Or, by Ruth Benedict standards, I've lived through eight age-grades. I am eight in dog years. Closing in on my second Saturn return.
I was born during Mama's first Saturn return. She in turn was born during HER mother Hettie's first Saturn return. Hettie died soon thereafter -- Saturn in Scorpio is tough. Mama died during her second Saturn return, my first. Mama was 57 years, 2 months and 15 days old at the time of her death. The date when I will have lived longer than her is 20 October 2012. Interestingly, Saturn will return to Scorpio on 5 October 2012. My goal is to make it to a third Saturn return, at least 80.
Someone once told me that your Saturn return is when all the bills come due. But an astrologist I consulted when Mama died, Tasha Silver, said that wasn't very accurate. Like all the big slow-moving planets, Saturn does deal with major life changes. Mine being in Scorpio in the 11th house, she said, centered around sex, death, and other people's money. I take relationships more seriously than others do, I have a strong relationship with death, and I will rely on inheritance, she said.
During my first Saturn return, I made a vow to stop hurting others with sex, to stop being cowardly and messy. Where I have failed in that vow has been despite my most earnest effort to live up to it. Eventually I walked away from sex altogether as a means of staying kind and focused. It worked. And like a miracle, once I got clear enough, I found someone with a matching point of view. Only took me 25 years of hard effort. That's not a joke, not really. It's been worth it.
I have had some seriously suck-ass birthdays. This will definitely not be one of them.
I remember my fifth birthday rather clearly, in Lafayette, Louisiana. Mama set up a long metal folding table, dark blue-green, on our screened-in back porch. She carried a chocolate cake in from the kitchen, candles lit, everybody singing. We had Kool-Aid in the multicolored aluminum tumblers that were so popular then. One of her gifts to me was a pair of bright red nylon panties with lace ruffles in stripes across the rear. I could not have wanted anything less. Instead, once I opened the Colorforms and the Bumble Bee, I wanted to ditch the party and go find a quiet corner to play by myself. Not much has changed, eh?
Thank you for being friends with me. Thank for helping keep me alive. Thank you, Mama, for giving birth to me breech on a sweltering August afternoon on the Gulf Coast in a dinky hospital with no air conditioning. It's a great year, and it's only going to get better.