Saturn Retrograde Is About to Overhaul Your Life — In a Good Way

Here's how to make the most of the next four and a half months, according to our astrologer.

Saturn's Saturn's 5-Month-Long Retrograde Is Setting Up to Be a Doozy for These Signs
Photo: Getty Images/InStyle

After an especially challenging eclipse season that overlapped with a Mercury retrograde, we're all craving more low-key astrological "weather." So, you may be bummed to hear there's yet another backspin — Saturn retrograde — coming our way just one day after Mercury stations direct.

Luckily though, it's one you don't have to panic about too much — it's a super-slow moving transit with effects that aren't quite as apparent as, say, your laptop dying in the middle of a Zoom interview or a ghosting f-boy appearing in your DMs. Still, Saturn, the planet of limitations, hard work, and commitment's annual retrograde is worth taking note of, as it'll offer an opportunity to reflect on, revise, and restructure any foundational aspects of your life (think: your career path, your relationship to money, your dating patterns). BTW, it's not meant to be pure torture from the sky; instead, Saturn aims to teach you lessons that will ultimately lead to new foundations, boundaries, and commitments that serve you even better.

Beginning on June 4 and lasting until October 22, Saturn's retrograde in Aquarius can be used as fuel for strengthening your relationships and setting — or better holding — healthy boundaries.

Here, all the details on Saturn, what its retrograde means, and what everyone — and four signs in particular — need to know to make the most of the next four and a half months.

How Saturn Functions in Your Chart

If you're familiar with your Saturn return or the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 2020, which signaled the start of the pandemic, you already know that the ringed planet has a rep for bringing tough lessons. Overseeing rules, restrictions, limitations, boundaries, discipline, authority figures, and responsibility, Saturn is often painted as cold and harsh — or maybe the biggest bummer planet ever. But it's also one of the most powerful planetary mentors. And by understanding where it's located in your natal chart — the sign it's in, house, and aspects its making to other placements — can aid you in setting up structures that support your dreams.

Just as your moon sign characterizes how you nurture — and want to be nurtured — and your Mars shows how you takes action, your natal Saturn colors how you set boundaries, the kinds of limitations you'll come up against in your life, and the area of life in which you might require more discipline. While your natal Saturn may or may not be affected during a Saturn retrograde, you'll want to consider its themes, purpose, and also your relationship to the planet when it comes to any Saturnian event.

You can find Saturn in your natal chart (the symbol looks like a hybrid lowercase t and lowercase h) or via CafeAstrology's Saturn sign calculator.

What It Means When Saturn Is Retrograde

A transpersonal outer planet that moves slowly and is linked to social patterns and trends, Saturn spends about two and a half years in a sign. And while it's taking its sweet time moving through, say, the fixed air sign Aquarius, as it is right now, it'll appear to move backward from our vantage point on Earth for about four and a half months every year. Although it dipped its toe into the Water Bearer's terrain from mid-March to July 2020, it fully entered the sign on December 17, 2020 and will be there until March 7, 2023.

At times when Saturn is direct — aka moving forward — in Aquarius, it's been nudging us all to be a bit more conscious of the work we have to do as members of our community. Aquarius is known for its focus on humanitarian causes and, as the ruler of the eleventh house of groups, the air sign steers toward what's best for the collective versus the individual.

On a personal level, when Saturn is direct, you might feel its effects in a more outwardly apparent way. For instance, you could be required to take on more responsibility on the job or feel you're being tested on how you're setting boundaries with a pushy in-law.

When Saturn is retrograde — as is the case with any planet's backward spin — its effects become more internal. You'll feel compelled to do inner work and to get to the bottom of any deep-seated fears that are holding you back from committing to a particular path in life, whether that's a relationship, job, or wellness routine. It can also spur you to reflect on limitations, boundaries, and commitments that you've encountered while Saturn was moving forward. And if something needs to change, this retrograde phase is a wonderful opportunity to make adjustments.

Who Will Feel Saturn Retrograde the Most In 2022

With Saturn moving through Aquarius since late 2020, the signs most affected by anything it does are the fixed ones. That's not only fixed air sign Aquarius but fixed earth sign Taurus, fixed fire sign Leo, and fixed water sign Scorpio. You'll be especially influenced by this backward turn if you happen to have fixed sign placements — meaning not just your sun, but perhaps your moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, or rising sign — around 18-25 degrees.

In that case, Saturn retrograde could be clobbering you over the head with the same lesson or test it served up while it was moving forward through those degrees. In other words, you might have been dealt a setback a month or so ago, felt like you were out of the woods, but find you actually have to revisit the same conundrum — feels the same, looks perhaps a little different — to once again pass Saturn's test.

For example, if your Venus is in 18-25 degrees of a fixed sign, Saturn has been opposing or squaring off against it, spurring limitations or setbacks related to money or relationships.

When You'll Feel Saturn Retrograde the Most In 2022

Like other retrogrades, the day you'll feel the retrograde the most is the day on which Saturn stations (meaning actually goes) retrograde and direct — aka June 4 and October 22. But it'll also be felt more when activated by meet-ups with other planets. A few examples:

June 18: Saturn retrograde squares off against Venus transiting through Taurus, requiring a reality check around relationships, money, and values.

July 31: Mercury, moving through Leo, will oppose Saturn retrograde, which can spur communication drama.

August 7: When Saturn retrograde clashes with Mars in Leo, you could feel a bit of whiplash from feeling like you want to push forward and take bold, confident action while Saturn says nope.

October 13: Venus moving through one of the signs it rules, Libra, forms a harmonious trine to Saturn retrograde, which can help you solidify relationships or money making projects, depending on the area of your natal chart these two planets will be activating.

How to Make the Most of This Saturn Retrograde

Being required to learn challenging Saturnian lessons — especially over and over, if you're being hit by this retrograde — can make you feel like you're back in school taking a test that you didn't study for. Or perhaps you did study, and you're still feeling like a deer in headlights. But one thing that might help is realizing that there's no "right" answer. Saturn, like the sign it rules, Capricorn, the Sea Goat, is all about presenting us with mountains — some of our choosing, sure, but also some that we wouldn't ever opt to hike. But as long as you make an effort and do your best to tackle the work that the planet is asking of you, you'll be rewarded in personal growth, maturity, and a sturdy new foundation that can set you up for seeing your greatest dreams flourish.

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