On Saturday, June 4th, Saturn, the planet of karma, responsibility, and life lessons, begins its four-month stint backward in our sky. Not to worry, Saturn Retrograde is nothing to panic over. It is not nearly as intense as Mercury Retrograde and won't send our e-mail servers crashing down. Saturn Retrograde is a good thing. It inspires us to think about our commitments and feel which ones still feel right to our soul.
Let's start by first understanding what happens when a planet is retrograde. Saturn takes about 29 years to orbit the Sun. That's a lot longer than Earth, which means we pass it every year. When we are "catching up" to Saturn, it appears to be moving backward. Much like when a train passes a slower train. It's not moving backward. It just seems that way. Saturn is retrograde for 4.5 months every year. This year it stations direct October 22nd.
The ringed planet is not the most fun of the pack. Saturn governs rules, responsibilities, governments, and karma. Saturn asks us to sit up a little taller, remember our promises, and take ownership of our lives. Saturn is somewhat like a responsible parent who gives us just enough leeway to get ourselves in trouble. This energy is not strict but rather indifferent. Saturn reminds us that there are always repercussions for our actions-both good and bad. Saturn doesn't limit us but rather sits back and allows our karma to unfold. It's up to us to make our choices and accept, with grace, what follows.
Saturn is currently stationed in Aquarius, where it will spend its retrograde. Saturn in Aquarius encourages us to think about how our actions affect the collective society. It also motivates us to create change in our systems of government that benefit all people. Saturn in Aquarius can significantly change our society and how we interact with everyone in it if we are willing to let go of old ways and embrace change. Shifting the collective consciousness is not an easy feat, but the first step is becoming aware that we all impact everyone around us.
Our thoughts and energy all interconnect and create a frequency that affects the progress of humanity. It's important to tune your personal frequency into one that helps raise the vibration of everyone else. Part of the work, and opportunity, of Saturn in Aquarius is to become acutely aware of the energy you are emitting. Then take ownership of it and do the work you need to live in a higher vibration. When you are operating from love, compassion, and gratitude, your behaviors will reflect this frequency. You will instantly know how to treat people, what to do, and how to help others raise their vibration.
As Saturn stations retrograde in Aquarius, it helps us reflect on our own energy and how we take care of it. Saturn Retrograde reminds us that we are not responsible for other people's happiness, but we are responsible for ours. The same goes for our energy, we can not control other people's energy, but we can shift our own. When we focus on ourselves, we indirectly affect others because we interact with them from a higher vibration.
Over this retrograde, become responsible for your own energy. Feel into what lowers it and raises it. What boundaries do you need to set to protect your energy, and what limits do you need to place on yourself to preserve your vibration. Saturn Retrograde asks that we learn how to discipline ourselves. What do you need to do each day to maintain the vibration that benefits you the most AND benefits others? Where do you need to limit yourself? And where do you need to be more responsible to your energetic signature- the energy you emit to the world.
Saturn Retrograde also slows things down a bit so we can reevaluate our life, including our karma. It gives us time to understand the deeper meaning of why we might attract the same circumstance repeatedly. It also brings our karma to the surface. We may find during Saturn Retrograde our past karma comes back, so we may understand it to clear it from our energy. It's all positive, though! We want to work out as much karma as we can in this lifetime, so we are free to evolve. According to Hindu philosophy, the goal of each lifetime is to get a little closer to reaching Enlightenment. The only way to do this is by clearing our karma.
Whether you believe in past lives or karma, pay attention to situations that feel familiar over the next four months. They may be the same type of guy appearing in several "different" boyfriends, or you may find yourself in a similar situation again and again with different people. You'll know karma when you see it. When you do recognize it, slow down and look for the place where healing is needed. Give space and attention to that part of you, and do what is necessary to detach from the energy. Work with release exercises through journalling and cleansing rituals. Awareness is key here. Once you become aware that karma is at play, you are on the road to detachment.
On a more Earthly level, Saturn Retrograde is a great time to focus on what's most important to you. It's a time to reevaluate your commitments and decide which ones are worth your energy. A commitment is something we stick with long after we feel like doing it. They are great to keep us on track when we don't feel motivated and can help us remember our priorities when distractions come up. They can, however, shift. Saturn reminds us to be selective in breaking commitments, as we don't want to lose trust in ourselves, and we don't want others to lose trust in us. But there are times when commitments need to shift. It can be a hard decision to break free from something, but it can also be necessary for your growth. When looking into commitments, feel them with your heart. If your heart isn't in it anymore, then it may be time to move on. Letting go of past commitments gives you space for new commitments more aligned with your highest visions. Obligations that lower your vibration in any way also need to be adjusted. And this includes adjusting your perception of your responsibilities- especially for those promises you can't break. Saturn Retrograde is the perfect time to go within and reflect upon the commitments in your life and decide which ones will carry on.
Saturn wants us to own our lives. This is the time to own your feelings, your behaviors, and your energy. It's a time to be accountable and admit when we've made mistakes. Owning our lives means we take responsibility for it. We take responsibility for how we feel and freely acknowledge our true emotions. Over Saturn Retrograde, reflect upon your actions, even the ones you'd rather forget. Be honest with yourself, and have compassion for your growth, but be real about who you are and the decisions you've made. It's ok to make mistakes if you can learn the lesson they provide. Also, as you own each of your emotions, they can no longer control you. They may still exist, but they will be revealed. It's like when Wizard was seen behind the curtain. He no longer could control things in Oz. Owning your "stuff" pulls down the curtain, and what once was a controlling emotion loses its power.
As you take ownership of your life, you'll open the door for rapid growth. You'll step into your power and feel empowered to move forward. Saturn Retrograde can feel somewhat limiting, but this pause in energy is an opportunity for reflection. When the timing is right, your life will catapult in new directions once you own it. Dig deep, reflect on where you want to put your energy over this retrograde, and affect the larger collective. Then commit to doing the work you need to grow into your greatest potential.
Here's a little checklist of things to think about over the next four months while Saturn retrogrades:
- Define your boundaries (and learn to say no and mean it).
- Reevaluate your commitments, especially time commitments (Saturn rules time).
- Reorganize your systems (including routines/disciplines- is that yoga schedule really working for you?)
- Keep yourself motivated- Retrograde can make us feel tired. Inspire yourself with new activities.
- Get to the root of your karmic attachments- This will probably take more than one cycle of retrograde, but you need to start somewhere.
- Ask yourself, what feelings or behaviors do you need to own to move forward?