• Have you done your homework?

    Saturn will end its annual retrograde period on the 25th of August stationing direct at 21°10’ Sagittarius.

    During this retrograde you will indeed have had the opportunity to renegotiate and review any past activities or commitments that have been a source of frustration for you. Having had a chance to tie up loose ends and finish uncompleted tasks in the matters of the house it is transiting in as well as perhaps having said “NO” to others if this meant a big “YES” for you!

    Contemporary American astrologer, Noel Tyl, writes that the Saturn retrograde is a pause for responsibility, there is a disruption in what ideally is expected in the development process, with a sense of incompleteness. For him, a person with Saturn retrograde in the natal chart, craves love above all, especially self-love.

    This certainly hasn’t been the best period for embarking on new endeavours that require time and long commitment but now all this is changing as the planet slowly catches up to his normal speed.

    The Sabian symbol for 22° Sagittarius: “A Chinese laundry.” Indicating the making use of one’s special racial-cultural background in order to survive and prosper in an alien environment.

    Some info about Saturn

    Saturn has an orbit of 28-30 years and stays in each sign approximately 2.5 years. In ancient times and until quite recently (1950’s), in traditional astrology, Saturn was known as the “Greater Malefic” with Mars being the “Lesser Malefic”. With the advent of a more psychological or soul-centred approach to astrology, Saturn has been given more of a “teacher” role albeit often a very strict one too!

    However, despite this less harsh interpretation, I believe that most astrologers still look with trepidation to a Saturn transit to the personal planets wondering just how hard it may hit and if preventive measures can be adopted before the transit in an attempt to soften its effects (by looking ahead to which house Saturn is transiting and to which planets or angles it will aspect during this transit). We could start by asking ourselves questions such as:

    How can I organize the affairs related to the planet (Saturn touches), the sign and the house?

    Where and what are my priorities?

    What am I capable of achieving with this transit and how can I overcome any obstacles that come before me?

    Saturn restricts and contracts the area where he is to be found in the natal horoscope, giving structure and form which require effort and responsibility. In this way we can learn to develop a sense of personal worth based on experience and gain wisdom through the structured application of knowledge. However, in its negative manifestation we may experience Saturn as limitation, restriction, pessimism, loss, depression and a general sense of inadequacy.

    Saturn in the birth chart

    The house where Saturn is to be found in the birth chart denotes the area in our life where we are unsure about our abilities or where, for some reason, we show fear or inadequacy.

    Ivy. M. Goldstein-Jacobson (1893-1990) in “Here and There in Astrology”, first printed in 1961 designated the following meanings to the position of natal Saturn since where we have Saturn is where we “cut down”:

    1st house: self-consciousness, low self-esteem, burdens to the native early in life

    2nd and 8th house: power to save money and a tendency to hoard

    3rd and 4th house: builds a valuable patrimony, in the 3rd a relative could withhold something of yours for a certain time (structured thought process in 3rd and/or responsibility for siblings, I add)

    4th house: a dark, gloomy home atmosphere (or a restrictive parent, I add)

    5th house: responsibility for children (or taking your talents or hobbies seriously, I add)

    6th house: a hard worker sometimes with little profit or appreciation (or a serious health/diet addict)

    7th house: late marriage (or a stable relationship, I add)

    8th house: gain through wills, legacies or alimonies. Shrewdness in dealing with other peoples’ money

    9th house: a second marriage will involve a notable age difference (or scepticism in religious matters, I add)

    10th house: many a fall both physical and circumstantial (but also responsibility and success, I add)

    11th house: the native will outlive many of the family members (taking responsibility for groups, I add)

    12th house: alienation from father but also secret and private affairs becoming public

    I have added the more modern interpretations to these placements too, since Mrs Goldstein-Jacobson, although a great astrologer with a huge experience, had the tendency of her era to be rather gloomy about some interpretations.

    Grant Lewi (1902-1951), described the transits of Saturn through the twelve houses as follows: “from the 4th to the 10th house men rise to, or assume, their maximum power, reaching a second peak as Saturn conjuncts the Ascendant, receding from fame and success as Saturn transits the 1st to the 3rd houses.”

    Saturn transits to its own natal position, or to the personal planets in a natal theme, always denote change in some way. With the first Saturn return (to its own natal position) taking place between 28-30 years of age, a moment in life when we should know where we are going and how to get there, the second Saturn return at ages 58-60 should see us preparing for retirement or at least slowing down our work schedule to dedicate more time to our personal satisfaction. Intervals of approximately seven years when Saturn squares, opposes and then squares again any given point in the natal theme can also be scrutinized since the same themes but with a different twist will also re-present themselves in our lives at these times and it is these seven-yearly repeating aspects that reveal the underlying theme of the Saturn transits.

    A retrograde natal Saturn will slow down or delay until later in life the promises of that particular position, it may also indicate problems with the father figure (if aspects to the natal Sun are involved) or vacillating between being capable of handling the affairs of the house where Saturn is to be found and not knowing how to deal with them.

    It’s an old astrological saying that if you take care of Saturn in your chart, the rest of your chart will take care of itself. This means that if you are able to grasp the lessons of Saturn—its sign, its house placement and the house it rules then you will have the basis for understanding your whole natal chart. It is also believed that Saturn transits get “easier to handle” with age.

    Personally, I’m not too sure about that last sentence. I have 4 planets in the mutable signs other than Sagittarius and this Saturn transit in Sagittarius has been particularly harsh for me. I am now awaiting (feeling apprehensive about?) transiting Saturn’s third and last square to my natal Saturn which will take place in December this year.

    “I had a lot of growing up to do. A lot of times, I learned the hard way.” Allen Iverson

    Have you recognized what themes are present in Saturn transits to any of your personal planets? Care to share?


    Goldstein-Jacobson I.M. (1961) “Here and There in Astrology”, Notebook for Saturn, pp.18-24, Pasadena Lithographers, Pasadena, Cal. USA

    Lewi G. (2004 reprint) “Astrology for the Millions”, Strong Men of Destiny, pp 35-38, Indigo Books, New Delhi, India

    Sullivan E. (1992), “Retrograde Planets”, Natal Saturn retrograde, pp.111-116, Samuel Weiser Inc, York Beach, ME, USA

    Tyl N. (2012) “Synthesis and Counselling in Astrology” The Occurrence of Saturn, pp 35-38, Llewellyn Publications, Woodbury, MN, USA

    Rudhyar D. (1974) “An Astrological Mandala: the cycles of transformations and its 360 symbolic phases”. p 223, Vintage Books Edition, Random House Inc., New York, USA

    Image: Pythagoras—from Manly P. Hall’s The Secret Teachings of All Ages (John Augustus Knapp, 1928). (via Pinterest)

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