Saturnine staying power..

“The plumb-line drops ever deeper, straight to the grave, and below, to time past and the underworld spirits. The inward and downward pull into oneself and one’s death implies that the senex is the chief force at work in some descriptions of individuation” (James Hillman; Father, Saturn and Senex)

Sometimes it seems that the spirit of senex – the old man – seizes control of everything and life is overshadowed by looming disaster and the ticking of the clock.  Time weighs down on us.  Doors bang closed; keys go missing – cars won’t start.  Still-young knees and hips ache – our movements slow.  The mind is intolerant of playfulness and whimsy; there is no quick laugh at a child’s antics, only the sense of seriousness and responsibility for what such silliness may become.

The old man within is critical.  He tells us we are wrong to desire what we desire.  He judges harshly; we are found guilty of frivolousness and stupidity.

Senex creates order – files things away in stacks and aisles and catalogues – he is infertile, sterile, dry and destitute.  Creativity flees, hides.  Abundance turns to dust.  Birds and crickets refuse to sing; the wildling-child within curls up in a dark corner.

This is the archetype that grows stronger where boundaries are inflexible, where work and responsibility overtake rest and pleasure and where too many life changes disconnect us from our sense of home and beginnings.

Yet… senex reminds us of the way of things; time passes, we grow old and we die.  Senex asks us not to squander too many moments in pursuit of pleasure – we must discipline ourselves to put aside a portion of what we have now for tomorrow.  The old man within wants us to grow wise and steady and to keep on moving towards the end; towards completion.  Keep on moving – forward; onward.  Keep at the important task of living, until it is time to stop.

In a world that over-values eros (life), the cure for anything that ails us is often its opposite.  In the case of soul-sickness such as this healing can only come from going deeper into it -what does this want from me? How can I honour these feelings?  Where in my life can I attain completion?

Then, when we have acknowledged the Old Man, we can start anew.

5 thoughts on “Saturnine staying power..

  1. It seems like you have some further traveling deeper and working out what it is that is required from you. I hope that journey is not too twisted and difficult. *hugs*

  2. If anything I do really get a sense of what you’ve been feeling lately, especially as when you wrote elsewhere, “and I’m still grumpy”. Senex is a very Yang entity, and to be terribly reductive, I think the masculine takes comfort in that. In conquering, completion, compartmentalization. What I do wonder is if that energy has been more prevalent as a manifestation of what we may need, specifically as assistance of the same nature from an external source. Except we’re having to introduce it ourselves, or are attracting it in ways other than we’d prefer!

    I also wonder if the ensuing blah-ness has to do with our having to suppress our natural eros while we try to manifest or develop that. The feeling of being enforced to do so, or embodying it in a manner that isn’t who we are, is really draining. Saturn does ask for hard slog, but we can enjoy the required maturity if we feel at one with how the bigger picture is true to us, and how it lives in service of that. If it does not, then maybe the real hard work is understanding that and taking the time to find what does.

    Sounds easy, but sodding hard to do. I’ve felt the value of time more in the last few years than ever, but while I recognize that we all prepare for the scary bits of adulthood i.e. responsibilities, aging etc. – I also began to understand that the quality of how I spent that time really matters. It freaked me to be faced with that, since it threw so many things off kilter. But we live moment to moment, and we transform moment to moment. Knowing that helps to hold something so heavy, a bit more loosely and a bit more gently. Especially to myself.

  3. Gary – thanks for the hugs darling.

    Angel, yes the blah-ness must be from suppression of eros by thanatos – there is a need to hold these two in balance and when senex takes over that balance is shot. I recognise, now, the danger of allowing myself to be too disconnected from my life-energy-source while in pursuit of ‘maturity’ and all that goes with it.

    Just writing this today made me realise I can complete some cycles and start re-connecting with my inner child again.

    But the main thing I’ve learned is I need to keep hold of Saturnine staying power – in the past I’ve been channeling all that child-like creative energy which is easily lost. As Hillman always said “the child gives up easily”. I don’t want that to be me any more!


  4. Hi Danae, hope all is well in your loving world I just realised I’ve never found that jupiter transit book I mentioned to you ages ago on mystic’s blog soz but if I do will be sure and post here x

    Am messaging you here pegs in case you act on this amazing video idea you’ve just had because I want you to have the most awesome video out there and letting this wee secret out of the bag may make others who have better cash resources etc available do it faster than you. if you’re going to do the video make sure you get it done with closed captions – the boomers who are cashed up and a potential audience for your niche product are going deaf, not to mention people who are already hearing impaired who would love access to your knowledge I’m sure and captions will open up a large, loyal and growing audience for you and give you an opportunity to enhance their lives with your smarts – good luck on your mission my lovely

  5. Nice to hear from you Whatevs… all still very Saturnine in my world – a job, a consultancy practice, managing a household & 5 offspring by myself. I am getting good at it!

    PEGS! What marvelous scheme is this?

    WE MUST WORK ON YOUR WEBSITE! No time for meetings until end of August now – send me your ideas over the email & I will set it all up with login etc & add content as you direct me to.


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