The Saturn Return is a right of passage, a necessary bridge we must cross in the path of life (no matter how tumultuous the journey) that leads, ultimately, to your next stage of life. It is a harsh wake-up call for those who have not done their heavy lifting, so-to-speak. If you’re over 29 years old, you know what I’m talking about. You have experienced it. If you have yet to reach your 29th year – brace yourself – you’re in for a mind-altering, life-changing ride, where your core beliefs and strength of character will be challenged.
Saturn and his archetypes slam down a heavy gavel no matter how accomplished or spiritually advanced you are at age 29. By this stage of life, there are necessary lessons to learn, and if the foundation with which you have lived your life is unbalanced, askew, or false, Saturn will make sure you learn your lessons – the hard way. If you refuse to learn your spiritual lessons at 29 and 30, you do have another chance (albeit one more difficult and heavy with Karma) at age 58 to set things right.
Your natal chart can usually determine how many lessons you have to learn or how difficult the learning will be. You can track how many “hits” you will receive from your Saturn return. For example, a person can have one “hit” of Saturn where transiting Saturn will conjunct natal Saturn only once and be on its way. Make no mistake about it –one hit is difficult enough to contend with. But some unluckier folks have two, three, even four hits of their Saturn return. This happens when Saturn turns retrograde and transiting Saturn passes over natal Saturn repeatedly.
The implications of your Saturn Return do not have to imply such negativity. In fact, you can flip your perspective toward this inevitable time in your life and focus on the positive. Many people who have gone through their returns report that it was a difficult time of major change , but you can choose to perceive it, in the end, as favorable. If something in your life not working for you, at the time of your return, Saturn will help eliminate those aspects that are not advantageous to your spiritual and personal growth. What you need most comes into your life and what you do not need goes out. And while the experience is painful, it is almost always extremely liberating. For example, you might lose a romantic relationship that was not beneficial to your life-path or personal growth, but you might gain a new opportunity in your career that fosters much-needed independence, self-esteem, and self-reliance. New people, friends, and colleagues can come into your life with what seems like whirlwind of activity. You might even decide to move to the ends of the earth. A significant romantic relationship can start during a Saturn Return. A relationship that starts during a return is said to have a karmic or fated quality, and relationships that stand the test of a Saturn Return can last a lifetime.
In his book, Saturn Cycles: Mapping Changes in Your Life, Wendell C. Perry examines the cycles of Saturn and the life-altering events that occurred in the lives of well-known people such as Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton, and the Dalai Lama, as Saturn crossed their Midheaven (MC), Imum Coeli (IC), Ascendant, and Descendant, as well as the infamous Saturn Return. He also takes a close look at Saturn oppositions and squares. Also of note within his book is a section containing information on Saturn at work for you and how you can go about interpreting Saturn aspects in your own chart. In the end, the purpose of exploring such cycles of Saturn is a message as loud and clear as it is certain your character and spirit will be put to the utmost test: you will be a better person for having been tested, and you will survive.