Understanding Saturn

Saturn is the furthest planet in our solar system that we can see without using a telescope. Right now (April 2000), you can see it in the western skies after sunset, with Jupiter and Mars nearby. Soon, the sun will be too close to see this triple alignment.

As an aside, when three or more planets align in an astrology chart, the term for this cluster is called a Stellium. The energies of the planets commingle, and work in a person?s life as a unit. Imagine three ice creams melted and blended together. Because you can taste each one separately, you can figure out what you are eating in such a situation. Anyone born in this time period will have a Stellium composed of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars.

Saturn: Ruler of Structure

Back to our topic! Saturn is the ruling planet or ruler of Capricorn. Capricorn is the last Cardinal sign, starting at the time of the Winter Solstice, and it is also the final Earth sign. Physically, Saturn is associated with the bones of the body, as well as the connective tissues, gall bladder, spleen, skin, and teeth.

These physical associations show us Saturn?s deep connections to the very foundation of our bodies. If we had no skin, we'd dehydrate. Without teeth, it is hard to eat to sustain our existence. If our bones are broken, we have temporarily lost the ability to ?do? anything. The spleen?s function is still considered a mystery by many allopathic practitioners, yet there are those who consider it a seat of the spiritual body. Another foundation of our be-ing.

We can conclude from these physical assignments that a positive aspect of Saturn is structure. If we think about building any structure, we first must have a pattern to follow, lay a foundation, and then build the structure on it. When our 'structure' is threatened, fear is often created. Therefore, one of the demands and concerns (and a blessing) of Saturn in your chart is to overcome fears. The placement of Saturn in your chart will indicate what area of your life is being challenged.

Trauma and Childhood Fears

A young child, whose grandparent or family member has had a ?hard? life, may have a difficult Saturn aspect. The elder can be a grump, a wet blanket, and a fear-generating influence in that young life. "Don?t touch that! It will hurt you!" (?It did me? are the unspoken words) comes from this sort of elder. Yet, how does the adult know if the lesson is appropriate, or needed, in the child?s life? This is a manifestation of the perfectionism of Saturn. The adult wants the child to escape experiencing the same pain or trauma that had 'seriously' impacted them in their life.

Usually, the delivery of the message is traumatic enough to the child. This is sometimes how Saturn?s fear lessons are embedded in us. As adults, we can recognize these teachings and thoughts as being inappropriate and not applicable to our adult life. We can make conscious choices to think differently, thus overcoming fear.

Saturn Cycles

Saturn takes 28 to 30 years to move around the full 360 degrees of a person?s chart. The point in time when it returns to its exact natal position is called a ?Saturn Return? and it is one of the early life-changing periods of people?s lives (somewhere around the age of 28-30). Every time we begin a project, commit to a relationship, move to a new community, we begin another Saturn cycle.

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Approximately every seven years, Saturn makes a stressful aspect to the natal placement -- either a square or opposition. Looking back to when you had your first Saturn square -- approximately at seven years of age -- and remembering the lessons, fears, and traumas of that time, you can find deep and old patterns still operating in adult life. This revelation can empower you to release those fear energies and thoughts as an adult making conscious choices.

And What About Now?

At this time, Saturn is in Taurus (an earth sign), and people who are Leo and Aquarius are feeling the stresses of a square. Scorpios, who are feeling it by opposition, should watch for people or community pressures bringing them some "life lessons". Taureans are feeling this presence fully and completely as it encases them -- encouraging them look at their darkest innermost fears and to consciously choose a lifestyle appropriate to their soul?s urgings. Libras and Sagittarians are feeling this as a quincunx, which is a crisis aspect.

The two other earth signs, Virgo and Capricorn, are feeling Saturn as a trine, which allows them to be at ease and continue to build strong and appropriate structures in their lives. Pisces and Cancer are feeling a sextile, which is direct mental communication of the ringed planet?s responsibilities and disciplines.

Aries people are breathing a sigh of relief as they are still recovering from the recent pass of Saturn through their sign. Any residual issues from that time are being illuminated for conscious choices now. Aware and awake Gemini people can make note of their fears now and begin their processes so that the upcoming transit of Saturn in their sign will not be so difficult (Aug. 9, 2000 - Oct. 15, 2000, and then again April 20, 2001 to June 3, 2002).

To summarize, the duality of Saturn?s energies are:


  • Where you are to overcome sorrows and fears.
  • Revenge, bitterness, severity on yourself and others.


  • Inner discipline, caution, restraint, sincerity.
  • Finding patterns, laying foundations, and building structures.

Know that you have the choice to work with Saturn?s placement to your highest and best good. Remember it is up to you as to how you choose to feel these vibrations. Your soul wants to grow through these lessons and be fear-less.

Recommended book:
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"Saturn: A New Look At An Old Devil?
Liz Greene
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