Aedes Saturnus

saturn

It is often said that every 30 years of your life, you experience a “Saturn return.”  This is because Saturn’s orbit around the sun takes approximately 29.5 years.  What it typically represents is a time of great upheaval and change.

In astrology, Saturn represents a number of things.  But one thing Saturn represents that tends to resonate most with those experiencing a Saturn return is the enforcement of law, or restrictions.

Saturn, therefore, represents our limitations in power and control, in confinement or isolation and capacity. Taking all this into consideration, it is no wonder we face difficulty when attempting to transform Saturn from a controlling force to a teaching force because we encounter all our limitations in every aspect of our lives.

anotherbrickinthewall

Teachers are often thought of as the people who lead a classroom full of students in the acquisition of new knowledge.  In the American system of education, at least, this is often a simple case of indoctrination.  In order to achieve particular goals or career paths, there are certain things you must know, and there is a way that this information must be delivered to you.  Therefore, what we often conceive of as education is really an attempt at social control through reinforcing standards.

There are opportunities to learn everywhere in life. Anyone can be a teacher and anything can be a curriculum. Many of my teachers have been artists, musicians, actors, friends, family, strangers. The difference between knowledge and wisdom often lies in who your teachers are rather than what you’re being taught.

vitruvianman

The band Tool is an amazing group that blends superb musicianship, higher consciousness, emotional maturity and a dry sense of humor into something that no other artist can replicate – though many have tried. I refer to them as my “left brain” band – the part of the brain associated with logic and analysis. Much of my passion for learning is derived from influences such as these.

In 2001, Tool released an album, Lateralus, which dealt with this topic in particular, in the opening track, “The Grudge.”

Wear your grudge like a crown of negativity.
Calculate what we will or will not tolerate.
Desperate to control all and everything.
Unable to forgive your scarlet lettermen.

Clutch it like a cornerstone, otherwise it all comes down.
Justify denials and grip it to the lonesome end.
Clutch it like a cornerstone, otherwise it all comes down.
Terrified of being wrong. Ultimatum prison cell.

Saturn ascends, choose one or ten.
Hang on or be humbled again.

Clutch it like a cornerstone. otherwise it all comes down.
Justify denials and grip it to the lonesome end.
Saturn ascends, comes round again.
Saturn ascends, the one, the ten.
Ignorant to the damage done.

Wear your grudge like a crown of negativity.
Calculate what you will or will not tolerate.
Desperate to control all and everything.
Unable to forgive your scarlet lettermen.

Wear the grudge like a crown. Desperate to control.
Unable to forgive, and we’re sinking deeper.

Defining, confining, sinking deeper.
Controlling, defining, and we’re sinking deeper.

Saturn comes back around to show you everything
Lets you choose what you will or will not see and then
Drags you down like a stone or lifts you up again
Spits you out like a child, light and innocent.

Saturn comes back around. Lifts you up like a child or
Drags you down like a stone to
Consume you ’til you choose to let this go.
Choose to let this go.

Give away the stone.
Let the oceans take and transmutate this cold and fated anchor.
Give away the stone.
Let the waters kiss and transmutate these leaden grudges into gold.

Let go.

The song is quite powerful and has a very strong message behind it. It has resonated with me since the album was first released, but I find myself listening to it more and more these days. Letting go is part of the mythology of the Saturn return, to fully embrace the possibilities of life and question your own beliefs and values. But it’s far more difficult to let go of things than to desperately cling to what is easy or perceived to be working. Often, this only prolongs the eventual pain that we feel when we experience the upheaval of a life-altering event or moment. I believe you should always be asking why. “Why am I experiencing this emotion?” “Why am I preoccupied with this thought?” “Why am I choosing to react in this manner?” Otherwise, we are doomed to repeat the same cycles of behavior in our lives without ever growing or evolving.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein

Too often, we are terrified of change and self-reflection, so many of those fears become our weapons that we project onto others.  We are self-conscious about our looks, so we judge others for theirs (e.g. Perez Hilton, et al).  We are insecure about our bodies so we overcompensate with external things (e.g. plastic surgery or ego-driven machismo).  We are threatened by intimacy, so we mistreat or push away those we feel closest to.  We are such predictable creatures, but will do almost anything in our power to avoid attaining this knowledge. They don’t teach these things in school, so most of us simply don’t know how to.

MagrittePipe

Dredg is what I often call my “right brain” band – the part of the brain associated with emotion and intuition. While they are every bit as intelligent and talented as Tool, no band can make me feel quite the way that Dredg can. Many of their songs give me goosebumps or make me well up a little bit when listening to them, no matter how many times I’ve heard them. One such song is “Bug Eyes.”

Bring back those good ol’ days
Nothing feels right, nothing ever goes my way
I threw my future away
Now I walk alone out here in the cold, wandering astray
Where’s my future?
I’m gonna need a home
You’d expect the same, now wouldn’t you, wouldn’t you?

Your journey back to birth is haunting you, it’s haunting you
Your departure from the earth is haunting you, it’s haunting you

Only those who accept will find that acceptance in return
We have been trimmed down like hedges,
And told just to sit, and wilt, and spit at each other from a distance
There is constant resistance from you
I’m gonna need a home
You’d expect the same now wouldn’t you, wouldn’t you?

Your journey back to birth is haunting you, it’s haunting you
Your departure from the earth is haunting you, it’s haunting you

It’s been ten years strong, that’s much too long
It’s time to do something good for my health
Time to do something good for myself
I’ve wasted all this time, I’ve wasted all this time

Your journey back to birth is haunting you, it’s haunting you
You departure from the earth is haunting you, it’s haunting you

Another powerful song, but in an entirely different way. While Tool offers a logical and analytical approach to the Saturn return, Dredg issues an emotional and intuitive plea – life is too short to waste it living out of sync with each other and the world around us.  Chasing after an uncertain future, amassing wealth and property, with faith in the unknown (and unknowable), consuming without concern for our environment and gratifying our ego every chance we get – this is not a way to live. This is a life completely out of balance.

koyaanisqatsi

The above image is taken from the breathtaking film Koyaanisqatsi – a Hopi word that means “crazy life, life in turmoil, life out of balance, life disintegrating, a state of life that calls for another way of living.” In the film, human life, technology and nature are juxtaposed, often in jarring ways, to illustrate the effect that modern society has had on the planet.  While human development as a whole has carved its path on the earth, each of us as individuals have taken to discovering our own niche within that world, often at odds with ourselves and each other, in pursuit of some elusive destination. In this image, a skyscraper – indeed, a monument that serves mainly to gratify our ego as a species, as well as destroy an otherwise pristine view of the heavens – is placed next to a bright, full moon, awe-inspiring in its simple beauty and grandeur. Two of mankind’s greatest achievements, side by side, which are also simultaneously two of mankind’s failures. Our planet is polluted with these skeletal monstrosities pointing upwards at a celestial body that has been littered with trash by those lucky enough to have experienced it firsthand.

But have we learned our lesson?  Will Saturn teach us something or will we ignore our chances to evolve?  This choice resides in each and every one of us, and on the eve of my 30th birthday, it has become clear to me that the evolution has already happened within me. I am no longer the person most people have come to perceive as “Erik.”

A few years ago, I got a tattoo on my left ankle of the Dredg logo:

dredg

The symbol is a derivation of the Chinese symbols for “change” and “chameleon.”  As I believe that constant open-mindedness and willingness to change are an important component of how I live my life, this was a perfect fit for the first thing I’d want permanently inked on my body – a way for me to refuse to let myself become too complacent or too fearful in life.

Now is another occasion where it is necessary to burn down the ruins and build a new monument out of the ashes. To reboot the system. To change the channel.

nosignal

NO SIGNAL
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Aedes Saturnus

One thought on “Aedes Saturnus

  1. yo momma says:

    but erik….what will i call you when you’re 30 ?

    you are so bright it scares me….LOL….and intelligent beyond what i ever dreamed when i held that cute little boy who was in such a big hurry to enter the world…the doc didn’t have time to put on his gloves!!! he said you were the first he ever “caught”….LOL

    a lot of powerful stuff here! wow

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