Grace's Saturnian Journey - Carnival

As her adventure began, transiting Saturn had stationed retrograde just two degrees short of its return to its natal position in her chart, and Mars had conjoined her natal Saturn just two days before the station of transiting Saturn. It is also worth noting that Mars haunted the early degrees of Scorpio through mid-August of that year, adding an urgent emphasis to her prolonged Saturn return. As if Mars and Saturn pressuring her natal Saturn were not enough, her progressed horoscope also indicated a watershed time as her progressed Sun in the 10th house was opposing her natal Moon in the 4th, which meant that both were squaring natal Saturn in the 7th during the time that it was emphasized and reemphasized by transiting Mars and Saturn. Perhaps the most interesting and direct reflection of the deep father-mother symbolism embedded in these progressions and transits was a brief and wholly unsatisfying affair she had in Trinidad with a native-born Trinidadian doctor who was himself there on vacation from his medical practice in New York City an awkward affair which was consummated at his aged mother's house, as she lay dying in the next room.

The house where she was to stay was, like many in Trinidad, built so that the ground floor, which one might call the "party floor," was completely open. All over the country, all-night parties took place on these ready-made dance floors, which are actually an architectural feature designed to prevent flooding during the rainy season. Speakers as large as refrigerators boomed out the latest calypso tunes while everyone drank large quantities of high- proof sugar-cane moonshine, smoked lots of marijuana and danced. Given her earlier apprehension at the airport, what was Grace to think as she became the center of attention not only for her whiteness but also because she was, at the age of twenty-nine, often the only childless person in the group, something which led to many friendly offers to remedy her situation a situation almost unheard of in a country where at that age most people have become parents several times over, frequently with different mates. If the offers themselves made her aware of how very different and alone she was, it probably did not help that these sexual advances were punctuated by the national dance style, which was sensual and seductive to the point where the men would often be very obviously physically aroused as they rubbed up against the women. Her time in Trinidad was memorable for many other reasons, however, as in many ways her contact with this culture was like being on another planet. Funeral pyres burning along the rivers and by the oceans were evidence of the practice of Hinduism in this largely Catholic country. The local flora and fauna seemed exotic as well, and she sampled some by eating (iguana) and some by more direct contact (one day, while she swam in the sea, she was stung multiple times by jellyfish). The events surrounding a machete murder also made an impression on her that stays with her to this day. All of this, added to the partying and the sexual stimulation, served to deepen her Scorpio/Saturnian experience.

At the end of nearly a month of fun with a core group of new friends, something special occurred. An enormous black man her age, who was married with children and was a high-level harbor official, invited her to walk with him on the last evening of her visit. As they strolled out behind the house and into a big sugar-cane held under a canopy of stars, Grace was shocked when he suddenly lifted her up high over his head and declared his love for her and then began weeping. He confessed that until he met her he had hated all white people, and he shared some painful memories from his youth of the British and their influence over Trinidad. Getting to know her had now changed how he felt. Grace recalls this as her most cherished memory of the entire trip. She herself had, of course, met a similar (though certainly lesser) demon, recalling the difference between how she had felt in the airport, much of what came from her awareness of being the only white face in a sea of black ones, aggravated by menacing cab drivers, and how perfectly natural it seemed to be in this situation now. For the first few days there, she had in fact been quite uncomfortable, but had dealt with this in a consciously positive way by telling herself that here was a new experience and she had to embrace it in order to learn from it.

Next: Tapping At the Door