Saturn went retrograde on April 18th, 2018. It will resume normal service on September 6th, 2018. So what does it mean? And how does Saturn in retrograde affect you personally?
Planets in Retrograde
When a planet is in retrograde it means that, from our perspective on Earth, the planet appears to be going backwards. It doesn’t really change direction, yet astrologists believe that retrograde planets do affect us: our moods, behavior, energy, and events around us.
Saturn in retrograde is nothing unusual as the planet spends over a third of our Earth year appearing to travel backwards. You may see references to ‘station’ in connection to retrogrades. This is the time when the planet seems to stop moving, before either seeming to go backwards, or to resume forward movement after a retrograde period has ended.
Qualities of Saturn
Saturn has a bit of a bad rap in the astrology world. It is the planet of structure, authority, and discipline. It’s also connected to feelings of sorrow, heaviness of mood and loneliness. Yet Saturn is also designated as the planet of hidden blessings.
Saturn is the furthest of the visible planets and, because of this, it is the ‘boundary’ planet. It represents our own boundaries in life. From physical boundaries, such as the walls of our homes, to our belief system. Most of us have limits on what we are prepared to accept or believe. Saturn rules our personal limits: what we think we are capable of, our self-doubts and fears. Some people think that Saturn is the guardian of the barrier between conscious thought and the collective unconscious, or the Akashic Records.
Saturn is slow, heavy and predictable. It lights no fires or spark of inspiration. It is the planet of winter, old age and death. Yet these things, viewed as negative, also bring the deepest and strongest life lessons. When we are forced by incapacity to slow down, to stop and re-evaluate, sometimes that’s when we really understand all that we have; all that we could lose. Hence, the ‘hidden blessings’. Saturn encourages us to build our foundations strong. To invest our time in those things that really matter, to build a support system around us and to teach us that we are not really individuals, but part of a bigger system.
How Does Being in Retrograde Change Saturn’s Influence?
When Saturn is retrograde it may bring challenges related to the structure of our lives. It might force us to conform, or to work harder for our goals.
For those people who do well working within a tight ship, retrograde Saturn can be of tremendous benefit. It can be a time when previous patience, hard work and judicious investments start to pay off. It will never be spectacular, but it can be a slow, steady period of growth.
Saturn in retrograde may bring a new level of maturity and this can be as advantageous as the aging of a fine wine. Appreciation becomes more important; both the giving and receiving of it. Aging brings wisdom and tolerance. We begin to learn that we don’t have to exert control over others; the influence of Saturn will bring everyone to their own understanding sooner or later.
Another attribute of Saturn in retrograde is that it levels things out. This is not usually a huge event or natural disaster but a slow turning of events and influences that brings humility and grace to those who would put themselves above the rest of us. Stories unfold, whistle-blowers reveal truths previously denied, and careers are reversed with inexorable inevitability.
Numerous irritations may also occur when we see Saturn moving backwards: travel hold-ups, plans delayed, project proposals rejected, obstructions, frustrations, forced stoppages, etcetera, are all part of retrograde Saturn’s influence.
Retrograde Saturn in your Birth Chart
As Saturn spends so much time in retrograde, it is common it will appear as such in a many people’s birth chart.
Astrologists view retrograde planets as having a weakened or negative influence. This results in the positive qualities we value working against us. So for instance, Saturn’s influence over our boundaries may be much less when the planet is in retrograde. So this might mean a person does not have societally acceptable behavior; they may ‘go off the rails’, live a life of crime, or become addicted to serial relationships with the wrong people.
Saturn represents the patriarchal father-figure and, should the native be born at a time when Saturn is retrograde, it could mean that a steadying father-like influence is missing or lacking in some way. Raised by a single mother, divorce, or simply a lack of parental guidance may be something which will have to be dealt with. Of course, none of those factors means that life will be bad or even difficult growing up, but nevertheless, it could be a feature that determines the direction of your life.
It’s possible that people born during this time suffer from feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, or an underlying feeling that they will never have success. They can be overcome with access to resources and a lot of hard work, especially inner work. If you have the will, there’s a way.
Overcoming Saturn in Retrograde in Your Chart
Successful people; those who live a full, rounded and balanced life even though they were born during a Saturn retrograde, have learned an important lesson. They have discovered they can build those firm foundations for themselves. They have had to create, invent, or reach inside for their inbuilt disciplinarian. Their inner patriarch, if you like. No matter if it has current negative connotations, we all need self-discipline and a conscience to guide us. We all must construct our personal boundaries. It’s a strong male energy, a steadying hand, a firm voice, and a wise word of caution.
At the same time, we must be wary of taking self-discipline too far. As with most things in life, it’s all about finding the right balance that works for us.
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