piscesWater is the strongest element of 2013, and we’re coming into a time when the tides are especially high. The Sun enters Pisces on Monday, joining four other planets – Neptune, Chiron, Mars and Mercury – in the watery, sensitive, dreamy, intuitive sign of the Fish.

The Sun in Pisces marks the closing of the astrological year, a month of purification, rest and healing, when we’re called to return to Source. This is a time for dissolving the past, and tuning into our dreams, imagination and intuition to bring forth a new vision. We’re both closing out a cycle, and preparing for the new one that will begin at Spring Equinox on March 20, when the Sun enters Aries.

Saturn in Scorpio – another Water sign – is also particularly potent right now. Saturn turns Retrograde on Monday, though we’ve been stewing in the energy for the past few weeks, getting in touch with intense feelings and old pain and becoming aware of what is and isn’t working in the areas of intimacy, sexuality and power. Because this is Saturn’s first Retrograde since entering Scorpio on October 4, the issues could feel particularly acute. And because Scorpio is a Fixed sign, there can also be a feeling of stuckness as the issues come into focus. If any planets in your birth chart fall in the range of 5 to 15 (or so) degrees of the Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius), then Saturn’s reversal is likely to be especially intense.

saturnSaturn Retrograde (until July 7) focuses attention inward and toward the past to heal the places where your feelings shut down, where you built walls of protection that are now holding you back and draining your energy. Saturn Retrograde returns you to the times when you felt abandoned, betrayed, abused, unloved or unworthy and didn’t have the maturity, tools or resources to feel the feelings and move through the pain. You survived, you coped, you kept on keeping on, you did the best that you could under the circumstances. Now, it’s time to revisit those stuck and frozen parts of yourself to do the necessary emotional work, soften your defenses, reclaim your power, and regenerate your vitality.

One of Saturn’s lessons is patience, and Saturn in Scorpio teaches that emotional healing is often a slow, step-by-step process. As we take one small step forward, and then the next, we can practice being patient, gentle and loving with ourselves. We can lean into the support of those planets in Pisces to bring more compassion, forgiveness and unconditional love to the places that seem so hopelessly stuck.

And while Saturn in Scorpio pushes us to take responsibility for our emotional healing, this doesn’t mean we have to do it all on our own. Taking responsibility sometimes means asking for help, which requires vulnerability, trust and humility, and therefore is not always easy (especially if you have a strong Scorpio or Pluto signature in your birth chart). Scorpio is the sign of mutual empowerment, and Saturn in Scorpio can help you see more clearly the people in your life who genuinely support your growth and healing, and those who are not serving your highest good. This is a time to deepen your connection with those you can trust, and to lovingly detach from those you can’t. Your instincts are your best guide.

– Emily Trinkaus

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