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Anyone who’s on the cusp of their 30s knows the feeling of dread that comes with knowing you’re leaving your carefree 20s behind.
It’s the decade associated with more responsibility, so it’s no surprise people freak out before they hit the big 3-0. But there’s also an astrological basis for this mini-crisis: the Saturn return.
An astrological event happens between the ages of 27-30, the Saturn return marks a period where you undergo a lot of changes, challenges and trials.
For most people, the Saturn return is when they hit significant milestones, such as getting married, buying a house, or advancing in their careers. That’s because Saturn is the planet in astrology that is associated with maturity.
Astrologers have different names for Saturn. He’s called the Great Teacher, for his role in teaching us important life lessons. But unlike Jupiter, who is more like a guru that imparts wisdom through spiritual teachings, Saturn is the “tough love” professor whose lessons are learned through hard work, patience and commitment.
Saturn is the planet that governs time, commitment, rules, discipline and structure -- what most business people would call the ingredients to success. Saturnian energy can feel heavy and serious, but it’s also highly rewarding. Saturn says, it takes 10,000 hours to learn a new skill. But once you put in the work, you’ll be free to enjoy the rewards.
Saturn rules the signs of Capricorn and Aquarius in traditional astrology. Capricorn, an Earth sign, manifests the material motivations of Saturn, such as that hard work leads to success. Aquarius, an Air sign, is more concerned with the ideological and social structures that govern humanity.
We all carry Saturn’s energy within our birth charts. The zodiac sign and house that Saturn is placed in, can reveal what we have come into this life to master through hard work and perseverance.
Saturn makes a return, completing one full orbit around the sun, roughly once every 28 years. This is why the first Saturn return of our lives only begins in our late 20s. The “return” is when Saturn comes back to the sign that it was in when you were born.
Starting 2018, Saturn entered its home sign of Capricorn, which means that everyone born between roughly 1988-1991 is currently finishing up their Saturn return.
The cycle repeats once you hit your late 50s. This often happens during the time that people call their midlife crisis. From the ages of 57-60, you’ll go through Saturn’s lessons again, and deepen what you learned in your late 20s.
The next generation that will undertake its cosmic rite of passage, is those born between February 1991 and January 1994, aka the Saturn in Aquarius generation.
Saturn is entering the humanitarian, forward-thinking sign of the zodiac in December 2020, and will stay there until March 2023.
How can you know how your Saturn return will affect you personally? For that, you need to find out which house Saturn falls in your own birth chart.
You can generate your chart for free on astro.com or cafeastrology.com using the exact date, time, place you were born. Popular astrology apps like co-star can also tell you Saturn’s exact natal location.
Here’s how your Saturn return affects you, depending on its house placement:
As the saying goes, we are our own biggest critics.
During your Saturn return, you may find yourself more self-critical and doubting. You might feel the need to hold back on expressing your true self, fearing what others may think of you. Saturn’s lesson is about overcoming insecurities and becoming comfortable in your own skin.
You may be called upon to master your personal resources and financial situation during your Saturn return. This includes being more frugal, managing your spending habits, or cutting down on things you own.
But you may also have to reflect on your priorities and values. Saturn asks, what are the things that are most important to you, materially and non-materially?
Saturn’s return will push you to grow up in terms of how you communicate. You may be given an opportunity to master your writing or speaking skills, and learn how to get your ideas across more effectively.
Saturn’s lesson is in creating a stable home life and putting down roots. Your house or living situation may be a source of challenges, but your relationships with family and close relatives could also be in the spotlight. If you had a troubling childhood or difficult relationships with your parents, Saturn is calling on you to be patient, and establish strong boundaries.
Your creative endeavours could be a focus during your Saturn return. You may need to become a master of your own creativity, without fearing judgment or critique. If you are dating, it might be a time where you’re especially picky about who to swipe right on, or go a second date with.
That’s because Saturn is making you take your romantic or sexual entanglements more seriously! This is also the area of life that governs children, so if you have any, Saturn’s lesson will involve growing up so you can be the best possible parent.
Health will be in the spotlight during your Saturn return. If you haven’t been keen on eating a nutritious diet or exercising regularly, Saturn may give you the push you need to make your health a priority.
Work-life balance could also be a major theme. Saturn asks, are you taking on more work than you need to, at the expense of your health and wellbeing?
Close partnerships will be the focus of your Saturn return. If happily partnered, Saturn may push things to the next level of commitment. If not fully happy, there might be a period of soul-searching about your relationship. If unpartnered, Saturn may present opportunities for you to grow up in terms of your attitudes and behavior in relationships.
Finances involving other people will be in the spotlight during your Saturn return. Issues involving taxes, debt and insurance may come up, and you’ll have to take on Saturnian responsibility in these areas. If partnered, Saturn’s challenge may lie in successfully merging each other’s resources.
Your world views will be called into question during your Saturn return. If you have been unsure of what you truly believe, it might be a time to grow up and decide what you really stand for. Saturn may give you a reality check, forcing you to reconsider old ways of thinking about the world. To that end, you may consider pursuing higher education during this period.
Saturn’s lessons will manifest in your career and public life. If you have been struggling to find direction in your career, Saturn will push you to pick a lane. You might be forced to make tough decisions about your job, or in matters that might affect how you’re seen in the world.
Alternatively, you could also be called to take more responsibility as a leader in your field or profession.
Your friendships will be under Saturn’s critical eye during his return. You might find yourself stepping back from group chats or big social events, and being more discerning about who’s in your inner circle.
You may also be asked to take a leadership role, one that comes with Saturnian responsibility, in an organization you belong to.
During your Saturn return, there might be growing pains in relation to your spiritual life and inner world. This period might find you detaching and spending more time alone. You may be called on to confront self-sabotaging behaviors. With Saturn in the area of life that rules addictions, this may be a period to finally drop a smoking or drinking habit that’s gotten out of hand.
A final word: The concept of a Saturn return might bring a lot of fear and apprehension. It may not be the most fun or easy time, but you could also look at it as an opportunity. Committing to more work and responsibility is essential for building the life you want, so that after your Saturn return, you can reap the fruits of your labor. – Rappler.com