On Thursday, 12 June 2014, a friend in New York called to ask about a best time to leave for the airport the following day. She and her husband were going to attend a conference in the UK, and their flight was due to leave on Friday evening from JFK airport. Because of their busy schedules and the time of the flight, they could only leave their apartment between 4 and 5 pm to arrive at JFK on time.
I quickly checked the chart for the 1-hour range of time which they allowed for their departure and realized that there was no way to avoid retrograde Saturn in Scorpio in the 1st house. Generally, I would not start any project with retrograde Saturn in the 1st. In her essay on Considerations Before Judgment, the noted horary astrologer Sue Ward summaries Lilly’s thinking about Saturn in the 1st (emphases mine):
“Saturn in the 1st house: this Consideration is preceded by the phrase: The Arabians … doe deliver these following rules, as very fit to be considered … which is also the case for Saturn in the 7th house, the ruler of the ascendant combust and the ruler of the 7th unfortunate. … The chart on page 437 [of Christian Astrology, 1647], has Saturn retrograde in the 1st house. This question, If he should obtaine the parsonage desired?, was rather distasteful to Lilly, since he disliked the priest and his reasons for asking. Nonetheless, he judges the chart and, in fact, uses this placing of Saturn to describe the querent’s conditions: Saturn is impedited in the ascendant, and by his presence infortunates the question, causing the querent to despaire in the obtaining of it. So, he [Lilly] agrees that Saturn here is afflicting the chart as a whole and certainly the priest was advised by Lilly not to proceed with the matter and did not obtain the parsonage. It ended unfortunately, in that the priest did go ahead and was subsequently reported anonymously for some liaison with a woman, ruining his chance of getting the post.”
Seeing Saturn Rx in the 1st, I thought there would be some significant delays or problems with the trip. Since they had a limited time period in which to leave, I looked for a way to minimize or alleviate the potentially adverse significance of the 1st house Saturn. In cases like this, I find that maximizing the positive effect of the Part of Fortune is useful. Fortunately there was a brief period around 4:45 pm during which Venus and the Part of Fortune occupied the same degree of the zodiac. Since Venus is the lesser benefic and was not particularly afflicted in the chart, I advised her to leave to JFK at 4:45 pm. At this time, Jupiter, which was exalted in Cancer, occupied the 9th house of long-distance travel — another very positive factor for a trip abroad. Here is the chart for the elected time of departure:
The result was that the plane was delayed at JFK. When it finally got onto the runway, a passenger became ill and the plane had to return to the terminal so that the passenger could deplane and receive medical attention. (Note Uranus in Aries on the cusp of the 6th of illness opposite Mars in Libra on the cusp of the 12th of undoing.)
When my friend arrived at her hotel in the UK, she discovered that there had been a mixup with the reservation and no room was available. (Note the Aquarius cusp of the 4th house of lodging is ruled by retrograde Saturn in the 1st and also lies in the Mercury decan of Aquarius with Mercury retrograde in Cancer in the 8th.) The hotel was able to help my friend find lodging at a nearby hotel which was not as nice as the one she hoped to stay at. The change is lodging also cost them more money than they had planned to spend.
Otherwise the trip went well. She and her husband had a good time, and she enjoyed the conference they were attending. They returned safely to NYC. Had she consulted me well in advance of the trip, I would have advised her not to plan a trip which starts with retrograde Saturn rising in the 1st house.