Mars opposite Saturn – Where there’s a will there’s a way

photo of a traffic sign - Stop Go Stop GoI have been thinking a lot about motivation recently. There are times when I find it extraordinarily difficult to achieve what I want, especially in my work. I have good intentions and great ideas about what I’m going to do and when, but sometimes things just don’t happen. I can be extremely determined and then fear, doubt or apathy stops me dead in my tracks.

As an astrologer, I recognise this in my own chart as an opposition between Mars and Saturn. Mars is the planet of action, the warrior with the gung-ho attitude who charges in to battle, brave and raring to go. Saturn is Old Master Time, sombre and slow, who points out our limitations and sets up roadblocks, and whose nature is gloomy and pessimistic. It’s a constant push-pull and is exhausting when you’re caught in the middle.

The key to an opposition in astrology is to harness both sets of qualities and have them work in unison. Mars and Saturn together are a formidable duo, strong, courageous and enduring and if anyone can make things happen, this pair can. Plus they have staying power and commitment in spades.

However, maybe the real goal is to stop battling and let things be. Isn’t it true that the more you try and do, at times the less you achieve? It’s when you feel in tune with life and yourself that your actions evolve organically. Progress flows and feels easy. You are open to new possibilities in your life, and opportunities and offers come your way rather than having to chase after them.

The pressures of modern day life are stressful for many people. A lot is asked of us constantly at work, in our relationships, in our friendships, in our communities and in our world. All the things I do in my own life that allow me to slow down, like meditation, yoga, walking the dogs, cooking, gardening help me feel balanced and less driven. It’s from this calmer place where I enjoy being creative and source what I do best.

The Mars-Saturn opposition in my own chart means I can be my own worst taskmaster but my experiences of life and my work as an astrologer have helped me understand how to motivate myself. We all need markers along the road to remind us who we are and to help us discover how to live our lives as best we can.

72 thoughts on “Mars opposite Saturn – Where there’s a will there’s a way”

  1. Great article! I loved the picture too. I also have this aspect and I can relate to this crazy go! stop! cycle. Currently, I’m also trying to let go, but I realized that “letting go” has also become my new obsession:)

    1. Thanks for your comment and I love your phrase, “letting go has become my new obsesssion”. Mars/Saturn types can even make relaxing hard work! best, Sally

  2. Great article! I loved the picture too. I also have this aspect and I can relate to this crazy go! stop! cycle. Currently, I’m also trying to let go, but I realized that “letting go” has also become my new obsession:)

    1. Thanks for your comment and I love your phrase, “letting go has become my new obsesssion”. Mars/Saturn types can even make relaxing hard work! best, Sally

  3. Hi, Sally,

    What can you suggest for assisting a Mars (1st House)/Saturn (7th) opposition when there really aren’t any alleviating aspects that can assist? I am still hoping that I can be in a healthy, possibly even a bit easy-going partnership someday!

    Thank you very much.

    1. hi Vivien, it helps to see the whole horoscope because there are other factors to take into account as well. Mars/Saturn often suggests confrontative relationships which aren’t easy but from which you can learn so much about yourself, especially with regard to anger and boundaries. There are different ways the opposition can play out, i.e. a partner who works in one of the armed forces or someone whose job is dangerous, an older partner, a partner who needs to learn about their own anger issues. Lots to explore and a look at the whole of your chart would definitely help. best, Sally

  4. Hi, Sally,

    What can you suggest for assisting a Mars (1st House)/Saturn (7th) opposition when there really aren’t any alleviating aspects that can assist? I am still hoping that I can be in a healthy, possibly even a bit easy-going partnership someday!

    Thank you very much.

    1. hi Vivien, it helps to see the whole horoscope because there are other factors to take into account as well. Mars/Saturn often suggests confrontative relationships which aren’t easy but from which you can learn so much about yourself, especially with regard to anger and boundaries. There are different ways the opposition can play out, i.e. a partner who works in one of the armed forces or someone whose job is dangerous, an older partner, a partner who needs to learn about their own anger issues. Lots to explore and a look at the whole of your chart would definitely help. best, Sally

  5. I have Mars leo in possibly 8the house opposite saturn in Aquarius in 5th. They both squre sun in 8th in Taurus with a burnt mercury beside it ( both 25degrees with 30 secs between )
    I’m 55 and SO stuck
    Any suggestions appreciated

    1. Tricky to answer without seeing your whole birth chart. The whole combination gives you tremendous drive and discipline when you put your mind to it. Find your personal mountain to climb and work steadily towards it would be one way to use this ambitious T-square. Don’t stay stuck – get moving one step at a time.

  6. I have Mars leo in possibly 8the house opposite saturn in Aquarius in 5th. They both squre sun in 8th in Taurus with a burnt mercury beside it ( both 25degrees with 30 secs between )
    I’m 55 and SO stuck
    Any suggestions appreciated

    1. Tricky to answer without seeing your whole birth chart. The whole combination gives you tremendous drive and discipline when you put your mind to it. Find your personal mountain to climb and work steadily towards it would be one way to use this ambitious T-square. Don’t stay stuck – get moving one step at a time.

  7. I am a virgo ascendant,and have Mars in 10th house. Saturn in 4th house .I have the same opposition in my 9th divisional chart as well . ( Mars in 2nd and Saturn in 8th . I tend to procrastinate a lot .even though I have these big ideas about doing my bit for the society .I am often stuck in insction . Is meditation, exercise a good mean to harness the energy? Is there anything else you would recommend?

    1. Sally Kirkman

      Yes to meditation and exercise. Also, if you think of Mars/Saturn as the tough taskmaster, remember to be kind to yourself. Take small steps, learn to truly acknowledge your progress, don’t dwell on the mistakes or failures, find a deeper purpose/motivation for your career/vocation, keep on, keeping on and create a rhythm that ultimately moves you forwards. Hope that helps 🙂

  8. I am a virgo ascendant,and have Mars in 10th house. Saturn in 4th house .I have the same opposition in my 9th divisional chart as well . ( Mars in 2nd and Saturn in 8th . I tend to procrastinate a lot .even though I have these big ideas about doing my bit for the society .I am often stuck in insction . Is meditation, exercise a good mean to harness the energy? Is there anything else you would recommend?

    1. Sally Kirkman

      Yes to meditation and exercise. Also, if you think of Mars/Saturn as the tough taskmaster, remember to be kind to yourself. Take small steps, learn to truly acknowledge your progress, don’t dwell on the mistakes or failures, find a deeper purpose/motivation for your career/vocation, keep on, keeping on and create a rhythm that ultimately moves you forwards. Hope that helps 🙂

  9. My Saturn is conjunct my Aquarian Sun in the 6th opposing a 12th house Leo Mars. Squaring both Mars and the Saturn/Sun is a 9th house Taurus Moon on the midheaven and Neptune in the 3rd in Scorpio. I had a somewhat difficult childhood including an abusive alcoholic father. Am wondering how having Mars in the 12th affects the opposition.

    1. Sally Kirkman

      If the aspects are all within 8 degrees, then it is a fixed Grand Cross. The key with all the oppositions/squares is how to ‘escape’ them or use them well. Mars/Saturn gives you willpower, determination and grit. It needs an outlet – either through 6th house – work/health/lifestyle or 12th house – a spiritual quest/service to others. Also, I would suggest that finding your faith and finding meaning in life are vital for you. Sending best wishes.

      1. Fixed grand cross in my chart: Mars in 12th house Taurus & Saturn 6th house Virgo squeeze Venus in Aquarius and Pluto in Leo. Wow it has been a tough learning curve..now 64 years old, I am grounded, focused, determined..my work is for a Charity, welfare rights, well 2 charities these days ..I am and feel aligned with my values in the work I do, on my best days I am reminded that Love is an expansive human but universal feeling that shines back as well being very deep; I am not ‘religious’, the universe is bigger than that, I enjoy reflection..enjoy alone time and often choose to be alone…live alone, been a lone patent for over 2 decades…but work a lot for people with people.. Breast cancer 5 years ago, I went through 5 years of real difficulties with my physical health in the last decade and interestingly went through a very bad episode of mental health i believe in retrospect in my first Saturn return…I grafted my way out of it..facing a new transition in the next 2+ years..but more aware and working for it and with it.. So interesting in retrospect as I would agree that it is a matter to make the combinations of energies work for you, and find resilience…power of stay in this instance…so may be..thank you Mars Saturn opposition, it has answered its own challenges…?

        1. Sally Kirkman

          thank you for your wonderful comment – 6/12th houses are the houses of service so you’ve definitely stepped into that role. Sending you very best wishes for the future.

  10. My Saturn is conjunct my Aquarian Sun in the 6th opposing a 12th house Leo Mars. Squaring both Mars and the Saturn/Sun is a 9th house Taurus Moon on the midheaven and Neptune in the 3rd in Scorpio. I had a somewhat difficult childhood including an abusive alcoholic father. Am wondering how having Mars in the 12th affects the opposition.

    1. Sally Kirkman

      If the aspects are all within 8 degrees, then it is a fixed Grand Cross. The key with all the oppositions/squares is how to ‘escape’ them or use them well. Mars/Saturn gives you willpower, determination and grit. It needs an outlet – either through 6th house – work/health/lifestyle or 12th house – a spiritual quest/service to others. Also, I would suggest that finding your faith and finding meaning in life are vital for you. Sending best wishes.

      1. Fixed grand cross in my chart: Mars in 12th house Taurus & Saturn 6th house Virgo squeeze Venus in Aquarius and Pluto in Leo. Wow it has been a tough learning curve..now 64 years old, I am grounded, focused, determined..my work is for a Charity, welfare rights, well 2 charities these days ..I am and feel aligned with my values in the work I do, on my best days I am reminded that Love is an expansive human but universal feeling that shines back as well being very deep; I am not ‘religious’, the universe is bigger than that, I enjoy reflection..enjoy alone time and often choose to be alone…live alone, been a lone patent for over 2 decades…but work a lot for people with people.. Breast cancer 5 years ago, I went through 5 years of real difficulties with my physical health in the last decade and interestingly went through a very bad episode of mental health i believe in retrospect in my first Saturn return…I grafted my way out of it..facing a new transition in the next 2+ years..but more aware and working for it and with it.. So interesting in retrospect as I would agree that it is a matter to make the combinations of energies work for you, and find resilience…power of stay in this instance…so may be..thank you Mars Saturn opposition, it has answered its own challenges…?

        1. Sally Kirkman

          thank you for your wonderful comment – 6/12th houses are the houses of service so you’ve definitely stepped into that role. Sending you very best wishes for the future.

  11. I have Mars in Cancer in 4th (Chiron in 4th as well) and Saturn Rx in Capricorn in 10th (conjuct Uranus; Neptune also in 10th): very alcoholic father and never felt grounded in any home. Also feel a huge restriction in image and reputation. What advice do you in harnessing energy and coping with this aspect? PS: I think this aspect is transiting on Jun 14. Thanks

    1. Sally Kirkman

      With all the challenging planetary aspects, they are part of your personality/make-up and they symbolise people/events in your life. Mars encourages you to step into your power and take charge of your life, while Saturn is about standing your ground and putting clear boundaries in life. It is only through the oppositions and squares in our horoscopes that we are able to develop grit and determination and arise above any setbacks. A full answer would depend on seeing the whole synthesis of your horoscope and how it interplays. The short answer is to develop strength within yourself and not give your power away. The same with regard to feeling secure and knowing where home is – finding it within yourself. Hope that helps.

  12. I have Mars in Cancer in 4th (Chiron in 4th as well) and Saturn Rx in Capricorn in 10th (conjuct Uranus; Neptune also in 10th): very alcoholic father and never felt grounded in any home. Also feel a huge restriction in image and reputation. What advice do you in harnessing energy and coping with this aspect? PS: I think this aspect is transiting on Jun 14. Thanks

    1. Sally Kirkman

      With all the challenging planetary aspects, they are part of your personality/make-up and they symbolise people/events in your life. Mars encourages you to step into your power and take charge of your life, while Saturn is about standing your ground and putting clear boundaries in life. It is only through the oppositions and squares in our horoscopes that we are able to develop grit and determination and arise above any setbacks. A full answer would depend on seeing the whole synthesis of your horoscope and how it interplays. The short answer is to develop strength within yourself and not give your power away. The same with regard to feeling secure and knowing where home is – finding it within yourself. Hope that helps.

  13. Well, my saturn scorpio is in 12th house and is opposite mars in gemini and mars conjuct chiron, i have some issues with work and bosses, and my north node is in 5th house..

  14. Well, my saturn scorpio is in 12th house and is opposite mars in gemini and mars conjuct chiron, i have some issues with work and bosses, and my north node is in 5th house..

  15. My Mars is in Virgo 1st House with my Saturn in Pisces 7th; they both create T-squares to my Sagittarius Jupiter 4th House and my Moon Sagittarius 4th house. I’m also a Capricorn Sun 5th House, how would you describe this plays out in layman’s terms?

    1. It’s difficult to say without looking at your whole chart – all the planets will rule different houses too and that is important. Mars-Saturn creates the push/pull – that Moon/Jupiter needs & wants adventure & excitement – huge enthusiasm followed by reasons why not to do something perhaps? Maybe linked to moving/living abroad or close relationships/family would be an intuitive guess. Hope that helps.

  16. My Mars is in Virgo 1st House with my Saturn in Pisces 7th; they both create T-squares to my Sagittarius Jupiter 4th House and my Moon Sagittarius 4th house. I’m also a Capricorn Sun 5th House, how would you describe this plays out in layman’s terms?

  17. I have Retrograde satrun in 6th house aquarius opposite to Mars in 12th house of leo for virgo ascendant
    Struggling in exams,competitive exams, job and career

    1. I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling. Focus on the Mercury in your chart, your ruling planet. A lot depends on the rest of your astrology. Sending best wishes.

  18. I have Retrograde satrun in 6th house aquarius opposite to Mars in 12th house of leo for virgo ascendant
    Struggling in exams,competitive exams, job and career

    1. I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling. Focus on the Mercury in your chart, your ruling planet. A lot depends on the rest of your astrology. Sending best wishes.

  19. Hi Sally. Good day! 🙂

    I have Mars Cancer in the 11th opposite Saturn Capricorn in the 5th. I wonder how you interpret this one particular aspect. I would like to know your thoughts. Thank you. 🙂

    1. Sally Kirkman

      A lot depends on what houses those two planets rule, especially the Mars and whether they make other planetary aspects. Mars in Cancer is cautious and Saturn in Capricorn more dominant of the two. It may bring up issues around friends or firm opinions around children? That’s where the conflict/push-pull could be. Hope that helps.

  20. Hi Sally. Good day! 🙂

    I have Mars Cancer in the 11th opposite Saturn Capricorn in the 5th. I wonder how you interpret this one particular aspect. I would like to know your thoughts. Thank you. 🙂

    1. Sally Kirkman

      A lot depends on what houses those two planets rule, especially the Mars and whether they make other planetary aspects. Mars in Cancer is cautious and Saturn in Capricorn more dominant of the two. It may bring up issues around friends or firm opinions around children? That’s where the conflict/push-pull could be. Hope that helps.

  21. I have moon conjunct retrograde saturn in capricorn and the two oppossite mars in cancer. I’m very apathetic and detached. I never had a vocation to make a career so i just give up on college. I change jobs all the time because i get bored. I never related to the materialistic capricorn moon. I don’t care about status or what people think about me. I just live an ascetic life and pay the bills. I don’t have hobbies or goals. I’m just exist without a purpose.

    1. Thank you for your comment. It sounds as if you get stuck in the ‘stasis’ part of the opposition. A lot depends on the rest of your birth chart – any supportive aspects to the opposition, for example? Also, is it linked to your career i.e. in the 10th or one of the planets rules the 10th. Hope that’s helpful.

  22. I have moon conjunct retrograde saturn in capricorn and the two oppossite mars in cancer. I’m very apathetic and detached. I never had a vocation to make a career so i just give up on college. I change jobs all the time because i get bored. I never related to the materialistic capricorn moon. I don’t care about status or what people think about me. I just live an ascetic life and pay the bills. I don’t have hobbies or goals. I’m just exist without a purpose.

    1. Thank you for your comment. It sounds as if you get stuck in the ‘stasis’ part of the opposition. A lot depends on the rest of your birth chart – any supportive aspects to the opposition, for example? Also, is it linked to your career i.e. in the 10th or one of the planets rules the 10th. Hope that’s helpful.

  23. I’ve always struggled with motivation, discipline and drive
    12th house Mars in scorpio and 5th house Saturn in Aries (opposition) Scorpio rising, how do I change and am I doomed? Seems like my life is not going very well

    1. Sally Kirkman

      A lot depends on what else is going on in your natal chart and what other planets are linked in to the opposition. Mars in Scorpio in the 12th needs a focus – it favours inner work & personal development or a spiritual outlet. Sending best wishes.

  24. I’ve always struggled with motivation, discipline and drive
    12th house Mars in scorpio and 5th house Saturn in Aries (opposition) Scorpio rising, how do I change and am I doomed? Seems like my life is not going very well

    1. Sally Kirkman

      A lot depends on what else is going on in your natal chart and what other planets are linked in to the opposition. Mars in Scorpio in the 12th needs a focus – it favours inner work & personal development or a spiritual outlet. Sending best wishes.

  25. What is your interpretation of 2nd house Venus+Saturn in Aries and 8th house Mars retrograde in Libra. A retrograde and sign swap between Mars & Venus makes this spicier.

    1. Sally Kirkman

      You can swap around planets in mutual reception – so I’m sure there’s a learning in there about money/relationships. Making the right kind of partnerships, standing firm, lessons around boundaries, etc. Interesting opposition – look also at what houses Mars and Venus rule aside from the money houses. That may reveal more.

  26. What is your interpretation of 2nd house Venus+Saturn in Aries and 8th house Mars retrograde in Libra. A retrograde and sign swap between Mars & Venus makes this spicier.

    1. Sally Kirkman

      You can swap around planets in mutual reception – so I’m sure there’s a learning in there about money/relationships. Making the right kind of partnerships, standing firm, lessons around boundaries, etc. Interesting opposition – look also at what houses Mars and Venus rule aside from the money houses. That may reveal more.

  27. I have my saturn in gemini at 22 degrees in the fourth house, opposite my sag mars at 15 degrees in the 10th house and I struggle a lot with motivation around work. I want to achieve so much and help so many people, however I find that whenever i go to do things I intend to it either doesn’t work out or i completely overthink it(which is probably due to my taurus moon in the third house).

    Please if you have suggestions on how I can fix this let me know!

    1. It’s hard to know what’s best for you without looking at the whole of your astrology chart. If Sagittarius is your Midheaven, look to your Jupiter and what that’s doing as it’s your career planet. Also consider whether any planets are making aspects to your opposition – can you use them for guidance? Hope that helps. Mars in Gemini needs to multi-task too.

    1. No astrology is ‘bad’. Square aspects and oppositions often mean you’ll have more challenge in your lifetime but without challenge, it’s hard to develop strength. Your Mars is stronger than your Saturn – learn to develop your psychic skills and trust your intuition, your knowingness. Hope that helps.

    1. No astrology is ‘bad’. Square aspects and oppositions often mean you’ll have more challenge in your lifetime but without challenge, it’s hard to develop strength. Your Mars is stronger than your Saturn – learn to develop your psychic skills and trust your intuition, your knowingness. Hope that helps.

  28. wow, i love an astro blog that’s been active for years! I have ADHD and this aspect with my 6h scorpio mars and 12h taurus saturn, so I noticed just how much all the squares/opp to mars/saturn i have (i also have a 9h aqua stellium) really reflects the exact struggles I have with my adhd, so it’s very interesting.

    1. That is interesting. Thank you for your comment. The Aquarius planets are going to create tension to the determined side of Mars-Saturn so I can see how that works out for you. I hope you are able to find ways to manage your ADHD. Sending best wishes.

  29. wow, i love an astro blog that’s been active for years! I have ADHD and this aspect with my 6h scorpio mars and 12h taurus saturn, so I noticed just how much all the squares/opp to mars/saturn i have (i also have a 9h aqua stellium) really reflects the exact struggles I have with my adhd, so it’s very interesting.

    1. That is interesting. Thank you for your comment. The Aquarius planets are going to create tension to the determined side of Mars-Saturn so I can see how that works out for you. I hope you are able to find ways to manage your ADHD. Sending best wishes.

  30. I have Mars in cancer squaring my sun in libra always fighting with myself these days, indecisive, frustrated, over cautious ,worrying etc etc
    BUT once one is confident (positive side of sun Mars) in oneself , when that happens, nothing can stop the power, Saturn helps to achieve mountains very very fast, lightning speed in fact , Saturn gives mars the “big wheels” when it’s right

  31. I have Mars in cancer squaring my sun in libra always fighting with myself these days, indecisive, frustrated, over cautious ,worrying etc etc
    BUT once one is confident (positive side of sun Mars) in oneself , when that happens, nothing can stop the power, Saturn helps to achieve mountains very very fast, lightning speed in fact , Saturn gives mars the “big wheels” when it’s right

  32. hi there! i have mars in gemini in 10th opposing saturn in saggitarius in 4th. Can you please suggest how to better harner this energy ?? I feel my inner warrior is wounded. I tend to procrastinate a lot and find it difficult to take charge. And on occasions i do take charge – I burn out.

    1. Being aware of what happens with the Mars-Saturn opposition is the starting place. What you are describing can be the negative effects of this opposition. Ideally, pace yourself rather than trying to get everything done at once and don’t try to multi-task, focus on one project at a time if possible. Build up your Mars with physical strength and fitness. Express your anger and your passion – make sure Mars is in charge more than Saturn. Hope that helps.

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