Through out the centuries Saturn has been given a pretty bad reputation. He is a greater malefic, meaning that his effect mostly brings harm and unwanted energies.
20th century brings some light to Saturn, as with psychological astrology from Liz Greene and many others try to describe Saturn as a great teacher and even some healing properties applied to him but all in all, what astrologers know; it’s the most heaviest planet to control, and it’s usually connected to feelings of being restricted, low self-esteem and literally death (when with lesser malefics and applying to personal planets in transits- not so simple to explain, simply observe death charts and search for main actors in a play).
Saturn (Latin: Saturnus Latin pronunciation: [saˈtʊr.nʊs]) is a god in ancient Roman religion, and a character in myth. Saturn is a complex figure because of his multiple associations and long history. He was the first god of the Capitol, known since the most ancient times as Saturnius Mons, and was seen as a god of generation, dissolution, plenty, wealth, agriculture, periodic renewal and liberation. In later developments he came to be also a god of time. His reign was depicted as a Golden Age of plenty and peace. The Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum housed the state treasury. In December, he was celebrated at what is perhaps the most famous of the Roman festivals, the Saturnalia, a time of feasting, role reversals, free speech, gift-giving and revelry. Saturn the planet and Saturday are both named after the god.
The Roman soil preserved the remembrance of a very remote time during which Saturn and Janus reigned on the site of the city before its foundation: the Capitol was named mons Saturnius. The Romans identified Saturn with the Greek Cronus, whose myths were adapted for Latin literature and Roman art. In particular, Cronus’s role in the genealogy of the Greek gods was transferred to Saturn. As early as Livius Andronicus (3rd century BC), Jupiterwas called the son of Saturn.
Saturn had two consorts who represented different aspects of the god. The name of his wife Ops, the Roman equivalent of Greek Rhea, means “wealth, abundance, resources.” The association with Ops though is considered a later development, as this goddess was originally paired with Consus. Earlier was Saturn’s association with Lua (“destruction, dissolution, loosening”), a goddess who received the bloodied weapons of enemies destroyed in war.
The position of Saturn’s festival in the Roman calendar led to his association with concepts of time, especially the temporal transition of the New Year. In the Greek tradition, Cronus was often conflated with Chronus, “Time,” and his devouring of his children taken as an allegory for the passing of generations. The sickle or scythe of Father Time is a remnant of the agricultural implement of Cronus-Saturn, and his aged appearance represents the waning of the old year with the birth of the new, in antiquity sometimes embodied by Aion. In late antiquity, Saturn is syncretized with a number of deities, and begins to be depicted as winged, as is Kairos, “Timing, Right Time”.
Little evidence exists in Italy for the cult of Saturn outside Rome, but his name resembles that of the Etruscan god Satres. The potential cruelty of Saturn was enhanced by his identification with Cronus, known for devouring his own children. He was thus used in translation when referring to gods from other cultures the Romans perceived as severe; he was equated with the Carthaginian god Ba’al Hammon, to whom children were sacrificed, and to Yahweh, whose Sabbath was first referred to as Saturni dies, “Saturn’s day,” in a poem by Tibullus, who wrote during the reign of Augustus; eventually this gave rise to the word “Saturday” in English. The identification with Ba’al Hammon later gave rise to the African Saturn, a cult that enjoyed great popularity til the 4th century. It had a popular but also a mysteric character and required child sacrifices. It is also considered as inclining to monotheism. In the ceremony of initiation the myste intrat sub iugum, ritual that Leglay compares to the Roman tigillum sororium. Even though their origin and theology are completely different the Italic and the African god are both sovereign and master over time and death, fact that has permitted their encounter. Moreover, here Saturn is not the real Italic god but his Greek counterpart Cronus. (Source: Wikipedia)
Many paintings and art representing Saturn is him devouring his children. A little bit too much to take for some people, this allegory has huge importance in astrology as well.
In which ever house or placement Saturn comes in your chart (and don’t worry, we all have Saturn in our chart) it will make that place feel uneasy, restricted, where we feel cold and unloved, it’s the place where we feel limited to express our creativity (our children).
Before Pluto was discovered, Saturn was the one that had function of death and darkness, and still is. Especially if you’re following progressions, solar arc and transits in heavy situations.
With that said, we can continue to his other meanings such as building foundation for life. To follow Saturn’s cycle, you should go retrograde in your life, and think about things that happened to you when you were seven years old, fourteen, twenty-one, and thirty years old. And so on. Each of the seven year cycle brings similar themes with lessons to learn (even our parents lessons).
Best and worst Saturn placements
Saturn rules Capricorn and Aquarius. Capricorn being night, and Aquarius being day. Since Saturn is so cold and dry, being removed from the heat of the Sun.
So we can say, it is better for Saturn to be placed above horizon (daylight) than being placed below horizon where he can be cold and dry.
Some say best position for Saturn is in 12th house so his effects are hidden but he still is warmed by Sun. Worst position for Saturn would be 4th house and all houses below horizon. Fourth house especially because it’s the house of Moon/Cancer which is the opposite of Capricorn.
Saturn in Leo is mythology at it’s best. Devourer of children. Since the Leo is opposite sign of Aquarius.
All the symbols for Saturn, all that Saturn is
Maturity. Old age. Responsibility. Liability. Melancholy. Wisdom. Awareness. Cold. Kronos. Harvest. Satan. Separation. Deatachment. Isolation. Matrix. Rules. Social integration. Bones. Teeth. Mountain. Snow. Gravity. Limit. Authority. Strict teacher. Guide. Ambition. Endurance. Durability. Confinement. Fear. Fear of being left alone. Closing. Not expressing emotions. Time. Watch. Conditionality. Pesimism. Darkness. Dryness. Wrinkles. Karma. Lessons. Matter. Down to earth. Obstruction. Straining. Older male figure. Father. Civil service. Bosses. Superiors. Not expressing creativity. Discipline. Martial arts especially Tai Chi. Zen. Doubts in own values. Diligence. Black humour. Funeral. Maturity through years / time. Edges. Mathematics. Natural sciences. Accounting. Taxes. Formality. Work on the land. Work with nature. Craft. Crystals and minerals. Mine. Land. Blisters. Tradition. Long Arm of The Law. Prison.
How to work with Saturn
One of the most complicated things is to discover what needs to be done in order to play along with Saturn side. Many people think we must become the part of the system and play by system rules to achieve some great potential but truth is, Saturn will still act bad if we are not expressing ourselves in creative matter.
Some people work so hard they forget about themselves, they’re always too tired to have fun or to do creative persuits and eventually become unhappy and depressed. Saturn offers a lesson that there is a world here and now, that needs to be created before time is up. How ever scary that may sound; everything eventually dies. Plants, people, animals, we’re all here for short time before we have to go, but we’re not leaving for good…8th house is not the last house in astrology.
Sometimes Saturn that touches personal planets may offer early wisdom, feeling that we were never children and careless. We were always aware of…time.
Saturn will almost always point to a place where we feel alone,scared, isolated and place we need to put lots of efforts and work in order to recieve rewards (Jupiter).
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