With your Mercury sign conjunct, square, opposite, sextile, or trine your Saturn sign, you’re the retainer. Mercury represents how our mind works and how we communicate, while Saturn is the planet of mature progress and accomplishment. Therefore, with a Mercury-Saturn aspect, the information that you gather and share with others needs to be useful and impressive. This makes you the retainer because you will strongly grab on to any information that you think matters, whether you’ll need it today, tomorrow, or a long time from now. Mercury in aspect to Saturn gives a person a solid intelligence and ability to communicate. However, this combination also comes with serious doubts about your brainpower and your voice that need to be overcome.
Since Mercury’s sign, house, and aspects determine how you were throughout grade school, having a Mercury-Saturn aspect makes school a really challenging experience. Now, those with the trine and the sextile, as well as potentially the conjunction, could’ve just found school to be a positively motivating challenge. These are the people who recognized the importance of learning and worked hard to get good grades. Studying comes quite naturally to Mercury-Saturn students, unless Mercury’s also in aspect to Neptune, which can regularly throw off their concentration or discipline. And there was also probably, at some stage, a strong knack for proving yourself in the classroom, regularly impressing your teachers and your classmates.
Yet, the ones with the square or the opposition (and, potentially, the conjunction) might have wanted to be Class Valedictorian but it was a big struggle to get there. So, for them, this placement could’ve manifested as huge insecurities over one’s ability to learn and succeed intellectually. These are the students who felt like school was always an uphill battle. Learning disabilities are often linked to Mercury-Saturn aspects. But, I wouldn’t be so quick to make that connection, as all kinds of people with all kinds of aspects are diagnosed with dyslexia, for example. Yet, there was still some haunting feeling of being “stupid” that either drove you to be an incredible student or made you too paralyzed to try that hard. Having anxiety over taking tests is a particular Mercury-Saturn problem, as that Saturn worry over failure may loom too large in your brain to allow you to focus.
If a Mercury-Saturn person is actually retained in school, as in held back a grade, it’s deeply upsetting to them. Saturn’s scared to fail and so, as a student, you were not only terrified to fail tests but an entire grade. Even if you weren’t held back, you freaked out regularly over that possibility and it might have even come close to happening. Even if your Mercury is in a sextile or a trine to Saturn, there can still be these fears. No one gets off easy with Saturn and even the positive aspects can instill a lot of fear, worry, and difficulty. The only thing that determines how it manifests is the attitude that’s taken and people with the sextile, trine, and often the conjunction tend to just be more constructive about these challenges, seeing them as a sign to work harder.
Graduating high school, then, is a serious achievement for Mercury-Saturn people. It’s sort of like reaching the top of the mountain. And, again, that’s why not finishing high school leaves a real scar on these people. Even if they get their GED, being recognized at that high school graduation ceremony by their peers and adults makes it feel more official. So, without that, this feeling of somehow having been mentally crippled can carry on throughout their lives. If Mercury is how we think, this planet touching Saturn in your chart means that you have thought patterns that can really hold you back, if you’re not conscious of this. It’s as if you’re still being retained, not allowing yourself to believe that you’re smart enough to make the kind of mark that you want to make.
It is a common theme that many individuals with their Mercury in aspect to Saturn can think of themselves as dumb even when they’re obviously intelligent. And what you think you are becomes who you are, so this attitude prevents them from articulating themselves in ways that show people their intelligence. So, you can sabotage yourself by putting down your mental substance, communicating in ways that dumb yourself down. And if people actually get the false impression you’re stupid, then the cycle continues! Therefore, you’ve got to understand the strong mental faculties that you have and how useful they are in your everyday life.
First off, Mercury-Saturn people have a common-sense understanding of things. You easily grasp the bottom line of any conversation or topic at hand. Throughout school, you probably used this ability to not waste your energy or time, quickly picking up just what the purpose was of the lesson you were learning. So, nowadays, that same ability remains. You’re very capable of understanding the essential purpose of what other people are saying, often times right away. Though Saturn’s progress is often slow, things change when this planet is hooked up to Mercury. It quickens things up, allowing you to arrive at the crucial point of things in a way that’s really clear.
In fact, if you have Mercury in a Fire or Air sign, this might make you easily impatient or frustrated with others who aren’t as mentally advanced as you are. You just get it in a way that makes total sense to you. So, why can’t they? That’s another potential of this combination: coming down too hard on other people for their perceived lack of intelligence. Many people with a Mercury-Saturn aspect might sometimes feel like they’re surrounded by idiots, especially if these people don’t know how to get to the bottom line or say what they really mean to say. However, if your Mercury is in an Earth or Water sign, you can be more patient or more sensitive about guiding people to the right intellectual conclusion because, after all, Saturn is a wise guide and teacher.
If you ever wanted to be a teacher (or a writer, for that matter, as combining hard work and communication is this aspect’s forte), this placement can really support that direction, especially if Mercury and/or Saturn are in the 10th House or in aspect to your Midheaven. But, even if you’re not a teacher by profession, you will still play this role with others. Saturn gives us ambitions and goals. So, with Saturn in aspect to your Mercury, it’s a real goal of yours to be that person who’s always teaching others something. Around the time of your Saturn Return, this is when you can feel really accomplished in this ability of yours. You might finally either figure out the ways in which you can help people be smarter, more sensible, and more able to use their thoughts to determine their future or figure out how you’ve already been playing this role for others. Saturn’s influence makes us strive so hard that we can neglect or ignore what we’ve already accomplished.
So, you are intelligent and you have a lot of wisdom to offer. Always remind yourself of this! Your challenging duty, with this placement, is to gain more of a command over your thought patterns. Whether you’ve got an “easy” or a “hard” Mercury-Saturn aspect, you have a nasty habit of beating yourself up over things: feeling too guilty, too inadequate, too insignificant. And these thoughts will take over and darken your life during your Saturn Return if you don’t learn how to control them more. Serious depression or anxiety definitely results from these kinds of thought patterns. Therefore, you’ll become more mature and developed as a person when you can fully accept just how much your thoughts (Mercury) determine your reality (Saturn).
But, then again, dwelling on the more difficult parts of life does come with the territory of having Mercury-Saturn. Experiencing difficult times is not something that just bounces right off of you, even if you’ve got a strong Jupiter influence that makes you really resilient. No, these experiences get etched in your brain, especially at a young age. This is the thing that may make you mature before your time. As a child, whenever you witnessed the hardships of life and came to understand them, you were never the same again. You retained these experiences in your head and they stay there. This continues into adulthood. But, hopefully, you think about these things as lessons that made you wiser and stronger, instead of letting it fill your head with pessimism or cynicism.
You can never be blindly optimistic, though, as much as you may try. Even when you do look on the bright side, there is just this inescapable part of your brain that reminds you of the not so ideal part of the situation. However, this is also another skill of yours. In conversation, you have no problem with the discussion moving toward things that aren’t so happy. Mercury-Saturn people usually aren’t too afraid of bringing other people down with these topics, unless you’ve got a square or opposition. You don’t mind talking about things that are disappointing or difficult. Instead, you just see it as getting real. Of course, don’t let yourself get too melancholy when talking to others, either, or you will bring them down and depress them. Otherwise, you’re speaking a lot of wisdom.
Strengthening your speech is a major goal when you have Mercury in aspect to Saturn. Many with this placement can go through a difficult part of their lives feeling rather shy or reserved in speech, too afraid to fully develop their voice. Others might be talkative and all of that but still feel like their ideas and speech have no real importance or substance. This is the hump to get over! With a Mercury-Saturn aspect, your ideas are usually ambitious and can lead to great success. In fact, your ambitions (Saturn) preoccupy your thoughts (Mercury) a lot. You were that kid who knew what you wanted to do early in life and plotted and planned to get there. You can still have that attitude, which works out well because you have this amazing ability to hold a lot of information and ideas in your head at once. So, even without writing down your “master plan”, you can still know exactly how you need to get there. You’re constantly aware of progress, development, and time. The way your mind works, you always know what time it is and what you need to do, as a result.
Public speaking is also something that you can excel at, even if it terrifies you. You’re developing a masterful ability to really map out your words and communicate them in ways that are very effective. But, it’s also due to the dry wit that you’re so skilled at delivering, as well. Mercury rules our sense of humor and when your Mercury touches Saturn, you have that kind of humor that is sardonic and straight-faced. Mercury-Saturn individuals are masters at sarcasm and irony; so much so that some people may take you seriously at times when you were totally joking. Your funny bone is activated when you can bust someone’s chops a little as well as point out the awfulness of your current situation. You really need this humorous release or else you might just get depressed.
Mercury conjunct Saturn: The conjunction makes you possibly the most serious thinker out of this group of aspects. You display amazing concentration and mental substance but put too much pressure on yourself to never be less than impressive in mind and thought. You can become a real intellectual and respectable communicator, once you realize how little you give yourself credit.
Mercury square or opposite Saturn: Thanks to the square or the opposition, you may be the most convinced that you’re an idiot. You feel you have to constantly prove yourself intellectually to people which only brings greater frustration and doubt. If you relax your expectations of yourself, your mental strength will dramatically increase and you’ll end up really finding your intellectual footing.
Mercury sextile or trine Saturn: You gain the easiest benefits from the solid wisdom and retentive abilities of this aspect, due to having the sextile or the trine. You can impressively articulate yourself, as well as see and voice the important lesson of every concept. Still, verbally stumbling or being exposed as ill-informed can humiliate you, as well. So, don’t criticize yourself too much.