Saturn’s Turnabout

by Boots Hart, CAP on February 1, 2012

Saturn Retrograde in Libra - Astrological Meaning

That Saturn will go retrograde on February 7, 2012 at 2:04pm (UT/+0) is—as they say in the world of Sherlock Holmes—elementary, my dear Watson! But that Saturn is going direct at 29 “critical” degrees of Libra? Not so elementary!

And that Libra is ruled by Venus and at the very moment of station/retrograde Venus is at 0 Aries and conjunct Uranus? That’s decidedly not elementary! That may in fact, well be high school angst at its ugly worst!

Remembering that Saturn is about all those things which are structural in our lives—from our bones and teeth to the “structural bones” of operational society, our government and our drive to live and achieve something in our own lives as human, this turn to retrograde plainly says that all which we have been impelled by externally will now be for us to summon up and/or require or discipline ourselves into as Saturn goes retrograde. Direct planetary motion is always about external motivation—things which come TO us which we respond to or capitalize on. Retrogrades are hard for many precisely BECAUSE they require us to figure out our own problems, replete with solutions and plans to enact said solutions.

Saturn's temple ruins

Remains of Saturn's ancient temple.

Time, dedication, integrity, durable growth…effort, applied responsibility, earning, obeying laws (of nature or mankind)….resistance, limitation, fear, loss, achievement, recognition—these are a few more Saturn’s keywords. And I “bunch” them for a reason, that reason being that Saturn’s effects fall in different groups. There are the abstracts (time, integrity, etc.), there are the emotions (resistance, fear, etc.) and there are the verbs (effort, earning, etc.)

And now all that is being brought to 29 Libra, the last degree of Libra. Any “29th degree” is essentially where that sign “goes postal” in the effort to get things done. So we can either be frenetically and intensely “doing”…or we can be relaxing and cruising along through life and meet up with something going gangbusters. This being the direct-to-retrograde station for Saturn, it’s likely that things will BEGIN as external and prompt (or force) us to evolve on some internal level, whether we’re evolving what we do or how we think.

Saturn metaphysics are what Saturn metaphysics are (see keywords above). But when we bring that to 29 degrees of a sign where Saturn is on station, like as not that’s Saturn in a pre-eminent “verb state”…the utter necessity to DO something or a signal that we’re DOING at fevered pitch. Of course it could be that this is the intense experience of achievement or loss based on something we’ve already done which is or isn’t “Saturn responsible” and which has thus “earned” us whatever happens now.


With this all taking place in Libra we know that the idea of the thing is the crux of this moment. Libra being an air sign, this is all about some “agreement”—whether business or legal or with some other person to be in relationship with them, based on certain premises or responsibilities that each party will do “x” or be “y” to the other person.

Obviously if something is going wrong this means this could be a highly contentious time. And that such a fact may well be in the works here is noted astrologically by Venus—ruler of Libra—having just moved into Aries. The easiest way to see Venus being the “effect” we get in the equation “cause-and-effect,” the real challenge of Venus in Aries is only that we’re pretty much on our (Aries) own with no one to blame/rely on except ourselves. And since into this we have a modifier of Uranus (breakage versus breakthrough) we definitely have a theme of this could be a moment when we understand/are understood, when we are rewarded for efforts already done, or when we get caught with our hand in the cookie jar.

Think of it as a “pocket” in time. If we’re being rewarded, someone is stuffing a reward in our pocket. If we’re meeting up with proof of our own error, we’ve been caught pick-pocketing. And the Saturn part here is that we’ve ended up stealing from ourselves.

With that guilty non-pleasure duly noted, back to that 29 degrees thing for a moment. Since all degrees between 20 and 29 of any sign are about “others responding to or critiquing us” this moment has a decidedly interactive tone. That Saturn is at this moment in trine to Pallas (logic) at 28 Aquarius sitting between Tantalus (temptation) and Hybris (emotional entitlement) means we probably know the parameters of the situation, too. So where things turn out well we understand what we have “threaded the needle” between going overboard because we could (Tantalus) and overindulgence simply because we thought we could get away with it (Hybris). And where things turn out badly, we know EXACTLY what we have done—which no, probably doesn’t feel so spiffy!

Either way, this is actually the beginning of a process or opportunity for growth which occurs in months to come. Saturn will come back to 29 Libra at the end of September 2012 with its dawdling through said degree lapsing over into the first few days of October. Interestingly, this occurs during a two-week or so “gap” when both Pluto and Jupiter are direct with both planets moving in celestial “slow motion” due to the fact that Pluto has just come out of retrograde (on September 18) and Jupiter is slowing down to GO retrograde on October 4.

When taken together, Pluto and Jupiter are the experience of one’s desires, one’s passions—or all things which make us feel life has meaning and fulfillment of a very meaningful and intimate kind (whether sexual or not!). In this case, with Jupiter in airy Gemini and Pluto in structural and early Capricorn, the playing field described is not innately “sexual” as in getting naked and hopping into bed, but there is a very particular form of pleasure we experience when we know our life is on track and we can now get where we want to go which is—let’s face it—sort of “thought-gasmic.”

So those who want this ideagasm come October? Especially if you’re not having such fun right now? It’s time (Saturn) to stop thinking that someone (Libra) else is going to reward you for what you haven’t earned. It’s also time (Saturn) to capitalize on the opportunities you do have to work with (Libra) others and create greater harmony in your overall life.

Another set of notes here: Libra—and Saturn IN Libra as a particular combination—promotes, yea verily demands honesty and ethical behavior. So take this into account. If you’ve been caught picking your own pocket (in public?) you may want to seriously consider where your head is at (all implications intended!). If this station represents a time when things move in a productive direction, or when you get “recognized” for something you’ve done or some ethical stance (despite all!) then learn from it. Capitalize on it.

Since the older I get and the longer I’m in the “astrology game” the more I tend to watch combined patterns created by planetary stations and eclipses, my last comment de jour would be twofold.

The first part concerns a solar eclipse which occurred back in July of 2009 at 29 Cancer—in square to Saturn’s current station. That eclipse—in and uncomfortable and ultimately “unsettling” inconjunct to Pluto at 1 Capricorn represented the disruption of a whole lot of lives in many a disquieting way. Given that solar eclipses are transit-type events which “evolve” over a full 36-month (three-year) expanse, that means this eclipse will should be winding up to have its final “say” and “reveal” it’s meaning in many a life about…well, now!

Cancer represents the bedrock of our lives: our heritage (cultural and national), our family or experience of childhood, our habits, lifestyle and all those many “ingrained complexes” we as humans learn through emulating or rebelling against parents and others who populated our youth. Back then (in 2009) we were embodying all these qualities at what we might call the “checkbox” level: we all had a list and we were either checking off the boxes, striking them from our list or feeling like they were going to be denied us or changed due to forces beyond our ability to control (this last being very typical of eclipses).

So! What have you learned since then about life…and your life in particular? Have you let go of some “ingrained” value or learned to build upon it to your betterment? This Saturn station is also about testing that question, if somewhat more subtly than an eclipse.

But let’s be philosophically clear here (which is a contradiction, I know!)…life’s lessons are cyclic. On a metaphysical level, life seems much like a helix…a spiral ramp, the intertwining curl of DNA. We do come back to the same lessons time and time again. Those we have really learned we recognize and think “okay, I know how to do this” as we apply experience and knowledge gained. Those places represent where we have ascended one rung on the helix and in coming back to the same “place” one “round” higher, we “pass Go,” collect our metaphorical $200 worth of confidence, and from there go on to face a different challenge. But when we don’t learn our lesson we come back to the same thing time and time again. We don’t ascend. Life doesn’t get easier. We haven’t learned whatever it is we’re supposed to learn.

Come October 2014 there will be a solar eclipse at 0 Scorpio—the degree Saturn will move into this October after that two week (or so) window and Jupiter’s turn to retrograde. That gives us a dotted line between now and fall 2012…AND between October 2012 and October 2014. The bridge here is plainly between our ability to get along with and stay in balance with others (Libra) and our ability to formulate solutions and plans which in giving everyone some portion of what they need, want or consider valuable ends up rewarding us and earning the respect, support, love and loyalty of others (Scorpio).

Saturn's temple

Saturn's temple

Part of what makes this Saturn station difficult and maybe “scary” is that there is implied at the very “brink” of Libra just shy of Scorpio a shift from the “idea of the thing” (the fun part which can be more or less easily worked out) to a level of real consequence—to us and others—where blood can be shed, where lives can be damaged, where the stakes are very, very real.

All of this suggests that this Saturn station really asks us what verbs we have been not just using, but utilizing. Are they working for you? Is your relationship with your world on the rise, on the decline or holding you in place as if you’re on some madcap merry-go-round you aren’t being allowed to get off of?

Many people will withdraw from interactions, negotiations and relationships at this time. Agreements will be formed and broken. Consequences will be recognized and considered, and those which are ignored will sure as shootin’ come back to haunt us. There will be many who will project and say it’s all “their fault” but in each of our hearts we will know there is a level at which we are responsible for having put ourselves in a place to get steam-rollered.

And there will be those who, in letting go of what doesn’t work, will take hold of what is viable and possible. Providing they approach their tasks with ethical dedication and responsible understandings of time and timelines, great growth can be developed from this point going forward.

We just all have to understand that the verb gone wild went wild because we let it run the mouth of our mind instead of minding what we put out there. Cause/effect is dependent on cause—and we ARE—without question…the primal cause in our life.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Boots June 26, 2012 at 10:05 am

It’s remarkable how clear this Saturn station/direct has been. Everyone I know suddenly perked up late here on Sunday afternoon (as the core of the station effect came on) and – of all things – relaxed.

After fielding a half dozen phone calls and emails on the subject, I went out to get something to eat. The restaurant I went to get food from told me that as I arrived I had just missed the largest rush of customers they had ever had, too. In spite of the fact that I believe this Saturn station – because it’s Saturn stationing within two days of Venus stationing to go direct AS Mercury enters Leo – could well indicate either financial situations which lead up to a roller coaster in the financial markets (Leo will go retrograde in Leo this year) there is…as you say…a true sense of relief at Saturn going direct. Thanks for the very apt description of how this felt in your life – with my Descendant a degree plus away from this station it fits how I’ve felt too!

jaimes June 25, 2012 at 9:07 am

with saturn stationing over my sun @ 22 libra, i feel it like a big rock sitting that’s been sitting on my chest just got lifted off. thanks for the insight, feeling more determined than ever!!

Boots February 18, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Thank you, Eleanor! Your compliment is well appreciated. It’s wonderful to hear that you find the information accessible. Long, long ago I set out to write to the general public. At first I got a deal of skeptical regard for having that as an ambition…many astrologers – like many researchers in other fields – publish to ‘speak to peers.’ But over (Saturn) time, the (Saturn) body of my work has come to be thought of as (Saturn) respectable.

And for MY Saturn turnabout? I’m taking on a whole new level of metaphysical work. My aim is to publish a few ebooks. The first will be ”metaphysical’ in nature, combining astrology, spiritualism and tales of life experiences. I’m toying with what will follow – but maybe an astrological reference about people and there pets? It’s a possibility.

This is a good time to be deciding what you’re done doing and being…and where you want to go next. That Saturn goes direct in late June a couple of days before Venus goes direct gives us a great timetable to aim for. Some of us will be ‘ready to reap’ our rewards then (having done a lot of work prior to that time) …and some of us will be putting plans being made now-until-then into gear.

I wish us all success!

Thanks again. Happy to help!

Boots February 18, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Hi, William…::sighs heavily::…I wish I could say things will be easy, but that just wouldn’t be honest. We’re each up against a lot of challenges. That’s the down side of Saturn. But with that comes the great Saturn-symbolic gift, namely that Saturn is about earning. So while things may take effort, the actual CHOICE of what to do and what kind of effort and attention to put into that ‘what to do’ is up to us.

That said, nobody likes deferment of gratification – I’m with you!

Eleanor February 11, 2012 at 8:54 am

Boots does SUCH a great job explaining the energetic dynamics and human implications. Thank you (every month!)

william February 8, 2012 at 3:01 am

so, any good news?

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