Saturn greets the Moon in opposition to the Sun: This Week on the Storyteller's Night Sky

Jun 25, 2018

The Dance to the Music of Time by Nicolas Poussin (1638-40) depicts the allegory of human life constantly passing under the auspices of Time, who is shown seated to the right, playing a kithara to mark the progress of earthly life. Time is a winged, old man, because time flies.

The end of this week brings the end of this month, but not before the ringed planet Saturn opposes the Sun and the Moon comes to Full Phase.

 

Saturn and the Moon are locked in a beautiful harmony, and they’ll appear right next to each other in the evening sky this week, especially Thursday, June 28th, looking southeast an hour after sunset. 

 

Saturn is the furthest planet from us that can be seen with the naked eye, and for ancient cultures, Saturn’s orbital rhythm was used to establish the structure of time. Ancient astrologers believed that the time it took for one complete orbit of Saturn marked a significant period in an individual’s biography, and the time when Saturn returned to the same position it occupied at birth was considered sacred. 

 

The return of Saturn to its starting point takes between 28 and 30 years, so this was regarded as the amount of time it would take to complete one full leg of the journey in a human biography. The things that Father Time placed in your path out of karmic necessity as gifts or challenges would all be met within the course of one Saturn cycle. Then when Saturn returned, things would be weighed and measured, and the cycle would begin again.

 

And here’s the fascinating thing: It actually takes Saturn about 29.5 years to complete one orbit of the Sun. The Moon takes 29.5 days to complete one full cycle around the Earth ~ so the ancients believed that the requirements or karma of human biography were laid into the Saturn rhythm and then worked out month by month in the lunar rhythm. 

 

You can look for these two in the southeast after sunset this week, and watch them as they wend their way through the night and toward the west, especially the evening of Thursday, June 28, but bear in mind that even though they appear right next to each other, with the Moon dominating the scene, Saturn is actually 35 times wider than the Moon in true diameter, and 3400 times further away!