Tackling Difficult Aspects (1) Saturn – Mars

Classically, hard aspect (Conjunction, Square, Opposition) between Saturn and the inner planets (including Sun and Moon) are considered to be rather difficult. We’ll focus on Saturn-Mars combination here.

a) The Classic Problem

Mars represents the method of action: how we need to act in order to be effective in getting what we want. Since Saturn traditionally has to do with delays, blockages and frustration, the classical thought was that if the person has Mars squared (or other hard aspect) by Saturn, his action will likely end in frustration.

This led to descriptions such as frustrated action, suppressed anger, and even impotence. Some said this aspect suggested “cautious and controlled action – driving with brakes on.” Others thought that Saturn’s ambition and control would dominate Mars, and produce a ruthless character who is extremely controlling (Hitler’s chart was given as an example.)

The problem with these descriptions was that they were static and gave no room for growth: In real life, when we have problems we deal with it – you may have to lean into it for a long time, but eventually you solve them – or you quit. Since astrology is not a pronouncement of fate but a pattern of life development (which pretty much has to do with solving problems and growing all the time), there has to be a higher level alternative to this aspect.

b) Alternate Manifestation
So we use Saturn’s discipline, maturity, perseverance and wisdom and apply it (Mars) to achieve our goals. Noel Tyl called this aspect “indomitable” and “resourceful” – these describe the staying power and street smart of Saturn enhancing Mars. We could expect that with knowledge and experience, this will become more and more applicable.

c) Other Challenges
In modern astrology, we also consider the houses ruled by Mars and Saturn, and think them as being under tension: My Mars ruling the 1st house is squared by Saturn ruling the 11th – Mars stresses Saturn, Saturn stresses Mars, so both my 1st house (identity formation) and 11th house (love received from others) are challenged.

This means one of my key challenges is that I may have a hard time developing a strong sense of self, as well as I may have a fear or insecurity about not being lovable – which leads to not being able to “let love in,” so to speak.

That’s a good awareness when I’m in relationships with people – how much of their love and appreciation am I “letting in?” By patient introspective process (Mars in Scorpio is in the 8th house – psychological healing) I have worked on these issues, and feel much better about it.

That’s just one example involving two houses – when 2nd house is involved, self worth will be the key challenge. 3rd house: the mental process – perhaps depression or anxiety disorder. 4th or 10th house – parental relationship may be challenged. 5th house – self expression and giving love to others. 6th house – cooperating with others at work. 7th house – personal relationships, and so on.

The key with Saturn is that we get better as we accumulate wisdom through experience and learning. Mars’ method of action (in my case, Scorpio Mars implies research, and control through knowing) will be greatly enhanced as the years go by, so long as we keep learning how to do things better.

Some examples of Mars-Saturn hard aspect: concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl (square), Walt Disney (conjunction), Milton Erickson (conjunction), Al Gore (conjunction), astrologer Isabel Hickey (square – she wrote “Saturn most guide Mars”), Julia Roberts (square), Bruce Willis (opposition – the “indomitable” image is there in his action movie roles), Paramahansa Yogananda (opposition).

Many of them have built enduring work through patient effort. There are many athletes with this combination, so Saturn doesn’t seem to affect the physical energy necessarily.

About Hiroki Niizato

Hiroki Niizato is a professional consulting astrologer in Florida, serving clients in US and abroad. He has been practicing astrology professionally since 2001. Hiroki is a highest honor graduate of the demanding Master’s Degree Certification Course in Astrology by Noel Tyl.

You can contact Hiroki via email at: Hiroki@hniizato.com or Phone: 727-470-4056 to ask a question or schedule a consultation.


  1. Please Write about Aspects between Saturn – Neptune

  2. vikram verma says:

    respected sir….wht do u expect if a person is leo ascendant and has saturn and mars combintion in third house…

    thnxs .

    • Vikram,

      Consider which houses Saturn and Mars rule as well – if it’s 6th and 9th, then we can see that mental axis (3-9) is under tension, and will most likely manifest in the way you work with others (6th house.) In this case there is a danger of habitual negative thought/communication pattern (3rd house) based on limiting worldview (9th), which affects your relationship with your boss and coworkers (6th). In searching for alternative manifestations of this placement, you may strive for educational certifications (degrees and other qualifications) that aid in your professional performance, as well as perhaps religious/spiritual studies that may assist in improving your worldview, etc. For other house combinations please think on your own :)

      In any case, since the 3rd house is involved, think in terms of beneficial studies that improve your social standing and effectiveness.

  3. dear sir , i would like you to please explain the combination of saturn and mars in 4th house as in my case , i am an virgo ascendant and an aquarian as per indian astrology , i was told that conjuction of this type in 4th house will destroy my married life and even can get me a divorce is it true and will it also prove difficult for me in finding myself a good job ,please throw some light on it and help-gourav

    • Indian astrology in most cases seems to present these aspects in terms of what is fated to happen (hard aspect from Saturn indicating a misfortune in the area it occupies), whereas in modern psychological astrology we look at the possible cause of problems with the intention of understanding and transforming your thought/behavior patterns (this is in parallel to the philosophy of modern psychology, where a change in the conditioned thought patterns in the patient leads to a marked behavior improvement, which naturally leads to a healthier, happier life.)

      Since you’re asking me and not another Indian astrologer, my answer is “No, the aspect doesn’t mean your marriage life will be destroyed or finding work will be difficult. But there may be a thought/behavior pattern you have that makes it challenging to have a happy home life, and that might need to be examined and (hopefully) changed.”

  4. Dear Sir,
    I read your article on mars and anger which is very informative. I too have Mars and Saturn in my 4th house and as explained by you above in one reply, is that my own behaviour will be responsible for reducing happiness in home life? Also I would like to know that if MARS and SATURN are both RETROGRADE in 4th house what does that indicate?? Does it indicate inner conflict and turmoil which could be responsible for ruining my home life? In your article on Mars in houses, it was mentioned that Mars in 4th house means unhappy early home life and it is true that I had a bad childhood with agression and anger ruling my home. So, does that mean I am going to carry the same into my marriage.

    • I think you answered your own question very well!

      Of course it doesn’t “have to be” that way all of the time. The point is to see the pattern that you continued to carry from your early home, so that you can release it and not have it affect your home life today.

  5. I’m so grateful to you for writing this article! Most of the information I’ve read on hard aspects between Mars-Saturn were too weighed down and critical. I can’t read them without laughing or cringing (or praying for my soul). Perhaps those interpretations would apply if Mars-Saturn were isolated from other influences in the chart – peregrine or unaspected for example.

    Personally, I have Mars-Saturn conjunct and retrograde in the third with Scorpio. Yes, that sounds dire, yet the conjunction has many other aspects to increase my awareness and soften/distribute the pain. I admit that my lessons were (and are) debilitating both mentally and physically, but I learn my lessons fast and thoroughly – never making the mistake again. I believe that Mars-Saturn people have the capacity to overcome/instigate some of the worst situations life has to offer. Would you agree?

    The conjunction has gifted me with a very strategic, sharp, and emotionally-calm mind; Although I only express it when I’m pushed past my tolerance point, which is surprisingly high. I always knew that life was about survival, and about taking precise action when the situation was primed for it: As a result, this aspect literally saved my life dozens of times in the violent or tense environments I’ve found/placed myself in. I can’t view them as malefic now. They’re more like the fire and the hammer that have forged me into what I am. Hmm… makes me think of Hephaestus…
    The the only two questions left to ponder are, “What are Mars-Saturn people being forged into, and what for?” Swords for battle? Shields for defense? Masonry for protection? Jewelry for attraction? Cyborgs for world domination? I guess the other aspects will tell :D

    Thanks again Mr. Niizato, your article really helped me think it through.

  6. Dear Sir,

    I have Mars + Saturn in my 10th house Gemini….I am Virgo ascendant… can u please shed some light on this…Thanks..


  7. Hello…

    I have Saturn conjunct Jupiter Libra 4th house ( Virgo rules 4th house cusp)
    squaring Mars conjunct Neptune in the 6th both in Sag.
    Saturn Jupiter Libra inconjunct Midheaven.
    That’s all the aspects I have with Saturn, its conjunct Jup, square Mars, and incojunct pisces midheaven.
    Capricorn rules the 7th cup. descendant. Cancer Asc here.
    Aries rules 11th house cusp.
    I have Scorpio Sun 5th, Aries Moon 11th. But 5th cusp is Libra.
    Any clues?

  8. Sorry just posted above. Some consider Saturn the ruler of Aquarius as well, so if thats the cause Aquarius rules my 8 and 9th houses cusp.

  9. Hi Hiroki,
    Thanks for an insightful article. I am Aries Asc. and have a tight Sat(7deg14′)-Mar(8deg50′) conjunction in the 9th house, along with Ur(6deg46′) and Ne(15deg53′). I have Jup in Aries(4deg) and Moon in Gemini(2deg10′) aspecting this stellium in 9th house. I can very clearly relate to 1st,10th and 11th house significations being stressed. What do you think are the effects of Guru and Chandra aspects on this stellium? btw I am doing PhD in Physics :)

    • If I understand correctly you have Uranus-Saturn-Mars conjunction in 9th house opposing Moon in the 3rd house, supported by Jupiter trine/sextile. This heightens the importance of academia because of the emphasis of mental 3-9th house axis plus Jupiter. Saturn adds the element of time, which fits with your spending much time in getting academic training. Uranus-Mars conjunction implies science, technology and invention. It sounds good to me!

  10. Mars in Aries (6th) Conjunct Saturn in Aries (6th) …

    Could you give me a deep interpretation on this?
    Both are on the Aries 6th house cusp , as well.

  11. sir
    i am having saturn conjucts mars in virgo asc, 1st house, what would be the result?

    • Hello there, probably “result” isn’t a precise word to use here, since the natal placement reflects more of a process for you to overcome any inhibition of energy you might have grown up with. Once you learn to be productive with the energy, the “result” you produce will change positively in the form of personal strength.

  12. Great article, and like everyone has already said, it’s motivational and calming for us with hard aspects between Ma and Sa.
    I’m so interested what you could tell about Saturn conj. Mars in Scorpio square Venus conj. Moon in Aquarius, for women chart? What’s that with her sex life and men in general? Her pregnancy as well?
    How important are orbisis here and which ones are critical and bad?

    Thanks :)

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