Planning your life journey

Approaching 30 or 60 and suddenly questioning your life's purpose and plan? Diana Timmins reveals that the answers may be scrawled in the sky, as your Saturn returns.

Avid astrologers have long attempted to correlate events on earth with those in space, dating as far back as the Babylonian Empire in the 19th century BCE. One particular planet that has received much bitter-sweet attention is your time-keeper, teacher and tester, the sixth planet from the sun and second largest in the solar system, Saturn. It is thought that when this planet returns to your natal position – where it was at the moment of your birth – your entire universe can be turned upside down.

“Some may feel like they are experiencing their first Saturn Return at around 27 years of age,” says astrology lecturer at Sydney’s Nature Care College, Narelle Macnamara. “The first Return is around 28 or 29 years and generally lasts about 18 months.”

Saturn takes about two and a half years to transit through each sign of the Zodiac, hence 27 to 30 years to make a complete cycle. Its return can run rings around your life, inspiring you to profoundly (and perhaps painfully) re-evaluate and restructure your personal and professional lives.

“It is common to relocate, marry, fall pregnant, divorce, get fired, open your own business, fall out with long-time friends and experience a personal crisis of sorts during Saturn Return,” says astrologer, Elizabeth Ball.

It sure can get stormy up on Saturn; after all, the wind reaches velocities of up to 500 metres a second. But in true Saturnstyle, one particular cliché can be applied: you’ve got to weather the storm to arrive at the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.


No need to leave your shoes at the door when you check in for your Saturn Return, because ‘the Lord of Karma’ – aka Saturn – can trace your tracks no matter how lightly you tread barefoot. Fear not, as the opportunity to right wrongs is a liberating blessing in disguise. “As unresolved issues return during Saturn Return, it is vital to understand that any theme in life that repeats itself is a valuable lesson on a soul level and a life path purpose,” explains celebrity psychic, Susan Taylor. “As we go through life, we have experiences. These are our lessons. We are then given an exam to see if we have learnt from our lessons. If we have learnt, we will pass the exam and move onto the next learning area of our lives through new experiences.”

Another important house rule: each planet has certain characteristics traditionally assigned to it, which determines their rulership. For example, Saturn rules longevity, durability, responsibility, commitment and adulthood, which propels you into the ultimate rite of passage and journey to the core of your true self.

Admittedly, your Saturn Return may not always be the most comfortable stay. You may encounter a few blown lightbulbs and cigarette burns in the sheets – and of course you are in charge of re-stocking your inventory when supplies run low – but making sense of what may sound like astronomical gobbledygook will help you approach Saturn Return with compassion and patience. So enjoy the ride, and remember, planets rule certain characteristics, but they cannot rule your future. Make the Lord of Karma work in your favour, live and learn rather than crash and burn!


Individual traits characterised by star signs may dictate the degree of intensity in which Saturn Return is experienced and how it is managed. “Some star signs and individuals are more self-disciplined, responsible and focused, which is more in line with the archetypal energy of Saturn, and they may not need the ‘tough love’ that Saturn Return brings most of us,” says Macnamara, who suggests, at your first Saturn Return, you ask yourself clarifying questions like:

What do I need to do now?

What direction do I need to take?

What skills do I need to develop to survive and make my dreams a reality?


Perhaps consult a professional who can facilitate positive growth:

* Astrology readings

An astrologer can create your birth chart and identify key areas of your life that may need extra attention. “An astrology reading can provide you with the tools for overcoming your upcoming Saturn Return, or recover from a previous one,” says relationships astrologer, Penny Walters ( “Saturn is challenging, but a good astrologer will work with you to help you understand how you can change the energy so it works better for you and rewards become more forthcoming.”

* Psychic readings

Taylor believes Saturn Return is the perfect time to consult a psychic. “They can bring understanding to the confusing nature of the transition and experiences brought about by our heightened awareness, especially for those who find themselves in unfamiliar spiritual territory. Never go into the dark blindly if there is someone who may hold a torch for you,” she says.

It’s possible your psychic of choice discovered their intuition during their Saturn Return, as Taylor says that it is a time when people may find psychic abilities coming to the fore.

* Counselling

Ball believes that Saturn Return is a fantastic time to see a counsellor to release outworn attitudes that no longer work for you. “It is not an easy time, but it is the equivalent of being reborn through fire, like the phoenix. What is not worthwhile is destroyed and what you have sown you will reap,” she says.


Astrologically speaking, the ‘seven year itch’ is no myth. Word of warning: have your protractor handy! “Saturn has seven-year cycles. The first Saturn square, occurring around age seven is about learning to experience life beyond our immediate boundaries,” explains Newcastle-based astrologer, Kim Tennant. At around age 14, the Saturn Opposition occurs, meaning Saturn is located in the opposite sign to its natal position – think 180 degrees on the ‘pie chart’. This marks halfway to your first Saturn Return when boundaries are pushed. Forget terrible twos – this is terrible teens! The second square occurs at around age 21 when Saturn reaches the third sign away from the opposite sign (think 240 degrees). This is a time of finding your place in the world and learning to build your own security.

“These cycles continue throughout our lives. We are continually reviewing our lives and the culmination of this review is the Return,” says Tennant.

Walters says these seven-year cycles also occur within marriages. “When Saturn moves 90 degrees beyond where it was on the wedding day, the marriage is faced with the first major challenging situation,” she says.

“Every seven years, a challenging situation will continue to flare up with a new opportunity to deepen the relationship. You can rise to the occasion and be rewarded for overcoming obstacles, or the relationship may end because it was unable to move past those challenges,” explains Walters.

So it seems Saturn is make or break. But don’t run and hide; make it your time to succeed, shine and overcome.

NEXT: Will your relationship last?

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