Sade Sati (7½ years) is often termed as one of the most dreaded planetary transits afflicting human beings. However, it is not to be dreaded when approached with the antidote of spiritual wisdom.

When Saturn (Shani) transits through the 12th, 1st, and 2nd house from your natal Moon (position of the Moon in the birth chart), the yoga (alignment) is called Sade Sati. In Hindi, Sade means ‘half’ and Sati means ‘seven’. Saturn takes 2½ years to pass through each sign; its passing through 3 signs takes 7½ years, hence the name Sade Sati.

Just as the energy of the Sun’s principle can burn impurities in the person’s chart, Jupiter’s energy can empower through generosity and enriching, while Mercury motivates the person to listen instead of talking, Mars leads to action, Venus inspires to accept the beauty in others with love and Moon creates the feeling of being part of the same family, Saturn teaches the person how to become realistic and thrive in solitude without feeling fearful and depressed. It teaches to face one’s fears and limitations in order to walk the talk and spiritualize one’s life.

Sade Sati is all about facing yourself with maturity and taking up the responsibility for your transformation. To the person undergoing it, this period will appear as if Kaal (time) itself is on hold. Actually this space is necessary to understand your emotions, and your responsibility towards what you create in your world because of them. By doing so, you iron out and destroy your karmas of this life and redefine your existence.

Sharing Guru’s gentle energy through enriching is the ultimate remedy during this period, bringing expansion where Saturn tends to shrink one’s consciousness. Sharing knowledge, blessing others and seeing the good in them even in times of disputes, dissatisfaction, depression, differences, disharmony or failures are the qualities of the dignified Saturn energy.

The painful effect of Sade Sati, which is known to many, happens only when you are not ready to admit your complete responsibility for what is. The negative side of Saturn then manifests as a current of resistance to the present moment. Saturn then becomes “malefic”, as astrologers say.

The highest frequency of Saturn embodied in this yoga, manifests when you decide to face yourself and complete with your patterns. Completion with yourself gives the courage to handle whatever life brings with integrity and authenticity.

In a way, Saturn’s principle represents how you relate to Kaal (time). Since it intensifies any experience, it makes one’s consciousness experience it deeply in order to gain maturity. It also sends karmic retribution and points out which aspects of life you have to focus on and clear up in order to grow.

The condition of Saturn in a chart shows how permanent and synchronized a person’s connection with their consciousness and awareness is, even during the most challenging times. A well-placed Saturn shows that the person knows when to go slow, when to go fast, when to work, when to surrender, when to have endurance and how to be stable in the most difficult and tricky circumstances.

A challenging placement of Saturn will allow the person to fall into the darkness of ignorance when life hits; no light seems to reach such a person. Saturn becomes the shadow of the Sun and the person refuses any help and behaves in an unwise and foolish way, binding himself in chains of suffering. Saturn then becomes a tamasic force (causing ignorance) on the consciousness of that person. Without grace, proper understanding and techniques, one may lose faith in the ever-auspicious nature of existence. With the practice of the four tattvas, one can go beyond even the ill-effects of Saturn’s weak placement and reach one’s eternally blissful natural state.