The luminous, late Walter Mercado

You see an astrologer, whether in person or on-line and you are 28-29 years old. ‘The astrologer’s eyebrow arches, and depending on their comfort zone with Saturn, you will hear “Oh, you are on the threshold of your Saturn Return” or “YOU ARE GOING THROUGH YOUR SATURN RETURN!!!!!”

Forewarned is forearmed, the ancient axiom.

When I went through my first Saturn Return, it led to one of the worst passages of my life. That was because I ignored all the signposts to grow up and take responsibility. I should have (“should” is a Saturn catchword) dumped the boyfriend,  but I MARRIED him. I went through the motions of commitment with him — even though he knew walking in that he would bail. But I thought “he can CHANGE, if I’m loyal, steadfast and provide for him a stable and beautiful life”. HA!

I’ve no doubt, that if I had seen someone like the luminous, late Walter Mercado, I would sidestep his advice… although he would have given it to me in spades. Big Saturn lesson: the only person I can change is myself.

For my Saturn Return I chose to marry the boyfriend and plan for the future (which was impossible with that groom). When one person does the planning, it only works if the partner is on board with the plan.

In my defense, that was before I started my serious study of astrology. No astrologer arched an eyebrow at me — I consulted no one.

However, my divorce led to my serious study of astrology and metaphysics — we all have a unique journey. In hindsight I would have made different choices had I allowed the intuitive side more voice. But I had to do what I expected of me before I could find who I was to become.

Because you may feel you’ve been doing “adulthood” for some time, you may not even notice your Saturn Return. Yet it concretizes how we go forward as an adult. Classic concrete expressions of the first Saturn Return: get married, get divorced, have a baby, change jobs, go back to school, make a big move and/or experience a change in status. We do something that the outside world can recognize.

Examples of successful Saturn Returns — At his Saturn Return, Steve Jobs launched the Macintosh, the first mass-produced graphic user interface computer. At hers, Meryl Streep won her first Emmy and Oscar nomination. With two children, Elizabeth Warren divorced her first husband, which enabled her availability when the right one came along. After struggling to find a publisher, Arthur Conan Doyle sold his first Sherlock Homes and Dr. Watson story.

Unfortunately, some brilliant young people check out at or before their first Saturn Return – this phenomenon was dubbed “the 27 club” in the drug-pumped 1960s. The original members of the “27 Club” were Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison. Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse have been attached to the myth.

A transit from Saturn can make us work harder, but it can also be a bit depressing, depending on the personal horoscope. If you feel down at the time of a Saturn Return, the value of supportive relationships cannot be overestimated. Saturn is “exalted” in Libra, which means it is at its best. Libra is the sign of partnerships, relationships and artistic expression.

Sometimes people we thought we could rely on, can’t handle the reality of Saturnine responsibility and/or they disappear. It’s important to be open to the supportive people, not the ones we wish would be. Reach out if you feel lonely or defeated at this time. It is a transit, which means it will pass, but the people who step up are rock-solid.

From an astrological / Saturn perspective, one has achieved a certain expertise but now must move into maintenance of the accomplishment or leap into new terrain and expertise. Saturn Returns can feel a bit “boring” this is what I know how to do –  it’s up to the individual to create a new story to the structure. Think about how many musicians or artists keep turning out the same product that they created at their first Saturn Return, even though they are long in the tooth. Not everyone is content to keep playing the same chord. They panic at the thought of aging, whether conscious of that or not.

Prince, arguably one of the most talented musicians of his generation, died before his second Saturn return… Prince was a trendsetter, but no one wants a “56 Club”. It is important to take note, if you are feeling depressed and ineffectual during these periods, it’s important to take stock and revision. Perhaps the most valuable thing is to talk with someone who offers perspective, because Saturn narrows our focus. This is incredibly useful when we know where we are going, but can be debilitating if we feel lost, spent or unsteady in direction.

And for some people, it’s the second Saturn Return, around 56 years old, that brings them to attention. Takichiro Mori was an economics professor who left academia at the threshold of his second Saturn Return. He had inherited a couple of buildings and threw himself into Tokyo real estate. When he died in 1993, he had become the richest man in the world according to Forbes. Success at the second Saturn Return often reflects measured focus; wealthy as he was, he lived a modest life.

Ronald Reagan became a two-term US president, but he did not run for his first political office until his second Saturn Return. The first Saturn Return can be responsible commitment to a goal and the second a shift that uses dormant talents for ultimate goals.

What happened at your first Saturn Return?

If you are on the threshold of a Saturn Return, how can you work with what you have?

If it’s your second Saturn Return, what steps can you take to get the most out of this next phase of your life?