Book review: Saturn – A New Look at an Old Devil
Liz Greene (born 4th September 1946 in New Jersey, USA) is an astrologer who became famous after writing several books of psychological astrology like Saturn – A New Look at an Old Devil, The Astrology of Fate, The Luminaries: The Psychology of the Sun and Moon in the Horoscope or The Astrological Neptune and the Quest for Redemption. She is strongly influenced by the Jungian psychology, concepts like personal and collective unconscious, archetype, synchronicity being common in her books. Nowadays she lives in Switzerland and is the director of the Center of Psychological Astrology, an institute she founded in 1983 with Howard Sasportas.
Her first book, Saturn – A New Look at an Old Devil (1976), is a bestseller still considered in astrology one of the main references about Saturn.
The major innovation is that she doesn’t present Saturn from a fatalistic point of view, but tries to explain the psychological and evolutionary processes generated by his presence.
The first half of the book presents the interpretations for Saturn in signs and houses. There are four chapters named “In the Watery Signs and Houses”, “In the Earthy Signs and Houses”, “In the Airy Signs and Houses” and “In the Fiery Signs and Houses”. As one can see from the title the interpretations for signs and houses are blended in the same chapters and the houses are grouped like watery, earthy, airy and fiery. This is pretty awkward for many astrologers. Also, there are too many connections with mythology, the text is not well structured, often confusing, hard to understand and the explanations seem irrational. Let’s see an example:
“Saturn in the sixth house seems to provide an opportunity – often through frustration, dissapointment, and ill health- for a journey into the mysteries of the interconnexion between mind and body and the possibility of a conscious and deliberate synthesis of these two, the reward of which is good health and a new awareness of the meaning of the body and of the material environment.”
The second half of the book contains two chapters named “Aspects in the Birth Chart” and “In Synastry” where the author presents the interpretations for the aspects of Saturn and other planets in the natal chart and synastry. The text changes and, in contrast with the first part, the observations become reliable, the analyze is subtle, fine and insightful. It seems to be a totally different book. It is a pleasant surprise for the reader. One can find the interpretations for Saturn in relation with the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn (synastry), Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The analyze is not divided in separate aspects (conjunction, sextile etc.), just presents the general relation between planets, eventually speaking about good and bad aspects. Every planetary combination made by Saturn is presented detailed, in multiple areas of life. For example, the Saturn – Venus relation is analyzed in relation with marriage, sexuality, the capacity to be happy, the emotional state, the early home life, the rel
ation with parents, the capacity to express and receive affection etc. One can find a various and numerous range of manifestations for every planetary combination. Let’s see a quotation:
“Mercury – Saturn contacts are not productive of the kind of stress and emotional frustration which is more typical of Mars, Venus, or the Moon in aspect to Saturn. Mercury, being symbolic of cold reason and common sense and being inclined toward matters of business or commerce as well as intellectual pursuits, tends to blend agreeably with Saturn regardless of the nature of the aspect. It is fairly obvious why a combination of these two planets should be associated with tact, shrewdness, and diplomacy.”
MY EVALUATION: 7,75
Conclusion. I don’t like the first part where is presented Saturn in signs and houses. My objections are: the analyzes made for signs and houses are very similar (for example, the second house is equated with Taurus etc.), the houses are associated with the four elements (fire, earth, air and water) like signs, there is too much mythology, the text is confusing, not well structured, jumping from one idea to another very easily. A book about Saturn should have a little more structure. I like the second part, the analyze of the relation between Saturn and planets is a very good one. Good, valuable observations can be found in every page. Taking in account the differences between the two parts of the book, I will give 6,5 for the first part and a 9 for the second part. So, the evaluation for the whole book is 7,75.