top of page

Saturn the Servant

“The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit”

These words, attributed to Fabienne Fredrickson, truly encompass the symbolism of the last planet in the solar system by classical definition.  

Out of the seven classical planets, Saturn’s orbit is the furthest from the Sun. A full cycle of the zodiac takes him approximately 29.5 years. From being so far away from the light of the soul, Saturn’s character is detached and separated. It is still apart of the solar system and has a role to serve the King but it does so from lack of attachment and desire. It represents one’s ability to persevere with difficult but essential tasks. The influence of Saturn can be restrictive and tough but ultimately leads to refined, structured and long lasting results.

Kurma, the Avatar of Saturn

The Avatar of Vishnu associated with Saturn is called Kurma which means tortoise. Tortoises are incredible creatures who live to a grand old age, anything between 80 to 250 years. Saturn is known as the planet of old age and represents our elders. In Hindu mythology, a war was always waging between the Devas and the Asuras. One time, The Devas appealed to Vishnu for help, who said that to defeat the Asuras, they must obtain the Amrita, the nectar of immortality. To do so, the Devas and the Asuras had to work together to stir up the ocean to find it. They hauled a mountain into to the ocean, wound a great serpent around it and began to turn the waters and the seabed. Part way through however, they became tired and the mountain began to sink, so Vishnu took the form of a giant tortoise, Kurma, and lifted the mountain upon his back. Noone noticed Kurma however, as they were all so preoccupied with the final goal, but he had performed an indispensable role despite the lack of credit he received. This is Saturn, who is always present in the hard work that often goes unnoticed. It’s through this hard work and discipline that lies beneath the surface that only great things are achieved, like the nectar of immortality! 

The Lesson of Saturn

The important work that leads up to the achievement of a goal can often be long, enduring and boring. There is no getting away from this, only drilling down and focusing on the task at hand will allow you to achieve the final result. Saturn is applying yourself even when you don’t want to. He requires you to be strict and efficient with your time.

Saturn's Temperament

By traditional definition, Saturn is a masculine, earthly, cold and dry planet. His temperament is therefore melancholic, and so is reserved, conservative, serious, solitary, pessimistic, cautious, hardworking, slow and calm. Anyone with a strong Saturn in their birth chart will exhibit these traits in some way or another. He has natural signification for old men, grandfathers, monks, plumbers, servants, lead, caves, coal mines and Yew tress. In fact, you will find Yew tress in nearly every church yard in England, their roots are said to reach the mouth of every body buried there. In Jyotisha, one of Saturn’s names is Pangu, which means “lame”, therefore Saturn has natural signification for anything or anyone worn out or not working properly. 

Saturn holds domicile in two consecutive signs which fall in the winter seasons, furthest away from the summer season of the luminaries. 

Saturn in Domicile in Capricorn

Saturn’s feminine domicile sign is Capricorn. Capricorn is a cardinal earth sign, and the Sun’s ingress into this sign marks the Winter Solstice. Around 21st December each year, after the Sun’s daily path has progressed lower and lower in the sky, it appears to rise and set in the same position for three days. The term solstice comes from the latin “Sol” meaning Sun and “sistere” meaning to stop. After these few days, the Sun’s peak position rises a little higher and higher each day and in ancient times, this return of the light was celebrated. In traditional western astrology, Capricorn is symbolised by the sea goat, but in Jyotisha it is a crocodile. Interestingly, these two creatures both have a tail and live near water. Goats are known for their abilities to forage and feed in rough terrain and crocodiles have been around for millennia. Thus there is something both very durable and adaptable to Capricorn but yet with connection to emotion, since the water element represents our emotions. The Earthly nature of Capricorn combined with its ruling planet, Saturn, enables Capricorn to create tangible security in a careful and steady manner. In the body, Capricorn rules the knees. 

Saturn in Domicile in Aquarius

Saturn’s masculine domicile sign is Aquarius, which falls in the deep mid winter. Despite this cold image, Aquarius is actually a hot and moist sign and therefore Sanguine. It is airy in nature and according to William Lilly, it is the principle house of Saturn. As a Sanguine air sign, Aquarius is sociable and connective but is so in a slightly reserved way due to the restrictive nature of its ruling planet. Aquarius is symbolised by a water bearer in traditional astrology but in Jyotisha by a man standing in water holding an empty pot. There is therefore a connection between containers of water, containers of emotion, and thus Aquarius may often be the type to keep their feelings under control. In the body, the ankles and lower legs are under the rule of Aquarius. It governs places of stone, the upper parts of rooms and houses and anything which juts out at an angle. 

Saturn Exalted in Libra

Saturn is exalted in Libra, the sign that heralds the Autumn Equinox. On the day the Sun enters Libra, the Sun looses his power, and the nights grow longer than the days. This is one of the reasons why the Sun is in “fall” in Libra. Saturn is exalted in Libra because he presents us with the fruit of our actions, and it is at this time of year when the harvests are brought to completion. If the opposite sign of Aries is action, then Libra is the result reflected back. Saturn decides when a beautiful apple (ruled by Venus) is ripe and ready for picking. There is a Hindu myth that Saturn is born from the Sun and Chaya, who is the shadow of the Sun’s true wife. 

Saturn in Fall in Aries

Saturn is in Fall in the exaltation sign of the Sun, Aries, the sign opposite to Libra. Saturn is a very dull planet, in the sense that he doesn’t shine brightly in the night sky. When Saturn is in the sign linked to the procreation of new life, he is ineffective, and as a malefic planet who causes pain and misery, he can block the life that Aries brings.

Saturn in Detriment in Cancer and Leo

Saturn experiences detriment in the signs of Cancer and Leo, the signs of the Sun and the Moon respectively. Any planet in their sign of detriment is opposite their sign of domicile and therefore the furthest distance possible from their natural habitat. The signs of the luminaries are both natural significators of growth and life. Saturn is so out of place here, first of all he is a servant and does not belong in the sign of Leo, the king, and secondly he is the planet of death which is opposite to the abundant and fertile nature of the Moon’s domicile.

Remedies for Saturn

To strengthen your Saturnian energy, there is no quick fix! That is the lesson of Saturn. Taking on responsibility and conducting yourself with discipline without the need for appraisal and reward will aid you in connecting to this planet. Saturn’s day is Saturday, which is historically the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week and therefore the day of rest. If you are able to, don’t work on a Saturday. Learn that you cannot rush anything if you want it to be done properly, even when things are taking longer than planned. There is a time and place for everything, patience and dedication are essential to success.


bottom of page