So, before I say anything else, I’m definitely not an astrology expert or even an amateur. I should probably get a leg up on that, being a practicing witch and wisdom woman, but we all have our flaws. However, one of my readers requested a post on how to do a reading in your retrograde (in this instance, for Saturn) and because I like a challenge, I decided to oblige. Here’s to you, Mara!
Three Story House – Reflecting on Astrological Retrogrades
This isn’t really a new spread but rather a hybridization of two fairly common techniques – the nonpositional, narrative spread and the Horoscope/Zodiac/Astrology spread. Because we’re looking at astrological phenomena and trying to understand how it will shape our story and our lives, this seemed particularly appropriate. I’m going to walk you through reading this spread using the example of my reading for Saturn Retrograde.
For those of you who don’t know, Saturn is going retrograde in Scorpio until July 7th. According to this lovely article on Llewellyn’s website:
Saturn, ruler of Capricorn and the tenth house, symbolizes goals, responsibilities, and limits, so now is the time to reflect on any sources of frustration in your life caused by these things (or a lack of). Now is not the time to start new projects but rather to finish up any Saturn-related business left unattended. Saturn in Scorpio provides us a time to set goals related to ambition and determination; perhaps these goals themselves are what need to be re-evaluated (again with the “re”).
I happen to be a Scorpio so that adds a layer of relevancy to me and my Saturn is 00 degrees in Aquarius, which means my goal-setting issues revolve around friends, organizations as well as my hopes and wishes for the future. Duly noted.
Step #1: What’s the landscape like?
Cards A, B and C represent your energetic landscape going into this particular phenomena. This spread is non-positional, although cards further to the left in this instance tend to represent more of the past while the right represents the future or where things are heading. In this instance while working with the Tarot of the Magical Forest, I drew Temperance, The Wheel of Fortune (reversed) and The Fool. The preponderance of Majors lets me know that there is a LOT of energy moving about in my sphere of being, which comes to me as no surprise given the conditions of this retrograde. Temperance upright reminds me that I have very recently ‘gotten my bearings’ and am settling into a place where my emotions around my hopes and dreams are being released and allowed to flow and The Wheel more towards the present indicates that the time is ripe for me on an internal level to really ratchet up manifesting my wants because good luck is on my side. The Fool towards the future speaks to the possibility of me moving house towards the end of this retrograde as well as the sense of optimism and ‘starting fresh’ that I have when it comes to creating my ideal life. All well and good here!
Step #2: Clearing Houses
This next step of doing a reading involves drawing cards for each of the astrological Houses. The three card reading in the center is a more comprehensive version of a significator so these cards are all oriented around the energy you’re bringing to the table. The cards for each of the houses represents how the astrological energy of the retrograde is interacting with each area of your life to give you a baseline on where things are headed. Because I want to keep this post fairly short, I recommend this page to get information on what each of the houses represents so that you can understand my example and do your own spread.
While I was shuffling, I had a jumper card that landed on the floor next to me – the Ten of Wands in reversed. In this particular version of the card, the little frog carrying the sticks has a cape on which is the first thing that stood out to me. I, unfortunately, suffer from a lifelong case of Type A personality blended with hyperperfectionism, both because I pride myself on my intellect and because I was raised in a parental environment where, at least for one of my parents, nothing was ever good enough to warrant being treated like a worthy human being. As a result, I have a bad habit of trying to be Superwoman – attempting to be all things to all people because I can’t emotionally stomach the idea of giving myself love and validation, it has to be external or else it’s not worth jack – and even then, I still carry the weight of that anger, sadness and vulnerability with me. It’s a work in progress and I clearly need to address these things if I want to leverage success for myself during this retrograde.
1) Aries – Nine of Cups – From the outside looking in, to the eye of the casual observer my environment is chock FULL of opportunities…that I’m having a hard time seeing. This card shows a young rabbit sitting on a bench, it’s back to the cups lined up neatly on a shelf within grabbing distance behind it. He’s also conspicuously lacking arms. This retrograde is all about figuring out how I can learn how to reach out and grab my hopes and dreams and bring them into my space.
2) Taurus – Six of Wands reversed – The developments of this retrograde as far as money and the material are concerned points to a need to learn how to truly ‘feel’ the vibration of abundance and success in order to get the ball rolling in this area. Simple enough to say, super hard to do. But I take this as a positive sign because this came up in a quickie reading I did before about my moolah situation and of all the things I could need to work on, I believe this is the easiest.
3) Gemini – Death – Whether or not it’s out-of-state (probably going to be) or remaining within the state of Florida, there are a lot of major changes coming into my day-to-day life and my physical movement during this particular retrograde. Death is about transitions and new beginnings, in this case in my outer environment, so this is right on target. I also get a sense that this signals a metaphorical ‘death’ to how my egoic fears are shaping how I express myself because of my past emotional abuse and a transition into my higher, wiser self.
4) Cancer – Two of Wands reversed – This card shows a frog holding a globe or a snowball, depending on how you want to look at it, standing at the edge of a stone tower between two sticks. His eyes are also conspicuously closed. Hm. Normally this card is about long-range vision into the future, even travel, which would make sense given my circumstances but I think I really need to open my eyes to whether or not putting distance between Hilly and I will really do much of anything as far as accomplishing my goals around healing the wounds she inflicted on me as a child and young woman. I know it seems to a lot of people like I assign blame to my mother for her behaviour – but I mostly state it over and over because I need to accept that what she did and how she treated me was inexcusable abuse, regardless of how she tries to manipulate me or spin it. Lots to think about around these sorts of goals.
5) Leo – Nine of Wands – Right off the bat: I need to stop feeling so defensive. When one discovers that they feel called to a healing journey, particularly one associated with sacred arts, there is a necessity to open, explore and heal their primary wound. In my case, this wound would be both severe emotional trauma, sexual trauma and living in a state of hypervigilance and lack – all of which are particularly soul-eating for me as a Scorpio with a Leo moon and Cancer rising. Goals around feeling pleasure and expressing myself should be around removing the need to validate or justify myself to others, and allowing myself to really, truly feel and accept happiness. And just to let you know how well that’s going to go, I’m sitting here crying as I write that because it’s really that painful. The more you know, kiddos.
6) Virgo – Wild Card reversed – I forgot to pull the wilds from my deck, but because I’m a firm believer that things always happen for a purpose, I decided to leave this be rather than pull another card. I already know what my personal goals are and have been around the areas of work and health so this makes sense!
7) Libra – Five of Pentacles reversed – Normally, this card is about a feeling of lack, desperation and alienation, but when I looked at the image this time the sense that I got is that my goals as far as partnerships are concerned, should be allowing people to help me out of this space of lack and into a space of Divine abundance and security (the church). I have lived a good chunk of my life fearing outside interference and assistance – being possessed by one of those spirits that insists on stubbornly doing everything by her own damned self – and this would be a good time to set a goal to change that.
8) Scorpio – Two of Cups reversed – Now we’re getting juicy, kids. The first thing that immediately drew my attention on this card was the cadaceus with the fuzzy winged critter holding it up. Healing with joy and laughter, particularly around sex, but that’s a wee bit TMI. Overall, I think this speaks to embracing the feeling that I am the soulful, energetic inheritor of my gifts and giving myself the chance to form goals that partner with Spirit (who is Universal Love) and letting myself move forward with that sense of ease and contentment.
9) Sagittarius – Eight of Cups – Not really surprised at this one, considering Gandalf bunny is doing his thing on the other side of the chasm. This is another affirmation that giving consideration to moving out-of-state would be a good thing for me on an emotional level and I need to start working on goals around this particular issue to make good of it.
10) Capricorn – The Sun – Basically, good shit is a-coming. The Sun is probably the pinnacle metaphor for shining your light and this card alludes to a need to really focus on setting and pursuing goals that accomplish sharing my warmth, passion and exuberance with other people and really allowing myself to revel in that field of flowers. Definitely noted!
11) Aquarius – Five of Swords – Now, this card in particular is very important because Saturn is in Aquarius on my natal chart, which means that this area is of particular importance to me. The Five of Swords in this instance for me comes across two-fold: 1) Establishing firm, firm boundaries with the people around me as well as refusing to compromise on my dreams for any schmuck, 2) Sending fear and indecision packing. My dreams so desperately require that I -stand up for them-, so my goals in this area for Saturn retrograde should center around how I can step up and defend what I want.
12) Pisces – The Chariot – The first thing that came to mind was fear around moving forward: Am I ready to move? Am I really ready to start accepting clients? Am I really moving forward or am I actually stuck? I think I need to set some goals to really address and reprogram these sorts of questions in my own subconscious. Additionally, on this card, the Chariot is moving towards the viewer in a slightly backwards trajectory (being pulled along by two water buffalo, who are notoriously short-tempered and stubborn creatures), which makes me feel like I need to stop stubbornly focusing on my past. Time to let that sh!t go! Things to do, people to see, dreams to manifest, sister! I need to work goal setting into my life that applies that bull-headedness to a forward trajectory rather than one in reverse.
That’s what I’ve got, kiddos. I hope my example was informative and that this gave you something to chew on or at least gives you a starting point for your own explorations. I’ve love to hear how your own reading went or feedback on other methods for introspection during various retrogrades, so please do leave me a comment below!