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Saturn ℞etrograde – Reality Check

[pic: peter lindbergh]
Saturn, that damping, restrictive ruler of this dense, physically-defined earthly experience will occasionally slow down, repose in complete stillness, then begin to slowly retrace his heavy footsteps. Dipping his snarky measuring stick into the karmic pit he is creating down here in 3D-land, his intent during retrograde is to see how well things have set in his latest version of ‘consensus-defined reality’.

Once this is done, he will proceed to press forward once again, a methodical triple-check that everything in his new reality is operating at its maximum economy of thought, motion and matter. His job is to pass down his exacting ‘terms & conditions’ with uncompromising firmness. In doing so, he will mercilessly mow down any unproductive, redundant and superfluously unrealistic elements in our lives before he moves on to new ground.

This three-pronged reality-check is the standard operating procedure with Saturn, whose 29.5-year orbit is such that from earth’s perspective he appears to cover the same stretch of ground 3 times, usually over an 11 month period, just so it checks out and the reality of the situation sinks in.

Whilst seldom fun at the time, in retrospect it will have defined our karmic journey on the terrestrial, limited experience we call ‘life’.


Many of us require a reality check now and then. Very few of us on this planet are immune to the strict laws of gravity and the harsh limitations that apply should we fail to show respect and comply with these.

Accepting reality is an important part of the terrestrial experience and, as humans, vital to understanding the context of our sanity. In the Saturnian sense, reality is defined by our own experience with the exterior world. Our acceptance of what is is encouraged by most sane people in our world. It is the goal of most relationships, businesses, institutions and therapies. Whilst accepting what is presented to us as the reality is not necessarily always easy at the time, it is the acceptance which steads to bring us the most peace with our times. If our clocks are in sync with everyone else’s, then we feel we are in time.

Reality is usually defined as the state of things as they actually exist, not some idealised or romanticised
notion. It is usually the tangible, graspable properties, the physical constraints, defined by rigorous measurement that allows us to yield a determined consensus about what is real. The most discernible reality is that which provides the most stable set of conditions to which the majority of us can agree. Consensus creates a density. This means that the particles of any matter become so condensed that even light cannot pass through them. Density either limits, diffracts or denies resistance. You can’t argue with solid matter. It just is. Therefore it is real. Saturn’s crystallising effect on matters in our lives therefore determines their existence as real.

Similarly, linear time appears to have irreversible properties. The reality is that something can exist in form in a particular moment in time. Once absent from these constraints, Saturn has trouble with verifying it as real.

This is Saturn’s non-negotiable application.

When we play into the linear time/space continuum, we must also pay respect to the laws of limitation. Everything is conditional, and we must ‘pay our dues to the consensus’ about those things we collectively feel worthy to partake in. Similarly, if things are deemed not real we need to learn to forego, miss out, suffer denial, delay frustrations, or endure the humiliating ‘coming down to earth’ effect of anything that serves as a reminder of our physical limitations.

Time, money, status, power, youth, brains, sex-appeal, gender, culture, nationality, connections, degrees, etc. are all qualifiers in Saturn’s world, and they will be used against you in his terrestrial court of law.

This is the serious, sombre, inflexible nature of Saturn – ruler of 3D limited reality and the linear dimensions of time. We call this Karma, since what will be, will be. The old devil will continue to play hardball with us, pressuring you to fit in. Either you play a prescribed role, according to how and where you were born/bred, or you miss out. When Saturn comes along in a transit he is keen to apply all the severity that he can muster to help you realise what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’ about you and the world you’re in.

Of course, you don’t want to mess with that, do you? And the consensus is, that playing along in Saturn’s reality game is ultimately…. well…. character defining.Let’s face it. Unless you are a sadist or masochist, then the harder Saturn transits aren’t much fun, especially by 2017 standards where many of us are hypersensitive and ready to receive experiences of reality from higher dimensional fields.’

[pic: peter lindbergh]


PHASE 1:  Dec 30, 2016- April 6, 2017 

Direct Saturn enters the shadow zone at 21°♐11′

In this phase, Saturn begins to lay down the premises of what will become a reality. Brick by brick, he’s throwing it down, paving the path that will become defined as what is.

“So… What have you been doing during this time?
Anything good? Something constructive? Or have you just been wasting valuable time/resources?
Yes, talking to you… what have you got to show for the last few months?”

It’s likely that somebody may play this role for you, judging you, scrutinising your efforts in terms which you may feel you have to answer to.

Or perhaps you may play this drama out on someone else.
Or maybe you are giving yourself the ‘business’ internally. That stern, parental voice of judgement has a way of making it into our lives somehow, judging our efforts to keep it real, be acceptable, beautiful, competent, wealthy etc. against the backdrop of the current consensus.

Whilst many may argue that the last four months (Jan-Apr 2017) has seen ‘reality’ slipping into bizarre, distorted, almost surreal versions of itself, it is nonetheless the reality of our times. Coming to accept it may take some work, since it does not seem to be behaving as commonly expected. This is yet just another sign of our fading 3D ‘times’. As we are being blasted with light from the higher dimensions, there are elements of linear time and space which, with some retrospection we may have to learn, do not apply to us here, as spiritual beings becoming awakened to other, higher ‘realities’.

PHASE 2: April 6 – August 25, 2017 

Saturn stations at 27°♐48′ and turns Retrograde

During this period, we are pressed to review how well we have adhered to the principles lain down during Saturn’s pre-shadow phase. As strange a course as things may have taken, we are pressed to take our understandings of reality seriously, as if it is a reflection of just how faithful we have managed to stay to our authentic inner self.

[pic: peter lindbergh]
In Sagittarius, Saturn in retrograde can play out as an internal ethical dilemma, a struggle between our conscious efforts to define our moral principles, examine their usefulness and practicality, and in application see how impeccably we have lived by them. The trine from Uranus in the pre-shadow phase has awakened us all to wonderful alternative possibilities.

For instance, you may soon come to realise that as much as you have tried to define what you ‘firmly believe in’; as much as your principles have been discussed, argued, ratified, published, postulated and pontificated, these ‘honest-to-god’ beliefs or ‘codes of conduct’ are in reality only meaningful if you have been able to live by them.

In tangible, earthy terms, concepts are either true for you or, under closer examination, they are wholly unbelievable. Such is the dilemma between acting in true spirit, and not tied to the false, fleeting constructs of the lower, 3D personality.

Have you been living up to your guidelines and your mantras?
Have you been dishing these out to others, trying to hold them accountable?
Is there some fibbing, fudging, stretching of facts, overspending of resources; a little religious or marketing hocus pocus; political spin-doctoring; emotional propping and manipulation, double standards in your relationships; some good, ol’-fashioned moral hypocrisy’ going down?

Time to look back at the most challenging events during the Phase 1 (pre-shadow) period of this retrograde, assess whether stuff is making any real, concrete sense.

We start to get an internal reading on who and what seems honourable and respectful to us, and begin to sense a shift: As much as we may come to honour and respect the laws and moral guidelines of others, this may be a time when we find it difficult to live by the advice of anyone but our own, internal conscience.

[pic: peter lindbergh]
Those who are grounded enough to be acutely attuned to their ‘inner reality vector’ will see this period present a unique set of opportunities to access this firm and direct ‘line of instruction’ from above. This is the alignment of instruction between the perfected, ‘higher self’ and that of the ‘lower (ego-attached) self’ – the one who still has much to learn in their journey here on earth. Rather than a fear, it feels like an affirmation that you are on the right path, managing the universal laws successfully enough to make a difference in your life.

This comes, in spite of all the turmoil and anguish that appears to be going on around. In fact, even this appears as an opportunity to learn something about our authentic selves.

For many, this period, and the ensuing shadow phase (August 25, 2017 -Dec 20) will, for many, be a time of considerable frustration and delay. Those who are still unconsciously enmeshed in Saturn’s dense fabric of externally applied moral, ethical and religious structures – the status-quo world that is still ruled by fear, anger, judgement, blame, expectation, toxic shaming, etc – Saturn has a canny way of making us accountable by those very instruments.

There are those who will continue to play into the 3D system of duality and separation. For these, Saturn will roll out whatever means it sees necessary to teach some lessons which are not necessarily experienced as “opportunities” to grow. Those holding on to lower, fear-based judgements about what’s right/wrong, good/evil, using rigid socio-political, class-based, race/culture-based, gender/sexual-based, religious or moral principles that make little sense other than to incite fear and division, will start to sense some dramas internally. The inner voice starts to plague them and in their ignorance may begin to project this out, with unfortunate consequences.

And woe to those who have nothing going in inside at all. Those who are completely unaware that they are unaware. Those wholly dependent upon the direction or guidance from those priests and prefects of the exterior order; those blessed beings who are merely going through the mechanical motions of life; who live their lives according to patterned behaviour of their instincts and learned habits, who never question, just wait for changes or stimuli in their environment to react, and then, only en masse. This may be a challenging time for these, as we will start to see these become played.

[pic: peter lindbergh]
Of course, I don’t want to scare anyone with these reports. We just want to differentiate between the (three) different levels of awareness of Saturn:

  1. aware that you are aware (conscious, responsive)
  2. aware that you are unaware (suspicious, cynical or skeptical)
  3. unaware that you are unaware (unconscious, ignorant, narrow, reactive to fear, shame, guilt)

As Saturn now retrogrades in Sagittarius in his third and last time, human society is asked to go back and assess any gaps in its belief systems. There are those who will become more aware, understanding how news, information, knowledge in just about every area is at best limited, conditioned and contrived. They will learn to choose not to play into the belief dogma of society’s struggles over what is right/wrong, true/fake, good/bad. They will keep a reserved and meditative approach instead of entering into these judgement arguments. These will see many play and manipulate what the postulate as ‘truths’ in order to manipulate others using their fears and insecurities.

PHASE 3: August 25 – December 1, 2017 (post-shadow phase)

Retrograde Saturn stations at 21°♐11′, turning direct, finally leaving Sagittarius Dec 20. 2017

One truth emerges out of this period. Whatever cause, principle, or mission we may appear to stand for and agree as our ‘reality’, it is constantly changing.

Saturn in Sadge tends to represent man’s need to withdraw from whatever beliefs, structures and traditions appear to have outlived their usefulness. It may take a thoughtful, steady approach to make amends. A more conservative, cautious, frugal approach may be necessary, particularly after the retrograde period is over.

[pic: peter lindbergh]
In a way, Saturn does retrogrades better than all the other planets. Why?  It’s like he gives us a second, chance to improve on the ever-evolving relationship formed between our ego (exterior-defined self) and the soul (internal self).

Any conceptions that may have been mistaken, overlooked or misunderstood are, under the conscious gentle guidance of Saturn, best put to rest in the past.

In our own wisdom, let us try to teach others who are less knowledgeable or experienced than ourselves without the pain and feelings of separateness. The best way to do this is not by admonishing them harshly by projecting our own frustrations. Trying to demonstrate how much better, wiser, tougher, ‘more real’ we are to those who are just learning, serves nothing other than the perpetuation of Saturn’s prism of duality and separation. It is through exhibiting a strength and composure, a kind responsibility to all involved that we come out of this retrograde shadow as having accomplished something concrete. 

Of course, for all those who pass this three-pronged test, Saturn will issue you with your ‘certificate of completion’ at the end of this year. By then, you will be ready to graduate onto the next level of your reality.

© All rights reserved, Ang Stoic 2017

…see also, intensive horoscope readings on how to best understand, and make the most of this period, by Sun/Rising Sign…


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 see also…..

ARIES NEW MOON Messages & Intentions – March 28-April 11

The Year Ahead: 2017, an Astrological Synopsis

THE USHERING of a new ‘TIME’ on planet earth

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