Retrograde motion is an interesting phenomenon in astrology practice. The term describes an optical effect that occurs when one body is moving faster than another body and they are both moving in the same direction. From the “view of the faster body, the slower body to appear as if it is “moving backward.”
This periodic “change in perspective” means something interesting and useful in astrological practice. After a period of retrograde motion, the point will eventually return to direct motion, changing the perspective once again. This article will explore the retrograde to direct motion of Saturn this September.
Saturn is the point in the astrology chart that deals with limits, restrictions, responsibilities, and goals. Wherever Saturn resides in your chart, by House, it tells you the area of life you will need to define for yourself, where you most often face limitations, and where you have to learn and follow rules. The sign your Saturn is in will tell you how you best meet your responsibilities and goals. Further, if you were born with Saturn direct, stationary, or retrograde, Saturn will behave according to the influence of its type of motion.
In my case, Saturn is in Aries in my 6th House of Service and Health and was in direct motion when I was born. A translation of this astrological sentence into more mundane language would be that I seek to use my own skills to earn money (6th House) independently (Aries) that is my way forward to success (direct motion). I am a mostly self-taught astrologer and tarot/oracle card reader. I prefer to work on my own, though I do work well with others under the right circumstances (I have an accommodating Libra Moon).
Saturn and Aries are not the easiest of companion energies. Saturn is naturally cautious, and Aries likes to rush in. Saturn is said to be in its “fall” in Aries. Points in astrology “rule” a sign, are “exalted” in a sign, are “in detriment” in a sign, and are “in their fall” in a sign. Saturn rules Capricorn, is exalted in Libra, is in detriment in Cancer, and in its fall in Aries. Saturn in Aries most important lesson is self-discipline. Often Saturn is the work that does not come easy but is necessary.
Saturn in Capricorn
Saturn entered Capricorn on December 20, 2017, and went retrograde for the second time in its journey through Capricorn on April 30th, 2019. It spends approximately 2 and 1/2 years in each sign and completes its cycle every 28 to 29 years. Those cycles play significant roles in our development when we have our first Saturn return between 28 and 29 and our second one between 56 and 58. Because of the slower speed of its movement, it also helps to track the 7-year intervals when Saturn first squares, then opposes, then squares, and finally returns to the position of your birth degree.
Saturn naturally rules the sign of Capricorn, so it is currently in its strongest position. And since Capricorn deals with business, finance, worldly leadership, and the primary “breadwinner” of the family, we can feel Saturn’s restricting and limiting effect on economics and finance at a global scale. As with any astrological point and placement, energy is neutral, so how it manifests in the world depends on how we choose to use it and where it is applying to our charts.
For example, Capricorn rules my 3rd House of Communication, so my personal goals and the network of people I can leverage to help me attain my goals in life. During the retrograde period, I have redone my will, reorganized my home, and revamped my website to reflect better my approach to the work I do with clients. Under this part of the transit, it is not unusual to find work increasing in step with increasing expenses if you are doing the work you should be doing. If Saturn is moving through someone’s 4th House of Family, limits will come from family. If it is in the 12th, then issues related to our sense of purpose will be challenged.
Saturn went retrograde on April 30, 2019, at 20 degrees and 31 minutes. While retrograde we can expect pressure tests regarding our finances, work, and long-term goals. We may find we have to dip into savings or spend money on repairs and upkeep of our possessions. Persistent effort or resigned patience, or a combination of the two, is usually required to make it through positively during this phase.
I always like to look at the Sabian symbol for a change in motion. Sabian symbols are meaningful values assigned to each degree of the Zodiac by Dr. Marc Edmund Jones and psychic Elise Wheeler. Since Saturn went retrograde at 20d31m of Capricorn, the Sabian symbol would be 21 Capricorn. The phrase for this degree is “a relay race”.
Jones writes, “This is a symbol of an inevitable culmination for group opportunity, and of continual enhancement of the individual’s skills and talents through his thoroughgoing co-operation with others in some vital phase of experience”. The keyword is FITNESS (Jones, The Sabian Symbols, 261).
While retrograde it was a perfect time to re-organize and adjust to any changing circumstances so you could build or enhance your foundation before engaging the direct energy that will go into place on September 18th.
Saturn will go direct on September 18th at 13d54m in Capricorn. Before it does, it will enter the stationary period on September 17th and 18th and appear to be “stopped” in the sky. The move back to direct motion will be fairly “neutral” for Saturn, which prefers to follow and make up the rules. Saturn direct is an opportunity to forge ahead, while Saturn retrograde is an opportunity to conserve.
The Sabian symbol is 14 Capricorn and the phrase for this point is “An ancient bas-relief carved in granite”. Jones writes, “This is a symbol of the immeasurable potentiality of the present moment as a recurrent manifestation of all that ever has been or that ever can be, and of the ability of man to capitalize on opportunities thus brought into focus in himself and his world at large again and again”. The keyword is FOUNDATION (Jones, The Sabian Symbols, 253).
Lastly, each point that goes from direct to retrograde completes the full retrograde process once the point returns to the same degree on which it went retrograde, in this case, 20d of Capricorn. That will not happen until December 20, 2019. Until then, Saturn is said to be “in the shadow”. The full feeling of forward movement will take place at that time.
In short, the retrograde phase is designed for you to review your deepest responsibilities and the direct phase is about setting the goals and achievements you need to accomplish to meet those responsibilities.