Ever have to write "I will not be late to class" on the blackboard as a child? Were you the one your teacher always called on despite every effort to shrink into your desk?
You remember that teacher from hell, don't you? Come on, we all had one. At least one; the authority figure who made the rules perfectly clear, and never bent them. Perhaps it was the professor who would disparage you in front of the entire class if you so much as sneezed during his or her lecture. Or it might have been the educator who would never even think to grade on a curve because, after all, "You get what you deserve."
Yeah, that's Saturn. You get what you deserve. That is one tough pill to swallow, isn't it?
If you managed to survive this instructor's class, then it's possible that years later you recognized that this particular mentor taught you more than any other. Once you get over how cruel and unrelenting his or her actual tactics might have been, you realize that it forced you to rise to the occasion. You gave your best and more. You grew. You accomplished something.
The meanest teacher in your life
This is how I explain the essence of the planet Saturn to my own students. He's the meanest teacher in your life ... he's the one who scared you silly as a child. But he's also the one you'll thank someday because he taught you one of life's most important lessons: discipline.
I've gone through difficult Saturn cycles ... the taskmaster has gotten in my face. When he was in late degrees of Scorpio, opposing both my Taurus Sun and Mercury, no one was listening to me ... no one was allowing me to shine my light. It was frustrating! Life is not fun; life is work. Hard, endless toil. I've gotten to the point where I couldn't even look at my calendar without experiencing chest pain. I was so overscheduled it wasn't even funny.
I tried to have important conversations with people in authority about my children and was at a deadlock because no one seemed to agree with me. Me ... the parent! Once my son's doctor was talking down to me in a way that made me want to slap her. She basically told me that she knew best and I needed to let her do her job. I was livid until I recognized that my anger was futile. This was so clearly a Saturn-opposite-my-Mercury moment. Sometimes when Saturn is opposite or square your Mercury, you feel like everyone around you has earplugs on. No one is listening. If they are, they don't agree with your point of view because they're convinced they know what is best.
I have been at points when I had multiple business opportunities in the works but they were not where I wanted them to be. Negotiations were stalled. At that point, I wasn't speaking up because I knew better. Until the end of that month, no one would have been listening anyway. Saturn transits can be extra difficult for someone like me, someone with so much Mars energy and zero patience. I want things done and I want them done yesterday! Oh and most of all, I want it done MY way. But Saturn laughs in the face of my naive impatience. His motto is "All good things come to those who wait ... and work." The Grim Reaper is scowling at me with his long, knuckled finger, pointing, admonishing, daring me to ignore his instructions.
I dare not.
Those transits forced me to accept my limitations. There were restrictions everywhere I turned. I couldn't seem to escape rules that I didn't make but that I was forced to play by. There's no "get out of jail free" card with Saturn, that's for sure. I don't like it, but Saturn doesn't give a rat's ass what you like and what you don't. You do what he says ... or else he'll go from delaying what you want to completely blocking you.
As much as my ego doesn't like admitting this, I also know that if I suck it up and play Saturn's game that eventually, I'll win. Yes, there will be compromise along the way and no, I probably won't like all of the rules imposed upon me in order to get to the finish line. But that's just how Saturn likes to roll.
Saturn teaches us to accept limitation. Work around it rather than crumble underneath it. Only then can we show the world what we're truly made of: substance.