Saturn Return: Let Go, Learn The Lessons & Walk Your Soul Path
Your Saturn Return happens when the planet Saturn returns to the zodiac sign it was originally in when you were born.
Saturn has a long cycle, so this usually happens every 27-29 years, and lasts for around 18 to 24 months. This means most people will experience as least two Saturn Returns in their lifetime; perhaps three. But your first Saturn Return is said to be the most challenging.
Because your late twenties are typically a phase in your life where you start to panic – about everything.
And because you know your twenties are coming to an end – a decade where it’s still seen as socially acceptable to not have your shit together.
So you start to panic about being single, not owning a house, getting married, having kids, your career, your entire life’s purpose, and about turning thirty.
The funny thing is, 30 sounds so far away and grown up when you’re younger. But then you get there. and you realise how young you still feel, and you wonder why you haven’t suddenly managed to figure your whole life out.
“Many people experience their Saturn Return as painful. Saturn interrogates, ‘Are you sure this is what you want to be doing with your precious, fleeting life?’ Oftentimes, the answer is no.”
—Amanda Yates Garcia, Initiated
If you’re not sure where Saturn was when you were born, you can find out here. If you were born in the years 1989 or 1990, that means Saturn was in the sign of Capricorn when you were born, and you’ll be experiencing your Saturn Return with me right now!
Capricorn is also his home sign. So anyone with Saturn in Capricorn when they were born may have been feeling (and/or resisting) the weight of him for much of their life.
Here’s how your Saturn Return will transform your life (if you let it)
So, what does Saturn symbolise?
Saturn is the planet of structure, boundaries, and responsibility. Otherwise known as the great taskmaster of the solar system.
He’ll set you some tough challenges, in the hopes you’ll find the strength and courage to navigate through them, and learn some invaluable lessons along the way.
He wants you to be honest and real with yourself, because this is what’s required for you to walk your soul path; which is why we are all here.
So if you’re living a lie, or playing it safe when Saturn re-visits you, then the ground beneath you can begin to crack open.
“Saturn’s boundaries are like the walls of your house. Without the walls, your house would be useless. We need boundaries; we need structure and security… Like many Goddesses before him, Saturn was the God of grain, threshed into the soil, sprouted and grown, turned into bread, into body, into earth. Saturn was death and resurrection.”
—Amanda Yates Garcia, Initiated
Saturn will force you to question everything in your life. Your career, your relationships, and your belief system. All your insecurities and shadows will resurface, and you’ll be asked to meet them.
Are you creating the life you think you should be living, or the life you really want to live?
Saturn asks us to take stock of everything we’ve manifested in our life so far. And he will let us know if we’re on the right path.
If you’ve spent your twenties in self-discovery, taking responsibility for your actions, and making conscious steps forward, your Saturn Return may be a period of great growth. A time when everything feels aligned, and all your wishes become your reality.
But if you’re someone who has blindly coasted through much of their twenties, without much thought or focus; Saturn’s visit may not be as peaceful.
You might get sick. Someone you love may pass away. You’ll lose your job. Your relationship will end. And maybe you’ll move towns or cities, or countries and start over.
Everything you were sure of might fall apart. And although it’s difficult to understand in the moment, you are being led away from all that doesn’t serve you, in the hopes that you move towards everything that will.
I didn’t know what a Saturn Return was when I first entered mine
I’ve always been interested in astrology, but never took my interest further than religiously reading my horoscope at the back of Vogue and Elle each month. That was until I found myself being led to an astrology class—led by an amazing man called Levi Banner—while living in Ubud, Bali.
I loved what I heard so much that I booked a private reading with Levi. It was late summer in the year 2018. And this was the first time I heard the term, Saturn Return. Little did I know that I was already bang in the middle of mine!
My Saturn Return actually began on December 17th, 2017. As the stars would have it, 12 days later, I packed up my life into one suitcase and hopped on a plane to Bali; where I’d spend the next year.
But what got me here were the big shifts I made in my life in the two years before.
I gave up my job in fashion to pursue writing
Around my 25th birthday, I started to question my entire life.
My job as a fashion buyer. My eternally single status. And what my mission here on earth was.
I was still living with my parents at the time, which was great for my bank balance, but suffocating. And I was really close by to the town I grew up in and had known all my life. I had long since outgrown it, yet I was still there.
The whispers of my intuition grew louder, the more I tried to push them away. And they led me to start writing again – just for fun, in my spare time.
And I loved that. So I kept doing it, whenever I could. The more I wrote, the more I loved it. Until it dawned on me that this was what I was meant to be doing. Writing. Turning my thoughts and feelings into words, and helping other women make sense of their own.
I started making money as a freelance writer on the side, while I was still in my job. Eventually I reached the point where I couldn’t stand living and playing small anymore, and I made the decision to quit.
I saved as much money as I could, threw myself into writing, and finally left my job on December 23rd, 2016.
But it required great courage, self-belief, and trust – to throw away everything I’d worked for the past decade; in favour of my heart, and an inner knowing that I was meant for something else.
I stopped allowing assholes into my life, and my heart
I used to be incredibly shy with men. This meant I repelled anyone who was attracted to me, and managed to remain single until I was 25.
But finding alcohol and flying the nest for university at 19, helped me mask my insecurities and shyness. Thanks to my old friend vodka, I was able to talk to guys, and even kiss a stranger I’d just met in a bar. And I loved that.
The only problem was, I was still that shy, insecure, un-confident girl on the inside. I didn’t know my worth, and I didn’t know what I deserved. I didn’t fully love or accept myself. Which meant I attracted men who couldn’t fully love or accept me.
The kind of men who promise you the world, only to disappoint you over and over again. The ones say all the right things, only to disappear without a word. And I would only ever usually meet them when I was drunk in a club.
But in 2016, I decided I was ready for more. I was ready to experience a real relationship, and find someone who genuinely cared about me. And I’d had enough of being messed around. So I did something I’d never done before; something I was scared to do. I went on a dating app, and confronted my fears head on.
And it wasn’t long before I met someone I liked a lot. Someone who was interested in more than my body. Someone I could have real conversations with.
Four years later, that someone is here, sitting in the room with me as I write this.
I let go of friendships that were no longer serving me
Many of us believe our friends from school and university will be our friends for life. I used to believe that too, because it’s a lovely idea. It’s warm and comforting.
But I started growing up in my twenties. I started doing a lot of inner work, and soul searching. I wanted more than a 9-5 job, a steady monthly paycheck, and the marriage and kids scenario.
And the more I learned and evolved, the further apart I felt from many of my friends. Because we were headed in different directions. I could no longer have conversations with them like I used to, and feel understood or supported. And that’s okay; that’s life.
So I let go of many friendships that I no longer aligned with. Because clinging on to something just because it’s all we know, stunts our growth. It holds us back from our true, infinite potential.
Just imagine what might happen if you embraced discomfort?
This is what Saturn asks of us.
How to survive (and thrive) during your Saturn Return
1. Be in acceptance, not resistance
I think the main reason why so many of us struggle during our Saturn Return, is because we’re in resistance to what happens.
We’re in resistance to the breakdown of our relationship, losing our job, or even losing a loved one. We’re in resistance to letting go of what’s comfortable and safe, and stepping into the wild unknown.
“You might think it’s that you have been stressing more lately, but it’s actually the fact that you think you shouldn’t be stressing more lately. You might think it’s the fact that you are broke; but the real problem is the fact that you think you shouldn’t be broke. You might think it’s the fact that something is happening in the world, but it’s actually the fact that you think that thing shouldn’t be happening. What we don’t understand is that when we argue with what is happening, we stop solutions from coming in. We first have to completely accept that it is happening to move to a higher level of consciousness and allow true solutions to surface, both inside you and outside you.”
—Kyle Cease, I Hope I Screw This Up
The challenges Saturn brings us may be tough, but resisting them will only be more painful.
Accepting what’s beyond our control is the only way we can move forward, and begin rebuilding our lives.
But the beautiful thing is, they can be better than they were before. More breath-taking than we can even imagine.
This is what Saturn wants you to open your eyes and your heart to.
2. Bring your awareness to the lessons Saturn is trying to teach you
Whatever starts to fall apart during your Saturn Return is asking for your attention. So bring awareness to it. Spend time meditating, journaling and reflecting, to help you uncover the underlying issue or message.
Don’t judge or criticise what’s happening. Just bring awareness to it.
3. Let go of all that is weighing you down
Saturn invites us to let go of anything that is no longer serving us in life. Anything and everything that isn’t aligned with our true soul path.
That might be a relationship, a grudge, a toxic addiction or habit, or even a job.
Because when we clear out the old, we create space for the new, and we make it clear to the universe we’re ready for new and amazing things to find us. Then, as if by magic, they somehow do.
4. Give yourself permission to change directions
It can be scary to completely alter the direction of your life, but sometimes it’s necessary.
Sometimes we get lost, and find ourselves on a road we never intended to travel down. And sometimes we follow a path we think we should, and it turns out it’s not for us. And that’s okay.
It’s okay to change directions when you find you’ve strayed from your soul path. Even if everyone else thinks you’re crazy, which they probably will. Because this is not their life, it is yours. And you are the only one who truly knows where you need to be.
5. Everything you’ve ever wanted awaits you on the other side
At the end of your Saturn Return, it is said that if you choose to show up, grow up, and graduate from Saturn’s coming of age class, you will receive a gift. Mine isn’t complete yet, so I can’t confirm or deny this; but I like to believe it’s true.
And it makes sense.
It makes sense that by meeting and moving through your biggest fears, you will find courage.
It makes sense that by letting go of all that doesn’t serve you, you can make space for what does.
And it makes sense that by stripping away all you’ve been taught to think and be and do, you can find your way to the real you. Your heart. Your soul. That space inside of you that is pure love and energy.
Saturn doesn’t visit us to bring fear or misery. He’s like a loving but strict parent, or coach. He won’t give you the Disney version of things your ego wants to hear. Because that’s not in your best interest.
He’ll tell it like it is. He’ll drop truth-bombs and things you might not like, or be ready to hear. But deep down, you know that’s exactly what you need to hear.
And you know he’s doing it because he cares. He wants you to live your truest and fullest life. Chances are, that’s what you want, too.
Hi Shani –
Many thanks for this enlightening read. I really have a sense of what I should focus on and the idea of letting go of trying to control what comes next. I do have a logistical question, it is said that Saturn returns last between 2-3 years. How is this calculated? Based on planetary calculations, my Saturn return takes place in February 2021, does that mean that is when my Saturn return begins and the process is likely to evolve over 2-3 years? Or does Saturn’s return start prior to that time and the time of the actual Saturn return is in between the periods where you undergo the changes? I hope that makes sense!
Thanks for reading and for your question 🙂
Your Saturn return is essentially when Saturn returns to the zodiac sign he was in when you were born – yes, it’s based on the planetary movements in the sky. Your Saturn return is defined as the exact date when he returns to your sign, and will usually stay there around 2 and a half years (although it sometimes goes retrograde back into the previous sign during this period). Your Saturn return is the entire period Saturn remains in this sign for.
Saturn is currently in the sign of Aquarius, so if this is where he was when you were born, you’re in your Saturn return, and you will be until he moves into Pisces which isn’t happening until 2023.
I hope that helps!
Nice Analysis, Love the way you documented, mine has started on same dates as yours, i have got everything in its first phase, but in second(current/mid) phase everything which was given has taken far away from me, I still believe everythig is happening for good reason, i am just trying to findout which lessons he wants me to learn.
You’re welcome Aniruddha and thanks for reading! Sometimes the lessons will not be obvious – stay open to receiving them, tune in to your intuition, and let go of the life you think you should live and start living the life you want to live.
I like how you wrote this article. I have read a few things about Saturn Return but they weren’t as clear. It is so well written and you have made many good points. I feel so much more ready for my lessons.
Thanks so much for reading – I’m really glad this article simplified what a Saturn Return is! Mine just ended at the end of 2020, and it was transformational to say the least. Stay true to who you are, walk tall down your soul path, and it will be a beautiful experience I’m sure.