Postcards From The Other Side

postcardFew things will cause others to call into question your sanity (or lack thereof) or your level of gullibility more quickly than announcing that you have received a message from a dearly departed loved one. More often than not, they’ll explain it away — and maybe even try and convince you — that it’s just your imagination or perhaps some wishful thinking at work. But if you are the one experiencing these communications from spirit, you know what it was, you know what you heard/saw/felt, and furthermore, there isn’t a naysayer on the planet who could convince you it was anything but the very tangible, real experience you know it to be.

I personally have always believed in an afterlife. Certainly, it’s a much more comforting concept than the thought of there being only a deep, dreamless sleep after we leave this world. But that in and of itself is not what made me a believer. To me, it’s inconceivable that our essence, consciousness, essentially, what makes us, us, simply ceases to exist when our physical bodies are no longer compatible with life. Our bodies are merely the vehicles in which we travel through this lifetime. I once read an interesting analogy that was something along the lines of, “if you are driving your car and the engine blows up, rendering it useless, what do you do? You get out of your car and move on. Just as you are not your car, you are not your body.” We are energy…and it is a proven fact that energy cannot be destroyed. It can only change form.

After the death of my freedom-loving Sagittarius first ex-husband more than 12 years ago, which was also the first experience I had ever had of losing someone very close to me, I was strolling through the city library, searching the shelves high and low, yet not knowing what I was looking for. All I knew was I desperately needed guidance, something, anything to help me cope with the excruciatingly painful grief which was unlike anything I had ever before felt. Sure enough, after several minutes of winding my way through the aisles, a title seemed to jump out at me. It was called Talking to Heaven: A Medium’s Message of Life and Death by James Van Praagh. I took it home and read it cover to cover. I then began frequenting bookstores for more of the same and found, among others, One Last Time: A Psychic Medium Speaks to Those We Have Loved and Lost by John Edward. And I pored over these books for hours at a time, reading and re-reading them, as they gave me a glimmer of hope in the darkest hours of my life up to that point. Upon reading these books, I came to realize that I had already experienced a few of my own messages from spirit and, little did I know at the time, I would continue to receive many more over the weeks, months, and years to come. Here are some of those experiences:

My now-deceased Sadge ex-hubby playing with our then-baby boy Bull

My now-deceased Sadge ex-hubby playing with our then-baby boy Bull

Be A Good Boy
One night, about two weeks after my Sadge ex-husband passed, I woke up in the middle of the night after having fallen asleep on the couch with my then-four and a half year-old Taurus son. I laid awake for just a minute or two, and then I listened intently as my little Bull started talking in his sleep:

“I know, dad…okay…uh huh…but what about your BB gun, dad?…uh huh…uh huh…okay…I will…I love you too…”

The only way I can describe this would be to say that it was as though I were listening to one end of a telephone conversation. There is no doubt in my mind that what I was listening to was my Taurean preschooler as he received a visit from his dad.

Here’s Your Sign
Several weeks later, one bright, crisp winter afternoon on my way home from work, I stopped at the cemetery as I did every week to leave a single red rose on my ex’s gravesite. I began to “talk” to him, asking him to please show me something, a sign, anything to know that when I told our children their daddy was still with them that I was telling them the truth. Trying to think of something specific to ask for, something that would let me know without question that it was from him, I made the tongue-in-cheek suggestion that he “show” me an elephant, reasoning that if I were to see a random elephant walking around, there would be no way I could write it off. I chuckled out loud at the thought, acknowledging that an elephant walking down the street would probably not be doable (ya think?) I then stressed that whatever he chose to show me, just let it be something that I couldn’t shoot down or dismiss as wishful thinking. With that, I left the cemetery and headed home.

A little more than two weeks later, I stopped by my ex’s widow’s place on my way home from work to pick up the Valentine’s Day goody bags she had made for my three kids. When I got home, I passed out the bags and went about my usual routine. My young Bull excitedly ran up to me. “Mom, look what she put in my bag!”

He proudly held up a small stuffed elephant with a plastic picture frame on its tummy…which held a picture of my wee Taurus with his dad.

This Is How It’s Supposed To Be
Shortly after my former Cancer hubby was killed in a car accident in January 2013, I was driving and came to an intersection when I realized

The makeshift roadside memorial at the crash site

The makeshift roadside memorial at the crash site

I had forgotten to put on my seat belt. As I clicked it into place, tears began welling up in my eyes. I spoke aloud, “why couldn’t you have been wearing your seat belt? You’d still be here if you’d just worn your seat belt.” Suddenly, the following thought was impressed upon me:

“If I had survived, I would’ve wished I hadn’t. This is the way it’s supposed to be.”

This is another experience that is difficult to explain. I heard it in the same way one “hears” their own thoughts, except it wasn’t my thought: it was as though I were “hearing” someone else’s thought. Like, as I previously mentioned, the thought was impressed upon me rather than originating in my own mind.

When I “heard” this, my jaw dropped and I was pretty much just frozen in shock. The hair on my arms stood on end. On one hand, it made perfect sense and to my surprise, I realized I had never considered that point of view. Knowing my ex-Crab as well as I did, I could totally see the logic in that statement. He was already prone to bouts of deep depression, anxiety, and moodiness. If he had survived, but with injuries severe enough to be life-altering, compounded with the (relatively trivial) fact that he would have lost his truck and probably his job in the wake of the accident, I could absolutely imagine him spiraling even further downward, cursing the fact that he hadn’t been killed. But on the other hand, from what I had heard, if he had only been wearing his seat belt that night, he very likely could have walked away from the wreckage rather than it killing him instantly. This was confusing because there was no doubt in my mind that the “thought” I had “heard” was from my recently-deceased ex.

It came full circle earlier this week, nearly eight months after my Cancer ex was killed. I was at the police department in the town where he died, speaking face to face with the first responding police officer to the scene of the accident. I asked several questions about what transpired that horrible night. Through tears, I asked one last question:

“If he had worn his seat belt, would he have survived?”

The officer hesitated and thought hard before responding. “Well…maybe,” he relented. He then added, “I hate to say yes or no.”

“That bad?” I asked.

He nodded. “Yeah. Really bad.”

With those statements, the officer had unknowingly validated the message I received from spirit so many months earlier. The accident was so horrific, the damage to his vehicle so extensive, that even if my ex-Crab had worn his seat belt, there is a significant chance that he still wouldn’t have survived and if he had, he wouldn’t have simply walked away.

Looking down several feet into the drainage culvert where my ex-Crab lost his life in the early morning hours of New Year's Day 2013

Looking down several feet into the drainage culvert where my ex-Crab lost his life in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2013

A Deer In Headlights
While visiting the town last weekend where my now-deceased Cancer ex was killed, my current Cancer man and I decided to head over to the scene of the crash. It was exactly 0.5 miles and a two-minute drive from his home. Because it was a single vehicle accident and in the very early morning hours, there were — at least, as far as anyone knows for certain — no witnesses; therefore, whatever happened to cause his truck to leave the roadway and tumble down into a drainage culvert is pure speculation at this point. Now, I’m all too cognizant of the fact that we will probably never know exactly what transpired to set the accident in motion. But as we drove to the crash site, I silently pleaded with him to please, point me in a direction, give me a clue, just help me try to make sense of what happened.

My current Cancer and I parked in the parking lot adjacent to the site where the wreck occurred and walked the twenty or so feet down the grass so we could look down into the culvert where my ex-Crab’s truck ended up on its roof. Standing on the very ground where he went off the road and lost his life, it was unbelievably surreal; difficult to wrap my mind around the fact that it really happened right there. As we stood at the fence his truck barreled through, which had by then been replaced, we visually surveyed the area below. My current Cancer broke the silence by bringing to my attention the sound of leaves crunching.

“Look, check it out, there’s a big buck down there.” I looked just in time to catch a brief glimpse of a massive buck as he darted off and up into some thick brush, quickly disappearing from sight.

We continued to look around, taking note of the curb he would have had to go up to leave the road where he did, the curve and grade of the road itself , thinking out loud, bouncing possible scenarios off each other as to what could have ultimately led to him losing control of the truck and crashing. It still didn’t seem to add up.

A short time later, back at the home of my ex’s stepmother and younger sister at which we stayed during our visit — and also where my

What happened, Tom...why did you have to go...

What happened, Tom…why did you have to go…

ex had lived at the time of his death — my current Cancer and I sat on the front porch sharing a cigarette and rehashing our hypotheses. He mentioned the deer we had seen milling around for a few brief moments at the spot where my ex took his last breath.

And that’s when it hit me.

“Oh my god,” I told him incredulously. “I know what happened. I know why he went off the road. I can’t believe I didn’t see it while we were there!”

I then proceeded to tell my current Cancer how I had silently asked my ex-Crab for a clue or a sign that would explain what caused the wreck. “And then that huge buck was down there! Right where he died! The roads that night were wet. His tires were bad. He’s got no weight in the bed of his truck. He’s coming up that hill, around that curve, and a deer is in the road so he reflexively brakes or swerves to avoid it, or both…and he goes into a spin, sliding back down the hill and at this point, he’s now basically just become a passenger and there’s nothing he can do…and it’s up the curb, through the fence…and down into the drainage culvert.”

A feeling of peace and contentment washed over me. What I was saying didn’t feel at all like a theory or a guess. It felt like my ex had actually told me what happened. Speaking with the first responding police officer the following day and running the scenario by him, he confirmed everything I said, except for the presence of the deer in the road, which obviously can never be proven.

What are the odds that a random deer would be in that culvert, in the exact spot where my ex’s truck crashed, at the exact time we got there? I have no idea…but what I do know is that I had received the clue I had asked for.

A typical manifestation of the number 33 showing up

A typical manifestation of the number 33 showing up

Lucky Numbers
Shortly after my first ex-hubby passed away in January 2001, I began noticing something unusual. Looking back, I’m not entirely sure at what point I noticed a pattern and began recognizing it as a nod from spirit, but I do know that by April of that year I was quite aware of it. I started seeing a lot of instances of the number 33. Everywhere I turned, I saw the number 33: on receipts, digital clocks, license plates, road signs, phone numbers, you name it. I’d be driving and glance down at the clock, or my odometer, and there would be a 33. In the grocery store checkout, my total would have a 33 in it, or the change I was due would have a 33 in it. I’d pull up to a stop light and the license plate on the car ahead of me would have a 33 in it. I’d go to adjust the volume on the TV and the volume level number would be at 33. I could go on and on.

Granted, I can see how those could be easily dismissed. But then those 33s began to

Hello from David: A sticker with the number "33" which I found in a random dryer's lint trap at our Laundromat. Still think it's just coincidence? I NEVER did.

Hello from David: A sticker with the number “33” which I found in a random dryer’s lint trap at our Laundromat. Still think it’s just coincidence? I NEVER did.

pop up in places/situations that weren’t as easily explained. There was the time I stopped by the tanning salon after work only to discover their computer had crashed, so as customers showed up they were being assigned new member ID numbers, starting with 1. When it was my turn in line, the new member ID number assigned to me was — you guessed it — 33. I couldn’t have timed that to happen if I’d tried. When I began dating my current Cancer man in early 2003, I discovered that he was born at 8:33am. The first time I took a road trip up to visit him, the exit number was 33 and as we sat outside having a cigarette in his garage, there was a can sitting on a shelf with a giant number 33 emblazoned across the label. Now, the 33s that are connected somehow to my current Cancer man, I feel, is my Sadge ex-hubby’s way of indicating to me that the two of us being together is a good thing. A hat tip, if you will. In fact, my late Sadge ex and my current Cancer love were friends. And my ex-Sadge always thought really highly of my Cancer. I absolutely believe that were he alive today or had still been with us when my Cancer and I took our friendship up a notch to the romantic level, knowing himself what a stand-up, honorable guy my Cancer man is, he would have been more than pleased because he would’ve known without question that his children and I would be loved and protected.

These are just a few examples. The appearance of the number 33 continues to be pretty frequent to this day.

So, what’s the significance of the number 33? That was how old my Sadge ex-hubby was when he succumbed to cancer.

I can’t seem to see you baby…
Although my eyes are open wide
But I know I’ll see you once more…
When I see you, I’ll see you on the Other Side. ~ Ozzy Osbourne, See You on the Other Side

Thank You
As you might have already read in my post Suicide Solution: Friends To The End, my teen Taurus son’s best friend, an angst-ridden 17 year-old Piscean, committed suicide on September 4, 2013. His chosen method? Self-immolation. And in his suicide note, he instructed “P.S. Don’t bury me. Finish the cremation.” His devastated family did as Kevin requested, and a memorial service will be held for him on Saturday, September 14, 2013. Because my grief-stricken young Bull lives in Arizona, nearly 1,500 miles away from where the service will be held, he is unable to be there. Fortunately, I live much closer and it’s only a 350 mile drive for me. So I volunteered to go on my son’s behalf. This is particularly important because Kevin’s family has graciously offered to give my son some of his late best friend’s ashes, and I don’t think I need to tell you how honored and moved we are that his family thinks so much of my Taurus teen and his friendship with their beloved Kevin.

Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson

Last night, I decided to burn some new CDs in preparation for tomorrow’s road trip. I downloaded some new music and created a few new playlists. This was all pretty uneventful until I tried to play one of the playlists. Regardless of which song or artist I selected, what I heard instead were random tunes by Marilyn Manson. It’s true, I am a fan of The Manson and I do have several of his songs downloaded to my laptop. But none of those tunes were on that playlist. In fact, I don’t happen to have a playlist with any Manson on it whatsoever.

You're welcome, sweetie...

You’re welcome, sweetie…

Obviously, this was pretty annoying. As I was cursing aloud to myself several times over the course of trying to figure out what was going on, it dawned on me. Kevin was a huge Marilyn Manson fan. Was he acknowledging the fact that I will be traveling to his memorial service on my son’s behalf and bringing some of his ashes home with me to give to him? Was this his way of “thanking” me? I honestly don’t know. But what I do know is what happened next.

“You’re welcome, Kevin,” I spoke aloud, smiling.

And my playlist immediately began to play…normally.

All that lives, lives forever. Only the shell, the perishable passes away. The spirit is without end. Eternal. Deathless. ~ Nate AlexandriaLA1999Fisher, from the HBO original series Six Feet Under

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one who is quick to attribute every woo-woo thing that happens to me as being a sign or message from spirit. To the contrary, I am more likely to dismiss my own experiences as being figments of a wishful imagination than I am to dismiss the experiences of others. That said, however, there are several instances along with the ones I have just shared with you that I have been unable to discount or chalk up to an overactive imagination. I am convinced that death is not the end of our existence, but rather a transformation to a different level of consciousness.

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A Tale Of Two Cancers…And An Aries

I finally see the dawn arrivin’
I see beyond the road I’m drivin’…
Far away and left behind
Left behind. ~ Boston, Don’t Look Back

The three water Sun signs – Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces – are just about the most sensitive, wistful folks you will ever meet in Zodiac Land. They endlessly yearn for what once was, as well as what coulda-woulda-shoulda been. And as someone with a Pisces Ascendant, I can assure you that although it’s a pretty sweet concept, leaving the past in the past and forging ahead with tunnel vision is much more easily said than done.

This is in no way meant to imply that these highly emotional Sun signs (or the poor, unfortunate bastards like myself who are cursed with a water Ascendant or Moon) are totally incapable of appreciating today or looking forward to whatever the future has in store: we most certainly can, and we do. The thing is, we just tend to hang on a little more tightly to yesteryear than most folks.

Whether you are a follower of my blog or know me personally (lucky you!) you are no doubt aware that I am currently on my third

My current Cancer man & me on a weekend getaway to the casino... we look drunk cuz we WERE drunk... ;)

My current Cancer man & me on a weekend getaway to the casino… we look drunk cuz we WERE drunk… 😉

marriage/long-term relationship. Although my first two marriages obviously came to an end, I remained friends with both of my ex-husbands. Granted, I have three children with the slightly restless Sagittarius who was my first husband so staying in contact was a given, but being friends was definitely optional. And we were friends…until the day he died more than twelve years ago. However, my second husband — who was a hypersensitive Cancer — and I had no children together and we were under no obligation to speak to or see one another again, let alone remain friends. But we did. He helped me raise my three sprites, each of whom he loved as if they were his very own progeny and, although he lived a thousand miles away from us in the years following our divorce, he continued to have the kiddos up for visits for a month or two every summer. And over time, he also grew to become friends with my current Cancer love, which most people could never seem to understand.

And once again, if you are a friend or follower, you already know my former Cancer husband was killed on New Year’s Day 2013.

In the seven and a half months since the death of my ex, I have yet to visit the city where he was born and ultimately died. As excruciating as the grief has been while struggling with it from a distance, the whole experience has been somewhat abstract for me. I haven’t yet stood on the grass where his truck, for reasons which we’ve only been able to speculate, veered off the road, partially ejecting him and killing him instantly. I haven’t hugged his devastated stepmother, his siblings, or any of his other family. Nor have I received satisfactory explanations from police reports, which have only served to leave me asking more questions as to why his truck left the road in the first place. I need to be able to fully accept what has happened so that I’m able to heal more completely. I feel like, to do those things, I need to see and touch where he died…to find out why he died…and to hug the grieving family he left behind. To physically be there, to experience the tangible and confront the painful reality of it all.

closure

My current Cancer love wholeheartedly agrees and supports me in my desire to gain some measure of closure. So much so, in fact, that he and I will soon be taking a thousand-mile road trip in my quest for solace. I don’t have any illusions or expectations regarding how I will feel when I return home. I don’t believe that I will stand where he took his last breath or meet face to face with the investigating officer and experience a sudden epiphany, a moment of clarity where everything will come together like a jigsaw puzzle and make sense. Nope. Not for one second do I believe that. But I do feel that the simple, yet significant act of actually being there could be just the catharsis I need to be able to grieve — and in turn, heal — more fully.

Contrary to how this might sound, this need isn’t something that is being driven by my I-can’t-let-go Pisces Ascendant. It’s true that is usually the case, and it may in fact play a significant role in the reason I tend to stay in touch with people from my past, be it an old friend, a distant cousin, a former teacher…or an ex-husband. But the need for closure is an innate human desire, perhaps driven to some extent by my stubborn, pushy Aries Sun.

I feel incredibly lucky to have such an amazing, generous, supportive partner in my current Cancer man. I am well aware that a lot of men out there — and women too, for that matter, especially ones with a water Sun — would never be on board with something like this. They would probably feel threatened or insecure, feeling like their significant other shouldn’t be this torn up about the death of a former spouse, and would likely question the depth of those feelings, wondering and perhaps even accusing them of still being in love with their ex.

But not my Cancer cusp man. He is 100% secure in the fact that he alone is the only man with whom I am in love, the only man I can imagine spending the rest of my life with, the only man I want to spend the rest of my life with. I am truly blessed to have him and I never take that for granted. There is literally not a single day that passes where at some point I don’t think about how thankful I am for him, and I wouldn’t trade him for the world. However, the fact remains that a lot of people don’t understand any of this. They think that for me to be so crushed by my ex-husband’s death, I surely must still be in love with him and furthermore, they can’t believe my current Cancer man supports me in any of this…and not in a “wow-you’re-so-lucky-to-have-such-an-awesome-man” way, but rather in a “wow-he-must-be-a-complete-idiot-not-to-see-you’re-still-in-love-with-your-ex” way.

Several days ago, I posted a Facebook status about our upcoming trip, writing about how I need to do it to get some peace of mind, that I was looking forward to spending time with the family, how amazing my current Cancer man is to support me in my endeavor, how much I love him, and how very lucky I feel to have him. One of the responses to my status was from a pompous, know-it-all Leo whom I’ve known for 28 years. His comment?

“Lucky indeed. Your whole heart obviously still belongs to Tom.”

Wow. What a prick.

My wedding to my now-deceased former Cancer hubby

My wedding to my now-deceased former Cancer hubby

I was married to Tom, my late Cancer ex-hubby, for nearly seven years. We went through a lot together during that time, including the death of my Sadge first husband which was indescribably painful, not just for my three children but for me as well. And my Cancer ex loved my babies as much as I did. While he was driving my first ex-hubby to chemotherapy one autumn afternoon, my first ex elicited a promise from him that he would always be there for the kids, no matter what (that’s right: First Husband and Second Husband also came to be friends.) And you know what? He was. Until the day he died, my ex Crab kept that promise, even though he lived halfway across the country. He was never a candidate for Husband of the Year, but he was a phenomenal, hands-on father who truly had a heart of gold and a loving soul. And although there was simply too little compatibility for the husband-and-wife thing to succeed, we were great friends who deeply loved and cared for one another. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that if it had been me who was killed, he would have been just as devastated by my death as I am by his. It has zero to do with being in love with him or even wishing we had stayed married. It has everything to do with the love I had and always will have for him as the caring, decent human being he was…as a father figure to my children…as someone who will always be an important part of my life story…

…and as my treasured friend.

I realize that oftentimes, the “norm” is to carry around anger and bitterness toward an ex as if it’s the socially acceptable, or even the expected thing to do. However, I chose — as did both of my ex-husbands — not to do that (a point of interest here is the fact that both of my now-deceased ex-husbands as well as myself all have Aquarius Moons…and a Water Bearer values friendships like no other. But I digress…) Hating on an ex isn’t mandatory, yet so many people treat it as if it were, like we’re supposed to harbor grudges or a thirst for vengeance. And –gasp! — a current spouse/significant other actually liking and being friends with their partner’s former spouse/significant other? The repercussions could be catastrophic! We must alert the church elders!

Be careful what you think you know about someone; you’re probably wrong. ~ Dexter Morgan, from the Showtime original series Dexter

Why is it so difficult for folks to grasp the concept of former spouses not only getting along, but being friends? Where is it written that if someone cares that much about what happens to an ex, they must still be in love with them? Why is it such a big deal that we didn’t all vehemently hate each other? Is there a law somewhere stating that we are required to hold an ex in contempt and/or sever all contact with them, even without a legitimate reason to do so? Why is it so unfathomable that my former spouses actually liked and became friends with my current spouse, rather than wanting to beat each other’s asses to a bloody pulp? Why is it so unbelievable that two people who love one another are unable to have a successful marriage, but it just so happens they make great friends? Certainly it’s possible: the platonic, yet close friendships I shared with both of my former husbands are living proof. In addition, my current man was friends with both of my previous husbands. He has grieved both of their deaths, and furthermore, he too would like some answers as to what specifically caused my ex’s truck to bail off a two-lane, in-town road, down several feet into a drainage culvert, crushing him.  Just because such friendships might not be possible with some used-to-be couples doesn’t mean there’s an ulterior motive with those for whom it does work. And just because it might be wrong for their situation doesn’t make it wrong.

You know what I find difficult to understand? Those who reflexively harbor animosity toward an ex or a partner’s ex not because they did something to warrant such bitterness, but because that’s what they’re “supposed” to do.

Demi & Bruce & Ashton did it...why is it so weird that we did too?

Demi & Bruce & Ashton did it…why is it so weird that we did too?

Like I mentioned before, the arrogant Leo* douchebag who made the snarky comment implying that my current Cancer man is some kind of chump who I’m playing like a fiddle is someone I met when I was only thirteen. Prior to him finding me on Facebook a few years ago, I hadn’t even seen or spoken to him in nearly 25 years. And since then we’ve only had sporadic contact, primarily via an occasional comment on one another’s Facebook statuses. Additionally, we have never so much as exchanged a single private message. Yet, even with so little information on which to draw such a bold conclusion, he evidently feels qualified not only to profess his (albeit thinly-veiled) judgment of the situation involving two men he’s never even met, but to also tell me how I feel. And he couldn’t have been more wrong. Clearly, he is one of those people who simply don’t get it because he could probably never imagine himself being so open-minded with his wife. It’s okay if he — or anyone else — doesn’t get it. We do. And that’s what matters.

Besides, maybe it’s not for anyone else to get.

*The words “arrogant” and “douchebag” used to describe the Leo in question are not intended to be all-inclusive or apply to my feelings toward every Leo. Generally, I love Leos. This particular Leo…eh…not so much.

Obstacle Course: Saturn In The Signs

Rare NASA photo of Saturn in which Earth can be seen as a tiny blue dot just right of center, taken July 19, 2013

Rare NASA photo of Saturn in which Earth can be seen as a tiny blue dot just right of center, taken July 19, 2013

A multi-ringed gas giant and the sixth planet from the Sun, Saturn gets its name from the ancient Roman

The Roman god Saturn

The Roman god Saturn

god of agriculture who was also considered to be the god of time, among many other things. Saturday also derives its name from this god, as does the religious celebration Saturnalia in the Roman calendar, which was a festival of light leading to the winter solstice celebrated on December 17th. It rules the sign of Capricorn and, before the planet Uranus was discovered in 1781, it also ruled the sign of Aquarius. In astrology, it is traditionally associated with obstacles, limitations, structure, and restrictions as well as fathers/father figures and/or authority figures.

Because it takes 29.5 years for Saturn to complete one orbit of our Sun, it stays in the same zodiac sign for nearly two and a half years at a time before moving on.

Saturn has somewhat of a seriousness attached to it, and it loves to place roadblocks and obstacles in our paths at every turn. It makes situations much more difficult than they really need to be. However, Saturn is also a “teaching” planet, and the trials and tribulations Saturn inflicts upon us tend to teach us important lessons, (hopefully) resulting in our gaining of wisdom. The sign in which Saturn appears in an individual’s natal chart usually indicates the area in which the most difficulties or setbacks are encountered, not only in daily life but also in health. For example, someone with Saturn in Leo, which rules the heart, might be especially inclined toward issues with any number of related ailments such as high blood pressure, heart murmurs, or arteriosclerosis. (It’s also interesting to note that frequently, a birthmark can be found on the individual’s body part which is ruled by their Saturn sign: for instance, someone with Saturn in Aries could have a birthmark somewhere on the head or face, both of which are Aries-ruled. My Saturn placement is in Gemini, which among other things, rules the lungs and ribs. I have a sprawling birthmark across that area.) And because Leo is a very sociable, spotlight-craving sign, Saturn’s influence could manifest here as problems or setbacks surrounding the ego or self-confidence.

Saturn-afflicted Jack Tripper in a typical dilemma

Saturn-afflicted Jack Tripper in a typical dilemma

Personally, I like to think of Saturn as the “Jack Tripper of planets.” Hopefully, you know who Jack Tripper is. But for those of you who are tilting your head to the side, wondering aloud “huh?” as you’re reading this, let me take a second here to fill you in. From 1977 to 1984, there was a popular sitcom called Three’s Company. The show’s premise was a man sharing an apartment with two female roommates, a living arrangement which no one would think twice about today but, in those days, was pretty risque. The male roommate, hilariously portrayed by the late great John Ritter, was an aspiring chef/ladies’ man named Jack Tripper. And let me tell you, in addition to being a perpetual klutz, forever tripping, falling, hiding out from his assorted girlfriends’ overprotective/overmuscular older brothers or some hotheaded bully down at the Regal Beagle, that poor bastard seemed to constantly be up against some ridiculous obstacle in almost every situation imaginable. I suspect, had Jack Tripper been an actual person rather than a fictional character, the guy’s natal chart would have been seriously afflicted somehow in connection with Saturn.

Let’s take a look at the areas of your life in which Saturn most likely rears its ugly head. And as always, if you don’t know where your Saturn is, you can find out here.

SATURN IN ARIES
Aries is the first sign of the zodiac; the sign of self. Therefore, Saturn’s influence in Aries is to cause a struggle with self-confidence. Many times, the Saturn-Arien will have a nagging, negative inner voice trying to convince the person they’re unworthy in some way. The lesson here is to learn to silence that inner saboteur and stand tall, proud and confident of the person you are (I know, I’m sorry; I really wish I had something more profound for you but really…that’s pretty much the lesson with this one.) This Saturn placement can influence the natural leadership tendency of Aries to run amok, turning the native into either a power-hungry tyrant or to the other extreme, it can blunt that quality entirely, resulting in a native who is a silent follower.  It also encourages a Saturn-Ram to challenge authority, which can really cause you some headaches if you go about it the wrong way (meaning, in typical Aries fashion — impulsively running off at the mouth without thinking) and/or with the wrong people (your boss, the cops, etc.) And speaking of headaches, as a Saturn-Ram, you probably have lots of those, as the sign of Aries rules the head. It also rules the teeth (although some astrologers believe that Capricorn rules the teeth), so toothaches and other dental ailments are commonplace among these Saturn folks. Additionally, the likelihood of injuries to the head and face are increased, such as being prone to bumping one’s noggin a lot or even severe acne or rosacea on the face. My Cancer-cusp man has this placement and he has had significant dental problems and often struggled with feeling undeserving or worthy, although I’m happy to report that with age (he’s now 45), he has been able to achieve a higher level of self-acceptance and confidence, learning that it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of him, as long as he likes himself. And he does.

SATURN IN TAURUS
The sign of the Bull is extremely materialistic; therefore, Saturn’s influence here is to take an already-strong need for financial security and add some fairly frequent obstacles to obtaining it. The Saturn-Taurus will likely experience more ebbs and flows in their bank accounts than a steady bottom line. It can take many years for them to accumulate both the cash they want as well as the objects they desire. Money doesn’t fall into this one’s lap; instead, they’ll find they must work harder and longer than others to see monetary gain. Fortunately, the Saturn-Bull has the patience of a saint and is willing to do what’s needed to see their goals to fruition. The sign of Taurus rules the neck and throat, which can translate into problems with the thyroid, recurring issues with tonsillitis or strep throat, or perhaps more frequent bouts with laryngitis than the average person.

SATURN IN GEMINI
In the airy, communicative sign of the Twins, Saturn likes to manifest itself in the form of difficulties or obstacles in traveling, particularly on short trips (in astrology, a short trip is defined as one not requiring an overnight stay.) A Saturn-Gemini might experience more than the usual share of flat tires, check engine lights, dead batteries, or any number of other annoying delays. Gemini is the sign of communication, and Saturn is good at throwing up roadblocks in this area as well, from the of fear of expressing oneself all the way to having speech problems, such as a stutter. I have this Saturn placement and it’s only on a rare occasion when I manage to make it through a trip without a setback of one degree or another cropping up. I’m well-known for running out of gas (though this could be due to my Aries Sun, in its textbook impatience to reach a destination, causing me to ignore the low fuel indicator because “I’m sure I have enough gas to make it there before I run out”), getting lost in unfamiliar cities (I once drove nearly 50 miles in the wrong direction before subsequently realizing it and turning around), locking my keys in the car, and getting pulled over by the cops for various infractions, usually speeding (a hat-tip to my aforementioned impatient Aries Sun for that one as well.) As far as communication is concerned, I’ve been a wannabe freelance writer since the first day I grasped a crayon in my fat little two year-old fist…and here I sit, circa 40 years later, with my only published work being some articles in my sophomore and junior high school yearbooks on which I was a staff member, plus a letter-to-the-editor of a popular women’s magazine back in the spring of 2000…if those things even count. Gemini rules several upper body parts, including the arms (including hands and fingers), shoulders, ribs, lungs, and nerves which could show up in the individual as arthritis or a propensity to injuries in these areas, breathing issues, and a host of other possible conditions. As a native, I have chronic nerve pain (due to thoracic disk issues) as well as chronic bronchitis (and, in case it needs to be said, I blame the latter on my 27-year smoking habit, not Saturn’s placement in my chart.)

SATURN IN CANCER
Saturn has a profound effect on the sensitive, wistful sign of Cancer. The Crab desperately needs to feel secure in their relationships but ironically, Saturn’s influence — which imparts a clingy hypersensitivity to the personality — can cause those very relationships to dissolve. Saturn-Crabs have a particularly difficult time expressing their feelings to those they love because of a deep fear of rejection. Depression is common in individuals with this placement, and they find themselves needing frequent reassurance that they are cared for and simultaneously questioning the sincerity of that reassurance. The lesson here is, unless there is evidence to the contrary, to stop second-guessing possible underlying motives of others and simply accept this reassurance at face value, which will make life much more pleasant for not only the Saturn-Crab but also their partner. Saturn-Cancerians have a marked tendency to overeat in response to their emotions and are particularly prone to becoming not only overweight, but obese. The sign of Cancer rules the breasts, chest, and stomach and natives often experience digestive problems ranging from heartburn and nausea all the way to ulcers, gallbladder issues, or even pancreatitis.

SATURN IN LEO
Saturn’s effect when in the showy sign of Leo is to curb a lot of the usual traits we would normally expect of a Lion. A Saturn-Leo is much more subdued when it comes to self-expression, struggling with a lack of self-confidence in what they do. They require loads of extra accolades and reassurance, not unlike our Saturn-Cancerian friend, yet not quite to that degree. When — and only when — a Saturn-Lion feels safe to do so, they will open up and shine. These folks are forever young, having a youthful attitude well into their later years, which is an awesome thing but at the same time, it can restrict their career opportunities if they come across as too playful. In matters of the heart however, it’s serious business for Saturn-Leo, who needs to learn to loosen up a bit. My late Cancer ex-husband had this Saturn placement and with that influence in combination with his Cancer Sun, he was always seeking reassurance that he was loved and approved of, as if that reassurance was as vital to his well-being as breathing. Additionally, even by his own admission, he was a kid in a grown man’s body; during our marriage, I would often refer to him as my fourth child. The sign of Leo governs the heart and spine and Saturn’s influence here can predispose the native to cardiac-related conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or murmurs and back problems ranging from frequent run-of-the-mill muscle aches to painful disk conditions.

SATURN IN VIRGO
The sign of Virgo is the epitome of OCD and Saturn’s placement here doesn’t do the native any favors. A Saturn-Virgo will often come across as an overly critical, bossy, obsessive workaholic which can create an array of problems, especially on the job. One of the lessons for a Saturn-Virgin is tolerance and relaxation: take a deep breath, let it out…and know that it’s really okay to not nitpick every excruciating detail of every single thing they do. A particular point of interest here is that oftentimes with a Saturn-Virgo, there will be some mental or physical limitation that pushes the native to work even harder. This could be anything from being mildly dyslexic to having 14 fingers to being a full-blown quadriplegic. Whatever it is, in Saturn-Virgo’s mind, it raises the bar and they will push above and beyond their limits to compensate for it, if for no other reason than to prove to themselves that they can. This placement of Saturn often involves a person who feels like they are taken advantage of. Saturn-Virgins are frequently hypochondriacs and this doesn’t do anything to help their already-nervous temperament. Speaking of which, because the sign of Virgo rules the intestines, that nervous temperament can do quite a number on a Saturn-Virgo’s stomach; when they are worried about something, they’ll be repeatedly dashing to the nearest bathroom, if you catch my drift. One of my closest friends has Saturn in Virgo and one thing he will do is pace the floor for an hour with a furrowed brow, very obviously stressing on something while declaring, “I ain’t stressin’ on it.” Yeah, okay. Who are you trying to convince; yourself or me?

SATURN IN LIBRA
Libra is the sign of partnerships, equality, justice, relationships, and marriage. When Saturn is in Libra, it throws up obstacles for all those things. Have you been dating a Saturn-Libra for while now and you’re thinking about taking your relationship to the next level? Good luck and Godspeed, for Saturn’s influence on the object of your affection indicates that if you do indeed succeed at this, it’s gonna take a while. And for the love of all things sacred, don’t put any kind of pressure on them to make a decision quickly. It’s not because they don’t want to be with you; in fact, they really do! It’s just that the sign of Libra is already the most indecisive one in the zodiac and when you compound that mess with Saturn’s influence — which adds obstacles and limitations — you’ve got one helluva wishy-washy partner on your hands. Frankly, it’s exhausting to me just thinking about it. It’s insanely difficult for Saturn-Libra to commit, although deep down they honestly do want a solid, long-term commitment. I know, I know; it makes no sense…not even to the Saturn-Libran. The only thing I can think of that would be worse than being a Saturn-Libran would be being in a relationship with a Saturn-Libran. Physiologically, the sign of Libra rules the kidneys and lower back, so the native will be more prone to ailments involving both, such as urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and problems in the lumbar spine.

SATURN IN SCORPIO
Scorpio is one of the most, if not the most intense sign in the zodiac. The Scorpion is secretive, cunning, jealous, impatient, very demanding, and when crossed, can be extremely vindictive and unforgiving. And even if they do forgive, they never forget. A Saturn-Scorpion can hold a grudge for literally years, and Saturn’s lesson here is to teach the native that holding onto grudges and anger toward someone who has wronged them makes about as much sense as drinking poison and expecting the object of their hostility to die; their negative feelings have no effect whatsoever on the offending party — the Saturn-Scorpion is the one who suffers from it by their conscious refusal to just let it go. Another way Saturn influences the passionate Scorpion is to needlessly complicate things by instilling self-doubt and fears of inadequacy, which can result in the Saturn-Scorpion acting out in one or more of the aforementioned ways; by doing this, they don’t have to reveal their inner struggles which, to them, would cause them to appear vulnerable. Saturn’s lesson here is for the native to come to understand that they can effectively work through highly emotional issues privately without resorting to such extremes to keep things private. Additionally, they need to realize that not everyone is their archnemesis, just waiting for Saturn-Scorpio to let their guard down so they can attack. The sign of Scorpio governs the reproductive organs, the bladder, and the bowels. Because of this, Saturn-Scorpions are more prone to STDs, along with reproductive issues that might or might not affect fertility, prostate trouble (males), uterine fibroids or other problems with menstruation (females), colon polyps, and constipation.

SATURN IN SAGITTARIUS
This placement of Saturn is one of the few that, rather than solely placing obstacles or limitations on the native, favors more positive circumstances as well. A Saturn-Sadge is the quintessential knowledge-seeker of the zodiac. They have an unquenchable thirst for learning, and they want to know everything they can about everything they can. Saturn-Archers enjoy traveling and they especially love to incorporate learning experiences or education of some kind into their journeys. Additionally, they aren’t stingy with their knowledge and wisdom; they are more than happy to share what they’ve learned with others in hopes that they too will come to know the same enlightenment. Saturn-Sagittarians have an uncanny drive and motivation that is unparalleled by any other Saturn placement. However, one obstacle that Saturn tends to create here is a propensity toward cynicism and being too cerebral, which can result in somewhat of a closed mind. The sign of Sagittarius rules the hips, thighs, sciatic nerve, and the liver, predisposing the Saturn-Archer to muscle strains and sprains in these areas, painful sciatica, and a liver that is prone to hepatitis as well as being particularly sensitive to the effects of alcohol and drugs. My late Cancer ex-hubby’s mother, who is also now deceased, had this Saturn placement. She would drop everything at a moment’s notice if she was struck by a sudden urge to take a road trip (which happened frequently.) And although she wasn’t my favorite person in all the land (in fact, she was undoubtedly one of my least favorite), I can’t deny the fact that the cantankerous old lush had a determination and drive the likes of which I’ve never before — or since — seen; when she found herself at rock bottom — even homeless, living under a bridge at one point — she would stop at nothing in her quest to scratch, claw, and fight her way out of it. I have to admit, as much as I detest the thought of giving her kudos of any kind, it was a pretty impressive feat.

SATURN IN CAPRICORN
Saturn is in its dominion in Capricorn, meaning it is the Goat’s natural ruler. Therefore, when Saturn’s (or for that matter, any other planet’s) placement in the natal chart is in the sign it naturally governs, its influence on the individual is compounded. Saturn in Capricorn lends a certain amount of seriousness to the personality as well as a dry sense of humor, and someone with this placement probably frequently finds that they are easily overwhelmed by responsibilities or situations that wouldn’t faze a non-Saturn-Goat in the least. The native often has a strong sense of life being unfair, almost as if life were a schoolyard bully, singling the Saturn-Cappy out personally to make their days as difficult as possible. (Yes, I realize that is a rather vague generalization that could apply to most people, but a Saturn-Cappy feels this particularly deeply.) Saturn’s influence in the money-oriented sign of Capricorn also creates a need to keep up with the Joneses, as status and wealth are extremely important to them. Saturn-Goats are quite disciplined, hard workers who will patiently plod their way to the top. Saturn’s lesson to the native here is to remember to stop and smell the roses now and then. The sign of Capricorn rules the bones and skin (and some astrologers say the teeth, though I am one of the ones who feel differently.) Fractures, as well as all kinds of skin conditions including but not limited to acne, psoriasis, ringworm, and skin cancer are especially common and tend to be worse in folks with this Saturn placement. My oldest son is a Saturn-Cappy. In addition to a raging case of adolescent acne, he broke his first bone at barely four years of age in an unfortunate bunk bed incident with an unwieldy younger cousin, and he has had two more fractures since then, thanks to bike-riding stunts and skateboarding. Additionally, he is a worry wart who is so easily stressed out by relatively minor things that I actually feel sorry for the boy sometimes because he can’t seem to wrap his mind around the idea that it’s really okay to take a deep breath and relax, realize that not everything is as urgent as he perceives it to be, and trust that things will work out in the end.

SATURN IN AQUARIUS
Saturn has a curious effect when its placement is in forward-thinking Aquarius. Saturn’s restrictive nature turns the usually-very-open-minded Water Bearer into more of a closed-minded cynic who is fixated on their own unconventional ideas and uninterested in considering other points of view. Aquarius is traditionally known for being people-oriented, surrounding itself with many friends from all walks of life, and being one of the most adaptable signs in the zodiac, but Saturn’s limiting influence on the native creates difficulty in cultivating or maintaining friendships. This is usually caused by the previously-mentioned tendency toward closed-mindedness which Saturn’s influence inflicts. The lesson here is for the Saturn-Water Bearer to learn to concede, when appropriate, that their way is not always the best way, or even the only way. Aquarius is also a freedom-loving sign which some astrologers say is the least likely sign in the zodiac to marry and this Saturn placement can amplify that tendency, causing the native to be even more emotionally detached. The sign of Aquarius rules the lower legs, ankles, and — similarly to its polarity sign of Leo, which rules the cardiovascular system — the circulatory system, predisposing the native to fractures, cuts, or bruises on the calves and shins and ankle breaks or sprains, as well as deep vein thromboses (a.k.a. DVTs or blood clots).

SATURN IN PISCES
One of the three water signs in astrology, Pisces is highly intuitive and extremely sentimental. If you have followed my blog, you might recall that my Ascendant is in Pisces and oh lord, it’s caused me a lot of grief. Remember how as a child, when you wanted to make it clear you were ignoring someone, you would cup your hands over your ears and chant loudly, “Lalalala, I can’t hear you, lalalala…”? That sums up and illustrates the Pisces motto quite nicely. I often refer to the rose-colored glasses which are a staple in the Piscean wardrobe, as they prefer to see only what they want to see and hear only what they want to hear. Saturn’s effect when in Pisces is to increase this selective seeing/hearing, resulting in the native living in perpetual denial. Pisces is strongly drawn to the past, often finding themselves dreamily longing for people they’ve loved and lost, places they’ve visited, and experiences they’ve enjoyed. Once again, yes, I am aware that this is a broad statement that certainly isn’t exclusive to Saturn-Pisceans, for most people at one time or another wistfully reminisce about these same things. But the difference between most people and a Saturn-Pisces is that folks with this Saturn placement do this to the extreme, seemingly stuck in the past, which creates an inability to fully live in the present and appreciate today which, over time, can be quite emotionally unhealthy. There is a saying that goes, “If you keep looking back at your past, you’re going to trip over your future,” and I firmly believe every Saturn-Piscean should jot that down on sticky notes and plaster them all over the house in conspicuous places as constant reminders. The sign of Pisces rules the feet, and many natives love to go barefoot, which gives a tendency toward injuries of the feet as well as predisposes them to conditions running the gamut from corns to bunions to calluses to ingrown toenails to gout to fractures. They also experience more than their fair share of stubbed toes.