Category: Astrology Basics Written by Robert Wilkinson Views: 1466
As Astrology students know, the Saturn return is considered one of the most important events in a human life. The first Saturn return always occurs between the age of 27 and 29, and the second one happens again from 57-59. These are phases of radical choice and change in our lives, and mark milestones when our life after the Saturn return is far different than it was before then.
The Saturn return is generally one of the most feared and misunderstood points in personal evolution. For many, it is a difficult time with a lot of stress and pressure, where things come to an end, hard realizations are faced, and the weight of the world is felt, very acutely. Since all planets show parts of our internal makeup, what good comes out of a Saturn return?
The most important feature of any Saturn return is our ability to choose a different set of life assumptions, where we move beyond old limitations and responsibilities and embrace a different way that promises a deeper and richer fulfillment. They are the times when we turn away from what has fulfilled itself and turn toward that which promises a greater wisdom in our lives and a more effective function in our world. During a Saturn return, we are given opportunities to make clear and careful choices and decisions, moving out of unconscious patterns and obsolete conceptions of our purpose into more deliberate and thoughtful expressions of our unfulfilled self.
It represents a time of completing a major life cycle, and because it is Saturn, it shows that we now have completed some lessons about what we can do and cannot do, what we can live with and what we cannot. It is a time where we examine our chains, and lift off the ones we no longer need to wear. It is where we choose to grow in taking command of our lives, throwing off behaviors and any sense of victimization which keep us unfulfilled.
Before the first Saturn return, many values and assumptions we held as set in stone were chosen for us by our parents and other authorities in our family and cultural matrix. We forged both conscious and unconscious responses to those values and assumptions, which became our life patterns and rules we lived by. At the Saturn return, we find some things are no longer true for us, and must choose to transcend our old assumptions and limitations.
Saturn Shows Us Our Free Will
The Saturn return, whether our first or our second, is the moment where free will works most powerfully. The events that occur during our Saturn returns help us choose a path: either we choose to make our lives a grand adventure in becoming our true authorship in the world, stepping into our chosen authority, or we choose to perpetuate life habits and fears which enslave us in obsolete crystallized and/or authoritarian patterns.
It is a time of important endings, but also major new beginnings that will affect our lives for many years to come. It is a time where we are given the opportunity to transcend old patterns we no longer need by exercising our free will and ability to shape our responses to circumstances.
Sometimes the Saturn return is associated with a time of hardship, difficulties, and major challenges. However, these occur to show us a different way to “do our Being,” turning away from any internal resistance to learning what we must learn to evolve. The hardships we confront at the Saturn return push us to learn skills we need to deal with those difficulties in mature and thoughtful ways. During this time of clearing our old psychological refuse, whatever must change WILL change, whether we want it to or not, and whether we like it or not.
It is important to note here that Saturn is not "causing" these things to occur. We are the engineers of our own lives, the determiners of our fate through our free will. As it was said, we are the dispensers of "glory or gloom" to ourselves, and no others.
Nothing external compels us to act productively or destructively. We choose whether to respond in thoughtful or thoughtless ways at each turn of life’s wheel. Since it is said “character is destiny,” as we make our character we make our destiny. Saturn and its cycles merely indicate the part of our inner nature which must learn certain lessons as a direct result of our own maturation process, and show us clearly the cause-and-effect cycles we have set into motion before this time of radical choices and changes.
The Saturn return is a time when, to quote the legendary Grant Lewi, the "chickens come home to roost," for good or ill. Again, this is a time of evaluating what we can live with and what we cannot. It is the most important time for examining what our priorities are and what must be dropped from our lives to allow us a more mature expression of our "Dharma," a Sanskrit term approximately meaning "true function" in the higher sense of the term. This is when we learn to make time and experience our ally, and come out of immature ways and lesser ways of being into our greater response-ability.
The Second Saturn Return
Saturn again returns to its birth place again between 57 and 59. This is the second Saturn return, where we choose once again how we want to live, this time for what most of us believe will be the rest of our lives. Again we make choices. This time, though, we are challenged to turn away from old limitations, rules, responsibilities, fears, and unfulfilling behaviors.
This is the time when we can claim the wisdom born of our experiences since the first Saturn return through distilling the deeper and higher truths from the realizations we’ve had so far, reflected through the filter of over 30 years of adult experience. The second Saturn return is where we know what works for us and what doesn’t, and we can claim our wisdom and find appropriate forms to express it in our world. This is a time that can show us that we have done exactly what we were supposed to do, and marks the point of embracing a new adventure, having fulfilled the old purpose
The second Saturn return is usually hardest on those who still operate out of immaturity, irresponsibility, or fear. To the extent that we have not learned how to fulfill our higher purpose, or ignored the physical or emotional lessons of the various crisis points between 29 and 58, this is a very difficult time.
When Saturn Visits Our Natal Planets
Any time transiting Saturn touches any planet in our charts, it indicates a time when all of the above factors are brought to bear on the psychological function of the planet visited by Saturn. That even includes being in the same sign as that planet, even if it’s not within “orb” of a conjunction.
For example, when Saturn conjuncts our Sun, it is a time of receiving rewards for "living our light," or feeling oppressed as a result of past self-betrayals and accepting limitations that weren’t ours to begin with. Saturn in the same sign as our Sun may bring us recognition for what we have accomplished, and where we restructure how we view illumination and the light we give to others, as well as how we live our heart's higher purpose. Things end, but only those things which our light no longer needs.
When Saturn touches our Moon, it is a time of maturing and/or restructuring our feelings, habits, and personality. It is a period of seeing what habits and feelings we can live with, and which ones have become too calcified to endure any longer, or which no longer nurture us. It is a time of restructuring our emotional experience of day to day life. Though it may be experienced as limiting and restrictive, it also brings emotional and experiential rewards as well as a maturing of our inner connectedness with our true nature if we show the virtues of patience, responsibility, maturity, perseverance, self-discipline, and organization.
It’s the same for all the other planetary functions of personality. Saturn restructures whatever it touches, maturing it, disciplining it, and forcing us to see what chains needs to be cast off, and what higher responsibilities we must embrace, as a function of time and experience. With Mercury, our mind and its interpretations are restructured. With Venus, our values and relationships. With Mars, our “fight or flight” principle, and so on out to the outermost Spiritual sensibilities we have.
Saturn is Our Mentor and Guide
Saturn shows us the lessons we must learn to grow in our "authorship" in life, regardless of what personal, interpersonal, or transpersonal dimensions of life we are moving through. Saturn is the part of us that has learned to be rigid and authoritarian, but also where we take responsibility for our lives and choices, and come to a genuine life renewal by ending whatever has oppressed us while embracing a more mature sense of self. Saturn may symbolize our limitations, but also shows us the way to the perfection of our personalities so we can live our Dharma, which is our Highest Self.
Though it is not usually a "joyous" time, it can be if we find the right point of view. Though it is not usually an "easy" time, it can be if we are living our higher purpose and don't resist the process of becoming more than we were. We simply must learn what people and circumstances and fears we no longer want nor need, and let go of lesser things.
Taking that response-ability and incorporating it into a life discipline allows us to find a greater maturity, effectiveness, and purpose that enables us to enjoy our future as a grand adventure. Then we cast off feelings of frustration around being unable to stay in childish or unfulfilling patterns of acting, feeling, or thinking.
Saturn periods are times of growth into a greater patience and maturity, knowing healthy boundaries and limitations, and seeing what is no longer viable in our lives. Saturn helps us know when to move on, in an absolute sense. Make Saturn your friend, and time becomes you ally.
All this and more are explored in greater depth in my book Saturn: Spiritual Master, Spiritual Friend. It was written so that regardless of your knowledge of astrology, you can find gems of wisdom in how to take command of your life in ways which lead you to your ultimate purpose, as well as the best possible responses to any Saturn transit in your chart. Here I’ll note that the Saturn return is of such major importance I devoted an entire chapter to that life-altering event. If you want to know more about your power to become the understanding and wisdom you seek, please consider getting your copy!
Ultimately Saturn can lead us to our primal innocence, where we do what’s right for the greatest good for all, without ulterior motives and controlling behaviors. We just have to learn to be mature, without being old. With the perfection of our Saturn function, we become part of the wisdom of our ancestry, our era, and the holographic patterns of all who share our life lessons.
Our Saturn lessons help us learn and teach the greater way for those who follow us in the portion of the wisdom we are here to learn. The trick to it all is to embrace Saturn and its lessons and not fear that which makes us greater than we could have imagined.
© Copyright 2021 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com
About the author:
Robert wilkinson An internationally-known astrologer, author, public speaker, metaphysician, and futurist, with over 25 years experience as a counselor and educator. He has presented hundreds of public talks on all aspects of Astrology, the Eastern Wisdom tradition, the Western Wisdom tradition and promoted many mass gatherings and cultural events. Some of his specific areas of interest and expertise include personality profiles, degree patterns, integrative astrology, various aspect harmonics, among others.
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca. with persmission from Robert Wilkinson.
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