What is Saturn return
Words Emma Vidgen // @emma_vee
Saturn return. It’s one of those astrological concepts that conjures fear at its very mention. Admit you’re in the midst of it and people in their mid 30s and beyond will nod knowingly, “Oh yes, I remember mine,” eyes slightly glazed over. “What a shit show!”
But what exactly is it and why does it get such a bad rap? Well for a start, anything involving Saturn usually gets tarnished with the doom and gloom brush (thanks in part to the fact traditional astrology classified it as a “malefic” a planet that signified hardship and conflict).
But modern astrology sees things very differently. Saturn is less about grim tidings for all, and more about opportunities for growth – sure they may be tough, even painful, but ultimately it’s a pivotal threshold in your soul’s evolutionary journey – a kind of cosmic puberty (except you’re in your late 20s to early 30s rather than 13 or 14). Like puberty it can be uncomfortable at the time, but afterwards you certainly wouldn’t wish you hadn’t gone through it.
Tired of seeing Saturn return misrepresented, astrologer Jules Ferrari decided to create a workshop to help empower people with the tools to make their Saturn return as insightful and profound as possible. “My intention with this workshop is that each person attending will walk out knowing exactly what Saturn is working to highlight in their return,” says Jules. “I will also spend time on each chart, reading in to the themes I see coming to the fore. This is a great learning tool for the individual going through their return as well as the other attendees as they will get to see a clear illustration of all the ways this energy plays out for people.”
To celebrate the new workshop, Jules popped by to set the record straight so you no longer have to fear this life-changing transit.
What exactly is a Saturn return?
A Saturn return takes place when Saturn enters the sign that your own natal Saturn is in. Over a period of two and a half to three years, Saturn will move through this sign and hover directly over your natal Saturn up to three times - these are the three key periods in which an individual will feel the ‘lessons’ the strongest.
Essentially, it is a period in which the individual is being asked to look at the foundational level of their being and, if there are any pot holes in this foundation, you will most likely face plant in them as this energy wants you to face and address these parts of self.
This period is also very much around how you enact with day to day reality. Saturn has a lot to do with the concrete world and your role within it - everything from your own integrity and value system through to the really sexy stuff like savings and car insurance.
What ages do we experience our Saturn return?
It really depends on the sign but in general it can be 27 - 30 or 28 - 31. Saturn is currently moving through Capricorn and has been there since December 2017 and then enters Aquarius in December 2020. So anyone who was born between February 1988 and February 1991 has just passed the half-way point of their Saturn return. We also experience a second Saturn return between 54 and 60, and a third between our mid 80s and 90.
why does saturn return get such a bad rap?
Saturn is going to ‘force’ you to face these parts of yourself so you can address them. This is why it gets a bad rap, the energy and its day-to-day play out can feel relentless or even restrictive because in a sense, it is a period in which you cannot look away from the parts of self that are not operating well or any potential discrepancies between what you say and how you act.
Is it possible to have a ‘good’ Saturn return?
does everyone have the same universal EXPERIENCE?
My return knocked me for a six but I wasn't particularly conscious during that period, I did whatever I wanted and had a pretty selfish code... well, no code really. I was a much different person by the end of mine, thankfully. I read for lots of people going through this transition and for some it feels intense and yet others sail through, the house it falls in in your chart and aspects from other planets (as well as your chart make-up) really do impact the return. If you are not flowing in the current of who you are, you will be by its end. That’s the goal anyway.
What are some of the most common misconceptions about Saturn returns?
That it’s something to fear. It's really not, it's a great initiatory period that moves you from one stage of life very much in to another and directs you more and more towards your own current of being. You can work with this energy, you have free will and self-determination and this is a two-way convo, not something that is just happening to you. If anything, it’s a brilliant period that illustrates the connection or disconnection between the conscious and unconscious aspects of your personality. The unconscious start to manifest louder and louder in your physical world and thus you are in a way unable to escape looking within.
What are the best ways to work with and move through Saturn return energy?
This may sound esoteric but I suggest to clients to actively invite the energy in to your life with the intention of working with it. It's there anyway doing its thing so why not have a dialogue of sorts? There is no reason why you can't ask that it shows you in a clear way what it’s working to firm up or rejig within your life. This is an energy that speaks in practical application, discipline, goals, structure and time. It's there as an aid and tool, not a foe. Saturn is all about the mastery of things over time. If you are going through your return, it will be pretty clear what themes are cropping up for you in your life during that period.
Also, getting to know what your natal Saturn is all about by sign and house and any aspects is a big help as this is the central energy being activated during this period.