Astrology: Saturn in the Houses

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Pietro Bonato 1765-1827, Saturn seated in a chariot drawn by a winged serpent-like monster, date uncertain

“Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter my sober house.”

William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, England, 1596-1598, 2.5.35

As with any planet, Saturn’s energy will be modified according to the house in which he is tenanted. Every sphere of life will react to the placement of Saturn in a different way, with some houses being naturally more comfortable with the disciplinarian’s presence than others. The Northern Hemisphere of the zodiac wheel relates to matters more distinctly subjective, impacting the individual’s sense of his or her inner world and specifically individualized experiences, whereas the Southern Hemisphere encompasses those areas of life that are more public in character, impacting how the individual experiences himself vis a vis the outer world, society, friends and the collective in general. Houses on the Eastern half of the MC/IC axis are correlated with the concept of the Self, and on the Western half of this axis, the houses are predominantly related to how we experience and relate to others. The effects of Saturn will always need to be considered given his sign placement, as well as aspect to other planets and points.

Saturn in the First House: Especially if near the Ascendant, Saturn’s position here sets the tone for how the individual steps out into the world. With a definite sense of gravitas and seriousness surrounding, the individual is perceived as somber, reserved, and no-nonsense.  Insecurity can stem from a sense of not being “enough”, a basic feeling of being too small, too thin, too ugly, or otherwise just not bold enough to compete with the showier birds of the world. With Saturn in this house, the physical manifestation will be evident, with the native’s features often pronouncedly sharp or fine, typically either noticeably short, or very tall, thin, and frequently bearing the experience of having suffered some illness or hardship throughout early childhood. Depending on aspects to planets and points, can be a source of great strength or a chronic drain on personal power.  

Saturn in the Second House: The individual approaches his or her value structure with a definite sense of sobriety. “Penny wise and pound foolish” is a motto for Saturn in the second house, as the native is most comfortable living without the frivolities and trappings of materialism, preferring to invest their pennies in long-range acquisition and accumulations. Values are traditional and sound, this can often be the unsuspected “millionaire next door”, rarely ostentations or profligate. Often some insecurity surrounds the basic sense of self-worth, and the individual often suffers from a fundamental sense of personal insecurity, despite any financial or monetary developments. Approaches to investment are old-fashioned and time tested.

Saturn in the Third House: The individual can often be one who is economical with their communication. The master one-liner, low talker, or the type of person who picks and chooses his information and conversations carefully, Saturn in the Third house will always be spare with words and specific in intentions. Insecurity stems from a misperception that there is no value in personal opinion, self-expression, and mundane communication, that nobody will be interested or have the time to listen. Usually a good listener themselves, this person will attend to details, and take a firm sense of responsibility in their immediate home and community environment. Often scholastic and driven to appreciate organization and practicality, the individual is insistent ensuring that specifics are attended, as they firmly believe that brevity is the soul of wit.

Saturn in the Fourth House: Especially if conjunct the IC point, this can be a stern placement for Saturn, as the initial understand of home and family is often tinged with a deep sadness or seriousness. Frequently found in cases where the father was either absent emotionally or physically, there is a deep sense of lack and coldness in the home environment, which transfers over into the developed adult lifestyle. Insecurity stems from an inability to find comfort in the home, as pleasure and emotional warmth are lacking. Home is a place of practicality and seriousness, to be protected and cherished, served and maintained for perpetuity, but not necessarily enjoyed. A sense of austerity and practicality must be observed in the home environment at the risk of feeling out of control and weakened by emotional pressures imposed by others.

Saturn in the Fifth House: Housed in the fifth, Saturn regards the pursuit of creative self-expression with great seriousness. This is not a light-hearted position for Saturn, as here he will tend to put a damper on an area dedicated to self-expression and letting the essence of the personality shine. Saturn here tends to inhibit the basic function of enjoyment and pleasure, preferring to pursue interest that are more sober and conservative in temperament. Insecurity in allowing the ego to shine, this is not a person who can easily take center stage, as any self-adulation will feel like gratuitous self-glorification, overblown pride, and foolishness. Children (ones own and others) can be seen as a source of impediment or fundamental challenge, and love affairs are taken very seriously, with long-term commitments preferred.

Saturn in the Sixth House: Saturn found in the sixth feels a sense of comfort, as this is a house typically associated with work, austerity, ethics, precision, and daily function. Saturn’s sense of discipline and longevity give these practical issues support. Depending on sign placement and aspect, Saturn in the sixth can create a systematic, methodical approach to work and health matters, a love of routine and hygiene, as well as a commitment to long-range accomplishment and commitment to habitual approaches. Insecurities can lead to psychosomatic health issues, manifestations of chronic illness and a certain fretful watchfulness over issues of health, diet, and hygiene. Austerity and stringency can become obsessions, while at the same time offer a sense of structure and definition to the lifestyle which can be instructive for those around.

Saturn in the Seventh House: In the Seventh House, Saturn defines issues of relationships, partnerships, and marriage. Placed here, there will be a definite seriousness in how the individual approaches any matters of union, and a tendency to only enter into partnerships if there is a promise of longevity. Insecurity stems from feeling that relationships will simply never work, so there is a certain level of mistrust when approaching any long-term union. Not frivolous romantics by any stretch of the imagination, people with Seventh house Saturn like to know where they stand in relationships. As Libra gives Saturn exaltation, his natal house is a solid position for Saturn, and those in relationship with this native will not need to fear being unduly used or rudely pushed aside in search of light-hearted romance.

Saturn in the Eighth House: Saturn in the eighth house gives a definite sobriety to all things associated with taboo, death, money, and the values of others, matters of occult and deep places of personal mystery. Saturn here, while not uncomfortable, feels a sense of unease to these areas which are not clearly definable and yet have such profound impact. Insecurity stems from a constant feeling of mistrust in the processes of life, rebirth, and sexuality, as there is a sense that letting down one’s guard will result in wounding or loss. Traditionally ruled by Mars, the house of Scorpio is perhaps more amenable than the house of Aries, and yet there is a tendency to overdo it in terms of discipline and desire to concretize what is, for the most part, house of some mystery.

Saturn in the Ninth House: Saturn in the house of Sagittarius has the urge to bring high-flying philosophy and idealism down to earth, preferring to keep things conservative and limited in scope. Traditions must be upheld, and broadmindedness is not a Saturnian feature, so a certain sense of tension occurs with Saturn operating here. Insecurity comes from a sense of not being wise enough, not having enough capacity for understanding. Urges for self-expression are hindered by a tendency to be a stick-in-the-mud, preferring to stick to what is tried and true. There is some level of corn for ideas that are overly broad and general, as well as a serious approach to mastering higher education with Saturn here. Travel is something which is not taken lightly, and will be thoroughly planned and purposeful, usually for business or education, as pleasure is limited with this placement.

Saturn in the Tenth House: Saturn is at home here, in his natural habitat, and will give a very defined sense of purpose in the pursuit of ambition, success and social standing. This is not an area of life which will be taken lightly, and the native will feel a defined sense of responsibility and duty with Saturn placed here. The mother may be a source of discipline, conferring a strong need to achieve and prove oneself to the world. Insecurity stems from never feeling that one has achieved enough, that performance is always subpar and must be improved in order for success to be validated. This is not a light-hearted placement, and the native will always proceed with full knowledge that they must always abide by the rules, as whatever they do publicly will always be subject to scrutiny. Career ambitions will be onerous, though accomplishments can be of great scale.

Saturn in the Eleventh House: Saturn here lends gravitas to the native’s involvement in society, groups, clubs, or humanitarian movements. These things are of great seriousness for the native, and there is a strong urge to define one’s duties and responsibilities vis a vis their surrounding society, either as a leader or a moderator. Insecurities can stem from never feeling that one fits in with the group as desired, a sense of being an outsider or a wet towel when among friends. This is the individual who will follow through with duties once committed to a group, ensuring that goals are tracked and met, and that people responsible are followed and attended to. Friends tend to be older, more mature, and socially established, though not necessarily wealthy, and can include professionals of a more serious leaning – either public servants, government or bureaucratic workers, people involved in law, medicine, or otherwise responsible positions.

Saturn in the Twelfth House: Saturn in the Twelfth gives the individual a sense of nagging, subconscious insecurity, as there is forever the sense that something is missing or otherwise escaping the individual’s knowledge. Insecurity springs from fear of losing control, letting go, of abandonment and incapacity to connect with the greater spirit of the times. Issues can arise from an inability or lack of desire to process and integrate old emotional wounds, as these topics can be a source of great difficulty with this placement. With maturity, there is a greater willingness to open to and understand these universal issues, but there can be a tendency to escapism, dwelling on the past while not necessarily taking efforts to resolve issues, as there is an innate sense of incapacity to achieve any resolution. Watch aspects to natal planets and points, and if conjoining the Ascendant from the 12th, there is often some chronic illness, whether physical or mental in nature.