Congrats, bb, you're growing up! No, we're not talking about aging off your parents' health insurance, committing to a skincare routine, setting up a 401(k), adopting a pup, moving into your own place, graduating from college, or even turning 30. We're talking about your ~Saturn Return~.
In astrology, Saturn is associated with discipline, karma, and structure. It's sometimes even called the "taskmaster planet" or the "teacher of the zodiac." Saturn isn't the kind of teacher who lets you watch movies every day, but it's the one who actually teaches you the stuff you'll remember for years to come. You might resent the tests when you're taking them, but later on, you'll realize how valuable the lesson was.
When Saturn *returns* to where it was in the sky when you were born—which happens every 27 to 29.5 years—it's a major astrological coming-of-age moment. Your Saturn Return is often followed by major life changes such as switching jobs or careers, breakups, engagements, divorce, retirement, purchasing homes. You know, all the things that make us want to boss up and take control of our lives.
Sure, your Saturn Return sounds a lil scary, but although your it might be an ~intense~ period of your life, it's not a bad one. Basically, your Saturn Return is like the ringed planet telling you to get your life together and become a real-deal adult. You know, astrologically. I literally wrote the book on Saturn Returns, so let me walk you through it. You got this!
Wait, What Is a Saturn Return Again?
Your Saturn Return is an astrological event that occurs every 27 to 29.5 years, when the planet Saturn returns to the sign and degree that it was at when you were born. It's associated with major life changes, such as career changes, breakups, engagements, and relocations. It's a lot! But in a good way, promise!
How to Figure Out When, Exactly, Your Saturn Return Is
Grab your birth chart. Look at which sign Saturn is in. When Saturn enters that sign again, you're beginning (or began) your Saturn Return. Like, if you were born when Saturn was in Aquarius (that's from 1991-1994), you're going through your Saturn Return right TF now. If you were born when Saturn was in Capricorn (1988-1991), you went through your Saturn Return from 2017-2020. And if you were born when Saturn was in Pisces (1993-1996), you'll begin your Saturn Return in 2023.
Notice some overlap in those dates? That's Saturn Retrograde doing its thing, when Saturn dips back into one sign for a brief period of time (like, a couple months). If you were born in, say, 1991 or 1994, you'll want to look up which sign Saturn was in on the exact day you were born.
Don't have your birth chart on hand? Head over to this simple Saturn Return calculator. All you need is your b-day. This calculator will give you the dates when Saturn returns to the sign it was in when you were born—a two- to three-year period.
To find out your *exact* Saturn Return—like, down to the actual day—you'll want to look up when Saturn will return to the exact degree it was at when you were born. Head over to this more intense Saturn Return calculator to figure it out—you'll need your b-day, birth time, and birth location, plus the city you live in now, or the city you lived in during your late 20s.
Oh, and if Saturn is returning to the same degree multiple times in the same year, NBD, it's just Saturn Retrograde again, and you might have some internal back-and-forth as you figure out what you want your life to look like in your astrological adulthood.
What to Expect During Your First Saturn Return
Saturn is known as the teacher of the zodiac, and when it returns to where it was when you were born, you're being schooled! You're learning what behavior and actions are no longer vibing with your vision for the future. You're being shown the right path, and learning many lessons along the way.
Your first Saturn Return occurs in your late 20s, and it’s a time of ~growing up~. Basically, you're figuring out what you want to take with you into the next phase of life. (Your actually close friends who always have your back? Yes. Your frenemy who still owes you $20 from your pre-pandemic happy hour in February 2020? No.)
Can you go on living paycheck to paycheck, or do you need to spruce up your resume and start looking for a better-paying job? Are you really happy in your situationship, or do you want to find a partner who'll text you back before 3AM, and maybe even introduce you to their parents? If you're happy with the way things are, then congrats! But if not, then the moment has come for to switch out of these actions and grow the eff up.
Of course, it can be hard to remove yourself from these situations. You've grown accustomed to them, after all! If you decide to keep on with the same-old, same-old, even though it's really not working, well, watch out. Saturn is a planet who likes to make sure you're learning your lesson, and you can experience setbacks and life-altering occurrences resulting from not bossing up into adulthood. Basically, this is a karmic rite of passage.
You’re obsessed with all things astro. Same. Never miss a retrograde with Cosmo Unlocked.
BTW, You Also Have a Second and Third Saturn Return
Oh, you're 31, and you think that you're done with Saturn's drama in your life? Not so fast. Your second Saturn Return happens when you're in your mid- to late-50s. Like your first Saturn Return, this is a time of reflection and growth in which you're planning the next stage of your life. During your second Saturn Return, you'll likely be thinking about seriously planning for retirement, potentially purchasing property, assessing your assets, and making sure everything is in order as you enter your next phase of life. Finally, the moment has come for you to reap the benefits of your youthful labors and sip Arnold Palmers all day long at the golf course.
If you're lucky, you might have a third Saturn Return, too. This one occurs in your mid- to late-80s and marks your entrance into official astrological old age, where you can kick back, celebrate your wisdom, and spend time with your grandbabies, fur babies, beloved vintage reruns of Real Housewives, whatever. Only a few people have ever experienced a fourth Saturn Return, which occurs at around age 114.
If you're intimidated by your Saturn Return, well, I get it, but think of Saturn as that strict teacher helping you prep for your exams—it might seem like hard work in the moment, but it'll all be worth it, I promise!
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