If Saturn is supposed to be lazy, why does he make us work hard? The concepts are at odds with each other. So are they to be used in balance, or one is to be given up for the other?
Saturn does not make us work hard. Other planets afflict him and then we work hard.
That's a good question that I have wondered about as well.
I think Saturn will do anything for survival and basic security, and doesn't waste energy or money on trivial pursuits, luxuries, power, or even sattvic creative ideals.
Maybe Saturn's laziness is a from of simplicity. Being grateful when they are able to just survive and stay secure and reproduce. (Ernst does seem to be the only astrologer that describes Saturn as a sexual planet. But the way he does makes sense as sex is a basic part of nature and survival on earth.)
Also reptiles, Saturn creatures, may appear to be lazy and slow most of the time, but they spend a lot of time methodically watching and stalking, and conserving their physical energy for the moments of aggressive struggle when they catch their prey to feed themselves.
Maybe Saturn makes us work hardest when we need, or have neglected to build, an authentic foundation of security, or have ignored the harsh realities of life and time until it finally forces us to catch up the best we can to continue our survival. And doing that while at the same time continuing to aim, and work for, the good stuff of the other planets, can add up to loads and loads of work!
Every planet wants to manifest the house its in. They all do it in different ways. Saturn does it by waiting. There is NOTHING that can be done to the house saturn is in. So saturn goes to sleep. when he wakes up, its better. The problem is when saturn is afflicted. when its starved, etc. Then a person starts to beat a dead horse and they end up depressed cause all the energy is going to where no energy should be placed. Saturn is the greatest planet in many ways. Go to sleep, forget about it, let time take care of it. go do something else.
There is certain pain in life such as loss of a loved one that there is nothing you can do but suffer and let time take care of it. A good Saturn is great for such pain since Saturn is a planet of suffering...