Saturn a New Look at an Old Devil published in 1976, 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 author, Liz Greene, emphasizes the transformational energy of the archetypal figure, encouraging us to find the gold underneath. It is through a realization that appearances can be deceiving and behind what we perceive as “evil,” when analyzing this planet’s “malefic” qualities, is when we find something far more enlightening.
Saturn in the Water Houses is interpreted first, which is not the usual astrological order for readings. Chart owners of a 4th, 8th, or 12th house position are believed to face Saturn on its most challenging level, especially since those domains rule over the family, unconscious, and psychological inheritance. As it is thought to be more troubling on the emotional level where things lie just below the surface of consciousness, the average individual with this placement may not be aware of the emotional frustration and pain on the feeling level and, subsequently, a watery Saturn may make its way to the therapist’s couch.
In the book, the issue of Saturn centers upon the hard labor of achieving free will, and liberation in our Saturnian area is linked to the degree of our self-knowledge. It is the deciding factor of our destiny and governs over whether Saturn will be gold or lead. 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. The author touches upon the old truth that self-discovery holds the key to free-will, however, not many people have experienced this phenomenon. Unless expansion of consciousness occurs we are but a pawn in the hands of fate and imprisoned in our own personal Tartarus.
Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil, offers an interpretation of all of the natal houses and aspects, along with synastry contacts across two charts. It is a thought-provoking work and a constant companion in the delineation of Saturn. According to the author, it is 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.