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  • Writer's pictureDomenic Falcone

Understanding Saturn

Saturn is the planet furthest away from the Sun that is still visible with the naked eye, looking like a faint blue star. As such it represents limitations and boundaries. It is furthest away from the life and light giving Sun, so it represents old age, shadows, and death. Beyond Saturn lies the timeless eternal realm. He also represents places at the limits of society or places unattractive to worldly men such as burning ghats, cemeteries, garbage dumps, the forest, mountains, and wilderness. He represents those not accepted by society like the poor, the deformed, and the outcast.

In many cultures he is seen as a God of Death, often pictured as an old man with a sickle. The sickle connects him with his one of his other aspects, as a God of Agriculture and adjustor of karma. The Romans and Greeks saw Saturn as an agricultural God, among other things, and the sowing and harvesting of crops can be seen as a metaphor for the sowing and harvesting of deeds. Though the Romans and Greeks did not have a concept of karma, the symbols and myths about Saturn from various culture often point to an underling astrological truth about the planet. As all of one’s deeds are recorded in Saturn’s timeless realm and the results are delivered back to one by Saturn, at the appropriate time. In this task Saturn has one main purpose, to frustrate the experience of one’s material life and lead one back to his eternal spiritual realm. This is why Saturn is seen as the great malefic. Even when he delivers material and sensual abundance, he produces psychological dissatisfaction. One finds oneself no longer attracted to or bored with the pleasures of life. Even the opulent life of royalty can seem empty, meaningless, and boring under the influence of Saturn.

However, for the same reasons, those on a spiritual path often experience Saturn as a great boon. In Sanskrit Saturn is called Shanishcharacharya, which means “the slow-moving preceptor”. The detachment Saturn teaches finally allows one to see oneself and one’s relationship to the world objectively. The best remedy for the effects of Saturn is acceptance. When it is blocking success in certain material aspects of life, there is no remedy. But, if one stops fighting Saturn and works with it towards one’s spiritual development, it will help you and become a great ally. Saturn purpose is not to make people miserable or frustrated, though this often happens, rather it is to direct the soul back to its source. It does this by destroying the illusions you cling to and encourages you to go beyond the limits of material existence and seek moksha or spiritual liberation.

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