Experiencing Your Saturn Return and What to Expect

Published April 5, 2022
Father and son watching Saturn

You pass through different stages in life that astrology can help you navigate. The first significant rite of passage is your first Saturn return. This happens to everyone between the ages of 27 and 30. To quote C. S. Lewis, "Thirty was so strange for me. I've really had to come to terms with the fact that I am now a walking and talking adult."

The Saturn Return

Saturn, astrology's taskmaster and the planet of limitation, restriction, commitment, responsibility, and maturity, takes 27 to 30 years to circle the entire zodiac. When transiting Saturn returns to its sign and degree placement in your birth chart, it's called a Saturn return. A Saturn return lasts approximately two and a half years. Still, the effects are often felt before and after its official start and end. Most individuals have two, maybe three, Saturn returns in their lifetime, but the first can feel particularly heavy and challenging. Yes, your life will be changed significantly by the time you turn 30.

A Time to Get Real

Your first Saturn return is when you begin to look at your life from a more realistic perspective. Some individuals experience welcome advancements, but the changes most people experience are difficult. A first Saturn return experience could be marriage, having your first child, getting a divorce, losing your job, changing professions, finally getting your Ph.D., opening your first business, relocating, cleaning up your act, or any number of other decisions that seem to set your life on a more solid foundation. Being willing to take a serious look at your life and taking on the changes necessary are critical for preparing you for the next chapter of your life.

When Is Your Saturn Return?

The easiest way to find the dates of your Saturn is by using the Saturn Return Calculator on Astroseek.com. Simply type in your birth date and time, your city of birth, and the city where you reside.

Friends celebrating a birthday

Your Saturn Return

Although everyone has their first Saturn return between the ages of 27 and 30, their birth charts are different. Saturn's unique placement and aspects and the positions of other transiting and progressed planets result in the various experiences that each person encounters during their Saturn return. A Saturn return is almost always a pivotal turning point in an individual's life. Due to its importance and complexity, the responsible (Saturn) thing to do, particularly if you're expecting or in the midst of your Saturn return, would be to schedule a consultation with a professional astrologer.

What Can You Expect During Your Saturn Return?

Yes, there's a wide variety of ways individuals will experience their Saturn return (the specifics will be in their birth chart). Still, some common themes are expected during a Saturn return.

  • You'll be challenged to do better.
  • You'll take on more responsibility.
  • You'll feel as if life is testing you at every turn.
  • You'll question everything.
  • You'll address your weaknesses.
  • You'll have endings and beginnings.
  • You'll gradually become stronger and grow as a person ready to face the rest of your life.

Navigating Your Saturn Return

Take your time. Don't panic if you feel lost, and don't give up. A Saturn return is not a single point in time. It's a process, so congratulate yourself on the challenges you endure and whatever positive changes you make.

Astrology Dice with symbol of the planet Saturn
  • Be willing to rethink who you are and make changes
  • Get serious about the big picture of your life
  • Ask yourself where you want to be in ten years and what you need to do to make that happen.
  • Be willing to work hard.
  • Acknowledge your losses and endings, and don't look back.
  • Be realistic and practical
  • Some experiences will feel terrible, but hold on and wait it out.

Not the End of Your Story

Don't let it bother you if things aren't neatly resolved by the end of your Saturn return. It's not the end of your story. Your Saturn return is a restructuring process, and it can be messy before it gets better. A Saturn return is an ending and the beginning of something so new that you might not even recognize its importance until the dust has settled and more time has passed.

Experiencing Your Saturn Return and What to Expect