The Archetype behind Saturn's mythology begins with Kronos, son of Ouraneus and Gaia who was depicted holding a sickle because he was associated with harvest. The cycles of time involved in harvest gives Saturn the reputation of the need for patience during long cycles of planting and harvesting. Later, he became Saturn in Rome and the same mythology is behind Saturnalia or the harvest festival celebrated in autumn.
As a Jungian Archetype Saturn relates to the Wise Old Man or Senex, the embodiment of the 'one who knows within' and guides us through transformation. Dreams of the grandfather or unknown older male are a way of confirming we are on the correct path.
Many ancient cultures combined harvest festivals with the time when disembodied spirits were gathered as if the dying away of the earth allowed for an opening. These early beliefs evolved into Halloween and Christmas. Odin's Great Hunt from Norse mythology describes the host clamoring overhead in the lightning and thunder caused by his horses. People would leave food out for the 'flying host' which evolved into Santa Claus and Christmas.
Most cultures associated the period of harvest with a time to pray for the dead, which is why Saturn eventually blended into an image of the Grim Reaper. There is no such thing as a bad planet and Saturn is simply teaching us a lesson about structure and patience.
The position of Saturn through the signs and houses of an astrology chart can show the area of life where we feel most challenged. Saturn's purpose in our chart is to identify what we need to get right. As a type of opposite energy to Jupiter's sense of expansion, Saturn can restrict or focus more on discipline and the building of structures. Where Saturn is located can reveal aspects of what might be Karmic in nature. We may feel deficient in this area or quality, but the fact that we are driven by a type of judgment and perfectionism, means that we are learning to excel at it.
Saturn in Aries or the First House
Since the First House is associated with one's appearance, Saturn in the First House can make one thin, wiry or heavily self focused. This placement can make one inhibited and reserved when interacting with others. Saturn brings a bit of cautiousness to the otherwise fiery Aries. The innovation and pioneering attitude of Aries may be balanced with practicality.
The normal exuberance and fearlessness of Aries is toned down in a way that the native can actually blend progressive ideas with applied discipline. Where Aries is not good at follow through, Saturn will bestow this quality. Saturn in Aries and the First House can describe a Karmic condition where although one feels deficient as a person, much of the focus of life will be about unmasking oneself and coming out of hiding.
Overcoming the extreme self consciousness this placement suggests, one can achieve great things. This is a placement for a very progressive thinker. Karmic Key: only you know what it means to be fearlessly yourself.
Saturn in Taurus or the Second House
Traditional astrology will say that Saturn in the Second House can deny one the enjoyment of resources or financial security. We must remember that the chart is not a static condition, but presents clues as to what we are here to learn as the transits unfold in our life journey. Therefore, Saturn in the Second House may have difficulty in their relationship to self worth and finances, but they are actually on a Karmic path of discovering their value and applying discipline to the pursuit of financial security.
They want to get this area right and actually are good at saving. Saturn adds more discipline to the already tenacious Taurus so patience is their highest virtue. The challenges in life can be simplified if one keeps to the tangible and recognizes the joy in simple things. Tending a garden can be very therapeutic for this placement. Karmic Key: your inner landscape is like a garden and the pursuit of abundance begins within.
Saturn in Gemini or the Third House
Saturn in Gemini or the Third House can provide more discipline to the otherwise free wheeling Gemini. Early education can be challenged in a way, that one felt they were deficient in some way. The Karmic path suggests that the lower mind and day to day interactions need to be given careful consideration. Perhaps siblings may bestow challenges that influence the life path.
Where Gemini is focused on learning everything possible about everything in the proverbial jack of all trades, master of none, Saturn in this placement will actually ground this tendency. Communication can be thoughtful and ideas are shared only after considering their effect on others. At the same time, this placement can make one rigid in their thought processes, so the life path can reflect challenges meant to keep the mind open.
Saturn in Gemini and the Third House might blend science and communication in a way that the native becomes a linguist or teaches in relation to language. The Third House becomes the area of life one wants to get right, so they may undervalue their ingenuity. Karmic Key: to the mind that is calm, the entire universe surrenders.
Saturn in Cancer or the Fourth House
Since Cancer and the Fourth House relate to the mother and the home environment, the native can have Karmic lessons associated with the mother or the early home environment. There may have been a sense of heavy discipline, restriction or going without in some way.
Cancer is ruled by the Moon and the Moon relates to the subconscious and our emotional nature. Saturn in Cancer may be uncomfortable with intimacy, revealing vulnerability or sharing their emotions. Saturn in this placement can bring about situations that challenge emotional release. The native may have chosen the early home environment specifically to establish a foundation of emotional truth.
Both Saturn and Cancer tend toward being reserved and can lead one to become a homebody. Saturn in the Fourth House and Cancer are learning both the value of a home base, and also, its limitations. The turtle in ancient beliefs portrayed how one carries their home on their back and the idea that home is what we make of it becomes important to the native.
Establishing a home may feel out of reach, but they are here to understand that the universe is within. Since the Fourth House also associates with the Nadir, this can be a very spiritual placement for Saturn, representing the deeper soul level and its connection to what unfolds. An outlook of scarcity is out to prove its existence and once the native recognizes how they create their experiences by their beliefs, they can transform the texture of what unfolds. Karmic Key: without looking out the window, one can see the whole world.
Saturn in Leo and the Fifth House
The personality and the expression of one's uniqueness can be challenged by Saturn in Leo or the Fifth House. The native is here to learn that while we grow from our interactions with others, nobody can ever tell us who we are. Each of us is blossoming from the inside - out, and all of life will not change us - it unmasks us. In fact, although the native may feel restrained in sharing who they are, under the surface they want recognition, love and even fame.
The Karmic story for Saturn in Leo or the Fifth House is tied to learning to let go of the limitations they are putting on expression. This is the artist who comes up against blockages because they have forgotten that art is a process of discovery and not about the product. Once they learn that expressing their uniqueness should be an adventure and not a critical exercise, they discover the importance of expressing authenticity on the path.
Challenges can also emerge in the area of having children, and perhaps being overly disciplined with them is key to the transformation. Our children adopt our behaviors and sense of self esteem. Before we can teach anything to our children, we must have a healthy dose of self love ourselves. Karmic Key: only by developing self love can we find love in the world around us.
Saturn in Virgo and the Sixth House
Saturn in Virgo and the Sixth House is actually a comfortable position for Saturn because of the association to routine, hygiene and self discipline as long as it is not overdone. The day to day work environment can present Karmic challenges where one feels heavily judged, simply because they are so busy judging others.
Saturn in the Sixth House and Virgo are on a path to recognize the importance of serving, rather than criticizing. Transformation can take place through ideas that 'we get more bees with honey.' Work can feel like drudgery only when we have lost our passion. Saturn in the Sixth House may be given ample opportunities to explore why we do what we do if it doesn't make us happy.
Psycho-somatic illnesses can be a lesson about how we can internalize frustration instead of making changes around us. A lack of wellness is simply dis-ease or an uneasy sense of living life. Therefore, Saturn will be teaching the native how to lighten up and see life more objectively, and how to appreciate moderation by incorporating diversity.
Saturn in Virgo or the Sixth House may become fanatical about health and diet, but nature delivers diversity through the seasons, giving us exactly what we need when we need it: citrus as antihistamines during allergy season and drying elements like pomegranate and pumpkin during the cold periods when we are phlegmatic.
Nature would show us that a diversity of color and texture on the table is healthier than eating the same thing day after day. Karmic Key: moderation ensures a stable footing, but diversity ensures we meet the changing times.
Saturn in Libra or the Seventh House
Saturn in Libra or the Seventh House describes a Karmic journey centered on relationships. Our early interactions with others may have limited our freedom in some way that we are not as likely to rush into relationships later. The idea of perfectionism in forming relationships with others can become burdensome as we push relationships away altogether.
Libra is the diplomat of the zodiac and with Saturn in Libra, one can have a tendency to put the needs of others before their own. Therefore transformative lessons may emerge where the individual explores the need for interdependency in relationships instead of feeling like relationships are a burden, or becoming manipulated when another is impeding on our freedoms.
Saturn in Libra and the Seventh House can suggest marrying with an age difference, where a father or mother figure becomes the partner. The how and why of relationships are emphasized on the life path, specifically because we need to get this area right. Therefore, Saturn in Libra or the Seventh House can marry later in life.
The lesson of Saturn in Libra centers on balancing our needs with those around us and recognizing the part others play in our lives. Other people are often mirroring our tendencies and rather than project our inner condition, we might recognize what our interactions with others can teach us about ourselves. Karmic Key: when meeting contention in another, one would do well to examine the self.
Saturn in Scorpio or the Eighth House
Saturn in Scorpio or the Eighth House takes the idea of relationships with others (7th House) to a deeper and more intertwined condition. Since the Eighth House relates to shared intimacy, sex and shared resources in partnerships, this area of life can present as the Karmic journey.
The native may have a sense that nobody will ever take care of them and that they can only rely on themselves. While this is a valid approach, being born with Saturn in the Eighth House or Scorpio won't make this so simple. Somehow issues evolve that tie us financially to others, or we are forced to provide for a partner.
There is a shadow nature to this placement where all that we deny or push away is actually what stalks us. Saturn in Scorpio can use sex or dependence to manipulate love from another. Or, they may find that another is doing this to them. It may be that a sense of self worth is tied to knowing another cannot live without us, which can be debilitating to both parties.
The lessons of this placement will lead the native to understand that generosity should be open-handed. Giving should not be tied to what is received in return. Dependency on others might just be how we need to become vulnerable in interacting with others in order to achieve deeper intimacy.
Saturn in this placement will have to unravel the complexities they find themselves in to see how the idea of self worth is being manipulated or undermined. Karmic Key: rejection is often just the projection of our own fear of intimacy.
Saturn in Sagittarius or the Ninth House
Saturn in Sagittarius or the Ninth House can bring about Karmic lessons tied to higher education, which may have been denied. The native may need to work to put themselves through school and might have a chip on their shoulder where they give extra emphasis to what they know because it was so difficult to achieve. In other words, they can have a sense of intellectual superiority that really won't serve them in their growth through life.
The Jupiter ruled and fiery Sagittarius loses the gifts of expansion and intellectual freedom with Saturn inhibiting these qualities. Therefore, much of the challenge of the path will be to return the native to more of an open mind. Traveling to foreign countries can offer a lesson about how diverse people are and how there are many paths to abundance.
Saturn in the Ninth House can suggest getting a degree later in life after having rich life experiences. The influences of culture and family in the early life can set very limited parameters on one's philosophy. The native may have chosen this condition as a ballast to transcend the limitations in order to see the bigger picture.
The ability to teach what was discovered can become important as the native learns to appreciate the need to return to wonder to encourage growth in others. Saturn in Sagittarius and the Ninth House want to get philosophy and higher truths right and may do so only after they release the limitations in their thinking. Karmic Key: we are a unique variation of our genetic line and first and foremost, we are children of the universe.
Saturn in Capricorn or the Tenth House
Saturn in Capricorn and the Tenth House is a natural placement for Saturn. Capricorn is ruled by Saturn and can appreciate the need for structure and discipline that Saturn is attempting to teach us. Saturn in the Tenth House relates to the career and the angle of the midheaven so Karmic challenges can relate to our reputation and sense of achievement in life.
The Tenth House also relates to the father who may have been very strict or offered discipline in an unusual way. Father may have been absent because of work and the native may have felt the relationship with the father was lacking in some way. Later in life, they may seek to replace this missing quality through their career, where success is driven by a desire to be respected.
While the first part of life can be challenging in developing a career, this placement ensures that what we achieve is done carefully so no corners are cut in establishing success. The career can be quite successful in the second part of life. When we consider what kind of love we seek from the father, we can understand why we would have chosen to have Saturn in the Tenth House as part of our life story.
While mother coddles and nurtures, father encourages and celebrates our success. Father may have been unavailable because of work and later in life the native will come to appreciate what was taught from a distance without necessarily requiring the interaction.
Saturn in Capricorn or 10th house will work hard to achieve success and regardless of how they get there, they discover how important their journey was to a feeling of accomplishment. Karmic Key: success is a pathway of self completion and the seed is always within you.
Saturn in Aquarius or the Eleventh House
Saturn was the old ruler of Aquarius before Uranus was discovered. Actually Uranus is more appropriate to the energy of Aquarius, but there are aspects of Saturn that tie to the scientific nature of Aquarius. The Eleventh House is the area associated with groups we join, goals and aspirations and friends.
Saturn in the Eleventh House can manifest as being attracted to older and wiser friends and also a sense of not wanting to be in groups. This is the placement for people who just feel they don't belong to the rest of what the world appears caught up in, and we get a sense of the scientist hard at work and isolated, but still focused on doing something important for humanity.
As an intellectual loner, others can mistake one's insecurity in belonging to a disinterest with what others are doing. Saturn in this placement describes a reliable friend and someone who does exactly what they promise when they say they will do something. Unfortunately, most people are not as reliable so the native can sometimes feel that they never receive the type of friendship they offer others.
Saturn in the Eleventh House or Aquarius is teaching the individual how to apply themselves toward their goals, which can appear to be an endless road of obstacles as a sense of commitment is tested. The expression of Aquarius is not as non conforming with Saturn in this placement, but the native will be attracted to physics, science, astrology and all things Uranian. Karmic Key: only you know the importance of what you are doing, just do the work.
Saturn in Pisces
Pisces and the Twelfth House are somewhat intangible. Planets in the Twelfth House can be unavailable or hidden away as the Shadow. The native can have a vague sense of guilt that will need to be worked through.
This placement can lead to a type of ego denial and self punishment, not unlike how adepts deny the physical existence through self punishment or discipline. In early life, there can be a disconnect with the father that leads one to feel unworthy.
The Karmic journey will involve exploring the misunderstanding that has led one to feel guilty. This is the placement of yoga teachers or the type of artist or musician who is extremely disciplined in a way that allows them to master their art. While it is not an inspirational placement, it does propel the individual to study and apply discipline to a spiritual practice. While the native feels compelled to serve humanity, they may not recognize the beauty of the compassion they offer others.
The challenge with this placement involves the nebulous or dissolving influences of Neptune, Pisces and the Twelfth House with the type of structure Saturn is asking for. It is important that the sense of discipline is focused outwardly and not inwardly.
Nothing is ever wrong and one may be on a profound spiritual path that simply involves a denial of the physical in order to give greater expression to the spirit. Karmic Key: you are perfect and the universe knows why you have come here and is at your service.