In the northern hemisphere, Saturn goes retrograde each year from approximately June to October. You may feel the affects of this a few weeks prior and afterwards during the “shadow period.”
All planets go through retrogrades, in which there is an illusion in the sky of the planet traveling backwards, even though it’s still actually moving forward. Similarly, a retrograde sparks a part of us to look back and revisit something, which ultimately promotes progress.
A planet going retrograde is like a period of sleep, in which it no longer has as much power over us. As Saturn can be compared to the strict father (Father Time), Saturn retrograde is like a tough parent or boss who’s going away on vacation. They’re still there, but with much less control over you — and they will eventually return.
Saturn symbolizes many things: karma, time, and limitations. It has been said that Saturn retrograde doubles our karma, in which those who have done good deeds will receive twice the rewards, while those who have done evil will face twice the suffering.
Being strongly associated with time, Saturn retrograde has us feeling even more nostalgic than any other planetary retrograde. You may find yourself yearning for the past, fixated on past events, or looking backwards with rose-colored glasses. Overall, your sense of time could feel very shifted, like it’s moving much slower or faster than usual.
As “time” is what keeps us sane as humans, this can certainly be a time of craziness. For example, we constantly check the time — on our watches or phones — when we’re feeling very stressed. Saturn retrograde can put you in a headspace of looking at the clock over and over, yet not knowing what time it is. In short, it can make you feel a little kooky.
Saturn reinforces order and regulation like an authority figure. So when it turns retrograde, there’s a loss of structure and routine. We’re less inclined to follow the rules. This makes us feel lost, disorganized, and out of whack. It decreases motivation and discipline.
An extremely logical planet, Saturn retrograde makes us feel more emotional. It’s not a great time for setting goals or pursuing education — unless your heart is truly invested. Less inclined to think with our heads, we lean towards decisions of the heart. This can either lead to recklessness and deception or on the contrary, imaginative breakthroughs and new artistic heights.
How it affects you personally (sun, moon, or rising sign)
Saturn retrograde most strongly affects Capricorn and Aquarius, as this is their ruling planet. You will feel these affects more than any other sign.
- Earth signs (Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo) struggle because it brings about a lack of structure which is very challenging for them. The best way to get through is to keep yourself grounded, but also try to enjoy this period of “loosening up.” Reflect upon ways that your stubbornness may prevent you from happiness. And don’t be so hard on yourself — relax a bit on those long list of goals.
- Air signs (Aquarius, Gemini, Libra) will find this time to be emotionally uncomfortable. Being highly logical and rational, you may feel uneasy with deeper feelings coming to the surface. This is a great time for leaning into your intuition — once you get past that initial sense of discomfort.
- Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) may find this period to be fun and exciting due to their rebellious nature. It will inspire abstract creativity. Your fiery nature helps combat the lack of motivation that Saturn retrograde brings. However, beware of too much impulsivity — once Saturn turns direct in the fall, it may serve as a harsh wake up call.
- Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) can easily adapt to this energy and feel more at-home during this intuitive and emotional period. You are prone to a loss of direction and motivation, though. Avoid dwelling on the past with rose-colored glasses.