Astrology 101-

Saturn: Your Personal Trainer

Most people with even a smidgeon of astrological knowledge will tell you that, of all the planets, it is Saturn that they worry about most; it’s the one they wish would simply “go away” when it pays a visit to their charts.   The truth is that this solid, down-to-earth, realistic, no-nonsense planet has a bad rap.

In its role as the Karmic Teacher, Saturn is a key player on the celestial team that quarterbacks each of us as we try to make the most of this lifetime’s experiences.  Like the alchemists of old, Saturn’s goal is to take the earthy elements of which we are made and change them into the gold of our highest potential.  It helps us identify goals, create strategic and tactical plans to achieve them, and holds us accountable for our progress.  Operating like a personal trainer getting an athlete ready for the Olympics, Saturn creates and administers a program designed specifically for each of us, modeling and demanding discipline, hard work, and the achievement of cold, hard results.  It operates by creating  situations in our biographical lives that draw our attention to areas where we may need to correct course in some manner.  These issues manifest so that we can deal with them in the world of the here and now, in pragmatic, common-sense ways.  Saturn ways.  Of course, it is up to each one of us as to whether or not we will to take on the challenge of the curriculum: do the homework, and pass the tests. 

Let’s say that you chose to play hooky while Saturn passed through the part of the chart having to do with money, and have spent the last several years dancing between the raindrops of financial disaster: borrowing from Peter (read “plastic”) to pay Paul (the mortgage company); cashing in half of the 401K retirement account (Penalties be damned!) to replace the family jalopy because you can’t get a decent car loan thanks to your horrific credit score.  Saturn may just have to dish up the grace of a job loss to get you out of the juggling act and help you start rebuilding from limited, but solid ground.  It’s not punishment (though it certainly may feel that way.)  It’s simply the delivery of consequences in alignment with the grade on the Karmic Teacher’s report card, in quantities strong and dramatic enough to get your attention.  Are these times easy?  Of course not.  No wonder so many wish Saturn would just go away and them alone.  But if you can reframe experience as opportunity and demonstrate that you’re ready to do your part through commitment, responsibility and hard work, Saturn’s discipline and motivation will help you “Ace” the assignment.  And if you do, the Karmic Teacher will come through with rewards  of success, stability, and security, in nice, tangible, Saturn-loving form.

Each planet in our solar system moves according to its unique rhythm and pace, and in Saturn’s case the  “academic year” consists of about 29 earthly ones. That is the amount of time it takes for it to travel through all the signs of the zodiac and through all the areas of our birth charts and return to where it was at the moment of your birth.  Three great astrological life cycles are launched from there and frame the story of our evolving lifetimes:

  • Saturn at Birth: The Cycle of Preparation (ages 0-29), during which we acquire (or don’t) the skills, experiences, and information we need in order to assume the full responsibilities and privileges of adulthood.
  • The First Saturn Return: The Cycle of Adulthood (ages 30-59), during which we acquit those responsibilities, enjoy those privileges, and make a contribution to the world we live in…or don’t.  
  • The Second Saturn Return:  The Cycle of the Meaningful Return to the Self  (age 60 forward), during which our focus shifts inward, to designing and living the life that reflects our own unique authenticity and potential.


To learn more about how to make the most of all these times of your life, check out my latest book, Your Astrological Compass: Navigating Life’s Great CyclesAsk for it at your local new age store, or get in on, Barnes and, or download it as an e-book.


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