Saturn goes retrograde 44 minutes after midnight on April 6 (EST, please adjust for your time zone) and will remain in retrograde until the morning of August 25th.

When any planet is retrograde, there is confusion about the matters ruled by that planet.  Saturn rules hard, steady work; watching for difficulties in order to avoid them; right action, especially humble service; being comfortable alone, especially for the purposes of spiritual practice.  Saturn brings pressure, and a watchful eye to all these matters—are we doing enough, in the right way?  When we feel confusion about the matters ruled by Saturn, vital parts of our usual routine are disrupted and it can take a lot longer to get daily tasks completed.

This sounds challenging and it certainly can be!  But it’s also an opportunity—how often do we really look at the ways we “always” do things?  When we’re confused we have to look at the way things are working for us—do these routines help us to be more present in our lives?  Do they help us to take care of necessary things for ourselves and others, or are they merely “busy work?”  Are we running on autopilot?  When we slow down to consider things, we may see a new, more useful way to complete some tasks.  We may realize some tasks aren’t worth the time we spend on them.  When we take a look, or reach out to trusted people in our lives for advice about these things, we discover more effective ways to get things done.  We eliminate some tasks and we recommit to others.  Because we’ve had to figure things out, we understand more about why we’re doing what we’re doing.  And we understand that it’s useful to re-examine our habits on a regular basis.  Saturn in retrograde can make our lives “better.”  It can be a gift.

When Saturn is in retrograde, it also ripens karmas where we’ve been unskillful in the past.  If you’ve gone through the process of figuring things out and still feel confused and/or upset, examine your past actions.  Have you been habitually ignoring your truest values?  Have you acted in a way that harms others, or privileges your wishes above theirs?  If so, the karmas of these mistakes may very well blossom under the watchful gaze of Saturn.  You could make excuses for yourself, and some of them would no doubt be valid.   Instead, just thoroughly clean up your act and make amends where you can.  Take accountability and figure out more useful ways to proceed.

Keep in mind that everyone will feel confused sometime between now and the end of August and most won’t understand the role Saturn is playing.  Also, everyone will be receiving the karmas of their unskillfulness.  And some people will respond very unskillfully about that!  Lessen your contact with those who “double down” in order to make themselves feel better.  Watch out for those who seek to blame others.   Blaming others gives away our power, so we don’t feel able to make changes.  Deepen your relationships with those who are working to be present and accountable—we all “up our game” when we collaborate with more skillful players.