Saturn: The perfect trap


Where Saturn is in your chart shows you how you structure and build boundaries. Depending upon the relationship(s) or aspects Saturn has with other planets in the chart determines the ease (supportive aspects such as conjunction, sextile and trine) or challenges (conjunction, square, opposition and inconjunct) with which your Saturn function works.

Saturn is the perfect trap, period. Where Saturn is in your life shows you where you feel trapped and where you need to grow and mature to become who you ARE. Both the Sun and Saturn are what we are working towards rather than what we initially express in our early years. There are some exceptions such as when Saturn is on an angle -Ascendant, IC, Descendant or MC. Such a placement would super charge Saturn and its effects on the native and would be readily apparent to others.

Saturn is that place in us that requires us to “man-up” or “woman-up” because the buck stops here with Saturn, not with Truman. Full stop. Saturn is the planet of authority and all of this is about building one’s own inner authority so as to be strong enough to deal with the challenges life presents. In the esoteric or soul-centered area of astrology, they say that Saturn is the “ring pass naught.” This means we really cannot go farther than we have the tools to go. I was going to write an explanation, but I found this perfectly articulate statement from Robert Wilkenson at

“In our lives there is a binding force that requires we learn all we must learn before we can move on to new experiences. There are certain lessons we must master if we would grow beyond our limitations, fears, and “vain imaginings.” This binding force is known in Esoteric Psychology as “The Ring-Pass-Not.”

We all have a Ring Pass Not, and it shifts with each lesson we learn to apply with wisdom, intelligence, and skill. Even though it is human to be hassled by our responsibilities and limitations, these are directly related to what we are learning in expressing our Higher Self in effective ways, now and for the future.

We often seem to be caught in “holding patterns,” practicing skills and coming to realizations about things that may seem meaningless or futile in the moment. However, these set the stage for abilities we’ll have to demonstrate in future life experiences and chapters. Overcoming limitations (and impatience!) as we slowly and surely master what we have to master ensures our better Self opportunities to show itself in the future.”

Isn’t that beautiful?? Of course, when are in the thick of a Saturn transit or a challenging Saturn complex in our own charts (hello, I have a Saturn-Moon square!), we feel shitty, we feel taken advantage of and the words that come forth from our lips are, “Why me?” The experience can leave us feeling like the Universe has placed a “kick me” sign on our backs that everyone else can see but us. As long as we rest in the victim-hood of our situation and don’t take the necessary steps to face our dharma, we are at the whims of the planets and only victim-hood will prevail. In astrology, we say, “You can either work with the planets consciously or they will work you unconsciously.” For each of us, there is that defining moment when we awaken in our consciousness to understand that the situation is one we must not only face directly, but also for which must take full responsibility. For those of us with many oppositions in our chart, it is easy to send the responsibility factor to the “other” until we, again, are conscious enough to realize that we are all acting as mirrors to one another to gain the awareness we seek on these deeper levels. Again, the buck stops with you -that is one of Saturn’s lessons.

This is a huge topic and area of human experience, one that can literally take a lifetime to incorporate (another word to mean embody – a Saturnian concept). Saturn speaks to our security needs (kind of like the Moon). I will probably write more later, but let us see how Saturn plays with the four elements to get an idea of the types of lessons you are here to learn here to learn and the trap in which you find yourself:

Fire signs Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. As fire has to do with inspiration, when Saturn is in the fire signs, there can be a dampening of the expression, like the regulator knob on your gas stove or grill limiting the amount of gas to feed the fire. Notice none of the fire signs are ruled by Saturn, which can tell you that it is not an easy combo as there isn’t any affinity. Fire wants to burn and is usually fairly freedom seeking –especially Aries and Sagittarius. Leo is a fixed fire and it can therefore almost understand Saturnian energy. Saturn is the ultimate firewall! The trap for a fire sign is thinking that all of life is fuel and that everyone wants to hear what you have to express. Saturn here would give one the lessons of knowing the right mixture of combustible material and flame to give them the perfect flame to ignite others, i.e., to regulate ones expression so as not to burn up the audience.

Earth signs Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn Saturn have to do with structure and solidity and physical processes -all areas in which Saturn excels. As many of you know, Capricorn is also ruled by Saturn. All of the earth signs understand the idea of working towards something -a very Saturnian theme: Taurus seeks to build resources and relationships to aid the self, Virgo is building resources to be of service to self and others and Capricorn seeks to build resources to build up one’s professional strengths for world domination. Hehehe, I put that in there to see what the Capricorns would think! But seriously, Capricorn is the mountain goat on high surveying all it has created and built thanks to the grounded gifts of Saturn. The trap of the earth signs is attachment to material resources as the answer to one’s security needs. Saturn here would have to learn the appropriate use of resources to meet one’s personal physical needs as well as to address the physical needs of others.

Air signs Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. As the air signs have to do with ideas, mental processes and larger humanitarian concepts, Saturn can give the intellectual clarity and determination, as well as the mental foundation necessary to build upon one’s mental and communicative structures, including the written and spoken word. Saturn will help to form the intellectual structures to support greater understanding and the ability to ground greater concepts which the air signs seek to capture. Saturn here can also create a sort of idealized ivory tower, especially when in its home sign of Aquarius. What is the trap of the air signs? There can be too much thinking and over-analyzing of people, ideas and experiences as well as lofty ideas that are non-relational. Air signs are not concerned with physical, emotional or expressional needs and so can sometimes literally rise about true needs to a place of intellectual idealization. This is a beautifully free place, but without structure and ground, they are just balloon ideas with no substance and are hard to bring to reality.

Water signs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces all have to do with the structuring of emotional processes. While water signs do not really appreciate the sharp edge of Saturn, water requires a container and besides the Moon, Saturn is a perfect container as it has the alchemical ability to hold any element. When Saturn is in the water signs, it is about building up emotional structures and boundaries. The best thing a Saturn in a water sign can say to another is No because they learned somewhere along their lives that it was not okay for them to say no or set a boundary. What is the trap of the water signs? An over identification with emotional needs which can alienate others until the emotional self is structured to understand that boundaries are an ever fluid, energetic dance which changes with people, situations and our own moods. As Saturn has to do with the feeling of not enough, Saturn in the water signs can feel as if they have limits on their emotional feeling self.

While there is so much more to write on old Chronos (another name for Saturn is Father Time with the scythe and hourglass), I will finish with this interesting part of Saturn. When Saturn has a strong presence in the chart including when found on the angles, is the ruler of the chart, strongly aspected or even when it is a feral or orphaned planet there can be the experience of being an adult when growing up. These individuals, even as children, may take on adult roles or have to bear the burden of challenging life situations. Maybe one or both of the parents died when the child was young or one or both parents are weaker or more needy than the child, which requires the child to step up and take on the yoke of responsibility. These challenging and difficult childhoods are rich with lessons of boundaries and maturity. Fortunately, if the Saturn function is worked properly, these individuals can learn the lessons necessary to build healthy structures and processes in their lives that will give them an easier time of experiencing adulthood.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Wishing you a day of authenticity,


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