Saturn's Role in Astrology
Saturn has to carry out the duty of Lord Shiva or Rudra. Saturn is cold icy planet so it is said 'Icy hands are laid on one' means one is dead. Saturn is son of SUN as per Hindus and son of Uranus according to westerners and is father to Gulika and Mandi. It is also brother to Yama, chief governor to Longevity.
Saturn is son of Sun but the qualities of son and father are diametrically opposite: Darkness verses light. It also never agrees to Moon. Saturn rules the sign opposite to Sun and Moon which are Aquarius and Capricorn. Saturn is exalted in Libra where Sun is debilitated. Saturn is debilitated in Aries where Sun is exalted. Leo own by Sun and Cancer by Moon are houses of fall for Saturn.
Saturn is 1418 kilometers away from the Sun and its diameter is about 120,000 kilometers away. Saturn is 700 times in volume compared to earth. But in weight it is less than 100 times than earth.
Saturn takes nearly twenty nine and half years to go around the Sun. Hence on an average it passes through a sign for a period of about two and half years.
Some Hindu Mythological Background about Saturn
It is laid down in ancient books that Indrajit son of Ravana was about to be born. Ravana tried that all planets remain in 11th house of Inrdrajit's horoscope because planets in this house produce good results. But Saturn stretched its legs to 12th house because Saturn in 12th house is really very bad. But all other planets realizing the consequences, appealed to Saturn not stretch his legs to the 12th house. But Saturn encouraged the devas that he alone can sanction that they wanted with less efforts. After the birth of Indrajit, when Ravana realized that Saturn has stretched its legs to 12th house. Ravan in rash cut off leg of Saturn. So Saturn is called Lame and Slow.
Saturn when posited in Gemini, Virgo, Taurus and Libra is termed to be in his friendly
Zodiac sign but in other Zodiac Signs Saturn is termed to be in enemy's camp. Constellations rules by Saturn are Pushyami, Anuradha and Uttrabhadra. Saturn is friendly to Venus and Mercury and neutral to Jupiter and enemy to Sun, Moon and Mars. Saturn gets directional strength and digbala in Libra. Saturn is supposed to be barren, binding, cold, earthy and masculine. It is a planet of nervousness and secrets.
Saturn is generally termed as Malefic. Ancient poet Kalidasa is of the opinion that in strong Raja Yoga Saturn in own dasa and Venus sub period will make one beg alms in the streets even if a person is king. Generally Saturn shows a malefic nature for all ascendants except Libra and Taurus where it acts as Yogakarka, Lord of Kendra and Trine. The evil influences are curbed when Saturn is posited in own or exaltation house or in Jupiter's house. The rule holds good when it transit also.