Saturn seems to be a rather frightening archetype, but as a father, a creater of
he can teach us how to understand it, how to profit by it, and finally how to transcend it. To our ego time seems to be a tyrant but to a cosmic awareness it is an instrument, so once we become acquainted with Saturn he turns out to be quite friendly. Some great yogis even assure us that Saturn, or Cronos as the Greeks called him, can become a faithful servant.
The first step in understanding time is to see it as a simple perspective, a single dimension among the many dimensions of being. Saturn as a god is not the lord of man's little time, the kind of time you wear on your wristwatch, but of the great geological periods. We are assured by the Puranas, the ancient writings of India, that one of Saturn's years is 325,000 human years. So when we start playing with Saturn and his time, our time awareness is likely to grow beyond man's micromeasure and change over to a cosmic measure of the time our galaxy ticks out by turning once around itself.
The ancient Romans knew how to play with Saturn. Their greatest festival, their Christmas, they called Saturnalia. Saturnalia was a time taken out of man's time, a liberation from it, and therefore a real festival. And each time we meet Saturn we should also step out of profane time and enter sacred time, the great periods of eternity itself.
If man does not start transcending time, he will never be able to travel in space, because he who travels in space travels also in time. Man will become lord of space only when he has become master of time.
So let us forget our puppy time and start thinking in adult time, in aeons, the rhythms of the cosmic dancer.
The way in which the yogi conquers time, making every second of his life a festival, is by
not an artificial arbitrary regulation, but simply a law of life. Ordinary time devours its children, consumes ordinary men. But a man who in a sovereign way understands time and uses it as a servant and a helper in putting his things and his activities in order, by this very perspective transcends it. As we learn to see time as this orderly progress of evolution, this orderly dance of the stars, time becomes, instead of an enemy a helper.
Every day is a cosmic festival where new suns are born, new planets, new possibilities of being. We also have to be newly born continually in order to play the game of time, to take our place on Saturn's throne and play with him the play of eternity. Remember, the gods are not here to lord it over man, but to be shining guides on the way he has to go. Our symbol for Saturn is the sphinx, which in ancient Egypt was a symbol of time itself and the riddle that it poses to man until he learns to rise above it and see it as the eternal
festival of life.