It's always Saturn.
It is only fitting that the new website is a Capricorn. It’s the repository for the results of the daily commitment to our work and the identification through it. It’s the structure. It’s the box I made on the Internet to eschew boxes.
You might even call it the old-fashioned Protestant of the Zodiac–if you were me making a point about work ethic and mostly knew about astrology by being in proximity to more serious-minded astrologers. Then you'd have to be careful to distinguish between somber, severe, hardworking, old Puritan types and the bigoted, jingoistic evangelists that somehow dominate our literal and political landscapes in the US, but I suppose that’s another conversation. One has a Capricorn vibe, and the other is frankly too shitty a brand to saddle onto an unsuspecting constellation.
Our contributor, Pat Kelly, is a Capricorn, and he's obsessed with watches. You'll see why that matters later. I myself am a Capricorn rising, which means my chart is ruled by Saturn, which might explain why it’s always fucking Saturn.
At this point I should probably let you know that I will not be writing about astrology per se. Sorry kids, Capricorn was a trick, a vehicle crossing a bridge to the real meat of the situation, an exploration of my own magical paranoia about Saturn himself. If you’re into astrology but not into the broader field of Western Occultism and magic, just try really hard not to fall out of your chair raising your hand to tell us where the planets actually are at any given time, Hermione. If you are into magic, just bear with me; this explanation might be tedious.
When I say it’s always Saturn, I am referring specifically to planetary hours. Planetary hours are a horological system based around the particular day of the week and have nothing to do with where planets actually are at any given moment. If you speak a Latinate language, it may be more immediately obvious to you that each day of the week belongs to a planet. If you speak English as a first language, it’s obvious that a couple days belong to Hellenistic planet gods and a couple belong to Norse gods and absolutely no one outside a linguistic history podcast is ever going to explain why.
But for funsies, let’s assume you’re either not American or your American school at least covered some of the very basics of Spanish or French, maybe in a Muzzy video when recess was rained out one day.
Monday = Lunes/Lundi = Moon
Tuesday = Martes/Mardi = Mars
Wednesday = Miercoles/Mercredi/ = Mercury
Thursday = Jueves/Jeudi = Jupiter
Friday = Viernes/Vendredi = Venus
Saturday = Sabado/Samedi = Saturn
Sunday = Domingo/Dimanche = Sun
Planetary hours are calculated for a day using sunrise and sunset times to divide the day into 24 segments, but unlike the classic 24 hours you’re used to, the length of each of these segments is going to vary depending on the time of year. You basically need 12 day hours between sunrise and sunset and 12 night hours between sunset and sunrise. So in winter, dividing the length of night will result in longer segments of time than dividing the length of day, and in summer, day hours will be longer than night. On the Equinox, you will have day and night hours of the same length.
The first hour corresponds to the planet that rules the day. For instance, today is Wednesday. Wednesday belongs to Mercury, so the hours begin with him. The hours then cycle through the rest of the planets and repeat until sunrise the next day. Don’t get hung up on the order of the days of the week, though. That’s not the order the planets cycle through. That would be WAY TOO OBVIOUS. Instead, they go in the order they seem to appear if you’re standing on the Earth assuming it’s the center of everything. That order is:
To provide a concrete example, today is Wednesday, so it belongs to Mercury. The sun rose at 7:27AM, thus initiating the Mercurial hour. The sun will be setting at 4:46PM, so we have about 9.25 hours of daylight. When you divide that by 12, you get hours of only about .75 hours as your increments for the day. That means the Moon hour started at 8:14AM, and the planets arrive in 47 minute increments till sunset.
Tomorrow’s sunrise is around the same time, so we’re looking at night hours lasting around 1.25 hours. We happen to be at the Sun hour at sunset on a Wednesday, and we stay there from 4:46PM to 6:00PM. We continue rotating through planets till sunrise at 7:28AM, which means we leave off at Saturn and begin Thursday. Jupiter takes over, and we proceed.
Ok, phew. I am NOT a big math guy. I mean, I can do it, but explaining that took a lot out of me, not to mention that I noticed while explaining it that it was, guess what time? SATURN O’FUCKING CLOCK. Honestly, I learned how to do this at a real life in person conclave of living Gnostic Christian priests, and I can give my Capricorn rising all the credit for overcoming my distaste for math long enough to pay attention to a new way to nail abstract things like time onto concrete organizational structures. Of course it’s Saturn time; he fucking loves this kind of shit. If you don’t love this kind of shit, there are multiple apps that calculate the hours for you based on your location, and I recommend them for your sanity.
As you can probably infer by the fact that it’s 24 hours divided by 7 planets, we’re actually only looking at a Saturn hour three times a day, maybe four depending on the day. This is where I just have to admit that I am suffering from the Baader-Meinhoff phenomenon or frequency illusion. It can’t always be Saturn. It just feels like it’s always Saturn because I don’t notice or care when it’s Venus or Sun or Moon. (Like, honestly, it’s almost never Moon. I probably just ignore it because I am completely bereft of Water which is a whole other story.)
So why would it ever even matter that it’s Saturn? Or any time for that matter? Specifically, if you practice ritual magic or you want some juju (ahem, positive enhancing energy like Jupiter) behind an intention, you can use the hour to align with the right qualities. You don’t have to believe in real supernatural forces to believe that focusing on certain things will help achieve certain goals. Just like crystals don’t have to have real magic properties to help you calm down and zodiac and tarot might just be really good tools for exploring your psyche rather than divining future events. (Don’t worry my woo woo loves; I’m not saying they don’t. I’m just saying they don’t HAVE to.) So if you’re looking for the courage to ask that beautiful boy you like on a date, why not ask him during a Venus hour on a Friday? Maybe just thinking about it will make you more confident, and definitely being more confident will make you more attractive, and now you’ve maximized your chances of getting what you want, whether or not you believe real Venus Aphrodite is smiling down on your sweet union.
Here is where, if you are into astrology, there is overlap between this Chaldean system and your sense of the cosmos. The qualities each planet represents remain the same across the systems, and these all go back to the mythology in which they are grounded, which is archetypical and so deeply rooted within collective consciousness that questions of “real” or unreal are completely irrelevant. Mercury is Mercury is Mercury. He is the messenger god, and he represents flow and movement, both within physical space and between minds in the form of communication. That’s why it makes perfect sense that Mercury the element is a weird liquid metal.
Saturn matters because he’s kind of a scary dude to feel like is always hovering over you. He’s also THE scary dude always hovering over you. He represents boundaries, limitations, rules, and structure. He's also synonymous with the Titan, Kronos, from whom we derive the word for time. He’s the ultimate dad. In gnosticism, he is often associated with the demiurge, who, for the sake of not belaboring this already very lengthy post, I will describe as the governing personality of our material existence which separates us and prevents us from realizing the unity of all things. He is mortality itself, a finite lifespan in a finite physical body. And for all that, Saturn is kind of amazing. He’s important. We’d be a mess without him. But when we feel sequestered, we start to panic. When we feel limited, we feel helpless. When we measure and structure our lives in tight formation, we create a very real possibility that we won’t meet our own or the world’s expectations. If we are afraid to move beyond the lines from time to time, we cannot grow.
Saturn offers different people different lessons. For people like me, Girl Scouts who rarely met a rule they didn’t like, that lesson can be that human rules are not universal rules, and the two often conflict. Organizing principles aren’t moral imperatives, and for me, Saturn is actually about toning down my own severity. For bad boys who spent their school days in detention, Saturn might be dragging you the other direction–he might send you over to his friend Mars at the old military barracks to learn how to conform.
When I started noticing it was always Saturn, it was really always Saturn, not just whenever I glanced down at the hour on my phone. It kicked off after I had a dream in which I was attending some kind of sunrise service in a church gym and I saw the planetary symbol for Saturn (which looks more or less like a scythe) taking up the entirety of one wall. When I started looking around for the other planets, I realized they weren’t there. In my waking life, he kept showing up. For one thing, it JUST occurred to me that there might be any significance to the fact that I have been married for YEARS to a man with a tattoo of the Saturn symbol directly in the center of his shoulders. Am I literally Neo following some rabbit through the Matrix? Out of nowhere, my Instagram algorithms began offering me art collages in which Saturn looms over the scene. I didn’t “like” them, but I must have lingered because they kept coming and coming. Soon after, my mother-in-law began wearing a nose ring in the shape of Saturn’s scythe. She’s a magical person, and I am sure she has her own reasons, but the timing was uncanny. An episode of my favorite podcast went off-book and introduced me to a conspiracy theory about Saturn and the simulation. (Honestly that one pulled me out of the danger zone of developing any genuine paranoia because it was multiple bridges too far to entertain while still maintaining a reasonable life in the world.)
Let’s just say, conspiracy theories aside, if we are living in a simulation, Saturn is both its architect and architecture, and he routinely invites us to have a good laugh about that with him, in my case by showing up literally and directly everywhere I look. I recommend showing him our appreciation. Instead of focusing on restriction, focus on personal boundaries. Instead of focusing on confinement, focus on safe spaces. Instead of focusing on limitations, focus on order. Don’t focus on the dwindling of hours in life; embrace the infinite expanse of the present moment. We can grieve our spiritual crucifixion onto the material plane or we can sing our gratitude for the chance to be alive and breathing and separate so that we might appreciate each other. After all, Dad just does it because he loves us, or, if nothing else, he loves himself, and the ultimate expression of that love is living through his children.