Saturn Retrograde 2016

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When Saturn stops, this planet that represents the limit and the threshold indicates that we have gone as far as we can go in terms of building and forward progress. Now it is time for a deep review before anymore new progress can be made.

When Saturn stops it brings with it a felt sense of calm, a pause, or a dead stop in life affairs that were previously moving along smoothly.

A strong resistance can accompany the Saturn station. This happens when we try to take action to fill the void that now fills the space that was previously occupied with forward momentum.

What commences with the Saturn retrograde period is a time that necessitates an inward turning of the defining and building energy that was previously oriented outwardly.

Saturn represents definition — as in defining boundaries, limits, and separations between one thing and another thing. Saturn is associated with the quality of cutting and the time surrounding the Saturn station retrograde can bring an ending of a project, a dream, or relationship.

Especially since we are currently in post eclipse season — which feels like eclipse hangover land — and with the most recent eclipse being a Full Moon of culminations and natural endings – we might have recently experienced a peak or a natural end of some situation.

But what comes to an end at this time is actually going through a process of folding in on itself. What follows an end is a natural process of retreat which serves the purpose of incubation, adjustment, and development over the months that Saturn is retrograde. However, between the folding in and the development retreat there is a moment of immobility. That can be frustrating if we’re used to chugging along at a good clip, or if there are deadlines or other non negotiable timelines we need to adhere to.

The idea around the time of the Saturn station is to build in retreat where possible so that digestion of events can take place.

The endings that can accompany the Saturn station retrograde mark the beginning of a several month long integration period where what’s being explored is how well the structures in all parts of life truly serve us.

An assessment of the structure of a project, goal, or dream occurs over the course of the retrograde. These are tested to make sure they hold water. They are tested to make sure these things are what we really want. We are charged to figure out what the grittiest details look like, lights fully on. When Saturn goes direct – we commit and build on what was assessed during the retrograde.

There is also a corrosive quality to Saturn. This accompanies a sensation of wanting to be productive and make progress yet standing still in one place, in an inward spiral of gravity. This corrosive quality brings with it extreme criticism that is inwardly directed.

The antidote to this is to give the dense, heavy, slow, serious vibrations of Saturn an outlet. For some that might mean time alone to work more. For some that might mean undertaking a deep study of a subject. For some that might mean doing deep cleaning and organizing to physically create and allow flow. For some that might mean designing or committing to a project with defined goals, deadlines, and objectives that must be met.

The thread that runs through all of these themes is harnessing the Saturn energy and doing something with it rather than giving in to the corrosive stasis of resistance. Focused productivity with Saturn will always release attendant pressure. That’s just the way it works – and thankfully Saturn is predictable like that.  If Saturn stations near a natal or progressed planet or point, both the forthcoming retrograde process and the way to handle that process will be colored by the themes of that planet or point.


Saturn urges us to realize, by gentle nudge or by relentless downward pressure,  that we have chosen to incarnate in the flesh in this lifetime. And Saturn is an important planet in this regard, because accepting that we are incarnated means obeying Saturn’s laws if we wish to live well. There isn’t much choice that we have about this. The good news is that Saturn will always make it clear whether or not his laws are being respected. Saturn encompasses laws of the physical universe, and also encompasses human-made laws.

No matter what station you are at in life, no matter what your beliefs are, no matter the Saturn configuration in your chart or any other transits you are having — we all must obey Saturn’s rules if we are to live well. If we want to live exceedingly well, then paying diligent mind to Saturn is something that will serve us toward that end.

So what are Saturn’s rules? What are these laws we must obey? And how can we see these from the point of view of Saturn in Sagittarius?

Several Basic Saturn Tenets :

  •  Respect that you are incarnated. That means take care of life on a physical level. At the most basic level this means shelter, eating well, sleeping well, and respecting the natural limits of the body.
  • Measure what must be measured.

When making decisions – are you making them based on knowns or unknowns. If you have desires, what needs to be done to make them take physical form. If you have goals (and you should have goals, unless you are one of those who objects to goals on philosophical grounds – blessings to you – some segment of the rest of us will roll our sleeves up) what are they in words, when do you want to accomplish them, what do you need to do to make them happen, when will you do that by, who do you need to talk to, what phone calls do you need to make, when are you getting started, what will you do if information is revealed that puts the plan on a detour, and so on. Definition. Clarity. Focus. Concentration.

  • Know your boundaries and you will be protected from what is not meant for you and allow what is meant for you.
  • Know what you stand for and you will row your own boat in a direction of your choice. The alternative is to be tossed on the waves of others.

Saturn in Sagittarius asks us to really examine the authority we embody when it comes to our knowledge.

Saturn in this sign can delay or otherwise obstruct matters of education.

Saturn in Sagittarius asks you to make sure that bold claims are founded on actual knowledge. Not having this knowledge can bring a sense of muteness or the feeling of not having solid ground to stand on. This makes it challenging to form opinions or build anything based on knowledge that is possessed.

With Saturn in Sagittarius there is also a call to honor intuition – something Sagittarius carries in spades. The sign of Sagittarius is always looking at the big picture view of situations, meaning in a broader context, how can a particular be expanded to apply across several domains of life. Or how a framework that embodies a piece of information actually carries over into several domains of life.

Saturn in Sagittarius is also about morality, operating on a code of ethics, wielding wildness and feralness, the comfort of the structure of spirituality or religion, finding meaning in life through spirituality or religion. Cultural tolerance versus dogmatic adherence to code. Respecting natural limits (whereas Jupiter goes on and on). And so on! The list could go on. 🙂

Wherever Saturn is transiting in the natal chart, Saturn is conducting a white glove dust inspection. Ideally the end point of a Saturn transit through a chart brings with it clarity, boundaries, deep awareness, structure, and a mature attitude toward that part of the chart.

As Saturn retrogrades through a house in the chart we undergo a process of molding, shaping, assessing, developing, deep processing (Saturn rules concentration and clear awareness), which ultimately results in a mature, well thought out approach to the affairs of the house in question based on experience and a realistic assessment, as well as the strength of surviving challenging situations.

When Saturn begins to move in retrograde motion, some situations might cease completely. In other cases, we may undergo a process of trial, testing, and development that sets us up to establish a solid structure once Saturn goes direct and begins to pick up momentum.

Important dates for the 2016 Saturn Retrograde:

March 25, 2016: Saturn stations retrograde at 16 degrees 24 minutes Sagittarius
April 5, 2016: Sun trine Saturn from Aries to Sagittarius, at 16 degrees of both signs.
June 3, 2016: Sun in Gemini opposite Saturn at 13 degrees
August 1, 2016: Sun in Leo trine Saturn retrograde at 9 degrees 53 minutes
August 13, 2016 : Saturn direct at 9 degrees 47 minutes Sagittarius.



1. Isle of the Dead by Arnold Böcklin
2. Blackhead, Monhegan by Edward Hopper

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California based astrologer in practice since 2014. Blending traditional astrology with Yogic/Vedic philosophy, and wisdom teachings, art, poetry, literature and spirituality.

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