I just replied to someone in a discussion group. The question was how to use the interpretations for planets when they are written in the format of Saturn in Sagittarius and the 9th house, Saturn in Aquarius and the 11th house, etc. After I posted I thought, blog post! So here it is …
When you are first learning astrology, it can be frustrating when everything seems so generalized. That’s because you are learning so many basics. It’s like learning a lot of vocabulary when you are studying a foreign language. You need to learn the vocabulary, but the individual words aren’t as meaningful as the phrases, sentences, paragraphs, etc.
Each house has a natural ruler. Starting with Aries on the first and going around the 12 houses with the 12 signs. Houses are areas of life experiences, and the natural ruler is sort of the most natural style for that house.
I’m not a huge fan of descriptions that are written as having a plant in Sag or in the 9th house and discussing them as if they are the same. They aren’t, though there are some basic similarities. Let’s look at your example of Saturn in Sagittarius and in the 11th house.
As background, I do karmic astrology, so the natal chart is seen as a painting of your past life beliefs and experiences.
Saturn is time and space. It’s how we define ourselves as human. It’s our energy that deals with limits, rules, structure, and our humanity. The sign of Saturn shows you how you come into this life expressing this energy. It reflects your old history. The house of Saturn shows your current life focus. It shows the area of life that you are specifically intending to develop this energy.
Saturn in Sagittarius is going to be someone that really wants to explore their limitations and in fact blow them up a bit. These are folks that need structure that can accommodate their need for change and action. They feel a kind of security in exploration. There’s also a bit of righteousness when it comes to rules and usually Saturn in Sag wants some kind of organized religion or religious community.
That kind of energy in the 11th house is going to be someone that is going to do what I just described in group, communities, causes, politics, social structures, friendships, co-operatives etc. I would guess that in your life you will be drawn to both the safety of a group, as well as a desire to explore the limits of groups. You can get energized working for causes and would be good at grass roots organizing.
Contrast this with someone that has Saturn in Sag but in the 4th house. This person feels safe at home. Their need to test their limits is more involved with family and how their home life fits with the entirety of their life.
Sign – style of expression.
House – area of life experience.
When you read the sign description, think style, how you express the energy. When you read the house description, think about the area of life this speaks to most.
Does that help?