Saturn, the great lesson-teacher of the zodiac, stationed Retrograde on 13 January at 5 degrees of Libra. He is currently retracing his steps backwards through the first few degrees of Libra and re-enters Virgo on 7 April, before finally regaining his forward trajectory from 30th May.
This Retrograde period is a great time to review our progress under Saturn in Libra so far. First, here’s a reminder of what I wrote when Saturn moved into Libra back in October 2009:
Libra is fair minded and craves peace and balance and harmonious relationship. Saturn is also fair, BUT works us hard and makes us pay our dues. So, don’t expect everything to be automatically lovey-dovey lovely with Saturn in Libra, we are going to have to work at it! Sound like a buzz-kill? Well, remember that Libra needs a bit of conflict and disharmony otherwise it doesn’t have a job to do. Libra needs a balance to find, a peace deal to negotiate, a relationship to build and a compromise to be brokered and Saturn provides the structure and authority to enable Libra to do that job very effectively. Then, when all is said and done, Saturn in Libra will put you on its karmic scales, deduct points for laziness, add points for effort and goods delivered and then, in the nicest possible way, give you just what you need and everything you deserve.
But there's a long journey ahead before any of that and Saturn in Libra’s first major quest is a challenging series of square aspects to Pluto in Capricorn. The essential phrase to describe Saturn-Pluto aspects is hard, hard, work! Oh, no, it doesn’t sound like much fun does it? However, this is where Saturn’s exultation in Libra comes in, for in Libra, Saturn actually enjoys putting the work in. If you note that Pluto’s current placement in Capricorn is also a sign that Saturn absolutely loves, then you can start to see that Saturn in Libra Square Pluto in Capricorn is a very, very dynamic interaction. There will be hard work, possible losses, scary demons to face, bridges to build and re-build and a huge clean up job to do. BUT, at an individual and a world level, this is a unique opportunity for us to put our grist to the mill, work hard, hard, hard and ultimately make the necessary changes we need to get off on a good, solid, realistic footing for the future to come. Who knows, if we dig deep enough, shift enough dirt and scrub enough mucky old boulders, we might even unearth some very valuable buried treasure or flawless gems, metaphorically speaking!
So what have been your lessons so far? What’s been making you work hard? Where might you find your hidden gems?
Think back to any conflicts you experienced over the last few months, perhaps at work or in your intimate relationships. Ask yourself how you could have handled it better. Was it all about winning the argument or did you just give in to the other person’s demands? Do you think you would have felt better if you had worked for a fair compromise that could have helped both parties?
In your major relationships, where does the balance of power lie? Do you give your power away by letting the other person take advantage of you? Why do you do this? Is it because you are afraid of conflict, or afraid that the other person won’t like you/love you/respect you if you stand up for yourself?
Is your behaviour often influenced by a need to please others or a need to be popular? Consider what would happen if, in the nicest way, you pleased yourself a bit more? How would others react? If you think they would not accept it, then perhaps you might consider if their respect/friendship/time etc. is really so important that you would be willing to always put their needs before your own in order to have them in your lives? Most likely, after adjusting to your new behaviour, they would still love and respect you, perhaps even more so.
Similarly, do you find you spend a lot of time running around after others, so much so that you don’t have time to get your own needs met? If so, how can you make more time for yourself? Do you need to learn to ask for help, rather than doing it all yourself? How do you feel about the time you spend doing things for others? Do you do it out of duty but secretly resent it? If so, maybe it’s time to re-balance things.
At work or at home, are you one of those ‘if you want something doing right, do it yourself’ types? If so, is it perhaps time to learn to delegate more? Or perhaps learn to work alongside others, doing it together? Wouldn’t this approach be more fun and more rewarding? Consider what you might learn from each other and how much more you could achieve as a team.
If life feels like hard, hard work at the moment, consider whether your efforts are being put to best use and whether they are focused in the right direction. Are negative emotions (fear, stress, anger, anxiety etc) overly exhausting you and making things feel worse. Perhaps you need to take a step back and unravel all this emotion in order to move forward healthily?
Finally and most importantly think about all your relationship successes over the last few months. Give yourself a pat on the back for friendships you have grown and developed, helpful alliances you have formed and for the happy, harmonious moments you've shared in your closest relationships.
Two days after Saturn went Retrograde there was a solar eclipse in the sign that Saturn rules, disciplined Capricorn. Venus in Capricorn conjoined that eclipse, in mutual reception to Saturn in Libra, reminding us then, and still now, that the most important relationship we will ever have is our relationship with our-self.
I know life feels difficult for many right now, but I do hope that in the midst of all the difficulties you are able to keep the bigger perspective and move forward. Saturn is in Libra until October 2012, so we’ve got plenty of time to do this work, plus another couple of Retrograde review periods of Saturn in Libra after this one, so don’t beat yourself up if it feels like a long slow process. Every bit of progress counts, however small and Saturn has a very long memory.
While we all, to a lesser or greater extent, absorb the energies around us, this Saturn Retrograde period will have most resonance with those of you who have planets or angles in the first 5 degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) and/or the last couple of degrees of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces). You can quickly download your own birth chart which will provide you with this information in a simply understood way at http://www.alabe.com/
Note: This article is featured in Saturn in Libra and Relationships, published on Sasstrology as part of the 2010 International Astrology Day Blogathon. The purpose of this web-based event is to create a permanent library of articles about how to deal with the stresses of the Cardinal T-Square of Pluto, Saturn and Uranus. The main page for the Blogathon collections is at The Cardinal T-Square of 2010: Saturn, Uranus, Pluto.