Have you ever heard of a Saturn Return? I hadn’t, until I went through a bit of a third-life crisis in my late twenties and started searching for answers. Very quickly, I found them – but in the most unexpected of places. For those of you raising your eyebrows, wondering what the heck I’m talking about, and thinking this is all a bit woo woo, stick with me.

Very simply, your Saturn Return relates to horoscopic astrology and occurs every 27 to 29 years when the planet Saturn completes a full orbit around the sun and returns to the same zodiac sign (i.e. place in the sky) where it was when you were born. This astrological ‘coming home’ prompts a phase of rapid, often unsettling, growth – usually resulting in some transformative lessons and big life changes.

Whilst we experience two (sometimes three) Saturn Returns in an average lifetime, the first is the most tumultuous. Perhaps after coasting through your twenties relatively stress free:

    • Everything suddenly feels uncertain and chaotic
    • A key relationship or relationships are breaking down without explanation
    • You’re questioning your career, friendships, sanity, the meaning of life, everything!
    • You feel alone – officially an adult and now solely reliant on yourself
    • Finally, if you’re a woman, you may also be feeling increasingly troubled by any father issues you’ve been carrying as Saturn symbolises the personal and universal father – perhaps seeking to reconcile or making the decision to cut ties permanently

This sudden tumult is not just emotional but also physical, with people describing a sense of feeling literally unsteady and disorientated, even in familiar surroundings.

This was certainly the case for me, and played out most notably at work. Suddenly, the desk I’d been sitting at for the last eight years, quite contentedly, felt all wrong. I was literally shaky on my feet, often looking perilously to the ground below my high-rise office and thoroughly blindsided by a completely new way of seeing the world and my place within it. I was no longer satisfied with the same old office, routine, people, processes, and beliefs. In fact, they felt suffocating.

Instead, I sought exploration, adventure, health, freedom, and abundance. I questioned everything I’d held previously true, and realised there was quite a disconnect between who I really was and how I was spending my days. I was ready for change, for sovereignty, for the next exciting chapter of my life.

In this way, our Saturn Return is essentially a wake-up call – reminding us of our mortality, making us question everything, and ensuring we’re on the right path to living our best life, whatever that means for us personally.

So, what steps can you take to successfully navigate this transition?

1 // Accept where you’re at

In the thick of your Saturn Return, you’ll probably wish only to escape it. This is a time of uncertainty, questioning, and emotional upheaval. Yet, it is also a time of growth and maturation, tunnelling you towards what you truly desire. So, accept it and embrace the journey towards that outcome.

2 // Reconnect with your true self and desires

Yes, things around you may seem suddenly chaotic and wrong. Ask yourself then, ‘If not this… then what?’ Who are you? What do you want more of? Less of? What do you truly desire for your ‘one wild and precious life’ (thanks, Mary Oliver)? Honesty is key, whatever it reveals.

3 // Take action

Having identified what needs to change, now is the time to be brave and take action. I love the saying, ‘Whatever will be is all up to me.’ You’re not a child anymore – now is the time to be your own knight in shining armour, taking deliberate steps in the direction of your dreams. Remember, anything is possible, so it’s time to throw caution to the wind and take some risks!

4 // Trust the process

While this is an undoubtedly transformative time, patience is also key. Remember, from little things big things grow. Do your part, taking little steps in the right direction, and then trust that the universe has your back. Everything is unfolding as it should, in its own divine time.

As a result of my Saturn Return, I learnt:

  • That I am my most important asset, and therefore my emotional, mental, and physical health must come first
  • That you can’t place a monetary value on precious time, and I choose to devote mine to my loved ones, creativity, simple pleasures, and meaningful work
  • That nothing heals like time in Mother Nature – face to the sun, bare feet in the grass, eyes wide open
  • That fear and anxiety prefer me to stay put, but in order to be truly happy I must be brave enough to lead with desire, to leap, and to trust that all will be well
  • That I am solely responsible for my own fate. And these days, I find that mostly empowering rather than terrifying because I’m clear on who I am, what I want, and where I’m heading

In many ways, my Saturn Return was a very confusing, painful time. And yet it was completely transformative in the best possible way. Ultimately, I let go of who I thought I should be and became who I really am. And what bigger gift is there than that?

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