Do you have distinct memory of those late 20s and early 30s growing pains? Maybe you changed jobs or ended a relationship or made some kind of major step toward being the person you are today. Or maybe you’re simply looking at your life differently with an eye on growth and evolution in a bigger and bolder way even if it feels super challenging at the moment. If this sounds familiar, you’re probably in the middle of your Saturn Return.
“One of the biggest astrology events a person goes through happens somewhere between the age of 28-30. In astrology, we refer to it as the Saturn Return,” says astrologer Crystal B. “It marks a time when the moving Saturn goes back to the place he was when we were born. It’s a momentous time in a person’s life and officially makes those affected an adult in the eyes of the planets.”
So what makes Saturn the authority on adulthood anyway?
According to Crystal, Saturn is the planet “that most of us prefer not to invite to the party. He’s the guy that wags his finger to say, ‘work harder,’ ‘own up to your responsibilities,’ and ‘get your act together.’ He wants you to see what you’re truly capable of — but his mode of operation is harsh and sometimes cruel. When we deal with Saturn, we not only discover what we’re capable of but what limitations are alongside it.”
Saturn, which represents discipline, structure, and organization, basically wants us to get our sh*t together. But Crystal says it isn’t all bad news and long nights crying to Adele songs. “To be quite honest, making friends with Saturn and listening to his message can be quite rewarding. If we put up with his trials, tribulations and tests we can come out on the other side in an entirely new way.”
Speaking of Adele, she knows a thing or two about this major astrological event. Crystal cites the songstress as someone who’s made pals with the tough planet evidenced by her Saturn tattoo and those spectacular Saturn earrings she donned during her CBS special. While Adele isn’t currently in her Saturn return, her Saturn return began in December 2017 and ended in December 2020. That timeline coincides with her divorce and the writing of her new album, 30, which might explain why she didn’t go “easy on us” with it.
When it comes to navigating a Saturn return, here’s what you need to know to not only survive but thrive.
How to figure out your Saturn return
Take a look at your birth chart (there are some free options online) and notice which sign Saturn lands in. When Saturn enters that sign again — approximately 28 years later — that’s the start of your Saturn return. The good news is, according to astrologer Dana DeFranco, from Allegedly Astrology, you don’t need to know your birth time to determine your Saturn return.
“Unless you were born on a day when Saturn switched signs, it isn’t necessary to know your birth time to determine your Saturn return period,” she tells SheKnows. “Saturn is a slow planet and can remain in the same degree for days, so even if you want to determine the exact day of your exact Saturn return (that is, the day(s) that Saturn is exactly conjunct the degree it was in when you were born), you don’t need your birth time.”
How often does a Saturn return occur in your lifetime?
If you’ve been feeling all the feelings during your Saturn return, you might be wondering if you have to endure all the drama again. The short answer: yes. According to DeFranco, most people experience two Saturn returns in their lives and some “lucky people” will experience three. These returns will occur in your late twenties/early thirties, late fifties/early sixties and late eighties/early nineties.
What kind of things happen during a Saturn return?
Essentially, a ton of changes.
“There’s a lot that I’ve seen happen with my clients through the years as well as celebrities,” says Crystal B. “Some events that come to mind are meeting the love of their life, going through a difficult break up, getting a massive promotion, losing a job, buying a house, beginning a business, moving out of their home, having a child, getting sober and one of my personal favorites was getting a dog!”
Then, of course, there’s Kate Middleton who married the future King of England on her Saturn Return!
What’s good about a Saturn return?
We know Saturn returns can be heavy but what’s the upside?
“There are plenty of positives associated with the Saturn return, but for some they will require a shift in perspective,” says DeFranco. “Commitment is my favorite association with the Saturn return. For some this will be marriage, for many others it will simply be learning how to commit or even learning that you want to commit to someone or something.”
Additionally, says DeFranco, you will finally feel in control of your own life. “Things you do to please your parents will fall away if it’s not being done in your best interest.”
However, it plays out for you, Crystal B reminds us that the bottom line is, “Saturn is asking you to own up to your potential, grow up, face your responsibilities and do something hard —- because you’re worth more.”
But like most things in life, the benefits of your Saturn return aren’t often felt until after the fact.
“For many, the grace and beauty of the Saturn return period will not be fully understood until it is over — which is very Saturnian,” says DeFranco.
What you can do to make the most of your Saturn return
If you’re freaking out about how to make your Saturn return less painful a la Adele, preparation is key, says our astrology experts.
“Make Saturn your friend. He’s always trying to help you shift in order to get the things you really want out of life,” says Crystal B. “The problem is that most often the process is incredibly uncomfortable. Saturn reminds you what needs to stay, as well as what needs to go. A lot of times, we don’t like what that entails.”
DeFranco says your Saturn return is also a great time to develop healthy habits or break unhealthy habits and patterns.
As you move through your Saturn Return, Crystal B. recommends asking yourself:
What am I capable of?
What do I really want?
Is this really good for me?
When it comes to more journaling questions, DeFranco suggests asking yourself the following:
What have I been told to want and is it what I actually want?
Who have I been told that I am and is it who I actually am?
Who am I and who do I want to be?
Who and what do I want to commit to?
What will make my time on earth worth living?
How do I want to be remembered?
What do I want my legacy to be?
What am I afraid of?”
However, as much as your Saturn return might feel daunting, Crystal B. insists there’s nothing to be scared of.
“Saturn will always be one of your greatest achievement factors. When you get to the other side of his influence, you feel like a million bucks! You’re stronger, wiser and more confident than ever before. We can’t get to that place without a little (or a lot!) of turbulence.”
Hold onto your hats — and your Saturn earrings.
Before you go, check out our favorite mental health apps for giving your brain some extra love no matter where your stars are: