Astrology

How To Deal With Saturn Retrograde

Spiritual lessons are being learned.

A detailed depiction of Saturn and its iconic rings set against a star-filled dark sky, invoking a s...

Yet another retrograde is hitting the cosmic scene this summer, and this time it belongs to the strict and serious planet Saturn. Saturn retrograde 2024 kicked off on June 29, and it’s helping people of all zodiac signs get more serious about their future plans and step up their work ethic on their long-term goals. This backspin carries on through November 15 and promises to bring some sobering but productive reality checks over the next four months, so getting familiar with the energy will be helpful.

Saturn in astrology is the planet of rules, responsibilities, and maturity, and it’s sometimes known as the cosmic lord of time and karma. As Saturn moves through the zodiac, its purpose is to teach you to step up your game and do some hardcore adulting. Slacking off or trying to take shortcuts is the opposite of what the ringed planet wants to see. Saturn often brings challenges, but it also rewards you for stepping up to the plate, facing your struggles head-on, and using your experiences to learn a lesson that will make you stronger in the future. This stern cosmic influence definitely feels like tough love, but it’s there to help you grow.

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During Saturn retrograde, you’re being asked to reflect on all the Saturnian themes that have been brewing in your life over the past eight months or so — and it’s giving you a chance to get real about your biggest dreams and figure out how to make your most imaginative visions come true. Here’s everything to know about Saturn retrograde 2024.

Saturn Retrograde: The Basics

Saturn retrogrades happen every year for about four to five months each time. While retrogrades have a reputation for being stressful periods, these cosmic backspins are simply a regular part of almost every planet's cycle through the zodiac — and because Saturn is much further away from the sun than a close-to-home planet like Mercury, its effects are a bit more subtle. The integrations within you during this transit will happen on a slower and deeper scale, giving you more time to process and accept the reality checks that Saturn’s backspin brings.

Because Saturn rules boundaries, tough love, and life lessons, its annual backspins are also a time to reflect on the challenges you’ve faced over the past year and learn how to grow from them. Focus on reviewing your responsibilities and deciding whether you need to step up to the plate on something or let it go. In what ways have you had to mature over the past months? What areas of your life require you to slow down and reevaluate your next moves? Ask yourself these questions as you enter this year’s Saturn retrograde, as these themes could be something to explore over the next four months.

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What To Expect From Saturn Retrograde 2024

Saturn is still churning its way through the mystical and emotional sign of Pisces, and this retrograde will take place entirely within this water sign’s sensitive seas. Saturn entered Pisces in March 2023, and it won’t officially leave the sign behind until February 2026. Having Saturn in Pisces brings about an interesting dynamic — as Saturn is the strict and stern planet of boundaries, meanwhile, Pisces’ zodiac energy is ethereal, free-flowing, and formless.

The overall themes of this transit are about taking off your rose-colored glasses in favor of raw realness, putting some grit and focus behind your fantasies, and getting more structured about your spiritual practice. Use this Saturn retrograde vibe to tap into whatever’s come up in these areas and take on a more mature and serious role.

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Mid-August could be a particularly tense time in this retrograde, as Saturn will be squaring off with both hot-headed Mars and expansive Jupiter, making it difficult to take action on things and your responsibilities feel especially burdensome. Instead of trying to push forward on your projects and plans, use this time to think through the roadblocks in a level-headed way, and don’t get caught up feeling sorry for yourself if you’re feeling restricted. Saturn will also be facing off with romantic Venus during this time, forcing you to face whatever commitment issues you’ve been dealing with in your relationships and come to an agreement.

If you put in the work throughout the first half of Saturn’s retrograde, you’ll be rewarded starting in late September through October. At this time, Saturn will be making some beautifully supportive connections to Mars, Venus, and the mental planet Mercury. This month-long stretch of the backspin can bring some satisfying breakthroughs around any struggles you were facing during August, allowing you to fully integrate some of the tough lessons you’ve been learning and plan with a solid foundation.

Nina Kahn is Bustle’s resident astrologer and tarot reader.