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Astrology at Work: Pablo PicassoPicassoimages

One of the primary claims of astrology is that important contacts to significant placements in your natal horoscope by transiting planets such as Saturn and Uranus will coincide with major events in your life. This is very often true. But, sometimes both astrologers and regular people get so involved with the event that they forget about the period just before the event when important decisions are made.

The life of Pablo Picasso provides an apt illustration of this point. (Click on Picasso to see the chart.) Picasso was one of those very special people, like Mozart and Einstein, who was born with a gift. For Picasso that gift was the ability to draw. Picasso claimed that he never drew in a “childish” way. In fact, by time he was eight or nine, young Pablo was already producing drawings sophisticated enough to put any first year art student to shame.

This gift allowed Picasso to advance very quickly through his student years, and by the time he was 21 the artist was already producing mature work. But he still wasn’t sure what to do with his gift.

Between 1902 and 1904, when Picasso was between the ages of 21 and 23, he moved back and forth between his home in Barcelona, Spain and the Paris, where modern art was being born, several times. He even had an exhibition of his painting in a Parisian gallery, but the sales were dismal and life in Paris was hard. The comforts sunny Spain and his mother’s kitchen kept calling his home.

It was during this period, between March 1903 and January 1904 that Saturn was squaring Picasso’s natal Saturn, and moving across his natal Descendant. As I have pointed out on these pages and explain in detail in my book, Saturn Cycles: Mapping the Changes in Your Life, these aspects typically represent important turning points in a person’s life.

At this point in his career Picasso had several options. He could have stayed in Barcelona and enjoyed the stability of his parent’s home and the camaraderie of bohemian friends. He might have eventually sold some of his modern paintings, either in Spain or Paris, but he would never have the opportunity to become a leader of the Paris avant-garde.

Picasso could have also dropped his bohemian ways and new ideas and become a conventional painter of portraits and religious scenes. Given his remarkable talent, he would have certainly been recognized a great Spanish artist, but no one outside of Spain would have ever heard of him.

Those would have been the safe choices, the easy choices. But, despite its conservative reputation, Saturn is never going to encourage us to take the easy way out. Saturn demands that we use our gifts to the fullest, that we fulfill our destiny. Why was Picasso so restless during this period of indecision? Because Saturn was eating at him and pushing him to make the hard choice.

So Picasso made the hard choice. In Apr. 1904, a couple of months after his last Saturn aspect, Picasso moved back to Paris, this time for good. From that point on, he was a Parisian painter. This move set up everything else that happen his in his long and illustrious career.

Had Picasso been born an impulsive Aries or Sagittarian he might have moved to Paris in 1903, during these aspects. But Picasso was a Scorpio by Sun sign, and he needed time to absorb all the possibilities before him and to visualize the likely scenarios. For him it was this period of quiet thought and consideration that was crucial. By the time the actual event came along, his move to Paris, Picasso was already committed and nothing was going to stop him from using his special gifts to the fullest.

It should also be noted that during the time when Saturn was impacting Picasso's chart he produced many of the signature paintings of his so called "Blue" period. So, in a away events were happening during this transit. It's just that only a few people were aware of those events until Picasso moved back to Paris and began to exhibit those paintings.

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