Sade Sati - Saturn Hates Me, Not

Saturn Hates Me! He is preventing my happiness! Help!!

Sade Sati is a challenging transit of Saturn only because we have been conditioned to avoid “negative” feelings, thoughts and experiences at all costs. Astrologically, in this period our natal Moon, which is our emotional filter, comes face to face with the pragmatic and sober karmic task master Saturn, who wants us to face the the limits of the personality.

I write so much about Saturn because over ninety percent of my new clients (yes, I have actually run the numbers) are either experiencing this transit themselves, or are close to someone who is. Sade Sati is a very vital concept in Vedic Astrology and it is deeply embedded into the psyche, myths and mind-set of the Indian culture. According to one ancient myth, lord Shiva himself, goes and meditates under water for the duration of his Sade sati, to escape Saturn’s stern gaze.

If you Google this term (please, please just don’t) you will get a lot of Vedic Astrology sites which overstate the negative effects of this period and promise quick fix remedies that will not work. I will attempt to clear up some of the misconceptions and exaggerated claims of “dread” about Sade Sati. For those who are living a balanced life and understand Saturn’s teachings, this period can be amazingly constructive in releasing the outdated baggage and emotional attachments of our personality, as shown by our Moon sign, and replacing them with the maturity and grounded self-reliance of Saturn.

Saturn takes approximately 30 years to complete one cycle of the zodiac. Sade Sati refers to the 7.5 years it takes for Saturn to move through three signs; the sign preceding the Moon sign in our horoscope, the sign containing the Moon and the sign after the Moon. It takes Saturn roughly 2.4 to five years to transit one sign of the zodiac, so the Sade Sati period is divided into three phases, as it transits through each of the the three signs. The first face brings challenges to our our identity and emotional support. The second is the most acute when Saturn is the in the same sign as our natal Moon and here we relinquish our old identity and outdated sources of emotional nourishment. The final phase creates alternate sources of self-identity and emotional support.

At the time of this writing, Saturn is in Libra. Therefore, most new people that are coming to see me right now either have their Moon in Libra or Scorpio (the next sign). I am seeing less and less of Virgo moon’s (the sign preceding Libra). Libra moon’s are really feeling the challenges of Sade Sati and Scorpio moon’s can feel that things are beginning to change beyond their control.

Since it takes Saturn approximately 30 years to transit through the whole zodiac, each of us will experience Sade Sati 2 or 3 times in our lifetimes. On top of that some will run a twenty year Saturn dasha, as well as Saturn bhukti (sub periods) – while it is good to be prepared emotionally for Sade Sati’s potential psychic stresses, succumbing to superstition, dread or fear is completely unnecessary and in fact quite destructive. Saturn is a reality that is not going away and we all have to figure out how to work through the limitations and obstacles that life will bring our way.

For most people, Sade Sati brings dramatic life changes that are pressure filled and often emotionally exhausting. However, the results of Sade Sati can range from devastating to exemplary. It is said that this period can make kings into paupers and paupers into kings. Like anything else in Vedic Astrology, there are no simple answers. How well things will turn out for you in your Sade Sati is dependent on the overall horoscope, the current dasha bhukti (planetary period) your Saturn (endurance) and your Moon (emotional stability) and most importantly, YOU!!

For example, I got married 30 years ago when Saturn was in Libra, just as it is today. My husband has his moon in Libra, so he was in the most acute stage of his Sade Sati. Our marriage took place under very stressful circumstances, as my husband’s mother was dead set against it (go figure!!). My husband was forced to break (Saturn) all ties with his family (moon). While, it all worked out in the end, it was a very difficult period for him.

Most people don’t experience Sade Sati so literally; however, there is always some sort of conflict between what I need to obtain to survive emotionally (moon), and what I need to survive materially, as part of a social structure (Saturn). As, such, this conflict often produces a deficiency and contraction (Saturn) of nurturing and emotional support (moon). This is why Sade Sati is also associated with the loss of loved ones (usually parents or grandparents). Sade Sati also ends marriages, and other relationships, if they have become emotionally outdated, or are built on unrealistic expectations. For many people it can also play out as a period, where we are confronted with an inordinate amount of work (Saturn) like starting a new business venture, and not enough time to nourish and recoup (moon). It can even play out in self-created pressure and sacrifice, like training for a triathlon, fasting, service to others and ascetic practices.

In Vedic Astrology we say, if you honor what the planet is trying to teach you it honors you back – this is the only true remedy. We honor Saturn through hard work, self-control, self-sacrifice, and acceptance/gratitude of the way things are, which leads to stability in our material life. Spiritually this type of attitude rewards us with truthfulness, concentration, sincerity and patience.

Indeed, there are some events that may occur in this period that are out of our control, but most problems that arise are due to wrong decisions and wrong choices that we have made because of our unrealistic expectations and unrestrained emotions.

In Vedic Astrology the moon is our psychological make-up, it is our mind. How strongly we are controlled by our moon, or emotional programming, will determine how much we are at the mercy of our fate (Saturn). Our ultimate goal is to go beyond our moon/mind and find our True and Higher nature. This is where Saturn comes in. During Sade Sati he forces us to release our unquestioned (often buried) emotional attachments and baggage, so we can be free of them.

As such, if we are aware of our duties and responsibilities and take action to fulfill them without interference from our Moon’s conditioned impulses, Sade Sati gives excellent results. However, if we refuse to be realistic, take responsibility for our actions/choices and live in an emotional bubble, Sade Sati can be very difficult. In Sanskrit there is saying, "svabhavo vijayati iti shauryam," the true victory is to conquer your own nature through discipline and sacrifice. And Saturn is an unrelenting teacher in every horoscope.

Clearly, even Lord Shiva had trouble with his Sade Sati, so we should neither be too hard on ourselves, or be in a hurry to assume that we have arrived at spiritual self-mastery. Patience and acceptance of the way things are, are Saturn’s greatest virtue.