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What Is A Saturn Return? Learn The Meaning Of This Astrological Phenomenon

by Lisa Stardust

As children, we were asked, “What do you want to do with your life when you grow up?” As teens and young adults, we may jump from major to major and profession to profession in reckless pursuit of our true identity, as we try to find the ideal fit. After 28 years of this, Father Time knocks on our door, asking us, “Who do you want to be now that you’ve grown up?” Now that we are no longer children, in the eyes of the cosmos, the journey towards finding our truest identity begins—with some growing pains. This astrological phenomenon is known as the Saturn Return. 

You’ve probably heard the term “Saturn Return” at some point in your life, as it’s become a cultural note on adulthood. Every 27 years, the planet Saturn moves into the astrological sign it resided at the individual’s birth, giving us the itch to grow. The Saturn Return kicks off in full swing between the ages of 28 and 30. Astrologer Priya Kale notes, “The Saturn Return is when an individual matures and bears fruit, offering of itself to the world at large, and those who seek its shelter and sustenance,” adding, “this period requires self-mastery, hard work, humility, integrity, maturity, and total responsibility (for the past, present, future).” 

The first Saturn Return occurs between the ages of 27 and 30, and it’s a time when people are forced to take on adult responsibilities. This can be challenging, as the universe checks in to see if we are living up to our fullest and truest potential. 

Astrologer Stephanie Koyfman, who recently experienced her first Saturn Return, states, “Sometimes people assume a new mantle of responsibility in their lives (having your first child certainly counts). And sometimes, your Saturn Return can be about doing the thing you really don’t want to do (but you know you kind of have to).” For Koyfman, her Saturn Return forced her to use her newfound maturity as a catalyst to courageously have “a conversation I’d been avoiding for years and years.” Often, people, situations, and jobs leave our lives abruptly, as they are not part of our highest calling. During this time, we are faced with the consequences of our youthful actions and are pulled into different directions in our lives. We are becoming the person we are meant to be in this lifetime, even if that means being more future-oriented and consciously planning our next steps. 

The second Saturn Return, occurring between the ages of 56 and 60, allows us to honor our accomplishments while also forcing us to plan for the next stage of life: retirement. Finally, the third time we encounter Saturn, will be roughly between the ages of 84 and 90. This Saturn Return gives us time to reflect on “the good old days” and accept and understand our life lessons.

Authoritative Saturn can use its austere power to punish those who try to resist change. Letting go of fear during your Saturn Return will allow you to revel in the foreseen future. Trust the process and accept the journey into this new stage in life. After all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! 

Image via “Alienist and Neurologist” (1919), Internet Book Archive Images/Wikimedia Commons

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