Saturn = Mercury/Venus
This means the planet Saturn is making a hard aspect (conjunction, square, or opposition) to the midpoint (literally, a point in the exact middle between two planets) of Mercury and Venus.
If planets on the right side of the equation (Mercury and Venus in the above example) are like tomatoes and lettuce in a salad, then the planet on the left is like a spice that adds a particular flavor to the salad. We know that cayenne pepper is dramatically different from oregano in its effect, etc…So different planets add different flavors.
To interpret the above example, the right side (the midpoint of Mercury & Venus) is “beautiful thoughts, artful communication, idealistic mindset”, etc. In other words, it is the point at which the energies of Mercury and Venus blend together. Just like tomatoes and lettuce in a salad.
With the left side we have Saturn – a distinctively realistic “flavor” – shall we think of some bitter spice that has medicinal properties such as cardamom or turmeric? When added to the sweet, tasteful mix of Mercury/Venus, this leads to several possible results:
1) The idealism of Mercury/Venus may be severely tested through frustrations and “reality checks.” The spice may be too bitter so as to ruin the salad.
2) But this may lead to an idealism tempered with realistic awareness – a kind of mature, grounded idealism may result.
3) The practical nature of Saturn may lead to useful utilization of the talent of artful communication. In other words, a skill with words may be used successfully to realize one’s ambition.
In real life, all three of these may manifest – one may acquire maturity through the frustration of idealistic, naive thoughts, and eventually learn to temper the idealism with experience and wisdom.
We could do this exercise with all midpoints – Don McBroom, the author of the superb Midpoints, suggests that midpoint pictures tend to be the strongest when they are close to being exact in orb. He suggests checking the closest midpoint picture in a horoscope to gain additional insight about the person’s strengths and challenges.
The above Saturn=Mercury/Venus picture happens to be the closest midpoint picture in my horoscope, and this exercise inspires me to work at manifesting its best potential.