Key to the Capacity for Discipline & Patience

Saturn indicates the individual’s capacity for self-discipline, organization, and perseverance in pursuit of long-range goals. Saturn deals with the serious purposes of life. It is better to have an afflicted saturn than a weak one without aspects. If saturn is weak, the individual usually does not achieve importance or prominence in life.

Saturn's Positions

Giant Saturn, the outermost planet visible to the naked eye, spends some two and a half years in each sign, taking about twenty-nine years on his journey around the zodiac. Saturn’s most distinctive astronomical feature is that magnificent set of rings, but Saturn is also the centre of a swirling mini-solar-system with dozens of small moons. The largest of these moons, Titan, is bigger than Mercury or Pluto and possesses a dense atmosphere. The weirdest is Iapetus, which some claim to be an artificial satellite, due to its several anomalies. Astrologically the planetary Lord of Aquarius and Capricorn, Saturn, a harvest god, is known as the grim reaper – hence his exaltation in Libra, the sign of the harvest – yet in Ancient Rome the mythical age of Saturn’s reign was envisaged as a golden age of happiness, without theft or servitude, and without private property. This prehistoric era was celebrated in Roman times at the darkness of the Winter Solstice, when laws and customs were turned on their heads at the Saturnalia. This festival commemorated the time of chaos before the Sun is reborn. Our era has incorporated these celebrations into the Christmas festivities.

In mythology, grim Saturn castrated and overthrew his father, Uranus, but he also devoured his own children, for it was prophesied that one of them would destroy him. Indeed, he was eventually overthrown by his mighty son, Jupiter, heralding the beginning of civilisation. Traditionally described as the “Greater Infortune” (or “Greater Malefic”, Mars being the “Lesser Malefic”), Saturn rules the responsibilities, restrictions and limitations we are apt to encounter, and the lessons we must learn in life. He does not deny or diminish imagination, inspiration, spirituality, or good fortune, but he does demand that these things be given structure and meaning, for he also governs tact, steady thought and serious contemplation. Saturn rules sorrow and regret and things connected with the past, for suffering is the doorway to wisdom. The karmic lessons we have come to experience and overcome in this lifetime are expressed by Saturn, the karmic initiator of the zodiac. These are often restriction or oppression in relationships; chronic debilitating conditions in health; old age, poverty and other difficult circumstances in material life. Saturn rules old people, restrictive situations, the common people, the working classes, inflexible authority and chronic, hard-to-shift disorders.

Saturn’s placement in the chart reveals the areas of life wherein we must undergo these karmic tests, but his condition by sign, house and aspect shows whether or not we may be cast down, or exalted by his influence, as a well-placed Saturn is an influence that can bring supreme success. Patience and thoroughness will generally offset the more problematic influences of Saturn, at least in terms of the anxiety they create, because Saturn rarely troubles those who are straightforward, systematic, and above all, patient. Each twenty-nine years naturally presents us with the challenge to rise to new levels of awareness, or face the consequences of having failed to gain the wisdom required so to do. When Saturn in the heavens returns to the zodiacal degree where he was placed in your birth chart, you are said to be experiencing what astrologers call your Saturn Return – one of the most important times of your life. It only happens once every 29 years, so at around age 28-30, 57-59 and (if you live long enough) 86-88 you have a Saturn Return. This signifies a time of transformation, an emotional transition from one life-phase to the next.

The first Saturn return (around age 28-30) marks the transition from the Phase of Youth to the Phase of Maturity; the second from the Phase of Maturity to the Phase of Wisdom. The last one, if reached, seems usually to mark the transition either to the next world or else back to a second childhood! As the Saturn return approaches, often our lives seem to speed up, as if hurrying to clear out old baggage from the past, to lighten the load for the next stage. Important things that either finalize old issues, or prepare the ground for new developments tend to occur with increasing frequency. For those who are unprepared, this is often a time of severe suffering, as we struggle to understand the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that seem to be aimed squarely at our hearts. Indeed, relationships and major life-decisions are all too often the focal points for this clearing out of karmic baggage.

Saturn in Aries

Saturn shows where we feel UN-safe and IN-secure. Its sign position shows what we absolutely must have to feel security and safety. In Aries, that means initiative. The worst thing you can say to a Saturn in Aries person is ” Sit there and wait; I’ll take care of it”. They will climb the walls. Waiting on line is another thing that they absolutely cannot stand. Does anybody like to wait on line? Not really, but hey, it happens. So get over it, right? Not for a Saturn in Aries person. To feel safe and secure, they must have the initiative. Saturn in Aries is prone to headaches and problems with the teeth, especially the upper teeth.

Saturn in Taurus

All a person with this placement needs to feel safe and secure is to have a roof over their heads, a few articles of clothing to wear, a little money in the bank, and, most important of all, ABSOLUTE certainty as to where their next meal is coming from. If they get these things, they will seem to be the least materialistic of people. Once that little bit of security is threatened, however, they climb the walls until they get it back.

Saturn in Gemini

just need a home in order to feel safe and secure. World War III could happen and as long as their home was the only one to survive, these folks would be ok.

Saturn in Cancer

Attracts the most good fortune when [he|she] is sympathetic and charitable. Uses [his|her] powers to save and accumulate, and comforts others. Real estate and the food industry can be prosperous avenues. Values tradition and works towards security. Relies most on gut instincts when it comes to pursuing goals and business success.

Saturn in Leo

needs 3 things to feel safe and secure. Attention, respect, and admiration. They would rather have these than food.

Saturn in Virgo

Saturn is what we need in order to feel safe and secure. When in Virgo, this means always have something to do. If a Saturn in Virgo person wakes up and there is nothing to do, they climb the walls. They also have to have their daily quota of new details to assimilate.

Saturn in Libra

needs a partner in order to feel safe and secure. But it doesn’t have to be a marriage partner, nor does it have to be permanent. They simply need someone around to help them knock around ideas. Since Saturn is also the planet of fear, this placement of Saturn can also give fears with respect to partners. Perhaps, for example, a fear of loosing them or of making a mistake and driving them away.

Saturn in Scorpio

has an above average need for a sexual relationship. But there is also a fear (Saturn) of being overwhelmed by the other person, so Saturn in Scorpio people will do things to pull back. Like picking a fight just when things are going great. Or that wonderful Scorpio trick, being mad (or, though they don’t like to admit it, AFRAID) about something and picking a fight about something else. And you, of course, have to make the connection.

Saturn in Sagittarius

feels safe and secure as long as it understands every situation that it’s in. This is not always the most practical placement (“The house is on fire, but that’s ok; I understand how it started”. Never mind that. Get out of the house!). There is also a need to feel free and to be able to comment on everything.

Saturn in Capricorn

feels safe and secure when it is in control of everything in its immediate environment. I know this one from personal experience. My mother has it, as does my sister-in-law and my niece.

Saturn in Aquarius

needs friends in order to feel safe and secure. One woman I know of with this placement started a commune in the late 1960’s and filled it with all her friends.

Saturn in Pisces

can’t feel safe and secure unless the imagination and intuitive abilities are working. This placement can increase the chance of trouble with the feet, particularly when it comes to finding comfortable shoes.

Saturn in 1st House

gives you the traits of the sign of Capricorn, ambitious and well organized, yet fearful and cautious. The best way to deal with that tendency to look on the dark side is to keep busy working for a goal.

Saturn in 2nd House

can work out in three different ways. First, there are those for whom enough is never enough. They tend to become rich in money, but they have to watch out not to miss out on life’s other pleasures. Second are those who value security and protection above all else. They frequently gravitate towards “secure” jobs in the civil service or with large corporations (although the downswing movement has changed this). The third group gets depressed and gives up. This last alternative is to be avoided.Stephen Arroyo points out in his book “Relationships and the Life Cycle” (I highly recommend it) that Saturn shows what we regard as “important”, so important that we try to control it. So important that we get nervous and fearful and frequently blow it. In the second house, the important thing for Saturn is money. If you can work through your fears (Saturn) you will find that your sense of self worth is ultimately more important.

Saturn in 3rd House

Communications tend to be cautious and restrained. This placement may actually indicate some sort of speech impediment, at least in youth. Communications tend to be important, too important. This can easily cause a dislike of small talk, and a fear of saying the wrong thing so that the person with this placement winds up saying nothing at all. The mind inclines to be too serious. These folks are the kind who will sit by themselves at a party and think “How can I be here having fun when I have all this serious work to do?”. Lighten up. You’ll be healthier. Still, the mind is constructive and organized, even if it tends to be a bit slow (haste makes waste). If there are siblings, the older ones were more likely to pick on you, and the younger ones were probably a burden (perhaps you had to take care of them).

Saturn in 4th House

gives deprivation of “normal” contact and affection of at least one parent, usually the father. It can do this through divorce, death, or other forms of separation. Perhaps the parent had to work long hours or their job involved travel. If the parent was around, they may have been aloof or very strict. This can lead to a fear of domestic instability which can make you really want to have a stable, permanent home. There is that Saturn desire to control again. Don’t count on early retirement with this placement. If you take it too easy, your body starts to fall apart, so after retirement, get another job (even if is volunteer work). The plus side is that as long as you keep going, you’ll keep going for a long time. Home and family usually require extra effort to keep things right.

Saturn in 5th House

Planet of fear and caution in the house of fun and games. Right. This can cause a lot of trouble when one is a teenager. There will tend to be extra difficulties with romance, creativity, and fun in general. Saturn’s idea of “fun” is something that takes a long time and lots of hard work. Lighten up already. Remember, Saturn is where we want to control things, and in the fifth house that means control of fun, games, and love affairs. If you have this one, you may not have too many “light” affairs. Saturn wants everything to be important. On the plus side, Saturn here can be very good for creative projects that take forever to do and require endless patience. When it comes to gambling, stay away from the casinos and put your money somewhere safe. Children will also give more than the normal amount of problems.

Saturn in 6th House

I’ve seen this one too many times for it to be a coincidence. Saturn in the sixth house can mean that you don’t really succeed or get paid what you are worth on the job for at least seven years. The trouble is, many people with this placement quit after a couple of years out of frustration, and that puts them back to square one. Another seven years! Many of these Saturn in the sixth folks eventually go into business for themselves for this reason. Work is important to those with Saturn here. This position frequently gives superior organizational skills. Again, in the long run, the person with Jupiter, planet of “good luck”, in this house may squander it all while the one with Saturn here learns from the extra obstacles and pulls ahead.

Saturn in 7th House

tends to delay marriage. In fact, if you have this one, don’t get married or even live with someone (other than a roommate) until you are at least twenty nine years old. You have to wait for Saturn to complete a full cycle around the Sun for things to work out here. Early marriages will slowly decay and fail. I’ve seen this in over 90% of the cases. The partner may be older by at least seven years, and if not a Capricorn, then at least a Capricorn type, solid, dependable, conservative in their private life. Marriage may be for money or security. Watch out. That one frequently backfires on you. Conversely, you yourself may become more practical and hard working after marriage. What this placement definitely does NOT favour is a spur of the moment marriage for romantic reasons to someone you just met.

Saturn in 8th House

wants control. I call this one the “I tie you up, you tie me up” position. No, Saturn here does not deny sex. It just wants to plan and control it and is generally not spontaneous. Saturn here can cause difficulties and delays with credit matters and inheritances. Because of early problems in this area, those with Saturn in the eighth house are frequently sticklers about these things. If you have Saturn in the eighth house, you probably manage other people’s money better than you manage your own and are firm on social rules.

Saturn in 9th House

learns best by getting their hands on something and actually doing it, rather than just from books. Long journeys will tend to be for business, rather than pleasure. Saturn in the ninth house is one possible indicator of a “guilt trip” being laid on you when you were growing up. I have had several clients with this placement who were raised in strict convent schools. learns best by getting their hands on something and actually doing it, rather than just from books. Long journeys will tend to be for business, rather than pleasure. Saturn in the ninth house is one possible indicator of a “guilt trip” being laid on you when you were growing up. I have had several clients with this placement who were raised in strict convent schools.

Saturn in 10th House

This placement is great for business. It is also good for the careers of medicine and research scientist, or of research in general. Hey, isn’t Saturn supposed to be the planet of “bad luck”? Well, it is also the planet of hard work, discipline, and organizational ability, all of which are required by the above professional. Just remember that when you get to the top to keep working. Saturn also rules falls.

Saturn in 11th House

No, this does not mean you won’t have any friends. They may be fewer in number, but that is probably because you are selective here. Additionally, they will tend to be older by at least seven years. If you have this placement, you probably had older friends when you were a kid. You are the one that has to really work for those hopes and wishes, and you will probably envy those who have Jupiter in the eleventh house. Don’t. By sticking to your game plan (putting in extra effort and leaving nothing to chance) you can actually come out way ahead of them. Remember the old story about the grasshopper and the ant.

Saturn in 12th House

suppresses depression. Of course everyone gets depressed now and then. But when someone with this placement gets depressed, the trap door to the subconscious swings open and all the old depression comes out. This can be temporarily immobilizing, the “I just can’t get out of bed today” syndrome. Folks with Saturn in the twelfth house are usually very reliable. Everybody else depends on them and leans on them as well. They have to find someone to lean on as well.

Saturn Aspects

Saturn is the planet of order, organization, ambition, caution, discipline, and hard work. It limits and restricts (or tries to) any other planet which it aspects.


The harmonious aspects simply incline the person with them to be practical, conservative, and orderly. When Saturn makes harmonious aspects, it seems to give benefits grudgingly, and these only have to do with stabilizing things shown by the planet it is aspecting. The STRESSFUL aspects are where Saturn really goes to work. With Saturn stressfully aspecting the Sun, there are usually the following difficulties with the father: (1) he isn’t there, either due to a long work schedule, separation, divorce, or death (2) he is there but he is so aloof, distant, and unfeeling, he might as well not be (3) he is there, but he is always sick, or (4) he is there but he is always strict and a disciplinarian.


Can give a mother who is efficient, but a little distant emotionally. This is especially true of the stress aspects. As is always the case with Saturn, the good effect of these aspects is to make you work hard and prepare for the worst, which, you are sure, is just around the corner. Lighten up already! Keep repeating to yourself over and over again: “It’s IMPRACTICAL to be miserable”.


Can give a serious mind, usually much too serious. You may sometimes appear mentally “slow” but that is not due to lack of intelligence. It is because you are cautious and fearful of making a mistake. All Mercury-Saturn contacts deepen the mind. There is little patience for small talk, so if you have this combination, you may appear anti-social. You aren’t, really. You just don’t want to waste time. The stressful aspects tend towards brooding and depression. The cure is (like for most Saturn stress aspects) is to keep busy doing something useful.


When stressful, is another of the so-called “hypoglycemic aspects”, the others being Venus stressfully aspected to either Uranus or Pluto. This one also causes a tendency for the blood sugar level to fall. Get it checked by a doctor. People with stress aspects between Venus and Saturn fall into two distinct types. One seems to have an allergy to success, always blowing their big break just before it’s in their hands. The other type becomes successful beyond their wildest dreams, but has difficulty enjoying it because they are too busy. Bill Gates has Venus and Saturn in conjunction in Scorpio, sign of extremes, which makes him even more driven. Oprah Winfrey has the square between these two. In her case, Venus is sitting close to the Sun, which gives her charm. But make no mistake about it. Saturn, planet of efficiency and organization squares both of them and it is the one calling the tune here. Venus-Saturn people also tend to be extremely loyal, sometimes beyond all reason (“Well, I know you just burned down my house and killed my family, but you did something nice for me 5 years ago, so I’ll forgive you”). Ok, maybe not THAT loyal, but you get the idea. These folks frequently suffer from what I call “Free-floating guilt”. If they see someone else doing something wrong, somehow they feel responsible. If you have this aspect, try to rid yourself of the belief that you have to suffer before you can enjoy anything.


The Harmonious Aspects between these two give you the ability to pace yourself so that you can keep going long after everyone else drops from exhaustion. This is similar to having Mars in Capricorn, the sign that Saturn rules. The Stressful Aspects can do this too, but they have some problems. For one thing, Mars will tend to keep stepping on the gas while Saturn hits the brakes. You have to move foreword in sort of a jerky fashion, constantly stopping to check and make sure that everything is ok. If you don’t, things can fall apart behind you. You can’t afford to burn your bridges behind you if you have stressful aspects between Mars and Saturn. With this combination, you never know when you have to make a sudden retreat. It does give discipline. Another astrologer (Mary Downing I think) mentioned in a lecture that all of the men in her family had this one. Her son, for instance, was on the swimming team and he would practice swimming for hours on end, perfecting his stroke. Women with stress aspects between Mars and Saturn tend to attract cruel men.


I call the stressful aspects between these two the “Jekyll-Hyde aspect”. It is seldom a problem for the person who has one. It can be a big problem for everyone around them. When I was in graduate school, I had a mentor who had the opposition between Jupiter and Saturn. I came into the lab one day and another grad student said to me: “I can’t figure him out”. “Who are you talking about?” “Our mentor. he came into the lab yesterday and screamed at me for sitting down.” “What!” “Yeah, for sitting down. I told him I was writing up an experiment, but he said that I had to write it up on my own time. In the lab, I had to WORK,WORK,WORK. He just came in again today. Naturally, I was sitting down writing up the same experiment. I saw him coming, I jumped up and started to work. He says to me: ‘Why are you working so hard. Come on. Let’s have a game of chess. Jupiter expands. Saturn contracts. Jupiter is “Let’s have a good time”. Saturn is Got to keep working”. When they are in stressful aspect (particularly the opposition) you swing from one extreme to the other.


The Ascendant shows how you start things. Saturn will tend to make you cautious and careful here. Even an “charge-right-in” sign like Aries on the Ascendant will be slowed by this one. The stressful aspects also incline to extra delays in the marriage and partnership area. If you have a stressful aspect of Saturn to the Ascendant, don’t get married before your first “Saturn return”. This is the time when Saturn returns to the place it occupied when you were born, and it occurs between the ages of 28 and 30. This aspect is similar to the effect of having Saturn in the 7th House. A marriage before age 28 has an increased chance of failure. The affection slowly decays until there is nothing left. Tell your fiancée they will have to wait.


Is excellent for business, even the stressful aspects. After all, this is the planet of organization and practicality. Saturn also inclines to any profession requiring lots of hard work, attention to detail, and discipline, both before you enter it and afterwards, such as doctor or research scientist. Bill Gates has the trine and Walter Annenberg the conjunction. Marie Curie had the trine as well. The harmonious aspects give parents who are solid, if unexciting. The stressful can give parents who are TOO solid. Reserved, strict, etc. These also increase the possibility that there will be little contact or affection from at least one parent, just like Saturn in the 4th house (divorce, separation, death, or the parent was either too busy or cold and withdrawn).

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