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Saturn: God of Challenge


Saturn's orbital period is approximately 29.45 years, meaning Saturn usually spends about two and a half years in each sign.

Symbol for Saturn in astrology
Saturn's Glyph

Saturn’s glyph, or symbol, shows the cross of matter (reality) over the soul, representing the material nature of man reigning. Café Astrology

Saturn 'was a God in ancient Roman religion, and a character in Roman mythology. He was described as God of time, generation, dissolution, abundance, wealth, agriculture, periodic renewal and liberation. Saturn's mythological reign was depicted as a Golden Age of abundance and peace. After the Roman conquest of Greece, he was conflated with the Greek Titan Cronus. Saturn's consort was his sister Ops, with whom he fathered Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Juno, Ceres and Vesta.' From Wikipedia

Saturn is:

Diurnal (of the day Sect)

Masculine, perhaps feminine or neuter

The greater malefic

Excessively cold and dry

Saturn rules:

Capricorn and Aquarius

Exaltation is Libra

Saturn is in its fall in:

Aries and Leo.

Detriment in Cancer

'Saturn's rings suggest containment and restraint. Saturn in serious and formal, honouring traditions, limits and rules.' Carole Taylor

'The archetypal complex related to Saturn governs the small 'r' reality principle, bringing order, structure, and consistency to human life:

[In Freudian psychology and psychoanalysis, the reality principle is the ability of the mind to assess the reality of the external world, and to act upon it accordingly, as opposed to acting according to the pleasure principle.]

Saturn also represents the inevitable sorrows and challenges of material incarnation. Reminding us of the birth process and our vulnerable mortality, Saturn underlies our fearful tendences to armour and defend ourselves from past and future pain, with a consequent hardening, tightening, and limiting effect on our psyches.

The struggles associated with Saturn also lead to many positive traits, however, including responsibility and integrity, grounded humility, hard work and patience. Spiritual opening seems to demand that we face our limits and experience the ego reduced to a meaningless speck which then, paradoxically, allows us to reawaken to the Universal Mind and Cosmic Consciousness. During major transits of Saturn, we are more likely to feel the humbling and painful, but necessary parts of this process.' Renn Butler

'Saturn: the principle of limit, structure, contraction, constraint, necessity, hard materiality, concrete manifestation; time, the past, tradition, age, maturity, mortality, the endings of things; gravity and gravitas, weightiness, that which burdens, binds, challenges, fortifies, deepens; the tendency to confine and constrict, to separate, to divide and define, to cut and shorten, to negate and oppose, to strengthen and forge through tension and resistance, to rigidify, to repress, to maintain a conservative and strict authority; to experience difficulty, decline, deprivation, defect and deficit, defeat, failure, loss, alienation; the labour of existence, suffering, old age, death; the weight of the past, the workings of fate, character, karma, the consequence of past action, error and guilt, punishment, retribution, imprisonment, the sense of "no exit"; pessimism, inferiority, inhibition, isolation, oppression and depression; the impulse and capacity for discipline and duty, order, solitude, concentration, conciseness, thoroughness and precision, discrimination and objectivity, restraint and patience, endurance, responsibility, seriousness, authority, wisdom; the harvest of time, effort, and experience; the concern with consensus reality, factual concreteness, conventional forms and structures, foundations, boundaries, solidity and stability, security and control, rational organisation, efficiency, law, right and wrong, judgement, the superego; the dark, cold, heavy, dense, dry, old, slow, distant, the senex, Kronos, the stern father of the Gods.' Richard Tarnas

Saturn key words:

  1. Limit and constraint

  2. Time and tradition

  3. Gravity and weightiness

  4. Difficulty and adversity

  5. Discipline and authority

Saturn holding a baby and a scythe

Saturn in your chart

The influence of Saturn will be felt according to where He resides and His conversations with the other Gods and their placements in your chart.

'Structure: Saturn brings structure, definition, and clarity - it is where we can be organised, methodical, responsible and committed.

Authority: When we are young Saturn appears in the guise of authority figures - parents, teachers, community leaders. We see Saturn all around us - the parking warden, the policeman, the judge, the referee - setting the rules and making sure they are enforced.

Inner authority: Slowly, Saturn emerges in a different guise, as inner authority and guide, a solid bedrock within ourselves. Saturn then becomes a symbol for hard-won proficiency and skill, life experience and wisdom, practical knowledge, and maturity.

Boundaries: Saturn adjusts us to necessity, to what is practical, realistic, and achievable in the real world. Here we all operate within boundaries and limitations, of the world at large and of our own human and personal resources. Somehow this is part of the process, the sense of workable limits helping us to shape things appropriately. We must have Jupiter's vision and Neptune's dreams - but Saturn brings our visions and dreams into real life.

Self-contained: A final fruitful image might be that of the hermit, who withdraws from the world to concentrate spiritual energy and develop gravitas and self containment. Where Saturn is in your chart, this can sometimes be a useful strategy; acknowledge that here you might often find yourself working solo, dependent only on your own resources'

Saturn through the houses

Traditional house delineations

1st House (House of Self):

  • Saturn here brings a serious and disciplined approach to self-identity and personal expression.

  • Individuals may feel a sense of responsibility towards shaping their own character and appearance.

  • There may be a tendency towards self-criticism and a cautious attitude towards new beginnings.

2nd House (House of Finances and Values):

  • Saturn in the 2nd House signifies a conservative and disciplined approach to finances and material possessions.

  • There may be challenges or delays in financial matters, leading to a greater appreciation for hard work and thriftiness.

  • Individuals may have a strong sense of duty towards managing their resources and achieving financial stability.

3rd House (House of Communication and Siblings):

  • With Saturn here, communication is approached with seriousness and precision.

  • Sibling relationships may be characterized by a sense of responsibility and duty.

  • There may be a cautious attitude towards learning and intellectual pursuits, with an emphasis on thoroughness and accuracy.

4th House (House of Home and Family):

  • Saturn in the 4th House brings a strong focus on family traditions and responsibilities.

  • There may be challenges or limitations within the family environment, leading to a sense of duty towards caregiving or maintaining familial structures.

  • Home life is characterized by a need for stability and security, with an emphasis on establishing firm foundations.

5th House (House of Pleasure and Creativity):

  • Creativity and self-expression are approached with discipline and seriousness.

  • Romantic relationships may be characterized by a sense of duty and commitment.

  • There may be challenges or delays in matters related to children or artistic pursuits, leading to personal growth through perseverance.

6th House (House of Health and Service):

  • Saturn here signifies a disciplined approach to health and daily routines.

  • Work and service are taken seriously, with a strong sense of duty towards fulfilling responsibilities.

  • There may be challenges or setbacks in matters related to health or employment, requiring endurance and perseverance.

7th House (House of Partnerships):

  • Saturn in the 7th House brings a serious and committed approach to relationships.

  • Partnerships may be characterized by a sense of duty and responsibility towards each other.

  • There may be challenges or delays in forming partnerships, leading to personal growth through patience and perseverance.

8th House (House of Transformation and Shared Resources):

  • Saturn here signifies a disciplined approach to shared resources and deep transformations.

  • There may be challenges or limitations in matters related to intimacy and joint finances, leading to personal growth through overcoming obstacles.

9th House (House of Philosophy and Higher Learning):

  • With Saturn here, higher education and philosophical pursuits are approached with seriousness and dedication.

  • There may be a strong sense of duty towards expanding knowledge and exploring new horizons.

  • Travel and exploration may be undertaken cautiously, with an emphasis on thorough planning and preparation.

10th House (House of Career and Public Image):

  • Saturn in the 10th House signifies a disciplined and ambitious approach to career and public life.

  • There may be challenges or delays in achieving professional success, but perseverance leads to eventual recognition and authority.

  • Public image is taken seriously, with a focus on establishing a solid reputation through hard work and integrity.

11th House (House of Hopes and Wishes):

  • Saturn here brings a serious and disciplined approach to social networks and aspirations.

  • Friendships may be characterized by a sense of duty and commitment.

  • There may be challenges or delays in achieving long-term goals, but perseverance leads to eventual success.

12th House (House of Solitude and Endings):

  • With Saturn in the 12th House, solitude and introspection are approached with seriousness and discipline.

  • There may be a tendency towards self-imposed limitations or feelings of isolation.

  • Spiritual growth and enlightenment are pursued diligently, with an emphasis on overcoming inner obstacles and limitations.


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