Saturn Retrograde Mara-thon: This Too Shall Pass

If things are going great for you right now and you’re just over-the-moon with joy or otherwise filled with peace, don’t bother reading any of this. Just keep up the good work! For the rest of us wondering WTF is going on here and when will it end, I’ve got an answer. It’s not the only answer and it may not be right one, but it sure explains a few things.

To associate stern and cautious Saturn with a marathon can seem somewhat of an oxymoron, even more so when he’s going Retrograde – backward, at snail pace (This is not really happening by the way, it’s just another cosmic illusion, in the sky from where we stand). But just as in a marathon, we are being tested in our endurance in some way. The agony of waiting for things to gel, anchor, move or fall into place can be consuming at such a time as this. Trying to make a certain thing happen especially when it involves working with others can be like trying to push a boulder uphill, when Saturn is doing his peculiar back bend throughout time and space. This is because Saturn is Retrograde in the sign of Libra, where we must learn patience and cooperation. Time itself is under Saturn’s dominion, and he tends to do some underhanded things with it when we’re not looking.

Wait – didn’t something like this just happen a few days ago, a few weeks ago, or a few months ago? If it seems like just when we’ve recovered from one planet’s Retrograding then there is another one or several to kick us in the pants, there indeed is, which is just one limited way of looking at things. Such is the price of an earthly existence, whether we look to the heavens or to each other for answers. Saturn likes for us to take a look at our limitations, as we ourselves have defined them. But we can make of any of these limitations what we will – and this the stars and planets cannot take away from us so long as we have consciousness. Rather than think of our challenges as tests, we can treat them as opportunities. Then we and they will take on different energies and outcomes, to conform to our positive expectations.

Saturn has many endearing titles, and is known as the Lord of Karma, the Cosmic Taskmaster, and Father Time to name a few. That means he eventually comes around to collect his dues, if we have forgotten or neglected to pay them willingly. What would make Saturn Retrograde in Libra easier is to look for Win-Win solutions, since Libra seeks cooperation and balance. We may also need to give a little more than we receive at this time, which will make the future easier and more abundant for us. The trick is, we may need to give more to ourselves, and not necessarily to certain people that we or they think we owe. Each case is different and utter honesty is key, because Saturn won’t sympathize with our lies and stories, whether to others or ourselves.

Here, with a role similar to  Saturn, the Buddhist concept of the demon faced Mara holds the Wheel of Existence (and holds our illusions in place), causing sentient beings to experience suffering over and over again like a broken record until they break free and attain enlightenment.by Gyan Lama of Thankga Art School in Bhaktapur

Two of the things that many people are struggling with in particular right now and have been for the past month are finances and close relationships. Many issues of fairness, what we feel is fair and unfair are being brought into court rooms, to the dinner table, into the bedroom and out into the open in general. Old flames may reappear from the past, while new ones may seem unavailable in some way. We’re not only dealing with Saturn Retrograde in Libra – the sign of relating, but also with passionate Mars Retrograde in workaholic Virgo, as we enter the shadow of Mercury’s soon to be Retrograde motion through Aries and Pisces throughout March.

Projects may need or take a second or third going over now, while certain jobs just aren’t cutting it anymore, increasing the amount of lay-offs and what is more, increasing the amount of people who are deciding to quit doing what they hate doing for a living. Thousands are “clocking out”, despite the cost to their bank accounts, and are looking for new and more meaningful ways to earn an income. On a similar note, millions are quitting Facebook due to privacy infringements and profits made from others’ personal information being sold, while some realize that Facebook or not, what is of most importance is how we are utilizing our time, energy and means of communication. Many of those currently going through break-ups, divorces, and other forms of separation are confronted with the need to let go of an outer mirror and to relate harmoniously to themselves.

Have you had any strong thoughts and realizations lately along the lines of “Ya know, this is getting OLD. I’ve had enough!”? If so, you’re not alone. And you’re right, whatever you cannot tolerate any longer IS getting old, and it’s time for a change. It’s also time for us all to take charge wherever we’ve been living in default situations that take their tolls on our health and productivity levels.

That being said, there are some good things about what’s going on, and what’s not going on now too. One of these happens to be the fact that there are certain things not happening at the moment because there will be much more appropriate and auspicious times in the future for them to unfold. It’s not at all that things are at a standstill, but they are simply formulating in their own unique rhythms and need plenty of breathing room to grow. Also, in some cases we need input before we give our output – that is we need to study, do inner work, paper work, deep work, or quiet work before bringing ourselves out into the open to share. In other cases we need to come out of hiding, and to boldly share what we’ve been accumulating whether materially, mentally or spiritually.

This combination of the tugging push-and-pull of inner and outer work, as well as the concentration of both relating and separating is a delicate balancing act, as represented by the scales of Libra – a sign where Saturn is actually “exalted” (this is an astrological term) and can do some of his best work. Those with Saturn, their Sun, Moon or Rising in the sign of Libra and/or its polar opposite sign Aries have been experiencing these effects intensely for the past couple of years, and we may all breathe a sigh of relief when Saturn exits Libra by early October of 2012 (fellow Libran here).

A man named Charles Frith has recently attributed some association of the sacred geometry symbol called Metatron’s Cube with Saturn, which would make for an interesting and beautiful image for us to meditate upon and use to consciously harmonize with the energies of this planet.

As for the Retrograding, we are cosmically scheduled for the following for the rest of this year. As you can see, Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun goes Retrograde more often than any of the other planets, and for shorter durations:

  • Mercury goes Retrograde on March 12th until April 4th
  • Pluto goes Retrograde on April 10th until September 17th
  • Mars goes Direct April 14th (since January 23rd)
  • Venus goes Retrograde from May 15th until June 27th
  • Neptune goes Retrograde June 4th until November 11th
  • Saturn goes Direct on June 25th (since February 7th)
  • Uranus goes Retrograde on July 13th until December 13th
  • Mercury goes Retrograde on July 14th until August 8th
  • Jupiter goes Retrograde on October 4th until January 30th 2013
  • Mercury goes Retrograde on November 6th until November 26th

It looks like a somewhat challenging year on the whole, with September, October, and the month of December possibly being the most pleasant, just based on the fact that there is less pressure on us from both personal and outer planets during these months. Will the world simply come to an end? If so, that would sure spell out less for us to worry about 😛

In closing, we need to remember that whatever is going on that we like and don’t like will eventually pass, leaving us with only the essence of what we have learned or gained from the experiences. So let’s make the best of what we’ve got – lemons into lemonade, scraps into quilts, sorrows into songs, leftover inedibles into compost, junk into gifts and treasures…I once knew a guy who collected road-kill and garbage to create amazingly detailed works of art with bones, shoes, wire hangers and more. That may be a stretch for most of us, but it goes to show that we can all afford to be a bit more resourceful, whatever our conditions and limitations may be.

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