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[Read detailed description about him at Shani]

Saturn.  Also known as Shaneechar or Shanaishchar.
As a planet Shani is the 6th planet from the Sun and is also the second largest planet, with a radius of 37,366 miles. It is said to have a small core of rock and iron, then a layer of ice and lastly topped by a deep layer of liquid hydrogen. Saturn is different from other known planets for the rings it has. No planet in this solar system has rings like Saturn does. The rings consist of small pieces of ice and rock, are 62,000 kilometers wide but just 100 meters thick. The rings are actually made of thousands of closely spaced ringlets, looking like a gramophone record disk. Saturn has 22 known natural satellites, more than any other planet does.

Astrologically, this physical Saturn planet is the representation of Shani Dev / Shanaischar (Saturn). By the movement of the physical Saturn, we understand the intention of Saturn God (Shani) about us. Saturn God is the natural ruler of Karm, and to understand our Karm, we must first understand Shani.

Shani is one of the three children of Soorya and Chhaayaa.  We learn about the power of Shani's gaze since Shani was born. His gaze caused Soorya's charioteer Arun to fall down and break his thigh; Soorya's horses to go blind; and Soorya himself caught vertigo as Shani's powerful gaze fell on him. They were healed only when Shani moved his gaze away. This clarifies the power which Shani has in his gaze.

In Jyotish, Shani is considered a very malefic planet. The nine planets are the incarnations of Lords to bestow us the result of our Karm from which we need to learn lessons. And most of the times, the toughest lessons are taught by Shani only.

In general, Shani is considered the most malefic planet, and the most problematic, painful combinations of planets involve Shani most of the times. When Shani maleficly affects something, he slows the matter down, and causes obstructions and delays in it's fruitfulness. Shani also rules separation, he hurts us by taking things away from us. When we face a painful separation from our parents, spouse, friends or anyone we care for, Shani may be a possibility for that. Ketu also causes separation as he rules non-attachment, but separations and delays are among the main significations of Shani. He's association with Venus / 7th lord causes separation from spouse most of the times. Though the final comment about his effects can be made only after seeing hi strength, placement and lordship, as for Taurus and Libra natives Shani is a functional benefic being a Yoga Kaarak. But even then Shani will not forget to remind his nature.

Shani is a planet of Taamasik quality. He is a planet of extreme nature. When he favors someone, he gives very favorable effects. On the contrary, when one receives his curse, he has to face indescribable pain and miseries in his life. Favorable effects of Shani on one's nature include in-depth knowledge, sensibility, wisdom, justice, broadness of mind, honesty, patience, ability to work hard etc. In life, he may give wealth, fortune, long life etc when he is auspicious and well placed in one's chart.

On the other hand, when badly afflicting a person's nature, Shani can make one sadistic, greedy, lazy, dishonest, fearful, irresponsible and even addicted to drugs. Shani causes obstruction, delay, grief, poverty, short life etc. He makes a person totally lonely, helpless and can make one suffer from enmity, theft, lawsuits etc. Shani can also give imprisonment since he rules obstruction, loneliness and grief. When causing diseases, Sani generally gives chronic diseases as the person suffers for a long time - by this he again shows his nature of slowness and delays. When badly effecting one's profession, Shani makes one work very hard but does not give the proper reward he deserves.

For the power of his gaze, Sani has a tremendous afflicting ability by his mere aspects, which he casts on 3rd, 7th and 10th houses from his own position.

Among other planets used in Vedic Astrology, Saturn is the last one counted from Sun's position. That is why Sani Dev rules 'The last' or 'The end' of anything. He is the 'Last Answer' in anything. In our material world, death is the end of everything, and that is why, Sani rules death and longevity issues. He is the natural significator of 8th house in astrology. We know that 8th house deals with sorrows, shock, pains, depressions and also - occult. That is why Sani also deals with Magic, Tantra, Jyotish etc.

Sani was lamed by another son of the Sun, named Yama (God of death) when he hit Sani in his leg. So Sani is always very slow in his movement. One name of Sani, as I already mentioned, is 'Shanaischaram' which means the slow mover. He takes around 2.5 years to pass through a sign, thus he takes around 30 years to complete the travel over the whole zodiac. So he rules slowness and delays; And he teaches us how to tolerate slowness and delays, by patience. He is generally pleased with people having patience.

The great phase (Mahaa Dashaa) of Shani lasts for 19 years. Even than the Maha Dasha, Sani gets the strong hold of a person by his transit over the 12th, 1st and 2nd signs from his or her natal Moon. This is called 'Sade Sati' since it lasts for about 7.5 years.

Shani lords over Makar (Capricorn) and Kumbh (Aquarius) Raashi (Signs) with Kumbh being his Mool-Trikon sign. He is exalted in Tulaa (Libra) and debilitated in Mesh (Aries). His natural friends are Budh (Mercury), Shukra (Venus) and Raahu, while enemies are Soorya (Sun), Chandramaa (Moon), Mangal (Mars) and Ketu. He has neutral relationship with Guru (Jupiter). He is the ruler of the three Nakshatra named Pushya (8), Anuraadhaa (17) and U-Bhadrapada (26). He rules 8 in the numbers, Saturday in the weekdays, and aqua, blue and black in colors. His favorite gemstone is blue sapphire wearing which strengthens Shani's effect on a person.

Now how to pacify such an angry planet? The ways to pacify him include donation of black clothes, mustard oil, black Urad, black sesame seeds etc to the poor and helping and serving the old and needy people since Shani signifies all these. Rishi Paraashar suggests donating a black cow or feeding Braahmans with rice cooked with powder of sesame seeds to appease Shani Dev. Shani Dev is a great Devotee of Lord Krishn that is why it has been said that Shani Dev does not create problems to people who worship Lord Krishn (especially on Saturdays). It should be also mentioned that Krishn is also a name of Shani Dev. Shani Dev is also appeased if one recites Shani Stotram.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 06/12/11