Please indulge my love of astrology. I’ll do my best to make it worth your while! My astrological Ascendant, sometimes called the Rising Sign, is Capricorn. Each zodiac sign is ruled by a planet. Saturn is the planet that rules Capricorn. Therefore, Saturnalia is a pretty big deal for me, and I hope it is for you as well!
Saturn is a big deal… a really big deal.
Saturn is the second largest planet. It is best known for its seven rings. According to NASA, one year on Saturn is equivalent to 29 Earth years! However, Saturn spins so quickly on its axis that one Saturn day lasts only about 10 hours.
The ancients were fascinated by this planet as well. As they studied it, they noticed specific qualities were more prominent in people depending upon the Saturn’s placement in the sky. That is how a planet goes from being a purely scientific observation to an archetype.
Think about something you have done this past year that required effort, diligence, and fortitude to complete. Those qualities are all associated with Saturn! That is how you are harnessing Saturn’s energy to mold and shape your life. In yoga we call this energy tapas.
Burn discipline! Not burn-out!
Tapas means “burning discipline”. Discipline is important! It helps us to focus and channel our energy toward things that we would like to achieve. However, if our discipline burns for too long it will burn us out like a snuffed candle! That is why festivals such as Saturnalia are so important. They remind us that we must take time to restore and rejuvenate in order to avoid becoming completely depleted.
In ancient Rome, the usual day-to-day business ceased during Saturnalia. The normal functioning of society was completely uprooted during this week-long festival. People decorated, gave gifts, and, of course, indulged in food and drink. Even the servants were allowed to participate in the festivities. In fact, the masters served the servants!
You did it!
Santosha is the practice of contentment. It balances the burning discipline of tapas. Both are important to live harmoniously. This week, think about something that you achieved this past year. Recall the effort, discipline, and hard-work it took to manifest it. Thank yourself for the ways you honored Saturn’s energies of patience, diligence, and fortitude as you saw your accomplishment through from birth to fruition. Then, take time to not only appreciate, but truly enjoy the fruits of your labor.