Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Saturn in the 3rd House

When you have Saturn in the 3rd House of your birth chart, you’re managing your fears, doubts, and worries when it comes to communicating and learning. I feel like everyone has heard pretty fatalistic and awful things about their Saturn placement. No one’s really immune to it because astrologers have so historically seen Saturn from such a harsh point of view. It brings difficult experiences, for sure. But, let’s see it from a different light. Saturn in the 3rd isn’t going to make you stupid or slow. It doesn’t doom you to awful conversation. In fact, it’s probably gut-wrenching for you to read those kinds of descriptions because those are the exact things that you fear.

People with their Saturn in the 3rd House never want to be looked at as dumb or boring. But, it can be easy to feel that way with this placement. It’s something that can lead you to try harder and harder in the intellectual realm, to only feel like you keep falling down a slippery slope. 3rd House Saturn individuals often feel like frauds when they try to be intellectual, even though it’s your real purpose in life to be this impressive intellectual. But, you might hear some nagging little voice inside of yourself saying, “Who do you think you are? You’re not that smart. What you have to say is not that important.” It doesn’t help at all that there is a duality to anything in the 3rd House. So, with this placement, your fears and insecurities really feel like the mischievous Devil on your shoulder who won’t shut up and who keeps discouraging you or turning you in the wrong direction.

Well, you’re not stupid and you’re not a terrible communicator. You just have to develop a trust in your ability to communicate and in your intelligence. When we work hard in our Saturn’s house, we realize just how capable we’ve always been in this area of life. These are where our strengths lie and we just need to learn how to develop them, discipline them, and capitalize on them. So, you’ve always been smart and you’ve always been interesting. It’s just that you’re going to need to work harder than the rest of us when it comes to honing your brainpower. If not, your negative thought patterns will get in the way and trip you up. And I think Saturn in the 3rd might be more prone than Saturn in any other house to set oneself up for failure through negative thinking. 

The 3rd House represents one’s siblings and how this relationship influenced the way that you learn and communicate. Now, I don’t think that a 3rd House Saturn means that you’re going to hate your brother or your sister. There can certainly be people with this placement who have difficult, strained, or contentious relationships with their siblings. Maybe you two were just never close growing up and you never had a chance to really bond. This can also show a distinct separation with siblings, like a parent who takes them away or a stepbrother or stepsister you rarely ever see. Without this sibling connection, you might have struggled with learning, as a result. If the 3rd House is what we learn from our siblings, maybe you were so disconnected and cut off from your brother or sister as a child that there was nothing to learn. This later on influenced you by easily making your mind go blank when you were faced with new information, setting up your insecurities about learning.

But, another outcome is just as possible: it’s not that the relationship with the sibling was difficult but the sibling went through some significant struggles, often in the school system. Saturn in the 3rd can symbolize a brother or sister who had a really hard time in school. They might have actually been very smart. But, they experienced obstacles and difficulties in the classroom. It could’ve been through serious anxieties over tests, behavioral issues, clashes with teachers, or just an overall feeling that they didn’t belong in school. Because of this, you can often get a sibling who slacked off academically or didn’t care about their education that much. They might have also become homeschooled, graduated early just get out of there, or dropped out of high school.

In any case, your sibling just wasn’t the academic one in the family. They were either the artistic one, the one with the great personality, the beautiful one, or the funny one. Every child in a family does get assigned a certain area of achievement and recognition, whether the parents realize it or not. So, the difficulties with your sibling do not have to add up to you somehow hating them or being mistreated by them. You two can get along relatively fine or it may even be a very close, strong relationship. But, at the same time, you felt a ton of pressure because they definitely passed the baton of having to be “the smart one” to you, which is especially true if they were older than you (which is often the case here) and you were the next one in line.

Saturn does bring limitations, so this often shows someone who comes from the typically nuclear family. There could’ve been just two kids in your family. Therefore, if your sibling wasn’t going to care much about their academic achievements, then you were somehow molded as having to be the brainiac. Since Saturn is a symbol of the father figure, you might have especially gotten this kind of message from your more paternal parent. Now, you can also find only children with this placement. If that’s the case, then the pressure to get ahead in school was just as intense because you were the only child in the house that your parents could expect that from. Like many only children, this made you feel more grown-up and advanced but it also really terrified you.

Since the 3rd House says a lot about our schooling years, the classroom was always a place of high anxiety for you. You couldn’t rest as easily as your friends and classmates once you sat down at that desk. It might have even been a feeling of being okay during recess or lunch. But, as soon as that bell rang, you felt a knot in your stomach. Saturn in the 3rd House drove you as a child with that little voice of “be smart, be good in school.” Yet, this level of pressure could’ve backfired, paralyzing you when it came time to prove yourself. You might have had a hard time spitting out the right answer, even when you knew it, and you could have struggled to perform well on tests. The grade school years are not an easy, smooth side for people with this placement. 

This could’ve instilled a resistance to and dislike of school that made your parents feel like history was repeating itself, as it’s like your sibling’s educational issues were being passed down to you. It’s why it may feel like they were harder on you in this area than your brother or sister. In this sense, the sibling’s karma becomes your karma. Since they took such a flippant or negative attitude toward learning, they might have taught you to see learning the same way, acting as a less-than-great influence, in this regard, even if they didn’t mean to. You can see a lot of Saturn in the 3rd House kids not trying their best in school and then feeling the harsh consequences of it from teachers or parents, which only continues the cycle. On the flip side, maybe you worked really hard in school and performed well. But, it was so exhausting that you couldn’t wait for it to be over with.

As an adult, this is all still being carried with you. The 3rd House shows how we teach people information and how we learn it, in a conversational way. So, even now, you might still be resisting the educational process. Saturn in the 3rd House is a placement that can produce awkward conversationalists. It doesn’t mean that you’re hopeless when it comes to talking to others. But, you might see a lot of what people say as useless or stupid, just like you saw what your teacher was saying as useless and stupid. This can make you loathe small talk to a degree that’s very unsociable. It’s also something that can make you downright fearful of really voicing what’s on your mind because maybe they’ll think of what you’re saying as useless and stupid.

This all comes to a head during your Saturn Return in the 3rd House. During this time, especially the first time around, you can easily feel like you’re back in the 8th grade. Everyone around you can feel like the judgmental teacher, expecting the right answer and failing you when you don’t give it. You will constantly feel “tested” during your Saturn Return. Well, we all do but you will literally feel tested on your intelligence and your verbal skills. Many misunderstandings and miscommunications can occur during this time. But, this will all happen in order for you to see that it’s not the end of the world. Your worst fear is failing the test of intelligence. Yet, situations may happen to make you feel less than smart so you can see that it’s not the end of the world. None of us ever stop learning. Grade school makes getting an A feel like a rigid goal. But, you can find maturity by taking some of that pressure off of yourself and letting yourself learn and communicate in a way that suits you.

This is why Saturn in the 3rd is a very interesting placement. Your purpose is found on a very mental level yet it’s something that will affect your every interaction with others. Instead of approaching conversations with a rigid agenda or with a pessimistic attitude, you can truly let these exchanges just happen, without fear, resistance, or control. The less you worry about being interesting or intelligent, the more your interesting, intelligent mind will emerge. You’ve got a really solid brain up there because you’ve had to spend so much energy working hard at developing it. Therefore, don’t try to control the stream of ideas that you have and how they’re expressed. Instead, just let yourself be inquisitive and talkative, without worrying so much about how it’ll land. You’ll also learn how to do the same thing with other people, truly listening to them and being curious and open-minded without judging what they’re saying and how necessary or useful it is.

But, I would say that this placement can really excel at using and expressing information. Saturn in the 3rd House gives you a responsibility to be a strong communicator. As a result, you can carve out a purposeful career in anything like journalism, advertising, marketing, creative writing, or public speaking. Yes, you might also want to look into teaching. If you do become a teacher, it can feel like a karmic cycle, with you ending up in the same position that you once loathed, from the outside looking in. But, teachers with a 3rd House Saturn can understand the frustrations of their students like no other teacher and will patiently work with them, taking on a mentor-like role to get them to be their best academic self. You can become that teacher that people remember for years after.

In any case, your duty is to be a teacher to others and instill substantial concepts and ideas within them. I always say that the 3rd House has an unpredictable flip side. So, you just have to watch out for suddenly switching into Debbie Downer mode, doing nothing but thinking negatively and bringing people down with your words. Your Saturn Return in the 3rd can bring crises into your life because of this. You may burn a few bridges with your speech or you get into such a loop of anxiety and worry that you become depressed or shoot yourself in the foot. Yet, when you learn to keep thoughts of success and positivity in your head, you can do anything. More than most, you have to really remember the power of your thoughts and your words to develop as a person.

This also translates into your relationships with your neighbors, as the 3rd House also symbolizes how we deal with our neighborhood. Saturn in the 3rd House people often resist bonding with their neighbors because it just feels silly or pointless to them. But, I’ve heard of people with this placement enduring truly painful interactions with their neighbors during their Saturn Return like insane gossip, alienation, harsh judgment, and even harassment. It’s these experiences that will allow you to see that everyone needs kind neighbors and will cause you to rethink your attitude toward the person next door. You can learn to find structure in positive relations with neighbors.

At the same time, you have to remember to be a kind neighbor yourself. After years of being used to comparing your achievements with your sibling's, you can get too wrapped up in status when you communicate with others. It’s common for Saturn in the 3rd House people to gossip quite ruthlessly, either with total disregard or through a manipulative desire to bring someone else down and make themselves look good. But, this two-facedness is not going to work for you and if you don’t learn that by your Saturn Return, gossip will become your downfall, leading to dramatic scandals or destroyed relationships. Again, your words affect people more than you realize. You have to use these words wisely, to teach, guide and strengthen people. Work hard on keeping negativity out of your mouth. As the old saying goes, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.


  1. I have this placement and my father is the one talks negativity! I learned from him to tell the worst all time. I guess it makes sense . I also have north node here conjunct saturn making things harder.

    Thank you!

  2. I have this... and Saturn is my ruling planet + I have Saturn square Mercury which makes it worst. I'm currently in High School (in France) and I have difficulties to communicate or just speak in front of the class. My hands, my legs, my whole body is shaking because I feel like what I'm going to say is stupid or not that important (as you said in your post) I wish I could get rid off this issue and I really need to work on it but I don't know how... Also, Saturn is conjunct my moon and I always found it bizarre to have such contradictory planet in the same house (3rd)
    P.S: I really love your blog and sorry for my bad English !

    1. Oh, wow, you're going to feel it very strongly then. I think it's probably hardest for people with Saturn in the 3rd when they're in grade school and then those memories keep haunting them.

      You still have your whole life ahead of you, so don't be too hard on yourself (which, as a Saturnian person, you definitely can be). We have to spend our whole lives working on our Saturn. The fact that you're aware of it now helps. Just work on building your confidence when it comes to communicating. It's a process.

  3. I also have this natal placement, although mine is in almost exact conjunction with Jupiter. Do you have a different interpretation when Saturn is conjunct a benefic planet?
    Unlike what is generally stated about this placement and being a late bloomer with regard to learning, I was always ahead of my class and could better than all in my class. Math is a different story haha but I always was exceptional with my vocabulary.
    I was an only child until my sister was born when I was 10, and then my parents got divorced and my sister went to live with my mother whole I stayed with my father, much like you wrote in the article about a physical separation of siblings.
    The most apparent way I can see saturn in the 3rd affecting me is with negative thinking and worrying. I always think people are ridiculing me and thinking that I'm not good enough and I'm foolish and I have to check myself because these thoughts are SO pervasive that they SEEM that they are truth. After YEARS of questioning these beliefs I have come to realize that they are false. However, it's still a daily battle to clear the black clouds out of my head and think clearly. As you said, it's a lifelong struggle. I suffer from anxiety and low self esteem when there really is no legitimate reason to feel this way - it's all in my mind. I have been dependent on drugs and alcohol because they help the bad thoughts subside and I feel like I can be "me" but I know full well its just a crutch. And even though I'm now cognitively aware that I'm not as bad as I perceive myself to be, in fact others think the world of me, I still haven't been able to just wake up and have that be my perception. I still have to talk myself into that line of thought as the day goes on. I guess it's my cross to bear and what I will continually have to work around.
    Thank you for this well written article, it was enlightening to read.

    1. Yes, Jupiter is going to give you more resilience and good fortune in this area. So, yeah, it's no surprise that you got really lucky in school. Like I said, not all 3rd House Saturn kids are miserable in school and struggle at it. Some do very, very well, although they have to work really hard at it and have a mature attitude toward learning because of it.

      But, yeah, the anxiety and the negative thoughts are definitely what you need to work on. What you said is a good point. Saturn in the 3rd people can get so wrapped up in their negativity that they perceive these thoughts as facts, instead of false perceptions. So, keep working at it. I wish you luck. The great thing is that you sound very self-aware and very willing to change. That's half the battle. :)

  4. I have this placement natally. I didn't struggle in school and it was quite the opposite. I was actually pretty aggressive in grade school. high school is when things started to get iffy. I did have some problems with my older sister as I grew up. she was the more rebellious child in the family and I'm the one that picks up her slack so to say. I think having Saturn trine my Mars makes things a little easier for me. I'm still able to get things done and not be such a worry wart. I do always tend to think pessimistically about things and my abilities but I still push through thanks to Mars. thanks for the reading.

  5. Oh my God.i felt like I was reading my life. Moon and Saturn exact conjunction at the 3rd house.😢😢

  6. How would you describe this placement but conjunct with Uranus in 3rd house? I can relate to so much in this article. Going thru my SR right now. Thank you!

  7. Hands down the most accurate description of this placement. You described my life! It's such a unique challenge this placement faces. Other people claim to be shy or nervous to speak up, but for saturn in 3rd house it's on a different level. Weeks of nerves may build up before a speech. I'm a leo sun with sagg rising, but with saturn in 3rd and sun and mercury in 8th house, I am quite reserved at first, and not the easiest to approach. Once again thanks for this excellent description. You know you did a great job when you got a saturn in 3rd house to actually comment on the post and not just lurke!

    1. I also have a sister with a ton of Capricorn in her chart. And a brother who was always favored by my parents, is that common for this placement?

  8. I have this, Sun conjucnt saturn inaquarius 3rd house.
    My twin sister was the really hard working one in school who couldn't wait to get it over with, while I was the slacker who was mostly nervous to get anything wrong.

    I finally decided to go back to college and try hard this time, and good karma so far this time around for using my brain power. I'm also seeing a therapist because my negative thought patterns and self esteem have almost ruined me.

    1. Interesting that your Sun is also involved. I think that's why, in your case, your sister was the academic child and not you because Sun conjunct Saturn people can really hold themselves back and this is how you did so. And since the 3rd House represents grade school, Saturn in the 3rd House people often enjoy college (a much looser and freer educational environment) way more than they did grade school and find themselves actually able to truly appreciate the learning process, instead of stressing too much over it or seeing it as a rigid goal.

    2. Also, I missed the part that said that your sister was your twin! Wow, that's definitely symbolic because she basically has the same chart as yours, give or take a few minutes. She most likely, then, also has Sun conjunct Saturn in the 3rd, meaning that she felt a lot of pressure to be the role model because you were the slacker. So, you two really couldn't get away from the other's failures or successes and you kept feeding off of each other in this sense.

      I'm sure a lot of twins have mutual planets in the 3rd and it is fascinating to see that play out.