Saturn in your Horoscope



A comment by astrologer Richard Hills - Home Page: Astrology Readings

Saturn - Frustration, Limitation, Depression - and Soulful Contemplation

There is a colourful story in Greek myth that shows much of what Saturn is about in the birth chart. Ouranos found it rather uncomfortable having children from his union with Gaia and shoved them back into her womb. Kronos (the Greek version of Saturn) escaped this fate and, taking sides with his mother, took a sickle and castrated his father Ouranos. When Kronos himself became father and king he swallowed his children, seeing them as a threat to his authority.

Here we have two related issues: the experience of father as weak and unable to accept the reality and instinctive nature of his children, and the experience of swallowing, devouring or holding back one's own creative issue through fear of showing a new aspect of ourselves which might force us to change familiar habit patterns. Our society is full of young men whose experience of their fathers is inadequate, and who are unable themselves to give a positive expression to their creative abilities, cannot relate soulfully with women, and suppress the talents of their own children through fear. (Feminists who complain there is too much patriarchy seem to me to have got it wrong. The problem is not too much, but too little genuine benign patriarchy.)

The story above illustrates the false boundaries we can set ourselves - those which arise out of fear of change. However, recognition of true boundaries is an essential part of life, represented by Saturn as marking the boundary of the known universe (until Uranus was discovered). There is a consensus among human beings about what constitutes acceptable behaviour. Other people's opinions, and needs have to be taken into account. These are the limitations represented by Saturn, which impinge upon us as we reach out, as we must, to overcome inappropriately internalised personal limitations. Attempting to break through ever more and more boundaries can be very frustrating when we don't succeed, and recognising when lack of success is due to a real and appropriate limitation and accepting it is a key to greater happiness. (Aquarius, which Saturn rules, is especially associated with breaking through boundaries and the frustration at failure to do so.)

The Renaissance writer Marsilio Ficino linked Saturn with melancholy, a word we might more readily understand as sadness, even depression. (Melancholy is associated with all the earth signs, especially with Capricorn, the other zodiac sign which Saturn rules.) Ficino advises us, not to avoid our depressions or try to cheer ourselves up, but to go deeper into them. As we turn inwards the quality of soul within us increases and we see beneath the surface of events. "In his own way Saturn brings us out of the world of the literal, away from plain life experience, into the realm of eternal patterns, the true home of the soul, or more plainly, to a state of consciousness in which the psychological dimension in its purest can be perceived and appreciated."*

*Thomas Moore: The Planets Within - The Astrological Psychology of Marsilio Ficino. Lindisfarne Press, 1990.

© Richard Hills

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Saturn is the Ruler of Capricorn Zodiac Sign and of Aquarius Zodiac Sign