The Saturn-in-Sagittarius SUV


Recently, on my annual road trip to the desert, I had an unexpected experiential encounter with Saturn in Sagittarius.

Every year, I procure the largest SUV the rental-car place has, drive it down to the epic Gem & Mineral Show in Tucson, Arizona, fill it up with rocks and jewelry to stock my shop (The Sacred Well), and drive it back to the Bay.

This year's rental was a brand-new 2015 model, complete with all the technological bells-and-whistles that are at once titillating and, to an old 20th-century type like myself, somewhat intimidating. (For instance, I prefer to use my mirrors or to just look behind me rather than refer to a dashboard video-screen to determine what I'm about to reverse into.) It took me a few moments to personalize all dozen-or-so seat adjustments, and to properly integrate my portable electronic devices into the mainframe, so I might be able to stream my music-of-choice from the magical thin-air and through the sound-system. I was eager to hit the open road and launch this latest adventure.

There are few pleasures in all of life I enjoy more than a solitary long-distance car trip: just me and the endless miles of land to explore, wind blowing in through the open windows, tunes blaring at ear-splitting decibels, snacks and drinks piled on the passenger's-seat, and, for this rare juncture of time-outside-time, nobody in the whole world knows exactly where I am. I can travel as briskly or leisurely as I want, turning off at whichever detours interest me or speeding on through. I choose the music, the meals, the interior climate, the frequency of bathroom breaks. I'm at liberty to indulge every impulse. I am free.

I had made it across the Bay Bridge, about a half-hour into my trip, and was headed inland to catch infamously unscenic Interstate 5 when I felt a familiar vibrating sensation on my upper leg. I always keep my mobile phone on vibrate, so I instinctively reached for my pants pocket… but, no, my phone was over there, sitting atop the armrest, pumping out the tunes. Another bout of phantom vibration syndrome? Or…

Wait a darn second here. WHAT? That was no pressing phone-call or phantom vibration. Did my seat just vibrate? It did, it did: My seat just vibrated! After a stupefying moment of being stunned, I regained my senses and became able to apply logic to this most unexpected development. Apparently, I had inadvertently allowed the truck to skew slightly to the side of my lane, momentarily grazing the dotted white dividing line—and, on cue, my futuristic rental truck had physically chastised me for my momentary safety-lapse. Much as one might use an electric-shock device to train lab animals to follow certain behavioral guidelines, Pavlov-style, the vehicle was using unpleasant bodily cues to condition me into staying precisely on the straight-and-narrow.

Though the 'shocks' this vehicle doled out could hardly be considered painful, they certainly qualified as annoying. I endured a couple more of 'em as I discovered that, by trial-and-error, any deliberate lane-change made without the use of a directional signal would of course also trigger a punitive tremor, the vibration localized to the particular side of my seat, left or right, corresponding to the zone of my infraction. At one point, I must've committed a truly dastardly driving offense because the whole seat shook, both sides in unison, and urgent warning lights flashed alarmingly red from the dashboard. (Never did figure that one out. Was I accelerating too close to another nearby vehicle?) I wondered whether the operator's manual might be in the glove compartment, so I might look up how to deactivate the vehicular punishment program. There must be a way to deactivate this feature, right? They do still make operator's manuals, don't they? Or must I look up the answers on some Online Help chat forum?

But after another couple hours or so of driving—and another few still-startling correctives—I decided not to try to disarm the vibrating mechanism. As galled as I had been by the technological intrusion, I had to admit: The vibrations were in fact improving my driving. I noticed I had begun to actively attempt to spare myself the irritation by staying more squarely in my lane and consistently using my signal before lane-changes, even if there wasn't another car anywhere around. The damn thing worked like a charm.

Sagittarian energy is not unlike the open road, teeming with exciting opportunities for adventure, unhindered by the dull confines of familiarity, boundary-pushing, horizon-chasing, free. Sagittarius pushes us toward territory we haven't seen before, so we might experience something new and hopefully learn from the experience. At the same time, Sagittarius can play its cards pretty loose and lenient, careless or sloppy with details it deems unimportant, impatient about steadily staying its course.

Now in Sagittarius for a couple months already (and not finishing there until the end of 2017), Saturn encourages us to proceed with our growth-inspiring explorations down the open road—but without letting our restlessness, haste, or inattention inspire us to gloss over supposedly minor infractions which, if lazily left to pile up, could circumstantially create sizable messes for us to deal with later.

As part of the exceedingly fiery astrological scene we're now in, both Venus and Mars are currently in Aries, sparking a crude surge of get-up-and-go which, without a fair amount of conscious direction, holds the potential to launch us beyond our originally-intended mark and/or right into someone else's line of fire. Thankfully, to support our more controlled assertions of this fire-power, both planets will form constructive trines to Saturn this week—Venus on Tuesday (Feb 24), Mars on Wednesday (Feb 25)—helping us ensure any brash forward thrusts don't fling us off-course, but faithfully propel us further toward our chosen destination.

My snazzy Saturn-in-Sagittarius SUV didn't steal the joyous thrills from my roadtrip adventure. It merely kept me more cleanly on track, and alerted me when I hadn't properly signaled my intended actions to other people. Remember this little allegory throughout your week, should you hit up against any such gentle corrections. This isn't a warning to change targets or halt your advance altogether; rather, it's simple supportive guidance to keep you safely and effectively headed the right way.