With Saturn having entered Aquarius in December 2020, you may have heard some rumblings about your Saturn return — especially if you’re currently in your mid-to-late twenties. Saturn returns in astrology are like planetary coming-of-age periods, during which we learn how to be more responsible and bravely step into a new stage of maturity in our lives. But when is your Saturn return, and how do you when it’s coming?
Saturn is the planet that rules boundaries, restrictions, hard work, and life lessons, which means that when we experience significant Saturn transits, we’ll be dealing with these themes. The phrase “Saturn return” refers to the periods of our lives during which Saturn returns to the exact placement in the zodiac that it was when we were born. They serve as sobering but empowering points of reckoning that help us get real about our goals and responsibilities.
Saturn takes about 29.5 years to cycle through every sign in the zodiac, which means that it will first return to its placement in your birth chart when you’re in your late twenties, aka your first Saturn return. Because we first experience this when we’re on the brink of our thirties, this transit is often associated with major life changes, milestones, and other markers of adulthood.
Sounds daunting? Sure does. But knowing how to calculate your Saturn return and what it represents in your life can help you navigate this cosmic milestone.
When Is My Saturn Return?
If you want to find out the dates of your Saturn return, grab your birth date and use a free online Saturn return calculator, which will tell you exact months during which this transit will be most intense. If you’ve ever read your birth chart, you can also look to your Saturn sign for insight. Many astrologers believe that you’ll feel the effects of your Saturn return during the entire time Saturn transits through your natal Saturn sign.
For example, Saturn is in Aquarius currently. If you were born between Feb. 6, 1991 and Jan. 28, 1994 (with a minor exception for those born between May 21 and June 30, 1993), your Saturn zodiac sign is also Aquarius, which means your first Saturn return is happening right now. Congrats!
Your first Saturn return is all about taking charge of your life and learning to be more mature. “You’re becoming an adult according to the cosmos, which means that you’re growing,” astrologer Lisa Stardust, author of Saturn Return Survival Guide: Navigating This Cosmic Rite Of Passage, tells Bustle. “Your old ways of doing things may no longer serve you, so think of this as your time to boss up!”
By your second Saturn Return, which happens when you're between 58 and 60, you'll have another chance to reevaluate your life and decide whether or not you're on the right path. It’s never too late to learn more lessons, channel a deeper wisdom, and course-correct to ensure you’re spending your energy on the things that matter.
What Can I Expect During My Saturn Return?
Research suggests your brain isn't done forming until you're around 25, which pretty much debunks that whole you're-an-adult-as-soon-as-you-turn-18 thing. That said, think of your Saturn return as your astrological induction into adulthood. It’s all about working through issues that are preventing you from moving forward in your life, so expect to reevaluate every choice you’ve made. “You’re taking things more seriously now and building for a future,” Stardust says. “This requires a lot of effort, which probably means fewer late nights at the bar.”
Many of us will feel the effects of Saturn return in all different areas of our lives, including in love, work, and money. It’s no coincidence that many people either end significant relationships or solidify them with marriage during their late twenties: “[You might start] dating people you see a future with in the long term instead of having casual affairs,” Stardust says.
You might also find yourself changing careers or getting more serious about work and money by making investments. “You’ll want to make a good impression at work and with your colleagues during your Saturn return, which means putting in 100% of your energy,” Stardust says. “Invest in your IRA, not the latest pair of sandals — [it’ll feel important to] save money instead of overspending your paycheck.”
This doesn’t mean life is going to become all work and no play — it simply means you’re owning your life choices and committing to the things that matter. If you're looking for an adult to come and help you navigate your life, that person is you.
The Bottom Line
Adulting is hard enough, so there's no need to make it more difficult by stressing over your Saturn return. Use this inevitable growth period to take stock of everything you’ve accomplished, identify what you've learned, own up to your mistakes, and spend some time figuring what you really want out of life. And if you decide you want to take your life in a completely different direction, do it. “Let the changes happen and don’t resist it,” Stardust says. “Your Saturn return will show you what your heart wants.”
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