Saturn Retrograde in Pisces w/ Christopher Renstrom

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A Trip to Shangri-La!

This is your Horoscope Highlight for the week of June 12th, 2023 with world-class astrologer, historian, and author of The Cosmic Calendar, Christopher Renstrom. This week, Christopher discusses Saturn’s upcoming retrograde, which begins on June 17th. He breaks down the significations of the planet Saturn and the zodiac sign of Pisces, where Saturn’s retrograde takes place. He goes on to illustrate the retrograde through retelling of the plot of Lost Horizon, the 1933 novel by James Hilton which depicts the magical land of Shangri-La. He then reads a passage from Ficino’s Three Books of Life which illustrates the relationship between Saturn and immmortality.

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[00:00:00] Saturn turns retrograde in the Zodiac sign of Pisces. One person’s prison could very well be another person’s paradise. Next on horoscope highlights.


[00:00:18] This podcast episode is sponsored by Astrology Hubs Academy. Wherever you are on your astrology journey, we have a class that will help you get to the next level.

[00:00:28] Hello, my name is Christopher Renstrom, and I’m your weekly horoscope colonist here on Astrology Hub. And this week I wanted to talk to you about Saturn turning retrograde in the Zodiac sign of Pisces on June 17th. Now, Saturn retrogrades are a bit of a problem for astrologers. I mean, Saturn is pretty well known as being the planet of tests, trials, and tribulations when Saturn is moving forward in the sky and affecting the horoscopes below Saturn is said to bring all kinds of obstacles, detours, and delays to whatever plans or aspirations you may have.

[00:01:10] So what happens during the period of time when Saturn is moving retrograde? What happens when, during the period of time when Saturn is moving backwards in the sky during that time when Saturn is retrograde? Does that mean the reverse of what Saturn does when it’s moving direct? Retrogrades are often associated to bringing out the reverse side of a planet, mercury, for instance, the planet of buying and selling the planet of shopkeepers, if you will, becomes the planet of shoplifters when it’s turned retrograde instead of purchases and sales going off without a second thought during a period of time when Mercury is retrograde, one is often warned to check the merchandise to, check the print of a contract or a lease because something might have found its way into this agreement, which might be covering up for some sort of defect or some sort of fault, something that perhaps might spoil the purchase itself.

[00:02:10] , Venus, for instance, when it’s turning retrograde, instead of bringing love and harmony is said to bring discord and disharmony. So what does Saturn retrograde bring? Saturn is the planet of tests, trials and tribulations. Hmm. Could we be so hopeful as to think that a Saturn retrograde, that a Saturn retrograde might not bring a reprieve to tests, trials, and tribulations?

[00:02:39] That, that perhaps during this time when Saturn is moving backwards in the sky, we may not be thwarted. We may not have to tackle obstacles, we may not be facing insurmountable challenges. Could we be so lucky during this period of time when Saturn is retrograde in the sky? No, no. Saturn is still Saturn.

[00:03:04] And of course, no, we cannot be so lucky. So during this period of time when Saturn is retrograde, what Saturn does is almost kind of become, in a way redundant. It’s a planet that already slows things down, so things become slower. It’s a planet that already introduces detours and delays. So we meet with more detours and delays during this period of time.

[00:03:28] That’s moving backwards in the sky, so, so what do we get out of it? I mean, have we been shortchanged yet again by that planet Saturn up there in the sky swinging its side left and right, chopping off the heads of our hopes, aspirations, and expectations. Well, Actually, what you’ll read many astrologers say is that it’s during the period of time that Saturn is retrograde, that one should become contemplative.

[00:04:00] That one should become more mindful, that one should become more reflective. Now this is something that many of us might already be doing in our times of lives, but during this period of time when Saturn is retrograde, it, it upsets our equilibrium. It slows down our rush. And, and, and it’s a period of time in which we can either battle against the current or we can go with the energy that Saturn is infusing in the sky above us, which is an energy, that is directed more towards being, as I said before, reflective and contemplative.

[00:04:40] I would like to share with you at this point, one of my favorite Saturn parables, which I think is very much associated with Saturn turning retrograde in the Zodiac sign of Pisces. What we want to keep in mind before we, begin this story is the idea of Saturn and the idea of Pisces. Saturn has often been associated with retreats to those, special places where one can contemplate and reflect.

[00:05:10] Saturn has a very long, rich, and deep history with, , monasteries, with convents, with ashrams, and with other spiritual sacred spaces. Pisces. Pisces is a sign that’s very much associated with the invisible world. What do I mean by the invisible world? Pisces is very much associated to the fantasma world.

[00:05:35] The world that we know exists around us or perhaps tucked in certain pockets, around that are hidden around, this planet Worlds are spaces that are not part of our day-to-day life. That are not easy to get to and that are rumored to be very special places, soft places, that exists between this world and the next, between this world and the supernatural.

[00:06:03] So Pisces has always been associated to mysticism and the mystical experience that is those experiences of the divine that don’t take place in near death experiences. But those experiences with the divine that take place unexpectedly. We might be wandering down a path. We might be looking in the back room of an antique store or something like this.

[00:06:28] I mean, there are lots of examples where, what is it? Lion Witch in the wardrobe where there, one of the kids goes knocking on the back of the wardrobe and, and ends up in Narnia in a, in a place. And, and they were like, I was just in the back of my wardrobe a moment ago. So these are the sorts of worlds that are connected to Pisces, these mysterious worlds that can somehow appear like a mirage in our own world and that beckon us to come and visit.

[00:06:56] So Saturn as I already pointed out, although associated with being a planet of, obstacles, trials, tests, and tribulations, is also a planet that blesses those who pursue a more contemplative or a reflective life. Pisces is associated to invisible mystical worlds. It can even be Fanta, taal realities, ghosts, and other spirits that we know are there.

[00:07:23] And of course, we frustratingly cannot possibly prove. As I said before, I want to share with you one of my favorite Saturn parables, and this one is called Lost Horizon. Lost Horizon is a wonderful novel that I strongly recommend reading. It’s just such a pleasure. And it reads like this beautiful fable.

[00:07:47] It was written by James Hilton in 1933, and it introduced the world to a place called Law. . Lost Horizon is the story of Hugh Conway. Hugh Conway is a British console who’s been stationed in Afghanistan, who disappears under mysterious circumstances.

[00:08:10] Conway had once been an intellectual lion, a golden boy at school, but trench warfare during the first World War has reduced him to being a relic of his former self. Conway is plagued by nervous exhaustion, which is the telltale sign of melancholia. And melancholia, as you know, is a personality trait that is often associated to Saturn.

[00:08:37] It’s associated, it’s a kind of mix between depression and a forlorn quality and also kind of deep bitterness or anger. There’s a little bit of an edge to melancholia as well. Well, at the start of the story, Afghanistan is in the midst of a revolution. During the evacuation of Basco, where the British forces are evacuating everyone who’s British, and also everyone who’s white, during this revolution that’s taking place, uh, during the evacuation of Basco Conway and his Vice consul, Charles Mallinson, who is younger than Conway.

[00:09:14] Conway’s, perhaps like in his thirties, mid maybe late thirties. And Mallinson is much younger. He’s, he’s much more youthful, and kind of fiery tempered. The two of them are being escorted very quickly on board a plane. Which needs to leave because the revolutionary, forces are at the gates and they’re going to, take, take the city.

[00:09:34] And so he, last minute hers above on, onto this plane with, with his vice council, Charles Mallinson Mallinson. And they, they meet and greet very quickly, and American businessman by the name of Barnard and a British missionary named Miss Brink Low. Those are the only other passengers on this airplane.

[00:09:55] There is a pilot that, Conway communicates to, and the, uh, pilot, you know, doesn’t really say anything. He signals that they’re getting ready to take off. And so, Conway and Mallinson quickly, uh, buckled themselves up in, in the seats. And the Propel propeller plane goes down the runway and takes off with Cannon Fire and things like that going off around it.

[00:10:16] It’s actually a very, close escape, from, from the fallen city. And they fly, they zoom up, uh, into the air, and this is how they, escape the Revolutionary forces, which are taking back, ground. But, as the airplane flies, and it drones as it as it flies, and, and they’re buckled into their seats.

[00:10:36] And Ms. Brink Low is, very studiously reading her Bible. And, the American businessman in Barnard is sort of, uh, tapping his fingers nervously and looking out the window, as they’re flying. And, Mallinson and, and Conway obviously are going over their notes and files and kind of doing a quick sort of debriefing like who got out and, you know, can you confirm that so-and-so was able to make a rendezvous?

[00:11:00] All these sorts of things. An hour passes, two hours pass. And, Conway’s noticing that they’re not really at their destination yet. Um, and he’s looking over at the pilot and he turns to Mallon’s and he is like, you know, I mean, it’s been two hours. We should be seeing, peace Showerer, we should be seeing peace shower at this point.

[00:11:20] We should be arriving at our destination. And, um, and Malson agrees and they kind of like wonder what’s, what’s going on here? Like as the pilot maybe perhaps gotten lost in this, in this last minute takeoff. But then Conway begins to notice that they’re going over the mountains and they’re actually heading towards Tibet, which is a very different direction than the one that they’re supposed to be going in.

[00:11:45] And, and the plane climbs higher. This is, this is how Hilton describes it. The, the drone of the propellers. The plane begins to climb higher and higher and higher, and as it does, the passengers grow very sleepy, and, and actually fall asleep in their seats. And, Conway is, is struggling to, to remain conscious, but he’s also getting very sleepy as he goes higher and higher and higher.

[00:12:12] And, and it’s a beautiful sort of little. Tucked in the background attorney in motif. Um, Saturn is the planet which ruled the seventh heaven. It ruled the highest of all the heavens, and it stood between, the terrestrial heaven or heaven that’s associated to time, the, the heavenly skies that we look out at.

[00:12:33] But then Saturn himself, as we discussed in earlier episodes, is this kind of barrier, this kind of roof. Over these seven heavens and beyond, it lies eternity or the realm of Uranus. And so one is in ecstasy when one is in seventh heaven. That’s how our phrase is used nowadays. It’s like, you know, what was it like?

[00:12:54] Oh, it’s like I was in seventh heaven. And so what’s happening to, Conway is that he’s getting sleepy, but he’s also being filled with this kind of ecstasy, this, this happiness almost, this kind of giddy laughter. And he realizes of course, that they’re losing oxygen and kind of vaguely dreamily, , hallucinatory wonder wondering, where the hell is this plane going?

[00:13:20] And of course he succumbs and he falls asleep. He’s browsed from his slumbers, as are the other, passengers when they hear the sputtering of the propellers. Instead of the drone, the propellers are now like,

[00:13:35] Conway has realized to hawk, as Hez Mallinson that the plane is run out of gas and that the pilot is trying to bring it in for a landing. Uh, you know, uh, partly using the propellers, but also using gliding to, to bring the plane in for a landing. And, uh, they’re not in a nose dive, but they’re descending rather quickly.

[00:13:58] And Conway also notes that the pilot’s actually rather really good at this, but he looks out the windows as to the other, uh, passengers, and they don’t recognize anything. It’s it’s night. Um, there, there’s nothing but snow underneath them and the outline of mountains and they’re dissenting at, not a panicky, frightening.

[00:14:19] Pace, but a very risk one. And, and, uh, Mallinson is like, I better check the cockpit. And, and, and Conway’s like, listen, you don’t know how to drive this plane. Um, we don’t know where we’re going. Obviously we’ve been kidnapped, but honestly, at this point, this pilot knows more about getting us down onto the ground in some sort of, uh, safe condition than we do.

[00:14:37] So ride it out, you know, and, and they decide to do exactly that. And so the plane, uh, descends down, through its height and, um, it crashes, uh, come, it doesn’t crash. It comes to a crash landing, a very rough landing, shall we say, where the plane’s compartment is shaking and it feels almost like it’s going to shake apart, as it goes into a drift of snow.

[00:15:01] And you know, at this point, Ms. Brink Low is, is completely petrified, and Barnard is very like, you know, upset and distressed. And Mallinson and Conway both leap into action and they go rushing towards the pilot, and the pilot is dead. His neck has been broken. and Brink Low ask, well, what’s going on?

[00:15:18] Or whatever. And they’re like, well, we, we, we don’t know where we are. But we can’t stay here. We have to, you know, get on out to see if we can, you know, find anyone or something like that. And they’re like, are, are you sure? And he is like, we’re gonna be buried under snow very, very quickly, so we cannot stay inside this airplane.

[00:15:35] So they grab, you know, whatever jackets they have, which is basically what they had grabbed, fleeing Afghanistan. And, and they go out into the snow, and, and, and there is snow that’s, that’s falling. The plane is beginning to sink underneath it. And, and they go out into the snow and Conway is struck with the peacefulness of the night.

[00:15:56] You know, the snow begins to abate, and the night is like this, this, this, this, this stark midnight blue, and there’s a full moon and a very large mountain. And so, before the pilot dies, by the way, as a quick thing that I forgot to add, he says to, Conway, go to the LAIs of Shangrila and Ken Conway’s like, where?

[00:16:20] And he is like, go to the LAIs of Shangrila. They are expecting you. And, and, and that’s when he dies. And so Conway’s like, okay, so, so that’s actually where they go out into the snow. Okay? So they go out into the snow and, and they’re like, I’m like, you know, out of the, uh, which it, uh, airplane is sicking out of the, and, and they’re, they’re out there in the snow, sort of, and they are met by Sherpa’s.

[00:16:43] Um, men are calling to them in the dark, and they’re met by, Sherpa’s. And, , they say, come with us. Come with us. And Conway, who’s relatively familiar with the topography around Afghanistan, has no idea where they are at all. And of course, there’s no choice. They, they have to follow these people who’ve come for him.

[00:17:02] And so Conway and his companions are rescued by Sherpa, and they take them to Shangrila. So they track for a while over the snow, uh, for miles and miles and miles and, and they’re given, you know, proper, coats and hoods, by the Sherpa. They talk of the snow for miles and miles, and then they go down into a ravine and into this kind of cave and, It’s, it’s beginning to dawn and they’re very, very cold.

[00:17:27] But as they move through this cave, it’s starting to feel warmer and the ground beneath their feet is no longer icy. And, they emerge out of this cave. It’s a ravine, it’s a passage wave, if you will, in a mountain, in this extraordinary, beautiful valley. Okay. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s a hidden valley.

[00:17:49] It’s, it’s skies are blue. They’re, uh, they, they look down and they can see fields and crops and people who are working in the fields on the crops, they can see beautiful gardens and meadows. And they can see this extraordinary. What is it? Is it a palace? Is it, is it a, a a a, a magnificent city with spires, but it’s as if it’s out of a dream and it’s completely temperate.

[00:18:17] They quickly take off their coats because it’s becoming really quite warm and the Sherpa’s are laughing and, you know, gesturing for them to go, uh, forward. And there’s a guide who comes out to meet them. And they’re taken into, um, shangrila. They are taken into the hidden Valley of Shangrila, which is inhabited by, a populace in which the, the members of this society are hundreds of years old.

[00:18:47] Now the residences as they’re taken down into, shangrila and, and they enter the city, the residences have all the amenities, you know, immediately Ms. Brink, KLOW and Barnard and Mallinson and, and Conway are, are met and greeted and escorted by servants to their private chambers. Um, you have to remember, this is like Afghanistan, right after World War I, so.

[00:19:14] You know, the, the conditions, you know, for the post that they had just left weren’t exactly, but here it’s like, it, it’s almost like a four star hotel, you know, there, there’s, there’s running water, perfumed ear, you know, these gorgeous rooms with magnificent windows and balconies that open up to, again, this very aromatic atmosphere of shangrila, where immediately you could just feel all of the tension and the anxiety just, just fall away.

[00:19:44] And Conway, who’s always been nervous and, and, and on edge for the first time, can breathe. And so they go and they, they, they’re given bads. You know, Conway makes notes of interesting things because he’s not quite sure where they are and are they indeed captives. And so he’s on, you know, have we been taken as prisoner of war, mode?

[00:20:08] Okay? And so he’s making a mental note of everything. And his room, he, you know, is he, he bathes in a, in a bathtub and he notices on the edge of this bathtub, the, uh, riding made in Ohio. He’s like, um, made in Ohio. What is that bathtub doing in this, like completely, uh, far away unknown place. And again, he’s admiring the gardens and fields from his, balcony and towering above.

[00:20:40] This whole valley is the magnificent mountain Carle. And Carle, the name of the mountain translates as Blue Moon, and it’s a mountain that’s more than 28,000 feet high. And so, um, Mallinson immediately, you know, comes by, knocks on Conway’s door, and he is like, okay, we, we, we we’re clearly being held as prisoners of war.

[00:21:04] We need to get information. We need to make arrangements to get out of here as soon as possible. You know, we, we have to get behind who kidnapped us. We really don’t know what’s going on, and I’m going to alert the others. And Conway is just like, Mallinson, take a chill pill. If we are indeed prisoners, a, we’re being well treated, and B, these people are in a much better position than we are, to determine our fate.

[00:21:27] So let’s take some time. Let’s learn what’s going on here. Let’s see what they want with us, and let’s not alarm the other two people. Ms. Brink Low and, Barnard. And, and so, You know, Mallinson reluctantly agrees, but he just, you know, uh, the more that Conway is at peace, you know, the more that mallinson, uh, uh, paces almost like a, a caged leopard or tiger, you know, this place really gets on his nerves.

[00:21:55] You know, he wants to get back to civilization. You know, he says to Conway in further con conversations, he’s like, we, we need to get back to civilization. You know, there’s a war that’s going on in the world and we have to be ready for it. And we cannot be wasting time in some sort of goofy place like this.

[00:22:13] So Mallon is very much. Feeling restlessness of the world and impending war. You know, that, that it needs to be active. He needs to stand with Britain. And, they can’t be in a place like this. This is, this is not the place to be, uh, reclusive and, and in retreat. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s passive.

[00:22:31] It’s it’s feminine, you know, to mallon’s incendiary Mars energy. Okay. So, there’s an envoy who speaks with Conway, who’s sent by the hi llama and who informs Conway that the hi llama would like to have an interview with him. And Conway’s like a hi Lama. And he’s like, yes.

[00:22:50] And he is like, Are you Buddhist? Is it him? Like, like what’s our, and Annie’s like, he would like to meet with you. Okay. And so, before he does, uh, the Envoy says, perhaps, Louden might come in and entertain you. And, and Conway’s like, okay, where’s that going? Um, and Lutsen comes in and she’s a young and beautiful Manchu, girl.

[00:23:14] And she sits down at a harps accord with which Conway had been admiring in the corner of the room, in the corner of his room. And she plays a piece by Mozart. Okay. Um, really quite elegantly, really quite perfectly Willy, really quite masterfully, you know, so Conway is kind of like, you know, wow. I mean, this girl is like, I mean, she’s a concert pianist.

[00:23:37] The way she’s playing this harps accord. And he listens to it and he is like, you know, Mozart. But as he listens to the piece of music that she plays, he’s like, but. What Mozart Rondo is it? I I don’t recognize it. I mean, the more that she plays this piece by Mozart, he, he knows it’s Mozart, but he doesn’t know what piano’s sonata it could possibly be.

[00:24:02] She then, uh, looks at him like, you know, did you like that? And he is like, oh, you know, and he applauds and she smiles, Deir really? And she plays another piece, this one by Scarlatti and Conway’s like, Okay. I know that’s Scarlatti, but I have no idea what piece that is by Scarlatti, you know, and then again, he, he, he applauds, he tries to ask her, but she doesn’t speak English.

[00:24:28] And she departs and he begins looking at the shelves of books that are in his room. And he sees these extraordinary books. I mean, he’s looking at books by, um, George son, he’s looking at books by Dickens. He’s looking at books by other very noted, authors from around the world, even. But they have titles that he doesn’t recognize.

[00:24:51] And he’s like, Dickens. Never wrote this book. George Elliot. Never, I, I’ve never heard of this book by George Elliot. I, I, I don’t recognize the, this play by Racine. I, I’ve never heard of it. You know, so, so he’s looking at these plays and books and manuscripts and he knows the authors, you know, it’s, it’s there on the binding, but the titles are completely unfamiliar.

[00:25:18] And so this intrigues him. Where exactly are they? And so, Conway meets with the Hama that night. And, they have a wonderful interview where, Conway asks a number of questions and, and represents his case. And the Hama is pretty much in time. In time, we’ll get to those answers and they begin to have these discussions, these conversations, which are very philosophical in, in, in, in nature.

[00:25:45] They’re also a little newsy. The ha llama wants to know how things are going on out in the world. And, and Conway is impressed with how up to date the ha llama is with current activities. and, and so, uh, the ha Lama’s also very interested in Conway’s background. How did he come to suffer a nervous breakdown, which clearly Conway had suffered and, um, What were the circumstances that led to that?

[00:26:13] What was Conway’s, educational background? Is there, you know, someone special in his life? All these sorts of things. And Conway’s like, no, there isn’t. And you know, the, the, the questions are conversational, but they’re also a little bit. Pressing and the hi lama is extremely gifted at, deflecting or, or, or changing the topic away from himself, or giving just enough information, but not without much more behind that.

[00:26:38] For instance, Conway learns that, there are regular traders that come to Shangrila. It’s not a completely isolated society, although they grow their own food and, and cultivate things. They get things from the outside, like for instance, the bathtub from Ohio. That there are many things Shangrila collects from the outside world that are brought in by, um, traders people who, who bring in these imports for money and, and, and are rewarded handsomely by the goldmines of Shangrila.

[00:27:09] And so, Over these interviews, which go over a number of weeks and in our different chapters in the book, Conway discovers that Shangrila is indeed a sacred valley. And it is a sacred valley where time has stood still and where one will age slowly as long as you remain. Once you lead, however, the aging process kicks in quickly.

[00:27:33] Now, for those of you, who have heard an earlier episode that I did about Saturn, you’re going to recognize the Sian, uh, characteristics here. In, the story of Saturn and his overthrow Kronos, that’s his Greek, name and his overthrow, Kronos rebels against his father, who is Uranus, who is Father Sky.

[00:27:54] And he crates him and he separates his mother Gaia Earth from, father Sky eternity. Uranus and Saturn becomes time. He is the thing that stands between, , the earth, mortal life and eternity. The stars that, that lie beyond us and forever beyond our grasp. And Saturn has that character now.

[00:28:14] Saturn, it’s prophecy that Saturn’s own children will overthrow him. And so as his wife, REA gives birth, he goes and he swallows each child. There’s an infamous painting of this called, uh, you know, Saturn, uh, I think it’s just Saturn by Goya or Saturn devouring his children or the, his young or whatever.

[00:28:31] And it’s inspired by that phrase, that time devours. It’s young. And, and it shows side like. You know, like pulling at the, you know, torso of this bloody child, you know, like, like it’s a, uh, chicken leg. Um, and it’s really kind of horrific and, and, and sensational, and everyone pretty much knows that image.

[00:28:49] I think there’s even an action figure. So, um, but that’s not the only version of Saturn and the swallowing of his children that was told. There’s another version, which of it recounts in which Saturn, you know, the God of time swallows his children. Each child goes into his belly, Zeus or Jupiter escapes to later on, later revolt against Saturn.

[00:29:11] But Jupiter escapes. But in that period of time when Saturn has swallowed his children, he has stopped time. And the Romans, as opposed to the Greeks, regarded this as a golden age. That time had stood still, that nothing aged and nothing. Became older, decrepit things grew. Many people in the golden age recount meadows and valleys that that produced fruit, but with no real labor and there were no, walls or fortresses because no one felt the need, of, of, of, of want.

[00:29:43] There was no need for war. There was no need to go and invade or, or to slay or destroy. Everyone was at peace. As long as the Olympian Gods resided in the belly of their father Saturn, everything in the world, in the realm of Gaia was at peace and no one aged. So here, You know, we know of Saturn as being the planet of time.

[00:30:07] You know, time is running out. Temp is fugit. Fleeting time. Fugitive time. And so Saturn, you know, can be the experience of things taking forever. And today, you know, things take twice as long to come together and twice as long to fall apart if you have heavy Saturn in your chart. Okay? So there’s can be a tedium or, or a just, uh, once it’s gonna be over, you know, uh, to Saturn.

[00:30:32] But also there can be a sort of, time is fleeting quality to Saturn as well. Like, why am I preoccupied with all these? Or why am I be set with these stupid idiot errands and chores that I have to do when there’s a very real, you know, master work or adventure or relationship or something that I need to pursue in my life.

[00:30:51] Why, why do I always have to be, deal with all this trivia, all this. These stupid things. It’s almost like imagine lines of chairs being set up between you and a door, and a feeling like you have to like push these chairs aside in order to get to the door to open it. So, so time can also be the thing that frustrates or, or that, that gets in our way and it’s, or, or, or circumstances or situations frustrate or get in our way.

[00:31:16] And so time is fleeting. I’m, this is taking away from my real work or my real life. There can be that sense that time is fleeting. Um, and as you grow older, you know, regret. Why didn’t I do those things when I was younger? Why didn’t I do those things when I had the opportunity? So Saturn can be, the labor of time, the devouring time, devouring, it’s young.

[00:31:36] You know, the idea of getting old and growing, you know that you’re born young into the world and that you grow old and decrepit. And Saturn can also be the thing that, that, is always fleeting in your life and, and can bring regret when you look back over your life. Like, why didn’t I do those things?

[00:31:52] Why didn’t I pursue that? Why did I genuflect to an obligation? These are in many ways the sorrows and the burdens and the remorse of Saturn. And so, Those are our general associations with Saturn, but Saturn also ruled over as Avid tells us in his story of Saturn and the story of the Golden Age. Saturn also rules over those places where times stands still.

[00:32:19] Okay? Those places like El Dorado and Avalon and Brigadoon, you know, hidden places where you don’t grow old and where everything, where, where times stands still, and that you grow older without showing any sort of age and without showing any sort of ruin rules over these legendary, hidden places.

[00:32:42] So Saturn is not only the God of time, but also the God of timelessness. But, but as long as you remain within the realm that is circumscribed by Saturn, right? And that’s, that’s the, that’s the key, or that’s the, caveat. And so the sh the, uh, tells Conway, yes, time stands still here. You’ll age slowly, as long as you remain, but once you leave, however, that aging process will kick in and it will kick in very quickly over their interviews.

[00:33:22] The ha lama also imparts to, Conway. He says to him, Shangrila has a mission in the world. And Conway’s like, oh, okay. We’re finally at it. You know, why have we been kidnapped and brought here?

[00:33:34] And so in one of their, many conversations that they have, the hi Lama divulges to Conway that Shangri Law has been charged with a task of preserving the treasures of civilization so that they are not destroyed in the great wars to come. And this is fascinating because Hilton writes, lost Horizon in 1933.

[00:33:58] So this is on, this is right at the beginning of the rise of fascism. This is on the cusp of World War. Uh, two, this follows on the heels of World War I, the war that was supposed to end all the wars and lord knows what was going to follow. War ii, you know, or, or, or was there going to be a War II and what was going to follow that?

[00:34:21] So he puts into the hi Lama’s, mouth aligns, you know, so that the tr treasures of civilization are not destroyed in the Great Wars, plural to come. And so, that’s when Conway’s like, is that why, um, when, Mosen played the Mozart and the Scarlatti? Is that why? I mean, is that a Mozart piece?

[00:34:47] And he is like, exactly, it is a Mozart piece, but not one you would’ve known about. And he’s like, and The Scarlet, that’s a Scarlett piece and one you wouldn’t have known about and this book and that book. Mm-hmm. And he’s like, Where did you get them? And, and the Hama says, we have had people going out into the outer world for centuries, and they go and they collect these.

[00:35:11] So they were taken before they were published, or they were taken before they were distributed, and they were brought here as treasures, as the great treasures of civilization. We have art and we have, all these beautiful pieces, these great, philosophical tracks and religious sermons and things like that.

[00:35:28] Um, you know, they have all been brought here and Conway’s like, and you’re, you’re holding them here. And he’s like, yes. And Conway’s like, so in other words, you’re kind of like a Noah’s Ark of all these great, uh, uh, treasures of civilization. And the hi llama nods and said, yes, we are like a Noah’s Ark.

[00:35:49] This is a place where they are held and they are kept the hi llama then confides to Conway at this meeting. Um, you know, he, he, he’s playful. He asks Conway, how old do you think I am? And Conway’s like, well, you look like you’re 75. And, and the hi Lama, you know, and he is like, um, are you 90? And he is like, are you a hundred?

[00:36:13] And the llama smiles and he is like, are you 120? And as it goes on, he begins to realize that the hi llama is 250 years old, that that is how long he has been here in Shangrila. And he says to Conway, it, it feels to me like you’re at peace here, that you’re happy here. And Conway’s like, yes, I am. I, I saw horrible things in that war.

[00:36:43] And, and I am happy here. I am at peace here. And the hi Lama says, that’s good to know because I am, um, On the verge of death, I will die soon. And Conway’s like, oh no. And he is like, yes. And I want you to become the leader of the Laiser. I want you to become the hi lama here. And Shangrila and Conway’s.

[00:37:13] Like, is that why I was? And the high llamas is Yes. Yes. That’s why you were brought here. You know, we, um, it was too bad that you were accompanied by three other people. And we hope that they will be happy here as well, because none of you will be allowed to leave. If you should leave, you would die immediately.

[00:37:36] Um, so it would be ill advisable and we would appreciate it if you would say yes and become the new hi Lama here in Shangrila and all Conway can think of as. All of those books, those magnificent statues, these beautiful people, this music, this place,

[00:38:05] it’s like paradise. And the Alma says, wait to give me your answer now. Now, um, Caging it in a certain way. He’s not particularly explicit about what exactly has, been conveyed by the hi Lama. But Conway goes and he sits down with Ms. Brink Low. And you know, they have conversation and she has her Bible, she’s a missionary, and she’s just all kinds of excited about living in SLA.

[00:38:36] And, um, and, and Conway’s like, oh, you know, you, you find the people enjoyable. Enjoyable. They’re heathens and I am bringing to them the word of Christ, our savior. And so I’ve started schools and we sit down and I’ve reached them passages from the Bible and, oh, They’re not like student, other students.

[00:38:55] They’re very attentive. They’re very polite. They, they take everything in. They haven’t even heard of the Bible or, or our Lord Jesus. And I could just, honestly, I could just live here forever converting them to Christianity and showing them the majesty of God. And God was like, okay, I’ve got my answer. You know?

[00:39:14] And so he goes over to Barnard, the American, and he finds out from Barnard that he’s actually, um, on the lamb, he’s on the run. Uh, he’s lost an enormous amount of money for himself and his should shareholders in, uh, on Wall Street. And, uh, that he had to flee America very quickly, you know, and he is come to Shangrila and Conway’s like, well, how are things getting on?

[00:39:36] How, how are you getting along with everyone here? And he is like, have you seen the mines? Have you seen the gold? Have you seen the diamonds? Have you seen the sparkling jewels and Conway’s? Like, um, no. No, but I imagine they’re, they’re fabulous and it’s like, fabulous. Think of the fortune we could make. I mean, you don’t have to want for anything.

[00:39:56] I mean, once we find out, once the outside world finds out, you know, about the gold that’s here, I’m gonna be a rich, rich, rich, rich man. And Conway’s sort of like, okay, you know, he knows that Conway’s, uh, uh, he knows that Barnard is happy. Not only has he escaped the bankers who were pursuing him, but. He also knows that there’s no way that the gold and the riches are getting outta shangrila, that it’s a one-way street.

[00:40:20] And so he’s, he’s happy with that. Barnard will have his adventures of enterprise. And Conway realizes that everyone in this, uh, valley is, is, is very, um, yes and very polite and whatever, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to converge Christianity or start strip mining Shangrila.

[00:40:38] Okay. And, and, and it, it dawns ’em in and of course they say yes. And of course they, they indulge because they know that over time each person will find their way. Each person will find their place in Shangrila. There’s. Decades. There’s centuries for that to happen. And so he begins to wonder, you know, how old are some of these people that he’s talking to is, um, you know, is for instance, LA Zen.

[00:41:09] You know, she looks like she’s 17 or 18, but is she older? She older than Conway. How long has she been here? You know, the one person who, um, isn’t happy as you might imagine is Mallinson. Mallinson has worked himself up into a fury. You know, we have to get the word out. We have to get the word out. We’ve been kidnapped, we have to get back to the world.

[00:41:33] There’s a war that’s going on that’s beginning and we need to be there, Conway. We need to be there. Um, and we have information that they need to know about the fall of, of, of the British Embassy, and we have to get this information back, out to them. So, Conway ki keeps putting Malson off and, and, and eventually Mallinson gets into a very, you know, just shouts, yells at Conway.

[00:41:56] And he is like, I, I have a feeling that you’re basically, well, he doesn’t say dicken me around, but that’s the intent that you’re, you know, that yet, that you’re distracting me, that you’re putting me off and, I can’t stand it. How can you stand and leave in a place like this? It’s, it’s so, it’s, it’s so isolated.

[00:42:13] It’s so tedious. I, I, I’ve got to get, I’ve got to get out and, and, and we’ve got to get back to the real world, Conway, and you’ve got to help me because this, this valley with all of its whatever, this is not the real world. This is not what’s going to decide the fate of the planet, and we have to, we have to get on back there.

[00:42:31] And so, Conway feels a bit guilty or whatever,

[00:42:34] and Mallinson says, I don’t see what you see in this place. You know, I just don’t get it. It’s, it’s, it’s slow and, and, and, and it’s tedious and, and, and, and, and, and ridiculous. There’s a very real world out there, Conway. And we’ve got to get back to it. there’s a great war that’s going to be fought, and we have very valuable information about the fall of the British Embassy that needs to be imparted, and we have a duty and we have a responsibility.

[00:42:59] And so, um, Conway’s like, uh, yeah. Yeah. And Mallinson says, and, and furthermore, you know, I, I’ve gotten tired of you guessing me. Um, and, and I’ve got some news to impart. And Conway’s like, well, what news do you have to impart? And Mallinson says, Um, Luen has fallen in love with me and I’ve fallen in love with her.

[00:43:18] And he’s like, really? That, that, that, that, that, that young lady and Mallon’s like, yes. We, we, uh, we, we, we absolutely love each other. Luen and, and me and, and, and we love each other. And we’re, and we’re, and, and we’re faded, uh, to be together. And she has communicated to me, that she was abducted. Like we were, and she was brought here against her will, and that she wants to go to the, to the outside world, uh, that she can’t, she doesn’t wanna abide here any longer than than need be.

[00:43:48] And, we’re madly in love with, with each other. And, I’ve even hired some of those Sherpa’s and they’re going to take us out of Shangrila, tomorrow night. , and they know the way out, out of this place. And we’ll get back to the real world and get back to, to being the people that we really are Conway and, and, and, um, upholding our responsibilities and our obligations.

[00:44:11] So Conway feels torn. He’s like, you know, this is not what I had anticipated. Well, that night, , the hi llama dies. Right. And, and, and Olive of Shankar law goes into mourning. And, and, and so the following day, the Envoy comes to Conway and says, have, have you made your decision?

[00:44:32] I was told that you would be taking over for the High Llama, and Conway is like, I want to. And the Envoy is, you want to, uh, have we disappointed you in some way? And Conway’s like, no, no. Damn it, you haven’t disappointed me at all. I, and the Envoy is like, well, well what’s happened? And he said, and so Conway.

[00:45:02] Tells about how Mallinson wants to return to the outside world, and Lao Zen wants to go with him, and he feels a protectiveness about both of these people, that there’s no way that they would be able to get back on their own. They don’t know the whole story, that, that Conway trusts the Sherpa to, um, be able to bring him back again.

[00:45:27] And that if he could only go on this one errand, this one errand to help them back to the world, he will come back quickly right away to Shangrila. And the Envoy is, um, the people that your Mallinson has hired are not the true Sher Sherpa’s. They’re people who, that we do trading with. They don’t know the paths as well.

[00:45:52] And there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to find your way. Back and Conway’s like, I can’t leave them like this. You know? I mean, if anything, the fact that these aren’t the people who know the way regularly makes it even more important that I’d be able to help them. At least I know some of the terrain, you know?

[00:46:12] And the Envoy is very saddened. And so Conway is, don’t you see? I have an obligation to them and I have an obligation to my country to impart, knowledge that, that, that, we have of, of the fall of our embassy. And so the Envoy nods and Conway’s like, are you going to? And he is like, no, no.

[00:46:36] You, you, you are, you are free to go. You, you can go. We can’t guarantee. I wish you the best, um, but you are free to go. And so Conway meets with Malson and, uh, Lutsen that night. And, um, they meet with the traders, you know, and they go out, , through the ravine, through the cave, and they reemerge in the snow.

[00:47:00] Um, and very quickly a snowstorm, bruise up and very quickly, they lose. They, they lose track of the traders. They’ve, they’ve kind of disappeared into the snow. Um, and they, you know, it’s like a snow blindness. They can’t see their way forward. And it’s Conway and it’s, uh, loon and it’s, uh, uh, loon, that’s her name.

[00:47:26] Sorry, I keep messing that up. It’s loon and it’s, Mallinson who are clinging to one another, uh, in the snow and the, and it’s snow blind. And, and, and they can’t find their way. At one point, Mallinson, you know, uh, strikes ahead out of frustration and as you would imagine, falls off a cliff and, and, and falls to his death immediately, you hear his, his shrieking cries as he goes over, so it’s Conway and, and, and Lotes and the girl.

[00:47:57] And she’s shivering ne next to him and he’s like, we have to somehow get through this. And, and they, they, they go forward. Um, Conway Awakens. Okay. That’s the ne that’s his next memory, you know, is that he awakens in, a church hospital run by nuns. And, and he stirs and the nuns are like, oh, at last.

[00:48:24] And he’s like, do you recognize us? Can you speak to us? What is your name? And he is like, my name’s Conway, or whatever. And they’re like, oh, at last, at last you remember? And he says, I remember. And they said, you’ve had amnesia. Um, you’ve been almost like in a fever dream in which you would come, or, or not a fever dream, but a coma.

[00:48:46] You would come out of this coma and try to talk to us, and we would ask you questions and you had no memory. And then you would slip back into this coma again, and then you would come back out. And then you had amnesia for months. For months, yes. You’ve been here almost a year. They say to him almost a year,

[00:49:09] there was this young girl, this young girl that I was with, and, and they were like, she didn’t, but this one nun says, but she wasn’t a young girl. And Con was like, come again. And she said, well, you were brought in by a very old Chinese woman. And Con was like, by who? And she said, unfortunately we couldn’t communicate with her.

[00:49:42] But she was very old. We were surprised how she was able to, um, you know, hold you up and to bring you in. She’s, I, I think she’s the oldest person I’ve ever seen in my entire life. And, And he said, well, where is she? And she’s like, she brought you in and she sat with you for a while, but aas and, and I’m sorry to say a couple of days later, she, she died, she passed away from exhaustion and Conway’s like, like this.

[00:50:16] And they’re like, is there anything we can, we can help you with? And he is like, I, I, I, I need to contact the British consulate. And, and he contacts the British Consulate and they send an agent and, and he’s the person who actually takes down this story, um, that, that I’ve just shared with you. The story of Lost Horizon.

[00:50:37] And the last we hear of Conway, is from this person. The book ends with Conway going off in search of a way back to Shangrila. And, um, whether he makes it back or not to shangrila, we never find out. So Shangrila itself, And that’s how the story ends. Shangrila itself, as I said, is a Sian place. Uh, Saturn rules over time, but a Saturn also rules over timeless places like Avalon, El Dorado, Bergon, and even never, never Land.

[00:51:12] And you know, the Sian imagery of Peter Pan. You have Captain Hook with the si, you know, with the hook that’s replaced the hand and all these sorts of things. But, but Hilton’s Shangrila, his hidden Valley is based on traditions in the Far East that speak of a hidden paradise. Early Buddhist writings called it and describe it as a source of ancient wisdom.

[00:51:39] There was a belief in China that the K Mountains were rumored to contain a valley Immortals lived in perfect harmony. In Indian tradition, there was a place called , uh, north of the Himalayas, where dwelled a perfect people in Russia.

[00:52:00] In Russia, it was said that if the path of the tars was followed all the way back to Mongolia, you would discover a place, a place where holy men lived, apart from the world, in the land of what was called the white waters. Shalah, another name for Shangrila was reported to lie north of Tibet. But it begs a question, and it begs a very important question, this fable, this story of Saturn.

[00:52:33] Would we want it if we could have it? Could we put down our burdens, give up our social media, leave the concerns, the ties and obligations of our day-to-day world to reside in this paradise. The other attorney motif that comes in here is the sort of what I call the bungled loss of immortality, which is also part of the Saturn story.

[00:53:06] We know it from Adam and Eve. You know, Adam and Eve reside in a perfect garden, not unlike, uhk, you know, they and reside in a perfect garden in which everything is there that, uh, uh, that they would have want for. Okay? And, and, and it’s a pocketed place. We know that it’s a pocketed place because once they eat of the apple and are cast out, Of the Garden of Eden, they are cast out into the world, a world that is the opposite of Eden, a world in which, Eve when she has children, and I imagine her capacity to have children begins because she’s entered into the outer world.

[00:53:49] Eve in her capacity to have children, could very well die in childbirth. She’ll be in this horrible pain and, and, and, and torment, uh, giving birth. Her life may even be imperiled and Adam will have to work very hard to toil to make the land give up something, you know, uh, so that they can eat and he could provide for the children that will come.

[00:54:12] So, so there’s this bungled immortality, this, this, this eating of the apple, which robs Adam and Eve of their immortality. Similarly in the epic of Gilgamesh, there is a, a, a mission, that he goes on to find, this, this plant or this root, which is of immortality. And in the last minute it slips through his fingers, you know?

[00:54:36] And so he loses his immortality. And, and so what’s kind of wrapped up in this urian motif here? Is this feeling of, you know, you’re given this, I mean, at, at first hearing, you’re like, okay, Conway blew it. You know, like Adam blew it, or Gilgamesh blew it, you know, they had the opportunity or whatever. And if they just stayed there, you know if they had like, you know what, you had all this garden fruit, you had to choose an apple tree, you know, or, or, or, or you have this root, you know, if you just like had a firmer grip or Conway, why are you making this idiot choice to go and help these two, you know, kids find their way back to civilization.

[00:55:17] But what it’s talking about, you know, is this, this, this Saturn is both this hidden valley, this place, which is lost to time, and it is also the exile. All right. Saturn is also exiled from this place to go and live in the real world, or in the real world. A, a world which is tyrannized by time in the passing of time, which is full of rack and ruin.

[00:55:49] And to make something of that world, you know, to, to make something of that world and to bring that sexuality, that sacredness of Saturn to the world, the mundane world, uh, Saturn’s reputation in Roman mythology is that he’s the one who teaches Romans how to farm. And Saturn is associated with farming, making something of this earth that you can eat.

[00:56:17] And he’s also the planet of building. But this residing in paradise, Maladin is driven crazy by it. You know? This isn’t the real world. We have responsibility. And of course, Conway out of his feeling of responsibility and, and obligation and even guilt, all Saturn terms, uh, towards loon and towards Mallinson because of his paternal protectiveness, feels an obligation so that they don’t perish.

[00:56:47] You know? And was that the test of the hi llama, you know, the test to see whether Conway would choose Shangrila or not, or is perhaps the greatest test coming back? And we don’t know. That’s where the story ends. He’s, we know that he’s gone, trying to find his way back to Shangrila again. And, and as, as a friend of his says at the end of the novel, we wish him well.

[00:57:14] But this pocket time is not for everyone. And it’s something to think about with Saturn turning retrograde in the Zodiac H of Pisces, MARCE Fino. The, uh, Florentine philosopher, writes in his three books of life. I wanted to share this passage with you. He says, and maybe I shared it before, and if I did, I’m sorry.

[00:57:38] I just love this passage. Okay. But it’s very Saturn to me. Fino writes in his three books of life, finally, the contemplative mind, which withdraws itself not only from what we generally perceive, but also from what we generally imagine or express in our human customs. This mind expresses itself in a certain measure to Saturn.

[00:58:09] To this faculty, this faculty of the mind, that withdraws to contemplate to this faculty alone is Saturn propitious for just as the sun is hostile to nocturnal animals, but friendly to those who are active in daylight. So is Saturn an enemy of those people who overtly lead a commonplace life, or who though they flee, the company of vulgar people still do not lay aside their vulgar, commonplace thoughts for he Saturn resigned common life to Jupiter, but retained the sequestered and divine life for himself.

[00:58:56] Men whose minds are truly withdrawn from the world are his kin are Saturn’s kin, and in him, they find a friend for Saturn himself is to speak in platonic terms, a Jupiter to those souls who inhabit the sublime spheres in the same way as Jupiter is a helpful father to those who live in ordinary life.

[00:59:24] And so there’s this distinction. Saturn is a friend to those who withdraw from the common everyday world to contemplate the higher spheres of life. This is the meaning of the seventh heaven as Dante, um, shares with us in Paradi. That it is the height is the height of contemplation. And to these people, Saturn is a friend.

[00:59:46] So to retreat from the common world with its need for money and, and for fame and for, you know, being recognized and, hey, I’m living in the world, you know, uh, uh, it’s need of those common things that Saturn, when he was overthrown by Jupiter Relinquiss to Jupiter, you know, avid even says we go from gold to silver.

[01:00:09] That Jupiter’s reign is the silver age, not the golden one of Saturn. So Saturn Relinquiss. The commonplace world. It’s, it’s basically the urban world would be a good way of thinking of it. He relinquiss the urban world, the, the world of society to Jupiter. But for him, he says he will hold the sublimity of higher thought and contemplation.

[01:00:34] And so, um, what, Fino says is for those who look past and who, who, who preserve the treasures of civilization and the past, who, who read knowledge, who seek sublimity, uh, the sublime in their life. These are the kind of Saturn. Saturn is your patron, uh, here. And then Fino ends it with these beautiful, lines.

[01:01:01] He says, instead of earthly life, The commonplace life, the place of fame and fortune and all these sorts of things, so instead of earthly life from which he himself is cut off, Saturn confers heavenly and eternal life on you.

[01:01:23] That’s something to think about that, something to think about as Saturn is retrograde in the Zodiac sign of Pisces from June 17th until November 3rd.