Updated: Sep 10, 2020
Ever wonder why it is easier to give advice to
others than take it yourself? We operate beneath a veil where we have chosen to do what seems logical in order to stay in a state of perceived comfort and safety; then we sometimes ask why we become complacent in areas of our lives. We weren’t always like this. Inevitably, to survive our surroundings, influx of responsibilities, and roles placed on us, we start breaking apart from our natural selves. We have no choice but to assume the ‘right’ way over the innate way and once this form of conditioning starts we can get ourselves pretty separate from what our sense of self once was. The feared, mocked, and sometimes, avoided transit known as the Saturn Return is the Universe’s way of getting us closer to that integration we once had. It is an awareness of unlearning the limitations we have actually put on ourselves in hopes to have an easier time navigating this unknown called life. The truth is, and Saturn loves truth… ignoring our own growth and evolution is in fact the ‘bad karma’ we seek to clear.
One of the most widely heard-of transits in astrology, a person’s Saturn Return, is when the planet Saturn makes its way back to the position in the sky it was at birth. It takes Saturn 29.5 years to complete an orbit around the Sun. If blessed with time, everyone has a ‘Saturn Return’ every 27-30 years of life. We are all handed this Universal attunement of sorts regardless of our unique paths and where we are on them.
Think of each celestial body as a magic potion with a specific power to offer human life. As a cosmic being, we are the potion cabinet containing every medicine/poison the Universe has to offer. Saturn’s potion would appear dense, showing us the folly in luck, importance of discipline and an ability to see only what is concentrated in reality. It is a drink of maturity, for it is the planet of concrete, condensed experience.
Saturn exists as the figurative father, the disciplinary, governing the realm of structure and physicality, coming into yourself, and playing an active role in the life you had chosen before even entering this human, flesh and bone existence.
Confrontations of Saturn can involve force. That is where the humble human inside us all sees ‘limit’ when uncomfortable. The cause of force is always the opposite, to exceed your current self-limits. Saturn rules Capricorn and is the last planet to exist within our material reality. As much as I want to say this is a time that is more than new careers, moves, relationship dynamics and actions-that is kind of exactly what it is. Our attention is brought to how actions and interactions develop us through our lives. And with the passing of Saturn over our natal position we are given an opportunity of karmic re-birth.
Ages 27-30 can bring a time of great reflection and pressure on its own. The first Saturn Return is the sudden blinding of a new dawn, when all of a sudden you think, Holy shit, life is now. How you respond to that incoming fact is based on the perceptions to those responsibilities, roles, expectations and perhaps, excuses you have relied on to formulate this compact experience that may not be serving you. Am I where I am supposed to be at this point in my life? Warning: Saturn is hard when life is based off of expectation. But to ‘expect’ is one of the brain’s favorite things to do, after all, its’ personal mission is to find answers. And like the hard-wired computer it is, unfortunately those answers are castles made of sand kept together with the makings of the unconscious mind. Deception is the real enemy here. A Saturn Return is a time of penetrating unnecessary illusion, beliefs, and holding onto such things that are not anchored in our reality, which will be the cause of our own suffering.
Change is a natural part of life, and the more we resist, the more difficult we make it for ourselves. Change is also a beautiful, inviting experience, showing up as miracles and wishes come true. Sometimes we just need to adjust our perspective and that is possible after experiencing the feelings that inevitably come up during this transit for all of us. If we have had negative experiences with change, chances are we won’t be looking forward to it. But that is the purpose behind the lesson, to release the past and set it free so we are no longer unconsciously bound by it. This is a period of transition. There is a motion that is set forth along with the discomfort that any human being of this age can relate to experiencing. Something is thrown out of alignment in your life and suddenly things that you didn’t have the energy for are getting done, this can be big or small. It is the power play of the inner-authoritative presence and realizing just how much needs to be learned and gained through experience.
Each Saturn Return deals with events of life up until that point. They are dealings of the past and whether or not you have come to learn from them willing to expand on your life. We all have room to evolve and not in reference to each other, but the journey within and that is why there is more than one Saturn Return. The second Saturn Return which occurs ages 56-60 has been domed in popular culture as the ‘midlife crises’. This is because again, an attunement of reflection and alignment, now, with the purpose of getting us to live our most authentic lives in reference to time.
“The sniper in the brain, regurgitating drain
Incestuous and vain
And many other last names”
-TiME by David Bowie
You do not need to have wasted time to fear it running out but it certainly doesn’t make it easier to look back on. Whether we perceive we have wasted time, fear losing it, spent it with the wrong people or on the wrong things, our minds can become locked on its whereabouts. The limitation of time is only an effort to face mortality for the sake of checking in with where we are. Is it where we want to be? When we really are not where we want to be the mind and body can get sick. This along with the first Saturn Return is where we can see psychosomatic illness surface. Illness is an energy construct and balled up anger, suppressed grief, and unfelt emotions can all reach a barrier overflowing in sickness of the physical body. This is where we face a sobering reality of, what we resist, persists in some form or another.
Re-assessing themes of responsibility in life are paramount. What can I really control and what do I need to let go of? This is a common time for someone to be shown where boundaries are necessary in life if not fully integrated the first time around and how the hard thing and the right thing are sometimes one in the same.
What goes wrong during this period of growth?
Signs of misalignment with Saturn's lessons are feelings of depression, limitation, and hopelessness. It will always come down to one or more of the following, a blockage, fear, or self-doubt. It is important to first identify your mode of resistance to growth.
In the case of a blockage, some form of thinking or being is so vastly outdated and misaligned that it causes a void between the self and the truth. The good part of finding your truth is that it already exists inside of you. Accessing this part of you is unlocking inner-knowledge. It is through the experiences in our lives and their impacts that we are able to reach a level of wholeness.
Fear causes our lives to freeze. The price of fear is the limiting of receptivity. Our self-expression whether we realize it or not is also affected by this.
Self-doubt is learned and usually is the ‘self’ quietly carrying on some kind of abuse. Part of moving forward in our lives involves bringing new facets into our experience and that experience into our archives. Life is made up of many different elements. Do you wear your lessons as scars or badges?
Saturn shows us our limiting beliefs. Jealousy can play a large role in these both consciously and unconsciously. This may not resonate for everyone but it is worth mentioning. Jealousy is a teacher. As stated before, Saturn is cruel when expectation is involved. Why is jealousy noted as one of the major blockages of the heart, because it stops us from living through it. When we take notice of what we do not have or where we are not yet, it is translated into some form of comparison and divide. What's worse is the limit we put on ourselves by doing this. When we are distracted by the paths of others we cannot be present for our own. Also, we cover our perceived short-comings with an ‘out of our control’ reason so we can’t really work on them. If you feel limited by something that makes you envious ask yourself, why do I think this isn’t possible for me? What is the physical evidence, is it resentments, work you’re unwilling to put in, discomfort you don’t feel supported to handle?
Naturally we become distracted and Saturn wants you to take some time with this and see it doesn’t play well with your quality of life. Jealousy is only one of many qualities of the shadow-self and it is coming to healing with those parts of ourselves that change the reality around us.
More individual effects of a Saturn Return are dependent on interactions in the natal chart. The house and sign of your natal Saturn will show you the door you must open for yourself despite all the other ones around. Aspects will show you whether or not this will be difficult to integrate. Once this door has been opened, a personal mission begins that is only fully understood by the native. It is a time where the major lessons of your life are ready to be overcome but first you must see what holds you back from overcoming them.
Saturn sees truth as the only resolution to growth. What has not been anchored in truth like that job you felt you needed to take, armor you thought you had to wear, and relationship that has made you stagnant, will see movement. On the other hand, what has been experienced through hard work, diligence, grace, and presence will be crystallized.
Your Saturn Return wants to give you the greatest gift worth having through the inevitable trials and tribulations of our lives, understanding. What you will do with your new found level of understanding is entirely up to you.