What's The Deal With "Saturn Return" In Astrology?
The return of Saturn is a major astrological event in all our lives. The tough lessons it offers will help determine the course your adult life—and career goals—take, says astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo on Self Service this week...
Life, amirite? When you're constantly seeing all the wildly successful people your age or younger on social media, it can be super demoralizing. There’s so much pressure to figure out who you are, what you're doing, and how to make your wildest dreams come true before you even hit 30, all while looking IG ready. It’s exhausting.
When setting a course in life, it can be tempting to compare yourself only to the people that have more than you, but it’s not a wise move. Seek inspiration from others, but no one has your birth chart, or in Muggle speak; no one has your special gifts to share with this world. One person’s dream is another’s trap. Your path is yours alone, and you have to know yourself in order to know where your greatest joys will come from.
When you don’t have what you want, it’s not evidence that you’ll never have it—just that you’re not there yet. But if you’re patient and true to your process, Saturn will get you there in time.
Hear all about the meaning of Saturn return (and your astrological forecast for Feb. 4 through 10) on Self Service below.
What's the deal with Saturn?
Any truly successful person will tell you the same thing—that finding your dream and executing it to perfection requires trial and error. Speaking of taking time, let’s talk about Saturn.
Saturn gets a bad rep, and TBH that makes sense: An unhappy or unintegrated Saturn is like Darth Vader; it’s all Daddy issues, obstruction, and forced assimilation. It’s the planet that governs aging, the patriarchy (and hierarchies in general), as well as the powers that be. This planet can be blamed for depression, narcissism, and your driving fear of failure—fun!
But don’t worry, it’s not all bad! When Saturn is happy, it’s more like Mary Poppins—healing through magic, personal responsibility, humor, and self-acceptance. Saturn is here to make you grow, and there are a bunch of things that you need to know about it, to help you out.
Saturn teaches us that failure is an essential part of success. One of the best ways to receive Saturn’s gifts is by not allowing where you’re at to define what you are. Growing up is inevitable—aging is a part of being alive. Growing into the person you are by living at your greatest potential is a process. With Saturn comes a learning curve, and you can either grow with it or let it paralyze you.
What does "Saturn return" mean?
You may have heard of a thing called the Saturn return. It’s an astrological event that happens to everyone at around the same age, and the first one comes at you at around 28 or 29 years old. It occurs two to three times in your life, depending on how long you live. This event simple means that Saturn returns to where it was in the sky at the time of your birth.
Saturn gives you your unique sense of self. It come’s around again to help you grow up, and it’s most intense effects can be felt in seven year cycles. Saturn forms a hard aspect (a square) to itself at around age seven. This is when we individuate from our parents and have a more unique sense of who we are independent of the adults around us.
The next hits at about 14 years old, when Saturn’s in opposition to itself. This time can be especially harrowing because we want so much to be taken seriously. The interesting thing about this Saturn cycle is that we start to set goals for what we hope to be when we grow up. Of course, it’s based on a child’s understanding of herself and the world, but what we do during intense Saturn cycles sticks.
The next one hits at around 21 years old, when Saturn forms a conjunction to itself. This time we’re adults, and the pressure is on. This is when you strike out and try to figure out who and what you are, but because you’re still young, so much of what you do is in reaction to your ‘rents or your community, growing up. You’re either struggling to differentiate yourself or to fit in.
And then there’s the actual Saturn return itself, around 29 years old. This is when you’re confronted by 14-year-old you’s limitations, 7-year-old you’s unconscious beliefs, and the consequences of the choices that 21-year-old you set in motion.
How will my Saturn Return effect me?
Whatever ways you’ve been living that are not authentic to your true self will become excruciating now. This is a time when things get real, and for the two years leading up to the event, it feels like you’re running out of time and you have to figure everything out pronto.
It’s at this time that you’re finally old enough to pair vetted self-knowledge with action. Saturn is your internal structure as a human being, and it’s also your sense of what’s real and what's possible.
Saturn is the planet of hard work and the rewards that build up over time. The Saturn return is the start of your adult life really being your own—an opening of a whole new 29-year Saturn cycle, but this time it’s all on your own terms.
And this is the beauty of Saturn. Everything happens in it’s own time and has it’s own season. Your process is meant to happen in stages and not all at once. Learn from your setbacks, and leverage them to make the most of Saturn in your chart.
To calculate when your Saturn returns will kick in, head to this online star calculator and enter your birth deets.
Learn more about astrology and self-care by subscribing to Self Service—a new self-care podcast presented by Girlboss Radio, dropping every Sunday morning from midnight.
Jessica Lanyadoo is Girlboss' astro Queen and an internationally-respected astrologer and psychic medium based in San Francisco.
Words: Jessica Lanyadoo