Western astrology makes a connection between maturity and Saturn’s return, the period when transitional Saturn returns to the same point of your natal chart where it was at the moment of your birth. Veda (Indian) astrology also connects the time of maturity, gaining responsibilities and confronting yourself to Saturn, but by one of it’s other appearances called Sade Sati, or Saturn’s transit over the Natal Moon.
This period starts when Saturn enters the sign preceding the sign where the Moon is and ends when Saturn exits the sign following the sign where the Moon is. For example, if your Moon is in Capricorn, Sade Sati starts when Saturn enters Sagittarius and ends when he goes out of Aquarius. This period always lasts 7 and a half years, and the name itself “sade sati” means exactly that – “seven and a half”.
Vedan astrologers take the Moon as the basic reference for a very logical reason since the Moon is the one that shows in the chart the basis of our self consciousness that we build first through the family structure, and then also through other social groups concluding with our own picture of the role we have in life, in the world, as well as through the relationship that we have built with people, matter and time. Since Saturn represents agriculture, in order to better explain the influence I will use the example of a crop you just planted. While it is young and weak, it responds to storms and winds by wavering and bending. As it strengthens – it becomes more bold, rigid and in that itself, in its “rigidness” and the loss of the previous elasticity it seems to resist hardship.
That “strength” actually becomes weakness when its now developed branches encounter strong wind. Due to their brittlness, it will inevitably happen that, subjected to a more serious storm some of its hard and reliable branches will be lost. To prevent this from happening, experienced agricultural experts will cut down the firm, brittle as well as overgrown branches themselves, not waiting for the storm. As much as it may sound as a carnage of the tree, actually this practice will make the tree stronger. That is what happens to a person during Sade Sati that actually represent an archetypal reflection of an “intentional and conscious mutilation, furrow, rejection” for the sake of maintaining a healthy life. The seriousness of Saturn’s transit takes us back to ground level to show us how much we have actually grown and matured. He will “cut” all that we have artificially, by force in pursuit of fame or success atributed to ourselves, he will take away the unjustly acquired awards or will, on the other side of the “tree” punish us for them, all decay and weakness that hasn’t managed to develop but remained so starving will be torn and it is without a doubt that every person, when Sade Sati comes, looks ugly to himself, mutillated, weak, low because there is no desired symetry. We feel weak as if someone took away from us all that we stubbornly believed ourselves to be. But actually all that Saturn wants is that we love ourselves for what we are: half – baked, imperfect, broken and bent, with all the wounds, scars, fears, weaknesses and nothing will make people more resemble each other than Saturn.
In a practical sense Sade Sati show the consequences of ageing, or years (that we persistently refuse to see and admit to ourselves) and then an enhanced responsibility for our job and the people we love that we now must accept; health problems, and a specific mental effort filled with worry, confrontations and consciousness that is initially disagreeable since it points to a supremely realistic image of ourselves that we have long tried to run away from.
The first Sade Sati in the life of the person are commonly related to facing the loss of the eldest family members (grandmothers and grandfathers usually), and it is indirectly the first encounter with the metaphysics of death; then it activates changes and influences that we cannot influence, a frequent change of environment, schools, the enforcing of education and other influences, the feeling of loneliness, abandonment, rejection; that is when the first conscious lies happen, deceits, attempts of evading responsibility and with that the conscience is activated either through guilt and the feeling of remorse or through despondence and taking a guarded attitude toward the world and people, which will of course be relevant when the next, second Sade Sati (which is always 28-29 years after the first ) will bring us possible illness of our parents and caring about them and frequently even the loss of parents as an unavoidable lesson about life, time, transience and commitment / non commitment that every person must go through. That is also when we acquire a family of our own or our responsibility to care for someone else becomes greater, sometimes it’s even for ourselves, and a person become his own child and parent; at work we experience more serious successes and failures – all depending on our previous attitude toward work. If we have accepted too easily all the good that came our way as a served up scenario that for some reason belongs to us, without being grateful and counscious that two thirds of the population of our planet isn’t that fortunate – then we can very easily lose all that we have: matter, employment and partner and remain completely “naked and alone”. If there was a conciousness and a sacrifice already, Sade Sati will to such people only mean a continuation of work and the relationship with others just as before only under slightly more difficult influences, but the person already naturally regards this period as a natural process, and frequently – if s/he has payed forward the debt to Saturn then at the time of Sade Sati s/he will manage to realize her/his individuality and successes – that are genuine, and not short term successes. The third Sate Sati is maybe the hardest to accept because it relates to our potential leaving this world, which we all have to face sooner or later and the denial of this process that begins with our birth and ends in death – is certainly not the option we should count on now if we want to become more self aware.
Many people don’t even experience life as a torture and burden until Saturn waves his little axe and starts furrowing the rotten branches off our tree trunk. Until then we firmly rely on our parents or “gang” if it offered us support, the system, some sort of good luck that seemed to always follow us or we were simply blessed at birth to inherit matter and not worry where we will live, what we will eat… But when Sade Sati beginns, we definitely lose this security and remain left on a road that we further must walk completely alone. This is why this period is extremely hard for everyone who refused to accept responsibility for their life, for their decisions – constantly blaming others… Now there are no more others, Saturn will “cut them down”, separate them forever from us, he will take away that security and the “usual suspects” and we will have to face the truth – that we alone have always been responsible for everything. The sooner you learn the lesson and regret that all of this didn’t happen earlier, the easier it will be on you. If you reject it, cry about it, are dissatisfied, you will bring upon yourself depression, disease, emptiness, despair, bitterness that can then last for years. But if you have, as I said, already lived by accepting responsibility early, accepting loneliness and when there was a need, also endurance and suffering, relying only on yourself, Sade Sati will surely not bring you anything bad and the difficult experiences and situations that you couldn’t influence, that are “vis maior” – you will know to accept as a given, rather in the same way that you have up to that point accepted everything while waiting for better days to come because you had the empirical wisdom to recognize that life is laden with inevitabilities which we must accept. In order for you to understand the example more easily, think what bad things can Saturn’s Sade Sati bring to the ill and poor of Africa or the refugees that have had to accept in advance the inevitability and literally had to leave everything they own behind them just in order to save their bare lives? Absolutely nothing, except additional strength. But if we have a lot and if we are very connected to it, now is the time that all of that may be revoked or when we, aware of the empty life that this connection has created, for the first time want to leave all that behind and start a completely new life – even if it means being alone. That is why Saturn’s Sade Sati can bring an end to families that have been unharmonius for some time, since a person then faces the truth and realizes that the illusion has come to an end, so he closes the door behind him and leaves, leaving all to others, wanting only to save his soul. Someone will at the time of Sade Sati voluntarily become an activist and fight against discrimination or stand in defense of animals, people, help the sick, the poor, share what he has with others thus personally doing Saturn’s work, without waiting on Saturn. So, how someone will live through Saturn’s Sade Sati literally depends on who the person is and how he has lived his life so far, what his views of matter were, what type of relationships he has built…
Finally, here is a table for you to know when your Sade Sati begin and when they end, and if you don’t know where your Moon is in your chart, ask your astrologer or find that data on one of the existing online astrology sites. This is for tropical ephemeris (not sideral)
Sade Sati is currently ongoing for people who have Moon in Leo, Virgo or Libra :
Moon in Leo, Sade Sati began 4. June 2003. and will last until 29. October 2009.
Moon in Virgo, Sade Sati began 16. July 2005. and will last until 05.October 2012.
Moon in Libra, Sade Sati began 2. September 2007. and will last until 23. December 2014.
Moon in Scorpio, the last Sade Sati was from 21. September 1980. until 12. November 1988. and the next are from 21. July 2010 until 20. December 2017.
Moon in Sagittarius the last Sade Sati were from 24. August 1983. until 6. February 1991. and the next are from 5. Octobar 2012. until 22. March 2020.
Moon in Capricorn, the last Sade Sati were from 17. November 1985. until 21. May 1993. and the next are from 23. December 2014. until 7.March 2023.
Moon in Aquarius, the last Sade Sati were from 12. November 1988. until 7. April 1996. and the next are from 20. December 2017. until 14. February 2026.
Moon in Pisces, the last Sade Sati were from 6. February 1991. until 1. March 1999. and the next are from 17. December 2020. until 13. April 2028.
Moon in Aries , the last Sade Sati were from 21. May 1993. until 11. August 2000. and the next are from 7. March 2023. until 1. June 2030.
Moon in Taurus, the last Sade Sati were from 8. April 1996. until 4. June 2003. and the next are from 25. May 2025. until 14. July 2032.
Moon in Gemini, the last Sade Sati were from 1. March 1999. until 16. July 2005. and the next are from 13. April 2028. until 27. August 2034.
Moon in Cancer, the last Sade Sati were from 20. April 2001. until 2. September 2007. and the next are from 1. June 2030. until 16. October 2036.