Below is the essay I wrote for my astrology exam!  I’m always talking about “Saturn” and this is what I mean… Saturn is currently transiting my sun at 14 degrees Sagittarius, it’s always fun to have a Saturn Transit, just as it is always fun to have a Saturn Return.


This is for everyone experiencing a Saturn Transit, especially their Saturn Return.

Write an essay on Saturn, explaining in depth how the planet functions on social, physical and psychological levels.

Saturn is the farthest planet in our solar system that is visible with the naked eye, and traditionally  represented the boundary of the solar system.  This symbolism of “boundary” pervades how we understand Saturn to function.  Traditionally understood to be the slowest moving planet in the skies, Saturn represents Father Time; limitations, restriction, structure, authority, discipline and eventual rewards.  Socially, physically and psychologically we can witness Saturnine themes and understand astrological functions of the great ringed planet.  In this essay I will describe how we witness these themes socially, physically and psychologically; illustrating how the same functions manifest at different levels.

Socially, Saturn provides a boundary in the form of authority and discipline in the home and in institutions like schools and prisons as laws operate under the function of Saturn.

At school, Saturn can be represented by the headmaster. When the headmaster walks past you in the corridor, you can become scared, frozen, inhibited.  Some people are rebellious but even the naughtiest of all the children have some level of respect or fear for the headmaster.  You don’t push him.  The headmaster is strong, full of rules, his presence limits our output as we become deeply aware of our behaviour and any flaws.  You forgot to take your nail varnish off?  Suddenly you think “I didn’t take my nail varnish off” and try to hide your hands in your sleeves.  The nail varnish was there all day, but when Saturn is around, you are aware of it as a problem.  This is also an analogy for how Saturn works on a psychological level, whereby you become aware of problems under a saturn transit even if they have been there for a while. His presence brings our mistakes into focus and we realise that we need to change.

The headmaster will clearly point out what is wrong; he will put you in detention and give you time to think about how to improve. Detention is slow moving and everything seems to take a long time, time drags, it is uncomfortable, boring, miserable, lonely and difficult. You resent doing the detention, you resent authority, you resent his seemingly callous attitude.  The lack of communication, the cold and unwavering ability he has to tell you what to do.

But, here is the other side of Saturn.  When you do well, and the headmaster smiles at you and congratulates you on a project, when you are announced in assembly for having achieved something.  Well, there isn’t a joy like that.  The cold, regulated, isolated man can warm your heart and soul with his approval. When you listen, and respond to the lessons that the headmaster tries to give to you then you will reap the rewards.  It takes time, and it’s not an easy process but it is rewarding.

Being at school and being in prison can feel very restrictive, boring and time drags.  However, the premise behind these institutions is to educate, reform and set people free with improved knowledge of themselves and the world If there are no boundaries then there is nothing to be free from.  The paradox is that actually, boundary provides us with somewhere to be free from.

Saturn is connected with discipline where the threat of punishment (and pain) is used to keep society regulated, but also to protect people from danger.  This can be seen with parents who teach their children how to cross the road and to wait for the green man.  Yes, waiting for the lights to change is boring but this process keeps them safe and enables traffic and pedestrians to keep moving in turn. Saturn teaches, protects and provides workable structures within homes, institutions and nations.

As Saturn currently resides in Sagittarius there is global public interest in international (Sagittarius) borders (Saturn).  Saturn corresponds with fear, namely fear of loss and pain, but fear nonetheless.     We are witnessing fearful citizens who are scared of Islamic terrorism.  Others who fear their jobs being taken by foreigners and would like to impose tougher border controls.  Also there are immigrants who fear returning home and those who fear future difficulties with respect to travel and movement around Europe.

Physically, Saturn represents our skeleton and our skin.  It is that which holds us up and keeps everything  within in place.  Saturn ruled signs Capricorn and Aquarius rule the knees and the ankles respectively; the joints that enable us to move. Although slow, Saturn is concerned with movement and change, more specifically with ageing. Saturn is a big looming deadline!  With respect to society, that can be seen in schools and in sentencing.  When it comes to our physicality, we understand that our life is finite, when we stop growing we begin to decay!  Our skin wrinkles, our bones weaken and the body is a visible ticking clock.

The female reproductive system is often referred to as a ticking clock, helpful in so much as it encourages people to take on the responsibility of child rearing before it is too late.  The Saturn influence over the body encourages us not to procrastinate. Our bodies require care, responsible diet, exercise and a self-disciplined approach to the indulgences of sugar, cigarettes and alcohol help to preserve the body.  Skin will wrinkle and “age-prematurely” if a hedonistic life is pursued.  To help maintain a youthful body and mind, adhere to a Saturnine approach of disciplined diet and regular exercise.

There are the two faces of Saturn; work and sacrifice which leads to achievement and recognition.  The pain is not futile, the depression has a purpose.  Learn, focus, work, commit; it will be worth it (says Saturn.)

The Saturn Return is a psychological turning point that is noticed most by those who have been ignoring the distant authority of Saturn that has been whispering “settle down, what are you here for?”  Anyone who laughs in the face of responsibility throughout their twenties will be metaphorically squashed by a Saturn when he returns to inspect the first 29 years of your life. Saturn makes it clear; it is time to grow up, focus and consider the future. If you are on the wrong path and pursing the wrong objectives this Saturn transit will inflict loneliness, sadness, or even depression. Referring back to the analogy of the head master I gave earlier; Saturn will put your mind into detention.

There is a wonderful alchemy to the energy of Saturn, a magic that must never be overlooked.  Saturn clearly distinguishes between wrong and right and whilst we feel punishment for wrong doing, we are rewarded for doing well.  The rewards of Saturn are hard earned and enormously satisfying. A Saturnine reward is achievement, a durable version of pleasure. Like all things related to Saturn, achievements are lasting and the benefits are enjoyed for years to come.  However, to achieve something  involves hard work, self-discipline, overcoming frustrations, sacrificing alternative enjoyments and committed focus.  Control your mind, focus your interests, follow the laws and you will reap Saturnine rewards.


How did your Saturn Return manifest?  (Roughly age 29.5.)  Did you get a promotion?  Buy a house?  Get married?


Or did you split up with someone? Fall into a depression?  Leave your job?  Deal with loss?


What did you learn from this?