We’re crossing the border into retrograde territory this week, as Saturn, already slowed to a “course correction” crawl, goes retrograde on March 25 and stays retrograde until August 13. This nearly four and a half months of a Saturnian review promises to put some things—but not everything—in perspective. Saturn is the first of several retrogrades. On April 17 both Mars and Pluto begin retrograde phases, and on April 28, Mercury begins its second retrograde of the year. So take a deep breath and exhale slowly. For the next two months and more, we are reviewing, reflecting, reconsidering, reconnoitering, and reassessing plans, projects, programs, and partnerships already in motion. Make patience your constant companion—you’ll need plenty to navigate the delays and detours that lie ahead.
Retrogrades are never a good time to initiate new ventures, especially during a Mercury Retrograde, when communication can go awry and details ride the winds of discombobulation. Mercury Retrograde begins on April 28, and while that seems like a long time from now, given the three-week obstacle course that precedes it, it is wise to prepare, now.
Mars begins a two and a half month retrograde on April 17 that ends on June 29. Mars Retrograde is as disruptive (if not more so) than Mercury Retrograde because just like Mercury, Mars drives the mechanics of daily life, and when either Mercury or Mars spins “backwards,” chaos ensues. So, again, prepare now for what lies ahead. Wrap up details and don’t expect anything to move smoothly for the next couple of months. (Oh…I heard that groan.)
Saturn Retrograde has a different signature. It takes the long view, and its gaze is slow and meticulous. As it retraces its path, it assesses the data from a historical perspective. Mercury and Mars drive the goings-on of daily life. Saturn drives history. So when it “turns around” to review recent events, it simultaneously reviews cycles of significant events, and because its gaze embraces such a wide expanse, we are often unaware of Saturn’s retrograde effect.
For example, Saturn begins this current retrograde almost exactly opposite the position it occupied on September 11, 2001. During the second week of May, it will be exactly opposite the degree it occupied on September 11. This information isn’t meant to alarm anyone; it’s simply to suggest that during the next four-plus months of Saturn Retrograde, we’re likely to be dealing with even more consequences generated from the events of that fateful day.
Saturn also goes retrograde at nearly the same degree it occupied on October 14, 1987, the technical start of the financial crash in October 1987. Nearly 30 years and a couple of crashes later, we’re still struggling with a financial system that just doesn’t seem to work beneficially for the majority of Earth’s inhabitants. I’m not suggesting we’re in for another crash, although several financial astrologers would disagree. I think Saturn is once again asking us to look at history and learn from its lessons.
And this goes for personal histories as well as collective ones. What were you doing in 1987 or 2001? And if you were still in your formative years, what happened around you that shaped your world view? When current planetary positions trigger previous, potent degrees, we have an opportunity to reconsider the events of that particular cycle with the hope and/or expectation of gleaning information that helps to better navigate the current situation. Saturn is the teacher and it signifies the capacity to distill wisdom from experience—so be prepared for hard lessons and lots of homework.
Use this Saturn Retrograde wisely. Examine how you respond to extreme events, and if you need help coping with some of the feelings that come up during this cycle, seek the help of a counselor who can assist you in using those feelings to grow. My motto is “you gotta feel to heal,” but don’t confuse that with indulging negative feelings that harm yourself or others. What’s more, wrap your head around the thousands—if not millions—of displaced children and families who long for a safe shelter from this storm. If we want to end terrorism, we need to comfort those of us displaced by violence. Hate is never the answer to anything. And very few of us actually delight in violence. It’s learned behavior—an extreme reaction to extreme events. So help your fellow travelers whenever possible, knowing that it’s going to take time to heal the wounds of war with love.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
Saturn Retrograde occurs in your Solar House of spiritual search, the sector of the chart where we long and strive to make sense life’s bigger picture. Use Saturn’s “turnaround” to revisit how your belief systems form that perspective. And as you reflect on what is or isn’t true for you, apply this rule: Is what I believe broad enough to hold both an expansive as well as an inclusive world view?
Taurus April 20-May 20
Saturn Retrograde takes place in your Solar House of transformation, the is the sector of the chart that holds life’s mysteries—all of them, including sex, money, what other people think, and the biggest mystery of all, death. Use this retrograde phase to contemplate the mysteries in your life, especially the ones you can’t solve but seem to facilitate the most profound personal changes.
Gemini May 21-June 21
Saturn Retrograde occurs in your Solar House of partnership, which means for the next several months you’ll not only be reviewing your definition of relationship, but you’ll also be revisiting specific partnerships—past, present, and future. This is the perfect extended moment for you to think about what it is you really want in a partnership, as well as how you participate with others in attempting to turn those desires into reality.
Cancer June 22-July 22
Saturn Retrograde happens in your Solar House of service, the sector of the chart that includes the workplace as well as how you care for others. Expect a thorough review of how you organize your responsibilities, especially when it comes to the time and energy you spend taking care of those duties. This review isn’t necessarily about changing some of your habits, although you might be inspired to divide your attention differently.
Leo July 23-August 22
Saturn Retrograde occurs in your Solar House of self-expression, the sector of the chart where we follow spirit without hesitation. The problem is that Saturn never just leaps into being—it’s much too cautious, and some would argue wise, to take such risks. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend the next four months being afraid of yourself. Make Saturn your ally during this phase, and you’ll gain greater poise and confidence.
Virgo August 23-September 22
Saturn Retrograde takes place in the deepest sector of your Solar Chart: The Solar House of the home; where you live, internally as well as externally. Anticipate a lot of cogitating on where as well as how you live. Do you want a lively environment or a quiet one? Is it more beneficial to live with others or to live alone? Most important, how can you create a deep sense of personal safety and security within and without?
Libra September 23-October 22
Saturn Retrograde occurs in your Solar House of communication, the sector of the chart that signifies all sorts of daily interactions and exchanges of information. Be prepared to go over conversations and dialogues that may have taken place over the last few months, but also don’t be surprised if you hear from friends and or family members who want to reassess previous yet still vital discussions.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
Saturn Retrograde happens in your Solar House of finances, and while that definitely means you’re reviewing money matters, it also means you’re reassessing how to gauge your self-worth. Remember, a bank balance is never an accurate measure of the soul. If that were so, every CEO would be the Dalai Lama. So as you review your resources, be sure to include a look at your ultimate value—the one that can’t be measured materially.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
Saturn Retrograde takes place in your Solar House of personality, and its review of recent as well as not-so-recent history stimulates an identity crisis. Don’t worry—this crisis is more opportunity than drama. It’s an invitation to look in the mirror of your persona, but to benefit from this process you must be honest with yourself as you simultaneously steer clear of harsh, critical judgment—yours or others’.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
Saturn Retrograde happens in your Solar House of the unconscious, the ninety percent of the brain we’re not actively using, yet it’s the majority voice in making decisions about what our lives become. Use this phase by paying closer attention to your dreams. And if you can’t remember your dreams, why not take a workshop that will help you? This is an opportunity to delve into your internal structures—use it wisely.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
Saturn Retrograde occurs in your Solar House of community, and as it retraces its path, you’re reviewing how or even if you want to participate in your immediate circle. There are no right answers to the questions posed by Saturn’s backward glance. There’s only a thoughtful process that stimulates how you see your gifts and how you want to share—or not share—those gifts for a greater purpose.
Pisces February 19-March 20
Saturn Retrograde takes place in your Solar House of recognition, and while that tends to be translated as the sector of the chart concerned with career and profession, from a transformational perspective, it’s all about how you want to recognize yourself. Spend some time assessing how you could best express your essence. You don’t have to be famous for doing what you love; your soul simply has to be satisfied doing it.
Ralfee Finn specializes in Transformational Astrology. For readings, call 1-212-222-3232, write P.O. Box 343, New York, NY 10025, visit AquariumAge.com, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2016 by Ralfee Finn