How To Calculate Your Saturn Return, The Rocky Astrological Period That Means Big Changes For Most 20-Somethings

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With Saturn Retrograde beginning April 17, 2018, you may have also heard some rumblings about your Saturn Return. If you're not in the know, here's how to calculate your Saturn Return. Basically, Saturn takes about 29 years to cycle through every sign in the zodiac, which means that it eventually returns to the exact position it was in when you were born. Because taskmaster Saturn returns when you're in your late 20s, it's often associated with forcing people into adulthood, whether you like it or not. "The first Saturn Return, which can happen between ages 27 and 30, is a bit like a cosmic bar mitzvah, quinceañera, or communion if you will: a rite of passage welcoming you into your more mature role here on Earth," the Astro Twins noted on Astro Style.

Think of Saturn like a cosmic life coach that let's you know it's time to commit to adulting full time. For this reason, Saturn Return can be a rocky period for 20 somethings. If you're in your late 20s, your Saturn Return could be happening right now, and you can use an online Saturn Return calculator to find out. If you live long enough, you'll go through three Saturn Return periods throughout your lifetime; roughly one every 29 years. "As you hit the Saturn Return, you’re about to leap off the cliff of childhood and you feel estranged from external support systems," Saturn Sisters explained on its website. "Now you can’t be taken care of; you have to learn to fend for yourself and figure out what truly constitutes the ground below."

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Once you find your Saturn Return, the next step is finding your placement, which is the sign Saturn was in at the exact moment of your birth. My Saturn Return placement is in Leo, according to the website Your Saturn Return. "If you were born with Saturn in Leo, the issues during your Saturn Return will be about being 'chosen' or 'special,' melodrama, the heroic myth, relationship to the creator, children, creativity, and love affairs." Um, yeah, that was pretty much what it was like. If you were born between Feb. 13, 1988 and Feb. 6, 1991 your Saturn Return is in Capricorn, which is happening right now. It's all about your career and working through childhood issues that are preventing you from moving forward.

"You may be obsessed with success to a detriment, and your Saturn Return will remind you that the end does not always justify the means. If Saturn has stalled your ambition, you could finally find your career calling now. Ambitious Capricorn and the 10th house are associated with men and the father," the Astro Twins explained. "Daddy issues could plague you, or you may have a strained or distant relationship with your father. Or, your dad could have been very stern and authoritative, making it difficult for you to express yourself in his company." If you're looking for an adult to come and help you navigate your life, that grown-ass person is you. But, the news isn't all bad. This means that you're totally empowered to choose a therapist to work through some of those childhood issues, to ask someone you admire to mentor you in your career, and to chart your own course like a boss.

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"Our culture condones the phony notion that we’re mini-adults when we graduate from college," Saturn Sisters noted. "Off we go into the world, to create our own reality TV series. When we’re still in our 20s, it sort of feels like that. As if we’re trying on costumes in order to figure out which lifestyle fits best." New research that suggests your brain isn't done forming until you're around 25, pretty much debunks that whole you're-an-adult-as-soon-as-you-turn-18 thing.

"One thing that seems to be true of the 20s is that it’s usually a time of inordinate confusion," Saturn Sisters wrote "If you’re in your 20s and feel completely lost, you are in the majority." Or, as actor and author Lauren Graham says in her new book In Conclusion, Don't Worry About It, "If you’re kicking yourself for not having accomplished all you should have by now, don’t worry about it. Even without any ‘big’ accomplishments yet to your name, you are enough." This is a long way of saying that your Saturn Return isn't meant to be a badge of your failures, and everything that you're going through is 100 percent normal.

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Personally, when I look back, my 20s were crazy confusing, I made a lot of questionable decisions, and you couldn't make me do them over for all of the money in the world. But that doesn't mean the moment I turned 30 everything was magically wonderful. However, I spent enough time in the school of hard knocks during my 20s that I was able to make more informed decisions in my 30s because I know myself a lot better. That saying, "youth is wasted on the young?" It's true. But, if you spend all of your time saying "if only," you'll miss what's happening right now, which would really be a shame. And, aside from not being able to recover from hangovers as quickly, your 30s are most likely going to be way better than your 20s.

"The beauty of endings is that they almost always signify new beginnings. And the 30s offer a chance to start over, to get things right that you’ve been screwing up and spinning out about through your teens and into your 20s," Saturn Sisters explained. "Now you finally have the chance to get it together — that’s why Saturn offers you all your shortcomings, faults, and wounds on a silver platter. Not to make you feel bad about them, but to give you the opportunity to reach your highest potential." And, don't fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others who are also going through their Saturn Returns because everyone is different.

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Another one of my favorite sayings from the ever-wise Graham is "keep your eyes on your own paper," because, comparing yourself to others is only going to make you feel like doo-doo. "I’ve just gotten more peace out of worrying mainly about myself, and not getting too competitive or worried about other people’s lives," Graham said in an interview with Main Line Today. "I have a thing I say often, which I did not invent: 'Keep your eyes on your own paper.' And that’s been very helpful to me." The bottom line? Adulting is hard AF, so there's no need to make it more difficult by stressing over your Saturn Return. Use this time to take stock of your 20s, identify what you've learned, and spend some time figuring what you really want out of life.

Nothing you've gone through is for naught because it got you exactly where you are. If you decide you want to take your life in a completely different direction, do it. Don't commit to mistakes you made in your 20s just because you spent a lot of time making them. By your second Saturn Return, when you're between 58 and 60, you'll have another chance to reevaluate and decide whether or not you're on the right path. And, if you think 60 is too late to correct course, consider that singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks will be 70 in May and she's still writing, recording, and touring like a boss. In conclusion, don't worry about it. Or, as Lady Gaga summed up her 20s, "Hey, I may not be flawless, but you know I gotta diamond heart."