Sade Sati (“Seven and a Half”) is the Hindi term for Saturn’s transit over the Moon and it’s neighboring signs. “Much ado” is constantly made of it, and I think it is “too-much ado.” Sade Sati is just one of many, many factors causing the rhythms and fluctuations in your personal time-flow.
Basically, Sade Sati sets up a cosmic rhythm that divides human life into three segments: youth, adulthood, oldage. Each segment lasts about 27 years (because it takes Saturn that much time to return to the position of your Moon). There is almost always a “fourth era” in life too, caused by the extra years not very fully in one of these complete cycles.
The reason this transit is called “Seven and a Half” (“sade sati”) is because that’s how many years it usually takes Saturn to traverse the whole neighborhood surrounding your Moon (technically defined as your Moon-sign and the sign before and after it). So, the transition period between each of life’s segments is generally about seven and a half years.
- There is about a 7.5 year transition between being a youth and being an adult. Usually this transition is centered somewhere around your 27th year of life.
- Another 7.5 year transition between adulthood and old age usually centers around being 54 years old.
- The third 7.5 year transition, from old age into death (or preparation for it, or focusing on it) usually centers around being 81 years old.
The main effect of Sade Sati is to establish this general template of rhythm for human life. Transitions are periods of change. Change has significant potential to be upsetting and challenging. So the seven and a half year transition period (“sade sati”) has inherent potential to be a time of challenges and difficulties which cause us to evolve and change.
Thus Sade Sati earns a reputation as being something to dread. Actually, I really think most people are just looking for something to focus their huge collection of subconscious fears on. So people tend to love stuff like “Sade Sati” and they really love to make a big scarey monster out of it. In truth, however, change does not always have to come from difficulties and challenges. Sometimes change comes as the result of new opportunities and epiphanies.
So, I do not support the idea that Sade Sati is inherently a “bad” transit. A capable astrologer needs to judge the relevant factors carefully to try to foresee or understand what the impetuses for transformation and change will be during a Sade Sati. It is different for each individual.
I hope this sheds some light on what Sade Sati is, and what it isn’t.
– Vic DiCara