Psychologically, Saturn is the great teacher, the archetype of the wise old man, the voice of conscience. It represents the innate desire for order, form, and security. Saturn gives us a sense of duty and responsibility, it impels us toward self-improvement.
The planet represents fear, and when it contacts a planet in our chart we seem to be frightened of expressing those things symbolized by that planet. According to Dane Rudhyar, where Saturn is found, some kind of “knot of destiny” is unavoidable, and some basic issue is bound to come to a head in relation to that planet. This is often a situation which is filled with frustration and a sense of despair, but with Saturn in the chart, we can become hardened over the years into entrenched defenses.
Saturn imposes certain limits, and without it there is chaos. At its most constructive, it imparts worldly wisdom gained through hard experience. Its influence helps us to define our place in the world and work towards long-term goals, thus helping us become responsible, socially aware adults.
Saturn may also show where we feel deprived, and what type of issues fill us with pessimism and a strange sense of fatality. Its position in our birth chart shows where we can learn persistence, self-discipline, and humility. It is also where the lessons are to be learned, and the areas where we should try to accept the difficulties or obligations, and by acceptance grow and acquire wisdom.
Often Saturn shows where we feel hardship and we learn things the hard way. The upside to this struggle is that eventually through this shaping we become an authority in that area. We are at our most defensive and oversensitive when dealing with our Saturnian challenges. However, it is through the experience of pain, restriction, and discipline that we can eventually achieve a greater consciousness.
On a less positive level, when an individual is too strongly identified with the Saturnian view, their negative attitude can prevent them from glimpsing possibilities. When we are depressed for example, what is possible can seem impossible. At best the Saturnian principle makes us prudent, at worst it narrows our vision and therefore narrows our scope. The Contemporary Astrologer’s Handbook (Astrology Now)
According to Liz Greene, Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil, Saturn is connected with the educational value of pain, with the difference between external values which we acquire from others, and internal values-those which we have worked to discover within ourselves.[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Our Saturn contacts can describe us as over defended in various aspects of life. Saturn contacts by house aspect and lesser extent sign, describe those areas where we lack confidence, where we feel our most inferior and where we desperately want to improve.[/pullquote]
Saturn is traditionally associated with the father and sometimes the mother. Saturn correlates with the internalized image of father and often with the physical father, and where an authority figure is giving out discipline they are acting in the role of Saturn. Saturn aspects usually get better as one gets older and is better able to accept that living in the real world does involve living with fears, constraints and limitations and that some of these are merely self-imposed. Saturn is the planet concerned with time and age and with the taking on of duties and responsibilities we associate with adulthood.
When restrictions seem too heavy and difficult, our lives may seem fated. Nevertheless, a strong Saturn needs difficulties to work on and it teaches us to operate within our limitations and to accept we are all humans with flaws.