Saturn retrograde in Libra (29 degrees to 22 degrees) - February 7 to June 25, 2012
Saturn's last retrograde in Libra for 30 years will be testing all weak points in the sign of the scales over the next four+ months, going over territory we first entered in early November, 2011. Expect circumstances from around then, particularly regarding relationship, fairness, balance, and justice, to come up for resolution now, though this retrograde reaches back much further than that.
This is the final going over for the entire Saturn in Libra transit, which began in October 2009 and ends in October 2012, and it reaches back to relationship and relating issues from 1980-1983, 1950-1953, and 1921-1924.
If we don't ace our Libra lessons now, we drag relational issues and weaknesses - mostly related to the astrological Piscean era - forward for the next 29 years. Chew on that one for a minute.
This retrograde station brings with it some dread, some fear, some pressure, some challenge, some difficulty, and some "looking back over it all" melancholy (all Saturnine things), especially as far as relating, relationships, and the structuring of our lives to include other people.
Holding our noses and taking our Saturn medicine now puts us in good position for upcoming cardinal Grand Crosses (more on that later in the article), but knowing that doesn't necessarily ease a mad case of the Saturnine dreads.
Because of Saturn's almost exact trine to Neptune as it stations, there's some discouragement possible related to the disparity between where we hoped we would be at this point (Neptune) versus where we actually are (Saturn). However, if we accept and work with our limitations and challenges over this 4.5-month retrograde, we find ourselves in much stronger position in late June as Saturn turns direct and we experience the first of the seven exact Uranus in Aries - Pluto in Capricorn squares.
I've written quite a lot on Saturn in Libra and the upcoming retrograde, and I'll post some pertinent excerpts and links here. Hey, it's a retrograde. I'm bringing up old posts and previous efforts (Saturn). This will be new to some, and for those who've read it before, it can serve as a solid reminder. Consider this a Saturn in Libra Post-It note on your mirror from Willow.
From a previous post on the remaining leg of the Saturn in Libra transit November 21, 2011: Venus-Saturn Mutual Reception November 26 - December 20: Ants Get More Play Than Grasshoppers
"There's a solid groundwork that should have been built by now - new relational rules and standards, a heightened command of social responsibility, the ability to maintain equilibrium under pressure, as well as a new maturity in the tone of our relationships, especially between the sexes. At this point, people either have it or they don't...
This far into Saturn's transit of Libra, we start to see the social and professional results of having put this groundwork in. We also see the results of not having put it in, as well as the areas that contain hazardous holes and breaks in structure. This is especially apparent when we relate with those who have shirked the full effort.
Under Saturn in Libra, we've determined who makes for a favourable partner and who doesn't, and now these standards must be applied across the board...
We're looking for long-term pay-off in relationship here and nothing less than that is worth the time or energy. Those who prove they cannot be responsible toward us, in relation to us, are not worth the time or energy.
Only take on the responsibility toward others that feels absolutely right to take on, and don't give anyone a level of responsibility in relation to you that he or she is not meant (or equipped) to take on...
[I]t's a person with solid integrity, with some financial savvy, with a nose for legitimate advancement, with expertly handled personal responsibilities, and with the ability to dig in and get the job done even if it means deferring personal pleasures who is most attractive under these astro energies.
[Saturn in Libra] is seeking partners with strong shoulders who bear their burdens well, partners who act their age (even older than their chronological age). [It's] seeking a partner who understands the full realities of life, including the difficult, sombre, or "unfun" aspects, who understood them early on, and who worked with them pretty much from the get-go rather than sloughing them off...
People who are obviously playing catch-up on this front are not going to hold as much appeal. We're looking for the results of long-term efforts - what a person has built and what progress has been made over the course of the lifetime.
Charm is a quality with a decreasing amount of value the closer Saturn gets to Scorpio if it is not also attached to absolute integrity and authenticity. Those are the qualities that make bank under Saturn in Scorpio. People who have skated by on looks, charm, charisma, or social prowess and facade are going to find these qualities don't get them nearly as far as they used to.
Playboys (or girls), those who refuse to grow up, the skittish, the cheaters, the fibbers, the non-committal, those who can't manage limitations, restrictions, or adult responsibilities - these people become less and less attractive."
Everyone will be feeling the Saturnine relating/relationship pressure to a certain extent, as we all have Libra somewhere in our natal charts, but this retrograde is particularly potent for those with strong natal placements in Libra. On a generational basis, this relates in particular to the Uranus in Libras (1968 - 1975), the Neptune in Libras (1942 - 1957), and the Pluto in Libras (1971 - 1984).
As mentioned, with sustained effort, the Saturnine squeeze on Libra puts us in good position for the upcoming cardinal Grand Crosses (2013-2014) when the personal planets in Libra will form, in waves, the fourth leg of the configuration. Having a firm, mature, responsible handle on the energy and themes of Libra - especially the slippery bits - will be of great benefit to us then, so grit your teeth and dig in now.
Cardinal Grand Crosses 2013-2014
A Grand Cross is a formation of four bodies within two oppositions (180-degree aspect) or four squares (90-degree aspect). All four bodies within the upcoming Grand Cross configurations are in cardinal signs, indicating the need for grand scale and dynamic new leadership, direction, and initiative within highly pressurized global circumstances. As the square is a tense, difficult, and frictional aspect, this configuration involves feelings of being boxed in from all angles, with the impetus to move in new directions coming from the tension of our circumstances on the planet.
The Grand Cross formed in the summer of 2010 that kicked things off was not a full cardinal Grand Cross because Saturn was in late Virgo, a mutable sign. I referred to it as a cardinal t-square.
The formations of the summer of 2011 were full cardinal Grand Crosses, involving Uranus in Aries, Saturn in Libra, Pluto in Capricorn, and the personal planets (Mercury, the Sun, Venus, and Mars) in Cancer.
The cardinal Grand Crosses that form from August to December, 2013 and in April, 2014 will involve Uranus in Aries, Pluto in Capricorn, Jupiter in Cancer, and the personal planets (Venus, Mercury, the Sun, and Mars) in Libra.
August 23-27, 2013 - Venus in Libra will move into place, forming the fourth leg of the cardinal Grand Cross.
September 14-20, 2013 - Mercury in Libra will pass through this territory, using a nine-degree orb.
October 1-13, 2013 - The Sun in Libra will trigger the cardinal Grand Cross using a ten-degree orb for aspects.
December 23, 2013 – January 1, 2014 - Mars in Libra moves into cardinal Grand Cross formation to close out 2013.
April 21-24, 2014 (exact) – Consider all prior cardinal Grand Crosses a dress rehearsal for this one. Mars Rx in Libra makes an exact cardinal Grand Cross configuration with Jupiter in Cancer, Uranus in Aries, and Pluto Rx in Capricorn all at Lucky 13 degrees of the cardinal signs. This formation strongly colours the Mars retrograde through Libra February 28 to May 19, 2014.
From a previous post:
"Aren’t you glad Saturn in Libra is drilling us on our maturity and responsibility with Libra themes right now? Weak points related to this sign’s energy would (and will) wreak major havoc within these future cardinal Grand Crosses. Going out of balance within the pressurized circumstances of this formation would require an immense amount of effort to put right. Under this type of tension, if one spring goes, they all go.
This formation, especially the exact one April 21-24, 2014, will have a hugely polarizing effect socially with a tendency to move to extreme ends of the spectrum in relation to other people or groups. Mars is in detriment in Libra and indicates a struggle to maintain any semblance of social diplomacy and human decency. It will take great effort (Mars) to maintain peace (Libra), especially in light of the groups gunning for another world war. Thirteen is a potent and highly symbolic number, and we can expect this formation to be used to trigger further symbolic events on the world stage.
Learn your Libra lessons well between now and October 2012, and the foundation will be set as far as future success with these cardinal Grand Cross formations."
More articles on this Saturn retrograde in Libra:
January 16, 2012: Let's Just Say The Cosmos Isn't Going to Be Blowing Confetti Out Our Butts This Week
December 27, 2011: Saturn in Libra (Not Quite) Trine Neptune in Aquarius and Saturn Retrograde: Neptunian Relationship Fodder From the Anaretic Degrees