The much anticipated lunar eclipse in Libra will occur on 23 March, followed closely by the beginning of the 2016 retrograde Saturn cycle on the 25th. With the Moon in ‘other’ focused Libra this transit will have a strong impact on intimate relationships, especially as Libra’s ruler Venus is moving into a t-square aspect with Saturn and Jupiter just a few days later.
This retrograde Saturn cycle begins with a strong focus on relationships, due to the lunar eclipse on the Aries-Libra axis and a square to Venus. This suggests this will be a time of taking stock of where we may be letting ourselves down in relationships, either by taking an excessively selfish approach and refusing to take into account the needs of others, or conversely by ignoring our own needs altogether in order to please or appease the other.
Finding a balance between these two poles will be a constant challenge until we recognise that, as author Vironika Tugaleva reminds us, ‘in love, there is no need to choose between self and other, because self is other.’ This powerful yet deceptively simple Neptunian truth can transform our relationships, but it is the inner strength we can gain through retrograde Saturn that will enable us to apply it in our lives.
The retrograde Saturn cycle is a long one and in 2016 will last until 13 August. During this time we may find that we encounter obstacles to achieving our goals, however while outward success may allude us there will be an opportunity to work with Saturn on the inner level. With Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius we will be particularly called to recognise and take responsibility for the areas of our life where we may lack commitment or stamina.
While retrograde Saturn is not an easy transit it does offer an opportunity to delineate where our responsibilities begin and end. This theme is emphasised by Chiron’s placement on the South Node in Pisces. Depending on whether Pisces or Virgo has been emphasised in your life you may need to either free yourself from an excessively rigid approach to life, or set clearer boundaries so you can maintain a sense of self.
How will retrograde Saturn affect you?
Those with Saturn placed prominently in the natal chart will feel retrograde Saturn most strongly. This may be through having several planets placed in Capricorn, particularly the Sun, Moon or Ascendant, or because Saturn is exalted (in Libra) or well aspected. Those with Saturn retrograde in the natal chart may encounter a period of discouragement, lethargy or loneliness that will need to be overcome.
Checking to see through which house in your natal chart retrograde Saturn is passing will help you gain a deeper understanding of the areas of life that will be most affected by this transit. For example in my chart, Saturn is passing through the 7th House, emphasising even more strongly the need for me to take responsibility in my relationships.
Meanwhile, in another part of the cosmos…
The Sun will be exactly conjunct Mercury during the lunar eclipse and this will make it much easier to verbalise our individual needs in relationships, however the placement in Aries may mean our communication style comes across as a little brusque or brash. Try to stay present and remember there is no need to speak up in the heat of the moment. Wait until emotions have cooled and you will find that others are more receptive to what you have to say.
Two supportive trines will be helpful over the coming weeks when it comes to applying the lessons of the lunar eclipse and retrograde Saturn. The first is a fire trine between Saturn and Uranus, giving us the will to implement change, and the other is an earth trine between Jupiter and Pluto which will provide real-life opportunities and ambition to carry these changes forward. These harmonious transits may make all the difference when it comes to moving through the difficult realisations and periods of self-doubt that may emerge during this time.
Working with retrograde Saturn
Going within is not always easy, especially when we encounter painful emotions such as guilt and shame. But during retrograde Saturn we can discover reservoirs of strength and will power within us that will help us face up to these calcified habit patterns that no longer serve us. If you have retrograde Saturn in your natal chart how have you learned to work with this energy? How does it affect you in your day to day life? Please share your experiences below.
If you don’t have one yet, you can get a free birth chart at astro.com. To understand how to read your birth chart, and follow the transits in your own life, download my free ebook The Language of Astrology.