If you're in your late 20s... this one's for you.

| By Meghan Rose | Journal

In Your Late 20s? This Is Everything You Need to Know about Your Saturn Return

If you're in your late 20s... this one's for you.

If you're an astrology gal, you've almost certainly heard of a 'Saturn Return'. It's a term that you'll often hear when you reach your late 20s, and it's often met with dread. Let me explain...

Typically when a planet transits over one of your natal placements it will bring its own energy over the natal placement you have. When Saturn transits over your natal Saturn (a Saturn Return), it’s essentially bringing harsh and challenging energy over an already harsh and challenging placement in your chart.

But don't be scared! A Saturn Return is a great time of transformation and recalibration for those who are willing to take ownership and accountability, and confront the parts of themselves that don’t align with their goals or values.

Here's everything you need to know about your Saturn Return and how to survive this ~ chaotic ~ time.

What is ‘Saturn Return’ in astrology

Saturn Return is an astrological phenomenon that occurs when Saturn returns to the same space orbitally that it was when you were born. Your Saturn Return happens approximately every 29.5 years when Saturn returns to the same sign and degree point that it was in natally in your birth chart. In Astrology, Saturn is the “taskmaster” planet that represents time, boundaries, routines, wisdom, personal responsibility, and karma.

It is said that during your Saturn Return, you will have the opportunity to experience accountability for your actions and step into true adulthood, but it’s unique for everyone. Your Saturn Return is often a jump-off point to get from the first chapter of your life into the next. Although Saturn Returns can be a challenging experience, if you are willing to reevaluate your life and the role you are playing in your own destiny, this can be a period of radical (and necessary) change to get you to where you want to be. You can check where your own unique Saturn placement is here (check out which sign and degree your Saturn is in!).

When to expect your Saturn Return

Saturn Returns happen approximately every 29.5 years, or the duration of Saturn’s orbit around the sun. You will go through your first Saturn Return around the age of 29, a second time at age 59, and if you’re lucky enough, you could experience a third Saturn Return around the age of 88! Look to your specific birth chart to see the sign and degree that your natal Saturn placement exists.

Saturn Returns last for about 2.5 years, depending on how long Saturn, the sixth planet from the sun, stays in the zodiac sign that aligns with your natal placement. For example, Saturn is currently in Pisces and entered back into this dreamy, spiritual sign on March 7th, 2023. Saturn will continue to stay in Pisces until May of 2025 with an additional retrograde period back into Pisces from August 31, 2025 till February 13, 2026. That’s almost three years of experiencing this energy from start to finish!

Challenges associated with a Saturn Return

The challenges associated with a Saturn Return differ depending on if you are dealing with your 1st, 2nd, or potential 3rd return:

  • The Saturn Return in your 20s focuses on deep self-reflection and taking uncomfortable amounts of accountability in the trajectory of your life. It is a life-changing experience that will affect your career and closest relationships as you start to focus on self-assurance rather than looking to society and your surroundings for a sense of self.
  • The second Saturn Return that happens in your fifties is more focused on your daily habits and the routine you’ve built your life around. This is a time when you have to question whether or not you are truly living up to your potential or allowing yourself to stagnate. A lot of people talk about going through a “midlife crisis” but this astrological occurrence might explain why this feeling sets on during your second return.
  • Your third Saturn Return which happens in your eighties is a time to reflect on the life you have lived and the legacy you will leave behind. This is a great time to share your wisdom and experiences with younger generations and ultimately align with your spirituality and the ideas you have about the ending of your physical life.

What are some common manifestations of a Saturn Return

Often because Saturn Returns deal with the themes of Saturn (responsibility, wisdom, time, and karma) you will notice certain changes in the way you relate to boundaries, authority, discipline, restriction, and responsibility. This occurrence can also, ironically, start to give us a sense of responsibility over our own lives and help us shine a light on truths about ourselves and our lives that we have been denying. 

Saturn Returns often get a bad rap as they can cause sudden (but necessary) changes in the relationships we are in, the career paths we are on, and other aspects of our lives that no longer align with us or our values. However, even though the sudden nature of these changes – think break-ups, moving to a new city, leaving a friend group, parting ways with certain communities or social circles. But even more prevalent is the intangible feeling of becoming a different version of “you”.

How to prepare for and navigate the challenges of your Saturn Return

Your Saturn Return can be disorienting as this is often a time when you shed the past version of yourself but have not yet fully developed the new version of who you are, or who you’d like to be going forward. It can be more difficult for those who try to cling to the aspects of their lives they’ve outgrown, so the best advice for those in their Saturn Return (or preparing for it) is to honour the moments when you are going through change or feel confused about where you are headed and try to make decisions that align with your highest potential, even when that feels uncomfortable.

What areas of your life may be more affected during your Saturn Return

You will want to look at the parts of your life that require your dedication in order to thrive (for example: your career, your sense of self, your daily habits, your close relationships) and be willing to put in the work to the aspects of your life that feel aligned with your highest potential. This is a time filled with life lessons that can bring you a new sense of self and path in life. The whole purpose of your Saturn Return is to bring you into alignment with your purpose. However, stepping into that reality will come at the cost of everything (and everyone) that is not in alignment with your path.

What role do self-reflection and self-discovery play during a Saturn Return

Self-reflection is the most major remedy to the challenging feeling your Saturn Return brings. If you are willing to look at yourself and where you are being dishonest with yourself and the world around you, you can find a deep sense of self-awareness during this time. This astrological “coming of age” is here to help us bloom and reach our full potential, not to punish us, which is exactly where your personal relationship with “authoritative figures” comes into play.

The positives of a Saturn Return

If you are able to dedicate yourself to your path, be patient with the process, and trust the process, you will be left with a sense of self-discovery that is undeniable. Although it can be hard, it is more often than not a highly transformative period that you will leave on the other side of feeling clear and confident in who you are and where you are headed. Saturn seeks your ability to step up to the plate, take accountability for your part in your own life, and understand you can only reap what you sow. Saturn does not want you to cower, play small, or dim your shine – but this assistance into self-ownership comes through Saturn’s tough love. After all, Saturn isn’t considered the “daddy” of the zodiac for nothing!

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