Saturn stations retrograde:
karma ripens

by Juliana McCarthy


April 6, 2017 — Today, Saturn stations retrograde at the same degree as the Galactic Center of our galaxy, where a massive blackhole is known to reside. This is the largest source of gravity in our galaxy, and astrologically, it represents immense potency and a portal to higher consciousness.

Saturn is Lord of Karma, and as he stations retrograde at 27.47 degrees Sagittarius, we are beginning to experience the consequences of our actions at full-speed, in a heightened phase of karmic ripening. This could mean that any misconceptions we've clung to or bad deeds we've committed will now have to undergo a reckoning. Perhaps we've been manipulative or abusive, or we haven't maintained proper boundaries. Now we are likely to feel the karmic effects. It could feel that in some way, we are not getting away with things we used to. On the other hand, if we have been orienting toward opening our hearts, as many of us have—being kind, genuine, generous, and helping others—we could experience a turn of good fortune. Or most likely, we could experience a combination of the two.

The path of Saturn Retrograde will last from April 6 to August 25, and begins today with a square to Venus and Chiron. This challenged angle around love, wealth, relationships, wounding, and healing may feel painful at first. We may notice our loneliness or contention around partnerships, as old wounds and belief systems become more apparent.

The most important thing to remember now is that "pain is not punishment and pleasure is not reward," as Pema Chödrön says. Pain can help us to wake up and shed layers, while pleasure can sometimes throw us off kilter. Whatever we are experiencing, it is up to us to orient toward it neutrally and to return to center. The more we can relax with whatever arises—uncertainty, difficulties, or good fortune—the more we can rest in awake mind, neither grasping nor clinging, remaining still and expansive in the power of our heart centers. 

However extreme this period may seem—with karmic rewards and pain hitting us alternately—these issues are surfacing so we can balance our karma. Once Saturn stations direct at the end of August, karmic debts will be repaid and we can begin anew, bounding forward with lighter loads, increased wisdom, and a stronger sense of who we are.

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