Following The Stars
Saturn Returns: Time for a Reality Check!
Astrology revolves around cycles and at some point every planet, including the Sun and Moon, return to the position it occupied at your birth. This position is known as the planet’s return. Planets, such as Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, move too slowly for us to experience a "return."
The effect on your own horoscope when a planet reaches the exact same position it occupied at your birth is both fascinating and illuminating. You may be familiar with the "Solar Return" which is when the Sun comes to the same place it is in your Natal Horoscope. This is your birthday and when we say, "Many Happy Returns," it is the Solar Return we are celebrating. In effect, it is your own personal New Year and a chance to make a fresh start.
The planets with longer cycles have a deeper and more profound effect on your life and of these, the "Saturn Return" may be the most familiar but also the most feared. Saturn spends approximately 2½ years in each sign, and for that reason your first Saturn return occurs when we are between 29 to 30 years old and the second return happens when we are around 59 to 60 years old.
When we reach the cusp of 30 years old, it really does feel like the dividing line between youth and maturity. At age 60, people are often coping with their kids leaving home, retirement and how to best enjoy the next phase of life that hopefully will take them to the third Saturn return, which happens around 89 to 90. I have detailed expectations of our first two returns below.
The Planet Saturn symbolizes structure but also represents the limitations in our life. Saturn was traditionally considered a malevolent planet and even today it has come to represent obstacles and impediments to our growth and pleasure. No wonder the Saturn Return is anticipated with apprehension!
However, if you think about it, boundaries and limits are quite useful. Structure and self-discipline help us to earn a living, maintain our homes and feed our families. While our imagination knows no boundaries, dreams will never become reality unless we can shape them into something we can use.
The Saturn Return can be a testing time, whether it is your first, second or even third. Events in your life may cause you to stop and think and it sometimes feels as though there is a conspiracy to block everything you are trying to do. Often there is a strong sense of frustration about where you are at right now especially if you are laden with heavy responsibilities. However, any impulse to “cut and run” is likely to backfire on you.
Being stuck in a rut or weighed down by responsibilities is not a great space to be in but running away often stores up trouble further along the line. We crave freedom but it is often out of bounds! We want to make changes but they don't come easily. It is as though the Universe is sending us a mixed message: You've got to change something but first you have to discover what it is. In fact, it's during the overcoming of obstacles and limitations that you discover what you are really made of, which ultimately leads you to fulfill your true potential.
During your first Saturn Return, you will likely be confronting major life situations and could be asking yourself some of the following questions:
- Relationship issues — Are you with the right partner?
- If you don't have children, do you want them?
- Are you in the right career?
- Are you ready to “settle” or are you afraid you have settled too early?
- Are you “happy in your own skin” or does your self-confidence need some work?
We are on the cusp of turning 60 years old when our second Saturn Return comes around. While in olden times, this was considered to be the age of wisdom, in our youth-oriented society, it's easy to feel overlooked and unproductive at 60. However, by refusing to tap into this ridiculous idea, you can make the next part of your life one of innovation and enjoyment. Today, this period allows us the opportunity to do the following:
- Learn something new,
- Travel and explore different cultures,
- Focus on your partner rather than your kids,
- Give yourself permission to do things simply because you want to, and
- In fact, you can do anything you want to so long as you remain true to yourself.
The great lesson of the second Saturn Return is that you need to be living life in a way that really makes sense to you. Now is the time to take stock of your life so that you are doing what is best for you. It is very important for you to do that!