Saturn, the Planet of Form

The planet Saturn is the Bad Guy in Vedic Astrology. It is called ‘the Great Malefic’, because it is the significator of so many undesirable aspects of the human plane. Saturn gives us difficulties, misfortune, suffering, even death. It has a non-negotiable quality as well. Saturn represents karma that we can’t get out of. Since it is an integral part of this Earthly realm, and each of us has to deal with what it represents in our life, it behooves us to know more about Saturn’s functioning and understand our relationship with it.

Everything on this Earth is bound by Time. Even the seemingly eternal mountains must inevitably disappear. The Infinite Spirit incarnates into this realm, appearing as Forms. Amongst these forms, Spirit incarnates as human consciousness, encapsulated within human form: the body. The formless infinite submits to the limitations of this plane of existence to experience the interplay of forms, to know itself.

In Vedic Astrology, we look to the map of the Heavens as a representation of our life’s karma. But where is the Earth represented in this map? It is represented by Saturn. In Vedic Astrology, Saturn stands in for our planet, the Earth, the Playground of Forms. The individual Soul, due to its karma, is attracted to this playground and gets sucked into it for the sake of the experience. Saturn is that which first attracts, then restricts, encapsulates, the eternal consciousness; Saturn ‘traps’ the Soul in Form. This limitation of what is naturally infinite is experienced as suffering. Thus Saturn comes to represent the energy of suffering in astrology.

Obviously many of Earth’s experiences are quite enjoyable. But all of these pleasures are temporary, and like our bodies, all are limited by time, by Saturn. Even the pleasures bring suffering by their eventual denial through Saturn’s functioning. Saturn is Maya: the play of forms. Instinctively the entrapped soul seeks permanence and stability on this Earthly plane, and feels betrayed by the temporal nature of Human Life.

How do we deal with the energy of Saturn? You are a prisoner of Saturn’s world of forms only if you identify with it. This is the dilemma of human consciousness: how to get out of prison by dis-identifying with forms, including the one you are residing in. From this need has arisen all of the various spiritual paths, yogic techniques, meditation techniques, etc. Forms originate from Spirit, and yet as an individuated piece of Spirit each of us somehow falls into the illusion that our personal form, our mind, and our feeling, are all that we are. We are each asleep in this dream of forms, unaware of the true nature of it all, and of ourselves.

Thus Saturn becomes the Teacher, teaching the soul through the lessons of limitation, of attraction and negation, desire and denial. Through this adversity the soul is forced to grow, to learn the reality of incarnation, to understand how it is that the Eternal must manifest in the world of limitation in order to know itself. Our identification with our human incarnation, and the amnesia about our original nature as pure consciousness, is part of the ‘set-up’ designed to compel the soul to take the lessons seriously. This seriousness too, is a function of Saturn.

In the personal Vedic Birth Chart, the position of Saturn and what it is influencing shows what lessons are especially emphasized, where the most concrete limitations are to be experienced in this lifetime, where there is the most intense identification with form that must be overcome for the soul to realize its original nature. Understanding the true situation of human consciousness, and its underlying connection with all that is, helps you to let go of the identification with the world of forms, to wake up from the dream. In this way we come to terms with Saturn, and are no longer defeated by the suffering, the world of illusions, that this planet represents.

6 thoughts on “Saturn, the Planet of Form

  1. Maria Ayub

    I am close to my second Saturn return (2018). My natal Saturn is in retrograde in my second house in Capricorn, meaning that life has not been easy in the material realm, but I am OK with it, as long as it is not extreme hardship. I don’t care very much for material “stuff” anyway.

    I would like to know if on the second Saturn return I will experience more of the same, or worse. My natal Jupiter is in the first house, I’ve been blessed with good health in my life. Approaching 60 is a big deal for me, more so than 50. I no longer feel the need to strive for aspects of the ego or personality anymore. I am really aiming to live life on more spiritual goals.

    Any advice would be helpful and appreciated. Thank you!!

    1. ronberger Post author

      There is no way to give an accurate answer without taking the time to evaluate your natal chart. I am a professional; I charge for my time. If you want to order a reading, please go to the “order a reading” page on this website.

  2. Kat Brady

    Ron, really love your writings. Very insightful. You’ve helped me understand several concepts. I plan on ordering a reading soon.
    Keep on writing!

  3. Rip

    I must say- its only when I entered my 36th Year did I understand the basic meaning of Shani . The lessons can be highly karmic- the physical pain is least to bear – esp when you are highly influenced by Mangal/Rahu/Guru Rx . My sade sati was devasting- My Poor Moon ( in 6th house) was shattered when Shani kept removing the illusions of mind. I am very glad that my father ( Mars/Shani influenced) always brought structure in my life.
    I feel that worshipping your isht devata in a structured way/time also helps to Calm Shani , even vata balance in the body can help.

    1. ronberger Post author

      Yes I agree: worship of the proper deity, with full intention and sincerity, can go a long way to remedy the suffering.

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