Saturn’s retrograde and how it affects you

Something has been influencing us beyond our normal realm of consciousness, which is usually grounded in the people and actions surrounding us. Saturn is completing the rest of its cycle around the sun in its normal fashion, but to the Earth’s eye, it appears to be moving backwards—this phase is called a retrograde.

Retrogrades act as a cleansing period by unearthing the negative qualities in the planet’s ruling aspects, and Saturn’s retrogrades happen to excavate old, long-standing issues involving serious moments of our lives.

Mercury’s retrograde is the most famous because it is one of the shortest and most frequent. A full orbital year for Mercury is 88 Earth days.

Retrogrades under Mercury last about three weeks, so they are far more noticeable to the eye. Saturn, on the other side of the solar system, takes about 29 Earth years to make a full revolution around the sun. This time, the far-away Saturn is going to be exiting its retrograde and going direct on Sept. 6, ending a nearly five monthlong retrograde which began on April 17. When a planet goes “direct” after a retrograde, it means the planet is no longer moving in a retrograde direction.

Saturn is a different planet from the others when it enters retrograde because of its nature—it rules our limitations, responsibilities, ambitions and authority. It causes us to experience what limits us through whichever astrological plane it falls under. Every time Saturn completes one total phase through a zodiac plane in its orbit, from which it takes about three years to pass through, we age from the experience of facing what limits us.

The nature of these limitations can be predicted by determining which zodiac is housing the planet. This time, Saturn is passing through the constellation of Capricorn, which it entered on Dec. 19, 2017. In the past 100 years, the last times Saturn entered Capricorn was 1929-1933, 1959-1962 and 1989-1991. These time periods correspond with tumultuous times in American history.

Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, so the zodiac’s nature is already unlucky and usually causes those under the sign to be both met by more challenges in life. They also become far wiser and experienced because of these challenges they’ve faced. Capricorn rules aspects of our careers, the government, patriarchal figures and personal work efficacy.  When Saturn enters Capricorn, these characteristics are strained. Now a retrograde has occurred, intensifying the effects.

Saturn, however, teaches us to do the things we otherwise don’t want to do. We learn to do and act as we should rather than how we want. It also strengthens our sense of responsibility. We become practical and grounded through the effects of Saturn’s orbit.

Even though Saturn won’t exit Capricorn until March 21, 2020, it will exit its retrograde on Sept. 6, which means the worst of it will soon be behind us. Saturn will always be around to expose our limitations, but it will also always teach us how to survive in times of adversity.