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Photograph of Saturn taken by the Hubble Space Telescope
Part of a series of articles on the
Solar System

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Helios and Vesta
Temple of the Sun


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Comet Kohoutek

Saturn is the second largest of the planets in our solar system, the sixth from the Sun, and the most distant that is visible to the naked eye. The ancients called Jupiter and Saturn “the great chronocrators,” or rulers of time, because the cycles of conjunctions between these two planets subdivide time into large units with observable political and economic cycles.

Astrological significance

The planet Saturn rules the sign Capricorn. Saturn is our tester, our teacher, our initiator in the zodiac. It governs the principle of limitation in its positive and negative expression, and it can show where it is necessary and beneficial to set limits. For instance, the limits on governmental powers are a function of Saturn.

Saturn also rules the immune system, which limits the capacity of pathogens to make you ill. But Saturn can also be expressed as physical, psychological, social or spiritual obstacles and limitations. These include the sense of pessimism or guilt that inhibits successful action.

Saturn has other dimensions. It rules structure, concentration, crystallization and form. In the social or political sphere, it shows how power is organized and is indicative of a nation’s constitution. Saturn shows how a person, organization or nation gains through discipline, responsibility, perseverance, practicality, organization and wisdom.

Conversely, it shows how people and nations may suffer from loss, delay and restriction if they do not embody these qualities. Saturn and Capricorn give people and nations the challenge to “do it right” or suffer the consequences—sometimes long-term consequences.

Saturn is traditionally known as a “malefic” and is often associated with unfortunate circumstances. However, it is not really a “bad” or “unlucky” planet. Saturn’s influence, particularly when in Capricorn, is supportive when a person or groups of people have acted wisely, practically and responsibly. It is then associated with wealth, honors, freedom of action, respect, justly gained and/or administered power, good government and an orderly society.

But since Saturn is a teacher and a tester, and since human nature is often marked by human folly, Saturn is associated with hard times, difficult challenges, recessions and depressions, delays, misfortune, debt, loss of honor or respect, periods of little or no opportunity, the limitation or loss of freedom due to increased governmental authority, and dictatorships and repressive regimes. Under its influence people are often pessimistic, gloomy, depressed, despondent and victims of their own sense of limitation.

Saturn tends to limit freedom. It gives you freedom only by your own self-discipline and the path of your soul’s initiation under the Great White Brotherhood. Saturn is associated with karma, restrictions, and long-term problems and it is a disciplinarian. Saturn will never allow you to keep what you have not lawfully earned. It will strip from you everything that represents ill-gotten gains, shortcuts, misuses of the will of God.

Saturn as a tester

As our tester, you might see Saturn as the instrument of the Ascended Master Lord Maitreya, the Cosmic Christ, testing you; or you might see it as Antichrist, depending upon your perspective. It doesn’t really matter. Under its influence you will be tested by forces of Light and forces of Darkness and by your own returning karma, positive and negative.

As well as being associated with the initiations of Lord Maitreya, Saturn is also associated with the work of Satan. It was Satan who brought the Saturnine initiation to Job, and the Saturnine initiation is being stripped of everything that you have that is not gotten by the attainment of the light. This is a very difficult period for servants of God, whether in church or in state, and especially should it be recognized by chelas of the Great White Brotherhood.

Satan became the initiator of Job in the absence of the Guru Lord Maitreya. Lord Maitreya was rejected in the Garden of Eden, and therefore the 144,000, as well as the evolutions of Earth, had to receive their karmic initiations through the laggards, through the Antichrist, and through the return of their own karma.

Passing the tests of Saturn

Today we are in an hour of the return of Lord Maitreya as the Cosmic Christ, the personal Guru. Therefore, as we face the energies of Saturn, we have to realize that we must first and foremost reject Satan as our initiator. We have an initiator: it is the person of the Cosmic Christ in Lord Maitreya, the person of the Saviour in Jesus Christ, and the person of your Christ Self as well as the ascended masters.

Once you earn your freedom under Saturn, you have earned it by self-mastery and you hold on to it by self-mastery. Without that self-mastery you don’t make it with Saturn.


Compiled by the editors from the following sources:

1988 Pearls of Wisdom, book 1, chapter 5.

1988 Pearls of Wisdom, book 2, chapter 2.

Elizabeth Clare Prophet, “Meeting the Challenge of World Karma on the Cusp of the Twenty-First Century,” Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 36, no. 43, September 26, 1993.

Elizabeth Clare Prophet, March 4, 1979.

Elizabeth Clare Prophet, May 21, 1989.