Mars Square Saturn in the Natal Chart
The natal square between the malefics, Mars and Saturn, indicates a weighty discord between the impetus of desire and the restraint of responsibility. The Mars-Saturn square surges a defensive nature, often propelling hindrances in personal relationships. The square between Mars and Saturn propels a defensiveness within the context of personal relationships. Saturn, the excluding influence, acclimates fear of rejection coupled with restraint. The melancholic temperament of the Time Keeper punctuates this configuration, requesting a counteraction to pessimism, brooding pensiveness, and disconsolation. The oscillating pull between assertion and lethargy, aggression and apathy, can delay personal progress, until conscious application of consistent will is emplooyed. Laboriousness and persistent effort are adequate antidotes to the Mars-Saturn square. We need only understand the nature of both malefics to gain insight as to their operative function (within the context of natal square). When Mars’ swift severance is halted by Saturn, the primal drive is consistently oppressed by apprehension.
Imagine the sluggish scorch of an expanding fire, where its force is unsustainably dense. While its embers require preservation, Saturn’s slow, consistent pressure is exhausting. Anger and frustration are at the core of this aspect, stemming from internalized hurt and tension. Irritability and tension surges, requiring temperance and controlled separation. Inhibition and rejection (Saturn) are present with this aspect, coupled with a limiting sense of self-value.
Saturn (along with the Sun) is often attributed to the father, and with this aspect (as well as the natal opposition and conjunction), the native’s early relationship with the paternal figure mirrors Saturn’s gelid austerity. As with all aspects, none should be interpreted in isolation. It is important to consider the entirety of the birth chart, including the condition of the planets described.
The Natal Square
The natal square, often illustrated as a visual enmity, is traditionally (strictly in isolation here, for informative purposes) considered less challenging than the opposition. The natal square, also known as the tetragon, occurs when planets are four signs apart, or separated by 90°. As with all degree-based configurations or aspects, the relationship between two planets is intensified according to proximity via degree. Traditionally, the square is referred to as adversarial, indicating rivalry or discord. Malefics (Saturn and Mars) are considered particularly challenging when configured via square, especially considering that, traditionally, Mars rules the tetragon, or square (the Saturn configuration is the diameter, or opposition).
Applying and Separating Aspects
In traditional astrology, planets applying within three degrees participate in engagement, or coming together. As opposed to separating aspects, applying aspects are considered more potent because they indicate future circumstances. Contrastingly, separating aspects are interpretive of past events. Within the context of the natal chart, applying aspects also indicate, from the moment of inception, the nativity’s future potential.
Meaning and Correspondences of Mars in Astrology
Mars represents the spirit of energy, courage, and enterprise. His energy, when implemented strategically, is the polarity of shiftlessness and cowardice. At its best, Mars mirrors the unconquerable energy and potent will of a warrior. This is the necessary masculine energy that initiates and asserts without subjection to reason. Traditionally, as a nocturnal malefic, Mars negates via severance or separation.
Mars (also known as Mavors, Ares, Pyrois, or Gradivus), appears as a fiery star of sparkling color. He is a masculine, nocturnal planet of the night sect. His temperament is hot and dry, choleric and fiery. His approximate course completion is one year and 321 days. His greatest northern latitude is 4°31′ while his southern latitude is 6°47′.  Mars has his domicile in Aries and Scorpio, is exalted at 28° Capricorn, sees its depression/ fall at 28° Cancer, and is in detriment/ fall in Libra and Taurus. Mars stations before his 80-day retrograde, and governs the water triplicity (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces, respectively). In traditional astrology, Mars is known as the lesser malefic, and finds his Joy in the sixth place. He governs Tuesday, in the first and eighth hour from the Sun. He solely befriends Venus, remaining antagonistic to all other planets.
Meaning and Correspondences of Saturn in Astrology
Saturn (also known as Kronos, Phainon, or Falcifer), the greater malefic, is aligned with boundaries, discipline, and structure. His four main groups of rings, metaphors of limitation, range in temperature from -163 to -203° Celsius. He governs time, is associated with maturity (70+), and is attributed to subjectively negative experiences such as suffering, pain, isolation, and loneliness (reflective of his traditional joy in the 12th place). Just as benefics (Jupiter and Venus) have the power to say ‘yes’, malefics are inclined to negate, or say ‘no’. Saturn denies via rejection or exclusion.
Saturn’s nature is cold and dry, principally melancholic, and of the diurnal sect. Saturn is the traditional, domicile lord of Capricorn (nocturnal) and Aquarius (diurnal), exalted in Libra (exaltation degree: 21° Libra), in adversity/ ‘detriment’ in Cancer and Leo, and in its depression/ ‘fall’ in Aries. His energy may be more or less constructive in one’s chart relevant to sect. 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.
1. Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos
2. Brennan, Chris, Hellenistic Astrology
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