Saturn Retrograde Is The Perfect Time To Chip Away At Your Dreams

As the farthest planet visible to the naked eye, Saturn has a formidable reputation as astrology's taskmaster.

The truth, though, is that the planet that governs foundations, traditions, and limits is not at all malevolent. Rather, it rewards those who buckle down and pay attention to its tough lessons in personal growth. While the faster-moving inner planets — Mercury, Venus, and Mars — seem more exciting because of their direct influence on our day-to-day interactions, Saturn challenges us to test our mettle and guide us as we make decisions that profoundly impact the collective.

These challenges feel tougher whenever Saturn is in retrograde. As fair as the ringed planet is when it comes to recognizing our diligence (or chastising us for our recklessness), progress feels slower and harder to come by during its retrograde period. It can even feel as if you're back at the drawing board, reviewing your action plan's feasibility.

Saturn retrograde happens annually and runs for about five months. After leaving Aquarius and entering Pisces last March 7, the karma-ruling planet stationed retrograde in the sign of the Fish on June 17. From then until November 4, cutting corners and aiming for quick results isn't advisable. Instead, put in the work that would provide structure to your long-term goals and be mindful about observing rules and respecting authority.

Speaking of structure, pay extra care to your bones, teeth, and connective tissues too. Go for a dental check-up and don't ignore any body pain and stiffness you might feel.

A period of re-examination

As a generational planet, Saturn retrograde's effects don't feel as immediate as when a personal planet like Mercury enters retrograde. Its impact also plays out gradually during its extended period. Since Saturn will "move backward" in dreamy Pisces, it's worthwhile to check the house where the Fish swims in your chart to know the area of your life that is nebulous and needs Saturn's reality check the most.

For example, since March, those with Pisces as their ascendant have felt a deep need to define how they show up in the world based on their core identity rather than others' projections. During the retrograde, Saturn will push them to re-examine how disciplined they've been in committing to their passions. They'll be asked to evaluate any gains they've made to see if they're still in line with their purpose.

In comparison, those with a 12th house Pisces have been on an introspective journey. With Aries as their ascendant, these folks are used to going full-steam ahead but Saturn has pulled the (temporary) brakes on their plans. The retrograde will feel even tougher because they'll be asked to uncover the hidden fears and motivations affecting their self-expression and their pursuit of goals. It's a challenging period that can bring forth a creative and spiritual reset.

No matter how Saturn retrograde will affect you, the best course of action is to resist going on auto-pilot. Surrender to the planet's influence and see the value of doing what's right and difficult.

The significance of Saturn in Pisces

Movements of the outer planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto — are major events because of their generational influences. When Saturn entered Pisces in March, it joined Neptune, the planet of dreams, delusion, and mysticism, which has been in its home sign since 2011 and won't leave for Aries until January 2026. 

For the past 12 years, we've witnessed how spirituality became mainstream, mass-marketed, and even manipulated to exploit those searching for a deeper meaning to human existence. We've also experienced the power of social media. From finding "escape" in digital platforms and connecting to each other virtually, we're now contending with surveillance capitalism and its threat to democracy worldwide. 

These phenomena are examples of how transcending boundaries can veer from idealistic to dangerous when left unchecked. Saturn's stay in Pisces until May 2025 can put some necessary order back in place, but it won't be easy. There needs to be a balance between the ringed planet's restrictions and the idealism fostered by Neptune's Pisces transit. "It will involve consistently checking in with our boundaries to ensure they're flexible and responsive enough to change — but still resilient," astrologer Chani Nicholas advised. "And it will also require that we actively listen to our bodies, thoughts, and emotions, and choose for ourselves which rules we want to live by."

The pause offered by Saturn retrograde provides us the space to do just that. The hope is that we create long-lasting solutions rather than just quick fixes.