On April 29, 2019, Saturn will enter retrograde—and will get straight-up comfortable—until it finally goes direct on September 18, 2019. For those who don’t know, a planet goes retrograde when it spins slower and appears to move backward. While the planet never changes its original course, this phenomenon is rich with astrological meaning, and can often bring on periods of challenge and insight (and sometimes, just straight-up bizarre shit).
Like, who knows what could happen. This Saturn retrograde, crowds might cheer. A baby could be born with the birthmark of a horseshoe on their forehead. I might finally find the perfect pair of jeans that don’t make me feel like I’m being constricted to death by 3 p.m. every single day. But all signs can expect to feel a little overwhelmed. Retrogrades have a way of making us question our automatic responses to events and people. Because of this, retrogrades can often be approached with contempt or discomfort.
Because Saturn is considered our astrological father, it makes sense that Saturn rules responsibility, structure and maturity. (You know, all the un-sexy things.) This is a good time for all signs to look at neglected areas of life. Maybe for you it’s finances, emotional vulnerability, fitness and health, or relationships. We all need healing in different areas of our lives. When’s the last time you really picked at your scabs and scary parts? Are they healed or just closed enough for you to grind through? Because of this internal ‘growing up,’ you may experience tension with your inner self and impulses—but that’s OK.
Since this retrograde is in Capricorn, an earth sign, it primes you to take a look at your career and autonomy. How can you be more self-sufficient? Is your effort being spent in the right places? More than anything, this retrograde is a time to be OK with moving backward. Regression is not forever. It’s so easy to skip the middle of hard parts to rush toward the “Happily Ever After,” and “I’m Great—All the Bullshit Is Behind Me” vibes. But there will always be trauma, misunderstandings and chaos. How we choose to heal is one of the things that defines us. Will we cause ourselves more or less suffering? Are we brave enough to face ourselves? To help you figure it all out, below are ways to prepare yourself for this Saturn retrograde.
1. Get good karma; attract positives as much as possible.
Retrograde is a karma cash-in, babies. Karma is energy that isn’t bound specifically to time. It can pertain to past, present and future. But karma isn’t some hippie-dippie dude doling out punishment and lottery tickets. Karma’s purpose is to teach us, not to punish. Lately I’ve noticed that some people love to weaponize karma, and use it as a way to shame people. They say things like: “This is happening because you did X.” But really, karma is the cosmic way to balance the scales, to keep us reaching and growing and completing cycles that need to finish.
Good karma is a thing, though. Helping others and ourselves and moving through the world with soft feet and an open heart can help guide us through this retrograde. When we are compassionate with ourselves, we have more patience to show up for others. And when we are kind to others, we feed our own purpose, too.
2. Avoid procrastination by facing whatever fear you have head-on.
We all have our own baggage with self-discipline and facing our shame and fears. Some coping methods are healthier than others, but learning which skills help us and which harm us is the first step in overcoming any obstacle.
Procrastination, a very popular and often damaging coping mechanism, stems almost entirely from fear: fear of failure or fear of the unknown, fear of being wrong, being judged or getting hurt. If you notice that procrastination is a serious theme in your life, this retrograde is the time to address it.
Write it all down. What needs to get done? What exactly are you avoiding? As a procrastinator, this is probably the last thing you want to do. But dudes, you have to. Looking head-on into your shame is the only way to heal and grow. If you want to earn a living, or find a career or be a better parent or partner, you need to know your areas of growth. We all procrastinate looking at our dark and scary parts. But it’s time to turn on the light.
3. Practice cognitive behavior therapy techniques—thoughts are not ‘real’.
Because of Saturn retrograde’s expected inner turmoil, you should expect bouts of sadness, depression, fatigue and brain fog. The best way to combat these on your own? Practice Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques—or consider group and individual therapy with a licensed CBT therapist for additional support. Honestly, incorporating CBT into my practice has done more for me than most self-help book or pseudo-self-care workshop ever has. By investigating our thoughts and challenging negative thinking, we can help control our feelings and make decisions that are based in rationality rather than weird, convoluted stories that we make up about ourselves that aren’t even true.
So get ready to feel things. Often we grow older without actually growing up. It’s never too late to change something that brings you suffering. This retrograde isn’t forever—but it is your life. I hope you find the courage to try something new, to be a little un-sexy and be willing to accept the hard truth that we are all hiding and healing as best we can. It is enough.
Love, love, love.