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What Saturn Retrograde 2023 Means For Your Zodiac Sign

Saturn Retrograde 2023 Could Feel Like a Wake-Up Call

Young woman looking at the sky during Saturn retrograde

Spring 2023 is replete with dramatic astrological shifts, thanks to the first eclipse season of the year and Mercury's second retrograde from April 21 to May 14. And, as of June 17, Saturn — the planet of boundaries, limitations, and commitment — will join the celestial bodies that are shaking things up as it kicks off its annual months-long retrograde.

In astrology, Saturn's purpose is to help you do the work that will ultimately translate to foundations in your life. Aptly referred to as the taskmaster planet, it's known to throw obstacles in your path — or, in some cases, encourage you to create boundaries of your own. You can also think of Saturn as the planetary equivalent of a stern parent, as it will often require you to set or follow rules, commit, and grow up. For instance, when Saturn's interacting with your natal Mercury (aka your Mercury sign, which colors how you communicate), it could spur serious conversations or even commitments, like defining a relationship or agreeing to a job offer.

And every year, for about four and a half months, the solar system's strictest teacher appears to move backward through our sky in what's known in astrology as a retrograde. In 2023, Saturn will retrograde in the dreamy mutable water sign of Pisces (which it will enter on March 7) from Saturday, June 17, to Saturday, Nov. 4. Read on for the meaning of Saturn retrograde as well as details on which signs will be most affected by the planet of boundaries as it moves backward in 2023.

What Does Saturn Retrograde Mean in Astrology?

In order to understand what happens when Saturn is retrograde, it can help to consider how the planet affects us when it's moving forward. The planet of structure sheds light on the areas of your life that require putting your nose to the grindstone to achieve a particular goal. When Saturn syncs up with, squares off against, or opposes other planets in the sky or in your birth chart, it can spur a certain level of serious, industrious — and yes, even somewhat gloomy — vibes. Its purpose is to give you a reality check in an effort to promote personal growth, wisdom, and maturity. Just like any other planet, Saturn's effect when it's moving forward can be most felt in an external way.

When it's moving backward, however, it's less concerned with affecting the things happening in your world — your work responsibilities, your love life, your living situation — and more interested in inner work. It'll push you to think about the foundations you've set and why you've set them and what you've accomplished and why, and possibly to question — and rework — it all over the next few months.

Think of Saturn retrograde as an opportunity to get real with yourself. Depending on how Saturn has been hitting your natal chart, this period may be about acknowledging how far you've come and challenging yourself to take your emotional work and growth to the next level. But if you've been brushing off its prodding, this period could feel like a bit of a wake-up call.

It bears noting that as with any astrological event, you may not feel this Saturn retrograde as acutely as you might experience, say, a full moon or Mercury retrograde. That's because Saturn's effects tend to build over the course of its long-term transits versus knocking you off your feet over the course of one particularly dramatic weekend.

How the 2023 Saturn Retrograde Will Affect the Zodiac Signs

When it comes to Saturn's retrograde from June 17 to Nov. 4, 2023, people who have their sun or other astrological placements in the mutable signs — Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces — will feel it more than others. If you want to get even more specific, see if any of your birth-chart placements fall around 0 to 7 degrees of a mutable sign; if so, you'll feel this one more than most.


With Mercury's retrograde in your 12th house of spirituality from April 21 to May 14, looking back — and inward — is a major focus for you this spring. And with Saturn retrograde falling in your 10th house of career, Gemini, you'll be meditating on how best to pursue your long-term career goals and push to achieve public recognition for your hard work. Consider whether the structures and foundations of your life — perhaps where you live or the company you're aligned with — are truly supporting your ambitions. If not, it could be time to commit to a new game plan.


Saturn's retrograde falls in your seventh house of partnership, Virgo, which isn't at all a reason to fear that it'll throw a wrench in your dearest one-on-one relationships. Instead, it's an opportunity to get clear on the intentions you're setting for these bonds — whether romantic, platonic, or professional — and to check yourself on any commitments you've made. Are you holding up your end of the bargain and is your partner? Issues of balance and reciprocity are also bound to be on your mind.


Saturn's retrograde falls in your fourth house of home life, which oversees your actual home as well as your family and inner emotional world. This transit could intensify any work you've already been doing to heal old wounds and to better understand the origins of any emotional patterns. But you could also be meditating on what you want your home life to look like and the work you'll need to do to achieve that vision. It might be time to brainstorm a strategy for saving up that down payment or getting clear about where you want to lay down roots.


Saturn's retrograde falls in your sign and first house of self, making this an incredibly reflective time, during which you might think about how you present yourself out in the world and how that's serving your passion projects and long-term goals. Your assignment from the taskmaster planet is to get real with yourself about who you are and what you need to do to make your dreams a reality. Sounds daunting, sure, but know that retrogrades require revisiting territory you're already quite familiar with, so chances are you know exactly how to make the most of this moment.

Image Source: Getty / d3sign
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