The picture you see is of my two children taken in late May when my daughter graduated from high school.
This story is about my son Evan and transiting Saturn. Evan has childhood asthma and has been taking steroids since he was 2 years old. He was a very thin child until he was about 8 years old at which time is face started filling out. When I look back at the pictures of him he looks like he was sick because he was so skinny and he had the classic dark circles under his eyes that so many asthmatics have. Although at the time all I could see was my precious little boy. He walked early and was very active, another reason he didn’t have any baby fat. When he did start gaining weight I remember taking him to visit my Mom who was very ill at the time. She looked over at him and said, “Every time I see you, you get prettier and prettier.” I knew she meant that his cheeks were getting round. My mom was German so round cheeks meant a healthy child in her eyes.
Evan was born with one kidney in his abdomen and has been unable to participate in sports programs and he has to be careful of any falls or blows to the abdominal area. We had our share of emergency room visits early on, which is how we discovered the kidney problem in the first place at around the age of two. By the time he reached adolescence he was overweight. Some of the weight gain may have been the result of taking steroids… so the doctor suggested. We moved long distance from family and childhood friends when he was 11, so most of the weight came from emotional eating and an inactive lifestyle over the last 3 years. Then there was the bullying in the school, not only did they have a new kid to pick on, but he was also overweight which gave these bullies more ammunition for name calling. I promise you this issue was addressed at school and with Evan often. It got so bad that I wrote Dr. Phil and he called and invited us on the show. This is another long story so I will stop here. No kid that finds comfort in food is going to loose weight under the kind of pressure he had to endure. This all happened his first year in school here when transiting Saturn was conjunct his sun.
This past May Evan had his annual check-up and had gained more weight over the last year. He will start high school soon and while I have been told by his sister (Ashton) that the hitting may stop due to increased security, the name calling only gets worse. One evening shortly after Evan’s physical I expressed concern to Ashton about his weight. We talked about how loosing weight would help his self esteem and might just help him hold his head higher this year. It hurt me to see him walk into school holding his head down as though it would shield him from the terrible things the kids would say, or perhaps no one would notice him because he wouldn’t look them in the eyes. Ashton suggested that I send him to a weight loss camp for kids which totally freaked me out! After getting over my initial shock of her suggestion, thinking she was referring to some type of boot camp for kids, she told me that there are fun camps for kids that also address health and weight issues. We did an online search and found one close to our area. I did some research and had Evan look over the website. He said he would like to go as long as it didn’t interfere with a trip he had planned in June, so we signed him up for the July session which would last for a full month.
School was out the last week of May in our area. He spent a couple of weeks home and took a trip to visit his dad and spend time in our old neighborhood with friends. I’ve always said that you can’t go back to where you’ve already been, but Evan has been able to maintain friendships from his early childhood regardless of the 600 miles that separates them. He loves going back because they still do the things they always did together even though they have grown up so much in the last few years. And he stays active the entire time swimming, jumping on the trampoline, playing Dance Dance Revolution and spending hours on roller skates at the all night skate center. He came home from his trip having only 3 days for last minute shopping and packing for the month long camp. The director told me not to worry about him getting homesick because most of the kids that miss home are the same kids that don’t want to leave. He seemed very excited to go and thought it was ridiculous that I would send him with stationary and stamps to write home during their no call periods. Once he was unpacked and his bunk was made I could see that he was ready to meet the new kids in his cabin and it was time for me to leave. The first week was no call week and to my surprise I did receive a letter which I have copied below.
Hi Mom The camp is alright, but a couple of the kids are assholes. I wanted to know if my skates came in. How is Ashton, Allen, the animals and you? I would be a lot happier in my own room. I miss you all. There wasn’t enough time in between Alabama and camp. Love Evan
I cried! By the time I received the letter the kids were given their cell phones in the evening to make calls. He said he had a boy in his cabin that was picking on him. When I told him to tell his counselor he told me that he did, but the counselor told him to handle his own problems. My husband and daughter told me not to worry about it, that Evan needs to learn to get along with everyone and he needs to learn to stand up for himself. I assure you that although I worry I don’t baby him nor do I interfere or try to fix his problems for him. I am his mother; I do talk to him about finding a solution to his problems. I sure didn’t expect him to have to live with boys that were going to be a pick on him; especially since I was reassured that such behavior wasn’t tolerated at all. There were many more phone calls, some days were better than others, but the one thing that stayed constant was his telling me that I didn’t know what it was like living with a bunch of strangers. He was right, I didn’t know and I wouldn’t want to know because I like my own space, I always have. Three days before graduation he called crying, almost begging me to come get him. He said he just wanted to come home. I tried to console him, but he wouldn’t have it. I even mentioned that he just had a full moon which was why he was so emotional. He told me to “knock it off.” The full moon fell in his 12th house of isolation and opposed his natal sun. I finally told him to talk to the camp director and tell her he wanted to leave. Once he did this she could call me to come pick him up…I figured she was better at handling the situation from her end. As soon as we hung up the phone Ashton and Allen quickly told me that I better not go get him, that he can stick it out 3 more days. They were telling me that this experience was good for Evan, how much he was going to learn and how this was going to make something out of him. I snapped back defending my child of course, reminding them about how many young men think they are ready for the military until they get there and they call home crying for someone to come get them! I’ve known several in my life. Why does a 14 year old have to be as strong? He turned 14 just a week before at camp, the first birthday he was ever away from home. I knew that he must have felt so alone in the world when I hung up the phone that day, it really hurt me deeply. I knew that full moon had a lot to do with his emotions and I just wanted those last three days to fly by so he could come home. I never heard from the camp director and the next 2 days were no call dates because they were preparing for graduation.
The night before graduation I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited to see him. I also wanted to find some dates to share with my husband and my daughter so they could better understand that Evan didn’t bring what was happening on himself, but that this was part of an astrological aspect that we all go through. You may already know how difficult a Saturn return can be when it conjuncts your sun at around the age of 29 - 30, but how many of us remember transiting Saturn square natal Saturn at age 7 and the opposition to our natal Saturn at age 14? It’s easy to forget those years by the time you reach adulthood. These years do vary a little because of Saturn’s retrograde motion, but they always carry the theme of having to grow up.
Evan had transiting Saturn square his natal Saturn in the spring of 2001, just before he turned 8 years old. My mother, his nearest and closest grandparent died from cancer at that time. As Saturn was approaching the square my Mom spent a lot of time in our home as my sister and I tried to share in the responsibility of taking care of her. Mom stayed in Evan’s room and he was very worried that she would die in his bed. She was very sick at the time. Saturn rules over our fears too as well as his 12th house of hospitals and confinement. It’s easy to see how hard this first square would have been so frightening to a 7 year old. I was scared too! I was very close to my mother. I never imagined having to watch her decline, nor did I ever imagine having to live my life without her in it and I was an adult.
It was just over a week ago that Evan called from camp wanting to come home. I gathered that the kids were really stressed by some of what Evan told me. After all they were nearing the end of their session and some of those children had been away from home for 8 weeks as they were there for 2 sessions. They did participate in several fun activities, but there was the mile runs uphill in the heat everyday. They were all trying to beat their record time and their successes were recorded on a daily bases. And there were the exercise and nutrition classes. Their friends back home were sleeping late and not having to follow a strict regime. They were all there for the same reason…to loose weight and learn to make better choices in their life. I was certain the newness and excitement had worn off and the pressure was building. It was pretty clear when Evan said that I don’t understand how some of the kids make it so hard for other kids to go on.
Transiting Saturn in Evans 7th house of relationships with other people was opposing his natal Saturn in his 1st house of identity. This is the “me verses you” aspect, the “I am verses you are” aspect and in Evans case, the “you are reflecting what I am not, so stop and be like me.” The novice astrologer can interpret this however they wish. Transiting Saturn in the 7th house always brings lessons about cooperation with others no matter what the age.
Remember those dates I found for my husband and my daughter? The dates were when they each had the last transiting Saturn opposition to their natal Saturn. I gave them these dates to think on as we made the drive to graduation. I knew that my family didn’t have to understand any astrology whatsoever as long as I had those dates and they would see what Evan was going through in a whole new light. You should have seen their faces! For my husband it was when he divorced after 27 years of marriage and he went through what he calls a “dark period”. For my daughter it was the month that we announced we were getting married and moving 600 miles away from her friends. The months that followed were a time of packing her belongings, relocating and starting a new school in her 10th grade year.
Great news! He lost 16 pounds and is doing fantastic at home! I’m watching fat and counting calories too! If I ever needed a reason to eat right, I have one now! I had hoped that my progressed moon in the 5th house would help my creativity, but it became clear while Evan was away that this will be a time of greater responsibility to my children. Graduation day hosted a grand trine in fire signs so Evan was in his element that day. Nevertheless he didn’t waste anytime saying his good byes and putting his stuff in the car!
The picture was taken with his sister at graduation August 4.