In 1980, when I was lecturing at a library, a woman asked about the interpretation of a Fixed T-square involving Saturn. Since my answer would be too complicated for a general audience, I told her that I would type up my interpretation and mail it to her. This is the description that I gave her.
First, a T-square is made up of an opposition suggesting a need for greater objectivity and awareness of the rights and needs of others. This type of aspect always produces a conflict between the needs, desires and drives of the individual which are opposed to the needs, desires and drives of others. Through the conflict, we become aware of the rights and needs of others and, ultimately, a compromise must be sought. Whenever we become too much of one quality, the opposition serves to bring us back into balance through other people standing in our way.
The Square— the planet that squares the opposition planets— indicates that the relationship struggles are due to frustrations, blockages, habitual insecurities and defensive responses originating within the individual. The opposition represents the external conflict while the squares represent the internal root conflict. That is to say, there is some “hang-up” within the individual that is causing the relationship conflict or opposition. The T-square is a most dynamic configuration that pushes you to overcome the limiting factors and achieve success.
A FIXED T-SQUARE implies lessons to be worked out through fixed emotions which are instinctual emotional responses based upon past experiences, fixed desires, attitudes and values of right or wrong based upon based conditioning. Therefore, the Fixed T-square individual is likely to run into stalemate situations in relationships due to a pattern of resistance, fixity and frequently an unwillingness to compromise or, at least, compromise made grudgingly. There is a tendency with Fixed signs to bottle up resentments and hostilities and then release the stored energy eruptively or compulsively. Therefore, it is essential that the individual find suitable emotional outlets for this energy.
Before discussing Saturn as the Apex, it is important to remember that Fixed signs are incredibly resistant. They possess much fortitude in adversity and hard times. Yet, they find their greatest security in the status quo, making it difficult for the individual to change and adapt to fluctuating circumstances that threaten the sense of security.
Fixed T-squares always imply a powerful drive for security— emotional, material, power-control and prestige. However, Fixed individuals generally have some real misconceptions about what REAL security is. True security comes from peace within the self, NOT from externals. The Fixed T-square is rarely at peace.
Fixity makes the individual rigid and apprehensive when approaching life circumstances that seem beyond one’s control. With Saturn as the Apex planet, the squaring planet, there is a great need to develop real faith and trust— that everything will ultimately work out for those who believe that it will. This type of faith comes Jupiter and Trines in the natal chart. If Jupiter is retrograde, faith will weaken when the going gets rough.
When Saturn is the Apex of a T-square, the individual finds security in the control that he or she exercises over the life but, in doing so, there is the danger of becoming too rigid, too unyielding and highly structured. Structure is fortifying but it is not always practical or efficient.
I have read in old astrological literature that, karmically, such an individual repeatedly subjugated others in past lives and now still fears surrendering the Will to another. In the current life, a parent was rigid and controlled the life through fear, guilt, excessive expectations and demands so that the individual develops a “control or be controlled” attitude that is very similar to Pluto’s influence.
This is a highly ambitious configuration, although self-doubt and fear connected to security can become definite stumbling blocks. There is a strong sense of personal frustration and limitation. The lack of trust or faith indicated by Saturn can inhibit personal relationships, especially if the Sun, Moon or Venus are involved. The individual must learn to relax, to trust and not worry about being hurt or rejected.
If Mercury or the Mental/Cadent Houses are involved, the need to be in control can make the individual opinionated, lacking an open mind and flexibility. If Jupiter is involved, there is a perennial search for some meaning to the life but any answers eventually become unsatisfying because the doubts and lack of faith plague any philosophy. Again, this all comes from seeking answers externally.
With Saturn’s desire to gain control of feelings or external circumstances, the individual is inclined to make harsh demands upon the self and even others. In actuality, Saturn is the result of a harsh parental influence so that the individual is constantly trying to prove the self worthy (worthy of the disapproving, rigid and INSECURE parental figure). The individual may drive the self through perfectionist standards. If unable to fulfill these expectations, there is often little content.
A Positive Spin on Saturn:
What I have described are the negative functions of Saturn. The high expectations and perfectionist standards are excellent in producing excellence and conscientiousness in one’s work. However, the expectations must be realistic and not excessive— then, “accept your inadequacies and forgive yourself for your mistakes, secure in your awareness that you are a worthy human being.”
The desire for control actually shows an ability for organization, management, self-discipline and high responsibility. When greater continuity and coordinated efforts are developed, the individual can demonstrate an unyielding tenacity that builds, accumulates and achieves success by concentration upon one point and persisting in following its path. There is a sustained effort over the long haul that brings real accomplishment. While Saturn in a Fixed sign is not very adaptable, it is unflappable in a crisis.
The problems of manifesting the positive side of Saturn lie in the fact that the individual is excessively demanding, seeing responsibilities, structure, organization, management and persistence as oppressive or beyond one’s capabilities. This is only because the expectations of the self are too high, too demanding and too unrealistic, often anticipating failure. There is a need to focus more upon what has been done RIGHT and not what is wrong, magnifying mistakes.
If Saturn is retrograde, the individual is not realistic about boundaries – saying YES when they should say NO! It is essential that such an individual learn to say NO, define boundaries and let go of any need to prove self to others. The House position of Saturn Retrograde will indicate where the individual is most vulnerable. See article on Retrogrades on this website.