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The Taskmaster

Updated: Apr 1, 2020


Saturn’s reputation precedes him as the great ‘malefic’ whose job is to dispense the negative karmas we’re due. His influence is known to place blocks, restrictions, limitations and obstacles in our lives that are frustrating and seem insurmountable. As the Lord of time Saturn keeps tabs on experiences that naturally have a beginning and end. In transit, Saturn informs us where we need to mature and direct focus in our lives, by way of aspect to other planets and the houses he affects.


As Saturn edges his way through the sky in a cyclical motion and moderate pace, his approaching contact to planets and houses in our natal chart can be palpable and pressure filled. Mounting anxiety and fear can be felt several months prior to an exact hit – but fear not the ill-feelings in response to Saturn’s influence, as they are only temporary. To work well with Saturn’s passage we can pre-empt the lessons he may dispense and integrate them into our lives effectively, instead of freaking out and running away, or feeling melancholy and frustrated.


Saturn is a house builder and interested in developing structural foundations that keep one supported in life and so his passage through the houses or rooms of the chart will undergo periodic construction (which may seem scary) in order to meet this developmental aim. Over time it can become evident that Saturn isn’t necessarily a malefic force, pending the consciousness we have – Saturn’s influence can be viewed as the necessary medium to bring about structural changes and responsibilities in our lives that facilitate our growth and change.


Saturn transiting through the houses


First house – Identity

Representing the physical body, appearance and outgoing personality, when Saturn crosses the ascendant and enters the first house for approximately 2.5years we might suddenly feel our age and even somewhat older to others. As Father Time, Saturn ages whatever he touches and his passage through the very conscious 1st house of self can make us very aware of it. Tingeing our personality with seriousness, pessimism and prudence – the usually outgoing nature of the 1st can become self-possessed and advantageous to circumstances that require them. In terms of health Saturn might bring about physical illness or arrest one’s energy levels for some time, which reminds us of the human body’s fallibility and need for balanced care to function well with sustained energy.


Second house – resources and security

When Saturn rolls through the second house of income, security and self-worth these areas are shaken up to some degree along with questions like; do I have enough money to support myself and others? How secure is my shelter and am I worth very much? In proportion to where we’re at with these matters our experience is determined, as one who’s been relatively unconcerned with 2nd house issues could feel horribly pressured to address them and set to work at becoming more stable. Austerity and stark evaluation of material/emotional resource can be a strong theme for several years, as the second house is being overhauled through practical works that support a lifestyle which is more secure than the present one being experienced.


Third house – learning

Study time is a major theme as Saturn enters the house of learning to restrict any short-trips and socialising for one to focus on mental activities. Saturn’s pressure can impel one to get serious about their creative ideas, writing projects, studies and communications. Saturn also provides dedication and sustained effort upon tasks that require a lot of concentration, which is great for anyone in a period of formal study and preparing for examinations. Being task master though, Saturn likes to see what is started meet their natural end, so one might be literally pinned to the spot with a singular focus to complete third house commitments and reach their learning objectives.


Fourth house – family and home life

As Saturn crosses the fourth house cusp it can feel high time for reorganisation of one’s inner world and/or home front. The roots that anchor us and provide a sense of security now come into question on a material and figurative level. Saturn’s restrictive and restructuring force encourages us to evaluate family life and home, in order to decide what’s best for the future we envisage and are steadily working toward. This passage can bring up a host of issues around past conditioning, emotional attachments, quality of relationships, responsibility to others and needs for security. When Saturn has left the fourth house our lives can be markedly transformed – someone who never wanted a family might now be ready, while another has broken away along with enmeshed feelings that are part and parcel. In any case Saturn’s transit of the fourth house is very deep and bound to leave a mark and whatever he’s brought to the surface has not been mistaken, as Saturn dispenses the lessons we need to evolve and grow up.


Fifth house – expression and recreation

You’d think that Saturn couldn’t be more unwelcome in the house of fun, risk-taking and joy. Yet as the party light is dampened by Saturn’s arrival it can be the perfect time for serious fun and creativity. Reductions placed upon celebration and frivolity means attention can be turned to honing one’s crafts and utilising Saturn’s impulse for greater sensibility and self-discipline, to rework one’s identity and talents that require focussed input. Romantic passions and flirtations can halt or seems like a waste of time as a mature view replaces former spontaneity with a sense of purposeful love needed in one’s life. During this period one can also use the constancy of Saturn’s energy to become immersed in projects that require persistence – like learning the guitar that’s been sitting in the corner gathering dust for years. This passage might also signal the time one becomes a parent, and/or feels their inner child grow up.


Sixth house – Work

Health matters and hard-work come to the fore. Not a far cry from the sixth’ original focus but now feeling even more accountable for one’s health, daily tasks and commitments to those one is subordinate to or responsible for. An already stressful environment can receive a heavier workload, increasing responsibilities, family commitments and deadlines that test one’s capabilities and organisational skills. Saturn’s transit could also signal a time to develop skills we perceive lacking in ourselves. No time for a holiday here as Saturn demands focus and dedication, especially if we’ve been striving for promotion of some kind and wish our efforts to get noticed.


Seventh house – Relationships

Innately one feels the need to get serious about their involvement with others and how to handle relationships. As Saturn crosses the 7th house cusp thoughts might turn toward marriage if single or staying married if wedded. How do I deal with my current relationships? What needs an overhaul and how have I changed? This period might signal a time for duty, faithfulness or letting go of those who no longer fit our current mode of life experience. As we re-evaluate notions around partnerships and what’s needed to move ahead, this passage signals a hefty restructure around relationships – through confrontations of some kind and how we view ourselves within them as a matured and focussed person.


Eighth house – Power and transformations

A heavy house gets a heavy hit as Saturn’s passage here can feel like the walls are caving in on us. Crisis can emerge around debts of all kinds, how well we handle our shared resource in intimate relationships and wield our personal power. On a psychological level we may come face to face with our greatest fears and experience outbursts of grief, as Saturn reminds us of the difficulties we must face in life especially around inevitable death and life’s other endings. As Saturn traverses this house we might feel somewhat depressed, so it’s worthwhile reaching out for help and support as needed if Saturn brings about a darker period.


Ninth house – learning and travel

A mature mind is developing as Saturn traverses the land of ideals, spiritual goals, education and broader thinking. Aboard the axis of learning, studies could become priority or taking on the role of teacher who dispenses knowledge to others after years gathering a library. As the 9th house stores our beliefs, philosophical values and concept of truth - we might have these matters tested by Saturn, which leads to questioning what truly sustains our existence and reform them in light of new insights and adopted views. Saturn also shrinks down the adventurous 9th house spirit that could halt big trips and travel, as one focusses energy into redefining beliefs and concepts that they live by.


Tenth house – work and reputation

The concepts one has been mulling over during Saturn’s 9th house visit now have the opportunity to become manifest by implementing them into something concrete. Public and personal influence, authority, career and image come into focus as these areas are highlighted under Saturn’s influence. As well as issues of accomplishment, getting serious about where one’s at in life, recognition for efforts with incoming dues, promotions, responsibilities and changed income. At the height of the chart, Saturn has climbed to summit of the 10th house to meet some form of ‘success’, that is greatly influenced by efforts made from years past in the former houses that laid down the foundations.


Eleventh house – friends and group work

The house of banding together for a common cause means a serious job when Saturn’s involved. Activism, social justice, inspiration and team-work are part of the eleventh field in which we can work with others seriously to bring definition to activities not done half as well on our own. Saturn here can articulate abstract ideas and bring innovative schemes into form, amongst a network of people through hard-work and cooperation in order to get the job done. However, pending the environment and our response to what’s going on, Saturn’s separative effect can also be felt, if we perceive ourselves an unnecessary link in the chain and isolate ourselves from the group in lieu of alternative networks.


Twelfth house – Letting go

Saturn in the 12th house marks the end of a big cycle around the zodiac and during this time we can become acutely aware of endings in our lives and be impelled to release experiences, relationships and emotions that don’t serve a purpose in holding onto. The traditional house of losses (that we might realistically experience) is also paradoxically a house of gain as the release of attachments and expectations can reveal inner wisdom and deeper personal realisations. This is often a time of quiet convalescence and even temporary unavailability, before Saturn begins another cycle from the ascendant. During the 12th passage we can reflect upon the past and pay our karmic debts, resolve guilt from various experiences and restore our energy to endure Saturn’s path of our chart once again.


Sources

Dynamic Astrology – J.Townley

Transits – B.Lundsted




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