Why Summer’s Saturn Retrograde Will Be Great For Your Autumn
If you have your finger on the pulse of the social media astrology hivemind, you’ll know the sense of dread that starts to set in during April. Every spring, the approach of another Saturn retrograde gets everyone battening down the hatches, preparing for disaster on every front that requires executive functioning, financial solvency, and discipline. If you listen to the conventional wisdom about this time of year, you'd think Saturn retrograde looks something like this:
But I’m here to tell you that’s not (necessarily) true! Saturn retrograde can give you the same mood as that GIF, but after it’s over it can leave you looking more like this:
We’re reaching the end of this summer’s retrograde, with Saturn stationing direct on September 18th, 2019. Here’s a rundown of how Saturn retrograde is beneficial, despite seeming like the bane of your existence—and how your autumn could be all about reaping the rewards!
Quarter Life Crisis
Last Saturn retrograde, I realized my move to LA in ’17 had been a huge mistake—or maybe not exactly a mistake, but a choice I should reverse course on ASAP. I thought I wanted to do one thing, but over the course of five miserable months I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t continue on that path. One year later, I thank my lucky stars that it happened! If I had spent 2019 working toward a goal that never would have made me happy, I would have just been putting off the inevitable until a time when it could have been too late.
That's the quintessential Saturn retrograde experience—it’s a stress test for your goals, work ethic, and general having-your-shit-togetherness. When Saturn sends a shock through your systems, anything in your life that's structurally unsound is coming down fast, and you won't be able to avoid the fallout. The upside is that you get to build a much stronger set of goals on top of what just broke down.
What could that mean for you? If you’ve been leaving a problem in any area of your life for “““later,””” that problem is going to rear its head this summer. As a planet associated with the harvest, Saturn’s mantra is that you reap what you sow, so if you haven’t been taking the right steps for yourself lately you might have been getting what you paid for this summer. But! The silver lining is that now, at the end of the summer, the areas of your life where you have to make major change are going to be lit up with giant neon signs. What you’ve gone through in the past few months can serve as extra motivation to set things straight!
Work, Work, Work, Work Work
Sometimes Saturn retrograde is more subtle than just tearing everything down indiscriminately—there are also those Saturn retrogrades where you feel like you have to run as fast as you can just to stay in the same place. Whatever big break you’re searching for, you can’t seem to push through to get there. My own summer like this came in ’17, when I was hustling as hard as I could for freelancing gigs but didn’t see a point in the future when I could write as my sole source of income. The good news is, the first day of the gig that got me past that threshold was the first day after Saturn stationed direct that summer! This is the kind of Saturn retrograde where you have to sweat more than ever before, but finally get gains for the pain at the end of it.
If you’re going through this kind of Saturn retrograde and feel just about burned out after all the effort you’ve been putting in, try to find one more iota of hustle to take you through to the chilly months. When Saturn goes direct, you might find that the fruits of your labors all turn ripe at once! You might feel like you’re slogging through the daily grind to no purpose, but you could look back at this summer and see that you needed a couple extra months in your old job to solidify the skills you’d need in your new one, or that you were better off waiting to make a big career move until you took the time to finish that one project or put that unfulfilling internship on your resume. The message here is: hang in there! You’ll catch a break soon!
That Summertime Sadness
And lastly, some Saturn retrogrades are just about a whole bunch of pent-up emotions that haven’t had anywhere to go. While we don’t think of Saturn as an emotional planet, as the planet of responsibility you might have problems under a Saturn retrograde if you haven’t been holding yourself accountable for keeping your shit together. Back in college, my summers were mostly about panic attacks and drug abuse, mostly because I needed therapy like I thought I needed Adderall. It turned out that I actually did not need the Adderall at all, especially not as a treatment for anxiety. Once I started addressing the real emotional problem, I could then tackle my drug problems—and now I’m three years sober!
The main bullet point about Saturn’s influence here is that you shouldn’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today. Ignoring problems, whether they’re deadlines for work or untreated mental illness, is only going to make things worse. If you’re caught in this third and thorniest Saturn retrograde, you need to figure out what you’re not facing and—you guessed it—face it. The upside is that once you do, everything’s going to get easier! Whatever rock bottom you hit this summer could be the moment of clarity that helps you turn things around. You could look back at this summer and see that you couldn’t have gotten over that problem if you hadn’t dealt with it head on.
The Not-So-Grim Reaper
In astrology, Saturn is literally known as the reaper, with its symbol being the sickle (like what farmers use for harvesting crops). This reflects Saturn’s dominion over long term projects—the Greeks named Saturn after Chronos, the god of time. When Saturn goes retrograde, it might seem like time is stretching out interminably, forcing us to stay in the same shitty place forever—or it might bring up uncomfortable changes that make you feel like everything is moving too fast. But! When Saturn goes direct all that energy is going to do a 180 and start working in your favor yet. You’ll have a backlog of productivity and creative energy just waiting to be put to use, and you might just stumble upon the opportunity you’ve been on the lookout for all summer.
Things might be hard right now, but chances are they’ve been getting easier as we move toward the end of this retrograde. We’ll then be in the clear to max out our productivity and long-term planning until the next cycle of lessons starts around . The astrological year is a cycle after all, so what’s up will soon be down—as the planet of time, the seasons, death, Saturn’s energy reminds us of that the most. It’s also why this energy pushes us to get on top of our development and make sure we’re headed where we want to go! You might be challenged to do something you thought you couldn’t, but if you’re ready to plant the seeds, chances are this autumn you’ll have something to harvest!