Saturn Return

by Lindsay on August 19, 2010

in Personal Growth

I know it’s too early for a mid-life crisis. Sure, I would’ve been an old maid back in the olden days (or maybe even in the 70’s) but this is 2010, so 30 is not the time for a mid-life crisis.

I’ve been 30 years old for one month and 3 days now. They weren’t kidding (whoever they are) when they said I would be feeling a transformation in my life. Things are changing – both inside of me as well as the external factors in my life. They’re changing rapidly and rocking my world and the metaphorical boat as well. As my head was spinning the other day, I came across an article that mentioned Saturn Return. My first thought was: “What on earth is that?”, then promptly got to work Googling it.

I think stumbling upon that mention of Saturn Return was no coincidence – learning about this was something I needed in order to really grasp what I’m going through (or at least why I’m going through it). As someone who believes in Astrology, learning the concept of Saturn Return was a very “aha!” moment for me.

So what is Saturn Return?

Astrologers call the period between ages twenty-eight and thirty “Saturn Return.” That’s because it’s the first time the planet Saturn completes its cycle through your birth chart and returns to the spot it occupied when you were born. Astrologer Rob Hand calls Saturn Return “one of the most important times in your life – a time of endings and new beginnings.” One thing is for certain: business as usual just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Astrologers believe that one’s 30th birthday is a major rite of passage because it marks the true beginning of adulthood, self-evaluation, independence, ambition, and self-actualization. That rings true for me. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone. I’ve been an ‘adult’ since I left my Mom’s nest at 18 but this feels like true adulthood to me.

So what happens during a Saturn Return?

Some people get married, others get divorced or end a long-term relationship. Some have children, go back to school, start their own business, switch careers or relocate. The point is – we all go through a transformation of sorts.

Astrologer Martha Pottenger writes about the four ways in which people experience their Saturn Return:

  • Individuals who have chosen in their twenties a life structure which is really very suited to their character, may simply solidify their gains. They may receive an important promotion, take on additional responsibilities, gain increased power, but generally are just expanding on the path already selected. (This is a relatively small group among the total.)
  • Individuals who have not really settled into a life structure, who have been experimenting or wandering, seeking and searching in their twenties, will feel the pressure of time. A group of them will make their first real commitment at this point. They will settle into a career (as opposed to “just a job”). They will enter into a committed relationship.
  • Individuals who have also searched in their twenties, but not developed skills, self-confidence, or necessary expertise, may continue to flounder. They will also feel a sense of pressure, of time passing them by, of wanting to do something that will last–that will make a ‘real’ difference. Without adequate preparation or commitment, however, they tend to end up feeling blocked and frustrated. Nothing really works for them. Nothing comes together. Their efforts seem futile. To escape this trap, they must go back, build up their skills, competence and willingness to be practical about responsibilities. They have to take more time to catch up with their peers.
  • Individuals who have chosen in their twenties a life structure which is not very suited to their character or who have simply changed a great deal will make breaks. The old ways will feel confining, limiting and restrictive. Old patterns of behavior seem formalized and lifeless. In such cases, the people involved may end relationships, quit or be fired from jobs, move, or otherwise alter the basic structure of their lives. Sometimes they break out before they know what they are going toward. They simply know that they cannot continue to work with the current design. After (or while) making their breaks, these people will actively seek a firm commitment. They will look for a life tasks which will provide them with a sense of achievement, mastery and competence. They will seek responsibilities that will help them to feel they are making a real contribution and gaining expertise.

Can someone be a bit of a mix of those? I think I’m a bit of the last two. Those of you who have “been there, done that” and survived your Saturn Return, I’d love to hear about your experiences. Share them here, email me – anything! Let me know your battle stories and tales of survival of enduring your Saturn Return. I’m looking forward to getting past this but in the meantime, weirdly enjoying the choppy ride. Change is good.

Interested in learning more about Saturn Return?

Read more: AstroGrrl

Wikipedia: Saturn Return

New Age Directory: Saturn Return

According to Astrologers, we all experience another Saturn Return between the ages of 58-60. Something to look forward to? And if we are lucky enough to live even longer, another one will occur around the age of 89-90.

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Jean August 19, 2010 at 12:06 pm

That is interesting. My mother was in her forties when I was born, and I can remember her friends coming to the house for those jewelry, card, white elephant parties they would have. All of them being in their 40-70’s. All would tell me not to marry until I was 30. I married a month before I turned 30. Others said 60 was a great age, new wisdom seemed to just be there when they never knew they had become so wise. So if this is true then the 30 year cycle also explains the Maiden/Mother/Crone and 3 faced Gods/Goddesses from around the world. And then there is my grandmother, who was never the adventurous type until she was 90! Hmmm food for thought as I am nearing the 60 mark….

Lindsay August 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Jean, so interesting that your Mom and all of her wise friends advised you not to get married until you were 30. And even cooler that you listened (albeit probably not intentionally?). I guess you have something to look forward to nearing 60…let me know if you feel the effects of your second Saturn Return!

jenieros August 31, 2010 at 9:50 am

i’m only in my early twenties and it somehow feels like my Saturn has returned. haha

Lindsay August 31, 2010 at 9:55 am

haha! I’m telling you, the early 20’s is a rough time in anyone’s life! You are still learning so much about yourself – who you are, what to do with your life, etc…hang in there. Have you ever heard of a quarter-life crisis? I’m not sure how close you are to 25 but that could be what you’re going through! 🙂

jenieros September 1, 2010 at 1:15 am

thanks for the link! today i found out i am not in a crisis. not just yet, but slowly getting there. drats! good thing i am made aware more of it before getting full-blown.

Lindsay September 1, 2010 at 8:59 am

lol, glad to hear it! maybe with self awareness you can avoid it all together!

Dtoy. January 4, 2011 at 9:12 pm

I turned 29 on Sept. 21st and in mid October I felt like I was going crazy. I feel the foundation of who I am has been pulled away from me. I have anxiety really bad and I dont know how to shake it. I have started seeing a counselor and it seems to a little bit. I do not like this one bit! I want ME back!

Lindsay January 4, 2011 at 10:42 pm

If it really is your Saturn Return believe me when I say your sanity will be restored! Just hang in there for this wild ride…you’ll come out a changed person. You’ll get YOU back…just new & improved and wiser.

Irmata March 4, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I know this comment is a few months late – just discovered you today – but I had to weigh in. My world started falling to pieces a few months after my 30th, really ramping up in early 2007. I still haven’t figured it out and I’m 35 this year (2 weeks before your b’day)! My lifelong spiritual journey continues. Maybe I have a special Saturn on a 5-year cucle 😉

Lindsay March 4, 2011 at 11:46 pm

You're a fellow Cancer! Awesome. 🙂 I guess we never really "figure life out" completely, do we? No matter what age we are, we are a work in progress, I guess.

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