May is a cup runneth over with celestial events. The sensual Taurus New Moon gives a fresh reprieve in order to prepare us for the coming Super Moon and the commencement of Mercury's second Retrograde for 2021. But May also holds the beginning of Saturn Retrograde, a cosmically significant period that lasts a lot longer than any Mercury Retrograde - from May 23 - October 11 to be exact.
What is Saturn Retrograde?
Like any other retrograde, Saturn Retrograde is the period of time where Saturn appears to move backwards in the sky. I write "appears" because of course, planets don't actually and suddenly change the direction in which they move. But in relation to where we're placed in the Solar System, there is a 140-day period once a year where our location relative to Saturn makes the planet look as if it is moving backwards.
Astrologically, this is a significant event as Retrogrades tend to create chaos in the areas rule by the particular planet currently in retrograde. In Saturn's case, these are things that tend to be related to our inner selves - rather than communication and travel like in the case of a Mercury Retrograde.
What is the significance of Saturn in Astrology?
Saturn is the planet of Karma. It's associated with responsibility and discipline. It's a planet that is known for helping you attract the energy you put out and allowing you to grow into yourself - a key theme of our Saturn Return. It helps us build structure and definition in our day-to-day lives allowing us to mature and flourish.
But Saturn can also be associated with restrictions and limitations, making some of the more free-spirited signs feel trapped (here's looking at your Sagittarius) whenever it comes into a significant conjunct or placement in sky. So it can definitely feel like one of the more forlorn and depressive planetary influences.
What can expect from this Saturn Retrograde?
Saturn sits in innovative and rebellious Aquarius for this Retrograde. While pop Astrology may have you fear every retrograde that comes around, I'd argue that Saturn's Retrograde is one to embrace rather than to worry about. It's longer transit time means that we're given much more time to understand and deal with the themes brought forth.
Since Saturn is considered the planet of karma, its Retrograde could be considered a period of karmic rebalancing. If you've been sharing positivity and sharing goodness into the world, now is the time that you will receive that back. But if you've been doing the wrong thing by your fellow human, prepare to reap what you have sown.
Of course, Retrogrades are known for often destabilising the key areas associated with the planet in Retrograde. In this instance we're talking responsibility, maturity and discipline. Lines will be blurred and the structures we've built to keep our tower of cards in place may feel shaky. The creatives that love to colour outside the lines like Pisces or the fluttery flirts like Libra will feel energised by this. They never liked rules anyway. But then organised and perfectionist Virgo and hard-working, no-fuss Capricorn can feel incensed when Saturn Retrograde encourages others to throw caution to the wind and leave their daily shackles behind.
Just remember that this lengthy transit is here to give us time to ease into the dominating themes and manage our feelings off the back. And of course, during this period of karmic realignment, always do unto others as you would have them do to you.