Saturn and Forbearance

Human Values and Astrology
Value: Peace Sub-value: Forbearance

Shani - Planetary Deity for Saturn

Oh Lord Saturn! The mysterious one,

Thy mother is the shadow and thy father is the Sun,
You are considered, only maelific, by some,
Others know you as the benevolent one.

God gave you the task to purify each one
Through all types of experiences under the Sun.
Bless us and remove our shackles, one by one.

Saturn is a disposer of universal energy in the form of light and magnetism, for all energy comes from the Central Sun of all Universes, to our galaxy, to our solar system and flows to Sol, the Sun. From our Sun, the seven rays are directed to the seven planets and two nodes, Rahu and Ketu; thence the planets and nodes combine and recombine tlight and magnetism and reflect these as cosmic force into the field of birth. The field of right action is the field of the human body. Saturn directs measures of light and magnetism to our janma (birth) for cosmic purpose.

Planet Saturn frequently places obstacles in our path. These obstacles are there to create self-awareness, to learn from, and to have self-acceptance in deprivation – privation that is frequently associated with Sade Sati. The obstacles sometimes represent the return of karma to this lifetime, and sometimes there are obstacles to gratification. Those who delay gratification usually achieve their goals in life.

Saturn is known as manda, the slow one. Saturn is slow to expect results, slow to demand, and slow to expect payment. Saturn is also defined by discipline, structure, systems, order and hierarchy. Duty is a good word to associate with Saturn: responsiblity and lawful duty as defined by society and culture. So, Saturn is involved in duty to work, society, to others, to the self, to be responsible for lawful outcomes from duty. You might say that Saturn has a default state of restraints, limitations, laws, convention, normalcy. Saturn is the responsible one among the planets; this responsibility has many dimensions.

Saturn in Bhava 1 has heavy responsibilty, particularly with regard to thought as the First House is the analytical mind. Saturn produces results under pressure, has a grim determination to survive, resists change, is regimented in appearance and is time structured.


The many seasons of Saturn

Human Values

Human values give us a bedrock against which we may evaluate situations, propositions, events and experience. We have something to fall back on when we engage in the practice of living with human values.

Other people impress their values upon us. We may take on the values of people we admire, such as our peers, our teachers, or elders in the community. Our moral values are often sourced from our faith. We also obtain moral values from the society and culture we engage with. The practice of human values also includes self-knowledge. This points to an important principle – that of self-inquiry. Up to 70% of our time should be spent in self-inquiry. If we do not know our inner self, then our lives will be spent in reaction to outer phenomena; we will be trapped in maya, illusion, and reacting to what the world presents to us.

Human values include the universal principles of truthfulness, peace, love, right conduct and non-violence. These principles are often essential for our personal and social progress.

Peace as a Human Value

Everyone desires and seeks Peace. Lasting Peace cannot be found in the material world. Peace requires the capacity for introspection and self-awareness. Self-awareness enables one to become mindful of his or her thoughts, words and deeds. When self-awareness becomes a habit the individual begins to monitor and modify the habitual patterns of thought that obstruct peace within. True peace requires inculcating equanimity and fortitude, forbearance and understanding, regardless of loss or gain, success or failure, pain or pleasure.

Peace may be manifested in feeling, word, posture, deed and temperament. Absence of mere anger cannot be taken as peace. The winning of a desired object and the satisfaction one gets then, should not be confused with Peace. The peace that has pervaded the heart must not be shaken subsequently for any reason. Transcendental peace has no ups and downs; it cannot be partial in adversity and complete in prosperity. It cannot be one thing today and another tomorrow.

Without peace, there can be no happiness. Peace is the very nature of the soul. It co-exists only with a pure heart; it is never associated with a greedy heart full of desires. Genuine peace is won by the control of the senses only. Calming the mental agitation that surges like waves levelling the swirls and whirls of likes, dislikes, love, hate, sorrow, joy, hope, despair, peace is earned and maintained, without disturbance. This peace is of the nature of the soul.

Saturn and Forbearance

It is uncommon to associate Peace with Saturn. Peace is sempiternal, having no beginning and no end. It is resident in the heart of each and every person. It is even resident in the heart of animals. Peace is known by attitudes, beliefs and actions. It is known in self-discipline, self-respect, tolerance, calm, endurance, resilience, self-confidence and forbearance.

Forbearance is associated with good nature, patience, longevity, delay and containment of results. Forbearance dispenses with immediate results and repayment of debt of any kind; there is a presumption of credit, of release from terms of agreement, grace and favour. Forbearance sets a person free, grants a freedom, and is tolerant. It looks like long-suffering of debt owed, endurance, and detachment from outcomes. It is delay of immediate gratification.

Saturn has a unique association forbearance. Saturn, the slow one, does not expect immediate results. When we forbear, we bear with, we have patience with, we put up with a person, a thing, an event, a happening. When we show forbearance, we are showing tolerance. We may endure the absence of something, immediate repayment, immediate results, a privation. All these attitudes and behaviours fall under the drishti, the glance of Saturn.

Saturn is acceptance of delay, postponements, hold-ups, detainment. In this wise, Saturn gives humility, realism, persistence and steadfastness in character: character is the triple purity of thoughts, words and actions. Saturn, then, gives integrity in its order of the environment which occasions forbearance, and the fixed cultural limitations, regulated social behaviour and order in the personal environment – thus bringing succour and peace to the one receiving the grace and favour of forbearance.

Forbearance brings about interior peace; a peace born of integrity and human excellence, good character.


Saturn experiences auroras, also known as northern and southern lights, just like Earth. Here, Hubble ultraviolet-light observations of an aurora are superposed on a visible-light image of the planet.

Image Credits: NASA, ESA, J. Clarke (Boston University), and Z. Levay (STScI)


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