KeywordsAmbition, responsibility, discipline, limitation, restriction, structure, rules of society, caution, old age, control, father, delay, inhibition, fear.
NeedSelf-reliance, self-discipline, responsibility. To limit and protect. To make things tangible and structured in the physical realm.
SymbolsAuthority figures,teachers (strict ones); father figures, older men.
Time in SignApprox. 2.5 years
Saturn has one of the worst reputations in astrology. Even the most generous astrologers would be hard pressed to call Saturn "fun." Saturn is necessary; Saturn is a valuable teacher; but Saturn is rarely if ever fun. The essence of Saturn is limitation. Saturn is about structure. It is about restrictions and all forms of responsibility, from individual to societal. Saturn is the "Lord of Karma," and with Saturn we get exactly what we deserve. Saturn is absolutely fair. Jupiter is like the teacher we had in school who gave us an "A for effort". Saturn is like the teacher who everyone hated: the one who assigned the most homework, the one who never accepted any kind of excuse for anything, the one who graded fairly (read: brutally!). But in the end, which teacher did we learn the most from?
Saturn is the compliment to Jupiter. Jupiter represents the urge to jump while Saturn provides the foundation necessary to push against to be able to jump at all. Saturn's contracting, restricting force is the balance to Jupiters ever-expanding nature. Jupiter's energies responds to the more pleasant and expansive elements of society. Saturn's energies respond to the structures, authority figures, rules, and responsibilities that come with being a member of society.
The lessons of Saturn are the hardest to learn and take the longest to master. Astrologically speaking, only after an individual experiences their first Saturn Return -- a complete cycle of Saturn through the Natal chart, between age 28-30 -- does one become an adult. Freedom from Saturn's challanging influence comes as personal limitations and bounderies are discovered and responsibility is taken for ones thoughts, actions and daily life.
Saturn represents all authority figures -- everyone who sets rules and limitations. The first experience from Saturn comes from parents who say "no" and block immediate gratification. Children are too young to understand that parents are there to protect against harm. No matter how unpleasant the experience, the experience of being told "no" is also a liberating one. Bounderies not only limit us, they also define us. Part of Saturn's function is to define things through exclusion. Saturn defines what we are not and thereby helps us discover what we truly are.
Saturn's lessons are hard, but they are some of the most important lessons in life. Saturn is about growing up and taking on responsability on a personal level and on a group level. We learn which types of behavior are appropiate and what types of behavior other people expect. Saturn teaches there is balance in the Universe; for everything we take, we must contribute something in return.
The most important and yet difficult Saturnian lessons require moving beyond the fear and the illusion it creates. Unpleasant encounters with authority figures early on, and as a result of those experiences, beliefs about the world and our place in it can be fear based and limiting. These constricting beliefs and walls were constructed so as never to experience those painful and threatning situations again. These beliefs create a feeling of safty and we easily become attached to them. All of these mental protections are illusions and eventually the outer planets, by transit, will come along and break them all down.
Earth is a learning planet, and Her three-dimensional plane is ruled by Saturn. As humans, living on Earth, we must abide by Saturns rules and pretend that the bounderies, structures and perceptions about this world are real. However, we are also eternal, spiritual beings having an Earthly experience and we can remember on some level that Saturn doesn't have the last word about everything. The ultimate goal in working with Saturn is to learn how to play the game while not becoming attached to the outcome. When we discover we made up most of the rules we live by, we also remember we have the power to create new ones.
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