This article has been updated through the years. The most recent update was in April of 2021. Interestingly 2021 is a number reversal from 2012.
Healthy Saturn is necessary in any system
as it is responsible for structure and form.
Life without the Saturn principle would be similar to
the experience of always being on a large dose of LSD.
This is why it is important to understand that Saturn
is not good or bad; it’s simply the rules, and
why the best strategy is to learn to work with Saturn.
~From The Shamanic Astrology Handbook Available HERE!
This is a timeless look at Saturn and how to successfully navigate the opportunities Saturn brings!
Saturn is a Teacher, Guide and Ally even when it feels exactly the opposite. Understanding this has been liberating for me and my clients the past 30+ years.
It hasn’t always been easy but I have made great strides in viewing Saturn as an ally. Certainly, there are times when Saturn limitations can feel unfair, depressing and downright difficult. However, Saturn is also about growth and maturation and creating or building the structures that really support who we truly are.
Saturn is Feminine – What?
Something to know that may shift your understanding is Saturn is feminine because Saturn has to do with structures, form and matter. Matter has its roots in the word mother – hence the feminine association with Saturn.
From this perspective we can see that Saturn is feminine, and is NOT a punishing, judgmental masculine God, as described by the patriarchy, though it certainly can feel that way at times.
Saturn and Our Collective Beliefs
Whatever our experience of Saturn is, it may be helpful to know, that Saturn is simply reflecting to us a reality that is structured by our personal and collective belief systems. Over the last five thousands years there has been a collective belief or story rooted in the “fall from grace.”
Even if we don’t personally believe that story, much of our world and our lives are still at the effect of it. (More on this idea including the Doing Addiction with audios)
We all encounter Saturn. This is because, everyone goes through Saturn transits during a lifetime. Additionally, their are those who have some type of Saturn complex natally (planets, angles or nodes either conjunct square or opposite natal Saturn). These are the people who are dealing with Saturn on a constant basis and it often creates greater sensitivity to what can be perceived as the judgments of Saturn.
Here are a few ways you might encounter the presence of Saturn…by transit or by dynamic aspect on your natal chart.
You might be in a Saturn Cycle or Have a Life Long Saturn Challenge designed to help you grow and evolve if:
- You find yourself saying, “It’s NOT Fair!”
- No matter what you do (or how perfectly you do it) it feels like you get the same unfair results.
- You are certain you have done everything exactly the way you were taught to do and shown up in the way you thought you were expected to show up and still the love you desire, the appreciation you crave, and the recognition you deserve, alludes you.
- You find yourself feeling like no matter what you do – you are somehow doomed to repeating the same process over and over like a record stuck in an inescapable groove, even when you thought you were being conscious about your choices. Yet, somehow, you still find yourself in an unfair situation or experiencing undesirable results.
Then came the moment when it dawned on me I was in a Saturn cycle and I was hearing myself saying this isn’t fair over and over. As mentioned before it is a classic Saturn statement. Not only that, I was remembering that in Saturn’s world fair doesn’t exist and I needed a new point view and a new way to approach what was happening.
Saturn Often Feels Unfair
Imagine hiring the best attorney on the planet to present your case and imagine that you have managed to have your case reviewed by the highest court in the Universe and this Cosmic Supreme Court is presiding over the proceedings. Then imagine that the arguments presented are the most perfect, logical, irrefutable arguments possible, and your legal team is absolutely certain you will win your case.
When the verdict is returned very likely from Saturn’s point of view the answer will be something like:
You are right, it isn’t fair. Deal with it. These are the cards you were dealt and there is nothing we can do about that. Your task is to learn how to play the hand you have and do the best you can with it.
But also know that you must deal with this all the way, so even when you think you have dealt with it…be warned that you may find surprising ways this will again surface in your life.
Consider it a test. The ultimate test. The test of self-love, the test of loving yourself no matter what unfair circumstances you are facing. Its not about fairness. Its about loving yourself with kindness and compassion.
Grrr….followed by lots of swear words and tantrums that ultimately don’t change anything – except perhaps helping you to express how you feel, hopefully in a way that doesn’t cause harm to anyone. And perhaps that leads to acceptance and that might lead to a new experience, but of course that is not guaranteed either until you can truly make a new and better choice in how you respond to what you keep encountering again and again.
I am about to share with you, as briefly as possible, my own life-long Saturn situation to help give a better sense of what I am describing. My hope is by sharing this it helps you to find peace with your own Saturn experience if needed.
My Father/Saturn Experience
For me, my encounter with Saturn started before I was ever born. My parents got married the day after they graduated from college and I was conceived on their wedding night.
Three weeks later, when my mother realized she was pregnant, my father insisted she have an abortion (that was illegal in 1955) or give the baby (that would turn out to be me) up for adoption.
My mother refused and my father was furious. Hence I was born into a classic Saturn situation, meaning that no matter what I did I could NEVER please my father.
Ultimately, he disowned me twice. It is not surprising from a more mainstream approach to astrology because I do have Saturn square Sun on my natal chart. Both are considered father symbols in more traditional astrological approaches that sees both the Sun and Saturn as masculine.
Remember I said Saturn is actually Feminine and was co-opted by the patriarchy. This is very likely why so many of us have had a very convincing patriarchal Saturn experience.
The first time I was disowned by my father was when I was 20 and he blamed me for my Mom divorcing him. From another point of view it was amazing they had stayed married as long as they did. However, my dad needed someone to blame and I was handy. Years later, when I was about 33, we had a tentative reconciliation that lasted almost 6 years.
I was 40 the second time I was disowned – because I dared to ask him for a healthy boundary (see my Me Too Journey) and he went into a rage, proclaiming he would never speak to me again, or anyone who reminded him of me – meaning my four children, his grandchildren.
That was in 1996 and true to his word right up through his death in October of 2012, he never spoke to me or my children again. This was not a surprise as I wasn’t the first family member he disowned and cut off communication permanently. I am happy to say, after a lot of deep personal work I now know that my father’s choices weren’t really about me but rather were rooted in his own deep wounding.
In essence, he was projecting his wounds on me to get them away from him. These wounds were rooted in his life experience reflected in his own natal Saturn in Capricorn Complex to his Cancer Moon with Pluto in Cancer, Libra Venus and Sun, with Aries Uranus forming a grand cross featuring Saturn – of course. Definitely not an easy signature to navigate. So he not only was at the affect of Saturn himself, he was projecting fault onto me. I get it was his way of coping and I am now at peace with that.
My First Two Marriages
So of course, in my first two marriages I recreated situations where my former husbands abandoned me or disowned me much like my father. I could easily make my case, and prove without a doubt, that I didn’t do anything to deserve the way my father treated me, or the way my former husbands treated me either.
I can also see how they were all operating from their own deep wounds that had nothing to do with me. Ultimately, it was easier for them to project their pain and blame onto me than take responsibility for their experience.
I wasn’t perfect in those marriages as I also had reactions to what seemed unfair to me at the time. Gratefully, looking back, I know I learned so much about myself and the challenges of a natal Saturn signature as a result.
Some of what I learned was definitely about my own shadow and becoming conscious of my unconscious choices. One of my biggest teachings was how ineffective it is to use the Saturn strategy of defending and explaining.
Still from another point of view, it really is true that I didn’t treat them the way they treated me. However, I now realize it was all part of an opportunity to become conscious of the patterns that had driven my choices.
Over the years, I have done HUGE amounts of forgiveness work and lots of different kinds of healing therapy and have taken responsibility for the way I co-created all of these situations. In essence, I have been dealing with and transforming my own crap, my own projections and inadequacies, my own fury at how unfair life has seemingly been.
The Saturn Hand I Was Dealt and the Process of Forgiveness
However, it is also true that the way I have viewed myself, the way I have shown up, or not shown up, has been greatly influenced by the hand I was dealt. Over the years, I have come to accept that it is my job to keep peeling the layers and forgiving myself and forgiving others in the best way I can in each moment.
And the results of this work are evident in my life. I now have a wonderful conscious equal partner who joins me in owning our personal stuff and taking responsibility whenever we find ourselves projecting on each other.
I am so thrilled and grateful to finally have this kind of mirror in a beloved relationship and we have been doing it for many years now having gotten married in 2006.
For me, the third time was the charm and this blessed relationship is one of the gifts of doing Saturn work. Clearly Saturn is a tough task master, yet, when you are willing to take responsibility – it is so worth it.
I thought I was done with this whole father rejection, abandonment piece, until Saturn began opposing my Venus in November of 2011. Around that time the voices of judgment that had been mostly quiet for so long, grew louder and louder.
When Life Feels Unfair
In April of 2012, I had an experience with two family members that felt totally unfair. I soon realized it was a situation that brought up the old feelings that I didn’t deserve to be treated this way. The situation was a perfect set-up because I didn’t expect it to show up in the way it did and of course it so perfectly fit into my pattern that I didn’t recognize it at first. It wasn’t until I heard myself saying out loud this isn’t fair! that I had the sudden realization Saturn was at work. AHH HA!
Before I GOT this was Saturn, I had been presenting my case to my beloved, who totally agreed with me. If anything he reflected to me that I had been more than supportive and had shown up with great integrity and he was actually angry on my behalf. And as supportive and validating as that was, I had this sneaking suspicion that there was something deeper I needed to consider.
If you have been reading the Celestial Timings for awhile you know I am continually writing about how everything in our life is a mirror so we can see ourselves and our issues (wounds and unconscious beliefs etc.) more clearly and this case was no exception.
Reflecting on what was happening, I realized this goes back to a core belief I had as a child. It was based in the fact that I knew my father hated me and my little girl self translated that knowing to “God Hates Me.”
Furthermore, no matter how perfect I am, no matter how kind and generous and supportive I am to others, no matter how much I do my own personal clearing and healing, I was finding myself face to face with this limiting childhood belief that I thought I had handled and my conclusion again was it is SO NOT FAIR! Grrrr…
The Saturn Test
Wait, wait, don’t tell me – this must be my Saturn test? Ah yes, of course. It is the Saturn test of self-love and even though my feelings were deeply hurt and my pattern totally activated I got to this realization in a record amount of time. Whew.
So YES there is progress, there is hope for me, and I am forgiving myself, and forgiving everyone involved all the way back to my father and God himself or rather my little girl perception of God hating me and the whole perception of the unfairness of Saturn.
Yay for me…and I hope this story is helpful for you in being willing to create a whole new structure of reality based in the ultimate Saturn teaching of Self-Love no matter what is going on in our external reality. It is truly a gift Saturn gives us when we are ready to receive it.
A Final Personal Note
In 2012 when I wrote this article I knew I was about to enter my second Saturn Return in 2015 with non-stop personal Saturn cycles along the way. Those years have provided me with additional Saturn insights and opportunities I plan to share eventually.
Happily, I successfully addressed the situation mentioned above by expressing my feelings and taking responsibility for my experience, along with asking for what I wanted to happen going forward. I haven’t always been able to do this when the situation has felt life threatening but this time I didn’t feel the old trauma that might have held me back.
When sharing my feelings I consciously chose not to shame or blame and so I easily got a great response to my reasonable request that has continued to produce a much better result all these years later.
Ultimately everyone in the situation (especially me) had an opportunity to grow from the experience proving that it was a Saturn gift. It is the gift that always shows up when we take responsibility for whatever experience we are having even when it doesn’t feel fair.
Revisiting this article in 2019 and 2023 I have had more Saturn Cycles during the profound triple planetary alignment of Saturn, Pluto and Jupiter in Capricorn placing me on the leading edge of that transformative time. Revisiting this article again in 2022 when Saturn was sitting exactly on my IC and finding another level of Saturn teaching me through helping me to stand for myself and say NO to abusive people and situations. Saying NO and creating a new form for how I live my life has led to experiences of unexpected magic that let me know I am on the right track.
I can already see how it is showing up and also know it is another opportunity to grow, change and evolve. Most importantly at this time having successfully engaged a life time of Saturn Intiations – my life is better than ever. I hope this inspires you to know this possibility exists for you if you aren’t there already!
Here is an email comment I received about this article to share:
Merry Christmas Cayelin,
Your site was sent to me via a friend who sends out tons of stuff. I happen on this article today Christmas Day and so related to the unfairness of life issues. Your story is my very same story , prebirth, two husbands (haven’t yet found my charmed 3rd yet), and unfair unappreciated family members. Lots of friends will agree I don’t deserve to be treated that way. I’m on a journey of continual forgiveness, compassion, self love, and gratitude. Thank you for your story and insight. It makes sense and I don’t feel isolated, singled out, or alone. Namaste! Kit