transiting Saturn

Turning Saturn Around: 5
Natal & Transits Through Houses 9th -12th

Saturn's rings

Saturn through the houses of Universal Consciousness

It may be helpful to read this and the previous two articles in conjunction with the Areas of Consciousness articles already up on the web site. We are also reproducing the general considerations that appeared with last month’s article.

General considerations

In this series article we are focusing upon Saturn in the twelve houses but additional considerations in every case are:

  • The sign in which Saturn is found.
  • The houses that Saturn rules accidentally, remembering that Saturn is   the orthodox ruler of Aquarius as well as Capricorn.
  • Saturn will always represent the tenth house because it is its natural ruler. All Saturn situations, therefore, are aspects of the issue of coming into effective, practical selfhood and are reflective of experiences with the father (or mother if the mother was the most authoritative parent).

These links will supply detail about the nature of the inhibition e.g., if Saturn is found in House I and is the accidental ruler of Houses VII & VIII, then this indicates that the fear of assertiveness that is a characteristic of Saturn in House I has its roots in relationship dynamics. The sign in which Saturn is found will indicate whether the difficulty is spiritual (fire), conceptual (air), emotional (water), or physical (earth).

In order to turn the situation around, in whatever house Saturn is found, there must be a willingness to acknowledge the problem and the restrictions arising from it. Saturn is turned around by conscious effort, not chance. Conscious attention and effort should turn this area of life into an area of accomplishment, a place of resource in the lifelong task of developing in the area of life denoted by the placement of the Sun. But we must always be vigilant to the possibility of backsliding into old patterns.

When Saturn is in the houses of Universal Consciousness, the challenge is that of integration and finding a purpose. This involves blending the individuality with something larger and more significant than self and in a way that does not compromise authenticity or short-change the team of which one is a part.

With Saturn in the houses of Universal Consciousness it is very easy to adopt the role of the aggrieved, misunderstood outsider. In the 1960s and 70s western culture celebrated this kind of separatism. It was taken as evidence of uncompromising individuality. We appear to have moved on from this now and have a better understanding of the esoteric axiom that isolation is death. Individuality without a purpose can be very destructive, both of self and others, because it knows no boundaries.

If a person with Saturn in the houses of Universal Consciousness would come in from the cold then he has to accept that his problem is in his own defensive attitudes and not ‘out there’ in the folly and foibles of other people.

Saturn in the ninth house - In House IX - a problem of acceptance

When Saturn is in the ninth house, a person struggles to accept a reality that he cannot comprehend through his five senses. Usually, he is not so much disparaging of others’ apparent incredulity as wistful. Frequently, he longs to have their conviction but does not know how to go about it. This, however, is one placement of Saturn where a major breakthrough is very likely and this may be due to the increasing currency of the mentally-oriented approaches to spirituality that do away with the need for religion and belief, as well as the tendency of a person with this placement to deal with his problem of acceptance through searching and questing.

Less easily turned around are situations in which a person has been repelled by some form of enforced religious experience in childhood. Then he may reject spirituality altogether. In the final analysis, a person with Saturn in the ninth house, fears what he perceives as the irrationality and threat to identity and autonomy involved in religious fervour, whether that takes the form of submission or fanaticism.

  • A person who has turned around a ninth house Saturn has, through his own questing and effort, found a path that is intellectually acceptable to him but which can make him aware of the limitations of the personality consciousness in which he is trapped.

Saturn in the tenth house - In House X - a problem of responsibility

Saturn, in its own house, is a very powerful planet because it may also be the most elevated planet (i.e., closest to the Midheaven) and likely, therefore, to be shedding its light over the entire chart. With this placement come difficulties with the father who is either absent or unfit. In both cases the child has no effective role model to show him how to conduct himself in a socially responsible and contributing way. The legacy of this is often a sense of inadequacy and an inability to hold his own in society, the principal problem being a lack of confidence and the absence of a sense of personal effectiveness. In human terms, this is one of the more uncomfortable placements of Saturn because, with it, a person can so easily set himself up to fail through his lack of confidence in himself.

  • A person who has turned around a tenth house Saturn has learned to discipline and motivate himself and make himself a contributing member of his society.

Saturn in the eleventh house - In House XI - a problem of joining in

Saturn in the house of Aquarius is another case of Saturn in its own house, and here it manifests as a distrust of groups. The reason for this will need to be sought from the pattern of the natal chart as a whole but it is likely to involve an over-reliance upon one-to-one relating or a fear of the loss of individuality. A person with this placement of Saturn will find it very easy to blame other people for his inability to fit in and fail to see how his own prickly and often aggressive behaviour in group situations turns people against him. In one-to-one situations, he may be wholly different but, eventually, the sense of being an outsider tends to drive him into a defensiveness that militates against making new friends and the result of this is often great loneliness. Despite all he might say, he longs to join in.

  • A person who has turned around an eleventh house Saturn forces himself back into the feared group situations where he will watch himself for anti-social behaviour with as much vigilance as possible. As is so often the case with the qualities that manifest through the houses of Saturn, awareness in connection with the Saturn problem, if it comes at all, frequently comes relatively late in life. In part, this may be because in the West we are more inclined to focus on patterns in one to one relationships than upon group dynamics which are perceived to be less important.

Saturn in the twelfth house - In House XII - a problem of purposelessness

In human terms, the placement of Saturn in the twelfth house of a natal chart is probably the most uncomfortable because it creates a sense of purposeless of existence. This is usually an intermittent rather than ongoing experience, manifesting through bouts of depression and despair that last months rather than weeks. During these periods, a person is aware of all the imperfections in the human condition: the pain, the suffering and death, and cannot see the point of it all. In fact, it is this very experience that gives him his point because, whether he is aware of it or not, he is engaged in processing the negativity of the human family and if only he could become aware of it, he could be so assisted in this sacrificial task from a higher level. This placement of Saturn is to be found in the charts of many of the spiritual luminaries of the modern world.

  • A person who has turned around a twelfth house Saturn has learned to hold steady, to appeal to a higher level, and not identify with his periods of black despair, realising as did the King in the famous Sufi story that ‘this too will pass’.

Next month, in the concluding article in this series, we will look at what is involved in turning Saturn around in everyday life.

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