The Saturn Return is a phenomenon I have observed even people who are not aware or interested in astrology are most likely to be able to relate to. Around the ages of 27 to 30, Saturn returns back to the sign and position in the sky it was in when you were born.
In turn, many people experience a strong shift and experience of transition in their life then, almost like a coming of age moment. It is often described as one's own personal - emotional, financial, or material foundations feeling like they are falling apart, crumbling, only to be reborn again - stronger, sturdier, more resilient.
The symbolic image of the Saturn Return that comes to mind for me are ancient Greek ruins. The stately columns are the perfect symbol of foundation, a powerful and rigid support that has withstood the test of time. And yet, they too crumble and need to be repaired and maintained to be seen in their full glory.
Saturn itself represents our own personal foundation - our urge for stability, our desire for structure. It also represents our own internal sense of authority - that person within who takes control and takes responsibility when needed. In fact, by developing a strong relationship of trust with our own sense of authority, we feel most secure - we, in turn, feel the gift of self-reliance, knowing we can depend on our own wits and judgement when needed.
Throughout life however, people can fall into the trap of using subpar means to fortify their foundations. And in turn, they stand like Jenga towers that have held up for quite some time but suddenly with a whiff of wind, coming crashing down. They served their purpose for some time, but the Saturn Return marks a time to rebuild and re-secure one's sense of foundation in a far better way.
The Saturn Returns opens the opportunity to take responsibility in a much deeper way. It gives us space to stop relying that parent or partner or mentor to guide us. It wipes clear our own backup plans and encourages us to create our own plan. At first, the experience can be scary. We may seriously doubt our ability to withstand the tests in front of us. But after we've taken the baby steps forward, and in time find our stride, we discover a sense of power and inner self-sufficiency that is unbelievable.
And then suddenly you look back at the period of transition of the Saturn Return and realise: it was all worth it. It was an incredible portal into the experience of deeper power and the self-determination of adulthood.
The Saturn Return can come on like an earthquake - out of the blue. It can take on many forms, often revealing to us the areas of our life that were the most flimsy.
For some, it might mean re-evaluating their relationship to their parents - determining how to finally seperate their sense of self and feel complete self-determination on their own path.
For others, it could reveal needy patterns within relationships. The need to develop emotional self-sufficiency can become apparent - the importance of learning how to soothe and take care of oneself. Friendships show their true colours, as those connections which were the most sensible and authentic weather the storm.
For some, it may reveal material things they once relied on suddenly feel impermanent. For example, one may need to move out of the house one has lived in for their entire life. Or perhaps they do not need to move, but the fact their family is moving to start a new life elsewhere makes them feel unsettled. Or a family business they assumed they would be able to join needs to close down. It could come in many forms - often those that we take for granted but are actually based on shaky foundations.
The Saturn Return lights up a path for the individual to find the keys to their own personal empire: in their own sense of self-sufficiency and internal authority.
Tips for Navigating the Saturn Return
Saturn's corresponding sign Capricorn (one part mountain goat, one part fish) gives us some insight into how to adapt and even thrive during the Saturn Return:
1) Move slow
The Chinese proverb "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" encapsulates this well. Changes don't happen overnight, especially when they involve our foundation in some way - the things that have been with us for a long time. However, a single step in the right direction can then add up to a few steps in the right direction. Next thing you know, you are walking a full-fledged path in the direction you want to go in. As time goes on, it feels more and more comfortable and familiar.
2) Remain persistent
The tale of the 'Tortoise and the Hare' perfectly encapsulates the themes of Saturn: it's not all about glamour and show. It's also about persistence, diligence, and integrity.
The Tortoise never stops, he never gives up. He keeps moving. He doesn't stop to look at how far the Hare has gone - as this would simply deplete his sense of enthusiasm. Instead, he remains focused on his goals and persistent in his technique. He is not fazed by the show or the talk, but rather continues in integrity.
3) Practice makes perfect
When a mountain goats jumps up steep cliff sides on a set of hooves, it looks effortless and easy. And yet, it is the results of a perfection of technique that does not happen overnight. Discipline and, in turn, focus are the recipe for success of things that are truly extraordinary.
Discipline is often a disliked word. And yet, discipline really means doing what you really want to do. Not doing what one is distracted into doing, or simply falls into doing without thinking. Rather it means having focus and sustaining that focus - and then finding yourself putting your energy where you really intended to put it.
4) Pragmatism leads to efficiency
'Just do it' is a slogan that epitomizes the feeling of Saturn.
It's easy to stagnate action by thinking about non-necessities. But learning to be practical and grounded helps one from getting lost in the clouds. Too much thinking leads to non-action. Too much desire for perfectionism leads to incomplete work.
Sometimes you just need to move and let the process reveal the steps to you along the way. This quality reflects well the 'fishy' part of Capricorn, who swims through challenges based on an instinctual feeling of flow.
The Saturn Return is a chance to connect to our own power. It's a chance realise external people and factors cannot be relied on to save us. And even if they did, it would rob us of the opportunity to stand on our own two feet and feel our own talents and capabilities carry us. It is a magical road to be on, as we discover deeper self-love and potential.
Use our Transit tool to see exactly when yours will occur. The transit aspect you are looking for is 'Saturn Conjunction Saturn'. This indicates transiting Saturn meets the natal Saturn at the same Sun sign and degree.