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Saturn is the second largest planet of the Solar System. It is the planet most distant from the Sun which can still be seen on the sky with the naked eye, and it moves slower than all other visible planets. Saturn takes 29 1/2 years to circle the Sun, its fastest diurnal movement is 7.1 minutes of arc, with an average of 2 minutes of arc.Astronomy

The most striking feature of Saturn are its rings which are composed of lumps of rock and ice of various sizes. They turn any observation of Saturn through a telescope into an impressive spectacle.

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Intepretation

Saturn, the last planet of our solar system visible to the naked eye, has long been thought of as the “Guardian of the Threshold”.

It is the symbol for limitations and as “Ruler of Time” stands for both the end of time and infinity because it is no longer subject to the laws of time itself.

Saturn and Jupiter are classified as social planets. It makes individuals aware of the restrictions under which they must live as part of a wider society.

Saturn is therefore the symbol for the rules in society which are designed to uphold law and order – as opposed to the aspect of justice in the law symbolised by Jupiter.

Saturn embodies the principle of concentration, i.e. the concentration on what is essential, the essence of things. In this respect, it is opposed to Jupiter which embodies the principle of expansion.

As the principle which supports structure, Saturn gives support and stability. It embodies the material world, in contrast to the three outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto which stand for the spiritual realm.

Saturn takes on average 2 1/2 years to pass through one sign of the zodiac (8 Human Design Hexagrams or Gates), which means that all those born during this period have Saturn in the same sign.

Saturn’s house position and aspects indicate where and how a person is likely to have difficulties and feel inhibited, insecure or possibly trapped. It takes time and hard work for an individual to overcome these and further their personal development, and it is precisely because Saturn continually confronts us with new challenges to overcome that a person can master these areas of life.

This process usually becomes easier after the first Saturn return which occurs at around 30 years of age when transiting Saturn makes its first conjunction with Saturn in the natal human Design birth chart.

This Saturn Return transit is considered to mark an important stage on the path to personal maturity.

Saturn transits indicate a slowing down, a concentration on what is essential. They force an individual to mature and take on responsibility. They usually indicate times of hard work but also the fruits of this hard labour.

Even though Saturn brings hard lessons in life, it gives great potential to those who are willing to submit to its demands. Its motto is patience and the willingness to work hard.

These can help a person to achieve great personal insight and inner freedom. The pain that often accompanies such processes can be a catalyst that impels an individual to persevere.

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Mythology

Cronos (Latin Saturn) was the youngest of the first generation of Titans and leader of the gods before Zeus. Encouraged by his mother Gaia, he deposed and castrated his father Uranos because Uranos hated the children she bore him and imprisoned them in Tartarus. In order to prevent the same thing recurring with his own children, Saturn devoured his own offspring immediately after they were born. Only Zeus, his youngest, managed to escape this fate with the aid of Cronos’ wife Rhea.

And Zeus did indeed later rise up to avenge his siblings and deposed and castrated his own father. The defeated Cronos was banished to the underworld although Zeus soon took pity on him. He forgave Cronos and sent him to the island of the blessed in the Western Ocean where an older and wiser Cronos was ruler of the Golden Age. He did not become involved in the battles of the Olympian gods; his kingdom, like the cycle of Saturn in the sky, was peaceful and leisurely.

Cronos’ contemplative, peaceful characteristics equate with Saturn, who was originally the god of agriculture in ancient Italy. He was also a wise teacher who acquainted humans with the achievements of civilisation and showed them how to cultivate the land. Every year in the middle of December, the Romans commemorated Saturn with a feast called the Saturnalia, during which all the usual roles were reversed and masters had to serve the slaves in their own houses.

Saturn has 60 Moons. The largest are indicated here:

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