So in the system of astrology I use, Hellenic astrology, there is a concept of khronokratores, or (sigh) “time lords.” A time lord (sigh) is the planet that rules a particular period of time in the chart. At that time, the planet becomes more active, and what it signifies in the chart becomes a theme in the life of the native.
The time lord progresses through the chart in the order of the signs’ rulers. So if Aries is the rising sign, the sign that contains the ascendent, then Mars becomes the khronokrator of the first year of life. The second year becomes Venus, because Taurus follows Aries, and thus around the chart. If, for example, Mars is badly placed in the chart, then every twelve years the native will have a crisis related to its location. But even if it’s not, every twelve years, the native can expect the issues of Mars to become paramount: strife, strength, war, fear.
Saturn is a bit of a nasty customer, because not only is it a malefic, it rules Capricorn and Aquarius, and thus you get two Saturn khronokrator years back to back. If you happen to be born at night, that’s a very bad thing indeed, unless your Saturn is strong. I was born in the morning, so it’s not quite so bad. The issues that Saturn indicates — restriction, boundaries, rules, and wisdom — will be a little less horrid than they would be otherwise.
I’m starting my second Saturn year pretty soon. I’ve plowed my way through a lot of obstructions this year, had a lot of very beneficial breakthroughs magically and otherwise. I look forward to seeing how this dark planet manifests in the next year. Saturn has not turned out too bad!
Now, Mars, on the other hand . . .