Rebels with a Cause (Retrograde Jupiter & Saturn)

The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

– Albert Camus


On May 10, the great timekeeper, Saturn, retraces its steps and turns retrograde, followed by Jupiter four days later (May 14).  This signals the start of Saturn’s retreat back into the sign of Capricorn, which will occur on July 1.  Saturn will not return to its airy domicile of Aquarius (where it has been since March 21) until December 17 of this year, where it will conjoin with Jupiter four days afterwards.*

The Retrograde Archetype

The intention of a retrograde archetype is to accelerate the soul’s evolution by way of rebellion against external conditioning.  To strip away all accepted and projected versions of Self such that what remains is the true I AM.  From a Jungian perspective, this is the process of individuation from consensus.  Those born with many planets in retrograde generally demonstrate an introspective nature, a deep knowing that something else is possible that others don’t seem to see or be willing to acknowledge.

Thus the energy of a retrograde transit aims to refocus the particular planet’s symbolism from an outwardly accepted manifestation towards inward reflection upon its characteristics.  In taking this apparent step backward, we question how the planet is meant to actualize, and in doing so, arrive at a truer understanding of its purpose.

If we look to the astronomy of retrograde motion – it not that the planets in question are actually moving backwards, but merely a perceived phenomenon from the vantage of Earth.  Transposed from above to below (within), it is as though the collective psyche is engaged in a sort of retracing of ground previously covered by the planet.  A productive use of this energy does not result in a relapse back into old ways, but rather provides a review period and the opportunity to assess which endeavors require reversal, pause, or renewal.

The Great Chronocrator

Jupiter and Saturn will conjoin in the sign of Aquarius on winter solstice of this year (December 21, 2020).  But what’s this got to do with Taurus season?

The Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Aquarius will signal the end of a 200-year series of Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions in earth signs, and the start of conjunctions now taking place in air signs for the first time in nearly 800 years.

Earth signs value practicality, proven results, materialism, investment in land, hard work.  Air signs value intellectual freedom, ingenuity, creative efforts, and theory.  Saturn edged us from the former to the latter when it left the earthy sign of Capricorn for its airy domicile in Aquarius on March 21.  But the end of planetary cycles can imbue great collective fear, and the period beginning May 10 may signal the last gasp of the patriarchal age before we come to embrace the inevitable.  Those in positions of power will not go down without a fight, and there is a reason you may feel confused about what is true and what is false.

Saturn Retrograde

Saturn correlates with consensus norms, social regulations, manmade law, ancestry, and taboos.  Its retrograde motion represents the need to define one’s own sense of personal authority (versus external authority) and individual reality (as opposed to what the mainstream has determined this to be).  Those born with Saturn retrograde may feel like despite having everything on paper that would make them “fit” into society (the right job, the right friends, the right house), they don’t really belong to any of it, and are just going through the motions.

With respect to Saturn retrograde transits, individuals are called to reconnect with the purpose behind those structures, limits, and duties that they have placed upon whatever house is affected - to examine what components of one’s personal reality are creating discontent and to change them so that growth can occur.

More broadly, it is obvious that we are going through a massive societal transformation regarding structure, power, and authority. And interestingly, these retrograde motions correlate with calls to reopen the country in May, as well as warnings from scientists that the virus could return in late Fall, when the planets station and turn direct.

Come May, the question will then become – are we going to let the powers that be continue to define our reality for us?  Or will we redefine our boundaries in a way that works better for us, regardless of the social costs?  Will we succumb to “returning to normal” or will we insist on creating a new normal that works better for more than just the very few?

Jupiter Retrograde

These inquiries into the nature of our structural reality coincide with a collective reassessment of our fundamental belief systems.

Jupiter turns retrograde in the sign of Capricorn on May 14, just four days after Saturn’s reversal, and will not go direct until September 12, about two weeks prior to Saturn’s return to direct motion.

Jupiter – faith, natural (versus manmade) law, the search for answers, our desire to say yes…  We require Jupiter’s optimism to bear Saturn’s harsh reality.  But when Jupiter moves from optimism to overindulgence, from the quest for answers to stated dogma, we know we have gone too far.  Thus, Jupiter in retrograde corresponds with the need to peel back and reassess accumulated belief structures, so that we may arrive at our own personal philosophy and set of standards to organize a working understanding of the Universe.

In contrast to Saturn retrograde’s inquiry into structural reality, Jupiter retrograde is the quest for understanding the intuitive nature of our own Soul.  The search for capital T, Truth.  It is the opportunity to readjust concepts and knowledge systems.  Where this Jupiter transits touches your own natal chart will be an area of your life in which you are being asked to take a fresh look, discover a new viewpoint.

Collectively, what meaning are we making from the current events and onslaught of information and misinformation?  Will we revert back to blindly putting our faith in the establishment to take care of us and keep us properly informed?  Or will we find faith within ourselves and our communities to require more from our leadership and to find the answers for ourselves?  Will we indulge in the consumerism and unhealthy habits that will surely be fed to us in a promise to save us from our sad realities?  Or will we become so indulgent in our own inner happiness that we cannot be controlled?

The pituitary gland, the “master gland”, the third eye point, the infinite wisdom within each of us, is co-ruled by Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto… Will we go back to sleep or will we continue to wake up?

*Although this article does not cover Venus retrograde, it is significant that Venus goes retrograde during this same period (on May 13).  See page 40 of AS ABOVE SO BELOW for article on Venus retrograde. 

This article first appeared in AS ABOVE SO BELOW.  Click here to download the entire TAURUS issue.  Artwork by @astroccult.