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Shani (Saturn)

Shani, the sixth planet from the Sun, is a magnificent planet with a stunning ring system that leaves everyone in awe. It is also the farthest planet visible to the naked eye from Earth, with everything beyond Saturn being a vast expanse of darkness. Sage Parashara gave more importance to the planets visible to the naked eye, making Shani the graha of secrecy and chaos that controls all that is unclear. Saturn is the slowest planet, taking almost 30 years to orbit the Sun, making it the planet of long-term events. Its a gas giant like its neighbor Jupiter, expressing Vata (air) nature, and they both share similarities on various occasions. Jupiter is a teacher by nature and Saturn is a teacher by deed.


Lord Shani Deva
Lord Shani Deva

Lord Shanishwara (Shaneshchara)

Lord Shani is called Shanishwara due to his deep devotion towards Lord Shiva (Ishwara). He is the son of the Sun (Surya). Shani has a dark and smoky appearance inherited from his mother Chhaya, who is the shadow or illusion of Sanjana, Surya's wife. Once Sanjana couldn't bear the scorching heat of the Sun, she made a shadow of her named Chhaya and left her there to accompany her beloved husband. Chhaya then gave birth to Lord Shani, however, when Surya learned about this, he denied Chhaya and Shani, leading to an enmity between them. As a result, Lord Shani became distant from Surya and represent everything opposite to him.


“Surya is light and Shani is dark, Surya is clarity and Shani is confusion, Surya is the King and Shani is the Servant, Surya is hot and Shani is cold. We need this polarity (duality) to have a society. Otherwise the world will collapse.”

Power and Influence

Lord Shani is widely feared because he is responsible for overseeing long-pending karmic debts, even among gods and goddesses. There are many stories about Shani Dev and how he has caused great empires to fall due to their karmic debts, the story of the King Vikramaditya, King Bali and King Indra are some examples. Even gods must respect the laws of karma, making Shani's blessings necessary to be blessed by other gods. Shani represents time, and he never fails to bless us when we serve others, thus ruling the natural 11th zodiac Aquarius. As the significator of karma, he makes us pay our karmic debts even after centuries and reincarnations. Thus, he is known as the karma karaka. Shani is tamasic in nature, binding us to materialistic pleasures so that we pay our karmic debts in time. This makes him a dire malefic and a manipulator, but it's important to remember that he is also responsible for our souls returning to Earth. We need Saturn's binding energy to live our lives to the fullest.


Significations

Saturn is chief representator of time and karma. Also represents the society at large. His several other representations are old people, servants, underprivileged individuals, rebels, and anti-establishment groups. Moreover, he signifies various intangible things, including time, duty, karma, devotion, dedication, servitude, hard work, chaos, secrecy, rebelliousness, longing, illness, laziness, and lethargy. Saturn's remarkable rings symbolize the planet's ability to rise to great heights despite having come from humble beginnings.

Interpretations

By using the significations and important points mentioned above, we can gain a deeper understanding of Saturn in a birth chart. Saturn is a natural malefic planet so it'll always bring hardships in its dasha despite being a benefic for Taurus, Gemini, Virgo, Libra, Capricorn and Aquarius ascendants. A person with a strong Saturn may exhibit qualities such as a hard worker, committed, dutiful, a good team player, a kingmaker, an activist, a social worker, or a politician. On the other hand, a weak Saturn can result in traits such as laziness, lethargy, illness, talkativeness, overconfidence, fearfulness, anxiety, and excessive overthinking.


Portfolio

Saturn is a male planet, but due to his opposing nature to Surya, he is also associated with female gender, making Saturn a neutral planet with both male and female characteristics. Its full maturity is reached at the age of 36, representing the pinnacle of human maturity. Additionally, the numbers 6, 8, and 33 are considered significant in relation to Saturn.

  1. Its a tamassic graha

  2. Its exalted in Libra and debilitated in Aries

  3. Its ruling signs are Capricorn and Aquarius

  4. Gets directional strength in the West (7th house)

  5. Its ruling direction is West

  6. Friendly with Mercury and Venus

  7. Enmity with Sun, Moon and Mars

  8. Associated colour is blue and black

  9. Its ruling deity is Yama

  10. Shani represents vayu (air) and the body parts are teeth, knees and joints.


Read about the benefits of Shani Mudra


Exaltation and Debilitation of Saturn

Saturn attains exaltation in Libra, his most powerful position. To better understand this, lets imagine Saturn in Libra. Saturn is the antithesis of the Sun and believes in liberalism, the primary quality of Libra. Saturn always takes into consideration the ideas and opinions of others before making a decision, another quality of Libra. Libra is directly opposite to Aries and is the natural 7th house where the Sun sets and nighttime begins, making it Saturn’s favorite domain. Saturn’s father, the Sun abandoned him, leading him to long for a union (represented by Libra). Due to his father’s influence (the 9th house Gemini), Saturn became the representative of duality. He keeps common people in his heart, cares for and supports the underprivileged (Capricorn represents general public, and is 4 houses away). Saturn’s most valuable resource is his old age (Scorpio represents longevity, and is the 2nd house), and he keeps his worries and sorrows to himself while spreading his wisdom through his actions (Sagittarius represents wisdom, and is 3 houses away). He rebels against the established order represented by the Sun. He sees order in chaos, and fights for everyone without regard for the destruction of the formal order (Pisces represents chaos, and is 6 houses away). His nourishment comes from working hard for the betterment of others (Cancer represents nourishment, and is 10 houses away). His actions cause him to rise to great heights like the Sun (Leo represents Kingliness, and is 11 houses away).


Saturn's debilitation sign is Aries, where it is forced to act like the Sun, creating opposing nature. Aries is a sign that demands swift actions, but Saturn lacks the ability to make decisions quickly. Saturn desires to work tirelessly for the betterment of the underprivileged and prefers to remain out of the limelight (but Taurus is the 2nd house that brings easy fame). From Aries, Saturn is forced to work for a specific set of people (because 6th house Virgo) instead of the masses who are neglected (12th house Pisces). Aries, therefore, deprives Saturn of his requirements.


Note: The concept of exaltation and debilitation presented here is the result of extensive observational research and contemplation over the years.

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