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Saturn stands for responsibility. The hardest lessons in life will be found in the house where Saturn is placed. It stands for the role of parent: guiding us, slowing us down. It obliges us to stop and deal with matters. In the process, we have the opportunity to develop healthy inner resistance, and better discernment.
Think of working with Saturn’s energy in terms of working out your Karma Yoga. Let’s look at those planets which relate with the various Yogic paths we have to choose from in life. Mercury is associated with Raja Yoga—the mind. Venus relates with Bhakti Yoga—divine love. Mars is Hatha Yoga—the muscles and the body. Jupiter relates to Gyana Yoga—higher understanding.
Saturn, again, is your responsibility, your karmic duty. It is where you have to do your work. In ancient India, a baby’s birth chart was carefully examined to see which of the Yogas should be emphasized in the child’s upbringing. For example, if Jupiter were beautifully aspected, the parents wouldn’t have to concentrate so much on the Gyana aspect of Yogic education. Perhaps, instead, it was the Hatha or Bhakti Yoga which needed to be cultivated. The chart provided a useful tool for helping the growing individual cultivate those qualities, which were lacking.
When Saturn is well-placed in the chart, the person will work out his or her own karma Yoga with a minimum of prompting from others. A good Saturn placement brings a strong sense of responsibility, practicality, reliability, sobriety, and wise discrimination.
A problematic placement of Saturn, however, will manifest in an overly controlled, rigid, suppressed personality. There will be a great deal of pessimism, and a severe, stern approach towards others. Miserliness also goes along with a negative use of Saturn’s vibrations, as does a brooding, conspiratorial tendency. Negative Saturn tends to get even in an under-handed way—many infamous criminals throughout history had negative Saturn energy showing in their charts.
After Saturn, we move to the other planets, the trans-Saturnian ones. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are beyond Saturn. They represent issues that have crossed lifetimes and that will take lifetimes to resolve. They are not meant to be resolved in one incarnation—they may take several!
However, if you are working well with Saturn, if you are doing your Karma Yoga, these may shake you up, but they won’t hurt you. You will get through them. When you experience a transit from one of these outer planets, you will get through it, because you are meeting your responsibility. You are doing your Karma Yoga. If you are avoiding responsibility, and therefore avoiding your lessons, they will devastate you.