Retrograde periods – the appearance of planets travelling backward through the Zodiac – are important for society and we as individuals as they let us “energetically” relive those time periods. In terms of Mercury in its infamous retrogrades, it’s seen as a largely negative experience because of the obstacles it throws in the way of our communication and travel plans. Sure, this can be frustrating, but we’re missing the point by choosing to focus on these things. Retrograde periods are actually empowering us to find new ways of thinking and acting in the world. Breaking communication devices or stalling car engines should actually be seen as challenges for us to find alternative methods of accomplishing our goals, signs that we should have replaced these things months ago, or perhaps Divine Intervention preventing us from saying the wrong thing or getting into road collisions. The Saturn retrograde period should be taken with the same positive outlook if we want to benefit from it.
Saturn entered its Shadow Period on February 3rd just as the world was slowly learning that a deadly virus had the potential to cause serious harm and impact our lives immeasurably. The world is divided as to whether this is as deadly as we once thought, but this debate is meaningless in the face of the chaos government and corporate decisions brought into our lives. Saturn’s entrance into Shadow came just three weeks after the long-awaited (and dreaded) Saturn-Pluto conjunction of January 12th – a rare conjunction which usually triggers wars, famine, and suffering. Many Astrologers, including myself, were expecting a literal war, when all we got in the end was the World Health Organisation declaring war on a virus – an invisible enemy which undoubtedly changed the lives of thousands, but also the lives of billions as a result of our REACTION to it.
This initial shadow period between February 3rd and May 11th was characterised by a creeping escalating fear of the unknown and of death (the terrifying tag-team of Saturn and Pluto) with the ultimate result being billions of people afraid to leave their homes, go to work, or even go shopping. Within months or even weeks, many of us were shaken up out of the comfortable expectation that tomorrow promises us the basic needs of life. Thousands flocked to supermarkets to buy sanitary products and food as a result of this uncertainty; we barricaded ourselves in our homes on the advice of faulty scientific models; we obsessively cleansed our bodies out of fear of this invisible enemy (Pluto). Saturn being the lord of time, restrictions, and mortality, forced us to confront our limitations.
This next period from May 11th up until September 29th has been an interesting “walk-back” as Saturn made the journey toward its original position on February 3rd. This was the beginning of a substantial pushback from people and competing scientific voices claiming the lockdown isn’t necessary or, worse yet, is causing a lot more harm than the virus could do on its own. We see the backlash intensifying as we prepare to end this Retrograde, with millions protesting across the globe and government powers over-extending their reach. Just today in Dublin, Ireland, restaurants and cafés were given three hours to shut down as part of a localised lockdown, causing yet more economic damage and the disposal of several tonnes of fresh food. In Australia, police freely enter peoples’ homes, choke innocent women in the streets, and respond with armed force to people flaunting the lockdown rules. This reckless behaviour by governments will only intensify the public’s resentment further and, it is my prediction that, we will see many countries physically remove their governments or else succumb to even tighter control than before, after September 29th.
The next period, September 29th to January 3rd, will not be good to a great many people. We will suffer for our individual and collective ignorance we displayed during the initial shadow period. Our willingness to submit to unconstitutional authority and our unmitigated greed in the face of a global threat will be paid back to us in the form of continued economic devastation – the loss of jobs, businesses, and homes – and psychological devastation – the fallout of isolation, livelihood loss, and fear. We’ll be given the opportunity to learn our lessons properly this time by becoming less reliant on governments and the mainstream economy, becoming more resourceful like our grandparents once were, and becoming more community-focused.
This isn’t just an ordinary Saturn retrograde, as it’s playing out just after January’s Saturn-Pluto conjunction – an event that always heralds either a war or a reorganisation of the world political and economic order (if interested, you can learn about these events here). We stand at a cross-roads as individuals and as a species: further top-down control on one hand; and freedom on the other. What makes the difference between these two potential realities is the amount of responsibility we’re willing to embrace in our lives. When we show the world that we are not capable of thinking critically, religious leaders and scientists will step in to tell us what to believe. When we show the world that we aren’t willing to be resourceful, economists and politicians will step in to make sure we have jobs and food is delivered to our nearest stores. When we refuse to build and contribute to our local economies, corporations will step in to provide the basic necessities of life. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these decisions, yet they come with the price of freedom. Right now Saturn is giving all of us a crash course in what we should expect if we refuse to take responsibility – hyper control, hyper centralisation, and gigantic economic crashes which effect every member of society.
One of the many positive aspects of 2020’s lockdown was the shortage of bicycle parts, seeds and gardening tools, and flour. People had time and the motivation to return to the basics, either for self-exploration or surviving the oncoming economic depression. Many of us were brought right back to doing things with our hands and connecting with nature. Now that the Summer Holidays have ended, a record number of parents are homeschooling their children so as to not subject them to the bizarre hypochondriac rules imposed on students in reaction to C-19. There are glimmers of light out there showing us that humanity may yet find a better way to live instead of looking to our governments for solutions.
We will relive lockdown in at least a few countries around the world. Many will have to endure the trauma as flu season provokes another wave of human rights abuses and economic suppression if they don’t learn to ignore those who have abused them before. For the rest of us, however, we will build a parallel society of responsible adults who are focused on what really matters in life – family, friendship, love, freedom, and having a good time. It won’t be easy to get there, as Saturn’s lesson goes: everything worth while requires effort.