Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mars-Saturn Aspects: The Workhorse

Having Mars conjunct, square, opposite, sextile, or trine Saturn in your birth chart makes you the workhorse. This is one of the most formidable aspects in astrology, usually creating people who are very driven and determined. Mars, in essence, is our drive. It’s what motivates us and gets us out of bed in the morning. Saturn is a planet that represents ambition, achievement, and how we’re able to assume responsibility for ourselves. Therefore, having a Mars-Saturn aspect means that you are a person that will push and push yourself to great accomplishments and results. Hopefully, you’re not pushing yourself too hard, however. The challenge that people with these aspects face can be knowing when to ease up on yourself, as well as when to not have to do things the hard way.

People with their Mars in aspect to Saturn might have had this message reinforced to them, growing up. I believe that the Moon is what primarily indicates our childhood experiences. So, Mars-Saturn folks usually don’t grow up with the same kind of tough conditioning that a Moon-Saturn person will (unless, of course, Saturn is also touching their Moon). But, all of the planets can be shaped by our early experiences to some extent. And, as a Mars-Saturn person, you were very influenced by what you saw as the hardships around you, especially the things that your parents had to deal with. If Mars is in a Water sign and/or one of the Water houses (the 4th, 8th, or 12th), you had an innate understanding of difficulties and struggles, even as a child, that was very intuitive, as well as of what it means to overcome difficulties. This strengthened the motivation within you to conquer obstacles and to set up solid goals for yourself that drives the rest of your life. 

Saturn can be a tough planet, when we don’t know when to work with it. Its influence can make it seem like we’re constantly being limited and challenged. But, we’re probably just not recognizing how necessary these limitations are and how they can help us to grow. It’s about discipline, basically, and is what can make Saturn seem like the bad-cop parent of astrology, at times. However, for this reason, with Mars in aspect to Saturn, you most likely weren’t a problem child. You have a way of taking action (Mars) that seems to recognize boundaries and rules (Saturn). Even if you’re more free-thinking or defiant, you can at least play the game when necessary, showing a certain amount of respect for the ruling authorities or systems that gets you by. So, when your friends or even your siblings were busy openly rebelling against the parents and teachers of the world, you knew how to get what you wanted in a more traditional, respectful way.

Yet, this also means that you can rule yourself with quite an iron fist when you become an adult. Mars is how we assert ourselves and with the aspect to Saturn, you assert yourself by being the authority. If the square or opposition is involved, this assertiveness might become a bit harsh or rigid, at times. This is when discipline, of the self and others, just turns into tyranny. It’s common for Mars-Saturn people to feel like everyone around them is slacking and that they have to pick up their dead weight. It’s like you’re busy working hard on the job and everyone else is screwing around. In fact, at your actual job, this might be your constant experience. So, it might turn you into something of a taskmaster. Mars can represent how we become overly aggressive. Mars-Saturn, therefore, becomes overly aggressive by shoving their agenda and their rules down people’s throats. And if they don’t like it, then you might just “fire” them.

Therefore, this aspect can indicate that you’re the one who’s limiting other people. You’ve got to learn how to give others the freedom to just do their own thing, without having these strict expectations of them. Sometimes, the rules are meant to be broken. If you have significant Uranus aspects or influences, however, it might be much easier for you to digest this concept. Relaxing with others can allow you to relax when it comes to yourself, as well. Mars-Saturn folks expect nothing less than the best from themselves and tend to be easily disappointed with their output. That is, when you’re operating in this rigid mindset. You are very driven toward success but you should learn to change your definition of success. The only failure is not trying.

However, there is still a certain strictness with yourself, as a Mars-Saturn individual, that you should maintain. You definitely have a systematic way of getting things done, particularly if your Mars is in Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn. You’re not fully “in the zone” when you’re not acting on this system for yourself. Sure, you shouldn’t be obsessed with being in control. But, you enjoy having a certain control over your life and yourself. Mars is what energizes us. So, exerting this control energizes you, allowing you to feel like the boss of your life. This is probably the central motivation for Mars-Saturn: to be your own boss. Is it any wonder that you’d be perfectly suited for self-employment? You’re self-directed, organized, and don’t allow yourself to slack off too much.

This combination is probably the ultimate workaholic aspect in astrology. Those with the conjunction, square, and opposition can be like productivity machines, even though having the square or the opposition can make you a bit on-off in your work output. And those with the sextile and trine can only relax and do nothing for so long before they start feeling unfulfilled and unhappy. We must act on our Mars to keep ourselves invigorated. It’s our passion in life. So, with Mars-Saturn, work is your passion. All that work-life balance stuff is great but you are definitely someone who thrives on being busy, as well as constantly doing things that you feel are going to contribute to something substantial and long-term. You love the feeling of building a solid career for yourself, in particular, creating that lifelong legacy for yourself, brick by brick.

Melancholy by Edvard Munch
Mars can be the root cause of any sort of depression, even more so than the Moon. But, the thing about Mars-Saturn is that depression can be constantly lingering and lurking. It takes extra effort for people with these aspects to shake away those melancholy vibes and they usually do so by remaining active and productive. Saturn can really give you the blues. And, in some contradictory way, this sense of melancholy and isolation is something that’s very motivating for Mars-Saturn people. Feeling down in the dumps gives you a clearer sense of purpose than being perfectly upbeat and cheerful, behaving like nothing’s wrong. You thrive on being assertive (Mars) about what sucks about your situation (Saturn), so you can continue to work hard to overcome it and achieve more, bringing you to a more successful place in life than before.

Just be aware that this can potentially lead to a cycle of negativity that becomes counterproductive. Saturn is used to having stumbling blocks in its way. So, with Mars in aspect to Saturn, you feel like the journey toward your goals is going to be littered with obstacles and possible failures. Even if there are more optimistic influences in your chart, these pessimistic thoughts can end up plaguing you, in the end. In fact, you might not feel properly motivated unless things are really difficult. When things are going fine, your drive might weaken. But, when you’re in between a rock and a hard place, something kicks in and you feel more motivated than ever. This can be a catch-22, as it can be a self-defeating way to approach your goals. However, it also can make you amazingly resilient, with a sense of determination that can weather all of the hard knocks. If you stop focusing on the difficulties of your journey, this determination can serve you very well.

Mars-Saturn individuals have a remarkable ability to take their goals one step at a time, keeping their vision focused on their long-term plan. You just aren’t the kind of person who gives up. You’re not a quitter and can find it somewhat odd that other people throw in the towel much more easily. You just believe that they haven’t thought of another way to get there. This is a combination that truly believes in the power of old-fashioned hard work. Saturn doesn’t like shortcuts and doesn’t skate by on luck or charm or even convenient connections. It simply works and works and works for whatever it wants. Therefore, even if it takes you longer to get where you want to go than everyone else, you really thrive on that feeling of doing nothing but bust your butt to get there. 

Even if you have strong Air sign influences that suggest some flightiness, having Mars aspect Saturn makes you a very reliable person, when it comes to your work, obligations, and responsibilities. You take these things seriously and go about them in a professional, dutiful manner. Most Mars-Saturn people see their word as their bond and don’t like to break it, to the point of feeling deeply guilty when they do. You know that you’re someone that people count on and you like to be consistent, in that department. Therefore, you just about always do what you tell people that you’re going to do, such as paying back any borrowed money in a timely fashion and priding yourself on being there for people when you have something important planned to do.

There is a wonderfully mature quality to the typical Mars-Saturn person when they are young that only becomes more developed with time. While Mercury-Saturn can intellectually comprehend things well beyond their years, you have an ability to take action (Mars) in ways that are well beyond your years. Most people with this placement are capable of fully taking responsibility for their actions from a very early age. You aren’t quick to shift the blame to others. In fact, you might be a bit too quick to take the blame for when things go wrong, shouldering others’ problems as if they’re your own. In any sort of argument, this might be where you sell yourself short, especially if Mars is in aspect to Neptune, as well. You can feel as if it’s all your fault. It’s important for you, then, to realize when you’re carrying too much of a burden on your shoulders. You’ve got to learn how to not feel the desire to be responsible for everyone around you.

But, at the same time, there is something very parental about the way that you express anger (also ruled by Mars). What pushes your buttons is when other people step out of line, doing things that are seriously uncalled for and immature. Mars-Saturn often become noticeably irritated or angry around people who are behaving too childishly. And when you go off, you have an ability to put people in check that makes them feel as if they’re receiving a heated yet humbling lecture from their mother or father. You can even be this way with people who are older than you. Basically, you really know how to tell people to grow up. For this very reason, your temper is likely very controlled and in-check, most of the time. More than most people, your temper becomes more contained as you age. The ability to not get mad over unimportant things is characteristic of Mars-Saturn. You only lose it in that disciplinary way, like a good parent or boss. Other than that, you see no reason to be angry and just focus on something more practical.

Mars in aspect to Saturn also influences the lovemaking style, as Mars governs the way in which we have sex. For you, there is a strong sense of duty when it comes to sex. You can almost see fulfilling the desires of your partner as a responsibility. People with these aspects are quick to take control in the bedroom, simply because you have an understanding of how to structure everything to both your liking and your partner’s liking. However, there might be a sense of being thrown off when things don’t go according to plan sexually. Again, relaxing into it more is the answer. But, this certainly doesn’t mean that you’re a bore in bed. Mars-Saturn people have remarkable stamina, capable of putting in as much “work” as necessary. In fact, it’s common for them to outlast their partners in this sense. Like with every goal, you’ll go and go and go until you get there.

Mars conjunct Saturn: Due to having the conjunction, it’s so natural for you to work yourself to the grindstone that you don’t even stop to think about how hard you’re going. You might suffer the most from a cynical outlook on your goals and achievements. But, you’re also admirably uncomplaining, free of self-pity, always doing whatever needs to be done to get by.

Mars square or opposite Saturn: The square or the opposition can symbolize a resistance to one’s responsibilities or duties, at certain times. This only piles more up on your plate, which you seem to thrive on. You struggle between an acceptance that achieving goals can be hard and a desire for an easier route. Finding the middle ground is what will help you become a highly effective person. 

Mars sextile or trine Saturn: With the sextile and the trine, there is an effortless ability to labor consistently toward one’s goals and virtually never throw in the towel. Out of this group, you’re most likely to see struggle and hardships as a positive opportunity for growth. Still, your familiarity with the hard knocks does give you spells of melancholy that need working through. 


  1. Hey, that's another great article, that made me feel sort of optimistic about my Mars/Saturn square :-).
    This: "The square or the opposition can symbolize a resistance to one’s responsibilities or duties, at certain times" does apply, oh boy, it really does, very, very much so. I've been a crazy little speedster with my 12th house Sag Sun/Neptune conjunction, running from responsibility. And the Mars is in the 2nd, and Saturn in the 10th (in placidus), ruling a Capricorn Ascendant with Cap Jupiter conjunct by 6º in the 1st. (I don't know if that Jupiter is supposed to make me more responsible, because it's in Cap, or less, just cause it's Jupiter, and it's rising...)

    My question is: in spite of the resistance, is there hope, for us, folks with the square? Will the feeling of resistance ever (sort of) dissolve, or will it be a constant nuisance? Will the rest of the aspect apply (even though it's a square) just the same, once I decide to get movin'? Will I ever, lol? Are Mars/Saturn Square folks potential effective workhorses too, just a little bit more resistant to accept that role? (Like... - for lack of better example - Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in the TV show, was when she found out she was the slayer, lol)

    Thanks for another article :-)

  2. Buffy's one of my favorite shows of all time, so I love the analogy! I would describe Mars square Saturn like that but you should just realize that you're just making it harder on yourself by resisting. There is hope, of course. You can be a real powerhouse with this aspect because you are so used to the feeling of inner resistance that outer resistance might not faze you at all. You're your biggest obstacle so, once you conquer yourself, you can develop the confidence to conquer anything.

    1. I never got to thank you for your reply... And it has been such a long time... months.

      I do find that with my Pluto/MC/Moon in Scorpio, when I get to do something that it's really engaging, but it has to be reeeally engaging for me, I get really focused, sometimes even sort of obsessed, not stopping, not eating, lol, not sleeping, lol(not healthy! lol), just doing that thing. Something creative (Mars in Aqua). Or escapist... :-/ (Sun/Neptune in the 12th), like TV shows binge watching...

      Anyways, thanks for the reply :-)

      Keep up the great articles ;-)

    2. Hey Suzi i have Moon CJ Pluto in scorps aswell. I also have Mars Conjunct Saturn in aqua (also conjunct venus and lilith). I find i need to be interested in something before i do it (pluto/moon in scorpio) but then i have similar tendencies not eating not sleeping, i think i just forget to (mercury in pisces) once i am engaged. I havent seen buffy but would you consider yourself a workhorse at times? I remember when i returned home from a year abroad i spent months avoiding looking for a job but then when i finally did i worked like a dog. hehe.
      Thanks for the article Wayman. Really nicely written

  3. Great article ! Reading your words I recognise aspects of mysaelf

  4. Thank you for sharing always great tobread your stuff.helpful

  5. Haha, i have the square. Mars exalts Saturn and Saturn exalts Mars. This plays a little safer, as in drive respects ambition and limits abd viceversa. It's also more in check and i saw this as the years passed. My god, i expressed this so negative when i was young (er). The more i age, the more i come to terms to the beautiful part of this aspect.
    I've always had it hard. And i've always admired hardworking and smart and driven people, those who don't give up. I grew up with such a model, with discipline and strict rules and coldness. Now i know that if i would have been different, i wouldn't have had self respect. I admire myself and even though i still beat myself up every goddamn time for not being perfect and super successful yet and for slacking, i am growing into that success. Gradually. Slowly. With caution and care. With honour and with morals, cause i could never hurt anyone in anyway. I've hard that this aspect is ruthless and violent and bad, but i am not like that. I had a temper and can be extremely cold and unemotional if people and situations step on my toes (am famous for cutting people off my life for good once i am done ), but i'd rather go away than hurt.
    Anyway, i have the square and it is really difficult to get me to start things off. I do try to avoid stuff until it piles up. And then, one day, i fix everything. I get exhausted, but don't stop until i am finished. Even if i feel i am dieing. For those who feel this aspect is weighing down on their really does, can't tell you otherwise. But it gets easier with time and you'll get to see how it turns you. This is not an aspect for the young and immature times. This is a growing aspect and I would definitely love some advice on the problem with 'starting things off'.
    Cheers !

  6. I am a little phased by this aspect i have. I feel like i have expressed it poorly - getting frustrated at people when they seem childish, sometimes talking down to my parents as though they are my kids. I have a stellium of planets in Aquarius - Lilith in 3*, Mars in 4*, Venus in 7* and Saturn in 12* aquarius. All opposite Chiron in Leo 5*. I previously ignored the saturn mars conjunction because i thought the 8* orb was abit far but after doing abit of reading i have found the themes of this conjunction resound suprisingly true.