Shani or Saturn is the planet of responsibility, and symbolizes the ethic of hard work. It is known to affect one adversely, on occasions when it occupies certain positions in one's horoscope.
Legend has it that, once when Shani was in meditation, his wife approached him. Deeply involved in meditation, he did not notice her. Feeling insulted, she cursed him that whoever is aspected by Shani, will meet with misfortune and destruction.
The extremely slow movement of Shani is attributed to the lameness caused to him by the curse of goddess Parvati.
Shani is the elder brother to Yama. As a result, he can also bring an end to life. Shani represents detachment as well.