Saturn Goes Retrograde: What's Your Unavoidable Responsibility?

Note: This page has been rebuilt and is now here with more current information on it, including a helpful diagram: This Year’s Stations of Saturn

February 18, 2013

“Wake up!” says Saturn.  “I gave you a chance to see your responsibility recently.  Now I’m telling you again:  this is a time of testing.”

Today is a Pivotal Day
 When a planet turns retrograde it makes a pivot in the sky and also creates a metaphorically “pivotal” experience for human beings. On February 18, that planet is Saturn.  It’s as if Saturn is telling us, “You can’t go on avoiding responsibility forever.  I’m delivering a wake-up call.”  If Saturn is touching a planet in your chart this year, this message is for you and it will have very specific meaning, depending on what planet that is.  That planet, and the part of you it represents, is being asked to take responsibility.  Today is the peak of possibility of Saturn’s wake-up call, but it could happen anytime up to 3 days before or 3 days after February 18.

Initiation Leading to an Inner Journey
 Sometime between now and the beginning of last November Saturn showed us an area of life in which we need to take more responsibility.  What he delivered was an initiation and it was our first chance to catch a clue about the changes coming.  That clue may have been obvious or it may have been subtle, but we’ve been shown a place in our life that would benefit from sustained hard work and a more serious attitude. Did we notice?  It’s human to go into denial after a clue is delivered.  During the autumn we may have said to ourselves, “Maybe I don’t have to do anything about this.  Maybe it was just a one-time thing.  Maybe I can just move on.  Maybe I can get away without paying attention to this.” Or maybe not.  On the day it turns retrograde, Saturn turns up the volume and gives us a reminder.  “That responsibility you need to take?” he says, “You’d better figure it out and start doing it.”  This is a wake-up call.  Today, Saturn’s retrograde journey begins and with it begins our journey inward to discover what responsibility we need to take and how it will benefit us to do so.  Saturn’s retrograde journey lasts until the day it turns direct, which is July 7, 2013.

Where must we take responsibility?
 The sign Saturn makes its backwards journey in matters.  Saturn is traveling through Scorpio now and won’t be done until September of 2015.  Saturn demands that we take responsibility and act with integrity in any area it touches.  In Scorpio, this is particularly challenging, because the integrity Saturn demands must happen in the murky realm of human psychology.  While Saturn is in Scorpio we are faced with our deepest, most unconscious/compulsive/instinctual drives and we are asked to take responsibility for them—for the very things we feel we have least control over.  Saturn teaches us how to wield powers that are much, much larger than us—sometimes by offering us power beyond our ability and watching us crash and burn.  You can read more about it here:  The Sorcerer’s Apprentice—Saturn Enters Scorpio.

Is this story your story? 
 If this resonates for you, it may be that you are personally touched by this transit.  Saturn may be triggering a planet in your own chart, thus bringing these themes up for you.  This year Saturn is covering the space between 4 and 11 degrees of Scorpio.  If there is anything in your chart in 4-11 degrees of Scorpio, Aquarius, Taurus or Leo, you will feel this.  And knowing it can explain feelings you may be having of guilt, seriousness, obligation, duty or feeling trapped or limited.  Saturn may be trying to tell you something important, and if you listen, your discomfort will ease and a clear path to action can open up before you.

What area of your life is being affected?
  Good question.  It will have to do with the planet in your chart that’s being triggered by Saturn.  If it’s Mercury, Saturn is asking you to sharpen, hone and focus your mind, so this could be the right time for studying hard.  If it’s Venus or Juno, Saturn is testing your capacity to love and be loved.  If it’s your Moon, you may go though a lonely time while your emotional restraint is tested.  But whatever it is, that feeling of heaviness, oppression, limitation and the pressure to take committed action are present.  That’s Saturn.  He’s nobody’s favorite planet, but because he lives in each of us, the job gets done.

Want to know more about how this Saturn transit affects your life? Contact Jamie to schedule a reading.

Astrology blogger since 2007

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