Saturday, 8 January 2011

Saturn in Libra Retrograde: Relationship Revision Time (Redux)

Saturn image from NASA
This article was first published on this blog in January '10. This is an updated version.

Saturn, the great lesson-teacher of the zodiac, turns Retrograde from 26 January 2010 at 17 degrees of Libra. It will travel back to 10 degrees Libra and will turn direct on 13 June. Saturn will remain in Libra until October 2012, with one further Retrograde period between Feb and June 2012.

The Retrograde periods are a great time to review your progress under Saturn in Libra.

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, you can'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.

Saturn’s first major quest in Libra was a challenging series of square aspects to Pluto in Capricorn. The essential phrase to describe Saturn-Pluto aspects is hard, hard, work! Not much fun, was it? However, this was where Saturn’s exultation in Libra came 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 see that Saturn in Libra Square Pluto in Capricorn is a very, very dynamic interaction. Boy, was it dynamic! There was hard work, possibly losses, maybe a few scary demons to face, some bridges to build and re-build and a huge clean up job to do. BUT, at an individual and a world level, it was an opportunity for us to put our grist to the mill, work hard, hard, hard and ultimately make the necessary changes and cut backs we needed to get off on a good, solid, realistic footing for the future. Who knows, if we dug deep enough, shifted enough dirt and scrubbed enough mucky old boulders, we might even have unearthed some very valuable buried treasure or flawless gems, metaphorically speaking!

But Pluto wasn't the only planet that Saturn in Libra met. In 2008 Saturn in Virgo began a series of oppositions with Uranus in Pisces. The last of these change making, status-quo shaking, disruptive oppositions occurred in July 2010 just before the final Saturn-Pluto square, with Saturn in Libra and Uranus in Aries.

Now, as Saturn in Libra turns retrograde, it's time to review what's happened over the last year or so. So what have been your 'Saturn' lessons so far? What’s made you work hard? Where did you find hidden gems? What changed? What was turned on its head? Was it exciting or was it stressful and unsettling? Are things resolved or is there still some work to do? 

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.

How have your relationships changed over the last year? Has the change been for the better? Have you freed yourself from toxic relationships or are you still hanging on to unhealthy associations? Have you given yourself permission to grieve for lost relationships, an important part of the healing process so you can move on?

If life still 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.

I know life may still feel difficult for many right now, but can you see the light at the end of the tunnel? Just a glimmer? Remember, 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 between 10 and 17 degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn). You can quickly download your own birth chart which will provide you with this information in a simply understood way at

Note: This original version of this article 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.



  1. Inspiring article, Mandi! I usually review my prior year's journal at the beginning of the New Year, but something unexpected interrupted me this time. Now I'll take your advice and do a Saturn in Libra Retrograde Review. I'm more eager to make room for it, thanks to your helpful reminder.

  2. Nice post, Mandi. I have natal Saturn at 12 degrees Libra. and how am I doing? Been working at a boring well paying job for 31 years and i want out but I'm afraid to retire early because of finances. Been painting like mad for 4 years and I'm not "THERE" yet, but I'm getting there.
    I have found some new friends and improved some important relationships. My Saturn is in the 6th house and.. I have done a good job restoring my health! tada!

  3. Hi Joyce, thanks for your comment. Hope your Saturn review goes well and you uncover some gems. I think my own Saturn lesson for last year when it was squaring my Sun was to accept life as it is, rather than how I would want it to be...not much fun, but perhaps the key to contentment in the long run?

    Hi Mimi, thanks for sharing your experience. You're right in the middle of your 2nd Saturn return then? Sounds like there are a lot of positives and well done for putting all the work into your painting, I'm sure the rewards will come in time, if they haven't already

  4. Dear Mandy thank you for the great article. I have 5 planets in Libra (including Moon and Sun) and also have experienced first Saturn return. Lemme just put it like this:last year was the toughest year of my life. I left without job (firm I worked for collapsed due to financial problems), my relationship is quite unstable (after 7 years of being together partner and I experienced many difficulties and breaking up is often our main topic), never been so isolated (by my own decision), many hidden, unrealistic fears showed up (I started psychotherapy). I still didnt end up with fear, stress, anxiety, anger and I am working hard on these issues. Hope Saturn retrograde in conjunction to natal Saturn and Moon will not be so painful

  5. Hi anonymous, I'm glad you liked the article...and sorry to hear you've been having a tough time, but glad to hear that you are aware, working through it all consciously and getting help.

    It's interesting that you mention you have been with your partner for 7 years, which is approx one quarter of the Saturn if you have Saturn conjunct your Libra planets now, it was squaring them around 7 years ago. So often our life falls into these 7 year patterns. It sounds as if the Saturn in Libra transits now are prompting you to make necessary adjustments in your relationships, so you can ensure your relationships are healthy and well balanced or so you can free yourself for new relationships down the line. Either way, I hope it works out for you.

    With your stack up of planets in Libra, you might like Donna Cunningham's article, if you haven't already seen it, about how it was hell being a Libra in 2010...

    I really hope 2011 is a better year for you


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