Friday, September 24, 2010

What the Heck is a 'Saturn Return' and Why All the Fuss About It?

  As defined by astrologers, the Saturn Return  signifies the time it takes for the planet Saturn to complete its orbit around the sun  and 'return' to the degree in which it occupied at the time of a person's birth.  This cycle takes approximately 29.5 years spending about 2.46 years in each sign of the zodiac. Therefore, a person at this age, would be entering his/her First Saturn Return and at age 28-30 and their Second Saturn Return at age 58-60.  Each "Return" coincides with an individual's passage from one life stage to the next making the 'Returns' of paramount importance when analyzing a person's chart or character.

The First Saturn Return, which happens by the age of 29 or 30, symbolizes the individual poised on the threshold of adulthood, independence, autonomy and self-realization. Hopefully, one has matured and is a functioning member of society who not only contributes to it but is successfully profiting from it, too.  At this age, one has embarked on a Life Path and is pursuing it.  One's 30th birthday is a cultural milestone as it highlights the embrace of mature responsibility and the demise of adolescence e.g., it's time to get serious.

By the time a person reaches 58 or 60 they are entering their Second Saturn Return which is hallmarked by more sobering concerns which might be encapsulated in  the questions "What's it all about?" or "Is that all there is?" As these questions suggest, at this age, we tend to look back on choices we've made and didn't make, roads we took and didn't take, and the opportunities passed over and the regrets we still harbor. This is a time for self-reflection and self-evaluation. It's a time to come to terms with one's self and one's life. It's all about asking one's self should I continue doing more of the same or should I try something different? What exactly do I want to do for the rest of my life?

With respect to the planet Saturn, astrologers associate it with the principles of limitation, restriction, boundaries, practicality and reality. Saturn dwells in the material world. It governes ambition, careers, authority and hierarchy and conforming to social norms.  According to the ancient Greeks, Saturn was identified with things which were dry and extremely cold, therefore an anathema to life. Remember that the god, Saturn, murdered his son by eating him out of jealousy and fear that he would usurp his authority.

Saturn is associated with the day Saturday and in numerology is associated with the number 8. In Chinese astrology, Saturn is ruled by the Earth and demonstrates patience, diligence and reliability. In Indian astrology, Saturn is called Shani and symbolizes career and longevity.  Paradoxically, it is also the harbinger of bad luck and hardship.

Information regarding the symbolism of Saturn adapted from Wikipedia.

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