Saturn Retrograde

Discovering Saturn retrograde 
Since childhood, I have always had the habit of writing daily diaries and maintaining detailed journals. Later when my journey into astrology began, I found these personal journals to be invaluable. As I pored over pages and pages of scrawly, hand written notes, I could correspond, and correlate various planetary transits and movements to my personal stories of tribulations and triumphs. It helped me understand, which planets and planetary transits affected me most strongly and deeply. Especially, from 2005, I began noticing quite a lot of my personal changes corresponding to the annual 4.5 month long period of Saturn Retrograde. As I began comparing lifetime events to this period, I began unraveling some fascinating karmic and energy dimensions to it, which were of universal importance, to all those who wanted to utilize it's window. And from 2013, I began posting my observations to my blogs, so that others could also benefit from the significance of annual Saturn Retrograde period. The links to my online articles are:- Saturn Retro 2012 (2 articles), Saturn Retro 2013 (70 articles) and Saturn Retro 2014 (11 articles).

The great Significance of Saturn retrograde
During this period, there's an imbalance between the opposing, but usually balanced energies of the rajasic, fiery, Sun and tamasic, dark, Saturn. Because of  the effect of  Saturn retrograde period, there is a natural withdrawal, regression  of Saturnine energies, and hence, a natural increase of Sun/ rajas/ pitta energies. Making this period ideal for Sun/ Mars/ Ketu/ Pitta/ Shakti ruled people for all kinds of breakthroughs and conquests. And making this a regressive period for Saturnine people, suited for all kinds of karmic clearing, cleaning, retrospection, review, and reexamination. Once Saturn Retrograde ends, this energy imbalance fades, and the opposing energies of Sun and Saturn are restored to their normal state of balance.
I'm Libran ascendant, with my 4th and 5th super benefic lord Saturn, sitting in my 9th house of dharma and karma. And, the Sun, the burning malefic lord of 11th, sitting in my 12th house of karmic debts. Volcanic Mars is sitting in my 7th house in Aries, and opposing Venus, my ascendant lord sitting in Libra itself. Further, Saturn in 9th house is conjunct with debilitated, pitta ruled, supernova Ketu. These configurations make my energies extremely Saturnine. Only the unravelling Saturnine journey leads me out of my karmic challenges.
 In my initial years of research on Saturn retrograde, I had discovered that most of my major life events, all the major forward/ breakthrough events of my life were all during Saturn retrograde. Because of which, they never persisted in the long run. Or were a source of great sorrow and regret, as time passed. However, as I gradually being using the periods of Saturn retrograde, for karmic clearing, regression, review, karmic repayment, once Saturn went directional, it showered me with various breakthroughs, openings, developments, over the year.

The Dharma of Saturn retrograde
What is Dharma? The Dharma of fire is to burn, of wind to blow, and of water to flow. For the Sun/ Mars, Rajas, Pitta ruled, development always happens through a few selective, critical periods of condensed, high energy, quantum, breakthroughs. And, for Saturnine people, development happens as an overall process of spread out, installments of unfolding, unravellings of minor  breakthroughs. Hence, during Saturn retrograde, if uitilised properly according to ones horoscope, the great Dharma of elemental energy itself, is played out.

Saturn Retrograde concepts

The 'turn' of Sa'turn'...the pivotal hinge of time and change 
In my childhood, my dad used to bring us rubber band wound propeller powered airplanes made of balsa wood. You had to wind the propeller in the opposite direction for quite some time, until it was taut to a maximum wound up energy. After that, you released it, and threw it into air, the wound up rubber band would spin the propeller in the opposite direction and the plane would fly for sometime, up in the air. A much better, and more energy efficient example is that of any mechanical clock, or wristwatch, whose spring you had to wind up in the opposite direction, it to be wound up, and then the dials of the clocks gears, etc would be be in motion for the entire day or two. Such is the exact motion/ mechanism of annual Saturn retrograde, which happens every year for 4.5 months. And by which, the differential equation of change is introduced into an existing system. Because amidst all the other planets, Saturn is represents the pivotal hinge of time, and change.

Saturn retrograde as a mechanism of change 
As mentioned, every year Saturn Retrograde for about 4.5 months. Like in case of all planetary Retrograde phases, during annual Saturn Retrograde, the effects of Saturn can said to be withdrawn, inverted, reversed. In Vedic astrology Saturn is represented by the symbol of bow and arrow. During Saturn retrograde, this cosmic bowstring is pulled back. This wound up, stored up, build up of potential energy during Saturn retrograde becomes released into direct, physical manifestation of change, once Saturn becomes directional for the next 8.5 months. Between the directional and retrograde motion of Saturn retrograde, change is introduced into the physical, manifest, world that we live in.

Opposition of Sun and Saturn: the dynamic interplay of Saturn retrograde
In Vedic astrology,  the energies of the Sun are and Saturn are diametrically opposite. The Sun represents, the cosmic father, the structure, hierarchy and order of things, and Saturn represents his dark, eccentric, prodigal son who brings change into the system. I find the western astrological viewpoint totally insane who shows Saturn as the lord of law, structure, etc. In Vedic perspective, Saturn is the lord of law, BUT of cosmic law, divine karmic law, beneath the foundation of our physical reality! Saturn is the lord of the Law of Karma, which says every action has an equal and opposite reaction. You wound up the bowstring, coil up the rubber band in one direction, and once released it will obviously flow in the other and opposite direction.
During the normal directional motion of Saturn there is a natural balance between the energies of the Sun and Saturn. However, during Saturn retrograde, there is a pronounced withdrawal/ pullback/ regression of Saturnine energies, and there occurs a energy imbalance between the forces of Sun and Saturn. Without the opposing, energies of  Saturn, in check, the Sun/ Mars/ Ketu/ Pitta energies becomes many times magnified. This represents a highly beneficial, opportune, powerful period for all Sun/ Mars/ Ketu/ Pitta/ Rajas/ Shakti ruled people. But for Saturnine people, this period becomes a highly Karmic, regressive, hibernating, inward, phase. It's a time for retreat, withdrawal, introspection, Karmic clearance, expurgation and accumulation of potential energy. Which, once Saturn becomes directional/ forward, brings positive developments, movements, kinetic energy, for all Saturn ruled people. For the Sun/ Mars/ Ketu/ Pitta/ Rajas/ Shakti ruled people, the period of Saturn retrograde, brings extra challenges, but also great opportunities for breakthrough, conquests, and ground breaking achievements. Once this annual period of Saturn retrograde ends, this imbalance vanishes, and the opposing Sun - Saturn energies become restored to their natural state of balance.

Saturn retrograde from a Saturnine perspective
Since, this blog has been written by highly Saturn ruled person like myself, it's good to remember that many of the unspecified generalities, or experiences would be from a Saturnine point of view. Because for me, Saturn is a great benefic, karaka, planet.
The above graph depicts the mechanism of Saturn retrograde from a Saturnine perspective. In my own experience, if a Saturnine person properly utilizes this powerful period of retrograde properly, Saturn blesses him with developments throughout the entire year. Every point of constrictive, wound up, restriction, A' during Saturn Retrograde can yield it's inverse counterpart A, when Saturn finally goes directional. Each act of withdrawal, regression, retreat during Saturn Retrograde  yields it's Inverse release, progression, and advance when Saturn finally goes directional. Every Saturnine person can thus use this potent period of  4.5 months of Saturn retrograde strategically. In utilizing the regressive energies strategically to pull himself back in many ways. So that, when Saturn goes directional for the subsequent 8.5 months he can experience automatic forward motion, progress, and breakthroughs.

                        Annual schedule of Saturn Retrograde 

The graph below, with detailed descriptions, show the energy distribution of annual Saturn retrograde.

Detailed Schedule of Annual Saturn Retrograde
The above graph represents a sample year 2014, of the annual 4.5 month period of Annual Saturn Retrograde. Every year, this 4.5 month period is postponed by approximately 14 days. The phases are described in detail below.

ARREST PHASE (2 weeks): Two weeks prior to the date when Saturn turns Retrograde, the drop in Saturn's forward motion, is commenced by the noticeable drop of Saturnine energies, and the subsequent rise of Rajasic energy, all around. For the Sun/ Mars/ Ketu/ Pitta/ Rajas/ Shakti ruled people, this period is felt in a sudden rise of energy, hope, adrenalin buzz. Whereas for the Saturnine person, this is experienced as a rapid fall in energy, sense of hopelessness, despondency,a kind constriction,  sharp vicegrip in all ongoing activities. Suddenly older unresolved issues see a resurgence. The dawn Resurrection of the bad old days..

INCREASING RETRO ( 2.5 months): As Saturn's retrograde velocity increases daily, this 2.5 month period can be experienced as a period of Fall/ retreat for the Saturnine person and an opportunity to rise to the occasion for the Sun/ Mars/ Ketu/ Pitta/ Rajas/ Shakti ruled people. This period is  further divided into three distinct phases, which I'm classifying as First, second and Third Gear..

FIRST GEAR (2 weeks):- The first two weeks of Saturn Retrograde, present the highest difficulty for the Saturn ruled person. Depending on the importance of Saturn his birth-chart, he can experience this period as a sudden arresting of his movement, a sudden stagnation, a sudden fall. This is when   the highest daily increase in Retrograde Velocity, ( highest Acceleration) occurs. And since, Force = Mass X Acceleration, the highest acceleration naturally implies the HIGHEST retrograde/ regressive force. This is a fixed annual period of severe expurgation for the Saturnine person. Wherein, through many situations, a lot of pending Karmic junk is removed, and he is cleansed. This annual period of concentrated Catharis should be ideally utilised by the saturnine person for all kinds of activities related to rehabilitation, regression, retrospection, retreat. And inversely, this period indicates of highest energy, extreme breakthroughs, powerful movements for the Sun/ Mars/ Ketu/ Pitta/ Rajas/ Shakti ruled people.

SECOND GEAR: (1 Month)- This one month, represents a drop from earlier levels of acute, Rajasic, Red energies. For the Sun/ Mars/ Ketu/ Pitta/ Rajas/ Shakti ruled people person, the major breakthroughs have already ideally occurred in the previous Red period. Now he has to push on, wilfully, persist, continue to see the earlier initiations made it during Rad period, through. For the Saturnine person, this phase represents a period of relief from the expurgation/ catharsis process of the Red period. They can now ensue some short term activities, peripheral outlets, finally after the long and  sheer descent which were continuing almost a month back, from the Orange/ Twilight Phase itself. In this phase he can commence some random movement. However, such movements should be tangential, random, diffused, peripheral. Or movements connected to regression, reviews, retrospection, re-examinations or repetition.
THIRD GEAR ( 1 Month):-represents a drop from earlier levels of intense Orange energies. For the Sun/ Mars/ Ketu/ Pitta/ Rajas/ Shakti ruled person he has to push on, with maximum force, proactive force, all the initiations of the earlier two phases to their fruitful completion. This is where he seals all deals. For the Saturnine person, this period represents one of high scattering, random motions, diffused fluctuations. All the prior movements tangential, random, diffused, peripheral movements of the Orange phase, seem to create to their own alternative, sidetracked reality. A period of suspended exile. He should however refrain from the many tempting opportunities that come across his way. Even though Saturn Retro energies have dropped to a manageable Yellow, he should remind himself that it is STILL his annual period of regression, reviews, retrospection, re-examinations or repetition. rather than yield to the temptations of Will to Power, he should continue in his mechanical, random, spaced out, hazy.. purple haze! The end of the Yellow period represents the Highest annual/ maximum velocity of Saturn's retrograde motion. As daily increase in velocity reduces, the acceleration and hence the Force of Saturn gradually drops during the this yellow period. It's like a ball which had shot up into the sky and gradually coming to the least motion/ stillness of it's highest point. Before it's downward journey back to the ground!

EBBING RETRO (1 Month):  In this period Saturn's retrograde velocity begins dropping from its maximum 100% velocity of the previous Yellow period. This period of reduced Retrograde represents a month of release, relaxation for the Sun/ Mars/ Ketu/ Pitta/ Rajas/ Shakti ruled people. After almost 3 months, they should take a well deserved rest, relaxation. Take a well needed chill pill. However for the Saturnine person, this is a period of forward motion, breakthroughs after a long period of almost  three months  He should make the most of this month, by both initiating and responding to all kinds of progressive, positive, movements, energy, enterprise etc.

ULTRA RETRO (3 weeks) This period can be compared to heat of a tropical Summer sun, at  afternoon, around 3 pm, where the highest maximum heat is already past, BUT it's hottest, combined with the heat which the ground/ earth gives off. This sudden three week period right after a month of ebbing Saturn Retrograde energies comes as a storm, sudden  rupture, almost like a erupting volcano. For the Sun/ Mars/ Ketu/ Pitta/ Rajas/ Shakti ruled people, this is a window of unimaginable energy and opportunity. Suddenly a gate, a window in heaven seems to have opened. It's like the saying "Strike now, while the Iron is hottest". They should with strike full force at the opportunity of this moment. Properly utilised, it's effects can last for a period of one year, into the next Saturn Retrograde period, and even MORE.
However for the Saturnine people this period is quite a jarring shock, often experienced as a tumultuous backward fall, where the very ground gives away beneath their feet. It's energies are acutely magnified due to it's compression, contraction to a 3 week period. Needless to say, Saturnine people should become completely inert, mechanical, meditative, still during this period. Displaying the utmost conservatism, restraint, prudence and withdrawal. Like the saying:" Snake crawling under a rock to hide". If they can somehow veer off, steer off the extreme solar/ Rajasic energies of this three week phase, they are automatically subscribed to the long term saturnine returns until the next Saturn retrograde. This period is highly critical for both Sun ruled and Saturnine people, because after a intensely acute and increasing period of 3 weeks the effects of the annual Saturn Retrograde suddenly vanishes. Exactly, two weeks before it's official ending date!

RELEASE (15 days):  Approximately 2 weeks prior to the official ending date of annual Saturn Retrograde, it's effects/ energies suddenly vanishes. Two weeks before the official ending date of annual Saturn Retrograde, the effects of Saturn directional motion already commences. For the Sun/ Mars/ Ketu/ Pitta/ Rajas/ Shakti ruled people, this represents a wrap up of all the initiatives commenced in the critical phases before. From this phase begins almost a year long follow up, organization, systematization, and process developments centered around the sheer breakthroughs of  the Saturn retrograde period. For the Saturnine person, this represents a closure to the almost 4.5 month long hibernation. If the period has been utilized well, the period of Release is accompanied in a increase in energy, movement,  openings, jouissance, and adrenalin, a kind of waking up. Whose effects and gradual unfoldings last well unto the next annual Saturn Retrograde, 8.5 months later.

Summary of Saturn retrograde
I wrap up this page by summarizing about the special significance of Saturn Retrograde. During this period, there's an imbalance between the usually balanced & opposing energies of the Sun and Saturn. Because of the drop of Saturnine energies, there's a high rise of Sun/ rajas/ pitta energies. The Sun/ Mars/ Ketu/ Pitta/ Shakti ruled people should utilise this period for breakthroughs and conquests. And the Saturnine people should used it for karmic clearing, cleaning, retrospection, review, and rexamination of their life. Once Saturn Retrograde ends, this imbalance vanishes, and the opposing energies of Sun and Saturn return to their natural state of balance.

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