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Saturn transit over the Natal Moon

Updated: Feb 13, 2020

Saturn is the most feared planet in astrology. Even a layman understands Saturn as a dreadful planet that causes misery to a man. However, there is a much better and more encouraging philosophical side to Saturn. Not everything has a positive outlook. While I don’t agree with the all-time positive outlook of some modern day astrologers, some things can be really tricky at times and they remain tricky no matter what! In the same vein, some astrological configurations are negative for obvious reasons. One such factor is Saturn’s transit over the natal Moon. In Vedic Astrology, this is known as “Sade Sati,” and it has been in observation and use for thousands of years.

Sade Sati is very popular among the people of India, regardless of whether one is an astrologer or a layman. Sade Sati doesn't fail to catch the attention of Indians which can be a boon for money minters. Chronologically, the Moon has enjoyed very important status in transits according to Indian Astrology. Everyone follows Saturn’s transiting position from their natal Moon. This is the equivalent of the Saturn Return of modern Western Astrology.

Saturn and Moon

Within the field of consciousness, life flows, in other words, changes take place, energy is released in actions and re-actions. This “psyhic energy” which is contained and operates in the field of consciousness within the boundaries of my ego, set symbolically by Saturn is represented astrologically by the Moon. The Moon is that portion of the Sun which is enclosed by Saturn - if such an astronomically peculiar sentence may be allowed. It is that portion of the life energy of the total being which I am aware of as myself, as the conscious ego which I am. Saturn refers to the abstract structure of this ego. The Moon pours into this “psyhic energy” and the result is a conscious entity, a particular living entity. The relation Saturn-Moon is therefore the relation: form-to-energy. [Pg 258 - Astrology of Personality, Dane Rudhyar]. Now, you may have an idea about why I took a different approach in contrast to someone with a Vedic background and work with Saturn transiting the natal Moon.

Field of consciousness is a very important term directly referring to the amount of energy involved. I cannot vouch or force you about my thoughts on this. You may have a different opinion and gladly disagree. I emphasize my own opinion that time is not greater than consciousness. For me, consciousness is God. Someone has indeed created time, and that someone is God, consciousness, just as time and space are one, God and Consciousness are one and the same. Our limitation is time, and we operate within that limitation. Saturn and Moon bring together an energy that molds our inner being with time as a result of multiple experiences within the field of consciousness.

Moon represents the “development of the ability to feel or to respond emotionally. The development of subjectivity, impressionability and sensitivity. The development of what we might call a soul.” [Pg# 107, The Inner Sky by Steven Forrest]. Moon plays a major role in altering the course of the general mentality of a human being. Moon’s position in the chart and its condition talks about the psychological setup of a person and offers unassailable inputs to an astrologer with regards to the personality of a person. Moon rules what we want and Moon also determines the attitude towards what we want which basically makes a person out of us and brings out a character from inside us what is called as “personality”. Astronomically, Moon is a reflector of light. Applying the same philosophy will help us understand that Moon is a major reflector of a person’s personality. Moon reveals the components of a person’s psychological apparatus.

Saturn is a cold planet that is far away from the luminaries which philosophically indicates the condition of being bereft of vision and nourishment. Saturn is associated with all that holds us down, or makes us afraid, and those times in life when we must do something we really don’t want to do. Saturn doesn’t seem to cut us much slack, and when it’s active, we often feel stuck, limited, or held back. [Pg # 10, Spiritual Master, Spiritual Friend, Robert Wilkinson]. Philosophically, Saturn brings in limitations to almost everything. Limitations are not the hurdles to our learning and growth but to what is not needed for us. In our journey of self discovery and liberation, we tend to carry too much that is not sometimes needed for us. Saturn curbs all those unwanted burden from our back and helps us travel swift, light and with wisdom.


To understand the core of what this particular transit offers, we need to understand what a maltreatment is. Maltreatment is a condition of a planet that is struck by a ray of a natural malefic planet which weakens or destroys the condition of a planet and its position. Hence, Saturn’s coming to the natal Moon is basically a maltreatment of Moon even though only one event (Saturn) is current while the other is a relation to the root chart.

Saturn’s transit over the natal Moon is of three stages as it is done in Vedic Astrology:

  • Failure or Uncertainty - Saturn transiting the 12th house from the Moon

  • Self Defence - Saturn transiting the house which is the natal position of the Moon

  • Summoning Resources - Saturn transiting the 2nd house from the Moon

Failure or Uncertainty - Saturn transiting the 12th house from the Moon

Failure or Uncertainty - Saturn transiting the 12th house from the Moon

After enjoying the fruits of Saturn’s position of 11th house from the Moon, a sudden reality check appears. Saturn’s ingress into the 12th house from the Moon indicates the beginning of the 7 ½-year period of intense transit that will bring some transforming experiences to the native's life. It is indeed a sudden change of mood as the native would have been chilling out with Saturn in 11th from the Moon. It is almost like a color motion picture abruptly changing into a black and white motion picture when Saturn enters into the 12th house from the natal Moon. Suddenly, uncertainty glooms over and takes forte like the black cloud cover before the storm.

Oppression takes over and Saturn forces us to realize a lot of usually surprising or shocking things. Moon, as a matter of fact, helps us to visualize only what we want to see in its unchangeable selfish side. Saturn however doesn’t agree with this ideology and forces the issue with the Moon. A lot of what we assumed will disturb our sleep as fear of failure. This period is one where we understand and realize that assumptions and presumptions in life can be dangerous. At some stages, life is driven by our mistakes for which we end up paying a dear price. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

We have to deal with the emotional trouble of letting go of whatever burdens we have. Our heart doesn’t accept burdens at first; but as we pass through this dark tunnel, time teaches us to accept the realities of life. Saturn--time--helps us deal with many things. Awareness is the biggest lesson of this phase of transit. The number of issues and shocks we need to manage at times like these can often consume and fatigue us through emotional and psychological "battle scars". We develop limited vision, and tasks we plan or would like to do pile up. We get interruptions from external surroundings and obligations to others we can't ignore without losing sight of our deadlines. Reputation may be threatened or even destroyed at this time, dealing another psychological blow to our ego before we can begin to rebuild it again.

It is almost as if Saturn is pushing the Moon from behind to face the results of our past actions. The Moon is about our mindset in a nearly pessimistic way. Toward the end of Saturn’s transit through the 12th house from the Moon, some people would almost cross the line of pessimism and reach negativism as a result of the Moon's proximity to the conjunction and Saturn's maltreatment. By accepting defeat at nature's hands, we can maintain sanity since we are not actually losing at anyone's hands, only at the hands of nature or god or consciousness. We can't sugarcoat or compromise or console ourselves after suffering a defeat or a failure from life's uncertainties. This is just part of what we need to confront in ourselves.

Self Defence - Saturn transiting the house which is the natal position of the Moon

Witnessing a storm is far from consoling, and standing at the brink of one as we wait to get washed away is frightening to the core. With the intensity of a storm passing through your own coastal city, Saturn sets foot into the natal house where the Moon is posited to wash out all the negativism in our mind to clean and refresh this house. This is the most intense, tough and crucial period of Saturn's 7 ½-year transit. Saturn leaves us bereft of experiencing any sort of comfort or nourishment generally associated with the Moon, almost as if Saturn is eclipsing the Moon. If we don't realize it, Saturn the task master instills a sense of consistent determinism in our minds and makes us confront the truth. By the time Saturn leaves the 12th house from the Moon, we will know what we need to leave behind. With Saturn sitting on our head, the Moon, we must understand our need to equip ourselves to face the future challenges of life. Saturn's wrath and ruin is a destructive force that will enable us to rediscover and regain ourselves.

In this time of retreat, we need to study, understand and appreciate the philosophies of life and acquire as much dharmic wisdom as possible. Righteousness is the only way of living life. Mental maturity will multiply, and we will have the capacity to foresee any result of a specific choice we are about to make in life. This is self- defence. Accepting and finding ways to learn from life experiences as they come is a major part of our lives while Saturn is conjunct the natal Moon. Grit and determination with less importance and vulnerability to emotional matters will make us stronger.

Developing oneself to meet any given life situation with clarity of thought is a major theme. By now, one should be well-prepared to face disappointments and losses. We will be emotional when a dear one is gone; but we won’t succumb to such a tough situation where we lose ourselves too. We can leave hard feelings behind while moving forward strongly with a positive outlook toward life and memories of dear ones.

We develop wisdom to choose between materialistic and non-materialistic desire during this period. People say we should not crave for material aspects of life; but let us make sure we have enough to eat, pay and sleep. Saturn will help us identify what we need, the major underlying philosophy of this transit.

Understanding is not an intellectual process. Acquiring knowledge about yourself and learning aviit yourself are two different things, for the knowledge you accumulate about yourself is always of the past, and a mind that is burdened with the past is a sorrowful mind. (Pg# 25, Freedowm of the known, K Krishnamurti). Understanding yourself would be a major part of the psychological teachings while transiting Saturn is conjunct the Moon. Toward the end of this period however, the native will have developed enough to know consciously what is left behind is necessary to be left behind.

Summoning Resources - Saturn transiting the 2nd house from the Moon

After intense learning experiences, transiting Saturn lets the native feel a bit freer but limits resource availability in the early stages. Visualising everything on a whole could be a challenge. Natives learn to plan, execute, compartmentalize and break larger targets into smaller ones, assisting us in developing a clear focus toward the long-term goal. Learning these steps helps to make use of available resources at optimum levels.

Our intuition develops during this phase. We sense things brewing behind the scenes and work accordingly. Financial commitments tend to arise among the major issues during this phase. Family needs more of our attention and appreciation. After passing through the Saturn-Moon conjunction period of personal responsibility, commitments and responsibilities to our dear ones, especially family members, command our attention.

Building blocks we have mentally planned slowly become a reality as we start to execute the necessary steps. During this phase, we learn to examine ourselves rather than making comparisons to others. Looking at others will often prevent our own progress. We are all here for unique and varied reasons and are likely to be so tied up during this phase, we might not actually take notice of anyone else.

During different ages

Some people are born when Saturn is in conjunction with the Moon and that will mark the first cycle of Sade Sati period. Some people have the first round during their childhood and it largely puts breaks in studies, health issues may come up but all these are stepping stones for the young kid of step into the next phase of life. This is also the phase when lose our grandparents. Probably, the first time we see death and understand what it is. It is an important learning.

The second round comes when we are in the middle ages and that is a phase we need to approach positively because this could be a phase that determines who we are. We set out to become who we are. We fulfill the majority of our life's purpose during this phase. We move on to become better human beings by paying attention to spirituality and human values of greater truth. This is usually a period when might lose our parents. There is no Saturn - Moon period without emotional suffering and it is an integral part of learning the real life situations.

The third round comes when we are old and this brings a gradual downfall in our health and makes it extremely easier in dealing with the detachment of the materialistic aspects of life. This is also a phase where we lose our own physical being on this planet and make way to the heavens!

Nativity of Leonardo DiCaprio

Again, I am taking up my favorite example chart which is of Hollywood actor, Leonardo DiCaprio. In the year 2009-10, Leonardo DiCaprio worked in the movie, Shutter Island (2010) which is a brain teasing mystery thriller directed by Martin Scorsese. We don’t know how the real life experience during that particular time was. But, I have noticed that the astrological symbolisms of actors’ chart show up in the kind of roles that portray.

Inner wheel - Natal chart, Outer wheel - Transit

DiCaprio’s Moon is posited in Virgo which is the first house. Transit Saturn was towards the end of Leo in 2009, closing in on the natal Moon (placed in Virgo) and it is almost as if Saturn was pushing the native to push beyond his boundaries in acting. DiCaprio played the role of a US Marshall, teddy Daniels who investigates the missing case of a specific patient in a psychiatric facility. Marshall Teddy Daniels’ own sanity comes under question at one stage which indicates a perfect condition of Saturn conjunct the Moon. Depression consumes the native during that period and DiCaprio was consumed by a specific scenario in that movie. It is amazing as to how the roles of actors correlate with real life astrological positions.


In the subconscious, we are so attached to our commitments and responsibilities which help us remain focused as the attention to our responsibilities is a simultaneous activity in life. All these are part of our karmic deeds. During this period, we have a sense of satisfaction even after doing a very small thing, especially to others. Anxiety and depression are long gone as we are mature enough and conscious enough to understand that the road ahead is smooth as we are building a solid future from a spiritual and a humanistic point of view. Saturn transforms us to become the right kind of human being and experience spirituality. Having such awareness is like making Saturn a friend to us which is what Robert Wilkinson talks about in his book, (Spiritual Master, Spiritual Friend). If we understand Saturn, we understand ourselves and we are in a much better position to accept the realities of life even if it is difficult. So, instead of having a positive outlook on negative things, suffering and living through will give a sense of achievement, satisfaction and higher learning. Accepting the negative scenarios of life is itself a positive outlook. Embrace the pain and you will learn the art of succeeding as a human being in this modern world of eternal struggle.

Let peace prevail!


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© Aswin Balaji Subramanyan 2019

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