The Ways of Saturn
Saturn is a powerful influence on our lives.
He is the slowest moving planet, taking two and a half years to move through each sign.
Saturn brings both the blessings and the curses of life, as he gives his wisdom only through the slow ripening of time, effort, suffering, loss and age. It takes time to learn the deepest, hardest and most important wisdom of life. This wisdom has to be worked for and requires effort to receive.
Thus, Saturn pays us in enlightenment for the work, effort and steady actions that we make over a long period of time. If we don’t adhere to his rules for wisdom, he will make us suffer the consequences.
Many people fear Saturn and prefer the the type of rewards the other planets offer. Quick action and reaction from Mars. Comfort, luxury and creativity from Venus. Expansion of knowledge through Jupiter. Quick playful imagination of the Moon.
Saturn, however, has different means and ways. He forces us to listen, pay attention, to attend to body, mind and emotions. He gives grief through loss and endings, through death and dying; he reminds us of what is truly important as a result. What is lasting and what is not. All of that goes beyond the material plane of existence, and the rewards we get for our effective and meaningful actions that are aligned with Natural Laws.
Structure is Saturn’s domain—of the physical human form, the muscle, bone and tissues, as well as the universe. He is old, he rules old age, and also that which comes with age. He is vata, air, and dries things out as a result. The absence of water (life) brings death, and when the water of the physical body dries up, we die.
Saturn is a loner, and brings loneliness and separation. He reminds us of what is important as a result. In other words, we don’t get to take anything with us when we pass from this lila—this play of life. Just our karmas.
Saturn helps us ripen, like fruit on a tree. Once ripe, we loosen our hold and release our connection to the tree of life. This is why Saturn rules fall and winter, when vata increases, when fruit and leaves have ripened, fallen and dropped. The tree becomes bare, empty, and goes into a deep rest phase before awakening with the movement of sap in spring time.
Working With Saturn, Not Against Him
Saturn helps us ripen. He helps everything in our lives ripen. He helps us grow better with age. And when we resist his ways, we suffer.
He wants consistency; methodical action. He wants us to be in tune with the cycles and rhythms of nature and the cosmos—not man made cycles and rhythms. (Ayurveda is the premier health science of Saturn. If you want to suffer less in the physical body, study Ayurvedic wisdom and the timeliness of eating, sleeping and other tips.)
Saturn is a planet of renunciation, hard work, routine, asceticism, old age, the cycles and rhythms of life. (This is why Saturn is the planet of yoga and yoga is a metaphor for Saturn’s ways: your hard work pays off, but it requires consistent practice.)
Obey Saturn’s disciplined guidelines, and you will be in alignment with him and with Natural Laws, but disobey these Laws and he will make you miserable. Perhaps this is why Libra is such a good position for him. Libra, after all, rules over balance, legal and political ideals and business markets. The overarching ruler of life, however, are the Laws of Nature, not man made laws.
Nature’s Laws are karmic. Think: every action has a reaction. This is the domain of Saturn.
Saturn likes hard work, suffering, and has a “no pain, no gain” attitude. Though some of these darker tendencies may be mitigated being in a friendly sign, expect some tears and hardship before happy resolutions. After all, Saturn rules grief.
How will you know Saturn is asking you to re-evaluate your actions? You will feel a pinch, some displeasure, anxiety, depression or grief.
When the pain comes, as it surely will, this is our guide post along the Path; our reminder of where we are clinging and what we are clinging to, what changes we are resisting. If we hadn’t seen the attachment prior to this struggle, we have an opportunity to see it clearly now in the face of tragedy, our tears, our suffering.
As Pema Chodron reminds us in her book Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change: “When we resist change, it’s called suffering.” And when we resist anything, it will ultimately hurt us. Working with Saturn’s ways and not against him will help ease the suffering he brings.
How Does Saturn Affect You?
Looking at your own jyotish chart, see where Saturn sits. What sign is he in? What house? What planets does he sit with, if any? Saturn gives drishti to three, seven and ten houses away from himself. So these areas of your chart will also feel the slowness, the need for balance and age, in order for you to ripen properly.
His effects on the 7th house will create slow ripening in relationships—either with late marriage, no marriage or to an older person. Saturn’s effects on the 10th house will create a slow ripening in the career. This can effect how you offer your work and who you offer it to. It can also indicate that you are working with the physical body, with the elderly, or that you put in hard work and physical exertion for your career.
Saturn connected with the 5th house can indicate having children very late in life, no children, or suffering through the children in some capacity. These are some examples of how Saturn can effect parts of our life based on the jyotish chart.
In my next Saturn article, I will share more about Sadi Sati, a seven and a half year Saturn cycle that offers many lasting, life changing effects. Stay tuned!
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Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Wikimedia Commons