The Saturn Return is an astrological phenomenon that occurs in a person’s life starting at about 27 years old to the age of 30. In our culture we consider the transition into adulthood to occur at the age of 18 or 21, but the first Saturn Return (at 27-30) is often referred to by astrologers as the true coming of age or initiation into adulthood. It typically takes place between 28 and 30 years old and occurs approximately every 30 years. So what exactly is the “Saturn Return”? It is the time that the planet Saturn has circled your chart and returns to the place where it was at the time of your birth. This marks one of the most important times of your life, a time of endings and beginnings, a time to discover your authentic self and correct your course in life if it seems you’re heading in the wrong direction.
It is said that as Saturn returns to the degree in its orbit occupied at the time of birth, a person will cross over a major threshold and enter the next stage of life. With the first Saturn return, a person leaves youth behind and enters adulthood. With the second Saturn return, maturity. And with the third and usually final Saturn return, a person enters wise old age. These periods are estimated to occur at roughly the ages of 27-30, 58-60, 86-90 and so on.
The first Saturn Return is seen as the most significant because it represents the first test of character and the structures a person has built his or her life upon. According to traditions, should these structures be unsound, or if a person is living out of touch with his or her true values, the Saturn return will be a time of upheaval and limitations as Saturn forces him or her to end old concepts and worn out patterns of living. It is a time for introspection and self-evaluation. It is a time when one must start taking responsibility and often a time for making serious choices.
The Saturn Return asks us to find the courage to head in the right direction in our life, the path that we were intended to take when we were born. It’s a wake up call. It’s a time to consider your unique individual needs, the contribution you want to make to the world, the resources that are important to you, inner and outer, and who will go with you on your journey. It is said that making the right authentic choices at 30 guarantees a more happy and fulfilled life and better health since it is stressful to live a lie. It is not uncommon for relationships and jobs to end during this time of life restructuring and reevaluation. On the other hand, many people also marry and take on big responsibilities at this time as well. Many major life milestones seem to happen around the ages of 29 and 30 and this is why astrologers believe the 30th birthday is a major rite of passage because it marks the true beginning of adulthood, self-evaluation, independence, ambition, and self-actualization.
With a sense of urgency, it can seem like everything has to be done all at one time but the transit actually takes place over a couple of years. Not all the changes have to happen at once. Saturn Return also brings pressure to change attitudes toward parents/authority, develop a new spiritual path, make adjustments to the community you live in, move to a more compatible place or embrace a new religion or culture, sometimes through marriage.
As Nancy R. Fenn put it, Saturn Return is like asking you to clean out your garage, or your closet. It removes all the built-up clutter in your life to reveal a more authentic path and a more authentic you. If you do a thorough job during your first Saturn Return the rest of your life is said to be better and your second Saturn Return will be easier. If you fail to rise to the task for your first Saturn return, your second Saturn Return will be more difficult because you may be overwhelmed with stress from all of the years of living an inauthentic life. Some say that this is the reason why many die between the ages of 58-60.
The Saturn Return in Scorpio
“If you were born with Saturn in Scorpio, the issues during your Saturn Return will be about sexuality, assets, death and loss, trust and betrayal, personal magnetism, manipulation, revenge, extortion, seduction, self mastery and personal power.”
The planet Saturn represents many archetypes, such as Father Time, the Grim Reaper and his scythe, Chronos, and the Lord of Karma and teacher. It is the ruler of limitations, fears, seriousness, responsibilities, burdens, and lessons. While those concepts may come across as negative, Saturn also astrologically rules over civilization, government, structures, harvests, prestige, maturity, discipline and order.
Source: Saturn Return Series