Let’s face it unless you are some kind of masochist, there’s nothing about Saturn that’s sexy or fun. The dude craves everything that’s lively and frivolous about life, not because he wants it for himself for he wouldn’t know how to enjoy it. Saturn just doesn’t want you to have it. He can think of better things you should be doing. Saturn’s attitude: if he can’t accept the nonsense, why should you?
Well, that’s not entirely true… Saturn isn’t the natural enemy of mirth and laughter. It’s just that the old curmudgeon has such strict standards. His stiff and unyielding manner in how he goes about exacting those ‘standards of excellence’ is seldom easy on those who aren’t mindful, lazy or delusional. Sooner or later, judgement comes down with a big stick and those who aren’t with it, cop a serve. Unless we are adhering to Saturn’s predefined ‘standards’, life can be tough. Conversely, for those that are adhering to Saturn’s gig, life is tough anyway.
Similarly, transits from Saturn usually ain’t much joy either. It’s “strictly business” with the old man. His motto is to “treat ’em mean and keep ’em keen”. If there’s any relief, it’s often always after he’s done his bit – often not once, but three (3) times over. Saturn spends 11 months of every year in his retrograde shadow. In the aftermath of those gruelling, character defining instances, we can at least look back and say… “thank god I managed to survive that ordeal in one piece*”.
*(assuming you survived it in one piece)
And so it is… the Lord of karma, gravity and this dense, physically-defined exterior universe will occasionally slow down, come to complete standstill, then appear to slowly retrace the heavy footsteps traversed in the 6 – 7 zodiac degrees of the previous four months. This happens once every year, in whichever season the Sun appears to move through opposition to Saturn.
This ‘retrograde’ process is actually useful – it provides an opportunity to seriously examine our recent efforts, review those things that were supposed to ‘matter’ during this time – at least to the exterior world, who expects so much of us. According to the laws of karma, we need to make some things matter, learn lessons, pay dues. Rx Saturn is mostly interested in those things which ought to have happened but just did not materialise as planned – probably because we goofed off, or tried to pull one over on the old man…
Where Saturn is concerned (transits over planets in your chart), the postman always rings three times – just to make sure you got the message. It’s always about reaching maximum efficiency and utmost economy of thought, motion and matter. Whether you get it or not is another matter.
If you are currently affected by a Saturn transit, just know that he is really only interested in things that are real and quantifiably verified. Focus on giving him that. Let him see the substance, and you’ll be fine. He cares not for your wild abstractions, fantasies and wishful thinking. Any ‘woohoo’ unrealistic elements in your life must go, or at least be put on pause until after this period. Pressure to sit and pass the test is integral before you can successfully move on to the next level. Just as the laws of gravity are very, very strict, Saturn ensures that only those things that can stand the ravages of of time will stand as true. Everything else must crumble and just fall away.
If we refuse to substantiate or to let go of our insupportable fancies and hifalutin pretensions, then the burden of guilt, grief, separation, depression, loss, ill-health, aging, even death may catch up with us.
This three-pronged reality-check is Saturn’s signature ‘Standard Operational Procedure’. Saturn’s evenly timed 29.5-year orbit is such that, from earth’s perspective, he appears to cover the same stretch of 6 – 7 degrees of space 3 times, usually over an 11-month period just so we learn our lesson well, and the reality of our situation penetrates into the matter until it crystallises into form.
THE RETROGRADE CYCLE:
PHASE 1: RETROGRADE SHADOW – Feb 03 – May 11
In this phase of Saturn’s transit, we start to lay down the premises of what will become our reality for the next few months. Brick by brick, we’re building our manifestation, paving the path that will become defined as what “the matter”.
Naturally, we reap what we sow. Where we have take shortcuts or skipped vital duties or responsibilities, we may have to pay our dues later.
PHASE 2: SATURN RETROGRADE – May 11 – September 28,
During this period, we are made to retrace our steps. We are taken by the scruff of the neck and forced to review how well we have adhered to the expectations and ambitious plans lain down during Saturn’s entry into the shadow phase.
Saturn’s conjunction to the South Node during this entire period indicates that personal ambitions may not be synchronous with the prevailing cultural attitudes. We would be wise to stay mindful of the propensity for punishment and troublesome repercussions if going against the system.
Listen to your conscience:
- Have you been living up to what the exterior world requires from you?
- Have you been dishing out expectations to others, trying to hold them accountable? Have you been impeccable in your judgement of others?
- Has there some slacking, avoidance, stretching of facts, overspending of resources; procrastination; double standards in your relationships; some good, ol’-fashioned moral hypocrisy’ going down?
Best advice is to knuckle down, head down to the basement and focus on actually accomplishing something definitively ‘you’. Make it the most extraordinary thing you are capable of doing – some achievement which could one day put you in a class all of your own.
PHASE 3: September 28 – Jan 03, 2021
The final pass over the same point is do or die. Saturn is merciless, and if it ain’t real, it ain’t happening. This could be painful, shameful and humiliating to the ego, but the spirit knows… it’s just how this business works. Ultimately, Saturn in Capricorn is pushing us to question those patriarchal institutions, governments, corporate or corporeal bodies that appear to have outlived their usefulness.
In the meantime, earnest, steady effort is necessary to come up with the means to accomplish this successfully. Sometimes we are called to slow down and take a more conservative, cautious, frugal approach just to make things work, particularly after the retrograde period is over.
It may not be fun at the time, but hey… you’ll see – “it’s character-building”.
In a way, Saturn does retrogrades better than all the other planets. It’s like he gives us a second chance to examine and improve the ever-evolving relationship between the ego (exterior-defined self) and the soul (internal self). Of course it will hurt, but then, how else are we supposed to learn?
Read up on your special Saturn Retrograde readings to see how to make the most of this period, by Sun/Rising Sign: