What is a ‘Saturn Return’?

A ‘Saturn Return’ is an astrological event everyone experiences for the first time around the age of 28 or 29. And it’s something we’ll experience a second time at age 56-57.

When your Saturn Return comes along, your life will usually go through a period of noticeable change. This can be a turning-point or ‘crisis’ of some sort. The underlying meaning and value of this change is ‘growing up’, becoming an adult, and facing up to your responsibilities — particularly ones you’ve been avoiding.

This is because astrologically Saturn is associated with maturity and responsibility. My astrology teacher used to say that everything prior to your Saturn Return is just a ‘dress rehearsal’ for life. From the Saturn Return onwards, life gets more real, and we should no longer be acting like grown-up children. We should take life on the chin.

So sometimes this means your life will shift significantly at your Saturn Return. You might give up a job, a relationship. You might see yourself as more separate from your parents, or take on some new level of responsibility in your life. And that can seem hard. Because we may not be used to it.

In my case, my Saturn Return correlated with the end of a significant love relationship, and associated grief.

Your second Saturn Return, around age 56-57, re-visits the themes of the earlier one. It’s asking, ‘Have you learned the lesson?’ How you handle this second Saturn Return will be a measure of how you’ve managed adulthood – do you now have the wisdom and experience to deal with what Saturn is going to throw at you this time around?

In summary, the Saturn Return is a necessary growth phase for all of us. It may not be always enjoyable, but it’s meant to assist us to grow up, be mature, and accept the mantle of adulthood with dignity.

The mechanics of the Saturn Return are as follows.

On the day you were born the planet Saturn was in a particular sign of the zodiac (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, etc) and at a specific ‘degree’ of that sign – anywhere from 0-30°.

Transiting (i.e. moving) Saturn takes about 28 years to go through all the signs of the zodiac. So at about age 28, Saturn will transit back to the exact zodiac sign and degree it was on the day you were born. This is why it’s called the Saturn Return. Saturn returns to exactly the same place where it was on the day you were born.


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