Astrology Quick Facts:
Ruler of: Responsibility, Discipline, & Time
Named for: Saturn, the Roman God of Agriculture
Sign of Dignity: Capricorn & Aquarius
Sign of Detriment: Cancer
Sign of Exaltation: Libra
Sign of Fall: Aries
Physical Body: Skin, hair, teeth, bones, joints, knees, spleen
Changes Sign: Every 2-3 years
Astronomy Quick Facts:
Type: Jovian - Gas Giant
Length of Day: 10.7 Earth hours
Length of Year: 29.5 Earth years
Moons: 53 Confirmed, 9 Provisional
Temperature: -178°C (-288°F)
Colour: Yellow, Orange, & White
Size: 116,464 km in diameter (9.1x larger than Earth)
Year Discovered: Known to the Ancients, ~700BCE
Even though the Sun holds the solar system together, it’s Saturn that keeps a watchful eye over everything. As the planet that rules over responsibility, time, and the law of cause and effect, Saturn influences how we manage, control, and maintain stability in our lives. As the farthest planet from Earth discovered by the unaided eye, Saturn’s presence in our lives on Earth is a strong one.
Saturn commands special attention because of its 7 enormous rings, which are made up of various space debris from tiny dust particles to rocks as large as some of Earth’s mountains. He also has 2 moons, Titan and Enceladus, that may support life due to the possibility of underground oceans. Some of Saturn’s smaller moons (of which there are over 50) orbit in between Saturn’s rings; the gravity of these “Shepherding Moons” being what shapes the rings around the planet, each moving at a different speed. In Saturn’s orbit, there is a place for everything, and everything is in its place. The “Celestial Taskmaster,” as he is sometimes known, wouldn’t have it any other way, as his domain involves boundaries, law, and order.
- Fun Fact: Saturn is actually less dense than water, so if you had a big enough bathtub for him, Saturn would, in fact, float on the water.
Saturn often stands in as a symbol for Father Time. Beginnings and endings involve drawing boundaries and placing limitations; thus, the cycle of life and death falls under his rule. He keeps a strict eye on the balance of life on Earth by restricting the areas where Jupiter wants to expand and manifest, keeping the forces and energies in the world stable. Saturn stabilizes our lives as individuals as well, influencing our sense of responsibility, our ability to persevere and self-discipline, our patience, and our tendencies towards optimism, pessimism, or realism. In your individual natal chart, Saturn’s placement indicates the nature of your sense of responsibility and how you handle life’s difficulties and restrictions.
Saturn steps in to oversee the tough job of watching over our “shadow” sides: the parts of ourselves we repress, bottle up, or otherwise hide or avoid. As astrologer Judy Hall puts it, “Saturn stands at the boundary of the known and the known and offers insight that has to be hard won from the depths.”
- Fire sign Saturn limits impulsivity, creative expression, and pleasure through rigidity in belief systems, and a strong, passionate moral compass.
- Air sign Saturn limits ease of communication, intimacy, and connection with others through slowing thought processes and tendencies towards objectivity or unconventional viewpoints.
- Earth sign Saturn limits emotions, confidence, and the ability to take risks through cautious, careful tendencies, emotional self-discipline, and a preference for tradition.
- Water sign Saturn limits independence and emotional healing through nostalgia, self-isolation, and a tendency toward holding grudges.
Saturn recognizes the importance of maintaining the balance of our shadow and light sides - “by accepting [our shadow qualities],” explains Judy Hall, “the soul becomes whole, freed from fear and self-condemnation.”
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