Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The Sounds of Saturn: Tunes for a Transit

Music therapy is a recognised and widely used therapeutic technique, which uses sound, dance and movement to aid physical, emotional and mental health.

In fact, as early as the 17th century it was said that music was critical in the treatment of melancholy, that very Saturnian state of mind that "goes and comes upon every small occasion of sorrow, need, sickness, trouble, fear, grief, passion...which causes anguish, dulness, heaviness and vexation of spirit, any ways opposite to pleasure, mirth, joy, delight"*.

And haven't most of us used music as a form of self-therapy? I mean who of you doesn't have a personal soundtrack to your life, for the best of times and for the worst? Remember being a broken-hearted, put upon, fed up, stressed-out teenager hiding in your room, listening to some angry rocking tracks and mournful dirges to make yourself feel better? Perhaps you were having a Saturn transit at the time?

Most of us still still use music as catharsis, even if we don't admit it, so in that spirit, here are some musical gems especially selected to indulge a Saturn transit.




"You win some, lose some, it's - all - the same to me"

Plug in your best air guitar and shout along, very loudly. Lead singer Lemmy is a Christmas Capricorn - he's just had Saturn and Pluto on his Sun, so he knows just how you feel!

Also check out Capricorn by Motorhead "When I was young I was already old, My Life, my heart, black night, dark star, Capricorn."





"A song in which to weep, While we rock ourselves to sleep"

Nick Cave's trademark hybrid of lyrical blues, gospel, rock, and arty post-punk, results in a dark, challenging sound, full of emotional intensity, but somehow lifting. A talented song-writer, singer and author, Cave expresses his natal Mercury square Saturn perfectly, helped along by creative quintiles from Saturn to his Sun and Mars in Virgo.





"And I'm here to remind you, Of the mess you left when you went away"

Alanis Morissette's harsh and angry break up song has surely helped many a wronged woman through the worst. It's even rumoured that she wrote it about one of her own relationships! Like Cave (above), Morissette is also a Mercury-Saturn native, hers an exact conjunction in super-sensitive Cancer. [Warning: explicit lyrics]

Or, for a break up song that's a little less angst, how about Michelle Branch's Goodbye to You...make sure you've got a tissue handy...

"I try to laugh about it, Hiding the tears in my eyes"

This tune from post-punk, goth band The Cure is a tale of a man who desperately wants to get his lost love back, but instead of showing how he really feels and asking for forgiveness, he hides his emotions, because boys don't cry, do they? An expression of singer-songwriter Robert Smith's Mercury-Mars-Saturn t-square perhaps?





"How does it feel?"

Dylan's classic, written in 1965, was revolutionary and controversial in its day and it's gone on to become one of the most influential tracks of all time. Saturn and Uranus were in opposition back then, just like they are now, so it's well worth revisiting this one. It's easy to see how Dylan's natal stellium of Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus in his creative 5th house, are reflected in his music, with its Saturn-Uranus themes of protest and rebellion against tradition.






"Living just to find emotion, Hiding somewhere in the night"

If Dylan's classic symbolises Saturn-Uranus, then rock band Journey's rousing anthem is a great track for the current Saturn-Pluto square. Originally a minor hit at the start of the current Saturn-Pluto cycle in '81/'82 it's suddenly become a meteoric hit during this current Saturn-Pluto square, thanks to covers on the X-Factor and on popular TV show Glee.





Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age

No collection of Saturnine music would be complete without the Saturn movement from Gustav Holst's The Planets. Of all the seven movements, Saturn was said to be Holst's personal favourite. Enjoy the steady, serene, deliberate sound of stoicism.

What are your sounds for a Saturn transit?

NOTE: This is part of a collection of articles about Saturn transits for the International Astrology Blogathon, March 19-21, 2010. The rest of the collection will be here: Look After Saturn and Saturn Will Look After You

*The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton, 1621.

Artist birth data from http://www.wikipedia.org/ and Astrodatabank

Music selections by various persons

If you want to look further into how you can use music and sound therapeutically, type "music therapy" into Amazon and you'll find a long selection of books and other resources to choose from.

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