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Saturn is considered a malefic planet. A planet that can cause problems, in this case, limitation, restriction, boundaries, and restriction. Saturn is the planet that brings mastery, honors things that stand the test of time, and the structures of the body, in particular the bones. It’s what’s real. It’s the gate between the manifest world of the inner planets and the etheric world of the outer planets. Saturn is the planetary ruler of Cardinal, Earth sign Capricorn and Fixed, Air sign Aquarius.

Mars is the other malefic planet that can manifest intensity. Correlating to the god of war, aggression, inflammation, puncturing, and ruling Fire, Cardinal sign Aries and Fixed, Water sign Scorpio. Where Mars is inhabiting the natal birthchart or transiting can indicate inflammation and aggravation. Worth noting which aspects this might trigger.

My teacher Andrea Gehrz had us locate Saturn in our charts and find the corresponding dermatome, then focus on the part of the spine in which it is located. Inevitably, the musculature around the spine in the area Saturn lives in the body was tight. In my case, Saturn in Leo, is associated with the mid thoracic spine and heart center, or chakra if you like. I was not entirely surprised when earlier this year Mars transited this part of my chart and I experienced an intense flare up in this area.


In her new book Astral Somatica, she and Casey Cardoso, LMT, outline practices for the bodyworker to work with planetary placements in treatment protocols. Full of insightful discovery questions and exercises, this book provides valuable practices for astrologers and practitioners alike, who want greater insights into the astral layers of the body. While not every bodyworker may want to employ astrology in their practices, I for one had wished I’d had this layer of understanding. Whether natal or transit based, the effects of Mars and Saturn can sometimes very literally manifest in the body as tightness and inflammation, respectively. When we have this information, we can tailor our treatments to include more appropriate modalities and approaches, and offer insights that help clients understand conditions that go beyond lifestyle choices.