Saturn is the name for the Roman god of agriculture. He was worshiped as the father of civilization and civil order. In Greek mythology, he is Cronos, the god of time and of the harvest. In Nordic mythology, some see Njord as the equivalent to Saturn. The Babylonians called him Anu and the Egyptians saw Heru the Bull. The Archangel Cassiel is represented by Saturn in Judeo-Christian mythology.
Watch this playlist featuring all of the Saturn gongs and instruments we offer:
Saturn’s energy can be explained by observing the characteristics and behaviors of the planet itself. By looking at the energetic threads connecting the physical planet and the religious symbols above, you will see how they are all related.
Saturn in Astronomy
Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun. It's the second largest planet after Jupiter, approximately 9 times the size of Earth. It's a gas giant with a core of iron-nickel and rock, surrounded by metallic hydrogen, liquid hydrogen, liquid helium, and finally the outer gaseous layer. Ammonia crystals in the atmosphere give its bland, yellowish appearance.
Saturn's most prominent feature is its ring system, made up of dust and ice particles. It also features 82 moons, the largest being Titan, which has a substantial atmosphere and evidence of stable surface liquid.
One rotation of Saturn takes approximately 10 hours and 38 minutes. Don't get too excited about the shorter workday when you make the transfer to the corporate office on Saturn. At an average of 1.1 billion miles from the Sun, it takes approximately 29.5 Earth years to make a single revolution around the Sun. That's a lot of days to retirement. Be sure to stop at the Saturn gift shop to pick up a new shirt: "Saturn: Short Days, Long Years, Ammonia Crystals"
Spiritual Saturn and Astrology
As one of the outer planets with a long cycle, it moves very slowly across the sky. Saturn is the boundary between the classical inner planets of astrology and the more-recently discovered outer planets. Saturn defines generations, shifting between signs every two to three years. It points to the energy that feeds events that play out in society on a year-to-year basis, and the trends that come and go with time.
Saturn represents Time and Matter. It represents the boundary between "above" and "below." It is the limitation of undefined things, bringing concepts to reality, spirit to body, thoughts to words, life to death. In society, we see Saturn in rules, both written and implied. We see Saturn in the structure and organization of groups and governments and corporations. In Saturn, we see "the father" but that is perhaps more because we live in societies that structure themselves around the idea of a paternalistic power nexus at the top, worshiping Saturn in our own way (see: societal daddy issues).
There is the classic trope in our society of the "mid-life crisis." We can picture the stereotypical tale of the 50-something dad who buys a sports car (or maybe just a pair of slim fit jeans) to spice things up. This points to the influence of what's called the "Saturn Return." With an approximate 29.5 year cycle, humans tend to experience two or three of these two and a half year defining periods of life.
From about 28 to 32 (depending on where Saturn is and how fast it's moving relative to Earth), you experience your first Saturn Return. That is, Saturn returns to the same sign placement it was in at your birth. During this time, you feel the pressure of Saturn to limit yourself, to define a path forward for yourself, to integrate yourself from your younger life to your adult life and into society. Again in your 50's, you feel this transition from adulthood to elder status. And at the end of your life, Saturn returns again to carry you back to the source. The themes of your own transition periods will be defined by the placement of Saturn in your birth chart.
Think of all of the young musicians and artists who have died at 27, approaching the reality and limitations of the world. Through them, Saturn tells us the truth of limitations and rules. While we often resist and bend the restrictions put on us by society, the rules of the universe can't be similarly bent or broken. If you constantly put destructive poison into your body, you break the rules put in place that keep your body functioning. Without limitation, the spirit can't be contained in the body and the body breaks down. In this way we can see how Saturn is an important influence.
The Symbol of Saturn and Sound Healing
To truly embrace Saturn, we may have to challenge some of our projected ideas about this symbol. We can reject and challenge a society that structures itself and its systems around Paternalistic hierarchies. We can break down these concepts and negative pictures of Saturn and what it means to be a father or what it means to operate as a part of an organized system. When we break down these old concepts and projections, we understand the benefit of and the need to limit ourselves, to create and organize effective structures, to define ourselves and our relationship to wealth and the harvest of our labors.
The symbol for Saturn features prominently features two elements. The first is a cross, representing the culmination of matter, the Earth, and the material nature of humanity. The second feature is the crescent, resembling a scythe, pointing to Saturn's role as the god of the harvest and also themes of death (harvesting of life).
It's worth noting that this symbol of limitation and restriction is the inverse of the symbol for Jupiter (growth and expansion). Saturn is a powerful tool for people struggling with their relationship to power, and more importantly their own power. It can help to work through past karma with the self and others. For people struggling with addiction to excess and over-consumption, Saturn can remind us of the importance of limits. It can help to understand what prevents us from being the authority in our own lives. Empower yourself to be the authority over yourself by working with this great symbol.
Saturn, in the Cosmic Octave (written and developed by Hans Cousto, is calculated to be 147.8 Hz. This frequency was calculated by finding the orbital frequency of the planet and scaling it up to the audible range using principles of music theory. By using instruments tuned to the target frequency, sound therapists and spiritual healers can work with the energy and spiritual power of Saturn (and other bodies) in their work.
Work with the transformative, self-empowering qualities of Saturn yourself. Check out Paiste's 32" Saturn Gong here.
Watch the the videos in the playlist at the top of this blog to see what other great Saturn-tuned instruments we have available. Open each video on YouTube and follow links on the pages to their individual instrument listings here in our store. And as always, contact us if you have any questions!
Today we're looking at the spiritual and mythological qualities of each of the planets. How can you use planetary tunings to connect sound with energetic intention? What are the different energies of the planets and how do they relate to sound therapy and spiritual healing? Read here and learn more!
We've introduced the concept of the Cosmic Octave and we've laid out the underlying philosophy connecting the physical to the spiritual. Here, we're looking at the actual calculations that take us from planetary orbit to audible frequency. Yes, it's math, but it's fun. Really.
What do we mean when we talk about energy? How do we close the gap between a physical and spiritual understanding of energy? We're talking quality and quantity. How do subjective Qualities of a thing relate to the Spirit of that thing? And what does this have to do with sound healing?!