I’m a Capricorn, so that makes me a child of Saturn (Saturn rules Capricorn, and co-rules Aquarius).

One of my favorite Astrology books is called Ruling Planets by Christopher Renstrom. It has beautiful illustrations — it’s a big book. He devotes a chapter to each Ruling Planet, e.g.,”Child of The Sun,” “Child of the Moon,” and uses mythology, stories, and examples to describe each “child.” At the end of each chapter, there’s a section on the Retrograde placement. If you are a Child of the Sun or Moon your “planet” does not go retrograde (lucky you), but for everyone else there is the possibility your ruling planet was in its retrograde phase when you were born, and so the interpretation for that planet changes a bit – it’s kind of  inside-out, as I like to say. For example, if Saturn “direct” represents hard work and effort, Saturn Retrograde natives may feel that something or someone is working against their best efforts. They may be tempted to give up; giving up (in the face of overwhelming limitations) can be themes for Saturn Rx, but for all children of Saturn (retrograde or direct) there is the nagging need to keep going – it’s almost as if giving up is not an option. And, so, you get up, dust yourself off and try, try again.

Saturn, besides being the planet of hard knocks, stands for long-lasting success – the success of truly fulfilling life-work that you have worked hard for. So, my Saturn Rx children, hang in there because for us it takes longer and there are more delays, no doubt; we’ve got it two-fold, or a double whammy as my mom used to say; Saturns itself is about delays AND the retrograde energy is indicative of delays and do-overs  … and, yet, we are as strong as nails, patient and resourceful; we find a way around all those roadblocks thrown in our path.

In the book, Stephen Hawking is used as an example for Child of Saturn with Saturn Retrograde. I came across a Stephen Hawking quote, one day, that resonated with me and I brought it with me to read in my yoga class. As I read his words aloud, my voice caught and if I hadn’t been in a room full of people expecting me to lead a class, I would have started crying like a baby. I hadn’t expected this.

The quote was from an interview in which Hawking was asked how he felt about his life, meaning his physical limitations. If you’re not familiar with his disease, he had ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes all of one’s muscles to atrophy. He was confined to a wheelchair from a young age, and he communicated through a computer and a voice synthesizer and, later when he lost the use of his hands, he moved the muscles in his face to communicate.

His answer to how he felt about life with a a progressive neurodegenerative disease: “Who could have asked for more?”

It hits me in the core every time I read it. Who could have asked for more.

There is something in his experience I can relate to. His answer exemplifies, perfectly, the child of Saturn Retrograde; he was dealt a difficult hand, one that there was seemingly no way out of, and yet he not only learned to work with his physical limitations but he transcended them in that he found great peace and fulfillment in his life’s work. He also lived for an astoundingly long time with this disease, beating the odds. There are different interpretations and explanations of why he may have been able to live so long. Saturn is about hardship and, also, longevity, success, and fulfillment .. even, and especially, if Saturn is retrograde in your chart.