Last Thursday April 18th Saturn, the ruler of karma, fate and destiny turned retrograde and will be until September 6th. Just as Mercury turns direct, Saturn reverses motion, joining Jupiter retrograde since March 9th and Pluto reversed on April 22nd. It’s important to remember that retrogrades are about perspectives. Just as the backward motion of a retrograde planet is apparent rather than actual, the effects of retrogrades are on the way we see things. I have said frequently that life has to go on and we cannot get caught up in Astrological paranoia.
In the week surrounding Saturn’s station as it turns retrograde, we can begin to feel the weight of our responsibilities quite heavily. During this cycle it is important to maintain a sense of purpose and intention.
This is all due to a change in our perspective. However, as we accustom ourselves to the shift, the retrograde cycle becomes an opportunity period for review and reassessment. Attempts to reconnect with the purpose of our structures, limits, and duties can aid this process. Slowing down makes sense. Expansion or additions to our existing responsibilities and projects can be stressful now. The best approach is to reduce and simplify. Delays may occur now, but these give us the chance to correct our errors and refine our work. Saturn retrograde is a bit of a “shedding period”, a topic which I will present in video form soon.
The areas of life affected by Saturn’s retrograde are those ruled by the house that Saturn rules in our natal charts (where Capricorn is) and those ruled by the house in which Saturn is currently transiting. For example, if you have Capricorn on the seventh house cusp (in other words, you have a Cancer Ascendant) and Saturn is currently transiting your sixth house, then the areas of life most influenced by Saturn retrograde would be partnerships and negotiations (seventh house) as well as work, habits, routines, and health (sixth house).
Editing our current projects or returning to old projects can be very successful. Brand new major projects may not be favored. This is the time to simplify and restructure.
Saturn transits and cycles can be considered cycles of achievement and maturity. When Saturn forms a hard aspect to a personal point in our chart, we might feel that everything is slowed down–we encounter delays, frustrations, and pressures. But these times also challenge us to face reality, thereby opening ourselves up to increased wisdom and the freedom that comes with living in truth. Saturn makes us focus!
Significant decisions are often made during Saturn’s hard transits to our personal planets. These transits slow life down (or at least, that is how we perceive it) and force us to live our lives in the present. Although Saturn transits can make life feel like a drudgery, they also give us the opportunity to gain inner strength, to become more responsible for what we do and say, and to cut out waste or excesses in our lives. Basically, what happens is a form of paring or slimming down in the area of life affected by Saturn. We are getting rid of things in our lives that are not working for us in the real world, and focusing on improving and strengthening the things that do serve a useful purpose. Thus, during this period be realistic about projects and especially during the overlap with Jupiter retrograde (until July 10th) do not over estimate things.
Saturn transits can also be considered times of conservation in whatever area of life that Saturn is affecting. We generally build up our reserves and conserve our energy during these periods. Delays and little but irksome problems might be experienced. Things break down, our needs often go unmet by others, we often feel misunderstood and even left out, we tend to find others harsh and unsympathetic (although this is often a perception thing – we, in fact, may be lacking a sense of humor), and we often feel burdened or put upon.
Saturn transits teach us to take responsibility for ourselves. At the outset of a Saturn transit, we might feel like the world is a cold place. If we are mature, we will at some point come to the realization that we cannot always pass blame for the problems in our lives. We need to reach within and pull out our own inner strength — to rely on ourselves.
Depression can be a byproduct of heavy Saturn transits. However, if we focus our energies into meaningful endeavors without pushing too hard for recognition or support from others, we can fight the inclination towards a gloom-and-doom attitude. Saturn reminds us of reality and the need for greater self-discipline. Re-organizing the area of life represented by the house or personal point that Saturn is “hitting” can lead to great rewards. Remember that Saturn transits do not completely flatten us, by all means. Instead, they slow us down, force us to live in the here and now, keep us from taking unnecessary risks, and help us to build and structure our lives in ways that will benefit us later. Saturn retrograde is a time to forgive and clean up karma, or said even better, clean up old biz.
The glyph for Saturn j is the sickle of Kronos, the god of time. When Saturn is retrograde, we buy time. Another quirky aspect of Saturn retrograde is difficult breakups. Relationships can re-ignite when Saturn is reversed. There seems to be some smoldering ash can flames up again during this cycle. Saturn retrograde can also be a time not to break a contract. Because Saturn rules business and government, if you filed a tax extension for 2018, that’s a good thing; but don’t wait until September to get your taxes done. When Saturn turns direct, it picks up speed fast like a runaway locomotive!
Ultimately Saturn retrograde can be a very good thing…depending on your perspective.
Thanks for reading and remember to contact me for a private consultation to help you navigate this period.