In general, Saturn represents experience, tradition, examination of the new, the course of time, and everything that needs time, as well as patience. It is often called the planet of fate. Saturn concentrates everything, even until the bitter end, no matter what is finally left. Its energies symbolize the serious task and moving forward even under trouble and strife.
The most common force Saturn is known for is perhaps restriction. However, this often occurs due the natural law of cause and effect--which Saturn likes to manage. If it signifies obstacles and restriction, it is usually due to an individual having an incorrect personal goal or it is due to a karmic reaction which has been imposed. Saturn is the Lord of Karma (Karma can be positive or negative as a result of promoting or interfering with someone else's free will. It is also a debt to oneself, derived from actions that are aligned to cause and effect). Accordingly, Saturn's placement in your chart can indicate the areas in life that you need to work on.
As I have Saturn rising, meaning that it is close to the Ascendant and in the first house, together with a square to my Sun, I’ve experienced a lot of challenges in my life. However, the effect is somewhat softened by having the planet Jupiter conjunct (next to) the Sun. Still, one very obvious effect is the experience of significant rejection—I was even left alone for an hour at birth while my twin brother decided it was time.
The lesson that I’ve had to learn is that of self-love and self-esteem. For once I had gained a sufficient level of this, I no longer felt rejected. Perhaps one never perfects the lesson(s), but I feel I’ve come a long way.