This Year’s Stations of Saturn [Stations are pivotal days when Saturn goes retrograde or direct]
Saturn is currently direct (i.e. moving forwards)
What is a “station?”
You may have heard of Mercury retrograde and wondered what that means astronomically. “Retrograde” means “moving backwards,” so when Mercury is retrograde, it is moving backwards in apparent motion from our viewpoint here on Earth. This means that instead of progressing forward through the zodiac, from one sign to another, Mercury is actually backing up. It’s a visual illusion, but a meaningful and measurable one.
Saturn goes retrograde too. Saturn spends more than half of every year moving forwards (astrologers call that “direct” motion), but when Saturn slows, stops, and turns backwards or forwards, we call that a “station.” An astrologer might say, “Saturn is stationary and turning retrograde today,” or “Saturn is stationary retrograde” when Saturn is in the process of turning backwards When Saturn is in the process of turning forwards, we say “Saturn is stationary and turning direct today,” or “Saturn is stationary direct.”
I call these stations “pivotal days,” because the planet we’re talking about is literally pivoting—and also because stations tend to lead to pivotal events for those of us Earthlings who are being affected by them. Those pivotal events will trigger changes in us, and that will happen according to the nature of the transiting planet, in this case, Saturn.
How does Saturn change us?
Through fear, pressure, hard work, self-discipline and ultimately, mastery.
Saturn transits are inherently uncomfortable. They are times when you feel a greater-than-usual sense of fear, limitation, incompetency, obligation, and duty. You’re very present to the seriousness of the situation you’re in and aware that things are not up to par. Some people respond to this with flight from responsibility, in which case Saturn’s constriction is felt as the free-floating anxiety that comes when you procrastinate what you know you must do. Saturn arrives bringing the pressure to perform that can force you to build something real using your own sweat.
Saturn has a gift for you, and that gift is mastery. Mastery can only come with self-discipline and hard work, but when you achieve it, you have something solid that lasts. And when you work to achieve a thing, you value it more than you do when it’s simply given to you. You also know how to replace it if needed. You become an independent user of it and the master of it. You graduate to excellence.
This will affect the area of life ruled by whatever planet of yours that Saturn is transiting. For example, Saturn transiting your Sun might make you feel inadequate as a person, and press you to model integrity and earn an improved public image. Saturn transiting your Moon can put you through a lonely period in which circumstances seem to conspire to isolate you, force you to rely on your own inner resources and learn to better regulate your emotions. Saturn’s passage through any house in your chart will bring an awareness of the ways you are out of integrity and not meeting your goals in that area, pressing you to build on what you have and rewarding you when you do. Saturn’s house passages last an average of two-and-a-half years.
Movement of Saturn this year:
In 2014, Saturn travels forward to 23 degrees of Scorpio, then turns retrograde and travels backwards to 16 degrees of Scorpio, turns direct and travels forward through 23 degrees of Scorpio again and beyond. Then it moves into the next patch of degrees, where it will do the same thing in 2014.
This means that if you have any planet in 16 to 23 degrees of Scorpio, you are having a Saturn transit to that planet this year. Because Saturn in Scorpio forms a challenging aspect to Taurus, Leo and Aquarius, if you have any planet in 16 to 23 degrees of any of those signs, that planet is also having a Saturn transit.
Peaks in the intensity of this transit:
You’ll feel a transit the most strongly when it’s exact and also during its stations, or pivotal days. So if you have Mercury at 18 degrees of Leo, you’ll feel Saturn’s influence the most strongly when Saturn is passing through 18 degrees of Scorpio, and also on the days it turns retrograde and direct. In a reading you can get a diagram of this that’s personalized for you and shows the exact dates to watch for. It shows you which of your own planets is being triggered by Saturn and we talk about what it means for you and where in your life to look for its effects. This gives you a chance to see what’s coming and plan how to respond to it. Getting this kind of personally timed information is the main reason people consult astrologers.
How to handle your Saturn transit:
Don’t freeze and don’t let the fear stop you. Roll up your sleeves and get to work. Once you stop procrastinating, you might even find yourself enjoying the momentum. Really look at the situation, accept that things are not as they should be, decide how to make it better and set goals that will help you do that. Evading the responsibilities you know darned well are there or being lazy will just make things worse. Grow bigger than the thing you are facing and pledge to build it better—then do just that. At the end of every day, when your mind might be preoccupied with what’s wrong or what’s not done yet, deliberately focus your attention on what you’ve achieved and what’s been done right. In this way, move slowly and steadily toward your goal, with confident expectation of achieving it. Mastery will come and by the time the transit is over, you’ll have something to be proud of.
Read about Structure Creates Flow—Saturn and Jupiter Set Up Housekeeping . . . and about Saturn’s trine to Chiron this year: Saturn Trines Chiron—Healing the Wounded Father
Read my Frequently Asked Questions about astrology.