I have been studying astrology during the lockdown. It is a fascinating subject, with its intricacies and variations. Saturn is one of the nine planets around which the subject revolves. In popular perception, most people are scares of Saturn. The moment they hear Saturn is active in their charts, it is enough to send them in a fizzy. Sade Sati or the seven-and-a-half-year period worries people more than it harms them.

The Greatness of Saturn – a Therapeutic Myth by Dr Robert E SvobodaI had spotted ‘The Greatness of Saturn’ a long time back at an airport book shop. I took a picture and put it on my wish list. Now was the right time to read it. So, I read it with an aim to understand the most misunderstood planet and the one that impacts us for long periods of time. Not to forget that I am currently running Shani Mahadasha and Sade-Sati, so that was another reason for my interest in it.

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At the beginning of the book, I learned that there is a text called Shani Mahatmaya or the Glory of Shani. It is basically a primer on a deity, which in this case would be Saturn. I have a long list of books on astrology with me. I had no clue about this.

Written primarily for a western audience, the author dwells on the mythology and role of myths in different cultures. He keeps going back and comparing the myth with other myths. I assume he is trying to explain it with reference to the myths that are better known to his readers. As an Indian reader, I could skip these parts as it would require me to understand other myths, which I am not very familiar with. Also, as an Indian, I inherently know these stories.

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Storytelling Fashion

Told in a storytelling fashion, the story aims to establish Saturn or Shani as the most important planet that impacts you. In the process, it gives you the scriptural stories of all the nine planets that astrology revolves around. It tells you about the story of Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Rahu & Ketu along with Saturn. What comes out when you read all the stories one after the other is the interrelationship between different planets and the role they play in each other’s lives. This is in fact the crux of astrology and something that human behavior emulates.

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There are stories of different kings. But most prominently King Vikramaditya of Ujjain had to face the ire of Saturn during his Sade Sati. The stories go on to show the extent of pain Saturn can inflict on people. They also highlight the fact that no one can escape the effects of Saturn if they are supposed to get it. This is highlighted by a story of how even the Guru of Saturn had to suffer during his Sade Sati. When you read about the misfortune people faced due to Saturn, you realize that it is actually being benevolent to you if you are just facing minor hassles in life or if everything is just getting delayed and not denied for you.

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The Planet that delivers justice

Saturn is a planet that delivers justice. It delivers the results of your past and present karmas, so if there are credits and debits, it just settles that. It is impartial and serves justice equally to everyone.

The last part of the book The Greatness of Saturn a Therapeutic myth tells a bit about the rituals to please various planets including Saturn. It tells you about different mantras you can chant. Different donations you can make, detailing out what you can give on which day to whom. With tables in place, the content is very well organized making it easy to understand and refer to.

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Language is easy to read. The author comes out as a very serious practitioner of astrology. I have heard many astrologers speak, but not many talks about Shani Mahatmaya.

If astrology interests you, read it.

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