Transits – Saturn opposite Mars

sword-of-courageI’m an astrologer. I’m meant to go with the flow, study the planets, meditate on the meaning, assimilate the meaning, understand the full potential of any aspect both positive and negative – but holy hell the first pass of Saturn opposing my natal Mars knocked me over and with natal Mars in Taurus it was like being sucked into quicksand, uggh! The more I struggled, the more I sank deeper – into a pit of depression and frustration and inner rage that threatened to spill out in all directions like an oil slick poisoning a normally calm sea…

Saturn is duty, structure, responsibility, mastery. He delays, restricts and slows everything down. When transiting Saturn confronts natal Mars in the chart, often it can manifest as a feeling of utter defeat. I think of it as the Ten of Swords transit but the key lies in the exaggeration of the card. One sword in the back would have done the job. Here we have ten. It’s extreme, it’s over the top and in some ways laughable. You have to see the funny side but that is a challenge with Saturn, I know.

swords10Saturn opposing Mars can FEEL deadly. It can feel like everything and everyone is against you. Saturn will force you to look at your motivations with laser sharp precision. If you have procrastinated (as I have) through fears (the flip side of anger), then Saturn will show the consequences and do away with excuses.

Often the opposition manifests as fears and unowned parts of the self being exposed through confrontation with others. It can feel as though you are being opposed by others on all sides. Most common is a feeling of being at the mercy of figures of authority – everyone from your boss or Father to official red tape that makes you want to tear you hair out and a have a full on stampy foot tantrum! But these kinds of oppositions are often a reflection of the shadows inside that haven’t been given the time of day.

A sense of defeat can be characteristic of this transit yet there is an old Chinese proverb that you’d do well to remember: -

If you get up one more time than you fall, you will make it through.

Many things may be demanded of you during this transit and sometimes it may seem as though what is being asked of you is unreasonable. Saturn and Mars can in fact help you to understand where limitations may have curbed your actions or ability to assert yourself and conversely it also shows where some boundaries need to be set.

Mars is your will and drive. With Saturn breathing down his neck, it may take enormous effort to achieve what you want to achieve during this time. Faced with competition, you may feel like you don’t measure up and doubts can plague you to the point of paralysis. Mars want to act – to DO something to make it right but Saturn is cautious, sometimes to a fault. What is needed is carefully considered, sustained action. The trick as ever with Saturn is to do the work. Despite sometimes enormous frustration, if you can learn to implement a steady, organised approach you can achieve a lot. This transit can teach you a great deal about what motivates you and how you can motivate yourself to do the things you want to do as well as deal with those things that you don’t want to do in an adult way.

To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles. T.F. Hodge,

Unresolved anger can rise up from nowhere. Railing against the system, what happened when you were six or anything else for that matter won’t help. But the anger must be dealt with, channelled or otherwise acknowledged. Robert Hand and other astrologers note that this transit can be plagued by illness if anger is turned inwards. Hardening of the arteries and arthritis are two noted conditions. In extreme cases, anger can manifest through accidents. Hard physical exercise is one route to siphoning off excess negative energy. Personally I’m finding that meditation is another (my Mars in Taurus never did like exercise!). Meditation teaches me to stop struggling in the quicksand. Inner stillness is key.

The key word for Saturn opposite Mars is patience. Everything will happen in its own sweet time. Saturn is the ruler of time and he’s most likely going to let you know that he’s the boss! But if you let Saturn show you the way, you might just find that he does wonders in the end for your confidence. Once this transit passes, you’ll probably hold your head just that little bit higher knowing that you’re finally strong enough to deal with whatever life throws at you.

Keywords and phrases
Patience, stamina, perseverance, resistance is futile! Blocked at every turn, keep calm and carry on, rage against the machine, where there’s a will there’s a way.

Painting – ‘Sword of Courage’ by Nicholas Roerich

What has been your experience of transiting Saturn opposing Mars? Please share in the comments below. A problem shared is a problem halved as they say :-) If you are looking for an interpretation of this transit in your own chart, please check out my readings page.

35 comments for “Transits – Saturn opposite Mars

  1. Jan Bird
    January 13, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    You’ve outlined exactly what’s happening to me right now! I have transiting Saturn in my 6th opposite Mars in Taurus in the 12th. I can’t remember feeling quite as angry I have recently – often turned inwards at myself, which seems very typical of a 12th house Mars. It’s also manifested in a health problem in that an existing thyroid condition has flared up, causing odd and frustrating symptoms. I’m currently waiting to see if a change in medication will help. Saturn in the 6th really has felt like a hard slog – pushing a boulder up hill only to have it roll back down again – even before it opposed Mars! The trick, I suppose, is to keep pushing regardless!

  2. January 13, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Oh no, you too Jan! Yes Saturn in the 6th can bring up health conditions although he should also stabilise them over time. Fingers crossed that the medication change helps! And yes, keep on pushing. We SHALL overcome! I should have put that in the keywords and phrases bit :-D

  3. January 14, 2014 at 3:38 am

    Hello and thank you, love your words and wisdom. When did this transit begin and how long does it last? I might have missed it, sorry if I did . . .

  4. mm
    January 14, 2014 at 6:51 am

    This is so helpful. Another Mars in Taurus (18 deg). I’m glad you’ve confirmed my gut feeling that slow and sustained action is the key to working through this. . I’ve got a barrel-load of other long-term aspects with the outer planets going on as well, and all of this is manifesting as a stubborn health issue. I’m really needing to draw on the Mars in Taurus methodical and persistent approach (which is a real asset in my otherwise very airy and fiery chart).

    Thank you again for a realistic and encouraging post.

  5. mm
    January 14, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I should have added: My Mars is in 8th. One of the slow steady jobs I’ve been doing during this period is slow, systematic decluttering of my home.

  6. January 14, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Hi MM – Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear you have been experiencing health problems. As you say though, Mars in Taurus can be very useful for just keeping going when necessary. I tend to forget that with my own Mars (I have lots of impatient fire in my chart!). Decluttering sounds like an excellent way to use this energy :-)

  7. January 14, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Hi Elizabeth – this transit is only happening right now for those who have Mars in Taurus in their birth chart (between 19 – 30 degrees). Next year, people who have Mars in the early degrees of Gemini will have this transit.

  8. Ellen
    January 14, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Hello Leah, thanks for your site! I’m a big fan.
    I’m a little alarmed/fascinated to read about this transit because I have Mars at 27 degrees Aries in the 12th and Saturn at 26 degrees Libra in the sixth in my natal chart.
    I thought life is like this for everyone! I think the rest of my chart gives me strength.

  9. Ellen
    January 14, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Hello, I left a comment this morning, now it’s gone? I have Mars in Aries in the 12th opposite Saturn in my birth chart.
    I was hoping for some insight from you, Leah?
    You’re too busy? My comment wasn’t appropriate for this column?

  10. Ellen
    January 14, 2014 at 3:07 pm


  11. January 14, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Hi Ellen – No I hadn’t yet approved your comment as I was working today :-)
    If you have Mars opposite Saturn natally then you already have a good idea of how this transit works. For those of us without Mars/Saturn aspects in the birth chart, these transits can be more frustrating as we aren’t used to that energy. A natal Mars-Saturn opposition means a life long journey with understanding this aspect and certainly gives some staying power when the going gets tough – especially with Mars working as a spiritual warrior in your 12th.

  12. Laura
    January 14, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Finally! I was checking your website every day for this one :-)
    My Mars is in the 2nd house and Saturn is transiting my 8th, where it will meet Neptune – as in your case probably, we seem to be of the same age, although your houses are different.

    Yes, money is tight, energy is low, talks of a new job that looked promising dried up as soon as the transit started. Things break down and the replacements bought with incredible financial contortions break down too. But my main concern are my parents, who are old and frail and I am so afraid something will happen to them before I can pick my body parts off the floor to be of any use. I think of death all the time, I see death everywhere, I wake up at night in panic attacks and not able to breathe. And no one, no one helps, not even with a kind word, in fact it’s like I’ve become invisible.

    I don’t remember feeling this much desperation and hopelessness, ever.

  13. January 15, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Hi Laura ((((hug))) Yes it’s a tough one that’s for sure and yes, I will have Saturn conjunct Neptune as well although that will thankfully be a one hit wonder! I know how horrible it is to suffer from panic and anxiety. I would recommend mindfulness meditation (as I did in the post). It really does help. I do this one daily. It doesn’t make all the problems go away but it does help you to feel stronger.

  14. Laura
    January 15, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Thanks Leah! I did not check the Saturn-Neptune conjunction from this perspective. But I did check the Saturn-Mars opposition and it’s a three-hit wonder! Some people say “oh you’ve survived this one before, so no worries”. Sure, 28-29 years ago, but at that time all my Saturn oppositions were one-hit wonders while this time around all were three-hit wonders. Not the same.

    Thank you for the meditation link, I hope it works otherwise I’ll have to ask for meds and I try to avoid meds if possible.

  15. Laura
    February 1, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Hi Leah,
    When more members of the same family all have Saturn transiting their 8th house, does that mean death in the family?

  16. February 1, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Hi Laura – Death is one of those things that I would never try to predict Laura. Also, death is only one of the ways that Saturn in the 8th can manifest. Obviously deaths do occur in our lives but people are effected by death in different ways, the death itself can occur in different ways and hence different planetary action can be in play at the time. For example, when my Mother passed away it was all Neptune action on my chart at the time.

  17. anna
    February 12, 2014 at 4:43 am

    I just want to say that the way you prescribed this transit is very factual. I am saying this because in my natal saturn opposes mars is actually happening so for me it is not Only a transit, but a lifetime learning lesson. Let me just add that mars conjunt my moon, pluto and uranus on top of it opposing SAturn. So probably you can figure it out I was born with that famous uranus pluto conjunction vs saturn in the middle of the 60s. Yes, I can say that my life does sometimes feel like a constant battle (since the irony is (that on top of it) I am an Aries lol!) and I just woke up to this realization since the uranus square pluto aspect kicked in. Yep, I did not get along a lot of time with teachers or bosses or even within my family, (Mars conjunct pluto and uranus doesnt want to lie dowwn to easily for saturn’s demands :), but let me tell all of you who feel angry ( just because as I said it is a life time process for me) that I start to see good old SAturns benefit sometimes (Maybe I mellowed a bit by age and give in a bit easier). Sometimes it knows better what is good for you or not and I start to believe that if you have to put up too much of a fight for something it mighn’t be good for you or worth it for some unknown reason, so listen to it and save yourself from some frustration. If it was not meant to be it will not happen no matter how hard you want it! I am not saying to give up. I am saying try, but if you cant be successful trying the same thing 2- 3 times dont get angry just take it this way. Something better is around the corner!

  18. February 12, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Hi Anna – Thank you so much for your comment and sharing your experience. Excellent advice spoken with Saturnian wisdom :-)

  19. anna
    February 12, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Yep, I guess Saturn is winning! (Well, I am not giving in that easy (LOL!) all the time, sometimes, it is till a bitter lesson! I still have to learn to be the nice and woolly lamb instead of the wild ram :) just ask my husband! (I am being wiser at work, though, not because they are smarter but because I am wiser ;)!
    And thanks to some of the really good astrologers who helped me figure out who I am, where my strengths and faults are. I guess people like you are the Saturnian teachers for me :)!

  20. dee
    February 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Thank you sooo much for your descriptions of this transit! Transiting Saturn is at an exact conjunct to my natal mars in the 8th house. I totally relate to the feelings of defeat. I am so tired of the hard work piece of it.
    Mars rules my second house, Neptune rules my chart. My business is drying up, I’m making very little money, and I’m facing limitations from authority structures as I try to learn new skills. Some of this isn’t new to me because of what I have in my natal chart (12 house Saturn, mars conj Neptune, and Saturn square both mars and Neptune). Following the rules is easy but I’m really tired of doing it.
    Thanks again for putting words to this transit. I’m off to meditate, exercise, do my best, engage in activities that are Neptune-inspired, and practice patience as I let go of what I have no control over while standing up for what I believe in. :)

  21. February 20, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Hi Dee – You’re very welcome. We will get through this :-D

  22. Niki
    February 23, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    My Mars in Taurus (22 degrees) is in my 3rd house, so with that and Saturn opposite in the 9th house, it’s all about trying to get through the last couple of years of a really long and intense 5-year program of studies to get my professional accounting designation. Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated, and the details involved in accounting work and all the assignments and exams can be overwhelming. I spend 30-40 hours a week on schoolwork, plus my day job.

    Saturn is helping me get excellent grades, but it’s also restricting my creative Taurus energy because of so much number crunching and not-so-exciting accounting theory. I long to return to my ‘other’ life of sewing, gardening, dancing and singing, or at least get some more balance!

  23. February 24, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Hi Niki – Wow, you sound very busy with your studies! It sounds like you’re doing really well. Like Saturn says, it will be worth it in the end and you will be able to find that life balance again. That creative energy will flood back :-)

  24. Lisa
    July 6, 2014 at 6:27 am

    Hi! I will have this transit hitting my taurus mars soon enough, but it will ALSO be trining my midheaven and sexitiling my saturn….. (natally I have mars trine saturn, btw.) Do you think this will *hopefully* have a beneficial outcome?? the thing is, i was planning on joining the marines soon but was giving myself some time so I’m thinking I will probably end up joining right around the transit… thanks in advance!

  25. lisa
    July 6, 2014 at 6:29 am

    and also natally i have mars in tight sextile with my midheaven, .08 degrees.

  26. July 7, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Hi Lisa – thanks for your comment. How things manifest may depend on other aspects and so on in your chart but the key is in doing the work as Saturn suggests. Mars does relate to the military and Saturn the establishment so the symbolism fits what you want to do.

  27. gina
    July 26, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Oh Mars oppose Saturn is a toughie! Mars in 12th too (seems to a lot of us), so 6th house Saturn transit…, had operation (over that now) on bladder (Scorpio!), then terrible wisdom tooth issue, and now at the end of the transit (all these occurred with Saturn DIRECT) have heart rhythm issues ,very worrying. Long term frustration I think. And the ANGER! oh just exploding all over the place! But also very TIRED. No energy!

  28. July 27, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Hi Gina – Gosh it sounds as though Saturn really has had you in the wars with this one! Hope your health issues are resolved soon x

  29. Charles
    July 27, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    My mother has Saturn transiting her 6th house (Scorpio) opposite Mars in Taurus in the 12th.She is now under a chemotheraphy treatment for colon cancer.Mars is natally aspecting Jupiter in the 3rd house too.

  30. July 28, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Hi Charles – I’m so sorry to hear your Mother is ill. I wish her all the best with her treatment.

  31. petra
    August 12, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Hallo Leah, thanks for this wonderful sentences about Mars & Saturn – I was looking for something nice about this couple in the web, something what elevates and comfort me, and not frustrates … Frustration ist high actually – with birth mars 18degr. in Taurus – and the visit of transit mars square natal Saturn in aquarius – now!!, a good starter before the final Opposition in a few weeks – i decided instead of starring at my angers and fears, just focuss on stubborn, but necessary works – and wonder – it functions! … most of the time … and the best … i get things done!!! and nearly forget the rubbles – with mars in Taurus in the eight house … have so much security stuff at work, all popps up and cries for solving …(maybe an eight house Thing ?) anyway
    Transit Saturn conj. Neptun – i had the visit recently … be careful of your feet – I got nearly flat feet, and didn´t realize that before the Transit has passed
    good luck to everybody :-)

  32. August 12, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Hi Petra – Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m glad to hear that you are finding a productive way through this transit. Your Mars is very near mine (mine is at 17 degrees Taurus) so we are walking the path together right now :-) I think the last hit of the transit is often the easiest in many ways as we incorporate everything Saturn has been trying to teach us.

    Ah – I shall keep an eye on my feet when Saturn conjuncts my Neptune later this year. I never thought about that!

  33. Gregory
    August 29, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Hi, there. Well, having natal Mars in Scorpio opposing Saturn in Taurus in fourth/tenth house axis respectively, this transit(Mars and Saturn in Scorpio) is trying to teach me how to balance anger with patience which is enormously difficult. My policy is to let Saturn the master of the planets show when it’s time to act. On the other hand, my powerful Mars in Scorpio needs an outlet and I really don’t know how to calm it! Exercising is useful but, not enough. Any suggestions?

  34. petra
    August 29, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Hi Leah, hope high noon has passed – with mars Saturn -
    what a week! lots of headache, sometimes full of energy, restless nights and from time to time high burn out Feeling in between – and – i finally understand the complete lesson with the Opposition to my Radix mars in eight / Taurus – it´s me who has to delegate all the responsibilities in my Job – which don´t really belong to me – back to the right owners, one rank higher (hard work for a virgo ascendent, who never could say no, when some challenge for organizing and logistic themes raised up in the air – after 12 hard years these multitasking abilities nearly killed me and at least nearly ended up in a big burn out – the worst i try to avoid now … obviously with the help of this marssaturn-visit … (actually i cann´t believe, how successful my new strategy of setting limits functions – i´d learned to think in a complete new way, which also integrates my limited energy ressources.
    hope your experiences were as positive as mine and the suffering didn´t overwhelm you – again thanks for this wonderful essay to this special couple – it helped me a lot … love petra

  35. August 31, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    That’s brilliant Petra – glad you found the benefits of this transit. And yes the 8th house, other people’s ‘stuff’! For me, I found a lot of self-discipline for my work and writing (natal Mars in the 10th ruling the 9th. Oh, and I bought a freezer the day after the final pass which is perfectly symbolic too :-D

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