Mercury Square Saturn


Mercury Square Saturn in the Natal Chart

The Square Configuration or Aspect in the Natal Chart

The square is a 90° angle with a 6° orb range.

The square aspect is considered dynamically challenging, since its difficulties propel significant work on the issues indicated by the planets involved. Planets in the square aspect are at cross-purposes: their tension can produce frustration, although diligent labor and perseverance can promote success. The level of triumph over the square aspect is the result of successful integration of two principles (as indicated by the planets involved). Because this aspect is considered to be traditionally challenging, we look to the signs (meaning, dignity, and condition) and places/ houses involved in order to understand where adjustments, integration, and patient application must be employed. Again, with the square aspect, growth is always the result of incessant laboriousness, but this should not suggest that its limitations are not without resolve.

* Note: Single aspects should neither be isolated nor fixated upon in interpretation, as the overall chart can demonstrate mitigating or contradictory factors. Instead, a thorough chart analysis will bring the necessary clarity and cohesion of celestial influences.

Mercury Correspondences in Astrology

Correspondences of Mercury in Traditional Astrology

Mercury’s nature is cold and dry, being by nature, melancholic in temperament (in Medieval astrology, Mercury is noted as the ‘positive’ aspect of the melancholic temperament).

He is neutral in both gender and sect, depending on the influence of other planets. Mercury, the Messenger, is the domicile lord/ ruler of both Gemini and Virgo. He is exalted in the sign of Virgo (degree of exaltation: 15° Virgo). Mercury is considered in adversity/ ‘detriment’ in Sagittarius and Pisces, and finds his depression /fall in Pisces (degree of fall: 15° Pisces). In traditional astrology, he finds his planetary Joy in the first house. He governs substances such as quicksilver (Mercury), copper (in the Hellenistic tradition), and all coinage. As a shape-shifter, he governs mixed colors, and opalescent hues.

Mercury’s General Meaning and Natal Significance

Of all planets, Mercury is the most changeable, adaptive, and flexible. He governs speed, for he is Hermes, the swift Messenger of the gods. Mercury’s star is attributed to education, writing, speech, debate, languages, and interpretation. He possesses the faculties of critical thought: forethought, intelligence, wisdom, and judgement. Mercury is the ruler of commerce (note the ‘merc’ in this word). He is the overseer of brotherhood and siblings. In accordance with his adaptable nature, Mercury is the bestower of various pursuits, depending on his sign placement and configurations (aspects): granting knowledge for some (including astrology), education, trade, or teaching for others, and public affairs/ services for others. Mercury can also bring distractions and irregularities to endeavors (Brennan, p. 183).

Saturn Correspondences in Astrology

Saturn Aspects in Astrology

Correspondences of Saturn in Traditional Astrology

Saturn’s nature is cold and dry. He is principally melancholic, and of the diurnal sect. Saturn is the traditional, domicile lord/ ruler of Capricorn and Aquarius, exalted in Libra (degree of exaltation: 21° Libra), in adversity/ ‘detriment’ in Cancer and Leo, and in its depression/ ‘fall’ in Aries. He is considered the Greater Malefic in traditional astrology, but his energy may be more or less constructive in one’s chart. In traditional astrology, Saturn has his Joy in the 12th place. His taste is astringent and his color is dark brown (along with grey and black). He governs substances such as lead (in part, due to its toxicity), stone, and wood.

Saturn’s General Meaning and Natal Significance

Saturn is the planet aligned with boundaries, discipline, and structure. He governs time, is associated with old age (70+), and is attributed to subjectively ‘negative’ experiences such as suffering (he has his Joy in the 12 place in traditional astrology), pain, isolation, and loneliness. Just as benefics (Jupiter and Venus) have the power to say ‘yes’, malefics are inclined to negate, or say ‘no’. Saturn’s style of denying is via restriction. His four main groups of rings, metaphors of limitation, range in temperature from -163 to -203° Celsius.

No chart is void of Saturn, regardless of dignified planets and exemplary aspects, as there can be no life without struggle.

Mercury Square Saturn in the Natal Chart

The Mercury-Saturn square is usually demarcated by difficulties with speech and communication. Usually, there is an impediment in the timing process, or speed of delivery, which is hastened by the weight of Saturn. A child with this aspect should be provided with ample resources to facilitate self-expression. It is not uncommon for natives, especially at an early age, to experience difficulties in verbal delivery and articulation. The sense of standing ‘frozen’, in the midst of providing a necessary response, often in the middle of important disputes, can cause lamentable thought-patterns. The native will often describe the Mercury-Saturn square as a pressure that blocks the otherwise seamless flow of the interpretive thought-processes. As a result, these natives must apply considerable time to endeavors relative to writing or recitation, in order to compensate for Saturn’s restrictive characteristics. However, this aspect, given that considerable work is employed in its rectification, is ameliorated with time (for time is Saturn’s realm). If necessary, taking public speaking courses, applying consistent effort in writing practices, and engaging in public communication are all helpful constituents to the softening of this challenging aspect.

The square aspect between Mercury and Saturn implies cerebral restraint and mental bond to traditional thought-patterns. These natives often possess a strong desire to trace a topic’s origin to its oldest piece of evidence. This is a case where the house placement and sign are both of particular importance. There is a fondness for the past, seeking knowledge as far back as possible. Interestingly, I have noticed a dislike in antique replicas or duplications deviating from the root origin with this aspect. The mind is prone to worry and mental processes can be saturated by the pessimistic influence of Saturn. Simultaneously, the mind is linked to concerns or failures regarding personal success. There is a strong, penetratingly sharp focus of concentration, however, that can be applied to mercurial subject matter.

Working with this aspect involves the persistent, practical application of the very hindrances indicated by Saturn’s influence. If public speaking is difficult, work and effort should be applied to this challenge via courses in order to dissolve Saturn-based fears relative to public communication. Learning to deliver public presentations is a skill that requires time investment. If there is difficulty in written articulation, it would be beneficial to invest in either taking writing courses or practicing techniques in a journal. All square aspects require diligent effort in order to surpass their limitations, which can, as a result of consistent laboriousness, foster growth and success.


1. Lilly, William, Christian Astrology.

2. Brennan, Chris, Hellenistic Astrology.

Copyright (c) 2018 Saturn and the Sun Astrology. All rights reserved.

4 thoughts on “Mercury Square Saturn

  1. My Saturn 2°05′ Taurus is square my Mercury 23°43′ Capricorn. I’ve been told by some that this is not a square because the orb is 8+ °. But, I can sure relate to everything you’ve described. Maybe it’s just that Mercury is in Cap. But also this aspect is losely tied to a grand cross in my chart which makes me think that energy anywhere in the vicinity amplifies what might otherwise be inconsequential. Just found you recently & really appreciate your writing. Thanks!


    • Hello there,

      By default, a square is ninety degrees apart and, therefore, cannot apply between Taurus and Capricorn. I’m assuming that was a typo? If you do have a square involving Mercury in Capricorn, look to the chart’s sect, the position of the square (for example, is Saturn earlier in zodiacal order relative Mercury? This would be an aspect of ‘overcoming, in traditional astrology).
      I interpret aspects from the perspective of client scenarios/ patterns noticed throughout the years, so this is one case where I do place experience over the ‘cookbook’ recipes in modern books. Usually, I find those interpretations a bit general. What are your thoughts?
      I appreciate the feedback.

      Warm regards,



  2. No typo. I started looking into astrology earnestly with the discovery of Liz Greene’s book on Saturn & then purchased her 20+ page report on my chart. After that I’ve used to look at charts. Both Ms. Green & show that square between Mercury & Saturn. I’ve read since that this is not a square, like you’ve said. I do relate to what you’ve described. I even have a memory of trying to speak in order to get elected for student council in high school & literally freezing in front of 500+ people. For 25 years now I’ve been writing poems & periodically I do readings. I always experience intense anxiety but I’ve gotten pretty good & I always feel that my sense of personal power has benefited from having put myself out there. I do have a lot of other saturnine influence so maybe that’s why your description resonates. Also Saturn is involved in a t-square opposing Jupiter & both squaring moon within 2°. My moon is at 0°17′ Leo so that’s 6°34′ from an opposition with Mercury but still obviously out of sign. I suppose this conversation may be beyond a comment section. I’ve just been trying clarify what role my Mercury has actually been playing in my chart. I’ve kind of come to identify with the image of my chart from & I realize it’s possible I need to reconfigure.

    Bowing deeply,


    • Hi Peter,

      I think Greene might be referring to ‘dissociative’ aspects (I don’t practice this, but I’ll explain), where, in your example, 2° Taurus is (barely) within orb of a (dissociative) ‘square’ aspect to 23°43′ Capricorn. Otherwise, planetary aspects between Taurus and Capricorn share a harmonious (trine) relationship, the classical explanation in astrology that I employ.
      Aspects (excluding minor aspects), outer planets, and elements are actually the last parts of modern/ 20th century astrology that I still incorporate into practice.
      If you’re open to it, have you looked at your chart using whole sign houses? It’s just a different interpretation to that of the quadrant-based Placidus system, where interception occurs with houses. For example, in Placidus, it’s possible to have an Aries ascendant with Gemini in the 2nd house (where Taurus is intercepted). Ultimately, it’s just a suggestion in order to find your path regarding what system and tradition feels most comfortable for you.
      If not, please consider the condition and house placement of your ascendant lord/ ruler, as you mention you’ve a prominent Saturnian chart presence, and your descriptions parallel his influence. This is also an instance where sect would be helpful in determining the type of role Saturn plays in your chart. He does reward laboriousness and time-based consistency (so it seems you’re approaching his ‘lessons’ appropriately). Ever so rarely, he even offers us a bit of grace (but that’s altogether a separate topic).

      Appreciate the dialogue.




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