The Military Brat

When one works with the Tarot the way I do, he or she works with a set of Archetypes. Archetypes are off-the-shelf personalities, situations, or challenges. Examples are the following:

  • The hero and his quest
  • The damsel and her distress
  • The wise sage in the forest and his teachings
  • The military brat and his dad

For today’s discussion, I’m going to focus on the Military Brat. An interesting thing about this particular archetype is that it is – by definition – associated with another – namely his or her military dad: the masculine, disciplinarian man who is the giver of tough love. He’s stern, demanding, unsympathetic, a true hard ass, and is here to make men and women out of us boys and girls.

In Astrology, Saturn acts like our military dad. Where Saturn sits in our Natal Chart indicates what part of our life dad is especially persnickety about. It’s where he watches over our shoulders while we work and judges our every move.

Saturn transits are another part of the story. As Saturn moves around in the sky, it transits (hits) certain parts of our Natal chart – kicking our ass in one way or another. One of the most infamous is called the Saturn Return. It happens when Saturn sits in the same place as when we were born and happens when we’re 29ish and again when we’re 58 or so. Because Saturn moves back and forth in the sky from our perspective here on earth, Saturn Returns can last nearly a full year.

During my Saturn return (in 1997 to 1998) Saturn shifted my way of working. Before that time, I worked full time in an office – like most 9-to-5-ers. After my Saturn Return, I have never gone back to that. Instead, I have worked primarily out of my home, and with greater independence than before. I have Saturn in Aries, and part of his insistence was for me to be independent and self reliant. Going with the flow is just not in the stars for me this time around.

Interestingly, this past year has been more challenging for me than that time was, especially since July. After doing some research, I discovered that there are actually four Saturn Transits that are especially challenging – one every 7 years or so. Picture it this way:

As Saturn moves around the Zodiac, it hits where it was when you were born (every 29 years), but also is across from it 14 years before and after, and at the side points 7 years from the other times. At each of these junctions in our lives, our military dad comes to visit, and sometimes for a full year. We may be adults now, but he is still our father, and still critical. He is still a hard ass and rides ours for a while until we take care of business in some way or another.

What you will likely notice, after you’re out of the woods and the dust settles, is that big changes were the result – jobs, addresses, careers, relationships, and sometimes many of these at once.

This year, Saturn in the sky is opposite from where it was when I was born. That means dad is harping on a core issue for me, but via something a little different. My birth Saturn is all about my beliefs (my philosophies of life), but right now it is hitting my communication with others (my ability to express my ideas). So in a nutshell, all of my accepted beliefs are up for review, and while that’s happening, I might as well be mute – unable to express my thoughts because I can’t even figure them out for myself.

Because Saturn-Saturn transits are tied to age, all of my peers born in 1968 are having this same transit as well, albeit in different areas of their lives. One friend, who had it ahead of me, had relationship changes, address changes, and job changes all at the same time. And a third friend who is just behind me is getting challenged rather intensely in one specific area of her life.

So, if you’re born in 1968 and have Saturn somewhere close to 24 degrees Aries, you’re up! And, if you were born in 1939, you likely have Saturn in the same place as us born in 1968 – and so you’ll be challenged just the same. [I just discovered that my mother and I have Saturn in nearly the same place because I was born while she was having her first Saturn Return.]

Now, if you were born in early or late 1952, or early 1953 – you’re probably having your second Saturn Return right now. You’ll be having your first if you were born late in 1981 or early 1982.

And then there are those born 7 years before or after all of the above dates.

Certainly you’ve heard about the seven-year itch, well that all about Saturn. Every 7 years, if something is not working in your life, it really needs to go!

So what can we do about all of the difficulty when in the middle of a Saturn Transit? What options does a military brat have for dealing with his father? Not many! You can’t fight him – he’s a warrior and better skilled at that. You can’t beat him because he’s strong (and strong willed). And you can’t trick him; he’s strategically savvy. All you can do is listen to what he has to say and try to see the best in what he’s trying to teach you. He does, after all, have your best interests at heart. He may see things from a different perspective, but he does want his kid to be strong and safe.

And Saturn is the same way. He’s here to keep us on track. In seven years, we have ample opportunity to drift off our path. So when he visits, he might be very unwelcome. He might wreak a little havoc. But in the end, we’ll be happier because we’ll have corrected what needed adjusting.

And if you’ve been proactive? Well it won’t be so harsh after all. I guess I was in 1997, because that time was a breeze (compared to now). By being prepared for Saturn’s visit, cleaning up the house ahead of his arrival, making necessary changes and without resistance, you may even be met with his approval.

There are lots of ways to find where Saturn is in your Natal chart. One way is through

Today, Saturn is at 23 Libra. That means if your Saturn is close to one of the following places, you’re likely feeling his presence:

23 Libra
23 Aries
23 Cancer
23 Capricorn

And for the record, all of these are Cardinal signs. That means that our military dad has an even a higher expectation of us than our siblings with Saturn in other signs. If we weren’t proactive about fixing something, he’ll be especially loud about it!

If you feel specifically challenged in your life right now and want to see if Saturn is at the root of it all, consult an astrologer or come in and get a reading from me. We’ll look up your chart, lay out some cards, and see if it’s your turn to be a military brat for a while – like me!


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