The Real Thing

Lindiis Pass, New Zealand. Pic by me.
Lindiis Pass, New Zealand. Pic by me.

Living in Australia, we are lucky. For many reasons. For many others we also learn about boundaries and responsibilities early. We learn about the wildlife that can kill us, we learn about how to build our houses to mitigate the risk of the elements. And we learn about the dangers of skin cancer and slip slop slap.

So why am I writing this with aspirin bubbling in a glass about to be applied to a very painful sunburn? Why did I yesterday not follow my own rules? The honest answer is that I forgot. Pure and simple. I do that a lot- many of us do. We set up these structures and supports, we hear the lessons, but we don’t use them.

Saturn transits can be like that, a rather painful sunburn that is a palpable reminder that important boundaries (or guidelines) need to be set and habits (good ones, that is) entrenched (why is it that we never have problems remembering to do the bad habits?). No matter what we may say, under the Saturn retrograde cycle, it matters more what we do, how we internalize and solidify the lessons of that transit.

It is often said that planets become more emphasised when they are retrograde ie appear to be going backwards from the perspective of us here on Earth. The reason their action is emphasised is because it is internalised. We therefore feel it more. Personally, I find that simply terrifying when it comes to Saturn- although many of you won’t share that fear. Saturn is known as the “great malefic” for a very good reason…in my humble opinion, anyway…

And if you have planets or chart points at 29 Libra, 29 Aries, 29 Capricorn or 29 Cancer- you will feel this one even more as Saturn will station retrograde at 29 Libra 30’. His energy has been focused on this point for longer than usual…and Saturn never does anything by chance. Oh, I nearly forgot the technical details- Saturn will station retrograde at 29 Libra 30′ in the very early hours of 8 February 2012 (Sydney time). He will go back to 22 Libra 46′ before stationing direct at this point on 24 June 2012.

So, what can we expect from a Saturn retrograde? Well, more Saturn stuff of course, but with the prefix “re” inserted in front of the word eg re-structure, re-commit, re-focus, re-calibrate, re-trench.

Saturn rules the supports, structures, rules and responsibilities in our life. In theory, Saturn is the fun cop who says “no, it is time you went home young lady,” when every part of you is crying out to say yes. Wherever Saturn is transiting your chart is where you have an existential (I love that word) mountain to climb.

As Steven Forrest writes in The Changing Sky the purpose of the Saturn cycle is “to clarify, define, and strengthen our identity by confronting us with a series of limitations.” Rather than treating Saturn transits like an annoying speed hump or road works that slow us down, the truth is that limitations do feel good to us- we appreciate the direction and the guidance…

When Saturn is retrograde, he is sending you back to your room to think very carefully about what you are doing, goals you have started working towards and the commitments you have made. It is sort of like a planetary cooling off period when it is OK to re-assess and change direction or re-assess and say “no”. This is not the time to make new commitments or start new projects, but great to sort out just what you want out of existing goals.

Saturn retrogrades give you time to sort your shit out, get rid of any frustrations and re-think the viability of any promises you have already made. Saturn stations, in particular, tend to make you more disciplined that you normally are- at least for a few days J.

The sign in which Saturn is in when he stations will be emphasized- regardless of the area of life in which this is happening in your chart. This retrograde is in Libra, so that means relationships, partnerships, our habits and patterns around each of them. Being in Libra, the way in which you find balance, moderation and peace is also under the spotlight.

Saturn, being the ruler of Capricorn is also associated with the 10th house. This means that any time Saturn stations you will find yourself thinking about your career goals, priorities and vision. Regardless of whether this station is happening in your 10th house, your 4th house or your 12th house.  During the retrograde period, do the study, do the planning, do the reviewing but take care not to burn any career bridges until after the retrograde period is done.

In fact, take care not to make any lasting commitment related decisions while Saturn is retrograde. Starting out on a promising relationship? Take your time and enjoy the process of falling in love…at least for now. Contemplating a new career? Do the research, weigh up the pros and cons and explore it…at least for now. Thinking about leaving your job and starting out on your own? Look at your budget, your expenses and fixed commitments…realistically. Having problems with your partner? Take notice of what the real issues are.

The area of life Saturn is retrograde in is emphasised and needs defining. If it is the 7th, relationships will need to be defined. If it is the 2nd, money issues and values will come to the forefront. With Saturn in Libra, goals and ambitions will be looked at in terms of relationships & moderation.

As an example, if the station is occurring in your 4th house, you may be concerned about work/life balance and how you can achieve this. If it is happening in your 2nd the concerns may be around whether you can realistically change your work patterns or your relationship to work whilst still holding onto what is important to you, or still earning the money you need. In fact, the question of how much money your really need to earn may raise its’ head.

The structures that are built during a Saturn retrograde will stand you in good stead once he starts to move forward again.

Now for the Pollyanna bit- not all Saturn transits (or retrograde transits) are bad. This is a similar concept to not all Jupiter transits are good. Cool stuff can come from Saturn transits. Honestly. First house and 6th house transits can be great “skinny” transits- perfect times to look at healthy goals. Tenth house transits can help set new career visions and 7th house transits may help you decide to commit, re-commit or walk away from a relationship.

The discipline involved with the retrograde helps clear the confusion and replace it with definition and reality.

Check out what is in your chart on or around 22-29 Libra- this is your area of focus. This is 8th house for me so my focus is around the assets of my relationship (especially important at present), other peoples’ stuff & the really deep base things of life- you know: death, sex & taxes. Given that I have no planets in range that will be touched by aspect by Saturn, I am not expecting more than a general re-hashing of what Saturn means in my life in relation to 8th house issues. At least, that is what I hope  .

In terms of aspects:

  • If you have a planet or chart point (such as Ascendant, Midheaven, Descendant or IC) at 22-29 Libra, Saturn will conjunct this planet/point during the retrograde period.
  • If you have a planet or chart point at 22-29 Aries, Saturn will oppose this point during the retrograde period
  • If you have a planet or chart point at 22-29 Cancer or Capricorn, Saturn will square this point during the retrograde
  • If you have a planet or chart point at 22-29 Gemini or Aquarius, Saturn will trine this point during the retrograde
  • If you have a planet or chart point at 22-29 Sagittarius or Leo, Saturn will sextile this point during the retrograde

Want to know more about Saturn transits? Check out these posts:

Baby It’s Cold Outside: When Saturn transits your Moon (ouchy do)

It’ll Be Alright in the Long Run

The Climb

Don’t know where this is affecting you? Check out the table under the Saturn tab at the top of the page.