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Of Heroes, Villains, and Monsters who Devour their Young
Cassini is my hero and perhaps in another incarnation I could have had a life just like that. I am not talking about Oleg Cassini, that Russian aristocrat, born in France and who worked in the US. Although I did admire the fashion designer’s style. Nor am I talking about Giovanni Cassini, the sharp-eyed French-Italian astronomer/astrologer who discovered several moons of Saturn. I am talking about the intrepid spacecraft Cassini (actually, the Cassini-Huygens ship) of NASA and ESA origin that plunged into the atmosphere of Saturn on Friday, September 12, 2017 to cap its 20-year mission.
What a ship! Seven years en route and 13 years in orbit, executing its mission flawlessly, with élan, then heroically completing the suicide mission by diving into Saturn’s dense atmosphere where the heat of entry destroyed it.
So Saturn consumed Cassini in a blast of fire. But what would you expect of a planetary deity that, according to the Romans, ate its own children. But it wasn’t just the Romans who maligned Saturn. In both Eastern and Western Astrological traditions, from the ancient Indians to the modern Persians, Saturn, the 6th planet, is the bringer of grief.
But who can blame Saturn? He had a very mean daddy. According to the Romans, his father, Uranus, would sire children then keep them underground for fear that they would usurp him. Finally, at the behest of one of his siblings, Saturn emasculated his father and fed his excess parts to the fishes.
Saturn is not all bad news. In Vedic Astrology, this planetary influence is named Shani, and although it is a source of dreaded energy, this influence is also the grantor of longevity, among other gifts. The most important characteristic of Saturn is that he is the indicator of Enlightenment, Moksha, final liberation.
Vedic Astrology claims to be predictive. It even implies that one should avail oneself of this science to avoid unnecessary suffering, to mitigate the grief that Saturn can presage. So, even though Cassini could not avoid its fate, you should study Vedic Astrology and avoid the less pleasant aspects of this magnificent Saturn. Do it, it’s in your stars.