This is a continuation from a previous post:
In the following posts, I will address Saturn in the birth chart, in opposite Signs, and opposite Houses correlating to those Signs, and in aspect to planetary rulers of those Signs:
[Please note that there are subtle differences between a planet in a House, the same planet in a Sign associated with that House, and the same planet in aspect to another planet which archetypally represents the energy of that Sign or House. These differences have to be noted in a professional chart reading; however, these posts merely address astrology enthusiasts who are curious about the basic meaning of archetypes. Please stay aware of the fact that the following interpretations are oversimplified and can be modified by other factors present in each individual chart.]
Saturn in Leo:
The structure of consciousness is formed around the notions of “creativity” and “self-expression”. If Saturn is functioning in a healthy manner, consciousness will be structured based on a tendency to give birth to new ideas rather than regurgitating the old ones. Self-expression, be it artistic or otherwise, would be the main filter through which the outer world is perceived and the inner world is manifested. Producing and playing would be the “default” context through which conscious life is understood. The conscious mind would tend to organize mundane experiences in reference to the degree they can make one feel “alive” and “encouraged”, as it seems that one’s evolutionary path would add a touch of “specialness” to everything that comes and goes through one’s life. An appreciation of the playfulness of the heart and mind may also exist, which would make the conscious life seem like a “play” of laughter and tear, drama and passion, deep joy and profound pain. As the cold and dark Saturn is occupying the sparkling playground of the warm and bright Sun, one may display a penchant for paradoxes as well, to see how things turn into their opposites when they reach their extremity, as beautifully expressed by the English poet T. S. Eliot who had this placement in his natal chart: “So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”
If Saturn is not functioning comfortably, however, one may lose touch with that childlike innocence which helps one appreciate existence for how colorful and constantly-shifting it is in its many forms of expression. As the archetype of Leo is also connected with the “individuation” process, the individual with an uncomfortable Saturn here may feel initially blocked in his or her efforts to grow and individuate. In this case, the individual may perceive the block as mostly imposed by the outside world (rather than internally formed), and thus may conclude that the world doesn’t want him or her to be who he or she really is. This, in turn, may lead to negative reactions towards other people or society at large, and may further fuel one’s own feelings of personal frustration and failure at self-fulfillment. Alternatively, a tendency to exert one’s uniqueness in an extreme form may exist, as the individual may perceive that the task of individuation is literally the most important defining factor in his or her life. In this case, it is important to be aware of the risk of limiting one’s entire prospects in life to one’s own self-admiring perceptions, rather than opening one’s heart and mind to receive what the world has to spontaneously offer. An awareness of the limits of one’s subjective consciousness and a willingness to develop a sense of self which includes more than one’s small ego may help the individual with this placement embark on a more rewarding journey of self-exploration and individuation.
Saturn in Fifth House:
A “cool-headed” attitude exists with regards to love, creative endeavors, and the pursuit of happiness in life. Alternatively, one may feel inordinately “responsible” towards one’s children, honest about their shortcomings, or psychologically burdened by the idea of having children at all. Either case, it would be less likely for someone with this placement to see only the joyful side of parenting without taking into consideration all the realistic challenges that may arise in the course of raising a child. Additionally, a higher-than-average aversion towards risk-taking, gambling or speculative endeavors may exist, which would usually bestow an aura of prudence upon the individual.
If Saturn is comfortable in the Fifth House, there often exists an urge to put one’s talents into practical use, and preferably to earn a living with one’s aptitudes. In this case, one may be quite disciplined with regards to pursuing one’s passions and cultivating one’s talents. The creative product usually tends to have a realistic (and at times pessimistic) quality. For example, a novelist with this placement may choose to focus on the down and dirty details of life, such as the futility of love, the inevitability of death, or the banality of everyday existence, rather than underlining the dreamy and glittery side of things. The creative style is often minimalistic and brutally honest, usually designed to get to the bare bones of the issue, rather than covering up the wounded surfaces with pretty plasters.
If Saturn is not comfortable, however, one may feel an inherent incompatibility between “making a living” and following one’s passions and desires. Alternatively, one may simply adopt a highly-pragmatic attitude towards one’s love life, and pursue love only if such a gesture is approved by one’s family and friends, or sanctified by societal conventions. To fall madly in love and elope, for example, would be less frequent with this placement, as the “rational” vibration of Saturn tends to keep the “irrational” impulses of the heart in check. With regards to children, if Saturn is not comfortable in the Fifth House and the individual becomes a parent in the first thirty years of life (i.e. before the first Saturn Return), he or she may have a higher chance of feeling psychologically “burdened” by the heavy responsibility of child-rearing, rather than taking absolute pride and pleasure in being a parent.
The evolutionary path for an individual with Saturn in the Fifth House seems to include an understanding of the nature of “blissfulness” as independent from “pain” or “pleasure”. As paradoxical as it may sound, with this placement one may display a tendency to “take pleasure” in one’s “grief”, and yet, one has to learn how this “alchemy” actually functions: as the celebrated American writer Upton Sinclair eloquently stated:
Human beings suffer agonies, and their sad fates become legends; poets write verses about them and playwrights compose dramas, and the remembrance of past grief becomes a source of present pleasure – such is the strange alchemy of the spirit.
In a similar manner, with this Saturn placement one has to learn how to approach “grief” not as inherently associated with “pain” or dissociated from “pleasure”, but simply as a possible creative springboard for diving into the ocean of “blissfulness” which is an internal state of being, independent of all passing sentiments. Grief can invite us to become quiet and listen. At times, in the pregnant solitude which arises from grief, one can hear the sound of one’s own soul, and thus blissfully commune with one’s innermost truth, with that eternal spark which somehow manages to stay ablaze, no matter how many times one is hit by the cold waves of misfortune.
Saturn in Aspect to Sun:
With the planet of “consciousness” in aspect to the planet of “individuation”, one’s process of identity formation tends to be slow and systematic, as one usually tends to “define” oneself based on practical achievements or actual experiences, rather than ideals or fantasies. With this configuration, one’s sense of “purpose” also matures as one grows older, so it is common for these individuals to take longer than average to “figure out” what they really want to do in life, in contrast to individuals without this configuration, who may display a relatively-clear sense of “purpose” early on, even as children. As the concepts of “excellence” (Saturn) and “special destiny” (Sun) are linked in the psyche of the individual, one may constantly strive to explore one’s own “destined” path or creative urges, or be acknowledged by methodically developing one’s special endowments. In this case, as one grows older, the definition one has of oneself also becomes more vibrant, as a sense of being recognized for what one has practically done would gradually take over the initial hesitation or lack of confidence in one’s ability to shine or offer something special to the world.
If Saturn is comfortable in this position, one usually tends to believe in the importance of hard work in order to achieve any goal in life, thus one is often capable of strategic planning and infinite patience to execute those plans. There usually exists a step-by-step approach to self-expression, and, at times, a high degree of “perfectionism” which can eventually lead the individual to the pinnacle of success in his or her creative endeavors. Quite a number of “prolific” authors, for example, who have been able to enjoy fame and fortune during their lifetime (rather than posthumously) have had this configuration in their natal chart, best examples of whom would be Barbara Cortland, Victor Hugo, and Henry Miller.
If, however, Saturn and Sun are not comfortable, one may experience a lack of “enthusiasm” or liveliness. Spontaneous expression of feelings may be quite a challenge as well, hence romantic affairs may be stalled because of shyness or hesitation to express one’s heartfelt desires. In absence of other factors in the chart which may bestow a spirit of adventure, one normally would tend to calculate and rehearse every step of courtship too many times, thus killing the joy implied in the unpredictability of an amorous connection. It may also be unduly difficult to let go of heartbreak, or loss of a loved one, to the point of feeling “dry” in one’s heart. Alternatively, the presence of Saturn in an uncomfortable association with the Sun may also symbolize a lack of certainty with regards to one’s own talents, intelligence, or creative potentials. An unhealthy degree of self-effacing speech or behavior may also exist, which seductively covers up a fragile ego which, in fact, is quite thirsty for admiration and appreciation.
In some cases, individuals with this placement tend to undermine their own authority by constantly seeking approval of their children (if they are parents), or their audience (if they are creative types). In this case, it is important to understand that no matter how hard one tries, one cannot possibly gain the favor of the whole world, and this would not be desirable anyway, for if the whole world constantly endorsed one’s efforts, one would never learn how to develop a sense of self which revolves around one’s own inner authority rather than the external authority of others. In this sense, it is crucial for the individual to become conscious of the true nature of his or her constant need for approval: more than anything else, it reflects a psychological weakness in building one’s own inner rewarding system, rather than a lack of appreciation in the outside world. Therefore, in this case, one has to re-direct one’s efforts towards an understanding of one’s potentials and developing a realistic view of one’s limits, rather than criticizing others for not giving one enough credit or applause.
“Father Complex” of Saturn in Association with Leo, 5th House or Sun:
Saturn in Leo, the Fifth House, or in association with the Sun can also symbolize a father figure who has played the role of an “advisor” and at times a “wet blanket” in the life of the individual, usually displaying a limited spirit of adventure or an inordinate adherence to rules and regulations. Alternatively, the father (or the “paternal line”) may have lacked an ability to take pleasure in life without making it look like “hard work” all the time. The child was probably admired at times, but also punished properly when necessary. This can be carried over to the adult life as being conscientious in its best form, and having a realistic view of the possible consequences of one’s actions. However, this may also manifest as being quite “guarded” with regards to expressing oneself, or to expect the same level of “caution” from others as well. With Saturn in this configuration, it is possible that the father figure related to his child based on the child’s ability to act with responsibility (almost like an adult), rather than based on the simple fact that he or she was his child. Therefore, the individual may later reproduce this attitude by feeling that he or she has to “father” everyone else, taking too much responsibility for other people at the expense of forgetting his or her own right to joy and pleasure. An awareness of such a behavioral pattern is crucial in order to develop a healthy ability to relax and enjoy life without feeling too worried about everyone else. Otherwise, as the years go by, the individual may look back at his or her life and see it mostly as a series of fulfilled or unfulfilled duties and responsibilities, rather than a divine generous gift of spontaneous, exciting and sparkling moments which made one feel truly alive.
Saturn in Aquarius:
The structure of consciousness is formed around the notions of “chance” and “impersonality”. If Saturn is functioning in a healthy manner, consciousness will be structured based on a tendency to approach life experiences as they occur, without much urge to categorize, define, or prioritize them, or to submit them to highly-subjective filters. Objective observation would be the “default” context through which conscious life is understood. Instead of a proclivity towards intellectual or emotional “apprehension” of the concepts and events, the conscious mind would normally tend to direct itself toward the “phenomena” in its philosophical sense, i.e. the conscious life would tend to be formed through pure “observation” of whatever that arises on the horizon of consciousness.
If Saturn is not functioning comfortably, however, one may become too objective to be able to allow any intimate detail to enter the sphere of one’s consciousness and thus affect one’s approach to life. In this case, “consciousness” may become inflexible, to the point of omitting “impressions” and solely filtering through “observations”. It is important, therefore, to be aware of the degree of distortion involved here: no matter how “impartial” one’s view of the world may be, one can never be completely detached from the live stream of life. As the German philosopher and cultural critic Friedrich Nietzsche succinctly stated: “There are no facts, only interpretations.” A recognition of the limits of “objectivity”, therefore, and a respect for the validity of personal impressions which pass through one’s heart may help an individual with this configuration use the energy of Saturn in a more fruitful manner.
Saturn in Eleventh House:
There may exist a high degree of “social consciousness” in the individual, which would subsequently incline him or her to connect to larger groups of people or to champion a particular cause. Alternatively, one may experience a degree of reluctance towards following the status quo, as the initial social and political structures may seem to be oppressive to the individual. An involvement in the political sphere may come naturally to the individual and whatever that affects the life of the collective (such as war, environmental issues, gender equality, etc.) may become an area of interest as well. Alternatively, one may experience an initial degree of reluctance to “listen” to what is “expressed” by one’s own intuition or by the other, yet as one grows older, one can certainly cultivate an unparalleled gift for listening.
If Saturn is not comfortable, there may exist a resistance towards the idea of “receiving” (via the polarity point of the Fifth House, which is related to “giving”). The celebrated French author George Sand (1804 – 1876), who had this placement in her natal chart, said: “Charity degrades those who receive it and hardens those who dispense it.” Some individuals with this placement may indeed experience genuine difficulty with opening their hearts and hands to “receive” gifts, help or any other generous contribution from others. They may feel more comfortable “giving” things away or helping others, rather than making themselves socially or emotionally “vulnerable” by allowing benevolence or accepting compliments from others. An important evolutionary lesson for these individuals, therefore, will be promoting a degree of “vulnerability” in themselves with regards to the notion of “receptivity”, i.e. allowing others to freely give to them on many different levels, as they would freely give to others.
The evolutionary path for an individual with Saturn in the Eleventh House seems to include an invitation to make friends with “heartbreak”, to see its potential for liberating one from one’s limited, “biased” sentiments and initiate one on the path of “impartiality”. As the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, who had this placement in his natal chart, beautifully stated: “Though lovers be lost, love shall not.”
Saturn in Aspect to Uranus
With the planet of “consciousness” in aspect to the planet of “tremor”, one usually tends to constantly shift between different modes of perception of the world. As one grows older, however, this may be gradually replaced with a healthy awareness of both sides of the coin of reality: constancy (Saturn) and novelty (Uranus). An awareness of seemingly opposing “binaries” which exist in our world may thus come more easily to individuals with this configuration: if Saturn is comfortable in this position, “tradition” and “innovation”, the “collective” and the “individual”, “selfless” work and healthy “selfishness” will eventually find a way to compromise in the psyche of the individual without much collateral damage.
If, however, Saturn and Uranus are not comfortable, one may experience a constant “back and forth” motion in the sphere of consciousness, which may make one vulnerable to a subtle level of “existential uncertainty”. The highly-celebrated Alan Watts wrote a book titled as The Wisdom of Insecurity, which I believe beautifully summarizes the core issue which arises when these two archetypes are linked in the psyche of the individual in an uncomfortable manner. The book offers a possible, rather ingenious resolution of this apparent incongruity, an understanding of which can truly benefit those with this configuration in their natal chart.
“Father Complex” of Saturn in Association with Aquarius, 11th House or Uranus:
Saturn in Aquarius, in the Eleventh House, or in aspect to Uranus can also symbolize a father figure who may have had a strong desire to preserve his individuality, rather than identifying “sentimentally” with his role as a father figure. Alternatively, the father could simply have a profession which would reflect different aspects of the archetype of Aquarius, such as being away from home for extended periods of time, functioning in a social or political capacity, organizing unions or demonstrations, doing volunteer work, or having an unusual or unorthodox career. Either case, it is possible that the father (or paternal line) could be too indifferent to the unique qualities of the child for better or worse; even his or her gender or physical attributes could be overlooked in favor of more “noble” qualities. The individual may thus have developed a feeling of being “one of the crowd” or just a “team player” rather than someone special and irreplaceable for the father figure. As one grows older, however, this innate orientation towards the “bigger picture” can help one operate more smoothly in society, and truly enjoy connecting with people from all walks of life. In other words, as difficult as one’s initial conditioning in life may have been, in this case, one would eventually gain a unique ability to have an unbiased view of one’s place in the world, which, in turn, would facilitate altruistic acts or formation of selfless bonds with other human beings.
In the next post, I will address Saturn in the Sixth House or in Virgo, as well as the opposite polarity of Saturn in the Twelfth House, in Pisces, or in association with Neptune.