I’m reading the last pages of ‘Saturn: Spiritual Master, Spiritual Friend‘, written by Robert Wilkinson. Once again, my thoughts take me back a couple of years ago, when I was experiencing my first Saturn Return – or 30’s crisis, as some call it…
What gets me Writing this Post – Saturn in Charge
Little have I talked and never written about my Saturn Return. However, since transiting Saturn is now going through my fourth house, being about to make a square to its natal position, I feel some reflection of that Saturn Return needs to be done.
Saturn is placed natally in my first whole sign house. I started a first house profection year last autumn, making Saturn activated for the entire year until next autumn. We do also have Mercury retrograde at the moment, which is a natural time of re-evaluation and reflection. No surprise that lately I got more than once remembered of those days when one significant cycle ended, and a new one started. Also, the ruler of my first house, and therefore the ruler of Saturn, is in retrograde motion, too, in my Solar Return chart for this year – another indication of retrospection.
I’m not going to tell the whole story of my Saturn Return here, but I do have something, I can share with you. So, here it goes.
Work and Study – Years of Efficiency
When Saturn entered my first whole sign house, I had earlier in that year graduated and received a degree in social and health care. I had been working in the same place for over four years, spending more than the last two of them working and studying simultaneously. I really enjoyed my studies, especially those about the development of human behaviour.
Combining work and study took much energy, but eventually, after putting much effort in my studies, I graduated with good grades and was now officially called a professional. How exhausted I got myself during those years, I would figure only a couple of month after I finished school and Saturn entered the first house of my birth chart, the place of its return.
Reflecting Childhood – Touching Roots
For the most time of my studies, Saturn was moving through my twelfth whole sign house, which is also the twelfth house from its natal position. Those years of study were aligned with the end of an entire Saturn cycle, which lasts for approximately 27 to 30 years and coincides with what many experience and refer to as the 30’s crises. I prefer to think of those special times in our lives as breakthroughs. That is, what pretty much sums up my own experience of finishing one Saturn cycle and starting a new one.
Through my work and studies, it was only natural that my mind was focused on reflecting my own childhood during this period of my life. I had quite some “aha moments” along the course. I especially remember one day standing in the middle of my apartment, when suddenly a deep understanding of why my parents and grandparents made the decisions they made, overcame me. In that moment I felt I already had lived a life and was now able to take a look back and understand the path behind me for the very first time – not only mine but also the path of my family and ancestors. It was an expansion of my mind.
I have been a person of contemplation from a very early age. Reflecting the past was something I had always been doing. However, this experience was very different. It was not something happening in my mind only, but feeling it and grasping it with my entire being. I think it is true, being the distance coming with age, which lets us see things clearer. By being far enough – in time and space – I was now able to get in touch with my roots.
Defragmenting the Mind
During those years I kind of got organized my past. I did realize though, that there were several years I seemingly had no memories of. There where no photographs to check what life was during those years, no significant events to recall. It took me quite some effort, to “close the gaps”. Eventually, the work was done, and I got some kind of integrated picture of my life up to then.
“It Just Can’t Be.”
I had some intense, rewarding experiences during the last years at the end of my first Saturn cycle. It was a tough time, but it was also a part of my life, which I wouldn’t want to miss – filled with much growth and success. Here I was, having a job I really wanted to do, living in a beautiful apartment and having much time for myself, and still, there was an utmost unpleasant feeling rising in me. Something I could not figure and had not experienced before.
Now, I had more time to rest than during my studies, but I felt more and more exhausted. I lost weight, but didn’t realize it until one of my colleagues and later my friends and family mentioned it. The fatigue nor the weight loss made any sense. I was sleeping much and eating regularly. There was no reasonable explanation for my situation. I remember believing, that I have no right to feel like I did. I hadn’t even reached the age of thirty so the exhaustion I was experiencing just couldn’t be!
Stagnation – Feeling It to the Bone
There where several physical issues besides the weight loss. My hands would start to ache very much, and on some days I could not do my work well, as I felt. I had constant pain in my neck, and I remember the feeling of having to “carry my head”. It felt like twice as big and even if I knew, there is no way of one’s head falling off the neck, that was exactly I felt it would do every moment. It was just so heavy!
Those memories may sound funny now, but they were everything else but amusing back then. There was this frightened feeling of losing control, not even being able to “carry your head”. There were moments, when I was not sure, what to do with myself. Since I could not see any reasonable explanation for my situation, I just tried to keep going.
I was restless, moving in two directions at the same time, but my experience was very different from that. For me, it was like everybody else is running and I just can’t get on the train. I felt heavy and slow, not able to react on time. Sometimes, I literally was not able to move. I felt frozen inside and outside. It was a kind of contradictious space, I was in. And I was angry – very angry with myself of seemingly not being thankful for what I got.
The Moment of Change
Eventually, the day came, when I gave in. After all, what I was going through – whatever it was – would not last forever. Even if I had no clue, what and why it happened, I knew everything has its purpose and time. Now it was the time for me to have exactly this kind of experience. It started at some point, and it would also come to an end. When I understood this – that was the day, things changed. I stopped trying to analyze my situation, quit searching for explanations, and finally also stopped trying to keep going.
That was when I started to recover. Even if I just had lived through a period in my life, which brought me much understanding about who I am and where I came from – at this point, I understood, that there will always be something left, we don’t understand or know of yet. We will be given as much knowledge as it needs at the moment, but there will always be something remaining a mystery to us.
Finally, I was ready to let the past behind, empty my backpack of collected memories and unanswered questions. I started living one day at a time. Now, I was open to receive whatever the future was holding for me.
The Beginning of a Different Life
With some help, I managed through the most challenging month of that Saturn Return period. There where several fortunate circumstances which helped me survive. I left the place where I had been working for seven years and took a part-time job for some month with much less responsibility. I enjoyed a wonderful summer in the countryside with whom would later become my husband. Moving out of the city to a much quieter place surrounded by nature and people I loved, was one of the best decisions.
With all the support I got, my life went on, and I was looking forward to it with much more calmness and openness. In fact, at the time when Saturn reached the exact degree of its natal position, I was happier than ever.
What I Know Today – How Astrology Reflects My Experiences
Today I know, that Saturn just got activated by profection after I had graduated. Being the ruler of my fourth and fifth house, he would have been activated for two years in a row while transiting my first whole sign house. That is one-third of the overall time Saturn spent transiting that house. All together, Saturn’s journey through my first took almost exactly three years. Whatever Saturn signifies by its natal position, had now the chance to manifest.
Saturn is also the malefic contrary to the sect in favour in my chart so the lessons signified through it can be quite challenging. Its natal conjunction to the sect light and Pluto intensifies things further. The hardest time I had when Saturn went over my Ascendant. Those months coincide with the most challenging experiences I had during the whole process of my Saturn Return – physically and mentally. Nevertheless, Saturn is exalted in my birth chart, so I was spared from the worst case scenario.
The first house is the house of Self, which signifies body and spirit. The Moon, as well, stands for one’s body and is associated with nurture and emotions. Saturn stands for structure and responsibility but also signifies limitations and resistance. It is also the planet of contemplation. Saturn conjunct the Moon can indicate some sort of physical restriction – in my case, the weight loss and physical pain. Feelings of isolation and loneliness can also be signified through this placement, as well as just the need for solitude.
Already Saturn’s natal position in my birth chart indicates some challenges. In a sense, Saturn always does so. It is, in general, the planet associated with the most significant lessons we have to learn. Saturn is the farthest planet which can be seen by the naked eye. Saturn is the gate-keeper between what can and cannot be seen – this world and what is beyond it. It is also the slowest of the seven traditional planets. Therefore Saturn symbolizes the larger picture, summing up the bigger cycles of life. There is a reason why Saturn is also called Chronos (from Greek Χρόνος), which means ‘Father time’.
Uniqueness – Saturn Returns Come in Many Different Shapes
Although everybody does experience a Saturn Return between the age of 27-30, the return itself can manifest in very different forms. Your Saturn Return will show individual themes depending on your natal chart and Saturn’s condition in it. Saturn’s activation, which can be seen by using time lord techniques, also plays an important role.
The uniqueness of our lives is reflected in our birth charts. We do experience our Saturn Returns differently. Some are going through it seemingly lightly, others struggle heavily. My Saturn Return was twice challenging because Saturn was also activated by profection during most of the time of its return.
However, regardless of how you experience your Saturn Return – when Saturn reaches its natal position, it went through all the twelve places in your chart. Those places are associated with different parts of your life. That means, when Saturn does its return, you already have a picture of what life is made of.
At the point of my 30’s crisis, I had no idea nor have I ever heard of a Saturn Return. I think things could have gone much smoother if I did. In case you are just experiencing your Saturn Return – additionally to other help you may already receive – seeing a skilled astrologer may support you further on your path through this significant time.
In this post, I concentrated more on the difficult side of my Saturn Return. There were certainly some very positive occurrences, too during this part of my life. For instance, I had the honour to make a wedding gown for my best friend. This has been a rewarding and unforgetable experience. I also found my very first love, making this part of my life one of the most meaningful.
Although my Saturn Return was most challenging – even in my darkest hour, I knew there is guidance and a purpose in everything. During a Saturn Return, it may seem that life is falling apart – but it is only restructuring itself.
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