What is the Saturn Return? I must admit that my interest in the subject has been highly piqued, being that my 27th birthday is in just over a week; over the past few months I’ve noticed changes in my life, in my emotions, and in my thinking patterns. I’ve heard many people discuss a “quarter-life crisis,” occurring roughly at age 25 as an individual leaves the ideals of youth and struggles with ideas of marriage, children, and careers. I never put much stock into the idea, but the more I learn about the Saturn return, the more I wonder if the “quarter-life crisis” isn’t merely another term for a person’s first Saturn return. In 2000, rock band No Doubt released an album titled “The Return of Saturn;” I can only imagine that the album’s title was meant to coincide with first Saturn return of the band’s lead singer, Gwen Stefani. So, what was the meaning behind this? What is the mysterious Saturn return, and what does it mean?

Saturn returns occur every 27-30 years (coinciding with the amount of time it takes Saturn to orbit the Sun once; thus, at that point in time, Saturn “returns” to the point it was at at the time of your birth). Each Saturn return marks the end of one stage of life and an entrance to another life stage; most people have three Saturn returns during their lives:

  1. Age 27-30 (entering adulthood and domesticity, leaving youth behind)
  2. Age 56-60 (entering maturity, from adulthood)
  3. Age 84-90 (entering wise old age, from maturity)

So, what can we expect with each Saturn return? In his book Saturn Cycles, Wendell C. Perry has this to say:

We forget that the real significance of Saturn transits lies in what they bring us on an internal, spiritual level. Saturn transits provide the rhythm and the structure of our lives. They ask the questions and bring forth from us the answers that are crucial to building character and virtue. If we choose to evade these questions or if we fail to come up with the right answers, then Saturn transits can be every bit as hard and unhappy as they are often reputed to be. If we embrace this process, if we face squarely the questions asked of us and learn from the answers, then we can make something positive, edifying, and even triumphant of even the most dire of circumstance.

Saturn returns are a time of change, but as long as we are tuned in to what we are learning, the changes can be positive.

How about you? What have your Saturn returns (first, second, or third) been like? Any advice as I near my first?

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Written by Anna
Anna is the Senior Consumer & Online Marketing Specialist, responsible for Llewellyn's New Worlds of Body, Mind & Spirit, the Llewellyn Journal, Llewellyn's monthly email newsletters, and more. In her free time, Anna enjoys reading an absurd number of books; doing crossword puzzles; watching ...