How to Interpret Saturn Transits

Saturn represents structure, limitation and security. It takes 28 years to transit the whole zodiac so you’ll experience a Saturn return at ages 28-30, 58-60, and 88-90. These repeating cycles represent a time of taking more responsibility or adjusting to reality and new life structures.

Saturn represents the principle of form, structure and stability. It crystallises patterns over time, becoming the shape of your personality and habits. Saturn is the workings of time, social tradition and authority, and the qualities of patience, practicality and seriousness. Psychologically, it’s the shadow and your fears and limitations.

Saturn was traditionally known as the ‘Great Malefic’ because of its connection with death and loss, but how you experience the energy of this planet depends on your attitude towards it. Each planet and point in the horoscope will be transited by Saturn every 7 years in a hard angle – conjunction, square, or opposition. These are often times when you’re tested and have to learn lessons about life. Saturn is seen as a teacher and shows what you have to do in order to grow and change.

Saturn transits are times when you want to make things more real, solid and concrete. You’re forced to face up to reality and see how things are on a practical level. You may be tested so you can learn from your mistakes and realise your limitations or discover hidden strengths. Saturn concentrates and crystallises experience, and seems to slow things down. This makes you feel like you’re pushing against inertia and not getting anywhere. But with hard work, you can slowly build something real over time.

Saturn deepens your perception and grounds you in the physical reality of your life. These transits are times when you reap the results of previous actions, so look at the whole cycle of transits to a particular planet, not just the one you’re experiencing now. For example, if Saturn is squaring your Sun, look at what was happening in your life at the last conjunction or opposition to see if there are lessons or insights to be gained.

The house in which Saturn is transiting shows the area of your life where you need to take a more realistic approach and consolidate your experience. When Saturn transits a natal planet it shows that this particular part of your character is being tested and is ready for a change. This is the part of your life that needs more maturity and depth, and these transits will force you to develop the qualities you need in order to continue growing.

Transits don’t show specifically what will manifest, but they do show how the energy is released. Saturn releases energy slowly and concentrates your experience, it brings things down to earth and makes things real.

Some keywords for Saturn transits:




Hard Work






Reality Check






Some common experiences during a Saturn transit:
  • Gaining more responsibility in your career
  • Working hard on a creative project
  • Starting a new business
  • Getting married
  • Unexpected losses and fated events
  • Depression
  • Low energy
  • Difficulties with a father or authority figure
  • Developing greater self-respect and inner strength

Too much Saturn can make life rather bleak and heavy, so it needs to be balanced by Jupiter. You need both facts and faith, effort and grace. Saturn is important for spiritual growth because it forces you to deal with reality and bring your dreams down to earth. It tests everything you bring into manifestation so you can’t get away with anything. Saturn won’t stand for illusion or escapism. It brings real growth through discipline and the willingness to make sacrifices and let go of what you no longer need.

Saturn transits often trigger repressed fears and old wounds because you’re growing beyond your limitations. When you push against old limits, Saturn pops up as a threshold guardian to test you and make sure you’re ready to grow. This forces you to be more conscious of what you’re trying to do and why, and it helps you to develop personal integrity and inner authority as you grow in wisdom and strength.

Dane Rudhyar says Saturn is your ‘fundamental nature,’ what you must embody, so if you drift away from your true Self, Saturn will bring you back. This is why it’s seen as a hard taskmaster and why you may experience fated events during these transits. Saturn puts pressure on you to achieve something and realise your true potential, whether that achievement is internal or external.

You may achieve your ambitions at these times, but you can also fail, especially if your goals don’t match your true Self. In the end, Saturn transits are about the process of becoming who you really are on the Soul level and manifesting as much of that truth as possible in the material world. Saturn assists you in the alchemical process of becoming a whole individual, as Erin Sullivan says:

Astrologically, the work of individuation is turning Saturn into your Sun, turning lead into gold.”

Saturn transits can be very productive times when you learn a lot about yourself and build a strong foundation for the future. It’s an opportunity to evaluate the area being affected and develop greater confidence and strength of character.

More Keywords for Saturn
More on Saturn: Planet Myths: The Story Behind Saturn


  • Astrology, Karma & Transformation – Stephen Arroyo
  • Saturn in Transit – Erin Sullivan

Over the next few weeks we’ll explore Saturn Transits to the Planets and through the Houses…

More Astrology Posts


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