Each of us habours an inner Taskmaster who drives us in a quest for perfection, to be always on the ball; to act as if we have it all together, while at the same time, providing us with regular and demanding challenges. We might call this part of the human condition. If we observe very mindfully, we’ll notice that our Taskmaster seems to show up most often with these laborious demands in one particular arena of our lives. Perhaps we’re tasked to work harder than most in our money matters or we need to work harder than most on our relationships on in our careers. We might highlight that arena as our area of weakness and work even harder to overcome what might feel like restrictions that never let us entirely relax and feel that we have arrived.
It is no co-incidence that in astrology we refer to the planet Saturn as the Taskmaster. Difficulties that we experience and perceive that we’re experiencing could be directly linked to the cosmic and karmic position of Saturn in the sky at the time of our birth.
Let me offer you some practical examples: My client, Bernice*, is an service operational executive whose day-to-day activities demand hard work. Although her colleagues are able to complete their tasks and leave the office at closing time, my client feels compelled to keep busy long after her day is done. We’ve discovered that her Saturn is positioned in the 6th House in her birth (I’ll refrain from getting too technical). The 6th house relates to service and day-to-day activities Another client, Carina*, an Independent Professional Coach, does not understand why she can’t relax and enjoy creative down-time. She always feels compelled to work so hard at creative pursuits, a need to really, really achieve in this , her most challenging arena. Carina’s Saturn is positioned in the 5th house—the house of create pursuits. And then there’s Simon*, a corporate executive , whose Saturn is in the 2nd house—the house of money— who tells me that this is one arena of his life where he always experiences himself as frustratingly slow and deliberate.
Does this suggest that we’re stuck with the taskmaster with no way to overcome the obstacles? No. since everything in the cosmos is pre-disposed to encouraging our personal growth and evolution, so too is Saturn. The formula to mastering the taskmaster is awareness, courage, patience and consistency. Adam Smith, author of Saturn, Fatal Attraction, tells us “No matter how it sometimes seems, though Saturn is demanding he is not vindictive. As well as exacting obedience, he confers eventual rewards.”
The Dhammapada teaches: “Enduring patience is the highest Tapas” suggesting that patient acceptance makes us take a step further in our development. As with anything, once we have learned to deal with difficulty, the next time we observe it, encounter it, it ceases to be quite so difficult.