Saturn represents things that are often feared: delays, limitations, hardship, obstacles. It represents time slowing down, and heavy, weighty feelings. Fun program, am I right?

But Saturn actually holds a lot of wisdom, and a lot of gifts, under its rough appearance. And during Saturn Retrograde, between April 30th and September 18th, we’re going to experience some deep change.

Saturn represents commitment and success, and teaches us that we must be committed to be successful. It shows us that we must overcome fear to find success, and overcome desires for indulgence or fun when we truly want something.

Saturn is the hard work, the work that no one sees. If Jupiter runs the show, Saturn is behind the curtain—it illuminates the sacrifices we must make to succeed.

The planet also represents limitations, but limitations can be the shadow side of great happiness—if you want to be in a marriage, for example, you have to give up on certain perks that exist when you’re single. When you’re an entrepreneur, you have to give up some perks that exist when you’re an employee. If you want quantity, you often have to sacrifice quality, and so forth. That is the limitation of Saturn: You have to commit. You have to give up on some things to earn others.

That’s why Saturn also represents endings—having to let go of something you wanted, but also discovering that by letting go of one thing, you can find something even more rewarding and meaningful. Overall, Saturn’s movement is about getting your priorities in order.

So what happens when Saturn goes retrograde? It’s a moment during which you’ll be taught valuable lessons about what you want to commit to, what you want to work at, what you want to sacrifice, or where you want to succeed. You’re reviewing your commitments, your priorities, your sacrifices, and whether or not they’re worth it, whether or not you’ve given enough of your time and sweat.

This year, what’s interesting is that Saturn and Pluto are engaged in a hypnotizing dance. Pluto is ahead, and Saturn follows. So because of that, we’re first having a period of destruction and transformation (thanks to Pluto) followed by a time of maturation, ending, stabilization, and hard work—all because of Saturn.

Collectively, this is a moment during which we’re experiencing all of that: first, events that are shocking, life-altering, transforming, followed by events that are stabilizing, maturing, and helping us make choices and commit.

Saturn turns retrograde on April 30th, and will remain retrograde until September 18th. During this period, reflect back on your life since January: look at the things you have found to be difficult, limited, or blocked by obstacles—the things that required you to do a lot of silent reflecting and perhaps weighed you down these last couple months but ultimately helped you grow. You will be given a second opportunity to work at these things, starting in September, but this time with more wisdom and skills than before.

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