The Meaning of a Saturn Return in Capricorn

When a person's natal Saturn is in Capricorn, and Saturn returns back to that area of the sky, the core themes of Capricorn are unduly emphasized.

Through 2020, Saturn will be in the sign of Capricorn. You can track its movement through our Chart of the Moment tool. In our past article about the Saturn Return we've also addressed what a Saturn Return is: it signifies the period during which Saturn returns back to the position it was in at one's birth.

The Saturn Return first occurs when one is ages 27-30 and that is the return most often discussed because it marks a significant coming of age moment into adulthood. Use our Transit tool to see exactly when yours will occur. The transit aspect you are looking for is 'Saturn Conjunction Saturn'. This indicates the period during which Saturn is in conjunction to the position of Saturn at one's birth. You will note that Saturn moves very slowly, and this period often lasts for many months. It's effect is often thought to be felt for years.

Over the next few years, those experiencing their Saturn Returns have their natal Saturns within the sign of Capricorn. There is a special relationship between Saturn and the sign of Capricorn, as Saturn is thought to be Capricorn's ruler - the planet which most defines and characterizes its own features. So in turn, the planet of Saturn is very much at home when moving through Capricorn.

In one's chart, Saturn symbolizes the striving for self-reliance, self-responsibility and self-mastery. The key word here is 'self', as Saturn is the part of one's character that acts as an authority - it drives decision-making, it takes responsibility, and builds a strong foundation within one's life. This is a part of oneself that some people like to ignore, as they are perhaps intimidated by its self-assertive nature. Some prefer to let others take the reins. And yet, each of us has this aspect to our own characters that helps us feel confident as we strive for success.

And when Saturn falls in Capricorn, it is even more "Saturn-ian" than usual. A Saturn in Capricorn's tendency is to be very pragmatic in their goals and they are driven to want to feel self-sufficient. The a good portion of the generation of 'Millennials' fall into this category, despite attempts to paint them as a free-wheeling. More likely, they are on the whole deeply driven to not rely on the promises of others, and feel very wary of arrangements with many strings attached. They like to feel independent on their path. They idealize meritocracy and believe their personal skills, talents, and capabilities are determining their potential.

Saturn in Capricorn is creative and minimalistic. It seeks to be innovative and resourceful. It is no surprise "tiny houses" are making a resurgence in pop culture. Saturn often represents one's foundations or building structures. And tiny houses represent the desire to be self-sufficient despite limited means - and to feel complete autonomy, with no strings attached or further obligations.

While Saturn in Capricorn does not shy from responsibility, it is always is striving to be in a position of authority. With authority comes responsibility but also the incredible thrill of self-determination and freedom in one's own strong direction. And yet, Saturn in Capricorn is comfortable working within the rules - it believes in the ideals of integrity, dedication, and perseverance to help it accomplish its goal.

The Saturn Return with Saturn in Capricorn

When a person's natal Saturn is in Capricorn, and Saturn returns back to that area of the sky, the core themes of Capricorn are unduly emphasized. Their core ideals are examined, and everything that is not in line with them in their lives, falls away.

A Saturn Return is marked by a feeling of foundations crumbling where they were weak. And for a Saturn in Capricorn this can play out in a number of ways.

'The end justifies the means'

If the individual is not on a career path that exudes a feeling of integrity and self-respect, they may begin to feel increasing exhaustion and doubt. The idea that 'The end justifies the means' is illusory, as positive outcomes don't come about from actions that don't feel good. The energy of the actions are carried into the results.

This is a common approach, however, of people who are incredibly ambitious such as Saturn in Capricorn individuals. They try to accomplish at all costs. But cutting corners to success is not the Capricorn way. Capricorn feels nourished in an environment of genuine and good-spirited energy.


During a Saturn Return, friendships and relationships that were built on feeble foundations fall away. In one's connections to others, Saturn in Capricorn seeks to be true-blue: unwaveringly loyal and faithful. The saying comes from a blue cloth in the middle ages that didn't fade with washing.

But the core message of the Saturn Return is not so much about depending on others, or relying on their behavior to feel secure. Rather, it is about finding that security in yourself and, in turn, exuding your own integrity shamelessly. It is your honesty about yourself and clarity of expression which then attracts similar behavior from others around you.

Ultimately, Saturn teaches us to find the support we are seeking within. It is Saturn in Capricorn that delights in the consistency and dedication of love.

Starting with a clean slate

During a Saturn Return, it can feel like one's old comfortable, dependable ways are suddenly shifting or out of reach. It becomes clear that others are not going to save one, and full responsibility needs to be accepted within one's life. It often marks a full identity separation from family, as one fully embarks on adulthood.

And yet, it also marks an incredible opportunity to build a whole new foundation - with a completely clean slate. There is a chance to be unencumbered by mistakes or regrets from the past. There is a chance to do things one's own way, without input or dependence on others. There is a remarkable sense of freedom that actually comes from accepting more personal responsibility.

And, meanwhile, Saturn in Capricorn thrives on building something new. This marks the dawn of a new day, where your hands can be completely in the clay as you design a new framework, from the ground up. It's a chance to utilize one's talents and capabilities, and put into action.

Relying on someone else to build one's own foundation this would never feel the same. Doing so would deprive oneself of the ability to feel self-empowered in the process. And to feel self-empowered is the gift of the Saturn Return.

The thing for Saturn in Capricorn to watch out for is being too serious about the whole process unfolding. There is a lot to gain from lightening up your self-control. This is a transition point in life that is to be celebrated, and enjoyed - not just mastered rationally.

Capricorn is symbolized half by a driven mountain goat and half by a fish. The fish represents the mystical nature of Capricorn, which is important to be utilized. It represents the instinctual sense of how to apply one's energy efficiently. It represents moving with the flow of one's creative impulses, unhurried and masterfully.

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