Posted by: Donna Cunningham | September 7, 2015

Why Saturn has as much to do with Success as Jupiter

(c)2015 by Donna Cunningham, MSWCareerChoicesChallenges-cvr

The following is an excerpt from my ebook, Career Choices and Challenges: An Astrological Guide, due for publishing in October.

If you’d like to be notified when it’s available at sign up for a subscription in the box at the top right hand box of the front page of this blog.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”  – Thomas A. Edison

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

Thomas Jefferson

I’ve been a fairly lucky person all my life, and once, after a run of especially good luck ion my career, I set about analyzing it. I felt that perhaps by understanding my luck, I could not only increase it for myself, but perhaps also teach my heretofore un­conscious “methods” to others who haven’t been so for­tunate.

Naturally, I thought a great deal about Jupiter, the planet traditionally associated with good luck, but I was quite surprised to discover Saturn has as much or more to do with luck as Jupiter. People with Jupiter-Saturn or Venus-Saturn aspects in their birth charts are often “lucky,” but it tends to be the type where people say, “you must be living right,” for they make their own luck by being diligent and responsible.

Saturn? I know it’s called “the greater malefic” and “the grim reaper,” and it’s supposed to bring on all kinds of misfortune. If you really delve into it, though, Saturn doesn’t bring anything on you that you haven’t already brought on yourself… and if what you’ve done is lay the foundations for good luck, then Saturn will bring you better and longer lasting “luck” than you ever had under Jupiter.

Let me give you an example. Saturn once was square my Midheaven for six weeks from the 12th house…thought by many astrologers to be a very unlucky placement. Many traditional astrologers would say I was in for some real bad luck from “the old taskmaster.” (You’ve already seen my take on the blessings of a 12th house vocational path.)

What happened was perhaps the luckiest break in my career up to that point–I was promoted to head social worker in the hospital where I worked. I happened to be the only person on the scene with most of the right qualifications when the position became vacant–and I had been working there for only four months!

In the normal course of events, I wouldn’t have been eligible for that kind of position for about five more years. I did have the needed abilities, but was also in the right place at the right time.

How to Use Saturn Transits to Move Forward in your Work

So Saturn isn’t necessarily the bad influence people think it is. Actually, much of what other people label luck isn’t Jupiter at all, but very Saturnian in nature…not luck, but rather hard work, self-discipline, and preparation that finally paid off.

Let’s say you’re trying to establish yourself as a professional writer. You may have sat up nights polishing your writing technique. Then when you are finally good enough to break into important magazines, less-disciplined writers say, “I wish I had your luck!”

It reminds me of the state­ment by actor Bill Macey at the time he was involved in a hit television series. He said, “I put in 25 years of hard work to become an overnight success.” Isn’t Saturn as much responsible for that kind of luck as Jupiter?

Another Saturnian characteristic that contributes a great deal to luck is timing. You may have everything going for you-a great idea, good financial backing, and all the right people working on it-but unless the timing is right, you may fail.

There is a saying that goes, “There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” This is as true in your career as in anything else. Saturn, not Jupiter, is related to our sense of timing.

The “lucky” person knows instinctively the right time to ask for a raise, to launch that campaign, or to make that long-contemplated move. Life can be like the card game Slapjack. Unless you have that split-second timing, you can miss out on many great opportunities.

Other Saturnian traits that are important to luck and success include persistence, self-discipline and follow-through. Under a Jupiter transit, you may have the nicest stroke of luck, but miss out unless you are already prepared to take advantage of it; or you may actually be given the opportunity, but unless you have the self-discipline to follow up with hard work, the luck will evaporate.

Again, JUPITER ONLY WORKS IF YOU WORK IT–AND WORKING IT IS SATURN.  I rest my case: Jupiter and Saturn are the co-rulers of luck.

Readers, Have you ever had a lucky break under a Saturn transit?  I’d love to have you share it with us.Write your answer in the comment section below.   Positive steps forward only for this post, please! The purpose of this article is to help people who have a negative view of Saturn transits to see some ways they can make use of those transits in their career.

(P.S. If you like this post and want to join my email subscribers list, sign up in the box at the top right hand side of the front page. Subscriptions are free and we do not share your information with anyone.)

UPDATE:  Don’t miss the comment section, Folks.  There are some awesome stories of how readers are using their Saturn transits for solid progress!  



  1. Hi Donna. About 7 years ago I had some ‘good luck’ when Saturn transited conjunct to my Sun – I won a screenwriting competition. I’d already put a lot of work into the script and the prize was to do more work with a script editor, so it was all very Saturnian. I learned so much during that time and my writing improved a lot.

    Interestingly, Saturn was also sextile my Jupiter at the same time. And when the prize was announced, Uranus was transiting sextile to my Saturn (which is in the 3rd house – a sudden boost to my writing!).

    Thanks for an interesting post – good to be reminded that Saturn isn’t all bad!

    • Wonderful story, Jessica–and a perfect example of how much better your “luck” is when you’ve put in the sweat equity you need to be able to do it well.

      Oh, PS, since 7 years is a quarter cycle of Saturn’s orbit, it must again be transiting your Sun, but this time in a square. If you extend yourself, you may once again make progress in a related situation where you get writing opportunities.

      Since it’s a square, it may be more challenging this time….but then again, you also have 7 years more writing experience under your belt. Go for it! Donna

  2. Still new enough to astrology that my focus remains natally, rather than on transits. And I agree with how I read all my Saturn, who is my chart ruler, though I have a Virgo 8th stellium (including Pluto) and Scorpio containing a tight Jup/Nep conjunction at the Midheaven.

    Pluto feels more like “the grim reaper” to me; Saturn feels more like a motivator. Maybe he’s not so scary cuz he’s in my 12th house. I have him squaring my Virgo-8th Sun and Mercury and Virgo, and those feel like blessings, for they kick me into high gear. With Pluto I stumble and fall–a lot.

    Saturn lends a hand via hard work, (often based on mature reflection) to help me rise. I trust how he takes No Excuses. Pluto seems to take prisoners. Saturn helps me feel like I earned whatever Jupiter may have offered.

    • oops, squaring Venus (not Virgo)

    • Yes, Mary that’s a really good take on how Saturn works for you when you work it. Donna

      • Thanks, Donna, this is helpful, looking back at my current Saturn transits. Have just undergone a huge turning point in my life, for the first time taking on a professional job: college teaching. For decades I have not had the courage or self-esteem to warrant a more responsible title, though I have done very responsible things from a low level.

        Because of your blog, Donna, I am led to see that my natal Saturn in Sagittarius has been sparking a major impetus. Currently it’s in my 11th house and has been sextiling my Sun, squaring Pluto and opposing Mars. (Natally I am Mars square Pluto, with Mars in the 5th as the apex of my bucket.) It took me two months to get up the courage to apply for the teaching job, got it, then seemed to have lost it, a bureaucratic snafu or two that only got remedied 10 days before my first classes.

        Did I try and remedy the errors earlier by following up and directly asking the college if I were indeed teaching? No! I sunk into my well-accustomed funk, YET, I knew the subject through and through, and even when I was asked–a week before the semester started–to take on an extra course I hadn’t prepared for–I snatched it up.

        All my years of hard work–decades of perseverance and studying and honing these skills on my own without getting paid–paid off. With determined focus (allying with my playful Mars in the 5th) I pulled it all together with glee and gusto and I’m having a blast! In looking at my Saturn transits, it feels as if the square and opposition are like a double negative with my natal Mars square Pluto, fueling me into a positive, even with my resistance. The sextile surely helped.

        I can’t believe I didn’t reach for teaching at this level earlier, or astrology. At the same time, perhaps my Saturnian maturity wasn’t there yet. For the last month, I have been looking in my natal chart to find the smelling salts for my abundant Pluto, knowing I’ll fall hard again at some point, and now I believe that my natal Saturn squares–or whatever transits–can be a major resource to work myself back to work. Thank you.

      • So cool, and so well deserved! And haven’t you and I, between us, provided a great illustration of how Saturn cycles repeat themselves and can repeat a positive outcome when we are well prepared with all the skills and eagerness to do high quality work! Donna

      • Yes! Thank you so much, what a great insight you have offered for Labor Day!!

  3. Reblogged this on The Librarian.

  4. Hi Donna, Would love to share my Saturn story too. In 2003 when the transiting Saturn conjuncted my natal Sun (exact sesquiquadrate natal Saturn) , I had the most stressful time of my life in general, as well as one of the best lucky breaks.

    I managed to set up my own business (with a lot of fear and amidst exhausting family strife) and met & moved in with my future husband who helped me financially & morally big time (basically gave me all his life savings to help my business without which it would have sunken).

    By the way, I noticed that transiting Jupiter passed on my natural Uranus (exact quincunx Mid Heaven) just around the time I received cash from him. Also, my husband’s natal Saturn sits right on top of my Sun too. And, would it help to know that my 8th house natal Saturn sextiles the 10th house natal Jupiter , and exact trines my natal Venus in the 12th house. Would love to hear your comment ! With respect , Miemie

    • Thanks for the story. Lucky, yes, but those same transits can be tough because you have to work hard to make them work. But the progress is definitely helpful in the long run. Donna

  5. Forgot to mention that the natal Venus forms tight conjunction with natal Mercury in Gemini, which together form a close grand trine with natal Moon in Libra (oppose 10th house Jupiter) and Saturn in Aquarius.

  6. You slammed Jupiter so much, now I don’t know if Jupiter is good for anything with respect to luck.

    • Ah,no, I didn’t mean it that way. Both Jupiter and Saturn work better if you work it. But together they go along with substantial progress due to hard work. Donna

  7. I wanted to share at my first Saturn return I decided I could be my own person and not who everyone was telling me to be. I moved to a new town, worked hard, made new friends. Never looked back. My Saturn is in Saggitarius conjunct the Moon and North Node.

  8. When Saturn cruised into my 8th house and over my Mars/Pluto conjunction there in Scorpio, I rid myself of every bad habit and vice I’d been latching onto for over a decade, like it was all a dream and I finally woke up.

    My Saturn Return was nearly a breeze after that! Saturn is now entering my 9th house and I am planning a big move back home on the east coast for grad school. Soon, he will conjunct my stellium in Sag, including my MC, and I am almost ecstatic about it! Perhaps I shouldn’t be, ha! but I have worked so hard in my 20’s, and I continue, yet I still haven’t been able to start a fulfilling career due to many personal problems (now solved).

    Even as Pluto opposes my Cancer Moon right now, I can see myself finally clearing some major headway toward my desired career as Saturn transits my 10th and 11th and finally conjuncts my Cap Sun.

    Saturn over the Sun – I believe it is around that time that life slows down and we can finally see what we’ve worked so hard for, but also, what we still need to do, as though our path extends before us, good or bad. To top it off, just after my Saturn/Sun conjunction, Pluto will be transiting over my Sun as well! I have no exact idea what’s in store ahead but I have a feeling it will mean a great deal to me.

    As a Capricorn, I am a child of Saturn and I have learned to respect that planet as though he is a great-great-grandparent, responsible for my entire family’s existence, an ancient sage who sees through everyone… I used to fear him, and I suppose I had reason to, but not anymore.

    Saturn just wants us all to be at our best. Sounds easy, right? ;D

    • Wow! Saturn is very difficult in Scorpio, and yet with that powerful natal Mars-Pluto conjunction in Scorpio, Pluto’s own sign, you don’t flinch when confronted with such major challenges! Awesome use of Scorpio and Pluto in their Phoenix mode!

      I have a Mars-Pluto conjunction myself, in Leo, and I call that aspect my Manifestation Mojo. Check out the article I wrote about the powerful potential of that aspect, here on Skywriter. Donna

  9. Hi Donna I have Saturn bolted on to five 12th House planets, all square Jupiter. I endorse every word you say here! Will re-blog this post. Many thanks.

    • Glad you liked it, Anne. Folks, Anne is a very fine astrologer from the UK, and you’ll find excellent articles on her blog. Donna

      • Many thanks for the heads-up, Donna! Away to re-blog this article now…

  10. This is great – I have just entered my first Saturn return (Sat in sag, H9, while H10, conjunct Mars and ruling H11 & H12) and recently decided to write after years of journaling – the very first article I wrote was published and I have written quite a few since.

    I am also almost complete with my 3 years of Astrology studies and have just launched my practice. I am hoping the timing has been right! I also have Venus, Jupiter & Mercury & Sun in H12, and Sat & Jup have mutual reception (Jup in Aqua).

    Very interesting indeed!

    • Congratulations–the Saturn return should be good time for a professional move like that. (I myself became a professional astrologer at my Saturn return.)

      Those first years as a professional astrologer can present quite a few challenges, because you’re doing counseling and may not have had courses that prepare you. You might want to take a look at my ebook, Counseling Principles for Astrologers, as it covers many of the situations you may be presented with. You can see a sampler of its materials on my website,

      Another thing you might find helpful is to download the long article on predictions I recently released here. (See the “what’s new on Skywriter” list at the top right hand column on the front page.) Best wishes, Donna

      • Wonderful, thanks so much 🙂

  11. Hi Donna
    Thanks for th reminder of Saturn’s lucky blessings.He rules my 8th house cusp (other “older than me” people’s money or government).As for Jupiter (rules my 7th) when transiting Jupiter hit my natal 11H Taurus Saturn I won a child support court case.Even though Saturn squares my H2 Venus/Lilith in Leo conj!That was a huge relief and a much needed boost in cashflow.

    Then when tr Jupiter conj my H2Venus (squares my natal Saturn) once again I began to receive regular income when a boarder moved in.Now Jupiter is in my H3 Virgo Im eager to see what a trine t my natal Saturn trine natal Pluto in Virgo will bring esp since he’s moving to Saggi (my 6th house).

    And best of all when my Prog Asc hit my natal H1 13dg Cancer Sun I had 16 wonderful years of marriage to my ambitious, upwardly mobile,hardworking husband before he died suddenly(prog 7th 29dgs Cap).

    3 years after this event I have a 4th baby son who resembles my natal Saturn in th 11th house of 4th child…who is hardwork for me.But it is through his birth I continue to receive Saturn’s blessings.My son is autistic and I am a solo Mum but Im winning..thanks t my ONLY dearest friend I will ever 11th house Saturn❤

    • Bless you, you are making good use of the planetary energies through some tough times. Great spirit and spunk! Donna

  12. Saturn also ensures a stable pregnancy when it makes a good aspect to a woman’s Moon, especially the sextile.

    • Yes this is true.Saturn in Libra was applying t a sextile with my Moon in Leo 5d when I conceived,did his retrograde, and when I gave birth 9mths after a blossoming pregnancy Saturn was at 12degs Libra (Saturn was nw sextile my Moon Venus midpoint in Leo & sextile his Dads Sun cazimi Mars in Leo .)Interesting.

  13. Reblogged this on Jude's Threshold and commented:
    Good old Saturn! Insights from master astrologer Donna Cunningham:

  14. Yes! My Midheaven is at 2 degrees Sagittarius (square Jupiter at 7 degrees Pisces) and after many years of working and stressing over my career I have had so many wonderful offers and breakthroughs in the past month that it is a complete turn-around for me and where I am going! I have had to choose between multiple great offers.

    I usually dread Saturn transits but was looking forward to it coming conjunct my Midheaven because I had a sense that it would indicate a culmination of all of my hard work! Definitely feels life changing in a positive way!
    Thanks for bringing this topic into greater awareness and giving Saturn his more dignified due!

  15. Reblogged this on Astrology: Questions and Answers and commented:
    Enjoy this ‘taster’ from master astrologer Donna Cunningham’s upcoming ebook “CAREER choices and challenges”: I have for a very long time, really valued Donna’s grounded wisdom and humour which can put even the most difficult planetary patterns into a context which enables one to make the most of them. I agree with every word she says here about Saturn – and Jupiter…

  16. Reblogged this on Grandtrines.

  17. Reblogged this on SAGITTARIAN MIND.

  18. Reblogged this on Ola Queen Bee of Astrology and commented:
    What does #Saturn have to do with your #Career #Astrology? Find out! Saturn enters #Sagittarius #September17 4 Days AFTER a #NewMoon in #Virgo Psychic Awareness is on the rise!

  19. Transiting Saturn is conjunct my 10th House 0 degree Sag sun, and I just finished the fifth week of the best job I’ve ever had (after a number of years of stops and starts).

    It’s in an area I haven’t worked in for a while and has challenged me more than I thought it would, but I’m definitely “working it.” And am incredibly grateful too.

    Trying to “fake it ’till I make it” and embrace the challenge instead of giving in to the fear that I’m “not good enough.” I’ll take the pressure Saturn! This opportunity came just in the nick of time. #ThankGod

    • That sounds very fulfilling, Karen. Congratulations! Donna

  20. Thank you Donna! 12th house Moon, Saturn, Sun in Aries. I come from a very dysfunctional Aquarius/Pisces family with mental/emotiona/drug abuse issues.

    I credit my Saturn placement for my wisdom in the choices I’ve made in my life and the mental strength to stay working at my career and my life goals. Drugs have never been an issue and I do all I can for my emotional health knowing the challenges of my family history and my 12th house placements. Saturn has been a blessing!

    • A lucky Saturn AND a lifetime of hard work. Good going, Gina! Donna

      • Capricorn Midhaven…..we love to work! 😉

  21. Saturn going through my 10th got me a big promotion at work years ago when I had a corporate America job, and it was most certainly earned through hard work on many levels!

    I hardly notice Jupiter transits, although once when I won tickets to a concert, it was crossing my ascendant. That was a one-time shot though and the rewards were quickly over.

    • “That was a one-time shot though and the rewards were quickly over.”

      Sounds like half the Jupiter transits I’ve had lately!

  22. My natal Saturn is in my 4th house, 30 degrees away from Jupiter. Recently while Saturn was transiting my natal Mercury-Neptune-Sun-Venus stellium (2nd house Scorpio), I bought a house.

    I had no money for a down payment, had a forced bankruptcy 5 years before, and had not recovered my prior level of income (i.e. Barely scraping by financially). But because, I had diligently worked to recover my credit and knew a loan officer who told me about a special own program, I was able to buy a home with only $800.00 USD in my pocket!

    My first Saturn-Stellium conjunction, was when my daughter was born, she has been the most important thing in my life. So, Saturn seemed to give me,”lucky breaks” at “home”,

    • “Lucky breaks” earned over time by hard work, I’m guessing. See, that’s Saturn’s contribution to luck. Great work, Lady! Donna

  23. I had my first Saturn return almost a year ago. The biggest change I remember is that my mother got the highest disability category and was eligible for some money from social security services. Some months later, with the help of a friendly social worker, we filed an application for a caregiver’s pension and we enjoyed a year of financial security we didn’t have for many, many years. I no longer had to fear about not having money for my mom’s meds. I also, finally, had time for myself. Time I could spend on writing, drawing, browsing the web, etc. (that is, when my mother’s needs were taken care of first). Sadly the money ended and she recently was denied that disability category. My mother wants to appeal the decision, but it’s probably going to be tough to achieve anything. If I remember correctly, it was the year my dear aunt died in a car accident (it was in December, before Christmas). I have Saturn in Scorpio in the first.

    There’s a funny story connected with Jupiter. I have it Aquarius, 4th, opposing Midheaven. It sextiles and is in mutual reception with Uranus in second (in Sag). This Uranus opposes Mars in Gemini in 8th.
    Normally you’d expect harmonius Jupie transits to bring luck, but because of the electric influence of Aquarius, Uranus, company-related 10th and dissappointment ridden 8th (related with learning and information, because it’s in Gemini) EVERY. SINGLE. TIME it manifests as the following: Internet dies, computer is occupied, computer breaks down, it gets a virus infection, electric company shuts down power for meintenance purposes, I get my Internet connection cut, because I’m late with a bill, I’m forced to spend the time away from the computer, because of work etc. In the best case I find motivation to spend the whole day drawing, doing something creative I normally don’t have time for.

    My Jupiter is involved in the only squares/t-square in my chart – with Nodes between 1st and 7th (NN i Taurus).

    So expansion comes at the cost of getting me away from the computer and off the Internet where I spend most of my day.

  24. What would your opinion be of Saturn 6th R in Libra conjunct Neptune R opposite Jupiter 11th direct Aries.

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