Working With Saturn Retrograde

July 8, 2024, by amy

Last week, Saturn stationed retrograde at 19 degrees of Pisces, in gate 22.3.

Saturn and retrogrades (in general) are known for their negative connotations; my hope with this post is to help you see how to work with this energy and see Saturn Retrograde as something that can be helpful and useful.


What is a planetary retrograde?

When a planet is retrograde, it means that from our perspective on Earth, the planet appears to halt its forward momentum and start moving backwards through the sky, zodiac and gates. Of course, the planet is not actually moving backwards. It’s purely related to our perspective here on Earth. This means that planetary retrogrades carry a special significance as they relate to the energy dynamic between the planet, the Sun, and Earth.

When a planet is direct (in forward motion), it follows a steady progression through the gates and the zodiac, which are a geocentric data stream. When a planet is retrograde, that movement through the data stream is disrupted as the planet (from our perspective) moves backwards through the gates and zodiac.

So, while the planet is technically not moving backwards, we experience a real halting and disruption to their energy as they do begin to move backwards through the gates and zodiac.

I like to paint this picture as if the planet is on a road trip. This forward momentum when the planet is direct is like travelling from one city to the next. But when they get to the next city, they realise that they missed some important stops along the way. Perhaps they left their phone charger at a hotel, and for some reason, they need to halt the road trip and make the journey backwards.

When a planet is retrograde, you can consider it as a time to go back over old ground. Or as if the planet is retracing its steps. Something important has been missed that needs to be revisited.

Planetary retrogrades also offer us a reprieve, a necessary time to turn inwards. Can you imagine how exhausted we would all be if we had all planets direct, all of the time, and lived in a constant state of forward progression and action? I’m tired just thinking about it.

All retrogrades offer us an opportunity and invitation. When a planet is retrograde, we experience an inversion of the usual energy dynamic. We can experience delays and hiccups relating to the usual function that the planet governs, but they are a necessary part of the cyclical nature of our planetary experiences. They offer us an opportunity to revisit, review, re-do and realign.

We need retrogrades to happen. 


What does Saturn Retrograde mean?

Saturn, our planet of karma, responsibility, form, boundaries, structure, organisation, limitation and restriction, is stationing retrograde in Pisces, the sign of the mystic, artist and spiritualist. During this retrograde, Saturn will move backwards from 19 to 12 degrees of Pisces and through gates 22, the gate of grace, and 63, the gate of doubt. If you have planets within these degrees of mutable signs or in these gates, you will feel this transit the most.

When Saturn is retrograde, he highlights where we need to learn Saturnian lessons about boundaries, organisation, form, responsibility, and maturity. There is always an opportunity with Saturn’s Rx to use this energy to our advantage. Particularly with this Rx in Pisces, we have the opportunity to bring some necessary grounding and form to our ideas and aspirations that have previously felt intangible.


The themes of this Saturn Rx are:

  • Implementing structures and processes
  • Bringing form to what has been intangible and unbound
  • Grounding ideas and aspirations into reality
  • Maturing spiritually and emotionally
  • Learning to take our artistry seriously
  • Highlighting illusions and deceit in spiritual industries
  • Making the unrealistic real
  • Spiritual connection through the form and body
  • Maturing individual and artistic expression
  • Finding grace through necessary limitations and boundaries
  • Maturing in our ability to ask questions
  • Embracing grounded scepticism


Making use of Saturn Retrograde

When Saturn is retrograde, the energy is halted and inverted, meaning it is more about looking back and seeing what we have missed. Once Saturn is direct again, the energy will be more conducive to taking action on all that we have learned during his retrograde. We will start to feel that forward momentum again from 15/16 November.

From 15/16 November to 18/19 February, Saturn will be in what we call his Shadow Phase, which is when he is retracing his steps, back through gates 63 and 22, and the ground that he has just covered in his retrograde period. The shadow period is a time to tie up loose ends, take action on what was illuminated during his retrograde, and move forward with a renewed sense of responsibility and maturity.

Please know that there is nothing to fear when a planet is retrograde. It’s all happening for us, and there can be many opportunities to work with the energy in helpful ways.