The Inside Story
Astrology for You

Handling Mars and Saturn when they get Together

                 If Mars and Saturn are in 'hard'* aspect by transit, know that your efforts may be thwarted; that progress may be slow;  that indecision or circumstances may lead to abandoning plans – all this ‘knowing’ can be helpful, yet, what to do?

Mars is a planet of activity, of energy, of forward movement; facing challenge with Mars providing courage and force we can carve out unique way through life. Dynamic, fiery, and strong, Mars provides the ‘get up and go’ of participatory life. At worst Mars is pushy, violent, and abusive; at best it is the adrenalin that moves mountains. Without it we are lazy, apathetic, and weak.

There are times for all of us, though, when we have strong Mars influence but at the same time, a strong Saturn influence. This complicates the picture significantly.

Saturn represents boundaries, definitions, limitations. In our Solar System, for many years, it represented the boundary of our Solar System. And there is still a symbolic truth to Saturn’s role as definer of our system, since the planets discovered outside the orbit of Saturn are said to be of a different, more cosmic nature and, in fact, are messengers of the cosmos, the galaxy, and beyond. The planet Saturn and the planets between it and the Sun are said to govern our human world, including our physical bodies and our social, economic, and political world. Beyond the limits of Saturn lie our cosmic, spiritual, galactic and divine selves.

Mars helps us progress, create, and survive in the human sphere by providing the necessary energy to face these challenges. When Mars and Saturn are working at cross purposes to each other there can be the clash between the ‘get up and go’ and the limits imposed by the physical, social, economic, or political life. This can bring a thwarting of plans and efforts, great frustration, failure, and even physical harm (pushing hard against an immovable object!) Other apt descriptions –‘banging your head against the wall’ – ‘having your foot on the brake and gas at the same time’- ‘stand up and sit down at the same time.

For each of us there are lessons regarding personal will and if Mars and Saturn are in ‘hard’* aspect to each other in your chart there is some lesson about harmonizing your own personal will with the ‘greater good’, the collective, or the current authority.  

The signs involved make a difference as well as the position within the cycle that Mars is in its relation to Saturn. But when speaking of current planetary influences on an individual’s birth chart we are speaking of a moving planet (Mars, in this case) in relation to a stationary planet (the position of a planet at the time of birth, for instance, Saturn). As Mars moves from a conjunction (0 degree, in other words at the same place(longitude), to a square (90 degree), to an opposition (180 degrees), each one of these being ‘hard’ aspects, there would be the opportunity for some of this ‘stop and go’ kind of experience.

Likewise as Saturn currently moves through the Zodiac and aspects a stationary position of Mars in a birth chart there would be a similar connotation, but more serious, and more long lasting – as Mars will traverse the Zodiac in about 2 years – Saturn will take more like 28. So transiting Mars squaring birth Saturn may last a week at the most, and transiting Saturn squaring birth Mars can last 2 years!

                  Some of the possible manifestations from these two planets getting together:


  • Harmful, destructive energy
  • Vitality deflated, inhibition of energy or enthusiasm
  • Controlled, cold, violence
  • Hardness, harshness, bitterness
  • Self will to the point of obstinacy
  • Hurt, injury
  • Inflammation of bones or bone marrow
  • Atrophy of physical organs
  • Paralysis of muscles
  • Weakness
  • Impatience
  • Pushing too hard for progress
  • Self will meeting complete resistance (circumstances)
  • Disputes
  • Separations



Significantly Mars provides the energy to overcome the difficulties presented by Saturn and Saturn provides the difficulties, challenges, and test to the personal drive and energy of Mars. More detail can be gleaned by also knowing the following:


  • The sign and house placement of the positions in the birth chart of Mars and Saturn
  • The relation of Mars and Saturn in the birth chart
  • The house and sign from which the moving (transiting) planet is aspecting from
  • Whether the transiting planet is in aspect from ahead of, or behind, the natal planet (in its 360 degree circle around it)
  • The houses ruled by Mars and Saturn in the birth chart
  • Overall strength or weakness of Mars and Saturn in the birth chart, including mitigating aspects from other planets.


This detail can give you more ‘who, what, why, and where’ the energy and difficulties will appear.


But regardless of your knowledge of Astrology, you can apply the above general precautions regarding any conflict between these two psychological components represented by Mars and Saturn. Moreover, you can easily ascertain the time frame (“When will this be over!?” which is most helpful. It is then just to determine when to endure and keep pushing, thereby developing the character trait of ‘stick-to-it-ive-ness’ and when to be still, patient, and trusting in the collective restrictions presented. A good rule of thumb is ‘do no harm’. There can be a ‘pain with gain’- like the feel of a good stretch but that is different than doing oneself, or others actual harm, abuse, or damage.


What about the Good News?

When Mars and Saturn are working together, there is no team stronger. This condition would be indicated by ‘soft’** aspects. This would be a less noticeable event (we notice more when things don’t work than when they do work). But also the ‘hard’ aspects bring events. However, if transiting Saturn were trining the Mars position in the birth chart, it could last a while and indicate a period of stable effort, steady progress, tough spirit, and indefatigableness. On a physical level it could bring a healing of the bones, and around the joints, the joining spots of tendons or sinews with the bones, a general strengthening of the constitution, rehabilitation, and recovery. 

A harmony between one’s energy and one’s goal is indicated when these two planets are aligned so it is definitely a time to move forward and get things done. Likewise, a person born with these two in harmony will have some of the traits of a tough, enduring spirit, strength of purpose and constitution, and ability to progress without constant frustration.

I feel all aspects; ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ occur as a part of a larger scheme and function as a map on our journey of character building. And on our way to unveiling our perfection the planets can help us define our current learning. Mars is like the young warrior- pure strength and courage yet potentially reckless and destructive and Saturn is the embodied wisdom of time holding strong for the big picture and the service of the many,if sometimes overly rigid, punishing, or stern.


 *The ‘hard ‘ aspects referred to are the 90 degree, 180 degree, 45 degree, and 135 degree (from the perspective of Earth)  

** The 'soft' aspects referred to are the 120 degree trine, and 60 degree sextile (from the perspective of Earth)                 


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