Saturn is also known as Chronos. This version of his name gives us many time based words, such as chronology. He is associated with time because he is essentially the god of death. Like the grim reaper he is often depicted with a scythe. In fact his glyph is an abstracted upside down scythe.
Saturn rules over melancholy and contemplation. The hermit or monk would be an excellent embodiment of Saturn. I have heard it said that Jupiter is religious in a happy sense, and that Saturn is religious in a more so called “negative emotions” and reflective sense. I have found this to be true.
Saturn is in some way the force of physical decay that is constantly at work in the universe. Its nature is to atrophy. Appropriately the metal associated with Saturn is lead, which is now known to induce slow death.
Saturn is also the sign of confronting and accepting the darker aspects of the universe. Darkness itself, existential despair, and death all fall under the domain of Saturn.
Both of Saturn’s zodiac signs have to do with rebirth: Capricorn and Aquarius. Capricorn perfectly shows the esoteric and alchemical nature of Saturn. Aquarius perfectly reflects the redemption found in the darkness by the mystical and philosophical seer. It is the secret discovered only by those brave enough to plunge directly into the dark oceans of the heart. Saturn rules over this whole archetype: the world of knowledge that can only be obtained by a dangerous and difficult journey.
Saturn was also a god of agriculture, and in a more positive sense he rules over the limitations of the physical world and over acting inside of those limitations. In this way Saturn rules over rules, tradition, time, patience, wisdom, age, and responsibility. Its nature is to confine and teach.