If you’re almost 30 & your life feels like it’s hitting the skids, there is a perfectly rational — & astrologically sound! — reason.
That reason is that you’re experiencing your first Saturn return. Oh yes, indeed!
I know many of you are turning your heads to the side & wiggling your eyebrows in a confused manner, so let me make it simple for you. Your first Saturn return is when the planet Saturn — which takes approximately 29 years to rotate around the Sun — comes back to the position it was in at your birth.
For example, if you were born between 1983 & 1985, the odds are good that your Saturn return started on Saturday October 6th 2012. You can work out exactly when your Saturn return will begin — & end — by using this calculator.
For the record, you will have three Saturn returns in your life. Whoah, Nelly! But the first one is typically the most difficult.
Essentially, your Saturn return is a test. What is it testing? Maybe a better question is, what is is NOT testing?! Saturn is a hard taskmaster, & Saturn wants you to learn the difficult lessons so that you can move forward with your life. During your Saturn return, you will be asked repeatedly to prove that you have learned from the challenges you’ve faced over the last 29 years.
In Western culture, society has increasingly unrealistic expectations of us. In our twenties we’re out there exploring, finding ourselves. We have new hairstyles, crazy nails, & a new boyfriend every week. We party, we shop, we don’t take work too seriously, & in the words of The Flintstones, have a gay old time. In fact, society encourages this. This is “normal”. But when we turn 30, you better hold onto your hat, because we’re somehow also expected to have our career figured out, be ready to have a baby, & definitely have a big shiny rock on our left hand. I mean, how are we supposed to manage all of that & not have some kind of mental breakdown?!
You know, young whippersnapper, in the olden days, people were lucky to live to 30. These days hitting 30 is not an achievement, but is pretty much expected. Even so, it’s definitely a time where we begin to reflect on our mortality & evaluate our life choices.
Standing on the cusp of 30 years old can feel like staring into a huge cavern; it’s a natural time to do some self-assessment. Have we done the right thing? Are we in love with or married to someone who is going to love us, challenge us & support us no matter what? Do we have a job that brings meaning to our lives? Are we living to our fullest potential? These are all questions that Saturn demands we answer.
During your Saturn return, it might feel like everything is thrown into turmoil, from your relationships to your career, even down to your family situation & where you live.
I sometimes think of Saturn as a kind of loving bully — the cruel-to-be-kind type. He picks us up, turns us upside down & shakes everything out of our pockets. The stuff that stays is the stuff that is working. Everything else gets shaken loose.
Saturn asks a lot of us, & forewarned is forearmed! I wrote a survival guide below, so print it out & stick it on your fridge!
Never compare yourself to anyone else. No matter what stage you’re at right now, that is the exact place you should be. We all move, grow & mature at different times, but that doesn’t make any of us better or worse than one another. Someone may have their career all figured out but their relationships are a mess, while you might have your spirituality on lock but haven’t learned to save any money yet. It’s okay. You’ll get there. Take it one day at a time.
Take responsibility for your thoughts & actions. I say this over & over & over, but now is REALLY the time to put it into action! You will never be in control of your life or your emotions until you start to own up to everything you think & everything you do.
Choose your place in the world carefully. If where you are at — either mentally, emotionally, spiritually or physically — is not working for you, & if you know deep down in your gut that it is wrong, then change it. The only person with the power to change your life is YOU.
Start journalling, if you’re not already. My Saturn return started on Saturday (!!!) & I have literally been waking up in the middle of the night with profound thoughts & realisations about my own patterns & psychology. Take notes of all of these things! It is one of the best ways to work through them.
Look at your issues around men. This is relevant for women particularly. Saturn represents the father, & it is extremely common for our “daddy issues” to rear their heads during our Saturn return. Examine the kinds of men you attract into your life & your relationships to them.
Start to schedule your time. The return of Saturn is telling you — in no uncertain terms — that it’s time to grow up. The days of being late, disorganised or forgetful are over! I started using Google Calendar last year & it has changed my life, no joke! Be sure to schedule in things you want to do, too, like a yoga class or a workshop. It’ll make it even more likely to actually happen!
Recognise that your life is your own, & no one can tell you who or what to be or do. If your lover is controlling, tell him or her to back off! If your family is pressuring you to follow a certain path, explain to them that you are going to follow your passions & dreams no matter what! Start to create boundaries around your life. Otherwise, people will bulldoze right over you.
Get on top of the little things: pay your bills on time, set up automatic payments to go into a savings account, go to the doctor & the dentist, go through all your mail & make sure you are 100% on top of it. I know this might seem like an overwhelming task, but it’s not! Just break it down into little pieces & tick them off, day by day.
Start saying no. I would bet $100 that you have more on your plate than is necessary. I would bet another $500 that these things are causing you stress, anxiety & the occasional pimple! Review the things you do, & start crossing some of them out of your life permanently. Your time & energy are valuable. Better to do a few things well, than a hundred things sub-par…
Process Saturn’s lessons… because if you don’t, you’ll be doomed to repeat them further down the line. Take time for yourself. Meditate on the changes & give yourself the space you need to work through them.
Learn to view change as a positive thing. During your Saturn return, you might get divorced, lose your job, or realise your friends weren’t ever really there for you at all. All of these things HURT, but they only hurt as much as you allow them to. Recognise that getting divorced creates space in your life for someone who truly loves you. Losing your job frees you to follow your passions & do something meaningful. Discovering the truth about your faux-friends will allow real, true, deep friendships to emerge.
Let go of your grudges & bitterness. A lot happens in the lead-up to 29. We are not the same as we were when we were 17 or 23 (thankfully!), & maybe we are a little less enthusiastic, or a little more cautious these days. Don’t be. Learn from your mistakes, learn from the people around you, but still strive onward with positivity. Don’t allow your past disappointments to shape your future.
Take chances, & work hard. Saturn rewards hard-workers & risk-takers. This is not the time to play it safe or play small. Take action & recognise that your inclinations towards procrastination or idle time-wasting are over!
“It is at the point of the Saturn return to say to these infants: do not. Sell yourself short. Do not. Settle for the house and the baby in a year and a half. Do not. Believe the only thing available to you is more work at the steno pool. Do not. Look in the mirror and notice any wrinkles because there is not a single one on your face.
Tell them, kiddo. Tell them that the problem with Saturn is he wants to make ends to the world when there aren’t any. Every Saturn return client you have, ask them for the most outrageous vision for their future and tell them to decide how to get that. At Saturn return, the very worst strategy is compromise.
At Saturn return, the very best strategy is to look right at that goatsphynx and tell it look here, you don’t scare me. I am going to get old anyway and I am going all the way up.”
By the way, there is plenty to look forward to once your Saturn return is over. It’s true! You can look forward to caring much less about what other people say or think, having a stronger sense of self, better self-esteem & much more confidence.
As Virginia says, “It is Saturn who teaches us self discipline, self control, good boundaries & a strong work ethic. Not exciting or sexy qualities but absolutely necessary if we want to create anything of lasting value.”
If you want to get a better idea of what might happen during your first Saturn return, read these comments about how it feels pre- & post-Saturn return. You could also pick up a copy of Surviving Saturn’s Return, or eyeball this article: Facing 30 & Freaking Out?
Going through your Saturn return is like undergoing a trial by fire. When you come through the other side, you will be stronger, braver & more sure of yourself. You’ll still be you: just bigger, bolder & more fabulous!
Mega-watt love always,