Need versus Desire – Saturn in Scorpio

There are many schools of thought out there, and the majority of them prescribe to the idea that needs must always precede wants. Ever since we were little boys and girls, we were always taught to first spend money on necessities and only when we have some left over to splurge on something fun.

But I ask you, is this really the wisest way to live?

Of course most of you will answer yes immediately. Life would become utter anarchy if people put their desires before their needs – wouldn’t it? Or would it?

Don’t worry; I’m not sitting here telling you to change your whole approach to life. I am simply here to tell you that for the next three years, you are going to question your own approach to life – not because I say so, but because Saturn is traveling through Scorpio and he will!

Saturn is that part of us that is all about responsibility. Yes, the voice might sound a lot like Dad, Mom, that teacher that was especially stern, the ex-wife, or that boss you hated working for. See Saturn is not just about responsibility, but also about power. Therefore, whether you are someone in a position of authority, or beneath one, you are still well within Saturn’s reign.

So one question Saturn is going to ask is this: “Do your desires matter?” Is it really that important for you to get what you want and not just what you need? Truth be told, Saturn already knows the answer. The whole point of the exercise is for us to think about it and then decide.

Here’s one for you that is a bit controversial to discuss openly: If you are in a loving partnership, does it matter that the sexual desire is gone, having run its course? Is it really that important? Of course, only you can answer that question for yourself. Saturn in Scorpio’s job is simply to make sure that you ask yourself and answer yourself as honestly as you can. If we are afraid to explore, then we are avoiding something, and Saturn in Scorpio is not going to let us get away with that.

Now Scorpio, for sure, has its dark side. Still waters run deep and can hide a whole lot. Think of those scary movies when in the nighttime someone looks into the blackness of a pond or vat of water. The music tells you that something gruesome is hiding in there, but until it lunges out of the water, you don’t know what it is. What you do know is that when the protagonist reaches out toward the surface of the water, he or she is making a grave mistake. “Don’t do it you idiot!!!”

But let’s talk about the other side. Scorpio’s purpose is all about transformation. Yes, it is scary, challenging, and emotional. How can we expect to be healthy if we are not willing to go beneath the skin? Not all illness shows on the surface.

And how do we know when something is wrong inside? Well, we can have x-rays and MRIs done on a regular basis, but we can also listen to how we feel. If there is pain, there is information: and by pain, I mean physically and emotionally. If we listened to our emotional pain right from the get go, maybe we wouldn’t have physical pain to deal with. But that’s another subject.

Saturn is in Scorpio, but so is the North Node of the Moon. The North Node is about the future – our future – maybe our distant future such as future incarnations. As Saturn moves toward the North Node, the North Node will be traveling back towards Saturn. Then, in about a year from now, they will meet and cross.

The way I see it, this next 12-month period is very key to working on deep issues that have been preventing us from moving toward our distant goals effectively. Interestingly, when Saturn and the North Node meet next year, they will Trine Chiron. See! It’s all about healing!

So let’s for a moment say I’m right. We have 12 months to look under the sheets and really see what we’ve been afraid to look at before now. Some of us might find that our fears were vastly overblown. Some of us might get more afraid because we’ll see blemishes that could be cancers. Others of us just might be in for a rude awakening when we realize that something we’ve counted on for a long, long time was completely false or an illusion.

The good news is that we can only grow, heal, and realize our strength through awareness. If we don’t know what’s wrong, it’s a lot harder to fix it.

Now, before we get too far off track, I do want to address what I just wrote. Those were Saturn’s words: “fix it”. Chiron, the healer, wouldn’t put it that way. Chiron doesn’t see things in terms of broken and fixed. Healing is a whole different ball game. Spirit has told me in no uncertain terms, “No one is broken; no one needs to be fixed.” We have issues for sure. Things cannot work right in our bodies and even end our current life, but that’s not the same as being broken. When we understand in truer terms what life is about, we’ll understand the whole process of pain and resolution. But again, I digress toward another subject.

Saturn is at zero degrees Scorpio, so let’s remind ourselves that we are at the beginning. And what is best done at the beginning of any endeavor? Well, being a Gemini boy that I am, I am apt to say, “think about it”. In fact, Mercury met up with Saturn at 29:57 degrees Virgo and then snuck into Scorpio mere hours before him. That tells me that in fact, first up is to think about it. [Of course, Mercury will also want us to “talk about it”.]

Without entertaining specific subjects, since all of this will hit us in individual ways, let’s just talk about needs versus wants. Why might it be more beneficial to look at wants first? Because, generally speaking, I think we are more honest about our wants than we are about our needs.

“David, how can you say that? Our needs are crystal clear. They are obvious. It is our desires that are often hidden. You’re the one who even said it when you said Scorpio, which is all about desire, is also all about what’s hidden.”

Hmm. Good point. But I stand by my statement and this is why. Think about all of the times you hear someone (including yourself) say, “What I need is ___.”

Now I ask you, how often is that a lie? What about this statement: “What I need from you is ___.” Ah, now I’ve caught your attention.

  • “Mommy, I need a cookie,” says your toddler.
  • “Hey Ma, I need you to take me to the movies tonight,” says your teenager.
  • “Dear, I need you to stop saying that. You’re driving me crazy!” says your spouse.

Even in our conversations with and about ourselves, we lie.

“I need a job.”

Why do you need a job?

“I have to pay the bills. How else am I going to pay the bills?”

Well, you pay bills with money. So what you need is money. A job provides income, sure, but that’s not the only way.

“OK, then I need income.”

Do you? What about a lump sum of money?

“Well, that works too!”

So needing money is a big stopping point for a lot of people. Our western society is built all around money. Everything that we really do need, like food and water, heat and shelter, really does cost money. But again, that is not strictly true either. There are ways to get all of these things without having money. Get yourself arrested and you’ll be surprised to find all of your needs met at no cost!

But even our lesser needs are things we lie to ourselves about. “I really need a cigarette right now.” “Boy, do I need a drink!” “I’ve been working so hard, I need a day off.” “God, do I need to get laid.”

Those needs are certainly not needs in the strictest sense. They might be very strong wants, but we can live another day without any of them. In fact, if we learned to center and balance better, we could do without any of them forever. I’m not saying we should, I’m just saying we can.

So, in terms of manifesting anything, I think the best place to start is with desires and simply because we can arrive at our personal truth by starting there. Yes, I want income. Yes, I want to get laid. Yes, I want a break from whatever has been stressing me out. Yes, I want people around me I like and can trust. Yes I want work that is meaningful. Yes I want the new iPhone, a bigger larger TV, a new car, that beautiful sweater, a vacation on the beach.

Yes, I want to never have to worry about money again! I want to be rich!

For the record, there are desires that we lie about too, like that last one. Many think the above paragraph contains two synonymous sentences, but I don’t. Being rich is not at all the same as never worrying about money. Just ask rich people! They worry about money more than anyone! More money often equates to simply having more to worry about.

So, start with desires, but reach underneath each and every one. Do this by asking yourself why you want something.

  • I want to be rich. Why?
  • I want to not worry about money. Why?
  • Well, I worry about money all of the time. Why?
  • Well, I’m afraid that the day will come when money runs out. Why?
  • Because then I would have to ask someone for help. But why is that a problem?
  • Because I don’t like relying on other people. Why?

This is not an easy exercise and can have lots of circular thoughts within it, but I think it is useful.

I personally have gotten so out of touch with desire that I’ve been stuck wanting to want something – at least in certain areas of my life.

So, to wrap up a long post, I’ll summarize. Saturn is now in Scorpio and will be there for most of the next 3 years. His job is to get us to look at need and desire (conceptually) and needs and desires specifically.

And this is likely to hit us in certain areas more than others. To learn more about that, consult an Astrologer.

And by the way, there’s no rush. Saturn moves slowly, so you’ll have plenty of time to complete your homework.


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