Saturn is the planet of restrictions, limitations, and responsibility in astrology. When Saturn is in forward motion, it tells us about our attitudes towards these boundaries, and about how we fit in within the structures and routines that society has created for us.
Yet, when Saturn turns retrograde, we frequently find ourselves at odds with the expectations the rest of the world has for us. Duty and responsibility may weigh on us, and there can be a depressive influence with this retrograde period. Rather than behaving like mature adults shouldering responsibilities with discipline, instead we may become like petulant teens, trying to escape responsibilities without much care for the consequences.
Saturn turns retrograde often, for around four and a half months every year, so this is not a rare event. However, this year the planet initially turns retrograde in Aquarius, and then moves back into Capricorn. Both Capricorn and Aquarius are traditionally ruled by Saturn, which makes this retrograde more powerful than most.
When viewed from Earth, a retrograde planet appears to be moving backwards. Although it really isn’t, this optical illusion is important in astrology, as it lends symbolism to the idea that the energies around a planet in retrograde are also working backwards in some way. With Saturn in retrograde, it means we may struggle with our place in society, or we may feel that boundaries and limits imposed upon us are simply too restrictive.
When Saturn is retrograde in Aquarius, the rebel urges of that zodiac sign turn inward. Rather than being glamorous rebels with a cause, we instead rebel against ourselves, which can create mental health turmoil and dissatisfaction. We also will likely find ourselves on the wrong side of society’s approval in some way – a factor which will only increase as Saturn moves backwards into staid, traditional Capricorn.
The best way to handle a retrograde Saturn in Aquarius is to understand the need to rebel and to focus on changing those parts of ourselves that are holding us back. Rather than struggling with the limits society imposes upon us, we should adopt discipline and hard work, and question the limiting beliefs we impose on ourselves.
How Does Saturn Retrograde in Aquarius Affect Each Zodiac Sun Sign?
In astrology, each zodiac sun sign experiences a Saturn retrograde in different ways, and each of us will feel a subtly different effect, depending on the exact positions in our birth charts. However, across the horoscopes, all zodiac signs will experience an exploration of their own self-limiting beliefs during the retrograde period.
Aries (Dates: March 20 – April 19)
Aries, examine your closest friendships and your social groups when Saturn begins its retrograde in Aquarius. You may not appreciate being expected to fit in with a certain group’s rules or ideals. Does that mean it’s not the right place for you? Or should you adapt rather than expecting them to change around you? Only you can know the answer to this.
Taurus (Dates: April 20 to May 20)
Conforming to expectations at work could be problematic for you, Taurus, as Saturn shifts into retrograde. You may feel your individuality is being unfairly stifled. Try to understand the need for a certain amount of conformity. If you feel it’s too much, cherry pick the worst elements to challenge, rather than challenging the whole thing.
Gemini (Dates: May 21 to June 20)
Gemini, issues of fairness and justice are foremost on your mind during Saturn's retrograde in Aquarius, but you may feel hampered in your efforts to change anything. Some of this stems from insecurity around your own education levels or capabilities – but that’s needless insecurity. You can do this. One person can make a difference. Learn your own strength, Gemini.
Cancer (Dates: June 21 to July 21)
Cancer, the biggest lesson you need to learn during the Saturn retrograde period in Aquarius is that change has to come from within. You may want to rail against what you see as unfair issues in society or even within your home or workplace, but you’re failing to understand that you can change and adapt. It’s not always up to others to accommodate you. Why not be the change?
Leo (Dates: July 22 to August 22)
Leo, the Saturn retrograde affects your love zone, which can be an uncomfortable thing indeed. If a relationship has become tired and jaded, you’ll certainly feel it now. However, this is nothing that can’t be salvaged, if that’s what you want. Learn how to step outside your comfort zones and beyond your own boundaries, to rediscover the magic of love.
Virgo (Dates: August 23 to September 22)
When Saturn turns retrograde, it can heavily impact your health, Virgo. It’s important to put your own health and wellness first. Mental health is especially fragile at this time, so seek therapy and help if you feel you need it. Getting plenty of sleep and healthy exercise is vital too – don’t allow an inner feeling of discontent to throw you off course.
Libra (Dates: September 23 to October 22)
Libra, you may feel that your creativity is blocked during the Saturn retrograde – and you may be right, partly. You need to drop your preconceived ideas of what creativity is or what it should look like, and instead just allow your instincts to take over. Whether at work or just as a hobby, you’ll get much more done creatively if you don’t self-censor.
Scorpio (Dates: October 23 to November 21)
Scorpio, the Saturn retrograde affects your family zone and highlights a situation where you may feel like the black sheep of the family, or the oddball, or the misfit. Ask yourself why you think you ought to fit in in the first place. It’s OK to be different. If the rest of your family doesn’t get it, that’s their problem, not yours.
Sagittarius (Dates: November 22 to December 20)
Sagittarius, your communication is hindered somewhat by this Saturn retrograde, especially if you fundamentally disagree with, for example, the message you’re expected to promote at work. You may need to fight for the freedom to speak up, in your personal or work life. Keep fighting, because your self-expression is too valuable to lose.
Capricorn (Dates: December 21 to January 19)
Capricorn, this Saturn retrograde affects your finance zone and you may find yourself facing certain prosperity blocks at this time. Try not to panic; you don’t need as much as you think you need, and help is at hand. Work on your relationship with materialism and seek to become less attached to things and money – spiritual freedom comes from less, not more.
Aquarius (Dates: January 20 to February 17)
Aquarius, with Saturn retrograde in your own sign, it’s easy to feel lack luster and tired. You may feel that your pet projects are going nowhere, or that people don’t really understand you. These are self-indulgent feelings – you’re allowed to have them, sure, but they’re not helping you. Instead, push on, regardless. Progress may be slower than you’d like but it’s still progress.
Pisces (Dates: February 18 to March 19)
Pisces, since the Saturn retrograde in your spiritual zone, it’s an indication that you need to step back from spiritual work for a short while. Have some fun, think about something else, and don’t be so serious for the time being. You’re effectively trying too hard, and that’s creating blocks. Free up your imagination and learn to love life again – then your spiritual growth will flow.
*Note: The exact date and time Saturn turns retrograde will differ depending on your timezone. This planet update was published the day before Saturn turned retrograde in Eastern Standard Time (EST) in the year 2020, which was May 11, 2020 @ 00:09 AM.