Sunday, June 12, 2011

Saturn Turns Direct (6/12/11)


“Deep in the shady sadness of a vale,

Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,

Far from the fiery noon, and eve’s one star,

Sat gray-hair’d Saturn, quiet as a stone,

Still as the silence around his lair.”

~John Keats (1795-1821)~

Saturn turns direct June 12th at 11:52 p.m. Eastern Time, ending its 140 day retrograde period. (Because it changes so late in the day, some sources say the 13th.)

The dates listed for retrograde motion are unintentionally deceptive. Planets all have a similar pattern, differing only in length. Saturn will appear to slow down to a stop, stay motionless for ~10 days to turn around, and then slowly return to the right speed. June 12th is the heart of this pattern, the middle of the motionless station when the planet changes direction, but Saturn’s speed needs to correct too. Saturn is motionless from ~June 7th to June 17th, slowly returning to the right speed around the end of the month.

Stationing planets have potency that changing direction does not completely discharge, although this releases a lot of the pressure. This explains why retrograde planets are felt long before and after the dates listed for them. This is especially true for the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) and slower inner planets, like Saturn. Each spends several months every year retrograde, only moving a few degrees. They only influence a few people each time, but are felt strongly, especially during the motionless stations at the beginning and end. They are indications of major life changes, often over long periods of time.


"I came into the world under the sign of Saturn- the star of the slowest revolution, the planet of detours and delays."

~Walter Benjamin~

As the last of the planets historically, Saturn is associated with limitations and boundaries, time and the past, structure and stability, responsibility and isolation. In Greek and Roman mythology, Saturn (Cronus) was also associated with agriculture and the Golden Age, a mythic period when humanity had no need unmet by nature. Saturn’s restrictive nature can feel heavy, full of obstacles and worry, but it helps us mature, to strip away excess to return to simplicity, and make practical changes in our lives to succeed.

Slow and stationing planets are powerful, building up pressure. The themes of the planet are emphasized in the world; those under its influence feel these changes personally. A retrograde station initiates a period of review, a direct station prepares us to move things forward as it moves forward. Events that have felt suspended, repeated, or that suddenly lost steam five months ago finally find a conclusion. Saturn’s energy can feel heavy, depressive, and slow, we see a way forward now. Since Saturn rules the material world, things that have not yet materialized can show promise. Saturn is not all negative limitations. It reveals what we need to cut out of our lives, boundaries that need to be reinforced, and what resources to conserve. It rewards discipline, hard work, and responsibility.


A planet in his second station signifies an aptness, and the renewing and strength of everything; but in his first station, dissolution and destruction. Remember and understand these things well, for they will often come in practice."

~William Lilly, 17th century English astrologer~

Saturn is stationing direct at 10 degrees Libra. Those with planets or points in early cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) are the most likely influenced. For example:

Sun Sign Aries born around March 31st.

Sun Sign Cancer born around July 1st.

Sun Sign Libra born around October 3rd.

Sun Sign Capricorn born around December 31st.

Since Capricorn and Aquarius are ruled by Saturn, they are generally sensitive to its movements.

Saturn’s energy may be experienced in the Libra associated parts of life: one on one relationships, not just couples but all partnerships like joint ventures, those we are in competition or open conflict with, and formal agreements like legal matters and contracts.

For those with a little more astrological skill, you should check your natal chart to what house Saturn is stationing in and look at a transit chart to see what aspects it is making. This will let you know how you will experience it personally, if at all.

C L Matthews, 2011

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