A Short Field Guide to Dealing With Your Saturn Return

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

Hello Saturns in Aquarius (December 2020 – March 2023) & Saturns in Pisces (March 2023 – February 2026)! These are the two main constellations that Saturn will influence in the next 6 years, so I thought a field-guide would be useful. People with these placements will be hit by this heavy energy first. However, the lists I compiled in this post apply to any other Saturn placements (and even to Saturn’s second return around the age of 55-57) because the questions are framed in such a way to help you do the inner work required whenever Saturn returns to your natal degree. In this post I won’t insist on what a Saturn return is, but for ease of reference I created this clip:

Returning now to the lists, I created these because Saturn wants you to reflect on pragmatic and tangible goals. The first list is a set of questions to ask yourself when you are experiencing a difficult situation caused by Saturn’s pressure. These questions can serve as a ‘touchstone’ to remind you that there is work to be done, that this will be a process throughout the transit (from beginning to middle to end), and that there are solutions to the challenges that you are experiencing. Use this list both for Saturn’s transit through a house and for Saturn’s transiting aspects to natal planets. So one way to deal pragmatically with this energy, is to ask yourself the following questions:

1. What can I learn from this experience?
2. How can I develop more maturity in this area of my life or this part of myself?
3. What do I need to be responsible for? How can I accept more responsibility in this area of my life?
4. How do I honestly feel about developing this area? Do I have resistance?
5. Am I judging people who are expressing qualities that I am learning to develop during this transit?
6. Am I willing to do the necessary work to develop these parts of myself?
7. Am I taking myself seriously? (Or am I just insisting that others do?)
8. The last time I experienced a similar Saturnian transit (7, 14, 21, or 28 years ago), what did I experience and, importantly, now that I have another chance, what can I do differently? (this applies to moments when Saturn was squaring or sitting opposite from your Sun)

It’s important to write you questions down and by using a pen and paper in order to activate the mind-brain connection (however, feel free to use a laptop as well if you find that words are pouring out of you faster). If you find it difficult to consider these questions, below is a simplified list of actions that I used during my own Saturn return period and which might be useful to you:

  • put your trust in someone and something
  • synthetize your knowledge into something that transcends limitations
  • travel, explore, be open to immerse yourself in knowledge just for knowledge’s sake
  • don’t be ashamed for liking different & odd philosophies
  • don’t reject parts of yourself, embrace as much as you are aware of
  • be ready to begin loving yourself and valuing tangible results: money, stability and objects; be also ready to share these with others (law of attraction)
  • know the house where your natal Saturn is placed in your birth-chart, since this is the area of life where the energy will be played out (mine was the 2nd, and the test was – Can I make money? Can I find a job I love that pays me well enough? Can I know my true worth?)

I think you noticed that the key here is to examine your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about the area of life (or the astrological house) within which your Saturn is residing. It’s important to consider not only the astrological sign your Saturn is in and any aspects that your Saturn is making to other planets and asteroids, but also the house in which it resides, because that will color your Saturn return in a different light than that of your generational peers. If your Saturn is in Aquarius in the 8th house, then Scorpionic themes of betrayal, sexuality, power and healing will emerge for you and you’ll need to use your mental power and communication (Aquarius) to overcome these challenges. If your Saturn is in Pisces in the 10th house (ruled by Capricorn) then issues of authority, leaderships, professionalism and career responsibility will emerge for you during your Saturn return and you might need to use your faith and imagination (Pisces) to live up to public, 10th house expectations.

For example, my Saturn is placed in my second house which is traditionally the house of Taurus. My Saturn return brought up a lot of Taurean themes in my life which are related to my struggle with pleasure, work, self-worth and earning my income independently. During the 2 years and a half that the return lasted, I had to un-learn negative beliefs about money and acquiring material goods. On a spiritual level, I had to amp up my self-worth through a disciplined, daily routine and by exercising. The optimism and vitality I earned during this transit didn’t happen over night but came incrementally by observing each day how my mind was expanding through study – I was finishing my PhD – and how my body was becoming fitter through sports. It was the work that brought me the joy, confidence and pleasure. So I had to reflect on these aspects during my Saturn return and to consider where to make an investment of my energy (whether romantic, spiritual, economic or educational). I chose to focus on myself and my PhD and to go for a really well-paid post and see if I get in. So I had to develop a good relationship with money and the material world, but also practice making calculated risks, so I exercised my natal Sagittarius energy (risk) in the house of Taurus (carefulness at work and with money). I was a relatively poor student working towards my PhD when the transit began and a full-time lecturer with a nice salary and a good pension plan by the time the transit ended. I was employed in a permanent position at an institution in the UK, even though I was an immigrant without a British passport. So in a way you could say I proved my worth as a foreigner (Sagittarius). Some things I had to consider during this period: If I wanted to make more money, I needed to ask myself how I felt about money? Did I value it? How did I treat it? Was I unappreciative? Did I complain about it, so it didn’t want to come near me? Is money my friend? Or a pain in the back? Did I think I deserved to have nice things? Was I willing to put in the hard work to achieve my dreams? What were my values? And was I living my life in accordance to them? Did I see myself as valuable as worthy? etc. During my Saturn return I developed as well a spiritual approach to money and realized that I should spend money or give it only to those causes, things and people I love and appreciate. I developed more gratitude and made my financial energy flow more easily by understanding the process of equitable give-and-take (law of prosperity).

In general, Saturn returns are about taking responsibility and ownership. They are periods of maturation, wherein we forcefully have to grow up. You will need to choose what you want to tangibly achieve at this time and this limitation could feel quite painful if you previously enjoyed just exploring your options and possibilities. Your commitment will manifest into a prestigious job, getting married, having a baby or purchasing your first home, getting a degree or a travelling challenge or opening up your own business. So, to ace this transit focus on who you are and what you can bring to the world in practical and material ways. Again, you can ask yourself:

What do I deserve?

Why do I deserve it?

Why do you deserve it more than somebody else ?

What can I bring to the table?

What are my gifts and my talents?

How can I use them to get what I want in an ethical way?

Build your foundations on that. Let go of what you used to hold onto in your twenties (for 1st time returners) or forties (for 2nd Saturn returners) – build up from what you are good at, work with what you have in front of you or around you at the moment, and you will be able to add on more, in time. Let go of the things that have created your life this far, if they are not of quality. What’s not meant to last and what does not fit on your lifepath, will be removed from your life even if you try to desperately hold on to it. The most important reflection during this period, is to think about who you are inside and to build a solid foundation within. For those of you that have been highly responsible until your Saturn return, a change might be needed to help you gain more material stability or some financial rewards are due during your return. For those expecting changes or undergoing them, then don’t be afraid to try something new. The trick here is to let go of a constant need for external security and to create a bit of chaos of your own. This is because until you know exactly what you’re looking for, your reality is not going to feel good. So in this process you might need to drop a significant relationship, or a marriage, to commit to something else or to take on a new responsibility.

Keep this word in mind ‘responsibility’ because Saturn wants you to be accountable for things if they go wrong – you can repair things, you can let them fall by the wayside and move one; you now have some solid decisions to make and your character will be revealed in these choices. I recommend to make them in accordance with your values and not with what others want, because at the end of the day you are the one that has to go to sleep with your conscience.

Remember as well, that you don’t get strength of character by being ruthless, you get it by really knowing yourself. Saturn’s pressures might tempt you to lash out and hurt others, but such actions will not improve your circumstances. Also and highly important, you will feel how during this period things are naturally slowing down, your body is also showing the first signs of old age (initial first gray hairs and wrinkles, tiredness, severe hangovers etc.). So use the extra time to learn about who you really are, not who everyone else wants you to be, and learn to create a daily self-care regime, with periods of rest followed by periods of activity. Calmly and maturely figure things out, because when you find your centre, everything around you won’t seem as crazy and chaotic. The biggest reward is that at the end of a successful Saturn return, you know who you are and you’ll receive a tangible reward for all the effort you put into your maturation. In time, all the trials and tribulations will make sense and with the benefit of hindsight you’ll see just how far you’ve grown. And also remember that transits will continue to happen, as the lessons of other planetary transits will become gradually more important. Your Saturn is important but not the end all and be all. The Universe gives us ample time to correct course and grow time and time again, so be kind to yourself in the process.

With universal love,

Lexi ❤

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