Saturn is known to take things slowly, it brings patience and prudence wherever it goes. In relational and compatibility astrology, the Saturn/Mars connection is one of the key issues to watch for. Details below...
Saturn is the planet almost any schoolchild will recognize, because of its beautiful rings. It's not the only planet with a ring system, but its rings were discovered a very long time ago. Before Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were discovered, Saturn was considered to be the outermost of the planetary spheres.
Saturn's slow transit through the Zodiac (it takes around 29 years) causes it to spend just under 2 and 1/2 years in a sign.
Saturn only moves about 13 degrees per year, and spends several months in retrograde. No wonder the astrologers of India call Saturn "the teacher who moves slowly."
Saturn is known to take things slowly, and the time when it's in or opposite major positions of your birth-horoscope, and even your Sun-Sign, can be marked by noticeable delays and obstacles. Nevertheless, it's one of the major contributions of Saturn to our lives; it brings patience and prudence wherever it goes.
Consequently, Saturn is not popular with young people, or at least those who have not yet reached their 29th year (their first Saturn Return). Those who tune in to Saturn are usually successful while young, because they are learning the lessons that Saturn teaches, and have a better sense of how to capitalize on opportunities; they are, in a sense, more practical.
Those who exalt impulsiveness and the impractical usually have a tough time during their young adult years. Unfortunately, the cultural paradigms of modern times tend to impress on the young the kind of behavior that makes Saturn's lessons difficult, if not impossible to learn. Those who get caught up in this kind of self-defeating behavior usually come to their Saturn Return without having learned these lessons, and end up repeating them until the 2nd return of Saturn.
Saturn rules over the adjacent signs Capricorn and Aquarius. Capricorn is his night house, and Aquarius his day house. Aquarius is co-ruled by Uranus, and many Aquarian people try to identify with Uranus to the exclusion of Saturn, primarily because of cultural influences.
Saturn is exalted in Libra, and is the source of Libra's logical skill. In other words, the Libran or planets in that sign look up to the rational and prudent nature of Saturn.
Aries is the sign in which Saturn is fallen; this is because the impulsive nature of Aries does not like the patience of Saturn, and Saturn does not like being forced into action. In fact, some texts will say that Saturn and Mars are friends, but they could also be described as the immovable object and the irresistible force; a stalemate in the making.
It's often said that people who strongly exhibit the characteristics of Saturn are born as grownups and become children as they get older.
Saturn personality traits, such as thrift, discipline, patience, seriousness, caution and practicality are not usually typical of young people, unless they happen to be born into one of the Earth Signs, Capricorn, Taurus or Virgo, and have a strong Saturn. Libras who are born with Saturn in a position of power on the day of their births will exhibit many of these characteristics, but will tend to apply them in an artistic or professional way, rather than in their lifestyle choices.
Saturn also has its negative traits, like all other planets. Unfortunately, they are what most common astrology talks about. Saturn can be stingy, rigid, stubborn, scheming and even anti-social at its worst. Occasionally we'll see a character in the movies or in literature designed to mock all the negative characteristics of Saturn, such as those created by Charles Dickens - Uriah Heep and Ebenezer Scrooge. Seldom do people recognize a character that exhibits the positive characteristics of Saturn; Gandalf the Grey from Tolkien's books would be a good example.
In relationship and compatibility astrology, Saturn-Mars connections are one of the key problems to look out for. If Saturn in one person's chart is connected with Mars in the others', there will be difficulties that are quite hard to reconcile. The Mars person feels restricted, and the Saturn person feels imposed upon. It's a combination that's seen from time to time in arranged marriages or relationships that exist only because of the fulfillment of an obligation. This combination rarely appears in the charts of those who enjoy each other's company and become a couple because of love.
Regarding relationships between people, Saturn can be very protective and caring. People with strong Saturn characteristics are more likely to show their love through their actions, rather than their words. Saturn people tend to take their time becoming attached to others; they tend to focus on the long term, rather than immediate satisfaction. Saturn is also loyal, and has the ability to bring a sense of security into any relationship.