Saturn a New Look at an Old Devil, written by Liz Greene, and published in 1976. It firmly remains the best treatise on Saturn describing all of our physical, spiritual and psychological limitations. Its influence, some years after publication, seems quite undiminished. The beginning of the book centers upon the story of Beauty and the Beast and how for all his ugliness, his sternness, and capacity to inspire fear, should at the end turn into the Handsome Prince and marry the heroine.
The author emphasizes the transformational energy of the archetypal figure, encouraging us to find the gold underneath. In this light, we need to consider the handsome Prince that lies behind the beastly face of Saturn. Wisdom is found through a realization that appearances can be deceiving and behind what we perceive as “evil,” when analyzing this planet’s more beastly qualities, is something far more enlightening. As one of the first writers to tackle Saturn in such a unique way, she also mentions Saturn’s propensity for disguise, something which is unknown to most people.
Interestingly, Saturn in the water houses is tackled first. Apparently, owners of a 4th, 8th or 12th house position are considered to face Saturn on its most challenging level, especially since those domains rule over the unconscious. It is thought to be more troubling on the emotional level where things lie just below the surface of consciousness. The average individual may not be aware of the emotional frustration and pain on the feeling level and, subsequently, is typical of finding its way to the therapist’s couch.
The issue of Saturn centers upon the hard labor of achieving free will and this is undoubtedly linked to the degree of our self-knowledge. Ultimately it is the deciding factor of our destiny and governs over whether Saturn will be gold or lead. According to Greene in the opening paragraphs, she believes that there is a tendency in astrology to read symbols in the astrological chart according to the prevailing social mores of that time. The use of “good” and “bad” planets moral and immoral aspects and the either or quality that tends to permeate this art.
Liz Greene considers Saturn to be the educational value of pain and the difference between external values, expectations, and fears of failure in the eyes of others. What happens throughout this process is that it generates the insistent need to look within for our values. When we love ourselves for our failures and inadequacies, only then can we be freed from Saturn’s monstrous side.
Besides Saturn’s difficult attributes, it is the meeting of difficulties, limitations and basic lack that provides the impetus to overcome obstacles and work that much harder. Greene touches upon the old truth that self-discovery holds the key to free-will, however, the author also believes that not many people have experienced this phenomenon. Unless expansion of consciousness occurs we are but a pawn in the hands of fate, and this seems to be the logic behind the author’s examination of Saturn.
Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil, details all the natal aspects at length, along with synastry contacts. It is a great addition to anyone’s astrological library and it will be a constant companion in the delineation of Saturn. It is probably, as Greene states, only through the realization of the underlying symbolism of the planet that we achieve confidence and achievement because of Saturn and not in spite of him.