Saturn: planet of structure

Saturn often gets bad press in the astrological community. It’s planetary energy is seen as restrictive, heavy, boring and not particularly exciting. But I see it differently, as Saturn: planet of structure.

Saturn’s general qualities

There are plenty of keywords around Saturn’s astrological meaning. Here’s a few: structure, inhibition, austerity, restriction, authority, discipline, hardship, endurance, ‘death’, hard work.

Which is noticeably different to planets I’ve written about previously: optimistic, hopeful Jupiter and mysterious Neptune.

But the good news is that Saturn represents ‘realism’. And realism is certainly useful in a world influenced by plenty of fantasy and false promises. Saturn has that ‘what you see is what you get’ quality.

Unlike it’s complementary opposite, Jupiter. Jupiter promises a lot, but often under-delivers. That’s because Jupiter is hope, luck, optimism and exaggeration. The planet of sales people!

We need both these planetary energies though. On the one hand growth (Jupiter), but contained or structured (Saturn) growth. Unchecked growth leads to excess, and that often ends up in trouble. Structure without growth, on the other hand, can be fairly lifeless.

Saturn dominant in a horoscope

A person with Saturn dominant in their horoscope will likely be austere, reliable, responsible; a ‘rock’. Queen Elizabeth for example. She has a prominent Saturn and exhibits these qualities.

At worst, someone strongly Saturnian might be frugal to the point of poverty. Or self-restrictive (such as anorexia), critical, rule-driven, inhibiting, authoritarian and oppressive.

A good way of thinking about Saturn is something my astrology teacher used to say. ‘If you argue for restriction, you find freedom. If you argue for freedom, you find restriction.’

What does this mean?

It means people who restrict themselves responsibly can find freedom. People who live in monastries, for example. They might be restricted in some ways, but they gain freedom on other levels.

The opposite is also true. People who spend, spend, spend and live life to excess (overly Jupiter) often find themselves poor, unhealthy and paying the price of their ‘freedom.’ They end up restricted.

But ‘freedom’ is culturally fashionable. ‘You can be anything you want’. Advertising and our consumer culture thrives on it.

Saturn and death

Saturn is also symbolic of ‘death’ on some level, not always literal. And of endings. And it’s the planet most associated with the funeral industry. Which by its very nature is austere, sombre: very Saturnian.

And one of the historical images associated with Saturn is the ‘Grim Reaper’.

When Saturn activates your horoscope by transit, progression or Solar Arc, then you’re likely going to experience a time of structure, hardship, realism, endurance, weight. Enjoy it: it’s good for you (maybe not)!

The Saturn Return

The most common expression of this is what’s called the Saturn Return. Which happens to all of us around the age of 28-29, when transiting Saturn returns to the place in the sky where it was on the day you were born.

The Saturn Return is a time of ‘growing-up’, maturity. A turning-point of sorts. It’s an astrological marker of your transition from relative youth, to (hopefully) a mature and adult version of you.

And for some people (myself included), the Saturn Return can be fairly heavy going. Me, I busted-up with the girl of my dreams. Heart-breaking. And took two years to get over the worst of the grief (grief is another Saturn keyword).

The whole idea of Saturn is ultimately ‘growth’, in terms of learning from the ‘hard lessons’ of life. Which is quite a different sort of growth compared to say Jupiter. Jupiter’s growth is from opportunity.

Saturn: planet of structure – summary

Saturn may get plenty of ‘bad press’, but ultimately it’s good to have a reliable and realistic view of things, no matter how crushing and sobering that can be.

Saturn’s good side is that it gives reliable perspective. It’s downside is harshness, lack of fun, dullness, heaviness and seeming restriction.

Wherever Saturn is located in your horoscope, by house, is the area of life that you find hardest, or where you have to really ‘work’ at. Or it could be where you seem most ‘mature’.



  1. Hello blogger,
    Nice blog about the saturn planet structure, i gain good knowledge from your blog. Thanks a log. I use this knowledge in my business.

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