IN an ancient book of instructions, a neophyte is warned that his feet will be washed in the blood of his heart before his soul can stand before the Holy Masters. It is for this reason that the path of occultism is strewn with many wrecks. If the candidate hopes to succeed, the hierophant instructs him to kill ambition, as well as desire of life and comfort. But it is difficult to do so. In doing so, his entire personality would dissolve. He will have to confront humiliation at every step and all attachments and possessions will have to be abandoned. Before the self attains liberation, all garments must be cast away. The basemetal must be transformed into pure gold. The occultist tries to reach this goal swiftly whereas a householder will slowly and gradually reach it. But everyone will ultimately come Home, and so will have to pass the test.
In this uphill task, the significance of Saturn is immense. This is the most dreaded planet. So is the path of occultism. This planet whether for the good, or for the bad, is very powerful and effective. Similar is the working of the laws of occultism. When an occultist succeeds, he attains the glorious heights; when he fails, he reaches the abysmal depths, similar to the impact of Saturn. An understanding of the esoteric significance of Saturn helps an individual not only to overcome the difficulties of everyday life, but also to enable him to grow to his full stature.
The late Prof. B. Suryanarain Rao, a present day authority on astrology, described Saturn as "base, cruel, vindictive and lazy", whereas the ancients called it Suryaputra, a son of Sun, the Soul of the Universe.
In predictive astrology, Saturn signifies sorrow, misery and misfortune despite having been taught and trained by Jupiter, the teacher of the gods and the most benefic planet. One cannot hypothesize that the karma of Surya (the Sun) was so bad as to beget such a worthless progeny who is dreaded by all, or that Jupiter was such an incompetent teacher that he could not bestow goodness to this planet. The anomaly can be cleared by examining the special characteristics of this mighty planet. An adept once stated that the best way to test a disciple was to give Dwellers at the Threshold carte blanche with the object of drawing out his whole inner nature, the nooks and corners which would remain in the dark but for the opportunity afforded by the test. Astrologers are fully aware of the tribulations caused by the influence of Saturn and how it draws out the inner strength of the man to work out his past Karma. It is well known that the individual under the impact of this planet is raised to great heights and then left dangling in the air as if the ladder is taken off his feet! That is very much like the testing the Adept spoke of. If that is the function of Saturn, then, it is in fact, the greatest benefactor of humanity. Saturn helps to'bring the person concerned closer to the goal of his life.
The most unique feature of the physical Saturn is a series of three flat and concentric rings each nearly parallel on the same plane as its equator. When Galileo, in 1610, viewed the rings of Saturn with his primitive telescope, he could not decipher the rings and felt that the planet had a small attendant on either side. About fifty years later, in 1666, Christian Huygens discovered the structure of the rings, which is meteoric in character. James Clerk Maxwell later on indicated that those rings could not be liquid or solid in character for such rings would be unstable. In 1905, W. H. Picking brought to light nine satellites of Saturn, all outside its rings but five of them could be considered as a class by themselves. In 1933, W. T. Hay discovered a very conspicuous bright spot near the equator. Many astronomers presently feel that what we see of Saturn is not a solid surface but a layer of cloud-like or vaporous matter, the mean density of which is less then that of any other major planet and that it has the unique feature of being girdled by three concentric circles.
In predictive astrology, Saturn has been assigned a tall body with eyes of a reddish brown colour, large teeth and stiff hair and limbs. Its constitution is characterised by phlegm and wind. It is the leader of Sudra community. Of the metals, iron is ascribed to it; among the places, it has the hillocks, heaps of rubbish and such neglected regions. In apparel, it governs rags and torn clothes. Saturn is called Kona, Manda and along with Mars has darkness as its distinguishing feature. Mercury and Saturn are considered eunuchs.
Saturn owns Capricorn and Aquarius, both watery in nature; it is exalted in Libra, the balance, and debilitated in Aries, the house of fiery Mars. Friendly with Venus, the planet of creativity, and with Mercury, the swift footed messenger of heavens and activiser of mind, Saturn is indifferent to Jupiter, the teacher of the devas, and is opposed to the Sun, Mars and the Moon.
Each planet imparts its basic characteristics to the nature of the house to which it is related, the judgement of which involves not only knowledge of the basic rules but an integral view of the entire horoscope and an intuitive perception of the influences generated. While judging the 1st house, need for clution is great. It is through this house that the Universal Consciousness, of which the various planets are the visual symbols is linked with the individual soul and marks the sojourn of his present incarnation. While predicting the influence of Saturn, it is necessary that the nature of Lagna, disposition of Saturn and the general strength of the horoscope are taken into account. Generally speaking, Saturn in Lagna has a great influence on the life and prosperity of the individual. Whatever the course of life, if Saturn is in the 1st house, the present incarnation of the individual is going to be very momentous from the standpoint of his soul. To an ordinary ego, such a placement makes him 'base, evil-natured, unscrupulous, material-minded, inclined to adultery specially among low type of women, fond of alcoholic and intoxicating drinks. The immersion in material conditions, Pravritti Marg, will be the grossest under this condition after which the soul will have the opportunity to reflect on the futility of such sense indulgences. The purpose of Saturn is to make the individual feel the futility of material attainments, Bhoga Samagris, so that the attention of the ego and with it that of the personality is directed Homeward. The futility of human endeavours, deep reflection and meditation, the great sense of frustration and the feeling of crucifixion have the main purpose of turning the individual efforts towards
Home i.e., Sunward. There is nothing farther than Saturn that an ego can go in the present scheme of life and Saturn marks the farthest point, the bottom so to say, from which the beginning of the Nvritti Marg, the path of renunciation, must begin.
In the 2nd house, Saturn may produce loss of landed property and wealth, impediments to speech and depressing conversation. In the 3rd house, there could be loss of brothers. In the 4th representing mother, home, education, and emotional satisfaction, Saturn may produce loss of mother, break in education, gloomy ring round the astral body leading to incestuous relationships and under this situation the person may be driven from one home to another, from one country to another.
Creative faculties of the individual, physical and intellectual, will be considerably inhibited by a weak and ill-disposed Saturn in the 5th house. In the 6th, Saturn makes the individual foeless but he may have complicated diseases. In the house of marriage, Saturn vitiates the marital felicity and creates complications. In the 8th house, it gives diseases like consumption and asthma which have their origin in suppression of emotions and feelings. In the 9th house, Saturn may make the individual interested in occult subjects but he may have to put on torn clothes, old garments and rags. In the 10th house, the person may attain a high status and his career may go to dizzy heights but sooner or later, he will be seriously humiliated and disgraced. Under favourable circumstances, the placement of Saturn in the 10th would enable the person to bathe in holy rivers, he may even give up his country and take Sanyasa and may become the head of a religious institution. In the 11th house, the person may become exceedingly rich and enjoy great political respect but he may have breaks in education, and will have no elder brothers or paternal uncles and good vehicles. Saturn in the 12th makes the individual skilful in arts but with defective limbs; he may have money but will use them for evil purposes.
Among the several yogas associated with Saturn, the most important are those that make the horoscopee an ascetic. Varahamihira states that "if the lord of the sign occupied by the Moon having no aspect of other planets on itself aspects Saturn, or if Saturn aspects the lord of the sign occupied by the Moon devoid of strength, the person thus born becomes an ascetic. When the Moon occupies a decante of Saturn or is aspected by that planet, the Yoga leads to renunciation of the world. The same is the case when the Moon occupying a navamsa of Saturn or Mars is aspected by Saturn. In this yoga it may be noted that the affliction of the Moon, the planet of emotion and psychic experience by Saturn influences the person to take a detached and renunciatory attitude to worldly things.
In another yoga, it is stated that "when Jupiter,Moon and Lagan are aspected by Saturn and Jupiter occupies the 9th house, the person born in the Rajayoga will become a holy illustrious founder of a system of philosophy. When Saturn occupies the 9th house and is not aspected by any planet, the person possessed of Rajayoga will take himself to the holy order before becoming a lord of men". In this yoga one may see the relationship between Saturn and the 9th house which would enable the person to be vitally charged with spiritual force but of a unique character. Usually under the influence of Saturn one does not follow any set discipline or holy order ; he propounds his own by renouncing all that is already established.
In the case of Herr Hitler (Chart No. 1.), Saturn is posited in the 10th house unaspected by any planet except Mars and the lord of 10th is associated with Jupiter posited in its own house. Hitler rose to dizzy heights, became a conqueror of vast empires but in the end the ladder was removed from his feet. Hitler had no personal attachments, he was unaffected by the vice of sex and had become a great ascetic in many ways. Excepting that he directed all his feelings and emotions (4th house , matters) for his own imagined goal ,f (10th house affairs) and for that he perpetrated heinous crimes, he was an exceptional personality and in many ways exemplified how a Saturnian individual unless well disciplined in the spirit of the Bhagavad Gita would end his life.
Dr. B. V. Raman (Chart No. 2), the internationally reputed author and editor of The Astrological Magazine, has the powerful influence of Saturn but of an entirely different sort. Saturn in this case is posited in the
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