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Saturn retrograde in Scorpio: plumbing the depths

Saturn retrograde Image Enchanting Depths by Jeremy Lipking

Saturn retrograde in Scorpio – ouch! This isn’t a combination many people look forward to. Saturn gives us a great big dose of reality and when we fail to accept this reality we usually experience very unpleasant emotions. In Scorpio, Saturn pushes us to look at the realities of power in our relationships, our jealousies, resentments and fears of loss or betrayal.

With Saturn retrograde in Scorpio this is a last chance to look at these issues head on and make any necessary adjustments to our lives or our state of mind. For this reason I see Saturn retrograde in Scorpio as a blessing – it’s a great time to dig deep and to clear out any old emotional crap that is holding us back in our lives.

I had a dream once where I was swimming down, down, down into the depths of the ocean. Of course I was terrified and the deeper I swam the more I was gripped by fear. But for some reason I knew I needed to get to the bottom. Eventually I reached a sunken ship. It was old and covered with barnacles and seaweed, a ghostly, rotten hulk.

As I approached this enormous mass of weed and rot I saw that the portholes of the ship were intact and behind one small round window was a girl, knocking and begging to get out. Quickly I swam to the porthole and struggled to unlatch the window. The girl was panicked and knocking her head against the glass. Finally I was able to release the catch and with a great rush of energy the girl flew out, merging into my own body and sending us both skyrocketing up to the surface and onward into the sunlit sky.

This dream reminds me a lot of the energy of Saturn retrograde in Scorpio. The girl in the rotten ship was part of me, trapped in old resentments, fears and trauma, longing to be released into freedom. Until I was able to overcome my aversion to facing these rotten and ugly parts of myself she remained trapped. I remained trapped. I needed to go into the deepest, darkest parts of myself before we could both be free.

Saturn retrograde in Scorpio lasts until 2 August when the planet turns direct and makes its way back towards the more upbeat Sagittarius. During this time there is much you can do to work positively with this energy. Writing a journal can help, especially if you can turn off your left-brain, perfectionist, editor archetype and just allow the words to flow freely. In fact most artistic pursuits can be very helpful in bringing stagnant emotional energy to the surface: try drawing, sculpting, dancing, singing or any other form of expression that appeals to you.

How will Saturn retrograde in Scorpio affect you

Anyone with planets or points in the last ten degrees of the fixed signs (Scorpio, Leo, Aquarius and Taurus) will probably feel Saturn retrograde quite strongly over the next four weeks. Also check your birth chart to see which house Saturn is transiting.

For example Saturn is currently passing through my 6th House, squaring my natal Saturn at 29 degrees Leo. This will likely bring up issues around work and service. I may also learn something about how buried emotional junk is affecting my health.

If you have trouble working out how the transits interact with your birth chart or would like to be able to interpret the aspects in your chart for yourself you may find my free mini lessons useful. And if you don’t have one yet you can download a free birth chart here.

Meanwhile, in another part of the cosmos…

Right now Saturn is making an opposition to the Moon and a square to Venus which will heighten the emotional intensity of this transit and turn the focus firmly onto relationships. A separating opposition from Pluto to the Sun and an approaching opposition from Pluto to Mars won’t help much! Couple this with a square from the Sun to Uranus and we’re likely to see some pretty volatile energy over the next few days. Watch out for angry outbursts…

To better understand the influence of Saturn retrograde you can check out my earlier post Saturn retrograde: the art of pruning. It looks more generally at how we can work with the Saturn retrograde to grow and evolve.

Share your experience of Saturn retrograde…

The Saturn retrograde period began in March, first passing back through Sagittarius and now reentering Scorpio. How have you been faring with this transit? What issues has it brought up that need to be resolved? Please share your thoughts so we can learn together.

If you don’t have one yet, you can get a free birth chart at To understand how to read your birth chart, and follow the transits in your own life, download my free ebook The Language of Astrology.

14 Comments on Saturn retrograde in Scorpio: plumbing the depths

  1. Kelly Gorny // July 11, 2015 at 3:32 pm // Reply

    Hi there, thanks for the great article! I would love a mini reading! Thank you!

  2. Absolutely, I feel very uncomfortable in this period. Saturn’s transit it’s on my 5th house, in that place is my Venus too and sign Scorpio. Fears, jealousy in relationship; searching for my value, my own power, feel me free, clean and ready are themes I’m working and issues with female family. Time for me, for live this life, enjoy, and have fun are my primordial needs now.

  3. I do like the idea of artistic expression to guide and light the way through this time. I am rebloging this .

  4. Yes! Absolutely! Even though my four Scorpio planets are not at 28 degrees, I can feel the same subtle energy taking place in me right now!

    Mother dearest issues galore… Things I haven’t been able to see since she was diagnosed with Parkinsons late 2014. Fear of her death vs my anger for not taking proper care of me in an alcoholic abusive home when I was a child.

    I recently reaches out to an old friend I lost around the P/U squares in June 2012. Old issues of fear/anxiety suddenly came up, because it’s related to the abusive relationship to my ex boyfriend too – he is a destructive narcissist which caused me severe traumas. I have had to remind my self that I am able to set up boundaries and that she was a part of my life BEFORE him – she is NOT him.

    My boyfriend and I has become better at dealing with conflicts and learned to be more constructive than the whole of 2014. We’ve improved (I think?) our communication a lot with this retrograde which is a chance to go over old issues and do it different/better. I’ve felt more introspective but able to see/penetrate deeper into people’s motivations. Both good and bad.

    All in all I feel strengthened even though my appointment with a psychologist is scheduled to sometime in the autumn. Still, a chance to work through all the experiences and make sense of them/peace with them.

    I am grateful for this plunging deep, because it feels like I’ve finally been able to “label” or address the last confusing remains/experiences happening from 2012 to now, what with the P/U squares and Pluto having a party in my 12th house at the moment. It’s been very rewarding although crazy-b*tch hard work. I feel like I’ve been in the Truth Serum boxing ring with my demons and has come out bruised and battered – and maybe not as a winner… But survivor after an equal boxing match ;-)

    • I really admire your desire to move beyond the experiences of your past and your stamina in working with the hardest and darkest issues in your personality Anette. From personal experience I can promise you that it will pay off! Just keep moving forward even when it’s slow going!

  5. I have Saturn retrograde in Scorpio in my natal chart, and I have truly learned to know it as a blessing :)

  6. Oh boy, having a bad dose of stiff neck right now… thinking maybe Saturn square Venus could account (Venus being my natal chart ruler). Aggravating enough to say the least… could do with it moving off sooner rather than later… but seems to be slow going on it. Blimey.

  7. I’ve been learning not to take it against others when I can see they observe an imbalance of male and female energies in me; I want to learn to honour their discomfort instead of striding off like a woman spurned – as in the saying hell hath no fury like a woman spurned! I want to learn how the imbalance of untempered male energy from Mercury in Aries square Ascendant can touch on others’ wounds, and instead of blaming them for holding a mirror to my face of how I have unwittingly hurt them, to honour their reactions as a valuable lesson to me of how my own unresolved past experiences temper my reactions to THEM.

    Actually I am falling in love with Saturn as it is so sensitive to every other aspect in our lives; Saturn retrograde in Scorpio has given me an opportunity of pressing system reset on how I relate to others’ deep inner selves with its wounds and unconscious reactions – and instead of thinking they are weak because of how this may still hamper them from reacting openly to me, to treat their reactions as subtle and almost hidden signs of how I can be more responsible towards them and prevent myself from triggering them unwittingly by simply being conscious of my propensity to do that, with my seeming overload of male energies that I am not even conscious of, because of Mars conjunct Venus in my chart, except that I find when I communicate my reasoning to others from a position of being emotionally triggered myself, I trigger unresolved emotional wounds in others of fearing losing independence or control of themselves in relation to the “mother” or “father”.

    I find that when I am emotionally triggered myself I reveal much more of Mars than I do of Venus, except that I do not realise, and I hamper the progress of Saturn in myself and others by my blindness not to see how our inner wounds are informing almost everything we do, at least till we understand them and until I learn to deal graciously with how others’ paths are different from mine.

    I want to respect the individuality of my own and others’ path, instead of conjoining them into one. Our wounds are received separately and so our paths are necessarily different. I am really enjoying getting to know the energy of Saturn.

    • Thanks Liv, your thoughts here remind me of the phenomenon that Eckhart Tolle calls the ‘pain body’… the part of us that is triggered and reacts to other people. I think sometimes it kind of enjoys being triggered! Which is why becoming aware of it is so important :)

  8. Really happy to say that your article is very useful to me.
    I agree with you the retrograde period is the time that the universe gives us, so that we understand ourselves and correct what we consider violated.
    Keep up the good work.

  9. My natal Saturn is retrograde in Scorpio 10th house), i had a really tough life. I heard that anyone with such condition must see poverty or shortage of money in old age, please tell if it is correct or not?

    • No, this is not necessarily true. I would have to assess the whole natal chart to get a better idea of how this Saturn placement would manifest, particularly looking at the aspects of Saturn to personal planets such as the Sun and Venus, as well as whether or not Saturn turns direct by progression during your lifetime. In general I think it’s not very useful to take a fatalistic approach to astrology. In this case Saturn could turn direct by progression and give you the stamina and determination to forge a successful career later in your life. Much depends on you and how you choose to use the resources at your disposal.

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