For those of us familiar with Astrology, when we hear about the planet Saturn, we shudder and change the subject, thinking back to our Saturn Return at 28-30, or similar times in our lives in which we were forced to grow up, take responsibility, or were tested in some way that was crushing at first, yet liberating and rewarding in hindsight.

Saturn is the planet of hard knocks in the school of life, but is also the planet of reward should we perform our duties well. Should we shirk them, try and escape or hide, Saturn will come along and shake us up again, later, until we finally learn what we came here to learn. Saturn is the planet of Karma, and as we all know, there’s no escaping that.

I used to hate Saturn, as my Vedic (Eastern) ruling planet of my birth chart, and as a main player in my Western chart. Of course, I still struggle with Saturn – we all do – but luckily, I have the gift of perspective that everything, everything is a lesson. And that is what Saturn loves. He wants you to take responsibility, and can create quite a bit of resistance in the area of life he tests us in, until we learn to release and let go.

Saturn has just shifted into the sign of Sagittarius, and with that, into a new area of your birth chart. Lessons or themes that may have been quite prominent in the last few years, will now shift into new areas, for the next 2-3 years.

If you know your rising sign (your Ascendant), these are the areas in life in which Saturn will test you, possibly limit you, but also create much needed change – and better if you know the houses that Saturn rules, these are areas that will additionally be affected :

(**NB this is not the whole picture, as there are many other factors that can make this period easier, or more challenging. For best effect, I suggest a comprehensive birth chart reading or get yours here to see your Rising sign).

Aries | 9th house

Saturn loves the 9th house, and he is in an element friendly to Aries – Fire – so this could be the year that the Aries Ascendant decides to travel to faraway places, or pick up studies again. The 9th house represents our spiritual beliefs, so this is a time in which we will get tested in this regard, and begin to really define what we believe in – it can be a time in which we shed all limitations, especially in the spiritual arena and begin the trust the guru within. And remember, these lessons may not be easy, in the true spirit of Saturn. We’ll have to learn to work within the limits that Saturn gives us in this area, and allow him to narrow our focus. This may also be the year in which we decide to write, and get published, for those of us inclined to literary pursuits. the 9th house wants  us to expand our horizons, and Saturn tends to limit, so pick your path – and stick to it.

Taurus | 8th house

Taurean Ascendants, who so love security, will be tested in the areas of partnership over the next 2/3 years. These tests & limitations will come in the form of any joint resources you share with your partner, be in money, property or a business. It can also be your business partner that these areas of limitations & testing come in. The 8th house, in traditional astrology, has nothing to do with sex, simply the power aspect that sex may bring into your relationship dynamic. Therefore, you can expect this period to bring up any imbalances in this, or other areas of your life. The best way to use Saturn here is to ensure power is shared, that resources are fairly distributed, and to allow self transformation. Sometimes, as the house of death, we can encounter endings of sorts over this time, making way for new beginnings.

Gemini | 7th house

When Saturn transits the angular (strong) 7th house of committed relationships, marriage, open enemies and all one on one relationships, we can expect a complete re-evaluation of our relationships. Here is where Saturn will put us through the grinder, and ask us to look at whether our needs are being met, whether we wish to commit further, or cut our losses and find greener pastures. Relationships that are past their sell by date inevitably end sometimes during this time, or just after, and if we are wise, we leave while the going is good instead of allowing further rot. However, this can also a time of new beginnings, often the start of a fated relationship, or getting married at last. Whatever it is, make sure you are seeing the reality of your relationship and making decisions that serve your authentic self.

Cancer | 6th house

The 6th house is traditionally the house of hard work, the work we do daily to survive – not the glittering career we aspire to, but the slog we do to get there. It is also the house of illness brought on by hard work or stress, and the house of servitude. People with a Cancer ASC can expect to work very hard during this time, to the point of workholism, putting great stress upon their bodies. I ask that you work with care. Saturn could bring in more slog, or even illness to test your fortitude and strength during this time, and to teach you to slow down and nourish yourself. Get the check ups. Delegate the work. Go gently.

Leo | 5th house

The 5th house is the house of play, creativity & light romance. Saturn tends to make everything a little more glum in the house of fun. Saturn can also bring a more committed relationship, with someone older, or someone who is a teacher in some way. This is a time to put structure to your art, whatever it may be, rather than allow the free flow. You may feel quite blocked creatively – this is the transit for the proverbial writer’s block – and although it could seem painful, everything is cyclical, so it is important to allow the winter fallow and be ready for the spring when it arrives. These blocks may also extend to your sexual expression & self expression, so it becomes important to work through any issues in this regard.  You might not feel much like dancing or being social, but that’s ok. Get serious. Work hard. Give up drinking, if needs be, and don’t hold yourself to account for it.

Virgo | 4th house

The 4th house in Astrology is an angular house, which means it’s a house with a great deal of strength and tends to make things happen. The 4th house is your home, your family, where your roots are and the past. It is the house of the father, the ancestors and the house of the subconscious. When Saturn transits the 4th house, we can expect a change of home, a big move in some way. Perhaps someone will move in with you, or you them, or you may relocate. Your father could feature in your life in some way, for good or ill, and lessons learnt in the 4th may be rather challenging. We are expected to take charge & responsibility in some way within our families and learn deep lessons thereof. In this house, we have to be open to the changes and allow ourselves to let go of the past, let it be a teacher. We have to allow any painful experiences to pass over and through us, and let them transform us.

Libra | 3rd house

The 3rd house is the house of communication and words, of short trips and our close environments, our community and our goals, our drives. Saturn transiting this house would create some restriction in how we make ourselves heard, what we say, how we speak. It will lend seriousness and gravity to our words, and perhaps allow us to begin thinking of writing a book, a course, or even teaching. Saturn here will make us want to stay close to home, work hard on our goals in life, and achieve our desires. This is not an easy process, and we can expect plenty of obstacles on the way but if we persist, we win. Saturn here may also test our relationships with siblings, so it becomes important to approach conflict with a balanced and mature attitude.

Scorpio | 2nd house

The 2nd house is everything to do with our own resources, as opposed to the 8th house, which is others’ resources. It is the house of self worth, and sometimes our diet and what we eat. Subsequently, we can expect a tightening of finances and our material situation to be restrictive in some way. The lesson to learn, is to become responsible in how we deal with our finances – perhaps we have been spendthrifts and our reckoning has come, Ultimately, Saturn will teach us the art of clever budgeting and that our self worth, our value, is not synonymous with what we have in the bank. Saturn can also test our self esteem over this time, and at times we may sink into feelings of worthlessness, where we are challenged to pull ourselves out and see our true selves – not the selves we base on what we own.

Sagittarius | 1st house

Wild, free Sagittarian Ascendants can expect to have to become much more responsible than they would like over these next few years. This is a crucial period, a brand new cycle that has started, and in this house of personal identity, we may feel as if the ropes are tightening around us, limiting our self expression, and at times, it may feel oh so heavy, being this responsible. But if we allow Saturn to do his job, we may step into prominence and become “someone” in the world, of stature, and some importance as well as allowing ourselves to become a fully mature individual. This house of the physical body could also affect us on this level, pushing us to train harder than we are used to, take our bodies to the limits. This is not advisable under this transit, and I would encourage you to stop, take a deep breath and rest where needed. We may push ourselves further than we need to.

Capricorn | 12th house

The 12th house is traditionally the house of sacrifice, sorrow, self undoing and spiritual solutions through crisis. It is the house of hidden and unconscious behaviors that ultimately sabotage us or, if realized, are our salvation. During this period, it will be important to rest and lay low, to go inside and to allow anything that no longer serves to die, to make space for the new. This is the house of potential transcendence, the house that we can use to completely transform or drown. We may feel called to do spiritual work, or to work deeply inside our inner worlds, to dream. We may also push ourselves toward destruction so it becomes important to maintain consciousness during this time. This is also a time in which to learn to make sacrifices for what we deem important later down the line, and the lessons thereof may be rather challenging. Make peace with the sacrifices and see the rewards that will ultimately come of that.

Aquarius | 11th house

Saturn transiting through the house of dreams, ideals, wishes, friends, and what we get out of our careers, creates a solidification in these areas of life, and some challenge. We are pushed to create the life we want, through hard work, and patience. Goals aimed for now, need to be worked diligently towards and any idealism to be replaced by realism. We may find our friends circle become a little smaller, or that we welcome in friends who teach us, or are older than us. We become serious about the people we associate with, and join groups that mean something to us, authentically. Sometimes this transit can bring a pay cut in some way, or issues with our salaries that teach us to be thriftier. We can also expect lessons around learning to receive in general, especially when it comes to love. Old lessons around loving ourselves can rear their head and it can be quite painful to work through, although work we must.

Pisces | 10th house

In this last, angular house of the astrological places, career changes are paramount. Saturn as the planet of authority has a resonance with this house of career and what we stand out for in the world. We can expect a change of career, which shoots us into prominence or teaches us important career lessons that ultimately mature us. These changes can often happen in the job we are currently doing, and we may find ourselves in a position of great authority. We may feel quite resistant to the change, and may struggle against the flow but need to ultimately surrender to life, and trust that we are being borne to our true destiny, in which what we DO matches who we really ARE.