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  • Writer's pictureLelia

The Great Work of Saturn: Grave and Persistent Effort

Updated: Jun 27, 2023



A Worn Path” is one of Eudora Welty’s most powerful short stories, and if you've read it, you know the epic journey Phoenix Jackson makes, one step at a time, as she walks from her home deep in the country into town. Welty doesn’t tell us Phoenix is contending with racism, poverty and the failures of the body that arise with old age. We feel them with Phoenix — her impaired vision, her precariousness as she deals with a log bridge, barbed wire, a dog, and a man with a gun. It’s Phoenix’s own dogged perseverance, despite her vulnerability, that moves the reader.


What Eudora calls Phoenix’s “habit of love,” an astrologer might call Saturn. The ability to take the next step, attend to duty, not because it’s easy or glamorous but because it’s right, is Saturn’s energy. In Wisdom of the Fathers, Rabbi Tarphon could be describing the persistence Saturn requires when he tells us, “You are not required to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.”


Where Saturn lies in your chart, you’re asked to make your own worn path. Persistent effort in the bahaviors of the house Saturn lies in, with the motivations of its sign, are your Great Work in this lifetime.

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