Saturn is going retrograde right before joining up with Pluto in 2020. Maybe he forgot his pair of construction boots before heading out. Either way, the apparent backward motion of Saturn through the zodiac, from April 29 through September 17, has a certain influence on us. Depending on where Saturn is transiting in the natal chart, we may experience challenges to old habits that will shape our lives next year as Saturn and Pluto combine. These habits either no longer serve us or they will be solidified as a reaction to experiences for this time. As Saturn retreats over old ground, we will have more time to observe these habits and make the right call: whether to discard them and mature our perspectives, or hold on to them and resist the inevitable change rearing its head next year.
(Don’t know where your houses are? No worries! Check astro.com to create a free natal chart with all of your planets and houses, then come back to this page and get informed.)
Affects on House System
As Saturn passes through the houses, we will start to experience difference parts of our lives activate in a challenging way. We will find ourselves in a position to not only review certain habits that give us pause or cause fear within us, but also to alter them for the better; or, in the case that we are happy with the way things are, Saturn serves to consolidate our situation.
With Saturn transiting your first house, you might come across some issues concerning your views of self and how you portray that self to other people (being opposed to the seventh house). If you have been struggling with your identity in the past year or so, these next five months are a great time to review what activities need to be weened off to make expressing yourself feel more natural. Focus on getting rid of rigid habits that stopped you from being who you truly are. As par of the course with Saturn, expect some challenges to your identity during these next few months. But also, use these lessons to learn now and it will pay off much later in fourteen years as Saturn transits your seventh house.
The second house is concerned with your values and money, and this transit brigs up financial hardship. When Saturn moves through the second house, you can experience a shift in values. It is possible that you could experience sudden monetary loss during this time, but since Saturn is retrograde this may actually be a better time to prevent such disaster by storing some emergency bread. this transit can also be when your beliefs are challenged, forcing you to change them or double up on your faith. Be aware that what you value is unique to you, and be wary of enforcing that on others (as the second house is opposed to the eighth house).
For Saturn transits, it helps to think about a scaffold around a building; some reconstruction is occurring that needs time to finish. The third house rules our perception of the world and how we communicate that to others. For two years, your perception has been changing as you experienced more in the world. This means your neighborhood interactions, your communication, your relations with your immediate family are all going to become more refined. A stripping away of old patterns and viewpoints (or a solidification!) happens because now you are understanding and sharing you world view much differently (as third house opposes the ninth). Now you have a chance to realize what hobbies, habits, and viewpoints are not productive and install new ones.
The fourth house is your most private and sacred spot, representing the home, the mother, and where you feel most nurtured and secure. Saturn will take a cold, hard look at the realities of family life, especially with the nurturing parent (mother or father). Situations will arise that force you to make tough emotional decisions, like trusting an acquaintance. There will come experiences ( i.e. lessons) that make it difficult to trust, or if you already have this trouble, it will seem to make you even more rigid. Remember to relax and take things easy; no one is out to get you. This is a time when you can conquer your fears and share your sensitive side, which will ultimately assist your public appearance (fourth house opposing the tenth house) as your emotional state becomes more under your control.
The play time and joys of the fifth house are subdued by transiting Saturn’s influence. This is a time when you are questioning yourself: just what exactly do you want to express and create? Often when Saturn transits this house, you end up in situations that challenge you to create and inspire from your inner self. It can be hard to feel inspired and creative, but during the retrograde period you now have a moment to examine why you have these blockages. (Even if you don’t usually have problems expressing yourself, Saturn’s influence will draw you into such situations.) Most times you may find that your blockages are internal, being nothing more than your imagination holding you back. What is the base of your creative foundation, learned from childhood, that has prevented you from genuine self expression? Your friends and groups are affected as well, with the fifth house opposing the eleventh. There will either be a casting away of these blockages (meaning new friends, new experiences, new goals and aspirations), or a solidification of those habits that keep you muted and uninspired (staying in the same hole).
The sixth house is probably the least liked out of all houses. It represents a hard kick back to reality, symbolizing daily dues, health, food, and hygiene. Thus, when Saturn passes through this house, work can seem more imposing and dreadful and the health can be adversely affected, especially depending on natal placements in the sixth house. The work may involve the daily steps required for a long term project, or perhaps you have trouble with the employees working under you. Any self-work or genuine improvements during this retrograde period will pay off with fulfilling work and robust health. It is very important that you avoid eating foods that you know cause some discomfort, as this is prime time for food poisoning and illness. Caution that you don’t overdo it (with the sixth opposing the twelfth house of woes and self-defeat), inadvertently causing your own ill health. The determination and patience of Saturn and Capricorn will help you stick through any challenges you encounter.
The seventh house represents marriage, dating, intimate life and one-on-one encounters. Depending on the natal planets in the seventh house, Saturn feels quite comfy here. He can actually help consolidate your close relationships through drama, strengthening your foundation with the other person. In one-on-one relationships you are challenged to see if you can apply yourself to external stimuli (first house opposing, confronting, the seventh), as the seventh house begins a focus on the outer world. During this time people will begin asking much of you allowing you to determine whether you or they are worth the effort. This retrograde, expect some last minute questions and experiences that help you think for whom you want to make an effort.
Having had lessons of our interactions with others, we know consider their values and possessions in the eighth house. Depending on other people during this time may lead to disappointment; it may also be difficult to receive money from others, or if married, the partner may experience a financial upset that disrupts the resources during this transit. As eighth house represents values, our opinions may cause conflict among close friends (due to the second-eighth house opposition). We now have an opportunity to build our own resources and become independent.
As the ninth house stands for philosophy, higher education, and law, much of what you learned in the past year or so will conflict with any long-held beliefs you have had. It will be a time of introspection to refine your world view, which will invariably lead to you sharing your new (or old) viewpoints (ninth opposing and activating the third house). If you are in a scholastic environment, this time will be especially stressful. Some classmates or teachers can pose a serious challenge to any deeply held perspectives you hold, which could harm you if you react by hardening and resisting new information. There may be issues with the law or authority figures in general. Here Saturn asks you to sharpen the tools you use to shape your world view. This transit is a good time to study viewpoints different than yours and learn to debate healthily with others while maintaining your own view.
Ah, here Saturn is at home. The tenth house of fame, ambition, vocation and public appearance welcomes the determined nature of Saturn. He gives you great power and control during this period, and any project, vocation, or job you are taking on has your full essence and potential behind it. You see the culmination of the last few years of Saturn transiting your chart. However, the benefits of this transit are only as good as you have prepared for them. If you have slacked off and ignored the inner work (fourth-tenth house opposition) and stabilized your emotional center, figured out your mode of expression (fifth house), found your groove in the workplace (sixth house), and so on, this will be a transit that uncovers and highlights those negative aspects. This is the public face of the tenth house: a revelation that your work has a material, obvious effect that people around you can observe. The retrograde period is the time for you to reap last-minute benefits from your hard work; it is the BEST time to realize where you have gone wrong in the past fourteen or so years and make changes to your habits or career to earn those long-awaited benefits.
Your friends are what cause you issues during this transit. Saturn in the eleventh house makes you examine your groups, friends, and organizations. Are you really hanging out with people who share your passions? Or are you living a lie and falling in line with the rest of them to avoid the cold pain of loneliness? Saturn will have his say passing through this house. The same goes for our dreams, goals, and income from our careers. Is this how you want to spend your life? Have you reached any goals yet, or at least are you making headway? These thoughts make it difficult to hang out with old friends, and as such, this is probably a period of isolation for most people. It will be a time of setting out to find that group you identify with, or if you already have such a group, it will solidify your loyalty. During this retrograde, you have another chance to see if your friendships and groups align with your own inner Divine will.
For about 27 years (counting from the first house), Saturn has been transiting through the zodiac and houses to have an impact on your maturity: it has beckoned you to grow, to assimilate, and to cast away in order that you may become more refined, more mature and responsible versions of your true selves. You are at the end of this amazing cycle. Now is the time to recuperate, reorganize and prioritize what you want to achieve for the next cycle, beginning again with Saturn in the first. But for now, Saturn, like many other planets, finds it difficult to express itself in the house of detention, imprisonment, and sorrow. During this retrograde, our control is weakened so it is not a good time for starting new projects. Instead, look at the past 29 years of your life (even if you are younger!) and pinpoint what habits you need to change for your next batch of projects.