A tiny grain of sand washed into a mussel, entering its protective shell. Hard, sharp and angular, the grain of sand lies in the soft flesh and brings ongoing pressure, discomfort and even pain to the mussel’s tender inner lining. The mussel begins to surround the sand with its soft lining and makes of it a round shimmering pearl. And while this process was initiated through pain and a breaking of frailty, it brings wisdom, insight and happiness eventually – a fulfillment now shaped into something extraordinary beautiful and long lasting. It is a gift from the depths of the oceans.

Pearls symbolize the soul’s path towards beauty, perfection and refinement; they symbolize wisdom, protection, enlightenment, innocence, purity and serenity. And while it is important to wear our armours of protection, it is just as wise to know when and for whom to take it off. This discernment of heart married to our devotion to self-compassion, tenderness, kindness and willingness to forgive ourselves is a vow known to those walking the starry path of soul’s maturity.

This pearl symbolism describes beautifully our topic today as we’ll talk about Mars-Saturn aspects in the natal chart, particularly the harder aspects of the square and opposition, and also the conjunction to some extend, but even the trines and sextiles are felt by the native though usually they are a bit easier to handle as the energies blend more harmoniously. Mars-Saturn aspects manifest quite differently for men and women, and today we’ll focus on their impact in a woman’s natal chart. I’ve had many of my beautiful women clients with these aspects, and there are many women nowadays who have these too, and unfortunately there isn’t enough information on this aspect’s affect on women, so may this be of soothing benefit and offer a deeper understanding.

Mars-Saturn Aspects in a Woman’s Natal Chart

Mars is our inner warrior, inner beloved (for a woman), our passion and our ability to set boundaries and assert ourselves. Saturn is our inner wise man, hermit, “father of time”, and the one who teaches us patience, devotion, discipline and commitment. Mars is hot and fast, while Saturn is cold and demands us slow, and when these two look at each other in aspect we are usually presented with challenges and we need to understand how to work with this energy, so that we unlock its constructive and beneficial expression.

In a woman’s chart, Mars-Saturn aspects are usually expressed through her male partners or an image projected onto a man; where as for men, this is their inner self and how they are or act. A lot of women have Mars-Saturn aspects or versions of it (Mars in Saturn sign and vice versa), particularly those born in the last few generations, and this is due to generational or ancestral things related to that way feminine energy was mistreated or abused in the history of the lineage and the history of humanity in general. It also reflects the inability of the men to have grown up emotionally mature and the unhealthy masculinity. For men, this is sort of what they have to face and heal in their masculine energy, because of how they might have misused that in the past.

Mars-Saturn aspects can often times refer to early life experiences with facing some sort of controlling environments, or injustices, or in some cases unfortunately it may relate to abuse whether emotionally, verbally, physically or spiritually. It could have been directly experienced by the woman or she might have witnessed at in other people, but it usually leaves an impact in her memory.

In general, if you have this aspect, it refers to a situation in your life where you might have felt a sense of powerlessness. Perhaps it was because you faced a lot of limitation in early childhood due to limited resources, you might have faced controlling people or restrictions from authority figures or structures, where you might have felt a limitation of your own sense of self authority; or there might have been some instabilities in your childhood or your father was emotionally erratic and prone to getting angry fast, or your sense of self-expression was limited, or you were criticized a lot, or unrealistically high expectations were put on you by your father, or you were being involved with people who had a lot of insecurities and projected all this onto you, or perhaps you grew up in an environment of someone (most likely your father or male authority figure) who was emotionally immature or reactive and you had to walk on egg shells to keep the peace and harmony, which then made you suppress your own emotions.

Whatever the situation was, this sense of powerlessness makes us as women become focused on building our own kingdom of protection and support and self-reliance later on in life. We basically become independent and very strong because we learned early on that we can only rely and depend on ourselves; and our motivation is to never ever feel powerless or controlled by another again. This aspect is mainly connected to male figures and authority, so it could have been facing challenges with father or father figures, male figures or people at work or higher authority positions. In adulthood, this aspect in a woman’s chart usually manifests through either two extremes: one is attracting or dealing with men who are too egoistic, aggressive, bullies, emotionally reactive or immature or let you down in some way; or on the other extreme, men who are deeply insecure, “spineless”, passive aggressive, and usually have some insecurity related to their physical body also, for example they perceive something “weak” about themselves, and they project it onto you.

This aspect can create the feeling in you that everything revolves around the other person – for example, your boyfriend has a lot of problems and you are always the one nurturing him and helping him and yet you can never share anything with him because you have to be the strong one constantly and because he is unable to handle your problems nor has the capacity to accept your emotions and deep fears, doubts, etc. Or he is constantly in some “mood” and you have to walk on egg shells for fear that he might react in some critical way or ignore you or diminish you or even make a joke about your problem and this takes you all the way back to your childhood where you felt powerless again. With time, you close off.

If we have this as women, it can feel a little difficult to open up and share our deepest fears and vulnerabilities because we have to be strong all the time, it is almost expected of us to not be in our feminine gentle nature. We carry so much burden on our shoulders that we forget how it even feels like to have relaxation in our body and weightlessness on our shoulders; our bodies can literally feel more inflexible, so massages can be very soothing. We feel responsible for everything and everyone, and we are everyone’s rock – but this steel-like persona that we’ve built becomes our own prison sometimes, because now we might feel lonely – because we don’t have the arms into which we can fall and be weak too when we need to, feel sad and cry when we need to, and be loved even when we don’t have it all together and figured out.

Women with this aspect are incredibly strong and powerful – in fact, their energy is so powerful that people might feel intimidated by it, and even if they are tiny and thin framed, people can immediately sense their presence and power. You will also look very youthful perhaps until late in life because this aspect gives you this great amount of energy within – and it is this raw engine of life force energy that gives us vitality. Sexual power is high also, which is another reason why people may feel intimated. So the trick is to learn how to work with Mars – because otherwise this aspect can lead to frustration or anger or keep attracting men towards you who are just not that good for you. You are good for them but they are not good for you.

On the positive side, aside from looking youthful, these aspects give a woman tremendous endurance, perseverance, inner strength and courage that most people cannot even dream of. It gives you a powerful reserve of raw energy – you basically have the most powerful engine of a car, and this pure energy is what makes you even physically probably look very youthful and full of energy to do and achieve anything in life.

I meet many women with such aspects, and the one thing they have in common is that they are incredibly magnetic in their energy, very strong appeal and attract like bees to honey; and they possess unshakable inner strength, and have gotten very far in life despite the many struggles. Some of the most famous and most attractive women in history have Mars-Saturn aspects because this gives us that endurance, steel-like endurance, that can move mountains, make us fearless (even if think we have many fears), and take us through anything in life. This is also an aspect for athletes and world champions – and sport in general, or even just taking a walk, is something that will always balance you and help you, and it is really important for you to stay physically active.

There is basically nothing on earth that we can’t accomplish if we have this aspect. But because it is powerful, it is important to learn how to manage its energy and not be afraid of its power, so that it’s not internalized but healthily manifested. Otherwise, it ends up attracting men to us who are just not that great.

Mars is energy, passion and initiation, and Saturn may sometimes restrict us and limit us – so it’s like driving a Ferrari and having the breaks on constantly. It creates frustration, and in some cases, if it is a square aspect, it can create a lot of internalized and suppressed anger, which must be dealt with.

I’ve seen Mars-Saturn aspects in the charts of many women who did indeed go through a lot of turmoil, cruelty, aggression, abuse and hardships, and who had to endure physical punishment especially by their father or male figures. In some way, their sense of freedom or expressing themselves free was limited, or they grew up with critical father or emotionally immature father or controlling etc. And all these experiences basically hardened the personality of the woman, and she grew up with great endurance and ability to persevere. If the woman is able to move past her anger which stemmed from the sadness of feeling powerless, and if she can let go of all these burdens and responsibilities now that she carries, and guilt and even shame, and learn to let go and not control things out of fear, her whole life will transform in the deepest and most beautiful way. She can learn to harness the energy and passion of Mars and apply the wisdom of Saturn.

Saturn matures at the age of 35, so usually these aspects soften up even after the age of 30 (i.e. Saturn return), and women feel a release of energy in some way. It is important to find something you love doing and pouring your passion into it, so that you channel the energy to your benefit. Jupiter is also great for channeling the energy, so you can look to your natal Jupiter placement.

At the root of this aspect is usually a need to rebel against authority, and sometimes in their teenage years the women with these aspects will love rock music, bad boys with tattoos and motorbikes, and just be really rebellious. Rocking on some rock music in adulthood or going to the gym for some cardio to sweat it out can be a great release. Women with these aspects are usually attracted to men who look like brick, with big muscles, because this is there projected Mars-Saturn image of the rock and brick; or end up with men who are engineers, police officers, athletes, lawyers, or have been in the army.

There is also an almost core need for the women to stay in their freedom and self-authority – and so naturally they need some space or a partner who understands their need for space and self-authority while also being emotionally bonding and caring to them so that they can open up and be vulnerable and fragile as women when they need to – rather than be afraid to show their vulnerability and share when they need help or support. It is absolutely crucial for women with these aspects to find a partner with whom they can share their deepest selves and fears – a partner who is caring, loving, safe and emotionally mature.

Mars square Saturn, or Mars opposite Saturn

The squares are the hardest aspects for Mars-Saturn, along with the oppositions. At their core of them is a feeling of guilt. Guilt invites self-punishment – and so it is important to deal with it otherwise we might become self-destructive. The way you might be punishing yourself because of that guilt is perhaps through work and taking on too much that is not even yours to carry; or through constant worry, through feelings of lacking money, or through doing things for others at the expense of your own health and well-being. There can be a big attachment to success, financial success and social status, and this may unfortunately detach you from your deeper feelings and feminine self, so be mindful of that. Place family and love before work.

Subconsciously when we are feeling guilt within we want to earn our way back or our value by doing work. But that’s only going to create more guilt, more anger, and create more frustration and a sense of lack in our life. You have to make the decision to let go of this need to prove yourself, because you are already amazing – and you need to know this. So for example, staying in an unhealthy situation trying to make it work over and over again, even though it is not even up to you to fix it because you are not responsible for other people – this is your subconscious tendency to actually prove to yourself that you are strong, but sometimes strength is in the ability to just let go and make the choice for our well-being.

To heal this aspect you need to let go of these tendencies to hold yourself trapped out of guilt. This can sometimes be a life we created where people depend on us for everything, where we take care of all the tasks and finances, emotional support for others, taking on too much burdens and responsibilities out of feeling of “debt” – as if we owe someone something, so we feel indebted to them to do it at the expense of our well-being. Remember – let other people take care of themselves, you are not responsible for everyone and everything.

Mars is being denied his full expression because of the chains of Saturn and these responsibilities. You might be punishing yourself or limiting yourself or restraining your own freedom because of all these responsibilities and burdens – and then it becomes anger that is trapped and internalized. We stop the cycle by stopping the support to anything or anyone who we feel indebted to or disempowered by. Mars is released once we establish our own relationship to guilt. This is because we often feel guilty if we make a choice for our own happiness – and we often feel too responsible for other people.

Essentially Mars-Saturn square is about releasing ourselves from burdens we carry for others, because this aspect basically creates the belief that if we controlled the situation, i.e. took charge of everything and everyone, we’d never feel fear or powerless again the way we felt in the past. But the only way to be with a strong real man whom we can respect (because this aspect can cause us to deeply resent and disrespect someone who just didn’t step up and put in the effort) – is to allow the man to show us who he is. If we treat them like little children, they act like little children. If he can’t step it up – he can’t and that’s that – move on and don’t settle.

Another manifestation of Mars-Saturn aspects is the expectation that we need to work constantly or have a hard time in our work. And this is usually connected to the way the father may have viewed and projected his own insecurities onto the girl – and he only appreciated her when she was achieving high marks or rewards etc. A client of mine with this aspect married well, and her husband was kind and nice and she didn’t really need to work – but she wanted to because she felt guilty if she didn’t. So she started a blog which became an almost obsession, and sometimes she wouldn’t feel inspired to write but while he was at work and she was home alone instead of enjoying her time and taking care of herself, all she’d do is feel guilty all day that she wasn’t doing anything; and in the evenings right before she’d hear him come in, she’d go in front of her laptop as if she was writing all day. He never really demanded of her to write, but she’d even lie to him how much she did, without him even asking her whether she wrote on not. Eventually she realized that she was just replaying her early life experience and that her value didn’t come from whether she worked or achieved anything at all – she was loved, she loved, and it was perfectly fine not to do anything if she didn’t feel like it. Her inspiration came back, but now, with new found awareness, she did her work because she loved and enjoyed it, but it was never at the expense of her relationship and wellbeing.

There is often constant self pressure to do something, achieve something, and even push ourselves to the absolute unhealthy limit just so that we can prove our worth – or that we can do it. And sometimes we might even keep choosing the hard way, just because we had to do things the hard way before – and if it’s easy, we are not good enough; or if we aren’t working and being bosses, we aren’t worthy to be loved.

Mars-Saturn aspects can often cause a kind of father wound, which is essentially an unhealthy expression of masculinity shows to us in childhood. When a father is supportive and emotionally caring and understanding, we become better at asserting ourselves and setting clear our boundaries. When a father is emotionally immature, reactive, unstable in his emotional expression, excessively angry, critical, judgmental, controlling, restrictive etc. this results in a father wound. To overcompensate for this we usually over-achieve or try to act strong and never show any weakness or vulnerability no matter what happens. We can go through the hardest times but no one will know about it. For some women this can become suppressed anger, at the bottom of which is sadness from the powerlessness they once felt because of the father’s behaviour, which was the result of his own wound in his own childhood and his inability to have healed this prior to becoming a father himself. For women particularly, anger is a really difficult emotion to deal with because we’ve been taught it is bad and we shouldn’t feel it nor express it, but it is something we must learn to navigate through for our own wellbeing.

One way to deal with the so-called father wound is to first be aware of it so that you don’t repeat the same patterns. Try to look at his good qualities, while separating the dysfunctional patterns or his destructive qualities or unhealthy values and expectations, so that you can choose a different and wiser application of the energy. Try to have compassion for him and forgiveness because outside of their role as our parents in this life they too are only human – and once they were little children too who had their own struggles. If he was hard on you, he was probably much harder on himself and suffered some abuse or humiliation in his own childhood. Having compassion for him will help you have compassion for yourself. He was probably going through a really difficult inner experience, and back in the day people just didn’t even have the tools for self-awareness or therapy; and parenting was just a lot different back in the day, and so, many children i.e. our parents and grandparents, grew up in homes of little emotional nurturing.

Love heals everything. And these aspects are healed with love. Compassion, gentleness, tenderness, water … this is how you soften the hard, and how you soothe the heart and soul and skin. Light in step, soft in touch, gentle in words – towards self, and towards others. Open your palms, relax your shoulders, trust.

Final notes

With all Mars-Saturn aspects as a child you had to fight against authority in some way. Perhaps your very own survival was at stake. But it’s probably not necessary to fight that same battle as an adult anymore, so consider where is your energy going and let go of all these fights you fight at all cost and perhaps no purpose.

You can relax now, and let go of these burdens you carry – you are not responsible for everything and everyone – you are free now and no one can take this away from you anymore.

Also – consider where you might be taking the long hard route, because sometimes we are so used to doing things the hard way to prove our strength and ability to be independent and resilient, since we always had to do that, that we forget that there might be an easier way now.

There is nothing to prove anymore. Jupiter may show you the path of least resistance, so you may look at that also in your natal chart.

Fear of punishment may often be your driving force still, as in childhood your need to have fun or to express yourself spontaneously and freely was limited and restricted or dampened up. So take the energy of fear and use it to drive yourself in a pursuit of a creative goal. Like in the example above with the woman and her blog, no one will punish you if you don’t necessarily “work” or achieve or strive for something or make money. You can literally sit on the couch all day just to practice the art of doing nothing and still feeling valuable as a human being.

Allowing yourself not to be perfect all the time is an important practice, as it will relax your identity and self-image – which is more likely than not, impossibly and unrealistically high. Give yourself a break. And ask for help as hard it is, people usually have no idea how hard you work because you make things look easy; and within partnerships, let your partner know you need him because people need to feel needed. And if you are with someone who can’t be supportive, then perhaps it is time to move on.

Sports are really important for you, and always stay physically active; and whenever you feel frustrated, go out for a walk or start jumping to spread the energy around.

Be mindful that you are very hard on yourself internally and have high expectations, so it is important to let yourself make mistakes and try not to be a perfectionist. It is okay to be afraid, to make mistakes, and to do nothing. Try to enjoy the dolce vita and the dolce far niente, the sweetness of doing nothing – just relax, or do water baths, as the water will put your body in surrender mode. Saunas can be great too as Mars is red hot.

These aspects bless you with perseverance and great strength, and can sometimes be protectors – because I’ve seen many women with the most sweetest natal charts, and if they didn’t have Mars-Saturn, people would have been walking all over them. So it was because of this Mars-Saturn that they were blessed with incredible inner power and endurance and courage, to deal with anything in life and have the strength to walk away from harmful people, and the ability to discern what’s good for them and what isn’t, and to help other women with advice also.

I’ve seen women who were incredibly feminine, angelic looking, thin framed, gentle, soft spoken, with the most beautiful and harmonious charts of trines and sextiles, Moon and Venus sweetness, and then there it is: Mars Saturn aspect in Scorpio. And your heart stops a little because you know this beautiful girl has been with at least one Hades in hell, but she’ll never speak of it and she’ll never play the victim card even though she was indeed a victim and her instincts and awareness are very sharpened. And you know that she holds power, strength and courage that even she herself doesn’t know of, and that’s a beauty to be admired and deeply respected for not all women are able to keep their gentleness after coming out of the underworlds – and that‘s the real power.

Women with these aspects can become very wise and have strong bullshit detectors, which saves them from bad relationships and so they have the ability to end up with their right person. They also have great patience and discipline from Saturn, and the ability to be amazing entrepreneurs, and many of them do in fact own their businesses and great creative ventures; it is best for them to work for themselves rather than a corporation because they need a lot of independence and they do not like authority – so it is sort of their destiny to create their own beautiful and meaningful ventures, and they possess all the skills to go the distance.

Often times you are there for all other people, you support them, carry their tears and pains, and yet you might feel that you can’t really share your own – because in some way, people expect you to be a rock, or you might fear being seen or perceived as weak. People have seen you so strong for so long, and you make even the hardest tasks look easy, and you don’t play a victim, so perhaps barely anyone even knows how hard you work or what hardships you’ve been through. Perhaps you are the stabilizer of the man beside you, perhaps it is all and always about him problems, and you love him and want to be there for him, but when you yourself feel weak or sad or afraid, he just sort of doesn’t understand or acts out immaturely or selfishly.

But we all want and need to be loved in all ways – not just when we have it all together, but when we are an afraid little child or paranoid or annoying or chaotic or weak. Sometimes you might feel like you need to walk on egg shells around everyone, and suppress any kind of emotion that doesn’t fit your “strong” identity that others have imposed on you – and this is because you usually had to be that way in childhood, the strong one, the one who had it together, the one who couldn’t complain, the responsible one, because you would be criticized otherwise or because you had emotionally immature or unstable people around and the only way to keep the harmony was to do as told and suppress your own needs and feelings. You weren’t really able to show fear or sadness – but your deepest longing now is to actually feel loved and understood precisely in these weaker moments, to be held by someone you can trust and feel safe with – someone whose eyes wouldn’t look away and whose arms will hold you through it all, especially when you are at your weakest and worst, because you are human too.

That’s all natural. We all want and need to be loved and taken care of in turn also and to feel safe enough to open up and break down and cry when we need to and be supported; to have someone with whom we can share their pains and fears and anxieties without being judged for them.

You are strong, independent and can solve all problems and can have all the success, but you also need someone to be there for you, otherwise you’ll continue to be closed off and forget how to share your deepest self with someone and feel lonely on the inside. You are not meant to carry the world on your shoulders, and you are not meant to do it all on your own. Choose someone who is strong enough to stand by your side, who will adore you and who’ll never cut your wings nor restrict you.

Have fun, be playful, be silly and frivolous, and even irresponsible sometimes! Don’t focus too much on work at the expense of your own softness and gentleness as a woman. Allow yourself to be swept away in romance and passion, take risks in love if your heart and body truly desires it, and find someone in whose arms you can release some of your control, and you can trust them with your life. Don’t settle for a page nor a knight, darling woman, because you are a queen and thus, you need a king.

For more of my writings, browse through my Art of Love.

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Cover art by John Lavery, Ariadne, 1886, via Wikimedia Commons. 

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