5 Themes of Saturn Retrograde That Will Improve Your Karma

Posted on May 20, 2021
Updated on May 25, 2021

Three people stand on a pier in tree pose. They are holding hands.

Did you know that Saturn actually has an effect on our life path and destiny? Planet of karma and discipline Saturn may understandably cause worry and fright, but the truth is that behind this seemingly scary planet is a whole lot of growth and power if we handle its transits correctly.

“Responsibility” doesn’t seem like a wildly fun word, but because Saturn rules such matters, it also leans into territories like our life path and destiny. It reminds us that good things don’t often just come from nowhere and that fulfilling our purpose comes with hard work too.

Miracles are great, yes, but they are impossible to enjoy if we have a mountain of responsibilities on our plates! So when it comes to those responsibilities and time constraints, Saturn says, get ‘er done…or they may come back to haunt you.

That’s precisely what tends to happen during Saturn retrograde – old haunts come creeping back.

There’s a reason for that, and it’s not that bad! It’s just karma.

Saturn Retrograde 2021 Dates

Saturn is only going retrograde once this year, but it’s for a long haul. Saturn retrograde begins in Aquarius on May 23rd, 2021, and stays in this “backward” motion until October 10th, 2021.

This retrograde period begins at 13 degrees Aquarius and ends at 6 degrees Aquarius, leading us to look to our karmic lessons and to remove blocks that may have been preventing us from creating the future we want/deserve.

What is Saturn Retrograde?

Saturn is actually just as eager to reward as he is to put the squeeze on a life matter.

Suppose you’ve been “the responsible one” of the family or been working diligently on what needs to get done. Congrats! Saturn retrograde is here to reward you for your diligence too.

Saturn, as the taskmaster, is already a fairly straightforward, cause-and-effect-driven planet. Retrograde periods move you “back in time” to ensure you’re all caught up with your dues.

The same “re” themes apply here that we try to apply to our lives during Mercury retrograde:

  • Review
  • Reflect
  • Remember
  • Resolve
  • Reconnect
  • Repair

Since Saturn already rules over karma and cause and effect, when Saturn is retrograde, we get a double dose of that. This is nothing to fear if you’ve been learning your cosmic lessons and doing right by all in your orbit. (It’s actually nothing to fear if you haven’t, either).

In fact, Saturn retrograde is the time for you to make those corrections so you can dive into that mountain of miracles that the universe has in store. After all, no human is perfect!

You’re allowed to make mistakes.

We’ve all slacked a little bit here or there, but over the next few months, Saturn in retrograde will give you the perfect opportunity to tie up all of those lovely loose ends.

Read more: Understanding Saturn: Lord of Karma

5 Themes of Saturn Retrograde That Will Improve Your Karma

When Saturn is direct, the planet is like a father figure making sure you are getting everything done that you need to get done physically, financially, and spiritually.

When Saturn is retrograde, the message is more like: “I want you to think about how you can do better.”

There are always ways that we can grow and improve. And if you look at where Saturn is in your birth chart (both the house and the zodiac sign), you might be able to see more clearly how Saturn in retrograde has an impact on you.

Either way, here are some common overarching themes that you can always take note of!

1. Discipline

This retrograde is a period to cultivate some patience and to hold back on all of the pettier things in life you may normally engage in.

Hold the tempers, think before you speak, and consider going with a slower flow. Remember that anything you cultivate now can more prominently come back around in significant ways.

On the flip side, if you’ve been thinking about starting that creative project or creating meaningful foundations in your relationships with others, now is also a great time to get to planning.

Reflect cautiously and meticulously on what those long-term goals might look like, and start building the foundation for them now!

2. Take a Time Out

And think about what you’ve done!

Many people spend a lot of time waiting for reward or punishment to come to them naturally. But you can also take matters into your own hands.

Saturn is sending you clues all the time and sometimes sending outright sparks (or thunderbolts) of responsibility. During Saturn retrograde, you have the opportunity to think about all of this yourself and figure it out on your own.

Like a slightly overbearing father figure, Saturn wants you to figure out your problems by yourself, sending you to your room to figure out a solution to your problems until you think of a new plan.

It’s not always glamorous, and the process can certainly seem dull.

However, if you’ve been feeling like nothing is in your control, now is the time to shake things up. Saturn’s wheel of fate is yours to turn.

3. Reflect, Review, Recorrect, Renew, Repeat

Now that you’ve taken the time to think about what you’ve done, be honest with yourself and make the corrections (or you will repeat your mistakes and be sent back to your metaphorical room again).

Saturn retrograde is genuinely not meant to be as scary as we may initially think! We can be grateful for this slower period to reflect, review, and renew.

Take this time to ask important questions like…

  • What are your personal boundaries?
  • What are your personal rules?
  • What do we want out of our lives?

And any other questions that help us challenge our values during this energetic switch-up.

Let it be kind of like a little mantra that you can reflect, review, and renew as often as possible. Once you’ve done it once, do it again! Repetition is key under this retrograde condition, and the ah-ha moments aren’t far away.

When you repair your mistakes with responsibility, the rewards Saturn sends in retrograde are truly breathtaking. Use the time to become aware of how you function in this world and how you want to manifest your best possible self.

What is your first ah-ha moment of self-awareness?

4. Embrace the Past

Past energies are likely to make a grand return with Saturn retrograde if you still have unfinished business.

It’s the infinite loop of infinity (in numerology, we see the number eight). After all — something goes around, and it comes back again, then it goes around, then it comes around again!

There may be a few wrinkles, and it won’t always be fun. Embrace these opportunities to do right and wipe those slates clean. These tests may come by way of an old lover, an old job, an old friend, some old responsibilities, old contracts, old family matters, employees, employers — anything really.

The most important note to take?

Just remember to take responsibility for what you might have done, and remember that this is really just an opportunity to start fresh, even if you may have to confront something old to get there.

If mistakes come calling, forgive yourself first and foremost, and go easy on the ones that come to you for forgiveness under this transit for the same reasons.

5. Sow Good Karmic Oats

Last but not least, it’s best to treat the world as you would like to be treated.

This is a life lesson that we should all live by, but when Saturn goes retrograde, this lesson must be heeded even more. Saturn retrograde brings up back karmic actions, so it′s a good idea to be on your best behavior.

What does this look like?

Lay down good karmic oats so when the rings of Saturn′s karma and destiny begin moving forward again, know that you have laid your karmic path well. Of course, it’s best to do so with pure intent, and not just because you think you’ll get a reward later.

Ultimately, it’s best to expect that your actions can have large ripple effects — plan thoughtfully and carefully, and then you can let Saturn do the rest.

Now, your destiny awaits!

Looking to tie your birth chart and karma together? Discover Your Karmic Axis.

Ready, Set, Saturn!

Astrologically, we’ve already been quite busy.

Jupiter recently moving into Pisces was a particularly fortuitous transit, helping us cultivate our dreams with luck and whimsy. Of course, we may have all been excited to reap those rewards.

Maybe Saturn going retrograde doesn’t seem as exciting with its more serious tone, but the truth is that the combo can be all the more powerful if you open yourself up to the possibility of growth.

While Saturn retrograde often does demand more responsibility and caution, it can be just as, if not more meaningful, because of how much work and investment we put in.

If you’re ready to carve out the map for your new destiny, Saturn in retrograde is ready to help you set sail.

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An honest Aries with a grounded Virgo Moon and Rising, Lexi Hikari picked up her first astrology book at age 12, and has loved the language of the stars ever since. She began her… Learn More About The Author »

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