New astrology students often shudder a little when they learn about Saturn and then find it in their own chart. Saturn has quite a reputation for carrying a pretty dark vibe. There is some truth to that, but there’s so much more to Saturn than hard lessons and sadness.
Saturn is the 6th planet from the Sun, named for the Roman god Saturnus. The titan Kronos (sometimes spelled Cronus) is his Greek contemporary, and while the names change, Saturn absorbed the Kronos mythology.
Saturn in Mythology
In the myth, Kronos had heard a prophecy that one of his children will usurp him. Kronos wanted to keep his status so badly that he ate up all of his own children soon after they were born. Gross… but effective. Rhea, his wife, was understandably pretty angry about losing all of her kids, so when Zeus was born, Rhea tricked Kronos into eating a rock. Zeus was then hidden, nursed by a goat and eventually grew up to conquer his father and save his siblings from his father’s stomach.
Saturn’s story is clearly pretty dark, but neither Kronos nor Saturn are truly a one dimensional archetype. In fact, Saturnus was also considered to be the father of agriculture in ancient Rome. He was created by the primal gods of the sky and earth, Caelus and Terra (Uranus and Gaia in the Greek) to be a father figure for the gods and mankind.
The Saturn Astrological Archetype
The archetype for Saturn in astrology has evolved to show where you may act with maturity or will need to learn more restriction. You see, Saturn is paternal and wants to teach you about self-control, discipline, limitations and boundaries.
Sure, at times this can be depressing. Sometimes it can feel heavy, frustrating or even sad. If you want to know what your true, innermost fears are, you can simply look at Saturn by sign, house and aspect. The other side, though, is that Saturn will also show you where you can climb, find your strength, grow and climb. Saturn shows where you may have or earn authority and be the most responsible person in the room. Saturn shows us where we refuse to back down, give up, and not let other people cross our boundaries.
It is very true that while Jupiter expands our minds, horizons and whatever area of life you find yourself, Saturn contracts and reels you in. Saturn lives up to its deep and sometimes limiting astrological reputation. It isn’t anything to be afraid of, though. Through knowing Saturn in your own natal chart, you can use its vibe for better learning, growth and success.
How do you understand the planets through the signs? It takes a little practice, but imagine the planet as an action and the sign as something that colors or describes it. In the case of Saturn, you can think of it as how your inner fears or limitations behave, how you parent and view your paternal parent or authority, how you set your boundaries, or how you climb to success. Each sign will bring its own archetype and meld it with that of Saturn’s.
The Saturn Return
You have a natal chart, but did you know that the planets don’t stop there? They keep moving, of course. When planets that are moving in real time make an aspect to planets in your chart, that is called a transit. Once every 29 years or so, Saturn makes his way around the sky back to the place he was in when you were born. This conjunction between transiting Saturn and your natal Saturn is called the Saturn Return.
The Saturn Return is considered to be one of the most important transits in a person’s life, and it has a reputation for being pretty brutal. Depending on your natal chart, it can signal an event that upsets the proverbial apple cart of your life and forces you to mature. Usually, it is said to reflect a great lesson in store for you, generally within the realm of the sign or house where your natal Saturn sits.
You have free will and can, of course, refuse to learn whatever the potentially painful lesson is. Nevertheless, Astrologers often maintain that if you choose to ignore it, you may be put in the same position repeatedly over the next 29 years – at least until you face the lesson you’re in need of learning.
Saturn’s vibe may not be all fun and games, but it is necessary for growth and success. Without the Saturn archetype in each of us, we wouldn’t be able to set firm boundaries, learn from our mistakes, or grow. Now, that doesn’t sound so bad after all, does it?
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