Why Saturn Retrograde Is The Most Important Retrograde
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Saturn retrograde is a time for existential do-overs, which is why Saturn retrograde is the most important retrograde this year. The astrology website Pathway to Ascension says that Saturn retrograde is the signal that you're redoing a lifetime, which might sound like a lot of pressure when you're still trying to figure out this one. Saturn, which goes retrograde once a year, began Apr. 6 and lasts until Aug. 25, and may cause you to feel the burden of dealing with two lifetimes at once.

"You can, therefore, experience inner doubts about your self-worth and your ability to overcome difficulties," Pathway to Ascension notes. "The good news is that your soul knows you have achieved the spiritual maturity required to re-do, successfully, a lifetime. You have in prior lifetimes advanced through great personal struggles and sacrifices."

If you don't believe in past lives, you can view Saturn retrograde as a time to check your karma by working to right old wrongs, or correct past mistakes, in this life since we do in fact live many lives in the course of one physical lifetime.

As iconic writer Joan Didion says in her essay collection Slouching Towards Bethlehem, "I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be." If this sounds like you, now is the time to get back in touch with your former selves and see if there is any work that needs to be done to cleanse your karma. Not sure where to start? These tips can help you stay focused during uncertain times.

Buckle Up For A Karmic Rollercoaster Ride

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The website Astrology King notes that Saturn is the lord of karma, and during Saturn retrograde past, present, and future can blur into one confusing karmic rollercoaster ride.

"Saturn retrograde means that whatever area of responsibility you have been developing is so important, extra time is needed to take stock and make sure everything [is] in order before you continue," Astrology King notes. "You may be tested to make sure you are ready to take on the extra responsibility. The lessons you learn might be hard, but they will be valuable."

Additionally, if you have negative patterns that have begun to spiral out of control, Saturn retrograde is a time to right this ship so you'll awaken to calmer karmic seas when Saturn goes direct, though things may start to get better during the last few weeks of this five-month retrograde cycle.

"Even before Saturn stations direct, two of the very best aspects provide light at the end of the tunnel in the Saturn retrograde chart," details Astrology King. Saturn direct heals the pain, and sets up an optimistic future. Karmic balance is found as debts are repaid. Everyone can move on toward emotional happiness and successful relationships."

Slow And Steady Wins The Race

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The astrology website Sage Goddess advises taking your time during Saturn retrograde. Since this particular retrograde lasts almost half a year, practicing patience will allow you to make the most progress.

"The more slowly you move, the more focused you will be," Sage Goddess notes. "You will need that heightened sense of focus and awareness as you come to examine the nature of your karmic contracts."

If you're confused about what exactly karma is, Sage Goddess describes it as "everything you’ve ever done, thought, or said across all time and space," including previous lifetimes, so dutifully working through Saturn retrograde can be like a karmic carwash for your soul — past, present, and future. Additionally, it's thought that we must keep repeating lifetimes until we work out our karmic debt, so understanding and getting a handle on this can help you "get off the Wheel of Life, ending the cycle of Samsara (or the cycle of suffering) in order to find ultimate happiness."

So, this all sounds difficult and uncomfortable, and makes me want to take a nap. And, that being said, nothing worth having, even happiness, ever comes easily, right?

Stay Calm, & Cleanse Your Karma

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With so many planets in retrograde at once — we're also dealing with Mercury, Jupiter, and Pluto retrograde — figuring out what to do to secure the best outcome can feel a bit like wading through quicksand, and can make you want to throw up your hands, and retreat to your happy place.

The key to not letting all of this karmic energy bury you is to take each set of retrograde rhetoric with a grain of salt. See what speaks to you and your life in particular. Only you know which areas of your life aren't working or need a little TLC. If you've been beating your head against the metaphorical wall, perhaps it's time to give it up to the cosmos. And, as always, during Mercury Retrograde don't make any big purchases or life-changing decisions.

As far as Saturn goes, just check yourself to ensure you'e making all of the best decisions that serve both you and the universe at large. If you're not, use this time to sort it out, or you'll just have to do it next year when Saturn goes retrograde again. So the questions is now or later? The beauty of the universe is that it's all up to you (gulp).