Saturn is retrograde for approximately 4.5 months every 12.5 months. This means that every year, the time of year that the Saturn retrograde occurs moves forward approximately 2 weeks from the previous Saturn retrograde. This means that Saturn retrogrades can occur in the same sign for up to 2.5 years (over 2 or 3 different Saturn retrograde phases).
When Saturn is retrograde it appears to be moving backward, from our perspective on earth. During the Saturn retrograde, we tend to go back over (like Saturn appears to be going back over the same ground it has just been over) matters related to limitations, restrictions, boundaries, and control over our lives.
Saturn retrograde dates for 2023
Saturn will station retrograde at 7° Pisces 12′ on 17 June 2023 and station direct at 0° Pisces 30′ on 4 November 2023.
If you have natal planets or chart angles at 5° to 9° or 0° to 2° of Pisces, Virgo, Gemini or Sagittarius or 28° to 29° of Aquarius, Leo, Taurus or Scorpio, you may find yourself feeling the effects of the retrograde more strongly than others.
All dates given are U.S.A. Central Time (C.D.T. or C.S.T.).
What to expect when Saturn is retrograde
Saturn is associated with restrictions, boundaries, discipline, and endurance. When Saturn is retrograde, the areas of your life associated with whatever natal house Saturn is retrograding through are likely to experience delays, frustrations, and sometimes endings.
The natural desire of many of us, to rush ahead with new plans is often thwarted by retrograde Saturn. Feelings of frustration and that you are at the mercy of outside circumstances are often a feature of Saturn retrograde. However, it is likely that taking your time and allowing your plans to fully mature is likely to work out for the best in the long run.
Retrograde Saturn aspects to natal planets
If you have natal planets or chart angles (Ascendant, Descendant, MC or IC) close to the station retrograde degree, you are likely to find that the properties associated with that planet may seem to be cut off and isolated from outside interference. There may be endings of some kind associated with the planets closely aspected, and there may be a feeling of depression or apathy concerning topics associated with these planets.
The type of aspect that the Saturn station retrograde degree is making with a natal planet will color its effect somewhat. If the aspect is hard (square, opposition, or conjunction) the effects are likely to be more difficult to deal with or come to terms with. When the aspects to the Saturn stationary retrograde degree are soft (sextile or trine) then the roadblocks and obstacles that you have to overcome are often easier to deal with and may have provided you with a safety net of sorts.
If you have planets that are aspected by Saturn during its retrograde phase, but not the station retrograde degree itself, there will be a similarity to the way these topics will be experienced, but not to the same degree.
Saturn retrograde through the natal houses
You can get an idea of what to expect personally during a Saturn retrograde period by looking at what natal houses Saturn is retrograding through.
Not sure what sign is where in your natal chart? Generate your natal chart now, or if you prefer a more beginner-friendly version you can order your free natal chart instead (may take a few weeks to receive).
Saturn retrograde transiting the 1st natal house
If you have Saturn retrograde transiting through your natal 1st house you may experience frustration, delays, or endings in connection with your health, appearance, or how others perceive you.
Saturn retrograde transiting the 2nd natal house
If you have Saturn retrograde transiting through your natal 2nd house you may experience frustration, delays, or endings in connection with your finances, income, and possessions.
Saturn retrograde transiting the 3rd natal house
If you have Saturn retrograde transiting through your natal 3rd house you may experience frustration, delays, or endings in connection with siblings, transportation, your local neighborhood, or communications in general.
Saturn retrograde transiting the 4th natal house
If you have Saturn retrograde transiting through your natal 4th house you may experience frustration, delays, or endings in connection with your family, particularly your parents, your home, or real estate matters in general.
Saturn retrograde transiting the 5th natal house
If you have Saturn retrograde transiting through your natal 5th house you may experience frustration, delays, or endings in connection with your children, hobbies, creative outlets, sport, or related to other things that you do for fun.
Saturn retrograde transiting the 6th natal house
If you have Saturn retrograde transiting through your natal 6th house you may experience frustration, delays, or endings in connection with your health and fitness, daily routines, work, or pets.
Saturn retrograde transiting the 7th natal house
If you have Saturn retrograde transiting through your natal 7th house you may experience frustration, delays, or endings in connection with partners (both romantic and business), close friends, and any one-on-one relationship that you have.
Saturn retrograde transiting the 8th natal house
If you have Saturn retrograde transiting through your natal 8th house you may experience frustration, delays, or endings in connection with shared finances and possessions, inheritances, taxation, insurances, and loans.
Saturn retrograde transiting the 9th natal house
If you have Saturn retrograde transiting through your natal 9th house you may experience frustration, delays, or endings in connection with overseas travel, religion, beliefs, higher education, esoteric topics, the law, or publishing.
Saturn retrograde transiting the 10th natal house
If you have Saturn retrograde transiting through your natal 10th house you may experience frustration, delays, or endings in connection with your career or your public reputation.
Saturn retrograde transiting the 11th natal house
If you have Saturn retrograde transiting through your natal 11th house you may experience frustration, delays, or endings in connection with friends, groups, organizations, networking, and your hopes and wishes.
Saturn retrograde transiting the 12th natal house
If you have Saturn retrograde transiting through your natal 12th house you may experience frustration, delays, or endings in connection with secret or hidden matters, addictions, psychological issues, mental health, seclusion, retreats, hospitals, or prisons.
Important phases of the Saturn retrograde period
As the superior planets (those further from the Sun than Earth) take longer to orbit the Sun than Earth, the Earth eventually catches up and passes them. When this happens, the planet seems to slow down, stop and reverse its direction (station retrograde).
A superior planet is retrograde when it is leading up to, during and leaving its opposition to the Sun (with Earth being between the Sun and the superior planet).
The two weeks leading up to the stationary retrograde
In the weeks leading up to the station retrograde, Saturn starts moving slower and slower until it appears to come to a stop and reverse direction (the station retrograde). It is in the two weeks leading up to the station retrograde that there may be some inkling of the issues that may arise during the retrograde phase, along with possible feelings of unease or frustration.
At the station retrograde, Saturn appears to come to a stop and reverse its direction. In fact, Saturn will remain at the same degree as the station retrograde for several days, and because of this, the station retrograde degree is considered very powerful.
Any natal planet or chart point that is aspected by the station retrograde degree (within 1 or 2 degrees) is likely to be strongly affected by the Saturn retrograde phase. Matters associated with the natal planet being aspected by the stationary retrograde degree may seem to be working in isolation from other planets during the Saturn retrograde phase.
Feelings of grief, depression, apathy, or powerlessness are not uncommon with planets being harshly aspected (conjunction, square, and opposition) by the station retrograde degree. Natal planets that are experiencing softer aspects (sextile and trine) to the station retrograde degree are likely to experience an easier and usually quite productive if somewhat somber outcome.
Accelerated Sun trine retrograde Saturn
Approximately 12 days after the station retrograde, the Sun will trine retrograde Saturn.
This can lead to a pivotal point concerning what may be undergoing change within you. There may be a better understanding of which direction you need to work towards or your attitudes regarding the energies of the retrograde Saturn.
If you have a natal planet in aspect to the position that the retrograde planet stationed retrograde, then when the Sun trines that natal planet, more information may become available, and a greater understanding of what you can expect is likely.
Accelerated Sun quincunx retrograde Saturn
Approximately 6 weeks after the station retrograde, the Sun will quincunx (also known as inconjunct) retrograde Saturn. There may be adjustments made at this time and the realization that we may have to accept less than what we originally wanted.
The natal house that the Sun is in at the quincunx is likely to indicate matters or persons that are causing most of our frustrations at that time. The desire to assert some control over matters associated with this house is likely to be strong but may prove fruitless.
Sun opposition retrograde Saturn
Approximately 2 months after the station retrograde, the Sun will oppose retrograde Saturn. This marks the midway point of Saturn’s retrograde phase and often leads to less resistance to challenges or confinements and eventual acceptance in the second part of the retrograde phase.
The opposition often brings to light Saturn’s curtailment of matters related to the natal houses that the Sun and retrograde Saturn are in at this time.
When the opposition degrees closely conjoin natal planets or chart points, the Sun may in effect shine a light on how matters related to the natal planets or chart points have been confined or restricted in some way.
This can lead to new or intensified feelings of being constrained or controlled. There may also be a strong desire to cut any losses or escape from related responsibilities at this time. At this time, matters that are unlikely to be sustained going forth are likely to fall away or die off.
Decelerated Sun quincunx retrograde Saturn
This is usually a time when some momentum may feel like it is being achieved. The need to wait for events or situations to evolve is likely but frustrating at this time.
Decelerated Sun trine retrograde Saturn
As the Sun moves towards the decelerated trine, the speed of Saturn slows, as it gets ready to station again before going direct. While the trine is considered a helpful aspect, in this situation it serves as a release from all the built-up tension and expectations. There is likely to be an impatience and the potential of reckless decisions being made.
At the station direct, Saturn appears to slow down to a stop and change direction again. Saturn will soon be moving in direct (prograde) motion again but will be doing so very slowly.
The lessons of the Saturn retrograde phase may not be immediately known at the end of the phase. It may take several months after the resumption of prograde or direct motion for wisdom accumulated during the retrograde phase makes itself known.
Sometimes Saturn will retrograde over the same natal degree two or three times. Each subsequent time that Saturn travels over that degree may bring a deeper or more mature understanding of matters relating to any natal planet or chart points aspecting those degrees or regarding matters concerning the natal house that those degrees occupy.