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Saturn’s Treasure in My Pocket

I might not seem like a Martian, but beneath the lipstick and silk, lies the indomitable spirit of the red planet. Mars rules my character, my body, my orientation to whatever challenge life presents. Adventure feeds my spirit, purpose the zest that wakes me before dawn. Desire pulses hot through the veins of Martians. Its essence is my life force, the juice that keeps me vibrant.

But my path has not been straight. Martians are warriors, and each spiritual battlefield has tested me. The demons have been mighty. But Mars fights to win, and my Mars has a powerful ally, the luminosity of Jupiter, guardian of truth and wisdom. This light—a constant in my life as far back as I can remember—is what sustains me. Against all onslaught it remains steadfast, an unwavering flame illuminating vistas of possibility and fortifying me with courage and trust.

When I was young, it sent me seeking new geographies. Born restless in the Golden State, I scoured landscapes in California, France, and Scotland, chasing dreams, trying on different realities, discovering that all containers felt cramped. I entered the “real world” as an English teacher, in love with literature and words. Yet I did not stay long. Rahu and Ketu, the serpentine energies of alternative experience, rule the domains of my private and public life. I am destined to be a foreigner wherever I’m at home; and in the world, to belong outside all confines.

Decades ago, I left California for good. The mystical skies of Ireland beckoned. I did not know then that I was entering my nineteen-year long Saturn cycle. But soon I would understand how rain-drenched Ireland provided an ideal backdrop, its long dark winters and sudden epiphanies of sunburst a metaphor for my metamorphosis.

Saturn belongs to the limits of light. Planet of age, asceticism, loss, and solitude, Saturn teaches through contraction, clearing the soul of all surpluses to test its true fibre. From the outside, what I did seems crazy. With two young children and pregnant with a third, I moved country. The reasons I told people made partial sense, but they were only a surface story. The real reason was something other, which only came clear many years later.

Distance brought the patterns of my past into sharp relief. An icy fog seeped into my brain, sealing me ever tighter into black depression. Yet without grit, no pearl can form. I needed to confront each demon directly. Gradually I began to write my way out of the shadows, weaving memory into fiction and telling a tale of truth. My novel, Blood Memories, traces the journey of four generations of Italian-American women, each struggling to discover her true purpose against all manner of test, each an emblem of my rebirth.

But Saturn was not finished with me! Soon a bone disease would erode my hips, causing excruciating pain and immobility. Soon I could not walk without crutches. Saturn was striking deep at my identity—as yogini, dancer, Martian. He stripped me bare. His ultimate lesson: My true strength was not what I could do, but what I could do without.

Saturn’s cycle culminated in my second rebirth—mobility restored, life renewed—but even more, with Saturn’s pearl of understanding—my treasure—in my pocket forever.

I move and breathe from that place now, with transcendent light my heartbeat. My new home is another island, sun- kissed Sardinia. I live close to sea and sky and land, to Yoga and Jyotish. As suffering brought me grace, so I serve others seeking their path to redemptive light.

Om Shanti