Of all of the characters in Sailor Moon, as an astrologer, I find Sailor Saturn the most interesting. In Part V of this series, we left with the Outer Planet Senshi revealing that Chibi-Usa’s friend, Hotaru Tomoe was Sailor Saturn, and with them wanting to kill Hotaru-chan before she could awaken to her full powers.
Nature of Saturn
Before we look at the portrayal of Sailor Saturn, it helps to understand the nature of Saturn from an astrological perspective. Like all of the planets, Saturn has a threefold nature. The threefold nature can be seen in the symbolism of the Cross. The horizontal axis of the Cross represents the normal, material manifestation of the planetary principle. This is generally what an astrologer would use when interpreting the effects of the planet. The vertical axis represents the highest and lowest manifestation of the planetary principle, the spiritual meaning and the diabolical possibility.
Saturn is the Greater Malefic, so her normal nature in material manifestation is severe. Saturn signifies hardship and restriction, as well as the qualities needed to survive this hardship and restriction, such as patience, hard work, and endurance.
The diabolical possibilities of the Saturnian principle are quite awful. At its lowest, Saturn can signify unimaginable destruction and cruelty. Indeed, in one of her aspects, Saturn is the destroyer of all manifestation. Yet, ordinary manifestation can be quite cruel. We must kill in order to survive. Even people and animals that only eat plants are still killing another living being.
While the lowest nature of Saturn represents the worst in manifestation and humanity, the highest level represents nothing short of Enlightenment, or escape from the Wheel of Rebirth, or Samsara. Saturn is the ultimate planet of transformation.
Now that we have looked at the Saturnian principle, let’s discuss Sailor Saturn.
Hotaru Tomoe – Normal Saturn
In many ways, the character of Hotaru-chan represents Saturn in her material manifestation. Years before the events in this story arc, there was an accident in her father’s lab. This accident killed her mother and fatally injured her. Apparently, the only reason that she survived was that parts of her limbs were replaced with machinery.
Tragedy, death, and hardship are all Saturnian themes. Hotaru-chan’s personality is also quite Saturnian. She is quiet and often seems quite sad. She lives behind walls and spends much of her time alone. Her father is apparently working for the villain, and she frequently has seizures of intense pain.
Mistress 9 – Low Saturn
It turns out that it was not just the implants that allowed Hotaru-chan to survive. We discover in the course of the story arc that she was inhabited by a being from the Tau Ceti Star System called Mistress 9. We learn that her father is also inhabited by another being known as Pharoah 90. It seems that the price for Hotaru-chan’s survival was her father agreeing to the possession of both of them.
After a complicated series of events, which involved Chibi-Usa’s Maboroshi no Ginsuishou (“Silver Crystal”), Mistress 9 is released and takes over Hotaru-chan’s body. When Mistress 9 takes over, Hotaru-chan becomes an adult, which is an interesting echo of the second story arc, when Chibi-Usa becomes Black Lady.
While Mistress 9 had control of her body, Hotaru-chan was trapped inside her body behind thorns. At the same time, Chibi-Usa is in a coma because Mistress 9 had possession of her Maboroshi no Ginsuishou. These themes invoke the symbolism of the fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty.
Sailor Saturn – High Saturn
As the story goes on, Mistress 9 eats the Maboroshi no Ginsuishou which causes Chibi-Usa to leave her body and enter Mistress 9 as well. She and Hotaru-chan together are able to free themselves, and Hotaru-chan leaves her body altogether. Chibi-Usa recovers and Hotaru-chan becomes a disembodied spirit.
After this, there is a struggle between the other Sailor Senshi and the villains, and Sailor Moon calls upon the Holy Grail, which unites the powers of all the Senshi, allowing her to transform into Super Sailor Moon. Chibi Usa, now transformed into Sailor Chibi Moon watches this, and she wants to be just as strong as Sailor Moon. Her own Holy Grail then appears, and she transforms into Super Sailor Chibi Moon. Transcending the body and the Holy Grail are symbols of Enlightenment.
The battle continues and intensifies, and it begins to look like the Senshi will be defeated. At this point, Super Sailor Moon seems to sacrifice herself.
The talismans of the Outer Planet Senshi are activated, and Sailor Saturn appears.
Destruction and Rebirth
When Sailor Saturn appears, everyone believes that this means it is the end of the world. Indeed, that is Sailor Saturn’s function. She completes the destruction when a world or a star system has no more future, and she clears the path for rebirth.
It is interesting that the talismans of the Outer Planet Senshi are the catalysts for Sailor Saturn’s appearance. I have long held a theory that the Outer Planets represent the poisons of the Modern world. I have also privately speculated that perhaps they are linked to the destructive power of Saturn. It could be that part of the reason they have come into our consciousness now is that we are deep into the late Iron Age and near to the end of the Great Cycle. In this story, the Outer Planet Senshi are strongly linked to Sailor Saturn.
Just as Sailor Saturn was about to lower her Silence Glade and destroy the villains and the Earth, Super Sailor Moon re-emerged. At this point, Sailor Saturn stopped the destruction of the Earth. When Sailor Saturn appeared to complete the destruction of Silver Millenium from the ancient past, it was after Sailor Moon, then Princess Serenity, had died.
In the Filianic Tradition, the Moon represents the Daughter, and it is the Daughter that sustains life. Without her, nothing can exist. In astrology, the Moon is the source of all timing, and in a sense, nothing could happen without the Moon on the material plane as well.
Sailor Saturn then turns her power toward the villains from the Tau Ceti Star System, and she asks Sailor Pluto to open the space-time door for her to go through in order to seal it and finish off the villains. When she does this, apparently she will be destroyed.
After she goes through the door and it closes, a light falls from the door into the hands of Super Sailor Moon, who transforms into Neo Queen Serenity. She then restores the Earth with her powers. After the Earth is restored, a baby falls from the sky. It turns out that this baby is Hotaru-chan/Sailor Saturn. The Outer Planet Senshi pick her up and say that they will care for her.
The Outer Planet Senshi take the baby and fly away in helicopters after assuring Chibi Usa that they will all meet again.