The 6 Signs Seeing Karmic Retribution During Saturn Retrograde

The remainder of this year will be profoundly transformative—if you allow it to be.

by Cole Prots

Illustration by Ashley Peña

Oh lord, someone’s coming! And he’s offering an intriguing, multifaceted opportunity. Who is he, though? What is his aim? And why is he coming around now?

The answer to all these questions can be found by looking at Saturn and his influences on us astrologically. Starting June 29 through November 15, Saturn will station retrograde in the sign of Pisces. Saturn is the lord of karma, and many have a love-hate relationship with him—but lean towards hate. Why? What does a gas giant nearly 878 million miles away have to do with us? And why do people have so much beef with him?

Saturn represents the father astrologically, and many themes are associated with responsibility and maturity when Saturn makes his transits. Although Saturn can be challenging and hold us accountable for various life lessons, he ultimately puts us back on track with what we need to learn, especially when Saturn stations retrograde.

Saturn’s retrograde is very different from Mercury’s retrograde. Yes, both planets find themselves in funkier expressions than usual, but Saturn’s retrograde period tends to be less chaotic in our daily lives. Saturn retrograde is the time to sit back and assess where our life is headed. Think of Saturn retrograde as a mid year check-in with a teacher or academic advisor. You both look at your classes, why you wanted to take them, how you are doing in them, and what you need to do to improve and ensure your priorities are straight. Over the next few months, Saturn will remind us of what has been causing the most drama in our lives (as if we couldn’t all list 20 things off the top of our heads). Take this Saturn retrograde as an opportunity to give yourself any necessary kick in the ass you’ve been seeking—and also, acknowledge that regardless of the ups and downs, you are still on the journey, so you can still push forward without giving up.

With Saturn in Pisces, the current lessons are about surrendering things out of our control, finding peace with the unknown, redefining spiritual practices and creative endeavors, embracing empathy for a neighbor, and discovering peace through closure. The influence of Pisces can be foggy and confusing—which is why the collective has been feeling a bit off since March 2023. But the next few months are an opportunity to spend time letting our eyes adjust. It might be too witchy and esoteric for some, but the best way to navigate a Pisces transit is to have faith in yourself. Letting go is the key theme of Pisces, but not in the sense of giving up the fight. Instead, be willing to give up the desire to control a certain outcome, making it into something that might not be meant for you. You must let go of your ego and listen to your soul, so getting back into those viral shadow work journals and meditation techniques is imperative.

There are a few key dates to note with this Saturn retrograde—the first of which is August 19th, when the transiting Jupiter will square Saturn. Squares are tense, and in the week surrounding the 19th, you might feel like you are hitting some walls or finding that progress is stalling more than usual. You might feel your desire for new opportunities is at odds with some of your more profound responsibilities to yourself. On September 18th, the solar eclipse in Pisces will pick up some of Saturn’s energy—tying a lot of karma and cycle breaking into the upcoming eclipse season. When you know you need to cut ties with someone or something… do it when the time comes. Additionally, on the 25th of September, Pluto makes a tense semi-square to Saturn, which will exacerbate the eclipse themes as we are called to break free from the past.

This Saturn retrograde will be profoundly transformative—if you allow it to be. You might feel yourself naturally slowing down and getting lost in reflecting on where you are in life. Be willing to let go of those comfort zones, fears, and ideals that might unintentionally block you from the change before you accept it. No need to worry; the following sign-by-sign horoscopes will give you additional context for what areas you should start reflecting on now.


The next few months have the potential to be deeply transformative, but also heavy. With the area of life that rules over spirituality, dreams, endings, and other Piscean themes, you might find it difficult to keep your normally chipper Aries persona. You will have to find ways to heal over the next few months, whether that is by reaching out for help, reconnecting with spiritual practices, or starting fresh by accepting that something is ending. Having faith in yourself and those who support you will be important. Don’t get caught up in emotions that feel exacerbated or too grand, and if you do, make sure to reach out to those support systems you may have been ignoring.


You might notice some tension within your social circles over the next few months. There might be times when you feel disconnected from your community. The next few months are about considering what you want your network to look like. You might find that you have to let go of certain friendships and groups during this time. How you devote yourself to the groups you find yourself in is important, and with the lens of Pisces influencing this Saturn retrograde, you will no longer wish to serve those who don’t also serve you.


The next few months might put a pause on your most recent ambitions. This isn’t to say that everything is about to go full stop, but you might find your motivation to tackle career-related projects diminishing. This could come from a shift in priorities, or even letting go of expectations to which you no longer wish to hold yourself. Gemini, as you slow down, take time to consider what you are truly aiming for and what your profession entails beyond the menial daily work and résumé-builders. Make sure you feel aligned to the work, or find a path to let your spirit flourish.


You might still be questioning a lot of things in your life. Your philosophies, your worldview, and even your freedom have been a pressure cooker. Who and what has encouraged you the most to look at things from a different lens over the past year? Saturn retrograde hopes you find peace in what you truly believe rather than what everyone else tells you is right. You might find that you are unlearning as much as you are learning during the next few months, but letting go of outdated beliefs and prejudices is important for making sure you move forward and don’t continue to be held back.


Your fixed-sign nature makes it difficult to let go of the reins, Leo. This Saturn retrograde highlights this desire for control and the push and pull that comes with always trying to be on top. You aren’t necessarily a control freak—because knowing the outcome and having primary influence over it is normal. Your reactions to situations and individuals you can’t control are the key. Compromise is the lesson, and finding willingness to share rather than throwing in the towel is something to consider as you reflect on how you’ve been challenged to grow over the past year.


Virgo, you will want to focus on your closest connections over the next few months. You may have been feeling a bit isolated and confused while also seeking a desire to stay connected. The back-and-forth nature of this retrograde allows you to see where you might not have as strong of connections as you thought—but also where you can do better in your connections. No more free passes or letting triggers get buried under the rug. Take stock of what is needed to feel safe with other people, and be willing to let go of habits and relationships that don’t promote that feeling.


With Saturn retrograde, you might find that your daily life feels a bit unbalanced. As a Libra, you prefer harmony, which can also yield complacency. You might feel challenged to change your approach to daily tasks, work, and health. Going through the motions will not be as effective as you hope over the next few months. If you struggle, get back to the basics to refine your approach to your craft. Taking pauses and assessing what is working and what isn’t is going to be more important than rushing to the finish line.


Your big lesson recently has been to let yourself have fun. Your internalization of your woes and desires is being tested right now. I find Scorpio individuals hold themselves to higher standards than most, but the ability to share the inner workings of why is something they keep close to their chest. Use Saturn retrograde as an opportunity to put your foot down and proclaim what you have been desiring. Create boundaries with yourself and others so that you are not being taken advantage of or limiting your ability to find excitement in your life.


The home and family have been changing and will continue for you, Sagittarius, for the next few months. You might notice that this Saturn retrograde brings a stronger melodrama as you reflect on how your responsibilities to your family and upbringing are changing. Your free-spirited nature might manifest in feeling like you’ve been spending too much time away—or that you need more freedom. Remember your responsibility to your loved ones, but don’t let the emotional tie prevent you from living your life.


Words have power, and you have been learning that for some time now. With Saturn retrograde, your social and communicative prowess will continue to be at the center. During this time, be especially careful with what you say, the information you receive, and how you share it. You might notice that things are misconstrued and that misunderstandings challenge your mental conditioning. Clarity is going to be critical, so ask questions when you are confused, make sure that you specify your intention and purpose, and overall, do not assume anything.


You have recently been undergoing many lessons associated with finances and the material world. This Saturn retrograde might put those woes on your mind for the next few months. This is the time to assess once again how you spend your money and what you place the most value on. Be careful when making large purchases over the next few months, especially if they seem to repeat patterns that put you in a sticky situation or even exist to satisfy an immediate craving. Make sure you are aligned with your needs and what will bring you the most long-term security, and let go of those that won’t.


You have been dealing with the heaviest impact of Saturn over the past year, as it’s been in your sign. There have probably been frustrations and difficulties regarding your image, sense of self, and how others perceive you. Right now, take a step back to reflect on who you are becoming instead of holding onto who you were. It can be difficult with your nostalgic demeanor to look back without longing for what you previously had. During the next few months, be honest with yourself about your evolution and what you need to fully embrace the change that has been nagging you.