Slow, Sure, and Yours: Saturn’s Retrograde Station

Posted by Len Wallick


Len Wallick walks you through Saturn’s retrograde from Sagittarius back into Scorpio; Saturn stations retrograde Saturday, but due to its slow movement, will not make it to Scorpio’s back door until June. For now, notice what happens on Saturday that is different from the rest of this week.

Saturn stations retrograde just short of 5 degrees Sagittarius shortly after 11:02 am EDT (15:02 UTC) Saturday. When it shifts into about five months of apparent reversal, Saturn will not convey the same sort of symbolism contained in the astrology of preceding days.


Saturn has not the same energy that Mars brought to a merger with Uranus in Aries yesterday. Nor does Saturn’s turnaround imply as immediate a change as does Mercury’s ingress to Pisces tonight (following two long months of Mercury pinging back and forth in Aquarius).

That’s because Saturn’s apparent motion is far slower, and its expression in your life far more glacial than planets closer to the Sun.

Nonetheless, Saturn both abides as long and accrues as surely as the months, years and decades through which its correlations become solidly apparent for you. Hence, you would do well to observe on Saturday when Saturn puts the “stationary” in “retrograde station” to begin a deliberate, final return to Scorpio.

Notice what happens on Saturday that is different in some way from the rest of this week. Make a record of those differences somehow. Save your observations to review after Saturn finally retreats away from the degree of Sagittarius where it has lingered so long — and when, in direct motion, it eventually comes back.

The timeframes go something like this: Saturn entered Sagittarius late last year (Dec. 23 for most of you reading here) for the first time since 1988. As is often the case with outer planets (and was the case for Saturn in 1988) it was only the first entrance, as if to reconnoiter and report back to Scorpio before finally committing to Sagittarius for more than two years.

After the Dec. 23, 2014 ingress Saturn made impressive progress for a slow planet before moving into the 5th degree (alternatively expressed as 4+ degrees) of Sagittarius on Feb. 9. After that, Saturn’s apparent motion slowed down so much it has been in that same degree ever since.

That’s because Earth has recently been coming around the bend of its orbit on its own long way to eventually pass between Saturn and the Sun. Earth laps Saturn every year. Not because our planet moves faster than Saturn (at least not so much faster as to account for the perceived difference). Rather, because we have the inside lane — the shorter path around the Sun, making us only appear to move faster than Saturn.

It’s the same distortion of perception conferred by our current position relative to Saturn that will make Saturn appear to retrograde (move in reverse) beginning Saturday. If you have ever passed a train on a track parallel to the highway your automobile is traveling on, you know the illusion well. As your auto overtakes the locomotive and its entourage, the train first appears to slow, then go backwards until your vehicle has left it behind.

Because Saturn is so far away from us, both the apparent deceleration before evident reversal and the acceleration backing away from the point of retrograde station are very, very slow. Hence, Saturn will not leave the degree of Sagittarius occupied since Feb. 9 until April 17. After that, things will pick up.

Saturn returns to Scorpio through the back door in the middle of June. After that, Saturn will regress to the 29th degree (28+ Scorpio). At that point another long period of all but standing still will precede a resumption of direct motion as August begins.

Midway through September, Saturn will enter Sagittarius through the front door a second and final time for this go-around through the signs. Finally, as this year draws to a close (on Nov. 9 to be exact), Saturn will return to the point where its 2015 retrograde began.

That’s how you should make plans for November. Even though Saturn will not long abide in the same degree of Sagittarius at that time, it almost certainly will have accrued its correlations to any observations you may make this weekend. It will be worth the effort, and worth the wait to witness what Saturn’s retrograde has wrought and what it means for you.

Ideally, the time and effort invested this year will inspire you to both abide with and contribute to what Saturn accrues during its retrogrades in years yet to come. If you can bring yourself to do only that, Saturn will thereafter be more truly yours.

Offered In Service

Len is available for astrology readings. You can contact him at lenwallick [at] gmail [dot] com.

Posted in Columnist, Welcome on | 35 comments
Len Wallick

About Len Wallick

Besides endeavoring to be of service to all of you here at Planet Waves, Len strives to live in Seattle while working as a professional astrologer. To contact him for an astrology reading you can send an e-mail to: His telephone number is 206-356-5467. In addition to his profession, Len contributes to the Seattle community without monetary compensation by serving as a Reiki practitioner and teacher through classes and outreach offered by the Seattle Reiki Mastery Series modality.

35 thoughts on “Slow, Sure, and Yours: Saturn’s Retrograde Station

  1. Sara Victoria

    Abide, accrue, time and effort invested – perfect Saturn words. The nature of 1st pass, 2nd pass (sometimes 3rd pass) of transiting outer planets is a topic of great interest here, w/key chart elements in early mutable signs. Thank you

  2. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

    Sara Victoria: Thank you for being so kind. May all three of Saturn’s passes this year accrue everything you could possibly wish for.

  3. aWord

    Well Len, I am currently retracing steps taken at last Saturn return when I crossed-country in the north, then down the California coast to LA. Apparently my current stop mid-way back up the coast from LA to the north is temporary and in May I’ll be continuing northward.
    But we have the final Uranus/Pluto square between then and now — among other things.–meaning, who knows what will come to pass? Dark and explosive is what I’ve experienced so far.
    Saturn, however, is holding sway and its not surprising at all that this retro action times nicely with my current events and upcoming (Saturn) return. Forward motion in September will probably feel like a blessing.
    The Merc retro (from your Tuesday’s column) beginning precisely when I determined to make my next leg of journey levels me shrugging and figuring it’s all about going with the flow — no matter which way we perceive it.

  4. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

    aWord: Thank you. One would hope that you have received enough of “dark and explosive” after your recent medical emergency. Perhaps “mysterious and transformative”? i’m glad that Saturn is timing nicely for you (and forward motion commences August 2). Perhaps (as per your note regarding Mercury) retrogrades are showing you their own unique and substantial blessings.

    Please accept my blessings towards your swift recovery!

  5. starriebird

    I have Mars at 28 Leo in the 10th house and the square from Saturn at 28 degrees Scorpio (Scorpio is my first house) was very painful. I cannot help but be afraid that it is returning back to that degree and stationing for almost the entire summer, which means it will be squaring my natal Mars in my Solar Return chart. It is hard to not be pessimistic about this.

  6. aWord

    “mysterious and transformative” it is then, Len. Mars had just crossed natal Sun and with both Mars and Venus in natal 9th house it’s not surprising that (a physical outburst in/from the dark) health had a hand in transformation of my ideas pertaining to said travel and school.
    Merc will help express those transformed ideas come May when we shall yet see what other mysterious and transformative adventures will transpire on this journey (and there’s loads of time between now and then for the world to turn, isn’t there :)

  7. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

    starriebird: Please, are you willing to be convinced that “astrology is not destiny” and that retrogrades do not simply mean repeats? Please, are you willing to consider that square aspects can leave you stronger and more able to adapt just as rain and wind makes the willow more resilient? Please are you willing to believe that your will can make a difference in what correlates with astrology? What you will, will often prevail as reality. Please are you willing to give your will a chance, and give yourself a chance, to prevail? i believe you can. i want you to prove me right.

  8. Lainie

    My descendant is 28’38 Scorpio, and I have many Scorpio planets. I’m curious to see what this final visit will bring. Thank you for the column, Len!

  9. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

    Lainie: Thank you. Well then, that means Saturn will be hanging out in opposition to your Taurus ascendant as Mars (traditional ruler of Scorpio) chases down Venus, ruler of your ascendant and karmic aspirations (something which does not happen very often). Combine that with what Robert Hand says of Saturn opposing the ascendant (“…a significant breakthrough in your life…” as regards to whatever you have been working on for the last seven years or so), and you have the chance to make unlikely but very fortunate things happen. So, don’t simply be “curious”, as you put it, that’s passive. Be active like Mars this year and get after that Venus! Capture your aspirations! Beat the odds! Prove the skeptics to be wrong about you! Vindication awaits. Yes, you can! That is how you might make Saturn more truly yours.

    1. Lainie

      Thank you Len! I’m out of fuel. But I appreciate the encouraging and provocative ideas and, as always, your wonderful writing and generous thinking.

  10. Nicolas Salinas

    The saying “Get your sh*t together” seems to me a good Saturnian saying. I always think that planets have a certain order from the Sun and from each other for a reason. After Jupiterian expansiveness maybe Saturn asks: “Ok, now, after all this, what will you dedicate your time to?” That’s when the trimming begins and also the strengthning. I do always hope Jupiter has an advantage in the process (luck -Hope – Jupiter) as fortunately it does in our star system. Just passing by to say Hi Len :)

  11. Nicolas Salinas

    I went on wondering after I wrote my comment, wondering about earth signs thinking: maybe Virgo always has within hand’s reach, Taurus is about what one has (life,love and so on) and Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, and being farther away sometimes maybe all it has is time to begin with in life (stripping to basics), perhaps the most valuable possesion a living being can have and so, Saturn is about administrating it and thus leads and builds and grows… and this wondering of mine about time brings me to words like patience, as the Saturnian being waits, perhaps to see a light (see the Sun)(maybe other planets block the view or it’s dark from there) to know which way to go, the foundation sometimes solid, sometimes dissolving (Neptune and others being behind) and it brings me to the word love, thinking of Saturn in Libra as perhaps the greatest achievement a Capricorn may reach. I know Aquarius is also ruled by Saturn but this wondering in the comment section could get me going into the fantastical if I go on speculating like this. Well, I may be wrong in both comments, so I’ll just say this, many thanx :)

  12. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

    Nicolas: Thank you and “hi” back at you. For me at least, your characterization of Saturn (and Jupiter for that matter) is very cogent. Nothing “wrong” i can see. Also, it helps to remember that celestial objects visible to the unaided eye (Sun. Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) were probably the original inspiration to go “into the fantastical”. One idea of astrology now is to tread the thin line of possibility between the need for proof and no need for proof. That’s where taking the necessary time and eschewing both shortcuts and non sequitur’s comes in.

  13. Amanda MorenoAmanda Moreno

    My nodes are at 29 degrees Aqua-Leo, and this Saturn transit has been quite…um…insightful. I do love some good, constructive homework so thank you for providing that. I’ve made notes in my calendar for tomorrow and November to do some journal writing and referencing. Cheers to you.

  14. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

    Amanda: That means Saturn is within orb of squaring your natal lunar node positions all year long. Add to that the anaretic effect (intensity). Add two more things. How the last degree of Leo was vacated by Regulus (through precession) several years back, Finally how that same anaretic degree of Leo is in the process of being vacated by Transpluto through its eventual progression once it stations direct. Put it all together and we know now see how your blogs this year have been so powerful. How your subject matter is so timeless. How you have perspired to inspire. How all of us should be as grateful for your service here at Planet Waves as i am for your comment here today.

    Now we know what we are witnessing when we read your weekly words – the authentic evolution of a majestic soul.

  15. marie hawthorne

    Thank you Len

    Slow, steady, sure – a constant aspiration!

    I often imagine all my possibilities are right at the end of my nose – not the best viewing position; hence the mirroring, which is….excellent for seeing reflections!

    I’ve been thinking i should start unpacking the nessus transit of what i call my saturn-stellium in the 7th [okay, that’s the polite version], only to find out (thank you) that mercury is soon due to transit natal nessus in gemini – for a retrograde windscreen wipe. hmmm.

    And now Saturn, due for a backward glance at that sensitive spot at 29+ scorpio, as if to say, ‘are you getting this, it could be really useful’…hmmm, again. My understanding of a square – magdalena and saturn-stell; if that mars/photographica/elatus thing wasn’t going on i might well have imploded!

    I have a friend who has given me the nickname ‘cute as a button’ – but then she’s virgo sun! My scorpio rulerships find this very, very, funny. Me?! Cute?! Maybe she has some mirror-thing going on….

    And just to make sure i am at least trying to pay attention, this gem from where stuff like this comes from:

    ‘each should be open to the theoretical logics of others, open to `internalizing’ them
    in a way which can transform the relationships between them.’ Fairclough 2001, p122
    [‘master’ critical discourse analyst with neo-marxist leanings….]

    Actually, it’s all making me feel rather sleepy… ;)

    Love, Nilou

  16. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

    Marie: Speaking of majesty…you take poetic license with a sublime grace that is unequalled in my experience. Thank you for the Fairclough quote. It reminds me of how i interact with software as much as how i interact (or should interact) with others – truly profound. i have no idea of whether you are cute as a button in person (having never had the privilege of meeting you in the flesh). It does seem evident, however, that transiting Mercury and Saturn are doing your depth of perception no harm. Thank you again for the gift of your comment here.

  17. MandyMandy

    Thank you for the education, Len – it’s very helpful. Observation mode it is.
    Could you please offer some of your expertise regarding semi-sextiles? Many astrologers claim that this is a minor influence, yet I have a few in my chart that seem to say otherwise.
    Also, is there a name for the aspect of an opposite mid-point that pings a semi-sextile? Let’s say 2 planets semi-sextile at 1 degree with an opposing planet at 15 degrees – like a yod but with semi-sextiles and does it have the same effect as a yod? Thank you kindly.

  18. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

    Mandy: Thank you for your question. As i understand the Latin terms used by some ancient astrologers, semi-sextile’s were not considered major aspects because the constituent planets were too close to “see” each other clearly. That’s how planets in semi-sextile came to be known as “out of aspect” (or more literally, out of sight). There is some validity in it. Please allow me to offer two examples. First, have you ever held hands in a sacred circle (“thumbs to the left”)? If so you know that you can usually see the eyes of everybody in the circle without much turning of your head EXCEPT your own eyes (analog: conjunction) and the eyes of the person you are holding hands with (analog: semi-sextile). While you know very well what is going on behind your own eyes (hence: conjunction as major aspect), you do not have such a clear insight into the person next to you (hence: semi-sextile as minor aspect). You feel semi-sextiles more than see them, but not as clearly as you feel conjunctions. Also, have you ever been so close to somebody (for reasons of love, loyalty, etc) that you cannot see their flaws as well as those who are more detached? Similar thing. That’s how minor aspects are NOT “minor influences”, rather they are simply more subjective, more speculative, more personal. One other thing, you might want to take another look and see if the semi-sextiles you feel so strongly are not part of a more complex aspect combining three or more objects or points. As to your question about mid-points – all mid-points are meaningful. Nonetheless, the more you split hairs (so to speak) the more personal to you and less visible to others the mid-point becomes. Perhaps the same “effect” as a yod for you, probably not anywhere near the same effect as a yod for others who very possibly cannot “see” what you are getting at (or what all the potential fuss is about). Please let me know if this answer is not satisfactory, or if i have somehow missed the point of your question(s).

  19. P. SophiaP. Sophia

    personally I glad for this retrograde. I am beginning to enjoy them.

    When you mention the three passes, I think of retrogrades as the trinity.

    The fist pass is of the Devine Will. We are led the way. Yet, we may go blindly (in fear, or kicking and screaming even) into the unknown. The second pass, in retrograde we get to retrace the the same steps, but this time we are not alone, we are with the Sun in compassion and humility. The third pass, is forward once again. On our own. Yet this time in spirit, in confidence and with Faith.

    I just realized due to several of the comments here, trans Saturn has been sextile my Ascendant, 4+ degrees Libra, and MC is 4+ Cancer. Oh and north node is Cancer +0.53. Len, i am not sure about Saturn transit to these. Can you let me know what I may want to be aware of with this influence.

    Also trans Saturn is currently, (well, as you mention since Feb 9th) Square natal Saturn 4:15 Pisces. And since the 9th of February i have definitely felt a major slowing, a turning inward, and testing, towards cleansing, airing and finally once and for all working towards releasing, whipping the slate clean of old patterns. Funny today I felt a major shift and movement in this to healing. But who knows may be due to Mercurys change? Also Chiron is pretty much conjunct natal Chiron 18+ degrees. It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow, and for that matter the rest of what has already been a pivotal year for all transformatiin wise, astrologically!

    Thanks so much Len for the dates to watch, your work as always is so helpful.

  20. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

    P. Sophia: Thank you for sharing your evocative perception of a retrograde cycle.. Thank you also for your comprehensive questions. As you have already pointed out, the holistic picture of transits to your nativity suggests a heaping handful of concurrent themes. Perhaps foremost among them: (1) Chiron return – that’s huge all by itself, one of the most meaningful transits in most people’s lives – a time when it’s possible to define and evolve into a new level of maturity; (2) Mercury’s ingress to Pisces after an unusually long time (over two months) in one sign (Aquarius); (3) transiting Saturn in a long, continuous sextile to your ascendant and trine to both your mid-heaven and lunar north node; (4) transiting Saturn square natal Saturn. How to sort all that out? One might suggest the mathematical protocol of consolidating the constants and solving for the variables. Looking at the itemization just above, the one constant that stands out is activity in water signs. Looking at what you wrote in your comment/questions today, there is another constant in words like “turning”, “pivotal” and “movement”. Putting all those constants together suggests (among other things) the intuitive sense that you have an option to apply leverage rather than feel pressure. In order to do so, you must (to paraphrase Archimedes) find both a place to stand and a fulcrum to apply your leverage against. As far as at least one variable (Saturn continuously sextile Libra ascendant), refer to Robert Hand, who said of this transit that it is a good time to “distinguish the border between discipline and habit”. Please let me know if my response was somehow not satisfactory or if i somehow missed the point(s) of your question(s).

  21. JereJere

    Len, P.Sophia, the philosophers Saturn, it’s a quincunx/far- inconjunct from your nor. node and midheaven.

    Speaking from the perspective of being a Sag. Sun with Cancer rising, continuous and acceptedly forever adjustment. The elements and modalities aren’t so different when perceived through the lens of the 9th house!

    (Hope I was able to skate around all the toes..)


  22. P. SophiaP. Sophia

    Len, thank you so much. Very illuminating. Especially your vision with all these aspects, suggesting “consolidating the constants and solving for the variables”.

    One word that stood out for me from your reply, was maturity. I have been feeling this intuitively, as a time is strengthening and maturing of my relationships. Finally learning and acknowledging the lessons and having the discipline and integrity to put new structures of responsibility in place. Maybe this fits in with the Saturn retrograde to natal alignments, as well as I just realized Mercury today quincunx Juno in Leo. Juno (partnerships) just stationed direct to boot and is in a synodic cycle with Jupiter (expansion), whom will also station direct very soon I believe. I believe later this month?This should really start to kick all relationships up in forward motion; maturity.

    Also another variable I did not mention, with trans Jupiter close to stationing, it has been currently conjunct natal Mercury 13 Leo 56″ for a while.

    Jere: Thanks so much for offering your perspective. I will be taking our aspect which you so wisely put in as, “continuous and acceptedly forever adjustment”, as an offer of further building our interrelating and integration skills! Because I have certainly witnessed this in you and your comments here.

  23. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

    starriebird: i believe in you.

    P. Sophia: Thank you. Your most immediate reply does indeed show that transiting Jupiter conjunct natal Mercury is expressing through you. Just please remember to respect the role of detail.

    Also, please remember that Chiron is complex and nuanced. The subject of maturity at a new level is just one facet of a Chiron return. Additionally, Chironic maturation at its best results in a renewed understanding of how natural and organic simple humility can be (and indeed is for most other forms of being besides human).

    As to your question, Jupiter stations direct at 12+ Leo on April 8 in the midst of some other astrology that will require you (and all of us for that matter) to employ another gift of Chiron: seeing the whole and its parts in equal focus. To do so will require each and all of us to see ourselves as whole while at the same time being actively one with. Fortunately, Jupiter will give us enough time to get the idea.

  24. P. SophiaP. Sophia

    Thank you Len. In the spirit of wholeness you mention, Jupiter Stations and the gift of humility Chiron brings, I’d like to share a poem I wrote when the Sun was recently conjunct Chiron last week, March 7. It was also inspired by the present, 7th Uranus-Pluto Square, Sabian Symbols 15+ and 16 Aries and Capricorn degrees.

    Passion’s Surrender

    We are three
    You, me, and
    The spirit of love

    Relationship in our sex holds us, yet
    the triangle’s spiral, is continuous
    The force that reconnects
    so deeply magnitized through all eternity

    Polar opposites, cannot refuse relationship
    So much more are we than two
    Soulmates only complement to glamorize

    Entering in-to polarization
    Is to love, in purpose, and of solution
    Into wholeness

    Take me, lead me
    Spirit test me
    My self-inflicted wounds
    Of individualization, to acceptance
    Dissolve my alienation, disconnection, isolation, egocentricity
    The ritual of relationship, is to connection

    Weave me
    Unweave me
    My polarizing mate
    As spirit and the universe
    dresses and unfolds me
    In-to emptiness, once again
    To touch; interwoven
    in the stars

    You, my polarized
    Bridge fullfiment to conscious harmony; surrender
    An unconditional, devotional love within
    My passion
    My fulfillment of desire

  25. P. SophiaP. Sophia

    Lizzy: Thank you, so nice of you to say. Appreciate your sharing the John Donne poem as well. Beautiful.

    Sincerely hope this BIG, powerhoused day is treating you well. But I should say it is. Especially after all the work we Cardinal signs, as frontrunners of this aspect, have been putting in since 2012.

    Sending strength, acceptance, and courage be yours today and with us, all!!

  26. LizzyLizzy

    My pleasure, P. Sophia! So glad you like the poem. And thank you, as always, for your kindness and encouraging words. The day started off badly – but, after many weeks of feeling crushed, I seem to be surfing those waves again – helped by a weekend dedicated to a lot of qi gong and meditation, to try to move some of the stuck energy.
    My closest friend, another Cancer sun, wrote to me today to ask what the hell was going on in the heavens, as she was feeling dreadful, and she doesn’t follow astrology. Needless to say, I bombarded her with info….
    Actually was wondering about Be – who hasn’t been around for quite a while. Hope all ok, Be – if you see this…

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