Slow But Steady Saturn

January 13, 2011 

Remember the famous Aesop’s fable–The Tortoise and the Hare. The story is about a hare who ridicules a slow-moving tortoise and is challenged by him to a race. The hare soon leaves the tortoise behind and, confident of winning, decides to take a nap midway through the course. When he awakes, however, he finds that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, has arrived before him. That’s the working of the planet Saturn! It’s about patience and persistence. Not to ever give up.

Saturn is a slow moving planet of our solar system.  It completes its orbit around the Sun approximately once every thirty years. Probably that’s why one of the unique characteristics of Saturn is being a slow and lazy. But a steadiness, long lasting stamina and being very patient are the basic elements of Saturn’s nature.

Saturn is an orthodox and very conservative in nature. The old establishments and conservative principles lie at the heart of Saturn. According to Vedic astrology, the function of Saturn is about redemption of past life Karma.  The Karmic principle reflects the cause and effect relationship, and consequently, the Saturn’s position (along with Rahu and Ketu) in the birth chart provides the insight into how one can (or one has opportunity to) redeem his or her Karma and transform to the level of better understanding of life. Therefore, when we have experiences in life that result in comments such as “why me? or it’s not fair!”  it’s really Saturn’s doing.  And there is a message behind it if we care and try to understand it. Without understanding Saturn one can not truly become free.  It’s in understanding of sufferings and obstacles in life one can understand the meaning of life—that’s what Saturn is trying to teach us.

Saturn deals with emotions until we understand its teaching.  And then it frees us from bondage of pain and pleasures. It deals with the process of self-discovery.  The higher the personal ego more the challenges and difficulties. Saturn when fully transformed– one becomes enlightened (Gautam Buddha, Gandhi, Elbert Schweitzer, Mother Teresa and many others like them who devoted their lives to serve humanity). Also, the researchers, philosophers, teachers, philanthropist and even entrepreneurs with the intention of serving humanity are the examples of people who finally understood the Saturn’s principle.  In essence, in my opinion, Saturn is the driving force behind the process when we undo the things we did in the first half of our life and gain some wisdom.

Saturn at material level loves rules.  Therefore, laws that govern the functioning of societies come under Saturn’s influence.  Typically in the birth charts of lawyers and judges Saturn is likely to be a prominent planet.

Among the twelve zodiac signs Saturn rules Capricorn and Aquarius.  Saturn becomes exalted in Libra, and becomes extremely weak in Aries. While the earth and air signs are most suitable for Saturn to reside, a fire or water sign is generally not good for Saturn to reside. Among the planets, in general, his friends are Mercury, Venus and to some extent Jupiter. The incompatible planets for Saturn are Sun, Moon, Mars, the lunar nodes Rahu and Ketu. Among the modern planets depending on the placing of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto they can be either complementary or opposites. Black and dark Blue are Saturn’s color, and it rules Saturdays.  For those who have dominant and positive Saturn in their birth chart are likely to experience dramatic changes in their lives on Saturdays, and black is their lucky color.

Following is a list of adjectives and nouns that describe the Saturn’s characteristics.

Slow, lazy, rotten, dirty, miser, rejected, cold, handicapped, dull, binding, defensive, nervous, disharmonious,  patient, prudent, wise, industrious, sincere,  conservative, introvert, very quiet, laconic, practical, pessimist, thoughtful,  worrisome, shrewd, careful, long term planner, serious, restrictive

Darkness, misfortune, secrecy, hardship, loss, longevity, death, delays, old age, poverty, problems, obstructions, sorrow, unhappiness, mourning, destruction, shrinkage, toughness, unlucky, lifeless, dust, renunciation of material things, limitations, denial, disappointment, dispute, difficulty, obstacles, hindrances, differences, plodding, perseverance, savings, endurance, thrift, self control, sense of duty, concentration, meditation, prayers, calculative, fall, negotiations,

Chronic illness, bones, rheumatism, tuberculosis, leprosy, paralysis, muteness

Thin built, slender, bony, pale, older looking for his age, deep set eyes

Old buildings, slums, leather and shoe factories, slaughter houses, lead, iron, steel, oil, petroleum products, wool, hair, nails, tortoise,

Labor, labor problems, famine, floods, wars, difficult time, depression, loss of material, bankruptcy, lawyers, judges, industrialists, reformers, famous political figures

Saturdays, black color    

Influence of Saturn due to House Disposition    

By occupying a certain house in the natal chart, the influence of Saturn on an individual is summarized below.  However, it must be remembered that a specific inference and subsequent astrological interpretation will depend on several other factors such as disposition of other planets with respect to Saturn, and their relationship among each other through house ownership and aspects.

First House:      If a person looks older than his age and rarely has a natural smile on his face, it’s very likely that Saturn is positioned in the first house in that person’s birth chart.  Person’s typical characteristics would be:  matured, pessimist, patient, dull, lazy, laconic, and introvert.  Until he reaches his age thirty six, he probably goes through a series of difficult times.  There are often “delays” in his life. He is likely to get married late in his life.  In association with the unfavorable planets in the first house, his troubles in his life are intensified and last long. 

Second House: The second house Saturn makes one very pragmatic, practical, and conservative when it comes to handling money.  He is a hard working, quiet person who wouldn’t spend a penny unless he has given a serious thought over the matter.  With Jupiter in the second house, he is unlikely to experience any financial trouble in his life.  With Venus in the second house, he probably will accumulate a lot of wealth.  But with unfavorable planets like Mars or Uranus in the second house, he is likely to face frequent financial crisis;  also he is likely to develop eyes and teeth problems. 

Third House:    Saturn in the third house makes one a serious thinker.  He is normally a calm and peaceful person.  He is patient, courageous, and only takes a calculated risk.  He usually does well in his life.  He is an achiever and an ambitious person.  He probably doesn’t have a younger kin, or if he had one he would have a difficulty in getting along with his kin.

Fourth House:  The fourth house Saturn may cause an early death to the person’s mother, or his relationship with his mother will probably always remain strenuous.  He is likely to have sad childhood memories.

Fifth House:      Saturn in the fifth house means the person is shrewd and very selfish.  He is very clever, political, intelligent, diplomatic, and a realist.  He is skeptical, suspicious, and perhaps unreliable.  He is very patient, and usually successfully pursues his educational ambition.  With Mercury, Jupiter, and Uranus in the first, or in the ninth house of his birth chart, he can achieve a very high career goal in his life.  Also, this Saturn is good for pursuing a career in law.

Sixth House:     This is not a favorable house for Saturn to bloom.  In general, the person is easily misunderstood, has a natural tendency to create enemies, and has no difficulty in getting himself involved in a fight.  As a result, he is always worried and annoyed.  In addition, he faces a lot of obstacles and misfortunes in his life.  Stability arrives late in life.  He is likely to have a poor health, long illnesses, arthritis, and perhaps likely to experience a paralysis attack.

Seventh House: The person with Saturn in the seventh house usually gets married late in life. With Mars or Uranus in the seventh house he is very likely to have problems in his marriage, and probably end up with a divorce or two.  With Neptune in the seventh house he is unlikely to get married. 

Eighth House:   Saturn being the planet of death, the eighth house Saturn is supposed to provide the person with a long life.  However, he may have to face a series of obstacles, unnecessary situations, and delays in his life.  With a planet like Mars or Uranus in the eighth house he is likely to remain mired in a constant financial and physical struggle in his life. 

Ninth House:   The ninth house Saturn makes the person an orthodox, and an ultra conservative.  He is generally intelligent, just, and patient.  He is likely to become a lawyer, a religious authority, or a research scientist.

Tenth House:    Saturn alone in the tenth house without being influenced by any unfavorable planet usually means the person is going to achieve the highest goal he can set in his life.  It might take all his life to achieve it, but he will be successful and become somebody worth remembering after he is long gone.  He is ambitious, egoistic, and very shrewd.  He enjoys social prestige.  He may not get along with his father.

Eleventh House: The eleventh house Saturn is good for pursuing a career in law.  The person usually has a very few friends.  He is typically a true introvert.  He is always extremely careful with any financial dealing.  He is a good planner, a hard worker, and very self centered.

Twelfth House: The person with the twelfth house Saturn in his birth chart is likely to struggle with adverse situations in his life for a long time.  He is not blessed to have enough opportunities in his life.  Usually an opportunity comes very late in life. Typical characteristics of this Saturn are:  unlucky, unfortunate, delays, problems, disappointments, pessimism.  In association with unfavorable planets like Mars, Sun or Uranus in the twelfth house, the situation becomes worse.  He is likely to frequently suffer from unexpected and sudden financial losses; he is likely to get arrested even if he is innocent, or have a terrible accident.  Saturn alone in this house, however, makes the person spiritually strong. 

Influence of zodiac signs on Saturn

While Saturn enjoys being in the earth (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn) or the air (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) sign, it certainly becomes uncomfortable in the Fiery (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) signs and very emotional in the Water (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces) signs.  As mentioned earlier, it rules Capricorn (earth) and Aquarius (air), and it becomes exalted in Libra.  The following is a brief description, which includes how a person’s unique quality of presenting to others and being understood by others can be influenced by Saturn’s zodiac sign in his birth chart.  Note that the influence of the relative position of other planets in the birth chart with respect to Saturn will affect the final analysis of the chart, and therefore, it’s dangerous to conclude astrological analysis solely based on Saturn’s position in the birth chart.


Saturn in Aries becomes debilitated. In this fire sign, all the negative characteristics of Saturn are likely to get enhanced in this sign unless Saturn receives positive influence from a benefic planet like Jupiter or Venus. The inherent slow and steady nature of Saturn is totally gets confused and demolished in volatile and aggressive sign Aries. Such people are likely to be highly opinionated and become very judgmental of others.  They likely to insist on things which are not practical. They can become in-compassionate and ruthless in their behavior. Of course, the position of Saturn with respect to houses in chart is more important.  Thus, the third, tenth and the eleventh house Saturn will always provide good result despite debilitated.  


Taurus is an earth sign ruled by Venus. Venus and Saturn being natural friends with each other, Taurus is a very complementary and positive sign for Saturn. The person is likely to work hard towards his material goal and accumulate lot of wealth. He is likely to take care of his family. This sign being a fixed sign, goes well with Saturn’s slow and steady nature. The person is likely to enjoy life.


Saturn in Gemini makes the person naturally curious. Gemini being the air and mutable sign ruled by Mercury, it’s a perfect sign for Saturn’s endurance quality required to carry out research activities for scientists, intelligence gatherings for detectives and diplomats, shrewd activities for politicians and savvy dealings for businessmen. Gemini Saturn further enhances Mercury’s strength if Mercury is positively placed in the chart. Being a mutable sign this Saturn knows how to adapt to a given situation to make progress.  


Cancer being the water sign ruled by Moon and Moon being a natural foe of Saturn, the Saturn in Cancer means emotional challenges. The person spends good part of his or her life in difficulties and adverse conditions which are usually are the result of his or her unique behavior characteristics. However, in the latter part of his life, through learning, observing, and being aware, he or she gets it and modifies the behavior pattern to finally figure the life out. In that sense Cancer is a very important sign for Saturn as it offers a person an opportunity to transform himself or herself to a level of free of karmic cycles.


Leo is ruled by Sun, a fire and fixed sign.  Sun is a natural foe of Saturn.  While Sun represents a fortunate, royal, lucky and well to do person with least amount of difficulties in life, Saturn means overcoming difficult situations through hard work and perseverance. Saturn loves air and earth signs, and it feels very uneasy in water and fire signs. And Leo is probably the most challenging sign for Saturn to reside in. The person begins life with normal expectation and perhaps with inflated ego. But then soon he or she finds out that life is not that rosy. A series of misfortune and obstacles teaches the person to be subdued and modest.  But through this very process, the person is actually blessed with a tremendous opportunity to transform by understanding the true meaning of life. And perhaps then he or she spends rest of life to serve humanity.


Saturn’s disposition in Virgo is positive because Saturn loves earth signs, and Mercury, which rules Virgo, is a natural friend of Saturn. Virgo being a detailed oriented, analytical sign, Saturn’s creativity is reflected in research oriented, hard working scientists, entrepreneurs and skilled laborers. If Mercury is well positioned, then a person can be a journalist, writer, historian, detective, diplomat, ambassador and advisor to leaders. Such people usually become a well respected people in society with prestigious status, and usually are remembered long after they are gone.


Libra is an air and cardinal sign and Saturn becomes exalted in this sign. People who achieve fame by working hard towards one goal with amazing stamina and patience, and that their work reflects service to humanity are usually have Libra Saturn or Libra rising with prominently placed Saturn. Libra Saturn also produce artists, poets, musicians, singers, film producers and directors, hermits, philosophers, yogis, and social leaders. Inflicted Saturn in Libra due to association with Sun or lunar nodes may make person having difficulty in dealing with people around him or her. 


Scorpio is a fixed, water and mystic as well as a very secretive sign ruled by Mars.  It’s not surprising therefore to see Saturn to get suffocated and become excessively emotional in this sign unless the planet Mars makes a favorable aspect with Saturn.  The person is likely to be very withdrawn, very difficult to open up to others, and very likely to be misunderstood. In addition, due to unhealthy emotions, the person is likely to go off track and can become self destructive. Since Scorpio can be a spiritual sign (being mystical) it can provide the spiritual energy to Saturn to enhance spiritual life of the person.


Sagittarius being a fire and mutable sign, makes the person with Saturn in this sign opinionated and difficult to deal with unless Saturn is positively influenced by Jupiter. With Jupiter’s auspicious aspect or angle, the Saturn’s energy can be directed in a positive way.  Usually such people have natural inclination towards academic profession. Also, philosophers, philanthropist and social reformers, supreme court judges can have Sagittarius Saturn with well placed Jupiter. The Saturn, being the planet of discipline and dedication can one help pursue to become monk or enlightened person.


Saturn rules Capricorn, a cardinal and earth sign. Such people work hard to achieve their goals. They build their own houses and have all the material pleasure at their disposal. They are usually successful businessmen: industrialist, venture capitalists, bankers, managers, chief operating officers of corporations, etc. They are like a mountain goat who slowly, steadily but surely reaches the mountain top. Usually such people have their wishes come true.  They usually end up accumulating lot of wealth.  They can be very selfish and egotist. 


Aquarius is the most intelligent (air) sign of all the air signs and it is ruled by Saturn.  Scientist, researchers, philanthropists, philosophers, social reformers, religious leaders whose sole interest in life is to serve humanity are the people who are likely to have Saturn placed in this sign in their birth charts. Typically such people are unselfish, non-materialist and have natural inclination towards serving others through intelligence. These people can also be visionary, advisers to communities.


Although it’s a water sign, Saturn loves this sign from spiritual progress standpoint.  The monks, spiritual leaders, Gurus and those who have spent years in living austere life are likely to have Pisces Saturn. However, from material progress standpoint, Saturn does very poorly in Pisces unless it gets support from the planet Jupiter. Saturn becomes very emotional in this sign, and as a result, can become very pessimist about life and has a tendency to give up easily on almost any activity or work he undertakes.