Not everyone is looking to improve themselves. In fact, many people seem determined not to! But I’m suspecting that most of you reading this have a strong interest in self-improvement and becoming a more authentic, calmer, contented, version of yourselves.
To improve and become better people, we have to overcome obstacles – both external and those from within. Astrology is a powerful psychological tool for self-improvement because it helps us identify those obstacles and the areas in our life in which they operate.
Saturn indicates within our natal chart what obstacles we have to deal with.
Why Saturn? Because it is the last planet still visible to the naked eye (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were all discovered by telescope). So for ancient astrologers, Saturn came to symbolise the limits to our knowledge – and our levels of control. And sure enough, the ancients found that wherever Saturn was operating in a person’s life, trouble, strife, delays and frustrations were common.
Modern astrologers still describe Saturn as “The Great Task Master”. But we now have a more nuanced view on what he signifies and how to work with him. More and more of us are becoming aware that what we think eventually externalises in our outer world. Saturn signals in a natal chart the areas of life where we are exhibiting negative belief systems and where these are manifesting as unhelpful external experiences. Put another way, Saturn is a cosmic mirror being held up to ourselves, signalling where we are limiting ourselves and holding ourselves back. Wherever Saturn is located in our natal chart there are usually delays, frustrations and problems. Saturn magnifies where we have our greatest fears. And the power of Saturn does not stop until we unlearn old bad habits and learn new approaches.
But the good news is the truth sets us free; if we become conscious of where Saturn is operating in our lives, we will work harder to overcome the problems, and we will grow. Gradually, we will become better people – more thoughtful, creative, resilient, empathetic, connected to others, connected to our planet, and ultimately connected to higher realms of consciousness.
Modern astrologers also see that Saturn has some powerful positive qualities that we cannot do without. He helps us develop structure and order, and lays the foundations to get things done.
Saturn in the Houses
In Astrology the planets show what is happening and the 12 Houses of the natal chart (or Horoscope) show the areas of our lives the events are happening. All of us are born with an area of our life where Saturn is making us work especially hard.
To find out where Saturn is in your natal chart, you can either create your natal chart for free on Astro.com or get an astrologer to show you.
Here are some examples of the impact of Saturn within a House in the natal chart:
- Saturn in the First House people are usually very responsible and reliable but are also often reserved, or inflexible or weighed down by “duty”. Deep within they desire to be more spontaneous and free, to try new things. Until this person recognises the influence of Saturn here, they cannot grow into the bigger person they want to become.
- The Third House is the part of our natal chart associated with our logical mind, our environment and our siblings. It is not unusual for people born with Saturn in their Third House to have difficulties getting on at school or they receive too restrictive an education, or they have challenges relating to their siblings. People with this Saturn placement have to learn to overcome a feeling of intellectual inadequacy – and realise that their thoughts and insights are as valid and powerful as anyone else’s.
- Saturn in Sixth House people are often late bloomers, particularly in their career. Work takes on a massive significance – it can often be hard for these people early in life to find their niche or decide on a career path or earn good money. Because the Sixth House is the workplace, Saturn here often indicates workaholic tendencies. Six House Saturns get trapped in jobs and find it hard to leave. However, they are also inclined to be analytical, organised and persistent. And although these people are often frustrated by the delays in their career, when they overcome their Saturn-fears, they come to see their true value and rapidly make up ground in later life. They also develop an ability to focus on the meaningful and filter out the noise.
- The Eleventh House represents one’s contribution to communities and society. It is a spiritual area of our life, focused on what happens after we have won recognition in our career. Saturn in Eleventh House people often over-identify with a group or ideology and lose their individuality. Or they find themselves rejected by a group or their friends. Or they act selfishly, and without thinking of the greater good. Saturn here forces us to move beyond dependence on others and to understand our own worth. It also helps us understand the distinction between tribal thinking and community consciousness.
So these are just some of the examples of how Saturn signals the challenges we have set ourselves from birth (and which maybe we have carried over from prior lifetimes).
To make things complicated, Saturn (like all the planets) is constantly moving through our sky, changing zodiac signs and Houses every 2.5 years. So we don’t just look at the House where Saturn is in the natal chart, but also the House in your chart where it is currently transiting. Right now, Saturn is in Aquarius and is likely to be in a completely different House in your chart from your natal Saturn, offering an extra challenge. On 8 March 2023 it moves into Pisces, which will mean everyone starts to experience a new Saturn challenge in a new House.
So the main conclusion from this is: the sooner we are consciously aware of all the places where Saturn is operating in our chart, the sooner we can develop and grow!