Follow the Recipe

As manifesting Saturn travels through perfectionist Virgo, it is time to take Leo's playful creativity and turn it into something useful, reliable and polished. The trick is to follow the path one step at a time.

Saturn is in Virgo from 1919-1921, 1948-1951, 1977-1980, 2007-2010 and 2036-2039. Before each of these periods, Saturn is in Leo where the energy of that sign aims to fuel identity, creativity and self-expression. However, Saturn goes through that sensitive sign with pruning sheers, cutting away all the bits that were getting in the way of new growth and self-awareness. Not exactly anyone's idea of a good time!

As a result, it might seem like a relief for Saturn to move out of Leo but Virgo brings its own challenges that might seem contrary to our Leo nature as well. The good news is this placement can be very rewarding if you know how to work Saturn's system.

Archetypally, Virgo is about taking that inspired Leo creativity and making it more predictable and reproducible. If we want to be able to use and stabilize what is created in Leo, we need to understand how it is put together, what makes it tick, and how to create it again without having to go through the arduous process of creative originality every single time.

What we need is a formula!

Now: this may sound like a fate worse than death to a creative person, but it is a "necessary evil" if we are to bring our creations beyond the raw creative process. In Virgo we take the creative, innovative and expressive and make it useful, practical and perfected. The creative process becomes a means to an end, rather than an end in itself (as it is for Leo).

It is Saturn's nature to always have an agenda; it wants to accomplish something specific. It devises a plan to get from "here" to "there" and achieve the expected results. Saturn is nothing if not practical, structured and organized, and when the Saturn part of us sets its sights on a goal, it gives us the ability to achieve that goal. To do this, we must "play by the rules" and do whatever needs to be done. We must take responsibility for making sure that we take the steps that are necessary to get from "here" to "there."

In Virgo, Saturn's agenda is about perfecting and organizing what we do, so that it will move us closer to our desired goal and make our efforts more efficient and effective. In order to bake a particular type of cake, it is important to follow the recipe precisely. Too much flour, too little baking powder or substituting a different ingredient means we won't wind up with the cake we set out to make. It might still be tasty — or it might be completely inedible! Following the instructions is essential to maximize the chance of getting the intended result.

Virgo understands this, and so does Saturn. In that sense, they are very well matched as a planet-in-sign combination. They both understand that in order to reach your goal, it is essential to be precise and pay attention to the details—the ingredients and measurements of your recipe for success. This involves skill, dedication, clear thinking, organization and determination, which both Saturn and Virgo have in plenty.

Under Saturn in Virgo, you can achieve a lot and make major progress in whatever direction you point yourself in. But the price of this success is that you need to let go (to some extent) of the Leo urge to live by inspiration alone, and instead dedicate yourself to following the strict rules and guidelines necessary to achieve predictable results.

If you are someone who enjoys an ordered universe, who likes to know what is expected and have a well-structured path to follow, then Saturn in Virgo will feel relatively comfortable, even though it will still challenge you to move beyond your usual comfort zone. Saturn in Virgo could feel like you're finally getting your ducks in a row (instead of feeling like you're herding cats!) Your goals can finally be within reach, as long as you stick to the designated path and keep your expectations practical and realistic.

On the other hand, you might be a creative or inspired kind of person who lives to explore life as you find it and be free to choose a different direction when you find something that catches your fancy. In this case, Saturn in Virgo may feel rather boring, uninspired or bureaucratic. There's an old saying that when fishermen can't go out to sea, they mend their nets. This is a good time to sharpen your skills and tend to the practical side of your creativity. When Saturn goes into Libra (in late 2009) you can start to apply those skills in new ways.

Saturn transits can be rather, uh, "challenging" (she said diplomatically).

Saturn can certainly help you achieve results, but you'll work hard to get there. If you have major planets or points in Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces or Gemini, you are likely to feel Saturn in Virgo in a more strenuous way than others. In particular, this includes having your natal Sun, Moon or Ascendant in any of those signs.

Saturn in Virgo can also be a task master! But it will also reward you if you work hard. Virgo knows the value of hard work and enjoys the feeling of satisfaction that can come from a job well done.

However, this can't just be work for its own sake—there needs to be some higher purpose in it. If you don't have one, find one. You need to find something worthwhile to dedicate yourself to or else you risk feeling like nothing more than an exploited workhorse. Saturn's agenda of autonomy will say it's important to find your own reasons for doing whatever you do. If you are doing someone else's "thing" rather than your own, then find your own reasons for going through the motions.

On the other hand, Virgo will say that selfless service to others is a very worthy use of one's time and energy, and that doing something for your own reasons is best done to make yourself into a better person, not to bolster your ego.

You might find you can tolerate an unpleasant task if you frame it in terms of providing service to someone or something that you consider valuable or important. Just be careful not to allow yourself to be used or manipulated into going against your integrity and your own purposes for the sake of an ideal. Remember that even when you are in service to something beyond yourself, you are still an important part of the equation.

There will probably be times when Saturn in Virgo makes you feel like you're pulling oars on a slave ship going "who knows where." But there will be other times when you will likely feel like you've found the right track and are chugging along it, going places and feeling the satisfaction of progress. If you listen closely, you will hear both of these energies reminding you that one is not complete without the other—hard work and achievement.


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