If you know anything about astrology at all, you might be aware of the fact that the planet Saturn is greatly feared. Particularly in Vedic astrology, it is labelled and known as the Great Malefic. In Hindi and Bangla, the placement of Shani, as it is called, tends to spell doom and gloom for the uninitiated. In Western astrology, however, we adopt a more balanced view of Saturn. In astrological terms, you are not even considered an adult until your first Saturn Return, which happens when Saturn returns to where it was at your time of birth. This occurs between the ages of 28 – 30 and lasts about two and a half years.
It is often said that youth is wasted on the young and the reason for that is we end up ‘wasting’ our youth, chasing after mistakes without giving a damn about the consequences. What Saturn is there for in our natal charts, is not to bring misery upon our poor souls. It is there to make us realise that there are consequences to every action and that we will not be able to continue making the same mistakes if we have any regard for our lives. Saturn wants us to grow up, be accountable, draw boundaries, take responsibility and abide by the laws of karma.
Depending on its position, Saturn can point towards the greatest life lessons in our lifetime which we must master in order to grow as individuals. In astrology, planets represent different parts of our psyche. They are positioned in signs which describe how the planet expresses itself. These signs are placed into twelve houses, which represent the fields of experience in which these themes play out.
Our Saturn signs can clue us into the ways our karmic challenges impact us. With Saturn in Aries, we might have to learn how to initiate and find completion. With Saturn in Taurus, we might have to find the fine line between indulgence and hedonism. With Saturn in Gemini, we might have to learn how to find focus. With Saturn in Cancer, we might have to learn how to hold space for all our emotions. Saturn in Leo might have to overcome fear of being in the public eye. Saturn in Virgo might have to learn through their neurotic tendencies. Saturn in Libra might have to learn to stop people-pleasing.
Depending on its position, Saturn can point towards the greatest life lessons in our lifetime which we must master in order to grow as individuals.Saturn in Scorpio might have to learn that revenge means facing karma. Saturn in Sagittarius might have to expand their mind to new philosophies and overcome dogma. Saturn in Capricorn might have to learn how to be determined and work hard. Saturn in Aquarius might have to learn how to be truly authentic and live for themselves. Saturn in Pisces might have to overcome escapism and adapt to reality.
In the houses, we can see which areas of our life are impacted. In the first house of self, Saturn can manifest as never feeling good enough which could then compel you to prove your authority. In the second house of material resources, you might feel as though you never have enough material resources to feel stable. In the third house of communication, you might feel restricted in your voice which could then encourage you to become assertive in your communications. In the fourth house, some of your greatest lessons could revolve around your family life and not repeating the same mistakes as your parents who might have been harsh and overbearing. In the fifth house, you might feel restrictions around pleasure and romance.
In the sixth, you might struggle with a routine. In the seventh, your lessons are going to revolve around your closest relationships. In the eighth, you might have to face up to your shadows even though they represent your greatest fear. In the ninth, you might have to overcome struggles in your higher education or foreign travel. In the tenth, you might feel most restricted in your career. In your eleventh, you might feel alienated from your networks and in the twelfth house, you might struggle with addiction and turn to spirituality in order to cope.
These are just a few of the examples from each sign and house. When we do not learn the lessons of Saturn, we continue to suffer and repeat the same patterns in a loop. If Saturn represents our greatest fears, it also points the way towards facing and overcoming that fear. It can show us where we need to make a commitment, stick by it and find stability in your own life.
It can represent the voice of our inner critic, who is always reminding us of our failures. Often they can represent authority figures in our lives who teach us about structure and discipline. Personally, having been victimised by Saturn, I can safely say that it is because of the life lessons from Saturn that I have learnt how to grow up. I learnt to take responsibility for my mistakes, integrate the lessons and not repeat them. I learnt to cultivate discipline, and to delay gratification.
The foolishness of youth can lead us to believe that our mistakes harden and define us. The wisdom of experience helps us understand that it is what we do with those mistakes. How we take those lessons to heart and work with them ultimately decides our path. And that is what Saturn wants us to master.To find your Saturn sign, you can look up your birth chart on any online birth chart generator. Make sure to change the default settings to Whole Sign and check for the symbol next to Saturn to see which sign and house it is in.
Published first on Ice Today.