The Saturn archetype represents the limitations, the rules and boundaries that have been imposed by the family education and the culture in which we were born and raised. It’s about the conscious awareness of one’s self and the unconscious and, with its transit, Saturn seems to recall periodically some need for order and questioning about what the person have been doing so far. For this reason, it is important to approach this energetic cycle in a conscious way, because it can make a huge difference the experience of it. It can be extremely challenging or an extremely rewarding time of self discovery.

The Saturn Return is a cycle experienced around the age of 29, which lasts for around 2 years.
It's what we call a midlife transition. This cycle actually happens in our lives around every 29 years, as Saturn literally returns to the same position in our Solar System as it was when you were born. There are two Saturn Returns that happen to everybody—the first is between the ages of twenty-eight and thirty, and the second, between the ages of fifty-eight and sixty. It’s necessary to consult your astrologer to find the exact date for you, but the feeling of the Saturn Return saturates this whole time period. Astrologically speaking, the first Return is when we truly come into our adulthood, and the second is when we come into the wisdom of the Elder.

A Saturn Return is about new possibilities, and new possibilities always requires courage, the courage that a person manifests from the very beginning of his existence. If we think about the action of having birth itself, it represents a great act of courage, since we accepted to face the unknown until our death. It is the first challenge of our life, and this will be followed by many others that will mark the way. 

But Saturn is not only the one redefining the boundaries during every important transit. It is also the one which gives us a reason to let it go. Its position in our Natal Chart and the aspects he receives indicate what it will ask us throughout our life as its transitions, letting re-emerging the kind of experiences we have been trying to forget or those that we repressed. Though its transits, it marks a kind of overwhelming reporting, because it forces us to look into our failures, our mental and social chains, the responsibilities which anchor us, the fears that block us: all information related to Saturn in our Natal Chart that are unfolding transit by transit. That sector/house is the one in which you will experience some rigidity, an attachment to a structure that you do not want to change, and this causes some degree of anxiety and fear in which we have to develop a new awareness. Saturn is a tough teacher who takes away everything that is not essential to the person anymore. Addressing these "inner ghosts", then it becomes the push that is needed to begin or to pursue that heroic journey whose goal is the realization of the Sun mission of our chart.

Saturn awakens all of our anxieties and frustrations, but there is a strange duplicity exemplified in its myth: he first liberated himself and his brothers from his father's power, but later swallowed his own children to defend himself from the possibility that they would take his place. He also swallowed them first and, forced by Zeus, then he vomited them as if they were born again. It’s a metaphor about facing the past and reborn from it.

What are the important cycles related to the Saturn Return?

Saturn travels around the Solar System, and it will make 4 stressful aspects to its natural position in your birth chart. They represents some stages linked to period of autonomy and personal development.

At the age of 7 we experience our first Saturn squared cycle point/aspect. At this age, the child is dominated by the archetype of the Moon: mother protection, emotional attachment and the adaptability to this world. We become awake to our own mortality and our physical limitations. At a psychological level, the child understands the meaning of ‘school duties and system’, and to be responsible about rules that are taking place outside the nest. This is the moment in which the Superego will get a shape, and it will help the Ego to deal with the pressure of the inconscious. We will face the other waxing square aspects at the age of 35 and 63 years old, in which we will start realizing that some of our past is not useful anymore, and we get conscious that people around us cannot help us unconditionally.

Around the age of 14, there is a new need for independent social interactions, and the person gets in the adolescence. It is the moment of fighting against the father as the symbol of belonging and dependency on a group. The person will get some allies, but not necessarily an approval, and this phase will help to realize how to live without constant support of our family.
We throw our dolls and childish games away, and we start dealing with the business of becoming little adults, and exploring our bodies. This aspect called opposition will came back at the age of 42 and 77 years old, in which we put in discussion ourselves and we make radical changes, especially at the age of 42. It’s a change to cut with a lot of karmic ‘heritage’ that leads to the acceptance of ourselves and our needs. It’s the starting phase of our dharma.

At around 21, our Saturn cycle is about throwing off the last 21 years of household parental rules. We move from home and we begin our journey towards independence, and it is about facing problems related to personal choices such as: working, studies, getting married. It’s the waning squared aspect that we gonna find again at the age of 49 bring new experiences, people, and give us the possibility to embrace a new lifestyle.

adams carvalho

With a 29 year orbit, the planet Saturn returns to its original sign in our birth chart. At Saturn returns to its natural point in the natal chart, all the karmic lessons you went through during the ages of 7, 14, and 21 now get stacked on top of each other and you are asked to grow and mature. You become aware of your age, and that you are now getting older(Saturn is the planet of Karma as well). So it’s time to act. Dramatic change is often the result. It’s about facing life with the awareness of who has already made some choices, realized their limits and would like to extend them through other experiences.
When the Saturn Return comes along, we slow down and reflect. We go through a period of ego transformation and conscious reality shift. What results sometimes entails a change in direction, and sometimes a conscious solidifying of the direction we are already on.
When this period starts to take place, we can naturally start to feel very heavy within ourselves, and an overwhelming sense of melancholy. We enter a phase of diving deep into the nature of our psychology. In fact, a big part of your Saturn Return cycle is about being blocked, because we need to be aware of the deeper self. These blockages create the need for self-awareness, self-determination and self-sustained effort to move forward.

At the age of 58 there is a second Saturn Return, as Saturn returns once again to its original position in your chart. This is a key part of our evolutionary journey. By this time we have typically reached full maturity. One has seen much of oneself and the world. We become aligned with a sense of I know who I am. Youth has grown into wisdom, and with it comes a deep layer of self-awakening. The reward is to become an elder who guides the youth, and observes and interacts with life in a new way.

In ancient society, these phases of life were guided by the so-called rites of passage those who, according to Jung, helped the children to become adults and thus enter into the society of men and women, or helped to accept old age. Some religious ceremonies were created with this purpose, but now they have lost their psychological meaning. There was a reference point, a model to a new stage of our lives. Saturn and its transits could be considered as inner rites that could actually occur every 7 and a half years, a period that embraces the passage on about three houses and somehow marks the end of a phase and the beginning of another. After these phases, we may perceive the limits that have forced us to make some choices, and we can appreciate things that seemed awkward and strange to us in first place. Saturn marks a quality of time that is different from the previous one, accentuating elements that had previously been neglected and shaded by others that  will be emphasized. 

the hunt by Thomke Meyer

The good news is that although Saturn’s transits in our lives may mark times of plain hard work and great self-questioning, it’s also a time when opportunities present themselves and the rewards can be great.  Procrastination doesn't look like a good option anymore: a boyfriend you are being with for a decade but you are not brave enough to let it go, or a job that requires too much energy and you don't find that motivation anymore. Or you've become pregnant, and you are not feeling that good. The astrologer will say in which field most of the things will change. 
Explore your Saturn.
The change will happen expecially in the sector in which your Natal Saturn is located. It is a moment take a chance to explore yourself, and you must give it all you can.  If you are willing to understand you real needs, you will be rewarded.  

Then, how do I survive it? It’s not about surviving but processing some information that we need to face. You are at a time now when you understand things you didn’t understand even last year. Use your new wisdom to make wise choices based on clarity of intention. Find ways to reach out to others and be humble enough to ask for advice. Stretch beyond your comfort zones to new places of thought and action.

Saturn, the Capricorn planet, is telling us that we require discipline, responsibility and detachment to understand what we need and what we should let go. It’s the moment in which we need to fight to get to our inner call in other to fulfil our potential in an individual and collective way.

Good luck and enjoy the ride!

Want to know more about your Saturn Return and your Natal Chart? Book a consultation here.