I’ve been thinking about Saturn and Venus in an astrotheological context, and considering the archetypes present in culture.
In the Avengers movies, Thanos is Saturn. His character originates from Titan, a moon of Saturn. He wants to bring order and balance to the universe, like Saturn, and he will kill his children to do so.
Gamora is Venus, green like new life, alluring and deadly like nature. Saturn must kill life to create order. When his task is finished, he is killed by Thor, the Sun god. Of note, Thor has lost his eye, like his father Odin did for wisdom, and also like Horus.
Here is the Thoth Tarot card of the Universe, followed by stills from Avengers: Infinity War. The imagery of the woman contending with Saturn, crushing the head of the snake, foreshadows the use of time travel to defeat Thanos. Gamora is resurrected by time travel, at the cost of her love for Quill and redemptive arc. Without graves, there would be no resurrection, to quote Nietzsche.
Death is the secret of life. These are ideas I’ve been playing with lately, like in this poem, “Die Daily.” I learned on Monday that I failed my board exam, and that my months of effort had been fruitless, while everyone else in my class passed. I’m going through the grief process, and reconciling myself to retaking it in June, after some intense, transformative study.
I decided to get an apartment near my work, and live apart from my wife and three children for the next three months while I study. It will save me a ninety minute commute daily, and allow me to do what I need to. I can’t help but feel like I’ve let them down. It’s wrenching to think about my kids without me.
But the core of Saturn, Death and order, is diamond. The rain on Saturn is diamonds. Link to article. Extreme pressure turns our dirt into beauty.
Further thought on Saturn and Venus; this passage makes me think that Jesus was Venus to the apostles, and his father was Saturn:
John 15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
The bright boy with problems got separated from his group. He’s alone in a dark tunnel in the frozen winter. I don my winter gear and proceed into the tunnel to attempt a rescue without scaring him off.
The girl is the daughter of the sister, not the mother. The sister warms to her daughter.
Young lovers laugh. The father returns to put an end to what he thinks is mockery, but is actually not about him at all. He drives a nail into the young man’s back though his shoulder armor.
I think of what a relief it would be to have a nail driven into my back.
My program requested a few sentences for their alumni newsletter about my time with the program and memorable experiences. My brain being what it is, I can only think of snide quips. Here are some:
“Did you always want to help people? Ha ha! We own you now. Prepare to help people so much that you feel like a piece if shit all the time as you shovel the endless snow piled in front of you in a vain attempt to reconnect with your original motivation and purpose. Do you like feeling like a machine? Get used to it!”
Ok, more words there than I expected.
“Did you take a career in medicine in a Batman-like attempt to cancel out your own trauma and loss by helping and protecting others in your same situation? Well, I hope you like putting bandaids on gaping wounds and a full frontal experience of agony and misery from people who you’ll struggle not to identify with.”
“Remember TV shows like House, MD? Remember how you wanted to feel smart, essential, and rich? Guess what? Money means nothing to you. You feel stupid all the time, everywhere, at everything. People need you, but there’s lots of other doctors. You’re just a white coat and a name on their medical record.”
“Everything always hurts and gets more painful. It never changes. It’s excruciating agony. But you’ve put in too much time and it’s too much money to walk away from, and you have a wife and kids to support.”
“Your patients are sick, and you’re a robot dispensing cookbook medicine for them. You don’t get to think. You don’t get to enjoy anything. You get locked in a cage for ten hours a day.”
“These people who are meant to teach and supervise you will make you want to cry, make you want to die.”
I failed my board exam. I had spent months studying, and done everything I thought I could and I should. I bombed it.
I have to retake it in June, and hope to still graduate residency in time. I’m really upset about it.
I pray that it’s a glitch, a electronic error on the part of the testing administrator, and this will all be a bad dream. But it brings me back to dark places.
I’ve spent the past few months writing reflective journal entries about my life. I am starting to recognize how many harmful patterns in my life are the result of what I went through as a kid, terrified and humiliated and neglected, beaten by my brother and verbally abused and sometimes physically abused by my dad, neglected by my mom, and made to watch her have sex when she and her boyfriend were drunk, and all the kids were in one hotel room together.
I was starting to heal, as difficult as it all was. Now I’m questioning myself all over again. And I have to go back into study mode, where I have to sit at a computer all day, mentally roasting myself while trying to stay focused.
I thought I had gotten to a place where I could get back to my writing, creative and spiritual interests, and move past all the hurt and shame and pain of the past. But it’s still here, and I have to live in that pit for another three months.
For all the internalizers out there, the ones who always had to be strong, smile and say that nothing was wrong, they were fine and didn’t need anything. For those who saw what no one else saw, and bore what no one should bear. For the lonely and the devastated, for all who suffer in silence when they want to scream. For the marks that don’t show and the wounds that won’t heal.
Being an abused and neglected kid, you never leave the pit. It stays in you. I relate to this sequence from Tom Kong’s Mister Miracle, because I always want someone to see the good in me, accept the hurt I’ve felt, and help me to move through it. I have to become that person for myself. I have to hug that boy, and tell him he’s loved and wanted and doesn’t have to prove anything.
1And one of the seven Angels who had with them the seven vessels, came and spoke with me saying, “Follow me; I shall show you the judgment of The Harlot who sits on many waters,” 2“For the Kings of The Earth committed fornication with her and all Earth dwellers are drunk with the wine of her fornication.” 3And he brought me to the wilderness in The Spirit, and I saw a woman who sat on a blood-red beast full of blasphemous names, which had seven heads and ten horns. 4And the woman was wearing purple and scarlet gilt with gold and precious stones and pearls and had a cup of gold in her hand, and it was full of abominations and the filth of her fornication. 5And upon her forehead was written: “Mystery Babylon The Great, The Mother of Harlots and of the Filth of The Earth.” 6And I saw the woman who was drunk with the blood of The Holy Ones and with the blood of the witnesses of Yeshua, and I was stunned with a great astonishment when I saw her.
7And the Angel said to me, “Why are you stunned? I shall tell you the mystery of The Woman and of The Beast that bears her, which has seven heads and ten horns.”
8“The Beast which you saw, existed and is not, and is about to come up from the Sea, and is going to destruction. And the inhabitants on Earth will marvel, whose names are not written in The Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see The Beast which was, and is not, and is approaching.” 9“Here is the meaning for one having wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains, upon which The Woman sits.” 10“And there are seven Kings; five have fallen and one is*, and there is another not yet come, and when he comes, a little remaining time is given to him.” 11“And The Dragon*, and The Beast which it brought* and is not, also is the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to destruction.” 12“And the ten horns of The Beast are ten Kings, whose Kingdoms they have not yet received, but take authority as Kings for one hour with The Beast.” 13“These have one will, and their power and authority they give to The Beast.”
14“These will make war with The Lamb and The Lamb will conquer them, because he is The Lord of Power and The King of Kings, and because his people are called, chosen and faithful.”
15And he said to me, “The waters that you saw, upon which The Harlot sat, are the nations, multitudes, peoples and languages.” 16“And the ten horns that you saw on The Beast will hate The Harlot and will make her desolate and naked and will devour her flesh and will burn her in fire.” 17“For God gave into their hearts to perform his pleasure and to do their one purpose and will give their Kingdom to that Beast until the words of God are fulfilled.” 18“And The Woman which you saw is that Great City, which has rule over the Kings of The Earth.”
1Then Pilate scourged Yeshua. 2And the soldiers wound a crown from thorns and they placed it on his head and clothed him with a purple robe. 3And they were saying, “Hail to you, King of the Judeans”, and they were hitting him on his cheeks.4And Pilate went outside again and he said to them, “Behold, I bring him forth to you outside that you may know that I find no occasion for complaint in him, not even one cause.” 5And Yeshua went forth outside with the crown of thorns upon him and the purple robe, and Pilate said to them, “Behold, here is the man.” 6But when the Chief Priests and the guards saw him, they cried out and they were saying, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him and crucify him, for I do not find any fault in him.” 7The Judeans were saying to him, “We have a law and according to that in our Written Law he is condemned to death because he made himself the Son of God.”
8But when Pilate heard this statement he was even more afraid. 9And he entered the Praetorium again and he said to Yeshua, “Where are you from?” But Yeshua gave him no answer. 10Pilate said to him, “Are you not speaking with me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?” 11Yeshua said to him, “You have no power at all over me unless it has been given to you from above; therefore, whoever has delivered me to you has greater sin than yours.”12Because of this Pilate wanted to release him, but the Judeans were crying out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend, for everyone who makes himself King is an adversary of Caesar.”
13But when Pilate heard this statement he brought Yeshua outside and sat down on the judgment seat and the place that was called R’tsiftha d’Kaypha, but in Hebrew* it is called Gpiptha. 14And it was the eve of the Passover, and it was about the sixth hour, and he said to the Judeans, “Behold, here is your King!” 15But they were crying out, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The Chief Priests were saying, “We have no King but Caesar!”
16Then he delivered him to them that they would crucify him, and they led Yeshua and brought him out.
17Then he took up his cross to the place called Qaraqpatha, but in Hebrew * it is called Gagultha, 18Where they crucified him and two others with him, one on one side and one on the other side, and Yeshua in the center. 19And Pilate wrote a title and placed it on his cross, but it was written thus: “This is Yeshua the Nazarene, The King of the Judeans.“20And many of the Judeans read this tablet, because the place in which Yeshua was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic and in Greek and in Latin. 21And the Chief Priests said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘He is The King of the Judeans’, but, “He said, ‘I am The King of the Judeans.'” 22Pilate said, “What I have written, I have written.”
23But the soldiers, when they had crucified Yeshua, took his garments, and they made four parts, a part to each of the soldiers; but his tunic was without a seam: it was woven entirely from the top.24And they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but let us cast lots for it, who will be allowed to have it.” And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “They divided my garment among them and for my clothing they cast lots.” The soldiers therefore did these things. 25But his mother and the sister of his mother, and Mary, who was of Cleopa, and Maryam Magdalitha, were standing at the cross of Yeshua. 26But Yeshua saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing and he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” 27He said to that disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour that disciple received her to himself.
28After these things Yeshua knew that everything had been finished, and that the scripture may be fulfilled, he said, “I thirst.” 29And a vessel had been set full of vinegar, but they filled a sponge from the vinegar and placed it on hyssop and they put it near to his mouth. 30When he took the vinegar, Yeshua said, “Behold, it is finished.” And he bowed his head and gave up his Spirit.
31But the Judeans, because it was evening, they were saying, “These bodies will not pass the night on their crosses, because the Sabbath day is approaching”, for it was a great Sabbath day. And they sought from Pilate to break the legs of those who had been crucified, and they would be taken away. 32And the soldiers came and they broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with him. 33When they came to Yeshua, they saw that he had died already and they did not break his legs.34But one of the soldiers struck him on his side with his spear, and at once blood and water issued forth. 35And he who saw testified and his testimony is true and he knows that he spoke the truth so that you also may believe. 36For these things happened that the scripture should be fulfilled that says, “Not a bone of him will be broken”, 37And another scripture again, that says, “They shall gaze at him whom they pierced through.”
38After these things, Yoseph, who was from Ramtha, sought from Pilate because he was a disciple of Yeshua, (and it was secretly from fear of the Judeans), that he might take the body of Yeshua; and Pilate gave him permission and he came and took away the body of Yeshua. 39And Nicodemus also came, who had come before to Yeshua by night, and he brought with him spices of myrrh and of aloes about one hundred pounds. 40And they took away the body of Yeshua and wrapped it in linen and in sweet spices, just as the custom of the Judeans is for burying. 41And there was in that place where Yeshua had been crucified a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which a man had not yet been laid. 42And they laid Yeshua there because the Sabbath was approaching and because the tomb was nearby.