Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn and is exalted in Libra. In Roman mythology, Saturn is the god of agriculture, founder of civilizations and of social order, and conformity. The glyph is most often seen as scythe-like, but it is primarily known as the "crescent below the cross", whereas Jupiter's glyph is the "crescent above the cross". The famous rings of the planet Saturn that enclose and surround it, reflect this principle of man's limitations. Saturn takes 29.5 years to orbit the Sun, spending about 2.46 years in each sign of the zodiac.
Astrologically, Saturn is associated with the principles of limitation, restrictions, boundaries, practicality and reality, crystallizing, and structures. Saturn governs ambition, career, authority and hierarchy, and conforming social structures. It concerns a person's sense of duty, discipline and responsibility, and their physical and emotional endurance during hardships. Saturn is also considered to represent the part of a person concerned with long-term planning. According to the 1st-century poet Manilius, Saturn is sad, morose, and cold, and is the greater malefic.
According to Claudius Ptolemy, "Saturn is lord of the right ear, the spleen, the bladder, the phlegm, and the bones." Saturn symbolized processes and things that were dry and cold, and therefore inimical to life. It governed the melancholic humor.
Saturn Return in astrology is a phenomenon which is described as influencing a person's life development at 27 to 29 or 30-year intervals. These intervals or "returns" coincide with the approximate time it takes the planet Saturn to make one orbit around the sun, i.e. 2 1/2 years. It is believed by astrologers that, as Saturn "returns" to the degree in its orbit occupied at the time of birth, a person crosses over a major threshold and enters the next stage of life. With the first Saturn return, a person leaves youth behind and enters adulthood. With the second return, maturity. And with the third and usually final return, a person enters wise old age. These periods are estimated to occur at roughly the ages of 27-30, 58-60, 86-88 and so on.
The first Saturn return is most significant because it represents the first test of character and the structures a person has built his life upon. According to traditions, should these structures be unsound, or if a person is living out of touch with his true values, the Saturn return will be a time of upheaval and limitations as Saturn forces him to jettison old concepts and worn out patterns of living. It is not uncommon for relationships and jobs to end during this time of life restructuring and revaluation.
But the Saturn return is not all about painful endings. During this time astrologers note that goals are consolidated and people tend to gain a better vision of where they are going in life. There are added responsibilities and a person may reap the rewards from his hard work. Many major life milestones seem to happen around the ages of 29 and 30. This is why astrologers believe that the 30th birthday is such a major rite of passage because it marks the true beginning of adulthood, self-evaluation, independence, ambition, and self-actualization.
The planet Saturn represents many archetypes, such as Father Time, the Grim Reaper and his scythe, Chronos, and the Lord of Karma and teacher. It is the ruler of limitations, fears, seriousness, responsibilities, burdens, and lessons. While those concepts may come across as negative, Saturn also astrologically rules over civilization, government, structures, harvests, prestige, maturity, discipline and order.
At approximately age 44 one reaches Saturn Opposition when once again the need to create balance and change one's life comes to the fore.
Saturn in your sign brings challenges and learning lessons - a good time for growth and to face issues by choice or because they must be confronted. Saturn transits and cycles can be considered cycles of achievement and maturity. When Saturn forms a hard aspect to a personal point in our chart, we might feel that everything is slowed down - we encounter delays, frustrations, and pressures. But these times also challenge us to face reality, thereby opening ourselves up to increased wisdom and the freedom that comes with living in truth.
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