Posted by: Donna Cunningham | June 22, 2010

Understanding Mercury-Saturn Combinations

©6-22-2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 We’ve been celebrating Mercury for the past 10 days or so with a series of articles that invited readers to ask questions and make comments on Mercury and its aspects. They kept coming back to Mercury-Saturn influences in various combinations, and I finally noticed that a Mercury-Saturn square was forming in the sky.

People often sense and respond to transiting aspects that repeat features of their own charts–and I mean regular people, not just us weirdoes who look at the ephemeris more often than the daily newspaper.

These are the ways that you might see a Mercury-Saturn influence in your own chart, listed in order of their strength:   

  •  Mercury-Saturn hard aspects (conjunction, square and opposition)
  • Mercury 10° conjunction to the Midheaven in either the 9th or 10th
  • Saturn in the 3rd, especially within 10 degrees of the IC
  • Mercury-Saturn trine less compelling, minor aspects just a smidgeon
  • Gemini on the Midheaven
  • Mercury in 10th, not conjunct the Midheaven
  • Mercury in Capricorn
  • Capricorn planets in the 3rd
  • Capricorn on the 3rd cusp, no planets there

Here are readers’ comments and my responses  about Mercury-Saturn chart connections from various articles, preserved so future readers can learn from them:

A reader writes, “I have Saturn conjunct Mercury and have never really considered myself a mercurial type but after reading your descriptions, I guess that I am… just in a low key way. I’ve been an astrologer/counselor for 30 years and have always been studying something (Enneagram, ACIM, Spanish, etc). I just didn’t relate to the quickness and social lightness of Mercury.”

My reply: Ah, well, Saturn-Mercury aspects are a different breed of mercurial. I find myself rather in awe of them, for they are the true scholars.  I’ve had several clients with this aspect over the years who had Ph.Ds. and yet were convinced they were stupid…an inferiority complex that was often related to a father or older brother who was brilliant.

One of them–a therapy client–was even a PhD candidate in physics and a teaching assistant in a major university, and when she tried to explain to me what her thesis was about, my eyes crossed.

It’s also associated with classical piano and with scientists like Albert Einstein who play the piano.

You know the story of Albert Einstein, right?  He had a close Mercury-Saturn conjunction in early Aries. He was born with a misshapen head,  didn’t talk until he was three, and was considered retarded when he started school.  

Incidentally, the charts of famous dead people still get activated by transits.  I saw a story on 60 minutes the other day about an agency that represents dead celebrities–the copyrights and royalties for their estates. And they said that Einstein is bigger than ever in popularity, especially since he was named the most influential Person of the 20th Century by Time Magazine. 

 I wonder what new developments we will hear about him and his work with his natal Mercury-Saturn conjunction being set off by  the transiting Jupiter-Uranus conjunction and the transiting t-square of Pluto-Saturn-Uranus.  Perhaps we’ll have important new inventions based on his work or some of his theories will be proven. (See a link to  his chart and bio in AstroDataBank  here: Einstein, Albert .)

Another reader describes her Mercury-Saturn conjunction in Virgo: “I have the Mercury/Saturn conjunction you just mentioned, in Virgo in the 12th. I will admit to being a crack shot information miner and researcher. I know no one better at it.

“I was Phi Beta Kappa in college. However, I have yet to finish a full college degree. If you add up all my credits in different areas, I am sure it should amount to some sort of a Master’s by sheer course credit volume! I DO feel that whatever I do is never, ever quite good or perfect or professional enough. I have constant amateurism syndrome despite abundant talent and lots of experience. This has been, along with a constant struggle to avoid depression, the curse of that Mercury configuration.”

To a reader who thought a Mercury-Saturn square was too challenging: Mercury square Saturn IS challenging but often self-challenging, in that this type can be a true scholar who takes on very difficult advanced subjects, so naturally their struggle to master their studies is harder.  

One odd trait I’ve noticed is that many Mercury-Saturn squares mispronounce words and don’t learn the correct pronunciation from hearing others use them.  My theory on this is that they don’t have many educated people around themselves, especially growing up, but have an interest in higher learning, so they primarily pick up these words from reading them in books. They guess at the pronunciation and get fixated on a wrong one, and when they finally meet others with the same interest, don’t notice that their pronunciation is different.

To a reader with a 3rd house stellium about an upcoming Saturn transit to the 3rd house: We continue to develop different facets of ourselves and our chart throughout life, so the young 3rd house stellium might be the perpetual student or “jack of all trades.”  Under a longer, stronger transit of an outer planet through the 3rd  or to a 3rd  house planet (or Mercury) such individuals might then be drawn to write about their topic of interest. I had been writing lots of articles about astrology for several years, but when Saturn transited my 3rd (for the first time), I was asked to expand the articles into a book, and that was the first of many books.

A reader gives a case example of Saturn in the 3rd:  “I have Saturn in Sag in the 3rd house. Although I consider myself pretty intelligent, I have always had trouble speaking. When I was in 5th grade, I had a stuttering problem, which still manifests from time to time.

However, when I do speak, I usually get myself in trouble, as I am blunt and to the point. Also, I have three half-brothers, one of whom I only knew when he was a baby, and two whom I only met when I was 30. The latter two had a hard life growing up (Saturn).”

Mercury-Saturn gets better with age!  Saturnian types tend to be late bloomers in the areas of life Saturn touches.

A reader writes: “I have a strong Mercury-Saturn signature, and have found that my writing (poetry) has slowly, yet steadily improved over the years. And somehow, I’ve always known I was working towards a certain level and have been patient with myself.

“That’s something I’ve started to love about Saturn: the rewards after the climb. Who doesn’t want to get better with age? I hate friends telling me it’s all going to be downhill from here. Are you kidding me? I’m just getting started!”

A reader asks: If you have a close major aspect between Mercury and Saturn (conjunction, square, or opposition) and Mercury is your rising planet, is the aspect or effect doubled or otherwise highlighted? Who “wins”? Mercury or Saturn?

Answer:  In any aspect, really, but certainly in this one, you’d have to figure out which of the two planets was stronger. The planetary tests on this site give some of the factors involved in making a planet strong, so you might find some answers that way. Here, you’d take the test for Saturn and the test for Mercury.  There are links to those tests below.

Mercury conjunct the Midheaven: The 10th house cusp (a.k.a. the Midheaven) is actually a power point in the chart, and any planet within about 10 degrees of it–even in the 9th–is a strong vocational indicator. On the Mercury test on this blog, Mercury conjunct the MH gets 10 points. What it can indicate is a career in communication, sales, writing, or anything of a Mercurial nature. There’s much more to read about Mercury and Gemini in the 10th as a career indicator here:  Cosmic Piñata #5—Mercurial Morsels

Readers, do you or someone close to you have a Mercury-Saturn aspect or connection?  Tell us how it plays out in the comment section.

UPDATE:  In our explorations of the minor aspects, a huge surprise was in how many readers with “minor” aspects between Mercury and Saturn had exactly the same dynamics as people with “major” aspects between these two.  Read the comment sections in these articles:

LOST BROTHERS AND SISTERS Several people have written in to say that they had half or step siblings they didn’t get to know until later. CJ Wright of Auntie Moon wants birth data from people who were adopted or who spent periods of time in their childhood where they were in foster care or lived with adults other than their parents ~ grandparents, other relatives, families of friends, childrens’ homes, or other environments, to see what placements go along with those experiences.  I’m guessing that an outer planet near the IC is one signature, but I could be off.   See the announcement at and  write to her at

Related Posts on Skywriter:


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  1. Saturn-Mercury aspects are the home of ‘never quite brilliant’. However, as you get older and the evidence that suggests otherwise is mounting up, it becomes tricker to deny the obvious! Saturn keeps poking you in the ribs though…

    • No

  2. I have Saturn in the 3rd on the cusp of the IC. (at 5 degrees Cap.). I graduated #1 in my college class. I did this while having 4 small children. I’m not sure how to intrepret that to my astrological placement. I attribute it to going through a divorce, knowing I had to support my children and I couldn’t do it flipping burgers at McDonalds.

    • You’re a sterling example of a Saturn type, Terri. Having it on the IC probably qualifies you, as well as the way you toughed it through college with all those responsibilities and came out valedictorian. That kind of determination and perseverence despite hardship is a true Saturnian. Did you take the Saturn test on this site? Donna

      • I just took the Saturn test. I scored 38! I read your description of the Saturnian. I fit the description. The only difference is that I’m politically very liberal, except where crime and punishment is concerned.

  3. A topic near and dear to my heart 😀

    I have a partile square-

    Mercury at 26 Aries in the 8th square Saturn at 26 Cancer in the 11th. I have Virgo rising and a Gemini MC.

    I never had to try to do well in school. I would sit and read magazines during class, and still get As. Still, I’ve always had the opinion that “there are a lot of people out there who are way smarter than I am.” And that is true, but, that attitude prevented me from really accepting my own abilities. I seem to read things at a level that most other people don’t. I read fast, and I absorb information with little effort.

    I’ve always liked what Sue Tompkins said about this combination, “that it dries out the mind.”

    I too have issues with actually talking to people- not a fan.

  4. Is there any connection between Mercury/Saturn aspects and novelists (as opposed to authors of shorter prose or poetry)? I have the square, and am drawn to writing punishingly long fiction. My Saturn is in Taurus, so maybe that’s part of it. I have Saturn very near the end of the second house, in the third depending on the house system, if that counts too. I always did well in school but I waited 20 years to go to grad school (you know, wouldn’t want to do anything rash!).

    • Hi, Amelia, you have a double connection between mercury and Saturn–1) that they’re square, and 2) that Saturn sits on the cusp of the 3rd, even though it’s officially in the 2nd. For me, I find that any planet within 5 degrees of a house cusp works for both houses. It does seem that novels and other seriously literary fiction would require a strong Saturn.

      I didn’t mention it, but Mercury/Saturn or Mercury in Cap has quite a marvellously dry sense of humor. (“you know, wouldn’t want to do anything rash!”) Donna

  5. Einstein said time travel was possible in theory – perhaps something like that? Wouldn’t that be something!
    I’ve got saturn-mercury trine, and I can’t talk in public, I choke up completely. So good thing I make my living writing …

    • Quite a number of you have mentioned that about being more comfortable writing than talking. Saturn does represent fears and inhibitions, often due to pressure while growing up from parents and teachers to be perfect. Donna

      • So true.. I have Mercury opposite Saturn and father actually said to me as a kid, “WHY don’t you talk like the way you write?” He just read something brilliant I’d wrote, but he criticized instead of complimented me.. I was so hurt! He is Virgo, I am Aries.
        He even got me a book on communication, which was an insult because he only read the title. He didn’t look inside the book which showed that it was just some simple grammar lessons I’d already learned in previous years of school.. His mercury is libra, unaspected and in the 1st house.
        My Mercury is Pisces in the 1st house conjunct AC.. It is opposite Saturn Libra in 7th.. There were many times I’d felt so self concious about speaking, I was more comfortable in writing but even then I would like to keep other people from reading what I’d write.. I’d get shy or thought it was “stupid!”

      • Welcome, Marissa. Despite the fact that the aspect is a quincunx, everything you say about Mercury aspecting Saturn sounds so typical. If you read the comment section, I think you’d relate like anything. When we did our series on “minor” aspects like the septile, there were numbers with Mercury-Saturn aspects who wrote about them, and the dynamics (family history) were so similar, it was uncanny. I’m coming to beleive that the pair of planets involved is the most important feature, and the angle only secondary. Donna

      • Oh I see what you mean, no there is actually an opposition aspect between Mercury and Saturn.. Mercury in the late degrees Pisces, Saturn in the early degree Libra..

  6. my closest applying aspect is Mercury inconjunct Saturn..just 2mins of arc endlessly or say very little, earn a living communicating, writing, radio, recording, but can be covered in shyness in an unfamiliar setting. Trip myself up now and then, too! Mercury Saturn for me equated in childhood with the be seen and not heard idea..but was paraded out for being exceptionally bright, reading newspapers aloud at age 3.

    • Interesting the double messages you got–maybe this is another property of the inconjunct (aka quincunx) aspect. Donna

      • yes, thankyou for thinking about this one Donna, double messages indeed. I still to this day even posting here, write then feel like blushing, hiding away, that maybe I didn’t contribute enough or too much, yet the urge to communicate is uppermost! ( Mercury part of a grand trine with Mars and Uranus).
        Mercury being siblings, mine “hated” me for a time, as they didn’t shine till later, and I’m in awe of all they are, too, and I unwittingly at a young age made them look bad and Saturn = strict strict father with expectation of excellence or beatings…yep, very mixed messages! Issues which I hope I have got to a nice mellow place over these days, given that our father has shown regret and remorse for his actions.

        Mercury Saturn in a friend’s chart..a conjunction in Cancer. She retired at the top of her (health service) profession, but forever feels she could do better with her written efforts, and agonises over creating reports, takes weeks to complete a project to be sure she’s covered every angle. She is a stern self critic indeed, yet the most wonderful, wonderful human being. She grew up with an ill sibling.

      • Thanks for sharing, Lynne. Sibling relationships can be a powerful dynamic in our lives. Donna

    • i can relate to this, although no major aspect between Saturn/mercury, except having a Saturn just 2 degrees from 3rd house cusp in Aquarius, and a retro mercury in sag in 1st house. im really very terrified speaking out in class, and keep on stumbling on words when i was a kid, although most of my teachers call me a “genius”. having a lot of thoughts and ideas on my mind, i coudnt barely speak them out. i began calling “mam”and “dad” at age 3, and i was reading encyclopedias and dictios by around 4 or 5. hahaha this a really interesting article

  7. I have Saturn in Virgo in the 3rd conjunct my South Node. Mercury is in 3rd conjunct IC in Libra stellium (and conjunct North Node ruler). What i have noticed along with others is I do not like to write or speak publicly and never feel smart enough although always got great grades and later realize how much more I know than others.

    A rather unique thing I find is when in highway traffic I seem to be in a pocket between the herds – it’s like I am being isolated and don’t have to deal with the majority of bumper to bumper traffic.

    I’m not clear how the South Node influences my Saturn.

    • Hi, Belinda, Saturn in Virgo is so self-critical, never feels its efforts are good enough. I find it a good practice to dialogue with one’s Virgo planets because they mean well. The aim or urge they bring to the personal mix is the deep desire to improve the self and others.

      So, you might write a letter to your Saturn in Virgo and ask it what you would need to focus on in order to satisfy it. It probably has some good, practical advice. In the letter, you might mention that you’re doing the best you know how to do at the moment, given the various demands on your time, and commit to taking one mission-critical action.

      Oh, and if you are at all into the Bach Flower remedies (aka flower essences), there are two that really shift that inner Virgo/Saturn critic. One is Beech (for people who are overly critical of self and others) and the other is Rock Water (for those who are too hard on themselves and set impossibly high standards. See the category “Healing Tools” at the right hand side of the blog for articles on flower essences. Donna

      • Thank you so much for that response – it is so timely as I am on a conscious path to realize my self-worth and the suggestions will be very helpful. I have had so many lessons concerning the uselessness of being self-critical – it is obviously one of my life lessons. Between my “perfectionist” mother (Moon in Capricorn in 6th), the nuns in a Catholic grade school, and critical partners (Moon conjunct 7th – 7th is 29 Cap so also get Saturn as a double ruler with Aquarius on majority of house) i have had plenty of opportunities to understand the nature of Saturn both the positive and negative qualities.

  8. I have a Mercury/Saturn duet in Virgo in the 12th house. That is, they are conjunct and do not have any major aspect to any other planets. I feel that I delve deeply into certain subjects, like astrology, trans-personal psychology, or other meaty topics that could lead me to the center of the universe or myself.

    I’ve had to learn to make small talk, most of what people talk about bores me. But I am always doubting my intelligence even in the face of evidence to the contrary. I am, as someone else here wrote, an eternal amateur. I have had a hard time staying grounded on the earth. I think other people may find me too intense.

    I tend toward depression and only meditation has saved me from killing myself. Sometimes I even find myself too ponderous and sometimes just wonderfully profound. Sometimes I am amazed by my own dharma talks. I can touch the Eternal when I start talking or writing. But I still get depressed. I just have to allow it all.

  9. I have Saturn in the 3rd opposed Mercury in the 9th. I also have Chiron and my North Node in the 3rd. That feels like a quadruple whammy at times…a lot of times.

    Speaking is difficult, writing is not.

    Getting my point across, through speech, can be difficult. I often say things that seem to be misinterpreted or need clarification – it seems easier to clam up or say nothing in the first place. Small talk can be difficult and is mostly unappealing to me.

    My descendant is in Gemini – I’m attracted to talkers!

    Transiting Uranus is going through my 3rd house right now, and will be for a long time. I’m working very hard to use this transit for beneficial growth and change.

    I liked the reminder that Saturn gets better with age – it sure has proven true with my Venus opposed Saturn aspect.

    • Transiting Uranus through the 3rd could mean online and other digital/technical advances helping you to overcome the communication blockages. And finding a new freedom to communicate with like-minded people at a distance through the various internet communities.

      See the tab at the top of this blog that says “cardinal t-square articles” and click on the link to CJ Wright’s collection of articles about Uranus transits. Donna

  10. LOL I have bone in this dog fight to pick! XD

    My elder daughter is Saturn-Mercury square and does have a lisp; however, she grew up surrounded by the educated. I have a university bachelor’s degree, her two grandparents we lived with (my folks) both have bachelor’s degrees, and she attended some of the finest schools around including the (in)famous Hoover High School of Two-A-Day (in)fame(y). It’s actually excellent education for being a public school.

    She just graduated with a university bachelor’s degree and is awaiting news from her application to graduate school.

    But you know what is exactly right? She’s a BOOKWORM.

    No joke. She’s a librarian and has applied for grad school to pursue a Master’s in Library and Information Sciences. Books have been and are her life. Libraries are her career.

    Book connection and Saturn-Mercury squares absolutely.

    She too was first identified as needing remedial tutoring in 4th grade. The school began testing her to see how far behind she was. Her IQ, using an elementary school test, scored 187. Using an adult test, she scored 147. She took the ACT college entrance exam in 7th grade and scored high enough for university acceptance, but I kept her in regular school.

    All this in spite of her lisp. 🙂

    My puzzlement all these years has revolved around how I could tell she was so smart but the school at first could not?

    • ‘My puzzlement all these years has revolved around how I could tell she was so smart but the school at first could not?’

      It’s the lack of verbalisation. Other people often miss how bright their mind is unless they know the person well or have worked with them directly (or when they’re older and their reputation goes before them). A child in a school surrounded by bubbly children will easily be missed because they don’t say much. Certainly (for me), it wasn’t until I had got through most of my schooling that I started to shine. My father said the same of him – stellium of sun, moon, mercury and venus in Capricorn, square Saturn = one very quiet and bright man.

  11. Hi Donna,
    I have Saturn at 3 deg Cancer in the 10th house (Gemini MC) which is the apex of a T square to Mercury at zero deg Aries (the Aries Point) in 7th house and a Chiron/Neptune conjunction in the 1st. As others have said, I choke up at the thought of speaking up in class or other ‘official’ situations – my mind goes totally blank! But I can chat away happily in situations where I feel comfortable, i.e. with friends or small committees where I know people well.

    Between my two Saturn returns I worked as a potter (Saturn -earth), but before and after that time was an office worker (Mercury). I have found that, although not unintellegent, I have difficulty in retaining theoretical information, but can remember things well after putting that information to use in some way. The current Saturn/Uranus opposition sits on top of this natal(Merc/Nept) opposition, (T)Pluto is opposing my natal Saturn – and the eclipse of 26th Jun will be conjuncting Saturn for good measure. should be an intersting time for me, huh? Cheers, Lin.

    P.S. Thanks for very interesting newsletters and discussion topics, I enjoy them enormously and value their wit and wisdom.

  12. Your description of Saturn square Mercury is *me*, but I don’t have that aspect, only a sextile and Capricorn on the cusp of the 3rd. It’s a square from Mercury to MC that does it. Fascinating how it works exactly the same.

    My brilliant ‘other’ was my sister who has a conjunction of Mercury, Sun and Saturn (how hard that is to write here). Books were very important to me. I can remember the day that opened my eyes; I read Alice in Wonderland cover to cover. I read very slowly though, perhaps Mercury in Taurus is to blame. The mispronunciation thing made me giggle though – my last bizarre one was ‘bough’ of a tree, came out rhyming with rough. Cringe!

    As so many others have mentioned, writing is my forte. But with the conjunction of Mercury and Jupiter, with a strong 9th house, I’m going to train to teach. I know that I wouldn’t have had to confidence to do this a decade ago, but it’s time for Saturn to open its mouth. It’s not easy to talk, but I know I can do it. However, planning is everything. I do wonder if my true calling is to teach through writing? Time will tell.

    Donna, the links you make between aspects are truly astounding. What a gift, and thanks so much for sharing.

    • Hi, Tizer, you know, Capricorn on the cusp of the 3rd is one of the connections between Mercury and Saturn that would give you a lot of those characteristics, but, yes, I’d say Mercury-Midheaven adds a bit of that, as the Midheaven is the 10th house cusp. Donna

      • OK, Donna thanks.

        I’ve just been looking at my ex partner’s chart. It was no great surprise to find that he also has a Mercury (conjunct Sun and Pluto) to Saturn square, plus the same Mercury to Moon opposition. In a relationship that I prized for our communication (composite Sun and Mercury conjunct), we completely failed at being able to talk about close, important, emotional issues. It went on for so long without us realising, that it was impossible to go back and rebuild the bridges. Sad, very very sad. A case of being far too similar, in a bad way. As we are now concious of what happened, I hope that we both find someone who can challenge us break these patterns.

      • Well, I do find that people with the same aspects are drawn together–in love relationships, friendships, and working partnerships–because we do things the same way, and it’s kind of comfortable even when it’s dysfunctional. Donna

      • You’re right. I’ve a friend who I can see as being the same. What do you know? Conjunct Mercury, Saturn, Venus opposite Moon, all T-square to Pluto. Sigh. We should form a self-help group!

  13. Donna,

    I wondered about this before when I read your Saturn Venus article but I held my tongue, and now with this Saturn Mercury article, again I find myself wondering… and this time I’m gonna ask:

    Do you ever discuss positive aspects to Saturn? My bad boy Saturn is involved in some really sweet aspects in my chart and I’d love to hear your insights (I have blank zones when it comes to my own chart).

    When I took your Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto strength tests, I was stunned to find Saturn the strongest in my chart at 59. Even though I have Cap Sun, I’ve never thought of myself as particularly Saturnine (except when I was a young somber child). I’ve always wondered if it’s because I have mostly positive aspects or because I tapped into my Leo rising when I was 11, and it took over my life.

    Saturn (3rd) sextiles Pluto (1st) and Mercury (5th), trines my Venus/Mars conjunction (7th) and is the the kite of my grand trine from Pluto to Mercury to MC.

    As far as my other Saturn aspects, it makes a quintile to my ascendant, conjunction to Neptune, and a square to my moon (Mom and Dad had a deep karmic hate going, Dad only married Mom and stayed together because of his obsessive love for me).

    Also, I was blown away by your comment about sibling guilt regarding either Saturn or Neptune (can’t remember which) in another article. My father loved torturing my brother and brutally beat him almost every day of his young life. I have often felt guilty that I did not realize I had the power to control my dad’s actions through his love for me, and yet did not. I also wasn’t told until I was 14 (when I had to arrange my mother’s divorce for her) that my brother was not my father’s son, but from my mother’s previous and totally hushed-up marriage.

    Whew, just read this over. Sounds like I’m a hot Saturn mess!

    Zero-point energy is the lowest possible energy that a quantum mechanical physical system may have and is the energy of the ground state. The quantum mechanical system that encompasses this energy is the zero-point field. The concept was first proposed by Albert Einstein and Otto Stern in 1913. The final paragraph is a comment I wanted to include regarding Einstein’s transits.

    We will be hearing much more about him this year regarding his zero point energy concept. I have been predicting for years that we are on the brink of some UNBELIEVABLE medical advances and watching and waiting for this time to arrive.

    Sure enough, right on time, zero point energy is getting ready to take over our faulty existing medical techniques. I was able to get rid of the devastating pain of recurring kidney stones (Neptune/Saturn conjunction) with a 10 minute treatment of a zero point energy device. And my 16 year old cat is bouncing around like a kitten again. No more arthritis.

    Be looking to hear a lot more about Einstein and his elusive zero point field. I am so blown away and so excited to be living now, during these times of incredible advancements. Can’t wait to see what’s coming next.

    • “Do you ever discuss positive aspects to Saturn?” Jeez, Tbyrd, I don’t see my comments on Saturn as negative, just as real. The qualities and challenges of Saturn are absolutely crucial to building a solid, mature, responsible human being who contributes to working out the difficuties this world currently presents.

      Caution in risk-taking while so much is at stake is absolutely essential. Realism will help us offset the foolish squandering of personal and collective resources that have characterized the past decades. And facing the consequences of our actions rather than continuing to leave them for future generations to mop up is spiritual maturity. Donna

      • Wow! Sorry Donna, I didn’t mean to suggest your comments are negative, and regret that I came across that way… especially to you, my favorite all-time astrology author.

        I am sorry that my comment appeared to be looking for a rose-colored version of reality (Sat/Nep conj 3rd?). I merely wanted to get your astro-thoughts on some very painful childhood stuff I rarely revisit, yet obviously didn’t do a very good job of communicating that to you.

        What I was so clumsily trying to ask is: Do you ever write about what are considered the classically “positive” aspects, like sextiles, trines, grand trines, kites, how they can modify challenging aspects, and how best to use them?


      • We’re okay, Tbyrd, not to worry. It’s just that you triggered one of my major pet peeves, that of the terminally positive astrologer who wears rose colored glasses and cheats the reader out of looking at the more difficult life patterns we have to work through.

        I’m sure the type of article you describe would be very valuable, and no doubt there are good astrologers out there who do write them very, very well. Look for them under Google or wordpress search engines.

        My “consitituency” if you will, has been an audience that wants and needs healing tools to work through serious woundings, and so my contribution has been more in the area of articles, books, and journals that teach people about those healing tools. There are categories on this blog related to flower essences, thought forms, and self-help articles, with lots and lots of articles under each category. That’s how I’ve chosen to contribute and what I’m led to write.

        Rather than expecting one person to serve all needs, it’s good to know what a person is good for and what they can’t give, and to seek out the other things we need from people who can and will provide it. We get fewer disappointments in people that way. Donna

  14. Dear Donna ,

    This Mercury/Saturn combo is one I never looked at. They trine each other making me highly organized, reliable, neurotic and all that good Saturn stuff….never at a loss for words, do not have any issues with speaking in public. However, when I started playing music, I had the WORST stage fright for years and years…..Saturn and Pluto are conjunct in Leo on the IC…..

    What some of your readers have said about self-esteem issues and depression hits home. And really concerns me. I hope they are finding remedies.

    I can offer this:

    Overcoming my stage fright and performing has given me a strength I could never have otherwise……and
    I take medication for my depression.
    It makes an AMAZING difference. So does LIGHT. Summertime I am one person…and in winter…I am another.

    Good luck ,everyone, with finding your own solutions. My heart goes out to anyone who has depression issues.


  15. I’ve found mercuy/saturn can be a very useful combination, specially in terms of practical life matters, or for providing ground to more elevated ones. In my chart they are in mutual reception and score high in your test (boy are those test fun!)

    • Hi, Sabrina. Yes, Mercury/Saturn in all its combinations is very grounded, practical, and pragmatic. Donna

  16. Dear Donna: I am feeling so grateful for your always and all ways being of help in my evolutionary journey. Especially today when Pluto is opposing natal Pluto & Venus.
    Needless to say: THAT was more than evident to my conscious mind, but i could NOT see Saturn’s influence in that transformation call.
    I have often been dismayed at having Saturn in Libra conj the IC! It seemed such a “happy camper” Of course, my major lung problems could be explained away more easily mentally because my mother was a chain smoker in closed cars in long distant travel together……….and…….i never could breathe easily with life.
    As a teen, i never read anything; library was just to improve my grades and meet friends. Not until i began study of Astrology, did i become nearly obsessed with reading on that and then the obsession developed into study of ALL the world’s spiritual foundations………THE magnificent obsession that is allowing me to still search this most recent call to grow.
    You are TRULY God’s tool for conscious USE while we all face today’s energies into what we all must grow into and become.
    Shalom to all.

    • Wanda, dear soul. Saturn shows the areas of life where we get better and better as we age, so these serious but joyful studies are Gods gift to you. Donna

      • It’s good to know that the area that Saturn rules, gets better with age. I’m learning to really appreciate my mercury square Saturn, thanks to a lot of the information on your blog, and the sharing of thoughts. The mercury ( 5h Sagittarius) sq Saturn (8h Pisces) helps me to study hard, retain a lot of knowledge, be very disciplined with writing and planning, being an eternal student(!) as I enjoy studying ( I am studying a few correspondence courses, now, as well as attending dance and language classes) I prefer writing to speaking, and even though I hate public speaking ( but I love teaching and speaking in front of engaged, enthusiastic students) I tend to prepare what I have to speak, so I look comfortable and confident ( fake it, until you make it!) . My problem has been for a lot of my life not feeling particularly “bright”, compared to others, and knowing I have to study very hard. It may look like I am laid-back, but underneath, my little duck legs are swimming very hard under the water :). Other people see me as academic : I have one degree, two masters, and a postgraduate teaching degree ( more than anything to prove I wasn’t unintelligent). Even having Pluto-Uranus (Virgo) in the 3rd ( having the potential to be able to research, investigate on a deeper level, potentially having a deep mind/ having original ideas ) should at least calm those fears down……. Over the years, I think I have started feeling so much better about all this. The studying and work has now paid off, and my colleagues have been very complimentary about my writing and my thoughts, so it can’t be all bad. Maybe i am being seen as an authority now! (LOL) I also think I have used a lot of my mercury/moon sextiles to Aquarius venus and moon-mercury conjunc to help with my love of art, beauty, culture/cultures and being around people/friends, to take the edge of the Saturn energy. But as you so rightly say, Donna, Saturn gives you the discipline , the structure, the foundation, the stamina, the steel and the stability to get on. That is so important to point out.. I wouldn’t have been able to do all of this, without it. I have to say, I have a lot of respect for Saturn 🙂

      • I have Saturn in Gemini as part of a Mercury-ruled stellium, and am so glad it’s there, as it gives me a whole lot more focus, discipline, and sound structure to my writing than 4 planets in Gemini would usually be capable of. Donna, fan of Saturn

  17. Mercury Rx/Saturn/Chiron in Pisces 7th , all in a very tight conjunction that opposes a tight Uranus Rx/Pluto Rx conjunction, conjuncting the Ascendant in Virgo 1st house.

    I used to be terrified to speak in public or even a small group of people but as I’ve gotten older I’m a little less frightened. The heart still feels as though it’s about to beat right out of my chest as in the old school cartoons. However when my mind is moving faster than my mouth, I find myself stuttering. I did not have that problem when I was younger because I was quiet unless I was asking a question that usually started off with “why is that”.

    I hated English in school until what ever grade literature became a larger part of the subject. That’s when I became more of an avid reader. Writing papers, ooh if I could have found a way to get out of it I would have. I’m finding that I’m enjoying it a bit more now that I have a blog. But that self doubt kicks in as I’m afraid to write about what really bothers me without being pissy.

    “Caution in risk-taking while so much is at stake is absolutely essential. Realism will help us offset the foolish squandering of personal and collective resources that have characterized the past decades. And facing the consequences of our actions rather than continuing to leave them for future generations to mop up is spiritual maturity.”

    This is exactly what I’m talking about as far as the kinds of things that I want to write about. I get livid when I hear an “elder” say “Well it does not matter to me, I’ll be dead and gone”. I think because of this conjunction and Mercury being retrograde I hold my tongue.

    “…Under a longer, stronger transit of an outer planet through the 3rd or to a 3rd house planet (or Mercury) such individuals might then be drawn to write about their topic of interest.”

    Wow, I checked back and yep, the Saturn/Uranus opposition was within 2 degrees of hitting the combo with Saturn opposing Mercury and Uranus conjuncting it. Also the first blog post was on the 8th. The number 8 is ruled by Saturn. I did not plan that, it just happened as I had been thinking about it off and on for about 6 years prior.

    I’m a visual learner. Combined with words, I can pick it up faster. When something needs to be put together that has instructions, I’m the one who is called to do it. Sometimes I just know how to do it but again lack confidence in myself.

  18. msfullroller I absolutely relate to your post and indeed to other people here. This is pure astrology in action Donna, bless your generous soul. Thank you, most insightful and fascinating.

  19. Hello Donna,…. I have Mercury tight square saturn.
    Mercury in 9:47 Taurus 6th. and saturn in 11:39 Leo 9th.

    And Yes I can pronounce words win a wrong way and insist on that.

    How can I deal with this square also when you know that it is a part of a fixed T-Square in cadent house with saturn at its apex involving Uranus located at 8:43 Scorpio 12th.??

    • Hi, Tarek, well, you’re more of an expert on how it’s done than I, as you’ve been doing it all your life. I think one way of handling fixed squares, especially with Mercury in the picture, is to continually ride herd on one’s fixety, recognizing when the innate stubbornness is taking hold and holding one back. And to recognize that our ideas are nothing more than opinions, and while we each have the right to our opinions, none of it is truth.

      When I need to get my head on straight, I open up the text of A Course in Miracles at random, and my eyes, invariably, light on the one verse that precisely gives me the message I need. It stops my brooding and mental whirligig short, like a jolt of electric shock. Eckhart Tolle’s books, such as The Power of Now, do a similar reboot, but in a more accessible way. Donna

  20. My Saturn is in Gemini on the 3rd house cusp conjunct South Node in the 2nd house. My only living sibling- a younger brother was given up for adoption when I was 2 yrs. School experiences literally left me the outcast; even though I had gone to school with the same group from the beginning and had felt a bond with them. I felt harshly judged for being poor; but it wasn’t until transiting Saturn Uranus conj. in Sag opposed my natal Saturn that the scene got so bad I had to leave my school and ended up going to 3 others in as many years. I should note that transiting Pluto was opposing my Asc at the time and that certainly could have added to the viciousness of my experiences then. I have always seen writing as a way to confide with complete honesty as opposed to confiding to people which always seemed to bring on embarassment, pain. I am perceived as very quiet to this day, but I would yack and yack all day to those knew I could trust completely. But I have always hated small talk and been a lousy party-goer. My Mercury is in Pisces, no aspect to Saturn, but that their midpoint is my Ascendant.

    • Thank you for sharing your story, Sarah, it’s very Saturn in the 3rd. I find that Saturn placements get better as we get older, because we finally believe we’ve paid our dues and can cut ourselves some slack. Donna

  21. I really got something out the Saturn survival guide; the Devil analogy and digging deeper. I have Moon in Libra conj. Pluto and I have to say I have been rather scared thinking of the upcoming aspects to it. Your constructive approach to these aspects gave me a turnaround and encouraged living and action instead of hiding out in a closet.

  22. Gosh, what an eye-opener this has been. I’ve never really considered Mercury Saturn before, although I have a wide conjunction (10′) in Aquarius 5th.

    I played piano from the age of 7 and gave it up at 14, partly because I wanted to be a rock star (!) and partly because my mother was so goddamn pushy about it, beating me for not practising etc. (Mercury is also widely square Scorp Moon)

    She told me years later that my teacher, who had a reputation as the best teacher in the country, had said I was the second best pupil she had ever had and I could have been a professional. Course no-one told me at the time. Oh well.

    I also find it easier to express myself in writing, than in words, but mainly because no-one seems to understand what I’m on about! Think that must be the Aquarius, thinking outside the box.

    My Saturn is exactly sextile Venus Sag in the 3rd which must affect the whole configuration, I guess. I do have a degree in Philosophy, but got bored with it, and went on to esoteric subjects instead. Definitely an eternal student and researcher.

    Thanks for this.

    • Sigh, I hate it when 10 degree conjunctions work, especially that well. Not spozed to, but when you talk to people who have them, they often do work. So untidy!

      At least tell me it’s an approaching conjunction, meaning that Mercury hadn’t passed Saturn yet when you were born, but was moving in the direction of a conjunction, rather than having passed Saturn and moving away from it. Donna

  23. Ha ha! Yes, it is an approaching conjunction – Merc is 1′ and Saturn 11′

    • I believe it makes sense with your school history, Opal. By progression, Mercury would have been approaching Saturn until about age 10, then moving away from it for maybe another 10 years, at least through high school. So, yes, I’d say the Mercury-Saturn conjunction works in your chart. A whole new aspect to get used to! Donna

      • Gosh. Amazing. Thanks Donna.

  24. Actually, thinking about it, I have Uranus in Virgo, which is a kind of mutual reception with Merc in Aquarius. Wouldn’t that strengthen the Merc then, and maybe amp the wide conj to Saturn?

    • Don’t sound tuh me like it needs any amping up!! It’s really odd–we’re taught that the closer a conjunction, the stronger it is, and the wider it is, the weaker, but my forays into talking with people with 10 degree conjunctions suggest that it isn’t so.

      (I’d venture to say it depends, instead, on the strength of the two planets, which you can find by doing both planetary tests, and then adding the two together.)

      I could tell you a hair-raising story about a wide (up to 10 degree) Mars-Pluto conjunction that ran through three generations of pedophiles, but I won’t. Nuff said! Donna

  25. Saturn rules my third and opposes my Mercury.
    I have a hearing problem and have worn a
    hearing aid since I was 15 (am 59 now). That
    is one difficulty with this combination. The third rules siblings and they tended to be very hard
    on me throughout my life. We never got along well as they were much older than me and felt
    I was pampered or favored which truly was not the case at all. Two were married and had children by the time I arrived on the scene. In
    actuality I had to begin at a young age to do all
    of the housework, cooking and laundry as mom
    worked outside the home. There was no pampering at all. Mercury rules my midheaven
    so I feel that my reputation has always taken a
    beating so to speak not only by my siblings by
    throughout my life from others not understanding
    who I was. Early schooling (3rd) was very difficult also with parochial teachers who were
    extremely strict and sometimes cruel. I have
    had learn finally (Saturn) to not be so hard on
    myself and be so judgmental about myself, too.
    That thoughts are expressed out in the world as
    one feels about oneself. That may be the key
    to this combination.

  26. Hi Donna,=-)

    I have Mercury(Scorpio 5th) biseptile Saturn(Leo 2nd/3rd cusp)

    I’m not sure how this has played out.
    This is only a guess…
    I know that I have problems with verbally communicating.
    I communicate better through writing or visually than anything.
    When I’m able to concentrate I’m a quick learner,but full concentration doesn’t come very often.

    What do you think?

    Thank you for this really cool article,

    • Do you relate to the description in the article and to the comments? A number of people with the “minor” aspects like the septile seem to have the qualities and difficulties they describe. Donna

      • Kind of. It may be responsible for my learning disability. Though I’ve been told by a few people that I’m of above average intelligence, I don’t really believe it. It may also be responsible for my siblings being much older than me.
        So, yes, I can see it, now that I’ve looked more closely.

        Thank you Donna.=-)

  27. Donna I got Merc-Sat conjunct and plenty of comunication problems. But some famous people,like Steve Irwin, a born comunicator, or Brigit Bardot didnt have them. How do you explain that?

    • Hi, Paul, I’d have to see the charts to get the whole picture. (And as my regular readers know, I’m retired from doing charts.) It would depend on Mercury/Saturn’s sign, house, and additional aspects to that conjunction. For instance, a Mercury-Saturn conjunction in Scorpio or Capricorn would be a lot more restrictive of communication than a Mercury-Saturn conjunction in Gemini or Sagittarius. Likewise, if Neptune or Pluto were square the Mercury-Saturn conjunction, it would be much more restrictive than a Jupiter trine to the conjunction. Donna

  28. Hi
    Steve was born on 22 feb 1962, mercury-saturn are in aquarius like mine. Mine is in house 9 not far from the MC and has also a 9 degree conjunction with Jupiter in MC. by the i was born on 9 jan 1962 at 14.15 in lisbon, portugal. I dont know Steve`s birthtime. Im a capricorn with Gemini risng

  29. by the i was born on 9 jan 1962 at 14.15 in lisbon, portugal. I dont know Steve`s birthtime

  30. I have a close conjunction (within a degree) of saturn and mercury retrograde on my ascendent in the 1st degree of Virgo. It’s so much going on there and I have a hard time coming up with an interpretation. They’re all also in a close 1 degree quintile with Mercury in Scorpio… Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Hi, Nathan, you can’t have Mercury in both Virgo and Scorpio, so I’m assuming it’s a different planet in Scorpio. Whatever the Scorpio planet is, however, the quintile is a helpful aspect, adding Scorpio’s depth to the Virgo ability to deal with detail. That’s a very powerful aspect when conjunct the Ascendant, yet can make you quite self-conscious and hard on yourself. Mercury-Saturn aspects usually mean you’re drawn to study more advanced subjects, so they take longer to master, but can go into real depth. Did you read the comments for that article? Dozens of people with Mercury-Saturn aspect told their stories, so you can see the many ways that aspect plays out, yet how eerie the similarities are. Donna

  31. Thanks for the comments Donna. I meant to say quintile to Uranus in Scorpio. I have read all of the comments here and am finding it helpful.

  32. I know two people with Mercury-Saturn *oppositions* who are either fixated on others mispronouncing words or continuously mispronounce words. The man is an astrology fan who makes fun of people who pronounces terms differently from him (e.g. Uranus). His Mercury is in Libra and Saturn is in Aries.

    The woman has Mercury in Gemini opposed Saturn in Sagittarius. Once she gets someone’s name wrong once, that’s it. She renames the person forever (e.g. Mary J. Blige has been Mary K. Blige for over 15 years). When I correct her, she says, “Oh, it must’ve been (the wrong name) in their past life.” She also literally says the opposite of what she means. E.g. She’ll say night when she means day.

    I have Mercury semi-sextile Saturn and I have to bite my tongue not to correct mispronunciations. It irritates me when people make errors in speech but act like they didn’t. If I do, I like to be corrected so I don’t keep making the same mistake.

  33. Hi Donna,,

    I’ve noticed something worth saying,,,

    One of my friends has Saturn Rx at 29 Cancer 4th. (Critical Cardinal degree)
    in a partile opposition with Mercury at 0.11 Aquarius Rx and combust in 10th.

    He is not educated and he went to Italy for work, He spent there 15 years and he returned back here mentally up normal and have no money… due to drug addictions there, He is not able to deal with his friends and trying to deceive anyone he encounters to take money from him or even drink cofee and avoid paying and things like that.

    He is totally insecure and is making problems to his family now, Since he was young he is in conflicts with his family and now even worse.

    He also think and pretty convinced that he is the smartest person here but really i see him so so stupid and blunt… All of us not me only.

    I noticed that afflictions from saturn in cancer is very dangerous to the native.
    Am I right… Afflictions from saturn to mercury when saturn is in fall is much worse than afflicting it when it is strong.?

    • Hello, welcome to Skywriter, Tarek. An excellent example of a Saturn-Mercury aspect, and there are several factors that make it a tough one:
      1) it’s a very close opposition, but
      2) the two planets are not in opposite signs, but rather in signs that are quincunx one another (Aquarius-Cancer is a very tough one, no common ground), and
      3)Mercury is retrograde
      4) Saturn is in the sign of its “fall” (i.e. worst sign), while Mercury is in the sign of its “exaltation” (best sign).

      None of those factors, though explain the drug addiction–that’s more like Neptune. Donna

      • The drug addiction came i think from a fatal exact opposition between mars in gemini 2nd. and neptune in sag 8th.

        in fact since his return i was intrested in his chart, very strange and really the worst chart i have ever seen in my life,, And the manifestation proves that, I suspect something dangerous from him… or towards him…

        if you look at his chart by reducing orbs to 20% in you will see two red long crossed lines represents his chart as the sign “Wrong”

        if you are interested in looking to this chart his data is
        10:33 AM
        Alexandria Egypt.

  34. I have Merc sq Saturn and I used to mispronounce many English words before even when I heard others pronouncing them well. My parents are intelligent, especially my father, but English is their second language and they aren’t very fluent. It wasn’t until I met my boyfriend that I started pronouncing words correctly, lol. So many years I went and no one really corrected me!

    • Thanks, it’s helpful to know where the pronunciation blocks come from with this aspect. Donna Cunningham

  35. Greetings,

    I have a Mercury in Capricorn in conjunction with Saturn.

    I’ve always noticed that I am much more of a thinker then a vocalist. I’d rather intake and digest as much about something before I make my point. I also have a hard time speaking quickly or my words get jumbled if I’m too excited and don’t take my time to think my statement through. Im a person who speaks little but when I do speak I have something important to say and I want all to pay attention.

    Not too mention I’m a huge skeptic, and to change my mind I either need concrete evidence or a personal experience. I do not take others words as truth until I myself confirm it.

    I consider myself intelligent and a great reader, but I can be closed off and skeptical towards new ideas until I get a chance to investigate.

    This placement also explains to me why I’ve never been able to “freestyle” rap, but can write down colorful and detailed stories if given the time.

    • That’s accurate, SolarSag. I too have Mercury-Saturn in Capricorn.

  36. Hi, what about interchange between Saturn and mercury houses. Like Saturn in Gemini, mercury in Aquarius.

  37. @ Donna, Thank you! Indeed, Fan of Saturn.You couldn’t have said it better.

  38. Hi Donna. Mercury and Saturn pair up in the 4 th house of my birth chart. Both are in saggitarius. My ascendant again is Virgo, whose Lord is Mercury. Can you please elaborate its results over me?
    Thank You.

    • Just what it says in the article, Aashish. Donna

      • Donna, thanks anyways. But my problem stands that I am not able to take my business on higher side/progress. I have changed different fields but still could not find anything satisfactory, both in monetary terms as well as in self satisfaction. Can you suggest any suitable work field for me to start business in?
        Would appreciate your help a lot. Thanks.

      • Aashish, you cannot base a vocational choice on just one aspect in a chart–it is a complex matter involving several houses, many aspects, and even the transiting planets. I am retired and no longer do individual chart interpretations except those published in my monthly advice column in Dell Horoscope Magazine. You are welcome to submit the question there, including your birth data and previous work experience, at Donna

      • I appreciate your suggestion Donna. I am looking forward to your solutions.

  39. I have Mercury conjunct Saturn in Aries in my 10th house conjunct my Midheaven. I am an Aries with my Moon in Gemini.
    I have been an astrologer for 30 years. No matter what I do I never feel good enough. I had a father who always told me ” you can’t do that” no matter what I did. He said it once about astrology and I said to him ” Why do you say that?” and he just smiled.
    When I looked at both my mother and fathers birth charts, their birthdays were in the same year and month. They both had Saturn exactly on my Sun and Pluto exactly on my Moon. My mother always told me about how clever other people were and how well they were doing in life. I never felt good enough no matter what I did.

    • Ah, it’s tough feeling confident when a parent belittles you like that, eve, but both of them?? It’s hard overcoming programming like that. One flower remedy by Bach you might try would be Rock Water, for people who are too hard on themselves. You can get it in most health food stores or metaphysical bookstores. Donna

  40. Hi Donna. Mercury and Saturn pair up in the 6 th house of my birth chart.
    will i get job easily

    • It should get better the older and more experienced you are. But for good vocational advice, your full chart is needed. If interested, you could write to the advice column at Dell Horoscope Magazine with particulars of your work and educational background and your complete birth data. Send it to Donna

  41. Hi Donna,
    My son has saturn mercury conjuction in cancer in his 11th house. He does mispronounce lot of words and has to corrected multiple times till he gets it righṭ. He is eight years old and is very smart but has problems communicating clearly. He started speaking coherently only after 3 1/2 yearṣ. Gave lot of trouble to his first grade teacher that the school psychologist diagnosed him as ADHD as well as depresseḍ. He was also a low performer there and the school recommened psychatric counselling. He was going through a germ phobic phase at that time. I changed schools (moved from US to India) and now he fine and a top performer in class as well as the maths teacherś pet. I am beginning to learn astrology now. Nice observations on Saturn mercury influenceṣ


    • Hi, Sheela, a good example, and I’m glad he’s doing well. I don’t recall if I mentioned it in the article or not, but Albert Einstein–one of the biggest geniuses of the ages–didn’t speak until he was 3 either, and the doctors thought he was retarded. Donna

  42. Mercury, Sun, Saturn and Uranus conjunct my IC in Sagittarius from the third house (except Uranus in 4th H) with the widest conjunction of less than 6 degrees (also opposing Chiron and squiring Nodes).
    I would say that I always had a low self-esteem but usually disguised very well 🙂 I never really cared much about school (but I can’t say it went smoothly) until I went to University. But even then, with all my diligence, It took me few additional years to finish it (in a foreign country). Now I am 26 and I am still a (master) student (again.. other country and different faculty). Even now, I found it hard to get my focus or a clear plan. I often feel as a pile of confusion and contradiction which can be devastating. And although I am hungry for knowledge I never feel like I am really competent in anything.
    I won’t even mention public speaking and larger groups..
    And I also have to say that this period for me represents the profound insight into my being where I am just starting to be aware of ALL the negative thoughts I have about myself that are surely drowning me. And at the moment I just feel paralyzed and unworthy. Though, I hope it will get better since I can finally structure and address some of my issues 🙂
    So much intro- and retrospection that it must me some shaky transit :))

    • I’m sorry you’re having such a rough time. When Saturn is One tool involved with Mercury, there are often self-doubts about your intelligence and communication skill. One tool you could find helpful is to identify and clear away negative THOUGHT FORMS. Repeated over time, these negative thoughts about your abilities can crystallize into thought forms (like “I never feel like I am really competent in anything.”) There are several articles and one major healing tool about thought forms on Skywriter. Go to the onsite search engine at the top right hand corner of this blog, and type in “thought forms,” then follow the links. Donna

    • I :- I have to say – we seem to be in a very similar position.

      Firstly, I too have a big stellium on my IC.
      Secondly, I too feel that educational institutions have failed me badly, though I have been unable to express it as well as you in my comment below. I too feel ‘paralyzed and unworthy’ at the moment, especially about my academic skills.
      Thirdly, both of us are on our way to getting better. As they say “Whenever you fall, pick up something.” All the best to you.

  43. Oh, wow! this article fits me to a hair! I have Mercury conjunct Saturn on my IC and also Mercury sextile Pluto (I just read the Mercury-Pluto article too).

    – I never had any learning or language disabilities. I would consider myself a precocious child.

    – MOST IMPORTANT POINT: I am an extremely voracious reader of a very wide variety of subjects, and there is almost nothing that I don’t enjoy reading! You’ll always find me with a book in my hand, and I always cover my books with newspapers or old calendars because I don’t like anyone to see what I’m reading and judge me for it. (Just wait till I get a Kindle, LOL!) I think that must be the Mercury-Pluto in me… Also I have a HUGE collection of over 250 ‘For Dummies’ books. I just love reading them over and over; and have been collecting them since many years!!
    However, traditional classroom-style learning has failed me

    – I think that an important characteristic of Mercury-Pluto/Saturn aspects is difficulty or barriers in expressing your true feelings. This would be very true for me: my speech or writing always falls short of expressing the true intensity of my feelings. And (although I’m quite talkative here!) having a heart-to-heart chat with someone would be my worst nightmare, despite my expressive Mercury-Moon trine. That might be because as a child, I have often been coerced into silence by my close family members. I have some painful memories about them.

    – Also, it is very likely that I have half-siblings that I don’t know of, since I have never met my father and know precious little about his life after my Mom left him.

    • P.S – I have Mercury in Capricorn.

      • Thanks for adding all these observations about this aspect. You’ve really added a lot to the discussion. Donna Cunningham

  44. I have Saturn in Aries 0 degrees (debilitated) square Mercury in Capricorn…I want to know if the aspect is still strong on a negative way, I mean does it diminishes the negative side if my Mercury is in Capricorn wich is ruled by Saturn?

    • Hi, Cristiana. First of all, I don’t see Mercury-Saturn aspects as inherently bad–some great geniuses have had them. But, yes, Mercury in Capricorn is a good, solid placement as it’s grounded and willing to take on difficult subjects to study. That Saturn is in Aries adds some of that sign’s Cardinal Fire energy to get things done. Donna Cunningham

  45. Totally agree with Donna, Cristina. Celebrate your mercury-saturn square, and it being cardinal, you can be am effective leader, rather than a follower in how you communicate. I am now ,very grateful for having a mercury square (Sag merc, and PIsces saturn) because it does ground the mutable energy, and I tend to think very carefully before writing or speaking, and my communication is seen as considered and thought through. Not a bad thing! ( Sag mercury has the reputation of foot in mouth disease, so I think the Saturn aspect definitely curbs that) And mercury-saturn’s reputation as “genius”. ‘scholar”, etc is not to be sniffed at.. 🙂

    • I have Mercury conjunct Saturn in Aries in my 10th house. When I was a child my father ( Saturn) told me children should be seen and not heard. I was very quiet and shy as a child but as I grew up I became more confident and I had the opportunity to learn astrology and have been an astrologer for over 30 years. I have Uranus in Taurus in my 10th house as well.
      With Saturn conjunct Mercury I sometimes feel I could do better even if people are happy with my work.

      • Thanks for sharing those observations, Evelynn. Saturn does represent the father, among other things, so it makes sense that his pronouncements would affect your confidence about speaking. Donna

  46. Thank you for the answers! For me this aspect has been very harsh, I feel that I can’t communicate normaly, I want to be more friendly, I want to change, I get stuck and don’t know what to say. I am still young, I’m turning 18 in December and Saturn gets better with age I know but still…. I’m a sagittarius with Gemini ASC so there should be no problems with my communication, but I guess as Mercury is my Asc ruler and it’s sitting in Capricorn and it’s also combust (it is after my Sag Sun) and the only aspects are square Saturn and North Node. I personally hate this aspect and I wish to find a way to ameliorate it.

  47. Hi Donna, thanks for your insights. I was wondering if you could shed some light on what happens in my situation where Saturn is in 3rd house Sag squaring Mercury in 12th house Virgo. Mercury being constrained by Saturn and losing itself in the 12th house is quite difficult, but seems to contradict the fact that it is exalted in Virgo. Can you shed some light on how these energies will work? Do they cancel each other out to result in just a mediocre intellect?

  48. I have a very tight Mercury, Saturn and Sun conjunction in Virgo. Vertex and Venus accompany them with being 4 and 6 degrees from Mercury (also in Virgo). The whole bunch is located in 7th house and forms a tight square with Neptune in MC.

    Well, I would love to be mathematical or good with numbers but I am not. I was about to start PhD but came to a conclusion that no one would read it and it might not be creative enough. Thus, I am trying to write now a scifi book to young people. I guess I am looking for some proofs in astrology for my endeavor. If something is related to Saturn it is doubt concerning one’s skills – but ability to go on, too.

  49. Hi Donna! Interesting reading–I have a Mercury (1st house Cancer)-Saturn (10th house Aries)-Moon (7th house Cap) (0 degrees on the Merc-Sat sq) T-Square. In my discussion group when I was asked how I felt this played out personally, my reply seemed elusive–I always thought of it as something more predominant in my childhood–but you are correct–Although I do not mispronounce so much now (I am almost 50, so have had time to learn), I learned most of my vocabulary from books and would frequently mispronounced things I could define and conceptualize only because those around me never used those words! I had speech therapy for 7 years as a child and also have a missing half-sibling I never knew…so you are RIGHT ON spot. Others in the group thought it might imply a learning disability, but that was not the case–more like a self-imposed overachiever.

    • Thank you so much for this excellent description of a Mercury-Saturn aspect. So often people who have this aspect devalue their considerable intelligence, as it comes into its own later. Donna

  50. Hi Donna, its really enlightening thank you so much. I have a leo mercury opposite Aquarius saturn. Mercury in 10th(mercury conjunction mc) and saturn in 4th. In total 5 hard saturn aspect and 4 hard mercury aspect. Thats it just hard aspects.. aand im like I cant explain myself mostly especially with brother and sister its really frustrating. I know im right and I even cant explain what it is bothering me. So my solution:whats the matter? Fine im ok no problem no Im not upset:// although my mind is roaring.

  51. Hi,

    I have a sq Mercury 2nd h/Libra and Saturn 5th h/Capricorn. I have a problem [or I had] regarding emotions, I cannot express them. When I was a child, my mother always accused me of not loving her, because I never said that, nor showed her. 🙂
    Also, as growing up, I found the same problem in my romantic relationships and also a fear of speaking in crowds, or being in the spotlight speeches.
    Currently, this aspect tends to become lighter, since I am not in my 20s anymore.

    • Hi, Caroline. Saturn aspects do improve with age–and conscious effort. I have a Venus-Saturn conjunction and had few social skills in my youth, but had to teach myself how to make small talk in social gatherings and other such people skills. Donna

  52. Respected Sir,
    I have been enlightened by your article on Saturn- Mercury conjunction.My daughter who is a capricon ascendant has saturn and mercury conjunction in the 5th house,venus in the fourth,moon in the Leo, Mars in scorpio but sun,jupiter and rahu in gemini. She is 14 years old.I would be very grateful to you if you guide me regarding her education and career?

    • 2020.

      That’s an important question you’re asking, and one that really cannot be answered in the depth it deserves without seeing where that planetary combination fits into your natal chart. To do it justice would go far beyond a brief reply in the comment section and would require a private consultation with an astrologer. I retired from chart consultations several years ago in order to focus on book projects, but can send you a list of astrologers whose work I know and respect.

      If finances are a consideration, you might consider submitting your question to Eileen McCabe, the advice columnist at Dell Horoscope magazine. Like myself, she has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and many years of experience in both astrology and counseling. Read more about her work and how to submit a question here:

      • Thank you so much for your response.

  53. I have an almost exact (less than a degree) conjunction Mercury retrograde with Saturn in Sagi trine almost exactly (less than a degree) Moon on the ascendant. I have dyslexia and have trouble pronouncing words and remembering names……very frustrating. I’m a serious thinker but do not tend towards depression (must be the Sagi?) . An Astrology course junkie can never decide which house system to use or even zodiac! Despite doing a lot of own research. The conjunction is in the fifth house. Il one sport and coach kids football and being a long term foster parent. I’m taking OU degree in history at present.

  54. I have a 12th house mercury (virgo) exactly opposite saturn in the 6th. As a child growing up, I was always considered weird or eccentric because I never thought of obvious answers. In class I could get the simplest problem and I’d look deep and hard, and arrive at an answer that would force everyone to label me a weirdo. My mind lives everywhere but ‘inside of the box’. I had to train myself to think straightforwardly.

    Well you can imagine how little this did for my self esteem as I grew up feeling like the underdog. I know I climbed my way to top but I can’t help feeling like the little girl with the weird thoughts. I always hated speaking and I hated writing. As soon as I think of something to say, no matter how much effort I put into constructing it in a clear and concise manner as soon as I open my mouth my mind blanks and my tongue twists into knots.

    I can write, but I don’t like to – It feels like I am giving away too much of myself and I detest feeling intellectually nude. The only reason I am comfortable writing this is because none of you know me lol.

    Anyway I’m not fond of this aspect, it makes me think too hard and dig too deep and most of the time I land in a pit of darkness in my mind and it is too hard to get out of. My 2nd house pluto doesn’t really help me out much with my compulsive need run with every bone I am thrown. I guess it has helped me arrive at the best research projects but the emotional depth is too dark and too much.

    • Does Pluto aspect Saturn or Mercury? Because much of what you describe–dark emotions, wanting to hide–sounds Plutonian and also 12th house. Otherwise, it sounds like you are very gifted in your writing and insights. There’s a series of articles about the 12th (maybe 18) on on Skywriter that you might find helpful. Donna

      • My Pluto sextiles Mercury and trines Saturn. In addition, Pluto squares my moon so I think that contributes to the obsession with research and the deeper, more intense thoughts.

      • Yes, that’s a great combination for research! You’ll persevere and go a long way with this desire to see what’s beneath the surface. Donna Cunningham

  55. I have mercury trine saturn…with my sun conjunct mercury both trine saturn…but I have saturn rx..don’t know how that manifest…my sun and Mercury is Pisces in 15 and 13 degrees with my saturn is 16 degree in scorpio…

    • I’d say that it’s a generally favorable aspect. Saturn can provide some grounding and perseverance to those strongly Neptunian Pisces Planets. Donna Cunningham

  56. I have mercury in gemini square saturn in virgo. I prefer writing to public speaking and actually have a blog where I post book reviews. Very scholarly. But my jupiter and pluto have positive aspects to my mercury so by profession, I’m a researcher (pluto) and I’m also a one-time published travel writer (jupiter) with a travel blog in the works. Like many mercury-saturn people, I used to have learning difficulties—–dyslexia and mispronunciation. I grew up with only my mother being the most educated in the family and we have a limited library, just my mother’s romance pocketbooks and one set of encyclopedia for me and my siblings. I had to borrow young adult books from a classmate whose house was in another village that I had to use my bike to get there.

    My experience with my siblings is not always positive as they can still act like little children even if they’re in their early and mid-thirties. I also feel cut off from them because I can’t relate to some of their modern hobbies (video games). I read a lot of books and play classical piano in my spare time.

    I plan to go back to school next year, a decision that took 6 years, because I wasn’t able to complete my grad studies due to many difficulties including lack of time (can’t get off early from work) and just the general poor transportation situation. Timing seems to be the key when dealing with the mercury-saturn aspect. Definitely, it has taught me to be patient.

    • It sounds like you’re making wonderful use of that Mercury-Saturn combination, but, yes, there are some Saturnian downsides like sibling difficulties and taking a long time to get the education you need. Donna

      • I have Mercury conjunct Saturn in Sagi. Almost exact about 45 seconds applying. I’m a traditional astrologer so don’t both with the outer planets much unless they are on the angles, so can’t really comment on Pluto. Your issues seem similar to mine though……not close to siblings or parents. I have dyslexia and photo sensitivity. Trouble pronouncing words (Mercury is retrograde and in its determent in Sagi) yet I love reading and writing. Education has been hard work due to work and family commitments. Started an OU degree course in history but with in a few weeks had too many family problems there fore have had to cancelled course.

  57. Donna, I forgot to mention that I also used to stutter, especially when speaking to authorities like superiors at work. It embarrassed me greatly. When there’s a microphone in front of me as in when I’m about to sing at office karaoke parties, there’s a tightening in my throat that I can’t control. I’m Taurus rising so I love music and singing. But Mercury Saturn can be such a killjoy : )

    • There are considerable downsides to the aspect, for sure, but I have such respect and admiration for people who have it. Quality workmanship.

      (With Saturn in Gemini as part of my Gemini stellium, I’m proud and happy that I DO have some of its strengths, but thankfully not the downsides. It comes out in my workmanship as a writer. Though I do occasionally stutter under severe pressure or stress.)

      Another equivalent would be Mercury in Capricorn. A bit on the stuffy side, however. Donna

  58. I have Sun Mercury Saturn conjunction in Scorpio 12th house.

  59. You could definitely see your skills within the work you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. All the time follow your heart. “He never is alone that is accompanied with noble thoughts.” by Fletcher.

  60. I have a mercury/neptune/saturn/uranus/sun in my 3rd house capricorn. The saturn transit occurring has completely changed the entire person I am. 2 years ago I was just getting out of prison waking up next to friends dead from overdoses. Then after 10 years battling addiction Jan of 2015 I got clean. Synchronicity started happening in my life I began to have a complete spiritual awakening. I have been going through crazy heavy rollercoaster of emotions . My heart has been a bouncing ball on a string, literally it will palpituate and flutter inside of me. Everything has been extremely clarifying

    • Wonderful to hear about your awakening, Alyssa! With your Capricorn planets, you are part of a very rare generation. For more information, go Donna

  61. I have this aspect and alot of cases above rings true to me though not as extreme. I have an Aries Mercury – Saturn conjunct in my 9th house ( one natal chart says it’s on a Pisces-Aries cusp 29.09). I’m 19 so Ik it’s much of life I haven’t experienced yet..but I feel kinda like a veteran and amateur to my age group at the same time (Saturn square cancer moon in 12th maybe?). My father is strict – since I learned he has Venus in Capricorn I really respect that abt him. I actually have a tight bond with my sisters (one of em have Mercury-Saturn conjunct too) I still know they don’t fully understand where I be coming from. I have decent social skills because I know how to be polite and say what you wanna hear (sun Pisces8th), and I can make small talk, however only when I want something. Friendly chats on the phone and with others abt random stuff…idk how to do yet lol. I also alwayys felt like I had to talk to people how they talk, you know, like dumbing myself down just to communicate with them- they could be really smart too I just always felt like what I REALLY wanted to communicate was too weird/unpopular. This aspect being in my 9th house really ties me to my beliefs, like, I have the urge to tie every small conversational subject to astrology and other spiritual truths I know, but when I do, people are either intrigued and don’t know how to respond or are just turned off, either one makes me feel weird. However, I feel like that just comes with Saturn and it’s my duty to reserve my knowledge and communicate with the average person in a more lighthearted social harmonious way(libra-Virgo cusp in 3rdhouse maybe). I promise writing this was a real outlet to me and I’m glad I read this article. I feel like I wrote too much!

    • No, Shakra, you haven’t written too much. Each comment that tells us how the aspect works in different signs and houses is a welcome addition to what we know about the different ways of using it.

      You might want to read the article on this site about what the 29th degree means and see if that rings true. The comment section on that post is also awesome. If one of the pair is in Pisces and the other is in Aries, that’s an out of sign conjunction, and I think you’ll find an article about that too.

  62. I left this out but I also feel like people think I’m not as smart as them, or smarter than I present myself so they might think I “try to hard”. The second part true but if I don’t TRY to fit in I WILL NOT fit in period lol, it’s not easy for me. On top of that if I tell anybody how I really feel, I feel like it’s to my undoing (cancer square sat in 12th house)

  63. I have saturn conjunct mercury in aries. I think what makes this “worse” is that I have Merc R. All of this article has touched me, especially dealing with depressing/ almost suicidal thoughts. I was bullied in elementary school for being socially awkard and having an “ugly voice”. I’m insecure about it . I am 18 and a girl so people say “why do you talk so low?, speak higher!” Or “Why do you talk like that?” Ive been called all types of sh and it made me real angry. I wanted to slap this girl in the face for saying how I was “slow and never good enough, that’s why you sit in the back , alone, from the class.” Now , it’s like people are more accepting or don’t care. I do have 2 step sisters and 1 step brother, they are all nice. But to know my father fought with my mother a lot when I was younger made me lose a bit of respect.

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