"A golden race of mortal men who lived in the time of Kronos (Saturn) when he was reigning in heaven. And they lived like gods without sorrow of heart, remote and free from toil: miserable age rested not on them . . . The fruitful earth unforced bare them fruit abundantly and without stint. They dwelt in ease and peace upon their lands with many good things." Hesiod
Saturn is the planet of time & therefore aging and ultimately death. Immediately, this tends to make him extremely feared-- but if we look beyond the obvious, immediate impression, we realize why he is considered by many to be the "greatest" of planets, even though he is the highest of malefics. Time is actually extremely merciful, because it is the dimension that spaces things out and provides us a limitation between our immediate thoughts or desires, and fulfillment or achievement of those desires. Saturn is related to the ahamkara, the ego, which is what is responsible for your individual identity-- being the barrier that separates you and keeps you alive until you die. If you go on the astral, for example, you don't have the limitation of the physical body, and therefore you have no anchor, no division of time or work, days or night, or need to eat or drink or to exert physically, etc. and wherever your mind goes, you go immediately-- because there is little to no factor of limitation that keeps you grounded, balanced, and regulated, as there is on the physical. You realize that having the anchor of a physical body & time is truly merciful, because you understand the possible benefit of what can be achieved, as well as all of the peculiar astral hells that exist that are not possible for you to experience because you have a physical body that grounds you. On the astral, any negative thought immediately manifests as reality, and you can become trapped in spiraling loops of fear and pain directed by your uncontrolled mind, like an endless "bad trip" (as drugs also derange the function of your ego).
For example, in your sleep, you feel a slight pain in your side, and wonder what is causing it. Your instinctual, unconscious fear immediately assumes you've been stabbed, and therefore in your dream, you look down, and a knife is in your side and blood is pouring out; you create your own hell. Anything you "wish" for or call forth manifests immediately & therefore you fall into delusion, and the "merciful" hands of time are not there to provide distance and effort between your thoughts and your reality, your desires and your achievements. All rare and special things, cultivated in our physical reality by the slow but constant exertion of Saturn, lose their worth; a diamond in our reality is sculpted over 1 billion years-- on the astral, it appears immediately. A beautifully sculpted bodily form takes years of consistent effort; on the astral, if you wish it, it is "there", and just as quickly, it dissolves. The external growth needs not match with the internal growth in anyway. You don't need to grow in strength to lift something heavy, etc. and therefore your internal growth slams to a halt, as your external experience flickers & changes pointlessly. These contemplations help one realize why the limitations of Saturn are the key to satisfaction, because he is the emblem of control and so gives you the ability to indulge and enjoy your senses without danger of falling under illusion (which is why Saturn is exalted in Swati nakshatra in the center of Libra), and also gives you the ability to diligently remove your imperfect behaviors. He's there mercifully when you spend years improving your self discipline, and end up with longevity, happiness, and wealth through your domination over yourself and your reality. He's also there mercifully when year after year, you drown yourself in alcohol, and the dimension of time gives you the opportunity to think on this decision and change your behavior before it results in disease & death, or he puts an end to cycle of indulgence and addiction through ending your life and allowing you to take a new incarnation and overcome your limitation.
His emphasis on balance, equilibrium, patience, and developing self-control is why he is said in Greek mythology to have ruled over the "golden age", where everything on Earth is perfect and happy, because under his rule the chances of ruining or destroying yourself or others slows down, as he regulates everything to where it is perfect and harmonious. People under the negative element of Rahu, for example, try to co-opt things that they did not legitimately achieve: be they identities, titles, or even things like stealing or cheating to obtain resources, whereas people strongly under Saturn-- even if offered things easily that does not come from their own effort or work-- turn them down because they know that the only things that you really own are those that you work for and achieve from your own effort and power. It is understood that every external achievement is only worthy if it is matched with the internal "gem" you have built, of overcoming your own internal weakness and limitations, and the never-ending reward that that self-mastery provides. In Saturn encouraging you to increase your internal limitations, you annihilate forces and temptations that lead ultimately to unhappiness, and instead attain liberation.
ऊँ शं शनैश्चाराय नमः।
I personally really enjoy to contemplate & saturate in the energies of Saturn. I would love to help you to find what planetary energies would likely benefit you the most based on your chart & desires, through my services.