The Saturn Return

The Infamous Saturn Return; The Cycles Of Maturity

The Infamous Saturn Return: The Cycles Of Maturity

The Saturn Return
photo by NASA

The Saturn Return

Have you ever heard of the Saturn Return? Even if you know very little about astrology, you likely know your Sun sign. You may also know your Moon sign, your Rising sign, or have heard of the notorious Mercury Retrograde. If you know these topics, then the next on this list is usually the Saturn Return. You often become aware of it because some annoying person informed you about it during a tumultuous chapter in your life around age 28-29.

One Full Circuit Around The Sun

In a nutshell, the Saturn Return describes the motion of the planet Saturn as it makes one full circuit in its orbit around the Sun. This takes roughly 29.5 years from our point of view on Earth. In your astrology chart, this occurs when Saturn returns to the same zodiac sign and degree as at the time of your birth. Because Saturn is a slow-moving planet, you can consider the start of your Saturn Return to coincide with its first movement into the natal sign. In other words, if your Saturn is at 18º Scorpio, then you can consider yourself on Saturn’s notice as soon as it reaches 0º Scorpio. This places the Saturn Return in a broader context, which helps with understanding it as a process rather than getting caught up in a singular moment in time. The Saturn Return repeats this orbit, later signifying cronehood at 58-60, which presents a time of reflection on how you’ve handled the concept of authority in your life. Should you live to be 90, you experience a third one, marking a gift at the end of life.

What It Signifies

According to the doctrines of astrology, in its link to a full circuit around the Sun, it symbolizes the full ascent into adulthood. Probably very few of us buy into the social idea that adulthood actually occurs at age 18 or 21. The pre-frontal cortex of the brain hasn’t yet developed, which challenges the good sense decision-making ability. Think of yourself at that age and you will probably find it laughable that you thought you were truly an adult by then. When you search your feelings, you realize that age 27-29 seems a lot more accurate when describing the maturing process for a human being. Essentially, Saturn represents maturity and includes topics like responsibility, self-accountability, commitments, and self-discipline. It is a serious planet, symbolizing the very serious process of stepping fully into adulthood.

Saturn Experiences

What kinds of experiences can you expect to have during your Saturn Return? Consider what comes to mind when you think of adulting. It is often a critical point in the early profession, relationships commitments, breaking away from family of origin, starting a family, and other major topics. The person begins to step along their own track, depending on family traditions, mentoring opportunities, and education. Think about people you know at this age, in your personal life and in the news, and you will see how many people hit a crucial crisis or crossroads at this time. As you learn more about this, review it from the cyclical lens. When you go through the Saturn Return, you are both opening a new chapter of your growth and closing a preceding chapter. In other words, as you move forward into maturation, you must also close the door on the young, dependent, and immature part of your life. It is both. So often, Saturn Return stories involve break-ups, breakdowns, crossroads, pivots, and other major changes. You may often hear negativity associated with the Saturn Return for this reason. However, all of this occurs in the name of your growth, and growth isn’t easy, especially the worthwhile kind. Part of this is because our society does not emphasize growing up or taking responsibility. Saturn provides enduring lessons.

How To Use It

In astrology, let’s look at the different layers to help you understand more about the impact of this important time. First, understand the significations of Saturn itself. Think about the way in which you are being asked to step into adulthood that requires you shed some of your childishness or wounding of your first 29 years. Second, consider the zodiac sign it is in. The zodiac sign provides very specific lessons that you must learn, some obvious, some more subtle. Third, observe what astrological house your Saturn sits in. Each house represents an area of your life that will be most obviously impacted by the Saturn Return. This position of the planet of responsibility provides more information about your unfoldment over the long haul.

For example, Saturn in earlier houses (1-4) signify someone more on track with the “typical timing” of our society versus Saturn in later houses (10-12) indicating a longer road to professional fulfillment. Saturn refers to social fulfillment because it deals with the social aspects of being human, and the necessity of authoritative instruction so that we may learn our social purpose, which cannot be done alone or in a vacuum. It describes how and where we must meet society to do work within it. Fourth, understand what additional topics Saturn is responsible for in your astrology chart through the rulership scheme. In the astrology, Saturn rules Capricorn and Aquarius, so look to the houses that hold these signs in the cusp to expand your understanding. Fifth, observe what other factors in the form of planets are impacted by your natal Saturn. For example, if you have Saturn square Mercury in your natal chart, then Mercury will also receive the square from transiting Saturn, implying that your thought processes and communication style will also be impacted.

It is important to note that some people have very intense returns, while others are able to take it more in stride. This has to do with personal temperament, but also the way Saturn operates in your natal chart in general. To take the full deep dive, schedule a consultation with an experienced astrologer to analyze the additional components of Saturn. Getting a complete picture can help you understand a lot about your impact on society, your career path, and what things to let go of. Rather than getting concerned or overanalyzing, the best thing you can do is seek out practices to help you stay grounded, healthy, and resilient. Resilience implies self-acceptance, developing a support system, and finding way to be flexible and adopt a growth mindset.

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