The Greater Malefic: Why Saturn Is The Trickiest Planet In Your Astrological Chart

Your astrological chart is filled with an array of indications when it comes to your values, your personality, the things that garner your attraction, and so much more. Each element within your birth chart serves to tell you something new about yourself by challenging you to seek perspective and personal growth, or to point you in the direction of opportunities to strengthen the lessons you're meant to embrace. For the most part, an astrological birth chart is pretty straightforward and it's pretty easy to discern the representations of your sun sign, moon sign, and the placements of your planetary alignments within the zodiac. Standing out from the rest, though, there is one planet that is a tad trickier to get a grasp on than the others. That planet is the ringed planet Saturn, the farthest planet that remains visible to us here on Earth. 

Enter Saturn as the Greater Malefic, a competition which it has won against competitor Mars. Together, Saturn and Mars make up the astrological malefic duo, the two planets traditionally believed to bring about the least favorable influence and cause the most powerful destruction. For Saturn to take the honor of being the Greater Malefic of the two, there's something to be said for the prolific nature of the ringed planet and its ability to disrupt other elements in your life when it comes into play within your birth chart. Here's why Saturn is the Greater Malefic and how to decipher the disruptive planet's often difficult lessons.

Saturn as a planet of darkness

Understanding Saturn is a tricky feat, but is made clearer through its associations and the comprehension of why they are of such significance. According to Satya Astrology, Saturn is astrologically synonymous with melancholic discomfort in dreaded self-introspection, and a general indication of dark isolation. With a dreary atmosphere that's cold, dry, and lacking colorful vibrancy in comparison with the other planets given its lengthy distance from the light of the sun, the ringed planet is an astrological representation of being alone and, moreover, the experience of loneliness. Often correlated with themes of mortal limits and the inevitability of death, these concepts tend to provoke the recipient of Saturn's teachings to withdraw in self-denial and succumb to the very loneliness which is so frequently dreaded when approaching topics related to the planet with little light.

Don't let Saturn fool you, though. To a wise, discerning recipient, Saturn presents within your birth chart the challenge of finding that smallest sliver of light and with it comes valuable lessons that aren't quite as dreadfully lonely as they might appear on the surface. As Saturn rules over Capricorn and Aquarius, it serves as a reminder of limited time which tends to clash with Capricorn's impatience and inherent urge to seek new horizons. The lessons which Saturn imparts are intense, but it is up to the recipient if they choose to accept the gifts of the Greater Malefic as intensely dreadful and lonely, or as intensely deep and impactful.

The lessons Saturn places in front of you

Saturn can be considered the planetary version of being an anti-Robinhood, wherein Saturn's influence on mortality does not differentiate between the rich and poor, nor does Saturn discriminate amongst any two demographics. Saturn has long been depicted as a scythe-wielding figure not dissimilar to the Grim Reaper, with the Latin phrase "memento mori" ("remember death") termed a saturnine notion, per Satya Astrology. Realizing that Saturn has long been associated with the taking of life and definitive endings, it's quite understandable why truth seekers have traditionally dreaded the lessons imparted by the Greater Malefic, for the recipient seemingly loses all agency, autonomy, and freedom of choice. For the same reasons, Saturn is frequently the trickiest of planets to understand within a given birth chart because it doesn't necessarily signify the ultimatum of physical death. 

The Greater Malefic planet is equally as indicative as Father Time and a reminder of the limited span each of us is provided to be alive. This is where a discerning and dignified eye can find the challenge Saturn presents to each of us within our respective birth charts. Recall that Saturn rules over Capricorn and Aquarius, both strong zodiac signs that certainly don't hold back in living life to the maximum extent possible, states Reader's Digest. Whether or not you're already familiar with these two zodiac signs, conceptualizing their meanings within Saturn's governance is uniquely influential.

Capricorn challenges the depth of time

To clarify the nature of Saturn in your astrological chart, it's important to know which zodiac sign falls within Saturn's realm of your chart while understanding the traits of Capricorn and Aquarius, the two zodiac signs which span the winter solstice and the coldest time of the year, capitalizing on the energy and atmosphere of their planetary ruler. Capricorn, an earth sign which is constantly in search of new horizons and adventures, pairs with Saturn's teachings to provide a reminder that we must make the most of exploring new opportunities, places, and relationships while we are granted our limited time on Earth. 

Today reports on Capricorn's attributes, describing the sign as an explorer who may appear to be overly spontaneous on the surface but is actually very meticulous and deliberate by nature. The way Capricorn is seen as being one way to the undiscerning eye and a completely different way to a dignified audience is not unlike the Greater Malefic planet which rules over the zodiac sign that holds within its designation the celebration of New Year's. As one year comes to an end and another year begins, it is up to the recipient to decide which way they will lean in their view of both Capricorn and its saturnine governor. Applying a deeper consideration from another angle, Saturn is about balance in that life cannot exist without death, just like the new year can't begin without the previous year ending within Capricorn's dimensions.

The altruism of Aquarius is invaluable under Saturn's rule

Once the new year has commenced, Capricorn hands the reins over to air sign Aquarius, under dual rule by Saturn and Uranus, according to Today. Where Aquarius is likely to clash with Saturn is in its foundational trait of being fiercely independent, and concurrently clashes with Capricorn in its impulsive tendencies. Conversely, Aquarius upholds the depth of Saturn's significance in its altruistic, humanitarian attributes which are focused on helping others while under Father Time's clock on Earth. Applying the conceptual connections between Aquarius and Saturn to your astrological chart, borrow the unique determination and captivating ability of connection with others from Aquarius to extend the saturnine lessons into your own life.

Within Aquarius is an inherent selflessness and ability to maximize opportunities to fulfill one's potential for loving and providing for the needs of others, which are borrowed gifts bestowed alongside the borrowed time granted by Saturn's representation of Father Time, as described by Astroyogi. To similarly maximize Saturn's presence in your astrological chart, think of the teachings of the ringed planet less as orders from the Greater Malefic believed to instill dreaded loneliness and instead as reminders that we are each given limited time to positively impact, love, and care for our fellow beings on Earth. The sliver of light Saturn challenges each of us to find is in fact our maximized realizations of helping one another and refusing to cease exploring our potential, as Aquarius and Capricorn respectively indicate.