hard to shrug off and we must go deeper and work harder to get over it. When someone hurts us badly, they have taken something away from us. We have suffered loss at their hands. As with any kind of loss, we need to go through a process of grieving. Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler Ross in On Death and Dying described the stages of grief as denial, bargaining, anger, depression and eventually, acceptance.
Once we have accepted what has happened to us, we are better able to move on. Acceptance can bring forgiveness, even if we receive no apology or recompense from the person who wronged us. We realise that refusing to forgive no longer serves any useful purpose, other than keeping us stuck in the past. By burying the hatchet, we make peace with ourselves as much as we make peace with the person who hurt us. Getting to this point can be a truly healing experience, where we access the transformative powers of Saturn in Scorpio. Instead of the defended, stinging scorpion, we become the majestic soaring eagle.
Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide through the Dark has a lot more to say about relationships under this transit. There’s more about forgiveness (including the need to forgive our parents), self-forgiveness and acceptance; a section on Saturn in Scorpio and sex and a look at the powerful connection between love and money.
The book also takes a detailed look at Saturn in Scorpio through the natal houses and in transit to your natal planets and points and much more.