Saturn and Mercury’s retrograde: What it is and what to expect from it

By Rachel Patel, Staff Reporter

Savanna Steffens

Fasten your seatbelts, because Mercury and Saturn both have gone into retrograde. Mercury will stay in its new position until June 22, with Saturn taking a bit longer ending on Oct.10.

Planetary retrogrades are common occurrences where the planet appears to be moving backwards in its orbit from Earth’s perspective, but in astrology, a planet’s retrograde is much more than just a change in orbit direction.

Full-time astrologer Tess Lee emphasized the importance of paying attention to retrogrades and what they mean for different people.

Lee said with this Mercury retrograde, issues with communication, travel or transportation, technology and even situations involving fraudulent scams may be common themes in peoples’ lives for the next few weeks.

As for Saturn’s retrograde, Lee said this affects society as a whole more than individual people and to look out for a refocus of larger themes that were seen when Saturn was in retrograde last year from May 10 to Sept. 29.

“What we could see is more of a refocus on COVID measures and distancing,” Lee said. “It relates to the structure of society and so we’re going back to what that structure looked like at the beginning of that year, specifically March.”

Kimberly Kapela, a junior journalism major said this Saturn retrograde is all about  bettering her relationship with herself and learning to find protection and a feeling of safety while staying at her apartment away from home.

“This retrograde personally was a little tough on me just because I had a lot of different emotions going on, I felt very disconnected from myself and I had thoughts that my apartment wasn’t spiritually protected,” Kapela said. 

Lee said the key to truly understanding astrology and how certain events pertain to a person is the houses that different planets fall into on a person’s natal chart.

“People will describe the planets as the ‘what,’ the houses as the ‘where’ and then the signs as the ‘how,'” Lee said. “The houses are arenas, the planets are the actors and they’re performing a role, and that role is described by the sign.”

She also explained the meanings behind a person’s “big three,” which consist of their sun, moon and rising signs and their unique relevance to that person’s identity.

Lee said the sun refers to our self-concept and represents who we are, with the moon being the maintenance of that which reminds us to take care of ourselves. She also explained that a person’s rising sign refers to their sense of purpose and calling.

Kapela said she believes spirituality and astrology determine certain aspects of her everyday life and give her a sense of control over her emotions and self-expression.  As a Libra sun and Pisces moon and rising, Kapela said she feels as if she generally matches the traits of these zodiac signs and that her horoscopes are accurate.

Graphic designer and graduate student Melanie Silver said astrology is a major part of paganism—a spiritual-based religion she has practiced for years.

As a Capricorn, Silver said many of the stereotypical Capricorn traits are relevant to her personally, such as focusing on her organization and list-making. Silver said there is a large Pagan community in Chicago and she has met many other astrologers through Facebook groups as well as Columbia College Chicago’s own group, Call of the Cauldron.

Silver said she has learned about retrogrades through different people’s stories and discussions from her involvement in the Pagan community. Silver said that during Mercury retrograde she is cautious about timing certain events, otherwise plans become chaotic.

Lee advised people take their time this retrograde and warned travel and commutes may be chaotic. She also added now is not a good time to make any important deals or agreements, such as signing leases, and issues with technology may be more common.

“There’s going to be a lot of issues around truth and what the truth is on a larger scale,” Lee said. “Gemini is also a trickster sign, so Mercury retrogrades can be the perfect ground for scams and fraud. I would say a warning for anyone from this Mercury Retrograde is to try not to get scammed or fooled.”