In honour of Frances, a PhD student whom I love dearly, here is a very special Saturn in the 9th house joke just for her:
One day, Bernard Eccles, Deborah Houlding and Nick Campion went out for a walk. They were old buddies from the Sophia Centre and they were together for a reunion.
For no apparent reason, they went into this zoo and passed a monkey. Being in the same business and from the same college, there was a little bit of a peer competition going on between them - they couldn't resist testing themselves against each other.
Bernard said to the others: "Why don't we prove who is the best among ourselves?"
“Why not?” said Deb and Nick.
Bernard said: "Let's have a test. Whoever makes this monkey laugh, employs the best astrological techniques.”
By mutual agreement, Bernard took the first turn by saying: "I'm an unashamed sun sign astrologer so I will say my sun is in the sixth house today--ruling small animals--and I think I can make the monkey laugh by telling jokes based on the position of the sun." So Bernard told his joke. The monkey stayed still, looking somehwat bemused at the trio.
Then it was Deb's turn. She consulted the ephemeris and constructed a chart of the moment. She judged that Mercury was in it's detriment and therefore the monkey would not get verbal jokes. So she tried to make funny gestures... No good, the monkey stayed put...
Now, came Nick. He whispered something into the monkey's ear and it burst out laughing at him.
Bernard and Deb were astonished. How did this jumped-up academic manage to beat them? No way were they going to accept defeat so easily!
So Deb said: "OK, let's take another test. Let's make this monkey cry!!"
So there they went again, applying the same methods as before.
Bernard narrated sad stories based on star signs and Deb (after constructing another chart and making another judgment) mimed sad gestures. They failed again...
Then Nick whispered something into the monkey's ear and lo and behold, it started crying and patting the academic lecturer’s shoulder!
Bernard and Deb just could not believe their eyes!
So Bernard said: "OK, you've won twice. If you can win just this one, we will bow to you. Let's make this monkey run."
So Bernard barked at the monkey and ordered him to run. Of course, it stayed where it was. Deb, true to her type, constructed another chart and made a judgment. She pushed and prodded the monkey-- still no go.
So... here comes Nick again and whispers into the monkey's ear. The monkey just takes off! It runs and runs as fast as it can, as if it was scared to death!
Bernard and Deb surrendered, saying: "OK, we give up. You're the best among us, and your techniques are the best of the three. But please, please tell us your secret."
"Well", said Nick. "The first time I made it laugh, I said I was an academic astrologer. The next time, to make it cry, I told the monkey how little I get paid despite working so hard...so it started crying. And then, to make it run, I told it that I was here to find more PhD students!!!”