I’ve lately felt more of a kindred connection to my former days of youthful rebellion than I’ve experienced in years.
No, I don’t predict the future or hold seances (although I’m not necessarily against either). Rather, I believe that astrology, specifically the image of the sky at the precise moment of your birth, otherwise known as your natal chart, helps us to become better people by helping us confront both our positive and negative personal attributes.
There’s no doubt that Saturn holds a dear place in my heart. I have a lot of Capricorn in my own chart, the sign ruled by this planet.
Saturn is Father Time. Saturn is grounded, stable, caring, empathetic, wise and a true sage in a deeply earthy way. Sure Saturn can be grouchy and judgmental at times. Of course, he sometimes thinks he knows best (he often does) and can come across as insensitive or aloof. In reality, though, Saturn is extremely compassionate—but he’s very experienced in his practice of non-attachment (more on that another time; it’s a rich enough subject to merit its own article).
“Retrograde” literally means “backwards.” When a planet goes retrograde, this means it has the appearance of going backwards. (It doesn’t actually move backwards.) This retrograde planet is in reality moving at a different rate than we are, and all planets do this from time to time (except the sun and the moon which are called “luminaries” not planets).
When a planet becomes retrograde, it makes the qualities and attributes associated with this planet “backwards,” or challenging and disrupted.
For me, I know that a huge part of why I’m reverting to old rebellious patterns is that I’m a student again.
I’ve taught yoga for about five years, but I’ve recently re-committed to my beginner’s mind, and to being a student, by participating in a teacher training. All of the joys—the excitement, the passion, the bliss of learning—associated with being a newbie is back full-force; yet so are the pitfalls: the struggles, the demands—and the questioning of your own confidence and self-knowledge. In short, the questioning of my own authority.
Saturn, this wise sage, can often come across as cocky, but this cockiness actually stems from a deep insecurity that’s fairly childish.
This insecurity hinges around the need to be accepted, appreciated, and admired; which all of us feel at varying times and to varying degrees. However, Saturn needs a lot of it—Saturn needs a lot of authority.
So when Saturn becomes retrograde we want to fight the system. This isn’t necessarily bad—unless that system is your own household and the joint control between you and your spouse, for example. Our “systems” function on many levels, most of which are not political or grandiose.
Be mindful of Saturn’s retrograde influences throughout these next few months (yes, Saturn doesn’t go direct until July 8). Saturn encourages us to be honest and to look deeply within. Although uncomfortable, doing this can be remarkably positive for periods of self-growth. Be aware, though, of an extreme need to resist change or to create unnecessary chaos by demanding change when it’s not appropriate.
Essentially, Saturn loves boundaries, and boundaries, both personally, professionally and societally, are likely to be more blurred and confusing now than ever. If this confuses you, then just know that these next few months offer the opportunity to slow down and take the time to re-assess everything—especially your own thinking.
Pay close attention to your thoughts, words and actions.
If this seems daunting or a little bit scary, well, then welcome to Saturn Retrograde. It’s the time to be a little bit serious—but not overly serious about yourself.
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta