There is no other planet as dreaded and misunderstood as Saturn. Even people who have only a passing interest in astrology often know of Saturn’s reputation as the cause of the mundane problems of poverty, illness, denial, depression, responsibility and relentless toil.  Saturn is not known for good luck, parties, unearned wealth and vacation time.

There is truth to all of the above but Saturn brings much more.  Saturn is the planet of truth, focus, spiritual advancement, inner peace, neutrality and just rewards.  In many ways Saturn is like a wise but stern teacher or grandparent who has the courage and determination to hold your feet to the fire until you get the truth of the teaching behind the lesson.  In my own observation of thousands of charts I know that a well-placed Saturn is unbeatable and that someone who is open to the higher teachings of this planet eventually achieves the best that the human experience has to offer.  I have also seen more lives brought crashing down through the misuse of Jupiter energy than a challenging Saturn.  Saturn requires the effort, the honesty and the patience to uncover the reward but the reward is generally perceived as well worth the effort.

One of the gems of Vedic astrology is the connection with the teachings of yoga.  Yoga works on many levels and one of the most positive levels is the techniques which focus directly on the energetic system known as “chakras.”  Chakras can be understood as wheels or spirals of energy that can not be seen by the naked eye and are the unseen causation of the manifested physical body.  The energy of chakras can be off-balance, over-active or seriously blocked.  The chakras can be the resting place for unresolved issues and energy healers will often focus on these spirals of energy in order to help someone achieve a balance of body, mind and spirit. Blocked chakras are often the missing link to healing the mind and emotions through talk therapy.  If the chakras still hold the residual of the original pain the result can be that no matter how much one understands the issue one never knows when that issue will be activated again therefore bringing back the pain of the issue. 

There are many chakras throughout one’s energetic body but the primary ones are the seven that run along the spinal column.  Saturn is considered to reside in the first or root chakra which is located at the base of the spinal column. 

The first chakra is the chakra of the earth itself and represents form and solidity. This chakra relates to our ability to be grounded, to attain material success and the ability to focus and manifest our needs.  It stands to reason that fear of lack of resources and an inability to function well in a worldly manner can be the result of a malfunction in the first chakra.

The delays, hard work and challenges presented by Saturn can often result in a person living in fear of lack or in resentment of the difficulties that life on planet earth often presents. When Saturn is strong in a challenging placement the result can be a block in the first chakra which will lower the basic energy available through illness, depression and even hopelessness.  Often people who commit suicide will have a strong Saturn transit present at the moment of the decision. While something as serious as a decision to take one’s physical life can not be laid at the feet of a blocked chakra I suspect that behind the mental and emotional problems that the first chakra, which is responsible for physical survival, is also seriously blocked.

Vedic astrology is unique in its approach to working “with” the planetary energy rather than being a passive victim of the planets.  A challenging time of Saturn can be approached through a variety of ways and many of the remedial techniques correlate to the techniques known to work of the first chakra.

Almost any form of consistent physical exercise will work to offset the negative misunderstanding of the Saturn energy.  Given that yoga relates directly to the energy of the chakras a strong yoga practice will not only unblock and/or balance the first chakra but will help in the practice of meditation which is a practice that is deeply enjoyed by the planet Saturn since Saturn rules truth, detachment and neutrality.  Yoga and meditation will also help one gain mastery over fear which can be a by-product of both Saturn and a blocked first chakra.  Any good yoga teacher should be able to advise on postures which work specifically on the first chakra.

There are specific mantras for Saturn which will help move forward the challenges of Saturn and balance out the first chakra at the same time.  Mantras need to be pronounced correctly and should be chanted only after being taught the proper pronunciation.  However, the mantra for the first chakra is a simple seed sound or bija mantra.  This bija sound is “Lam” with the “a” like a soft “a” as in “ah” – the “m” can be drawn out a bit longer.  This sound can be chanted while one is sitting in meditation or in a sitting forward bend.  The color red corresponds to the first chakra and seeing the color red while meditating or chanting is very helpful.  If fear comes up especially around money and survival concerns take a moment to exhale forcefully from the mouth as that will help to release the negative emotion.

Finally, Saturn at this time is in the sign of Libra which is a good placement.  In the sign of Libra, Saturn is throwing his energy onto the sign of Cancer.  The Moon rules Cancer and the Moon is considered to be the ruler of the “people” and Saturn is the ruler of the “working people.”  During these times and this transit it seems as if all of the problems and challenges are being brought to bear on the regular people of the world. 

Saturn is the planet of delays and is in one of his best signs, Libra, the sign of the scales of justice.  Saturn is always pushing us towards truth, self-empowerment and inner peace. Saturn does not deny – he delays and often brings us more than we even hoped for originally. Now is not the time to give in to the hype, give in to the fear or to crawl into bed with the covers over our heads.  It is a time to believe in ourselves, to stand firm in what we know is right and to empower ourselves both individually and as a community.  It seems dark right now but the planets to keep moving and there are good placements down the road.