Thursday, May 14, 2015

What Happens When Saturn Returns?

I just had my 60th birthday a couple of days ago. The morning of my birthday, my friend Carole, took me to an astrology class. There were a few things I already knew, somethings that were new to me and one BIG thing I was reminded of.... the dreaded Saturn Returns!

Cycles are at the heart of the human experience and astrology is all about cycles. We are familiar with the Moon’s orbit around the Earth every month and the Earth’s orbit around the Sun every year so we have a Solar return every year on our birthday. That is where the saying "Many Happy Returns" comes from. It is the Solar Return we are celebrating and in effect it is your own personal new year and a chance to make a fresh start.

The planets on longer cycles and have a deeper and more profound effect on your life. The "Saturn Return" may be the most familiar but also the most feared. This is the notorious period of our life, which we hit every 30 (give or take a couple of years) when our life goes one of two ways -- we either take off soaring like an eagle, successful, happy and financially free, or everything crumbles around us and we fall apart. For many of us, it's the latter.

Saturn makes its first return to its natal position in your horoscope when you are somewhere between 28-32 years old and its second return at around age 58-62 years old. This time is, in essence, a metaphorical rebirth. Careers can take off -- or completely flop. You could meet the love of our life -- or bolt from the partner you thought would be your happily ever after. It can put you face-to-face with your deepest fears. Everything you thought you wanted comes into question, as you realize you are not who, what or where you want to be.

During the first Saturn Return, many young people feel an urgent need to figure something out about their lives.  That was exactly what I felt. I felt the urge for more education, I wanted to learn more about eastern philosophy, yoga and diet. I remember being home alone on my 30th birthday. I sat down on my couch and looked around. I had what seemed to be the perfect life. A great relationship. I had a brand new 2 story house and a brand new car. I had 2 children, a dog and cat and I wondered "Is this all there is?" My life started to change drastically shortly there after. I ended up single. I went back to college in Amarillo and then got a job in Los Angeles. That is the short version of a very difficult 3 or 4 years. 

Similarly at the Second Saturn return the developmental pressure is felt again. This time it is linked with an awareness of mortality. Saturn slows you down and forces you to take a long hard look at reality. How much time do you have left? How do you want to spend it? There really is no time left for procrastinating. The Second Saturn Return is a time of life review and soul searching. How did you get here? Is this really where you want to be? Often it represents a cross roads of sorts, and an opportunity to deal at last with unfinished business. Sometimes this means getting rid of people, jobs and situations that no longer fit who you are or want to be. There is a taking stock that can culminate in a kind of purging and reordering of your life. This death of the old way of doing things can be painful, but subsequently there is often a feeling of relief and gratitude that you are no longer stuck in circumstances that no longer served you.

Again, I had a classic Saturn Return when I was 57. I ended a relationship, moved from Austin to St Louis and then Dallas. Now I have been settled in Kyle for 2 years. So the second Saturn return occurred a little sooner but it isn't to say it was any easier. Both times by the end of the Saturn Return, I felt like a phoenix rising from the ashes. One of the most common regrets that people voice at the end of their lives is that they did not sufficiently honor their own truth, that they lived in accordance with other’s expectations instead of their heart. Saturn return is often not an easy passage, but it is rich with opportunity to re-create our lives in order to have the most meaningful and vibrant life.

Saturn Returns reminds us of what is truly important, and makes sure we are on the path to claim our highest potential. Pain, depression and turbulence often come when we hold on to patterns, beliefs, jobs, relationships, lifestyle choice, and environments that no longer serve us. Letting go and releasing your resistance to the unknown will help you glide into the next phase of your life.

Here's to another 30 years before my next Saturn Return!

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