The Reckoner

When I was in the 8th grade, 2nd period of the day, I had an algebra teacher named Mr. Noe. He was thin, very old (meaning, to a 14-year-old, his hair was totally white), and was the most feared teacher in school. We were so imprinted with the terror of not completing all his homework CORRECTLY, that my friends and I would spend hours on the phone simply trying to get our algebra problems done correctly. Really! No kidding around, no gossip–just frantically checking our answers! We were usually A students, but Mr. Noe was terrifying. I just asked an old friend why were so terrified, and she said “He’d keep you after school! Just for having a wrong answer!”

Mr. Noe is my personal Perfect Archetype for Saturn. Saturn is about discipline. Saturn doesn’t care if your work is hard: Saturn simply demands that you do it, and do it correctly.

When I was in the 7th grade, Mr. Noe was the teacher who found me wandering lost through the halls of the school I’d attended for 7 years. I didn’t know why I was lost, and I didn’t know that my sister had just drowned. When I saw him I was sure I was in big trouble. He simply told me that my parents were on their way to school to pick me up. Saturn again. Saturn, traditionally, represented death.

Then in 8th grade, my mother had another child. The next day, I first saw a close friend when together we rushed into Mr. Noe’s 2nd-period algebra class. As the bell rang, I leaned over and said “Mom just had her baby”. Mr. Noe (who certainly heard me) barked “NO TALKING!!” I tried to apologize and explain. He said “NO talking. Do you want detention?” Saturn again. Rules are rules. No exceptions. Severe consequences.

Saturn says:


If you don’t, the consequences are dire. If you do it, you get passed to the next level. That’s all there is to Saturn. But the responsibilities are endless. Saturn demands that you pay what you owe, that you complete what you’ve started, that you take responsibility for your errors, that you take up the burdens of your life without fail.

Some people have difficulty with Saturn because they allow others to express Saturn for them. They give away their own authority to others or pick up burdens that truly don’t belong to them. Saturn used wisely, knows where to draw the line. It knows when you are overstepping your responsibility (“enabling” others), and it doesn’t reward this behavior. It knows when you are refusing to be your own personal authority, or when you give away your responsibility by allowing others to “rule” you. It doesn’t reward this behavior either. Saturn doesn’t appreciate a rebel, but he certainly doesn’t respect a wimp.

It’s for these reasons that Saturn is so difficult for children. People with difficult childhoods almost always have difficult Saturn placements. These children get all the consequences before they’ve even heard the rules. In India-n astrology, the Dasa of Saturn during childhood is invariably difficult. But Saturn rewards maturity (at any age). Those who have had Saturnian childhoods often find that their mature years are much easier than those of their peers. They were forced to learn a lot of difficult lessons at an early age–so they’ve already learned the rules others are struggling with, and can now reap the rewards.

And Saturn can definitely give rewards. Stability, authority, dignity, respect… these are the up-side of Saturn. People who experience a Saturn Dasa or strong Saturn transits or progressions later in life often find they are well prepared for discipline, hard work, and responsibility, and will find that the rewards are reliable and secure.

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