That's especially true of Saturn, I've come to realize. Simply put, whatever it touches in the horoscope tends to reach true potential only after years of struggle and maturation. One way or another, for better or worse, Saturn's full effects unfold very s-l-o-w-l-y.
This doesn't mean that Saturn can't lead to remarkable achievements early on, because it sometimes can — like the person with Saturn conjunct Mercury who shows signs of intellectual genius from a young age. But even in these cases, we'll tend to see enormous hard work and effort being applied, or that early brilliance will ripen into something deeper and different as the years progress. Either way, it's an expression of the gradual dynamic characterizing this planet. In a way, it goes back to some of the very things we normally dislike about this planet: hard work, struggle, recurring obstacles, and so forth.
By way of contrast, whatever Jupiter touches tends to indicate where things come relatively easily and flow more naturally. Saturn is not like that. Whatever it touches is where you usually have to work hard for whatever you get, and you can face major hurdles just to reach "the finish line. No small matter. In this article, we'll explore how the late-bloomer influence of Saturn can affect the other planets in one's horoscope.
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As far as aspects are concerned, it goes without saying that the stressful contacts to Saturn square, opposition, and often the conjunction are the most challenging of all, yet they also increase the potential for failure or success in those areas. That's especially true of the conjunction, which seems to bring out both the best and the worst in Saturn at once. What I'll be laying out here are primarily best-case scenarios, showing what can result if a person learns to channel these energies in the most constructive way possible. Whether someone actually chooses to go that route is difficult to say, since it hinges on many things, but we can do our best as astrologers to encourage that possibility.
I call this connection the struggle to shine. The Sun in the horoscope symbolizes our essential identity and the impulse to express that character before the world. When Saturn is closely involved with the Sun, it makes for a more strenuous effort in forging our public or professional identity, or in gaining respect for that creative light. We may feel blocked in that effort, as though we're standing in the shadow of others, whether that be a prominent or powerful parent, more successful peers or co-workers, or even an intimidating boss.
The silver lining here is that that sense of frustration compels us to work that much harder to "prove" ourselves and step out from behind those long shadows toward greater respect. Remember, there's almost always a strong element of "compensation" involved with Saturn: Whatever it touches can be where we feel somehow inadequate or even inferior, and we are prompted to struggle even harder to make up for it. It's like the old Avis car rental commercial from years back, when the company was trying to compete with Hertz: "We try harder!
A classic example of this dynamic is Beatle George Harrison, who had the Sun and Saturn squaring one another. He often hinted at the frustrations of being in the shadow of both John and Paul, but he eventually achieved acclaim not only for songs like "Something" called by Frank Sinatra one of the greatest songs ever written , but also for solo albums like All Things Must Pass.
In a fitting synchronistic touch, the name of his own record label was Dark Horse! A similar example can be seen in Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards, who was born with an opposition between Saturn and the Sun, and who worked for decades in the shadow of his extraverted bandmate, Mick Jagger a Leo. In recent years, though, Richards has gained increasing attention for his work, not only as a solo artist but through the success of his autobiography, A Life. This one can be called the struggle to relate. Whereas the Sun is more professional and public in its expression, the Moon is more private and personal in tone, manifesting largely through emotional connections with friends, family, or partners.
When the Moon comes into close contact with Saturn, the result can be serious inhibitions or blockages in forging emotional bonds, as well as in receiving nurturance from others. This is arguably the most difficult of all Saturn combinations, yet even here there is much room for improvement.
For example, the sheer pain of dealing with this energy early on sometimes causes the person to eventually work through those emotional blocks using therapeutic methods or spiritual work of some kind, or through channeling those energies into some symbolically meaningful avenue.
Consider my female client who suffered terribly as a result of being adopted into an unloving family, but she later vowed to make up for it by showering her own children and grandchildren with affection, working hard to become in her words a "model parent. Sometimes food can be the pivotal symbol reflecting the energies of the Moon. One client spoke about being homeless and near starvation at times during his childhood, which compelled him as an adult to enroll in cooking classes at a culinary school.
He eventually became a master chef in a major restaurant, where he now donates a certain amount of left over food to down-and-out people at a homeless shelter. He has Saturn opposing his Moon.
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I've noticed that a surprising number of my creatively gifted clients also have a marked Saturn—Moon connection in their horoscope. I suspect some of that may be due to the insecurity this pattern brings, which causes them to seek out public approval in later years. Perhaps they felt starved for attention early on, and now they're going to try to get "fed" by the world in other ways. Another possibility is that the Saturn—Moon energy has the effect of drawing these individuals inward in ways that prove useful for their creative work or reflection.
And over the long run, the sheer frustrations brought on by this pattern early in life can become so pent-up that these people really have to find an outlet of some sort later on, simply to keep a grip on their sanity. As one musician who has this aspect said to me, during his childhood he felt as though his emotions were completely bottled up, but when he writes or performs music nowadays, it's like a cork is being taken out of the bottle and its contents being released into the open air.
This one might be called the struggle to communicate. I know of no better story to illustrate this combination than the life of legendary Greek orator Demosthenes. According to Plutarch, Demosthenes experienced great difficulty speaking publicly while young, because of both a speech impediment and breathing difficulties, which caused him to talk in staggered, clipped sentences.
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But in classic late-bloomer style, he tackled this problem by working on his diction and projection, using such unorthodox means as speaking with stones in his mouth and shouting into the surf. The end result was that he became what some regarded as history's greatest orator.
One doesn't get much more Saturn—Mercury than that! The "sleeping prophet" Edgar Cayce had Saturn and Mercury conjunct when he was born, and his talents as a medium and metaphysical teacher unfolded relatively late in life. Individuals with this planetary combination frequently have the potential to become profound thinkers, with an ability to reflect deeply on life's big questions.
Yet, strangely, even with the so-called harmonious aspects, these people often suffer from a deep sense of inferiority about their communication skills or even their intelligence. Because of their slow and deliberate way of pondering problems, perhaps, they can mistake their own slowness for stupidity — and occasionally, others do, too. Albert Einstein also had Mercury conjunct Saturn and was thought to be mentally slow as a child. We all know how that one turned out.
As a way to compensate for that sense of inadequacy, these individuals can work hard to "bootstrap" their way up into intellectual respectability, often through self-education and extensive reading. Abraham Lincoln had Saturn square his Mercury and rode this energy all the way from a log cabin in Kentucky to the presidency of the United States, studying books every step of the way. I call this one the struggle to love. Saturn—Venus connections are notorious for creating roadblocks in someone's romantic life, and though that's often true, this combination can also lead to lasting partnerships, while also conferring a much deeper understanding of love than most will ever know.
When Saturn—Venus people finally do discover love, they taste it with a richness that can be truly profound. I sometimes call this pairing the "ugly duckling" aspect, because of how it affects a person's experience of their own beauty over time.
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Venus has much to do with personal charm: How refined and ingratiating are you when dealing with others? How alluring do you appear to the world? The answers to these questions hinge to a great degree on the condition of your Venus. When Saturn is involved with Venus, it can therefore make people with this pairing feel gawky or insecure about their attractiveness early on, even to the point of feeling ugly or coarse especially in the case of the hard aspects.
Though they sometimes present an aloof front to the world, inwardly they may be feeling like an outcast, someone who has been "left out. But as these individuals mature and learn to break out from their shell, they become far more comfortable in their own skin, and others start seeing them differently, too. Think here of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady and the work that went into making her a "proper" lady. Or consider the real-life case of Princess Diana, who had a trine between these planets and ripened from a skinny, shy girl into a symbol of glamour in her final years.
Having a late-bloomer chart doesn't necessarily guarantee longevity, by the way! It's always proportional to the life you do live, whether that be to age 9 or When it comes to money, the late-bloomer side of Saturn—Venus can manifest as the "rags to riches" syndrome, where a person goes from relative scarcity to considerable affluence later in life. The Sky Priestess Consulting Agency.
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