When I first started my journey to search for the purpose of my life and my earthly existence more than a decade ago, I was so eager to forge forward and wanted to complete my spiritual development as quickly as possible. I never could have imagined or expected the spiritual path on the metaphysical level to be as difficult and as slow a process as I have come to experience. It requires patience, courage, determination and perseverance. The sign and location of the planet Saturn in our natal chart is where we will experience a lot of hard learning, testing, trials and tribulations.

As I have written in my previous articles, I have just finished my 2nd Saturn Return. And now, the transit Saturn in Sagittarius has just exited my 12th house, crossed my ascendant and is now forming a conjunction with my natal Sun in the 1st house. Transit Saturn crossing the ascendant into my natal 1st house represents a new beginning of internal growth. This is the time to turn inward and restructure myself wherever necessary. The energy is pushing me to focus inward on my internal world rather than focusing on the external world around me. In other words, this is a time of introversion and introspection. The more I get in touch with myself from the depths of my being during the next few years, the more successful I will be in the future.

During this period of introspection, I have to ask myself who I truly am? What do I really want and need? What have I learned about myself over the last several years? Do I understand who I am in my own terms and not in other people’s perspective? In my introspection, I have to look back on the life lessons that my natal Saturn has presented to me in this incarnation.

In my natal chart I have Saturn in Scorpio in conjunction with Venus in Scorpio in my 11th house of hopes, wishes and dreams. Saturn is a strict teacher, it teaches self -discipline, responsibility, perseverance, determination, patience and practicality through facing fears, hard work and overcoming obstacles and challenges. Venus is the planet of love, money, pleasure, beauty, harmony and balance. They both are also in stress aspect with my natal Moon in Gemini. You may ask what this astrological configuration mean?

Well, from looking at my present life experiences and the awareness of my past lives, my understanding so far is that in this lifetime the arena of human relationships and personal love will be full of challenges and lessons for me to learn from. My hopes, wishes and dreams of anything I love or yearn to be successful at I will be severely tested. I will experience many trials and delays until I have learned the lessons taught by Saturn and Venus.

Looking back on my life, everything that I have hoped, wished and dreamed for has only been achieved through personal struggle and hard work. Feelings of failure, rejection, feelings of being unwanted and unloved have followed me throughout my life. I used to believe that life was absolutely unfair to me because I could not depend on anyone or anything for luck, happiness or success. I learned to hold back my tears, bite my lip and focus my being on keeping myself together to endure through whatever challenges or obstacles were placed in my path; even if I wanted to cry. I am not sure how, but I just swallowed the tears and found the inner strength within myself to keep going. In order to not feel weak and vulnerable, I was very hard on myself to the point of emotional deprivation. I learned to focus, to discipline myself, to work hard, to be responsible for whatever I was doing. In this way, I became to depend on only myself and to be self-reliant so that I was able to survive in the game of life. I married not because of love, but because I did not want to be the target of gossip. I changed my job frequently once I achieved what I termed success because I was afraid of failure.

On the subconscious level, I believed that love, security, and comfort were scarce commodities that could be withdrawn from me at any time. I did not let others know my needy and insecure feelings about my worth. I hid all of my needs for love and affirmation behind a mask of cool indifference, but I was mentally obsessive and compulsive while also being passive or aggressive depending on the circumstances. I developed a tendency of perfectionism. I was very strict and insensitive to my own needs as well as others around me. I was also very sensitive to criticism and blame even when none was intended. I literally took things very personally and even though I did not show it, I was very easy hurt.

As a result, no matter how successful I was, how much others valued me or praised me, I had persistent underlying feelings of sadness and loss without recognizing their source. I used to feel the heaviness in my heart and lungs all the time as if my heart was made by stone and my lungs were compressed. I always felt lonely and an outsider no matter how many people were around me, no matter what group I was in or any job I had.

I lived with this mentality and emotional repression for most of my life without realizing what I was doing to myself until I came to live in India with Margaret, Alan and Ratna in 2013. My daughter Korinne joined us a year later in 2014 when I was in my 2nd Saturn Return.

Living in India has taken me away from all activities I used to do – money, material possession, work, duty, friends, and all things that my Self could keep me occupied and busy. It is in these living condition and environment that I have been forced to look at my life and myself introspectively with honesty. I have had to meet myself head-on, face-to-face with no means of escape or excuses. The many sleepless nights of mental restless and excruciating physical pain have clearly shown me that I must make radical change and the change must come from deep within me.

Whenever I woke up by physical pain, I had to go within to connect with that part of my body and ask it the question, “what is this about and what emotion is it related?” It is always connected to the repressed emotions, mainly my fears, unexpressed anger, deep rooted guilt and shame, jealousy, and pride, from both past lives and my current life. I then asked myself, “why did I bury such deep and intense emotions and not let them go?” The answer always comes down to low self-esteem, feelings of not good enough and unworthy.

As I looked at myself from within, I saw a dark, ugly, stupid, unkind, unloving and unlovable woman, who was filled with so much anger and hatred towards herself. A woman who was so scared, fearful and insecure and who was trapped and screaming in the darkness, but couldn’t find a way out.

It is in this state of being, with honesty and directness that I started to understand the role of the planet Saturn. To finally comprehend and grasp why I have chosen to place it in the sign of Scorpio and in conjunction with Venus in Scorpio located in my 11th house of hopes, wishes and dreams in my natal chart. Saturn shows me that all my fears, insecurities, negative thought patterns and repressed emotions are self-imposed restrictions.

Saturn is forcing me to squarely face up to my greatest and deepest intensive fear of my own shadow and darkness, so that I can work with these patterns, learning to let go of all my self-imposed restrictions, to nurture and care for myself. Above all, facing my major lesson for me in this lifetime which is opening and healing of my heart with self-forgiveness, self-acceptance and cherishing myself, regardless of my flaws and supposed past errors. Therefore, the period of living in India gives me time to be quiet and contemplative so that I can embrace the process of healing and nourishing myself. I need to develop great compassion towards myself. Once I start to value myself, I then can see all the positive changes through the reflection of all my personal relationships with others.

Saturn keeps his promise as long as I take full responsibility to work on the lessons he is teaching me. The lessons I learn help me to find order, structure and security in my life. This is where my inner peace and happiness will be obtained. I am humbled and honored to work under the guidance of the planet Saturn. I am eternally grateful for having this unique opportunity to work on myself spiritually.