Old As the Hills
This aspect, exact on 23rd February, speaks of wisdom seeded by the refining of the self. The sharp corners and rough edges of the ego which block and disrupt our lives, are smoothed in the recognition that life takes shape aside from our desires and rewards received along the way may come not in the form of dreams realised but eternal wisdom gained. Saturn here speaks of Athena, goddess of wisdom and justice. Her symbol is the owl, an unusual and mysterious bird whose haunting cry typifies the human fascination with and fear of darkness and the truths it may contain. At the time of this square Asteroid Athena is in Pisces speaking of harvest and reward for a long season of labour. We are the labourers to whom she speaks and our life the fields in which we toil. We plant here, trim there, dig here, reap there. Some of what we sow falls on fallow ground and some in rich, soft soil inviting to roots. We may feel our labours are lost to the elements, forever battling against forces more powerful than we can bear, and yet as we continue on the smallest of green shoots begin to peek through the soil and the promise of a fertile future whispers on the breeze.
It is those whispers reaching us now. Despite the fact that traditionally speaking this aspect is something of a trial, I simply don’t feel that this time around, with Neptune softening the Sun and the more brittle aspects of ego to assist with Saturn’s reshaping, and the Venus / Mars conjunction bringing us into a state of wholeness. Whilst this may be a time of challenge at one level, it is also a time of surrender born of wisdom which knows that the universe is simply wiser then we are – end of – and resisting its embrace is only ever resisting ourselves. Athena’s owl flies beside us now, inviting us into its realm of darkness with its piercing gaze and sharpened senses ready to respond to the softest rustle of truth in the blackness. We are safe now, no matter the tests and trials that await. Our willingness to be consumed by the darkness renders it a fertile void not a threatening one. And our feathered companion at our side already knows everything awaiting our discovery. She is old as the hills and wise as the heavens, as are we deep down at our core, a knowing the heavens seek to reawaken now.
This felt sense of our own ancient presence is a powerful reminder that, to quote a recent heavenly theme, we are not who we think we are. While people worry about ageing and undertake all manner of steps to arrest its progress, in truth we are all of us ancient and timeless, an infinite presence born outside of time, never to die. We should wear our wrinkled, ancient souls with pride not lose them amidst the modern day obsession with youth and the fear that life may just be passing us by faster than we can possibly live it. We are spiritual fossils, not calcified in a stony grave but imprinted with timeless wisdom which can never be erased. Everything that we need to know (to know everything that we need) is within us right now. Athena’s owl invites us to listen with the heart, to bring our stillness to the inner voice which whispers truths so subtle we may lose them if we grasp for words to make them real.
Hope lives here, in this state of inner listening where we are open to receive truths which may not satisfy the ego but which resonate deeply with our soul. This is a place not of personal fulfilment but of collective grace in which we can each drink from the well of sacred knowledge to refresh our parched and thirsty lives, and in doing so connect with all throughout the ages who have done the same. This well is and has always been in great demand, and yet it is bottomless and overflowing with the purest wisdom we can know. Whenever we visit we are there alone in the silence, and yet connected with all beings throughout time and space. We drink for us. We drink for them. We drink for Mother Earth herself and as we do so we know that nothing surpasses sacred truths no matter how deep the challenges we face.
This alliance between Saturn and the Sun will make some people flinch but there is nothing to fear. Listen for the plaintive cry of Athena’s owl in the darkness and remember that we are in the company of wisdom every moment of every day. It is timeless and infinite, within and without, awaiting our gaze to whisper its many truths into our lives.