Working with Saturn Retrograde
Until going direct in the fall, the big boys, Pluto, Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune continue to invite us to modify and restructure our lives. Retrograde means these planets return to follow a path they have previously traveled, taking you along for the ride. You find yourself revisiting past projects, experiences, and events. Add to that the watery influences of Sun and Moon in Cancer, and it promises to be an emotional and passionate ride at that. Especially as people discover more and more about things that were previously unclear or hidden.
Let’s take a closer look at our old friend Saturn.
In grade school my favourite planets were Pluto and Saturn as they were the easiest to identify – Pluto was the tiny one on the end named after Mickey’s dog, and Saturn was the one with the rings.
Saturn was discovered by Galileo in 1610. He is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest in our solar system. In 1979 the Pioneer 11 managed to get within 22,000 km of Saturn bringing back detailed information related to the outer rings, the magnetic field and three of his more than 60 Moons. In 1980 the Voyager 1 sent photographs back to Earth confirming that it was not just a small number of rings surrounding Saturn, but thousands of separate ringlets covering 170,000 miles. We have since discovered that Saturn is not the only planet with ‘rings’. Photos taken from American space probes show that ‘rings’ are also present around Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune.
Every year or so, Saturn goes Retrograde for approximately 4.5 months – that’s a quite a bit. It is not uncommon to be born during a time when Saturn is Retrograde. It takes 29 – 30 years for Saturn to orbit his zodiac spending a little less than 2.5 years in each sign. He entered Capricorn on January 24, 2020 and will remain there until April 2022.
In Roman mythology, Saturn (Cronus in Greek) was the youngest of the Titans (children of Earth Mother Gaia and Uranus the Sky Father) who overthrew his father in his desire to rule the universe. He ate his children for fear that one day they would rise and do the same thing to him. However, Jupiter (Zeus) escaped, returning to Olympus and banning his father.
After his exile, Saturn, now older but wiser, settled in to rule Latium (the future site of Rome) and founded a peaceful civilization. He instructed his people to transform their crude customs into more passive and harmonious traditions. He also taught them the basic principles of farming and agriculture, eventually becoming known as god of the harvest, crops and planting.
Saturn rules conservative Capricorn, the sign of hard work, self-control, limitations, and discipline. He is content roaming around in this particular sky-space as Saturn is all about order and responsibility. He symbolizes the ethic of hard work and simply adores rules as it gives him boundaries and parameters to live by.
“Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
– Paul the Apostle, Galatians 6:7
Cold and severe, he is the ‘Celestial Taskmaster’ - teaching us to value hard lessons learned and perseverance through the trials of life. He is cosmic justice (karma) – what you give, is what you get back in return. It is under his influence where a person’s character is strengthened through hardship and difficulty. Saturn can teach you to finish what you start, bringing an end to all things that once had a beginning.
Where Jupiter represents expansion, Saturn personifies rigid restriction – in the form of rules, structures, foundations, and time (he is symbolic for Father Time). He is associated with precision, diligence, ethics, authority figures, stability, and destiny. Without Saturn, we wouldn’t have discipline, commitment, responsibility, boundaries, or traditions.
When Saturn goes Retrograde it is the time to become more aware of your own authority and power and where it fits within the rules of society. You may also choose to ponder where you fit within society and whether you’re allowing its rules to limit you and your limitless potential.