Every year, Saturn goes retrograde — usually from April or May through September. These four or five months bring a lot to look forward to. That's right, unlike the bummer that is Mercury retrograde, Saturn retrograde can open the door to some pretty positive changes.
"Saturn retrograde isn’t a bad transit," astrologer Lisa Stardust tells Refinery29. "When the karmic planet Saturn starts slowing down, it gives us time to reflect on matters such as relationships and our roles at work."
While the ringed planet appears to move backwards in its orbit, Stardust says that we'll be inclined to contemplate and strategise our next moves. "This may include deciding if we want to venture out on our own and become an independent contractor," she says. It's an especially opportune time for love too. If you've been contemplating taking a next step with your partner, this transit may provide an additional nudge to take the plunge. "Usually, during this time we see people commit more," Stardust says.
Saturn is also the planet that rules karma. So this retrograde is a good time to take stock of your past behaviour; you might wind up paying for any negative actions or unresolved issues that have been festering. This isn't a bad thing. Once everything has been brought to light and the balance paid, you can walk away feeling lighter and right with the world.
"We might be sitting pretty as far as karma is concerned! But if we’ve made our share of mistakes, we might have some apologising to do," explains Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com and Horoscope.com. "Transits like this one are all part of the natural cycle of life, and Saturn retrograde helps us not only to keep track of the score, but also to set the record straight." She calls Saturn retrograde a "reality check."
Of course, the flip side is that you may see some positive energy coming your way from your good deeds over the past few months, Montúfar adds. "Saturn retrograde does like to bring rewards to those who have taken the time to make real efforts, especially during the months it was direct."
We can expect our mind to turn to issues regarding personal security, business, and work during the next several months, says Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer at Keen.com. "We have a four-month window of time to access whether or not our activities are working out as planned or if we should change direction," Hale says. Saturn retrograde might be when you think about whether or not you'd like to move on from the job you have or seek out a new career path entirely.
Hale says that while Saturn retrograde can seem like a period of anxiety and limitation, it's important to remember that its purpose is to assess the important things and make changes if necessary. By the time the planet goes direct again in September, you should be ready to hit the ground running — and that's something we can all look forward to.