In contemporary astrology, the planet Saturn reflects one's "karma." Most people seem to be familiar with the term karma, since it has entered into popular vernacular. Although most people have heard the word, many do not know its specific reference. In the popular imagination, karma is simply payback for the deeds you have done. It makes you suffer for the wrongs you have committed, or it creates joy in return for your good deeds.
Actually, karma is a Sanskrit word that means action. It is not a mysterious force. It is a simple matter of cause and effect. Natural consequences arise from any kind of action. If your actions reflect a mind of judgment, then your life moves in one direction that will yield one set of natural consequences. If your actions come from dreaming and natural justice, then a different set of possibilities and consequences opens for you. Each sign through which Saturn passes in the astrological chart indicates these two potentials. In knowing each path, Saturn can become the herald of your greatest potential for natural balance.
The exact location of Saturn in the birth chart (the chart of the celestial bodies' positions at the time of your birth) can tell you even more. For our purposes, we shall look at trends for each sign in which Saturn falls. Saturn passes through approximately one sign every two years. It takes about 28 years for Saturn to pass through all twelve of the zodiacal signs.
(Editor's Note: If you do not know the placement of Saturn in your birth chart, there are many online services that will run a free basic chart for you which will show you the placement of Saturn in your birth chart.)
I have listed in the following pages the possible trends of action for people born with Saturn in each sign.
The first listing is for people who live in alignment with natural justice. In nature, justice is a restoration and maintenance of neutrality and impartiality. Neutrality allows for many possibilities and fluid change. the justice of nature is the core of Saturn's magical law.
The second listing is the trend should you find yourself living in ordinary ways and acting through your judgments. You slip into judgments whenever you think you are right, whenever you criticize, worry, or rationalize. Whenever you feel sad, angry, or disappointed, you have judged one aspect to be better than another.
Saturn in Aries
This indicates a trend toward initiative and persistence. Inventiveness might also be a part of your nature. If it is, you most likely direct your ingenuity in ways that can benefit everyone around you. Another trend for Saturn in this sign is strong reasoning abilities. People with Saturn in Aries can find themselves in leadership roles. In its most natural expression, your leadership is one that relies on other people for direction. You have learned neutrality, to overcome any insensitivity toward other people that you may have had in your youth.
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OR: Without coming to terms with your neutral, natural side, Saturn in Aries can indicate difficulty in maintaining motivation in many activities of your life. It might also indicate that you have learned insensitivity in your youth. Without gaining the powers of neutrality, your learned insensitivity can be an instrument of pain in other people's lives. With Saturn in Aries, you might not even notice that you have caused pain in anyone else's life. When you are outside of your own power, Saturn in Aries can indicate a trend toward impatience.
Saturn in Taurus
People with Saturn in Taurus have a tendency to base their self-esteem on their finances. However, once you have learned the lesson of neutrality, you learn that satisfaction in your life has little to do with financial security. In your power, you are released from any drive toward gaining money or desirable things. This aspect can lend you skills in establishing order out of chaotic circumstances. Perhaps you feel best when you can teach other people how to come into their own natural order.
OR: Without gaining the natural freedom of Saturn, this aspect can indicate feelings of possessiveness. People born with Saturn in Taurus tend to have a strong ego dependence on money and material things. They can find themselves on an emotional roller coaster based on their financial outlook. Be very cautious that you don't slip into miserliness. With Saturn in Taurus, you might also find yourself depending on order around you. Outside of their power, people with Saturn in Taurus can have real difficulties functioning and thinking if they don't have order in their immediate physical environment.
Saturn in Gemini
With Saturn in the sign of Gemini, you might have a tendency to be very logically minded. When you stand in your power, you do not rely on logic to solve all matters of your life. Perhaps you have learned to balance your logic with compassion. Anything that stimulates the mind might be of interest to you, but once you've learned the lessons of neutrality, you know that experiencing life in ways beyond the mind is important. With Saturn in Gemini, you are always ready to learn new things and higher education can interest you.
OR: If you stand outside of your power, Saturn in Gemini indicates that you rely on your intellect. Because of this lopsided reliance on the critical mind, you can have difficulty in detaching from your mental processes in order to experience each moment. People with Saturn in Gemini can tend toward cynicism and doubt of other people -- so this is something to keep in check. It is important for you to remember that if you rely on your thinking too much, you can overtax your mental processes. If you are someone who often relies on the intellect, you might try to develop techniques for handling any tension or nervousness that can arise from neglecting your emotions.
Saturn in Cancer
People with Saturn in Cancer tend to have strong connections to their families and their homes. They also see the influence of their family on the greater community and they hope to foster socially responsible family and community members. If you are someone with Saturn in Cancer, most likely you have a very good memory. People with this aspect tend to have the ability to recall their past in great detail. If you have found your power inside of Saturn's neutrality, then you have learned the valuable lesson of not dwelling on the past. You have learned not to allow the past to influence you in the present. Saturn in Cancer can indicate sensitivity toward the feelings of other people. When you claim the power of nature, you can turn this sensitivity into empathy and the ability to act on behalf of other people.
OR: Saturn in Cancer tends to create sensitivity. People who live ordinarily can go to great lengths to either hide this sensitivity or to defend themselves in one way or another. People with this aspect sometimes try to protect themselves by gaining the approval of the people around them. Another strategy of the Saturn in Cancer person is to emotionally block out the rest of the world. If you have Saturn in Cancer in your birth chart and you choose either one of these tactics, don't be surprised if you find yourself feeling sad, weepy, or alienated from the rest of the world. Outside of your neutral stance, with Saturn in Cancer you tend to dwell on the past and this rumination often influences your actions and decision making in the present.
Saturn in Leo
People with Saturn in Leo have natural leadership. If you claim the power of neutrality, you recognize that your leadership can influence many other people, so you are circumspect and evenhanded in your leadership choices. With this aspect, you find ways to share your leadership and powerful influence with other people, and you inspire the people around you to find their own inner strength. With Saturn in Leo, you are naturally even-tempered, and this helps in your process of sharing power and influence. People with this aspect often have learned how to combine the serious self-discipline of Saturn with the sense of fun and enjoyment of the Sun (which is the ruler of Leo).
OR: With Saturn in Leo, there is no doubt that you can land yourself in a leadership position. But you should be careful in your leadership role that you don't claim power over other people. If you do not claim the power of neutrality, you may rely on hierarchical models of power and use your influence to establish a "pecking order" and place yourself at the top. Before this happens, try to determine any internal, emotional influences that may be leading you to establish such a hierarchy. Ask yourself why it is important to be in charge or to have control over other people. Keep in mind that when you bypass your neutral, natural power, you might also find it difficult to share power within your friendships, family, and romantic relationships.
Saturn in Virgo
If you have Saturn in Virgo as well as the power of neutrality on your side, you find it easy to determine what is most important for you in life. When you have neutral power, you can help other people to discriminate between their own powerful or not powerful options. Sometimes people with this aspect have an iron will. If this pertains to you, most likely you can use this internal fortitude to overcome any personal biases or judgments. With Saturn in Virgo, you can have a natural inclination to place practicality above any other objective. When in your power, you can use this ability to apply spiritual matters to everyday situations with ease.
OR: If you have Saturn in Virgo and you do not claim the power of neutrality, it is important to keep in check any impulse to voice critical or judgmental opinions. With this aspect, you love practicality, but without neutral power, this practicality can override any natural pleasure and joy that can come from simply being alive. Try not to buy into any rigid or pessimistic thinking that may try to influence you. If you find it difficult to make friends, it might be because Saturn in Virgo people can appear to be cold or distant when they lead their lives outside of neutrality.
Saturn in Libra
If you claim the power of neutrality, the aspect of Saturn in Libra can lend you a strong sense of social awareness. Perhaps you take less fortunate people into consideration, donate regularly to charities, or involve yourself with social causes. With Saturn in Libra, you can find yourself working to mediate the problems that arise between friends and co-workers. When you claim the power of neutrality, your powers of diplomacy come from your ability to understand and empathize with all sides of an issue. With Saturn in Libra, you can be a model of cooperative effort.
OR: If you do not claim the power of neutrality, Saturn in Libra can still lend the power of diplomacy. However, it is important for you to understand any psychological or emotional motivations for your diplomacy. Are you uncomfortable with anger? Are you trying to please everyone? Watch for helping other people at the expense of your own well-being. It is important for you to remember that giving of yourself out of a sense of low self-worth cannot occur without taking a toll on you. If you are not careful, perhaps you might have flashes of anger or intolerance in more private moments.
Saturn in Scorpio
This aspect indicates that you are a person who has strength of character -- especially when this falls in the chart of people who have claimed their magical power. If this applies to you, then most likely you have the ability to see through the veil of the physical realm into the emptiness of such things as money and prestige. Once you align with your magical abilities, you can develop strong psychic senses. With Saturn in Scorpio, secretiveness can be a possible trap for you. However, in your power, you see that there is no secret that you must keep and you open yourself to the incoming and outgoing of truth.
OR: Saturn in Scorpio always indicates strength of character. However, if you live ordinarily, you can overwhelm other people with your bold personality. Outside of neutrality, you won't have as much ability to resist feeling dazzled by the world of money and prestige. These could even become a focus for you if you do not keep this in careful check. If you do not live within your magical abilities, any psychic flashes you have can be sporadic and sometimes illusory. Watch out for any tendencies to be secretive. Ask yourself why it is important to hold on to secrets and who those secrets serve.
Saturn in Sagittarius
There is a tendency for those born with Saturn in Sagittarius to have interest in religion or philosophy. Even if you do not think of yourself as either religious or philosophical, you might find yourself intrigued by the concepts of these disciplines. Another expression of Saturn in Sagittarius is independence of thought and action. If you are someone aligned with neutrality, then this aspect helps you to be independent of culture, time, space, family, and other potentially inhibiting factors. Saturn in Sagittarius people are often generous, and once aligned with their power they can give what is needed in each moment.
OR: Saturn in Sagittarius often leads to interest in religion or philosophy. However, once you step out of neutrality, this interest can wind up in rigid or moralistic thinking. Although Saturn in Sagittarius usually signifies independence of thought and action, outside of a neutral frame of mind you should guard against becoming independent to the point of having no connection to anyone or anything else. When you live in ordinary ways and have Saturn in Sagittarius, it is a good idea to arrive at an understanding of what motivates your feelings of generosity. There may be an agenda beneath your actions that you did not initially suspect. Many people with this aspect can benefit from meditation.
Saturn in Capricorn
Saturn in Capricorn people are almost always hard workers. When they are of a neutral frame of mind, they do not let their usual work concerns override their enjoyment and fulfillment. They can have an innate sense that the ultimate aim in life is not "happiness." They understand that "feeling good" will not lead them to their ultimate goals. In the highest expression of this aspect, they can manifest their lofty ambitions for the benefit of everyone. Saturn in Capricorn people have learned to take responsibility for their actions and promote self-reliance in other people.
OR: Saturn in Capricorn people can be hard workers. Outside of neutrality, however, their sense of work becomes imbalanced. Sometimes people with this aspect have difficulty "letting go" and just having fun. People who have Saturn in Capricorn can dismiss personal enjoyment as a luxury if they live outside of power. In this state they can have high ambitions, but these might be personally motivated. You must guard against taking life too seriously. Adopt the habit of asking yourself what is serious about this moment and what is not.
Saturn in Aquarius
Saturn in Aquarius can lend a common sense attitude to people who claim the power of natural neutrality. If this pertains to you, most likely you have a practical approach to many things. Within this unique power you can find a mysterious source of internal strength that aids you in completing long or even complex tasks. In the neutral aspect of Saturn in Aquarius, you have learned to appreciate the goals of other people. You have developed patience and forgiveness because your awareness of reality allows you to see that there is no cause for anxiety; there is no one to blame for the way life is.
OR: Saturn in Aquarius can instill a common sense attitude in your approach to life. Outside of your power, you may not have tolerance for people who do things impractically. You might like to plan things out for your life, but it is important to remember that clinging to personal goals creates stress, anxiety, and a loss of magical balance. Outside of the neutral aspect of Saturn in Aquarius, you can have difficulty appreciating the goals of other people. This aspect can sometimes indicate that you are restoring karmic balance from a long history of self-centered encounters with other people. In this case, it is wise to accept other people for who they are and allow them their self-expression without your quick judgments and impatience.
Saturn in Pisces
Saturn in Pisces can lend you a strong sense of intuition if you align with the power of neutrality. You can also be sympathetic and sensitive to other people. You can have a natural inclination to self-sacrifice so that other people will benefit. However, in a powerful stance you have learned the value of allowing people the space to come to power and enlightenment on their own terms. In your power you have learned to persevere and to overcome obstacles that stand in the way of achieving idealistic goals. You have learned to overcome any knee-jerk, emotional reactions you may have once had before you claimed your power. You have learned to quell old feelings of sorrow and because of this you can be a great example or a teacher for other people.
OR: Although Saturn in Pisces can lend you a strong sense of sympathy and sensitivity to other people, outside of neutrality this can cause difficulties. For example, your sensitivity might lead to feelings of moodiness or indecision. Be careful not to self-sacrifice to the point of losing yourself to the needs of other people. It is important for you to keep in mind that you have needs too. Without the power of neutrality, you may not have learned that the value of perseverance is not always in the achievement of a particular goal. To the person of a neutral mind, perseverance may be what is needed in the moment. It has inherent value. Saturn in Pisces people who live ordinarily can also find that they become depressive. When dealing with other people, be careful not to allow emotional, knee-jerk reactions to control you.
Apprentice to Power
by Timothy Roderick.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, The Crossing Press, ©2000. www.crossingpress.com
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About the Author
Timothy Roderick holds a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology, is a Homeopathic Practitioner, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a credentialed School Psychologist. Timothy has been a student of Wicca for over twenty years and has served as the spiritual director and principal teacher for the EarthDance Collective. For the past eight years, Timothy has additionally cultivated studies in Zen Buddhism and has been associated with the Zen Center of Los Angeles. Visit his website at www.timothyroderick.com.