Are you in your late twenties and dreaming of going back to school, switching careers, or perhaps, reinventing your life in a different city? Have you also been experiencing anxiety about time running out to do all the things you actually want to do in life? This isn't just any old existential crisis, my friend. This is your Saturn return, and it's here to teach you some valuable life lessons.
But what is a Saturn return in the first place? Astronomically speaking, this powerful transit happens when Saturn returns to the same degree it was when you were born in your birth chart. Saturn takes 29.5 years to orbit the sun, so people experience their first Saturn return between the ages of 28 to 30 and may continue to feel its effects into their early 30s. (You can calculate precisely when yours is here.) Your first one is often looked at as the first foray into adulthood, as Saturn is the planet of structure, lessons, and mastery. Think of your Saturn return as your personal life coach that is here to hold you accountable and help you grow up.
"When Saturn comes back around to where it was when you were born, the structure of your life comes under the microscope," Sandy Sitron, astrologer, hypnotist, and co-creator of the Saturn Return Workshop, says. "Are you doing what you want to be doing? Are you managing your time and resources in a way that's working for you? Can you build upon the foundation that you've created? Or do you need to scrap it?"
Sure, the important questions come to the forefront forcing you to think about well, a lot. However, this transit is not meant to be "scary or intimidating" but rather, a friendly check-in from the cosmos. "You are making an assessment of where you are on the timeline of your life," Sitron says. "You are discovering if the choices you've made in the past are aligned with what you really want to create or do."
For those going through your Saturn return during the global pandemic, however, you might be feeling even more of a shakeup. This is an invitation to slow down and get clear on your priorities, according to Sitron. "Many different life areas have become constricted, and maybe causing people to pivot or reassess [during the pandemc]," she says.
So, how the heck do you navigate this pivotal time without losing your mind? And, how do you get in touch with your inner voice so you can shape your life in the direction you want? As a life coach and someone in my first Saturn return, these were all the things I was curious about. Below, I rounded up a few tips for self-care based on Sitron's expert advice and my own observations during this charged time so you, too, can nurture your growth and well-being as you enter "astronomical adulthood."
Examine what thoughts or beliefs might be getting in your way.
We all have a set of limiting beliefs that keep us stuck in the same patterns. Those beliefs—about yourself, others, and the world—are what shapes your reality. For instance, like the person who stays stuck in a 9 to 5 they hate because of the false belief that they wouldn't make money doing something they actually love. Or, the person who stays in a passionless relationship because their belief of love is never to leave someone.
Your Saturn return invites you to challenge the beliefs you were conditioned with to let go of any fear or shame you're holding onto. Your beliefs are your lens of how you see the world, which means the reality you want can be created by shifting your mindset.
"What Saturn really wants is for you to strengthen your foundation, and your foundation actually exists in your thoughts and beliefs," Sitron says. "From there, you can begin to change those deep beliefs and set yourself up on a path that feels more aligned."
Make space to feel your feelings.
Given all of the energetic shifts taking place during this time, emotions may be running high. Instead of bottling them in or distracting yourself, it's important to process what emotions arise without judgment. For instance, it's okay if you're feeling envious of a friend who got her dream job on a whim when you've been looking non-stop for years. Looking at your emotions as neither good nor bad, but rather as neutral messengers will give you the space needed to sort them out. It might take a bit of work to get to the root of what you're really feeling, so patience is key here as you process.
"During the Saturn return, many of my clients find themselves seeking support to learn about themselves and feel safe experiencing their feelings," Sitron says. "Everyone has a different way of working with emotions and this is a wonderful time to experiment and try new ways."
Sitron adds that working with a therapist is one of the best things you can do for yourself during this time. Working with a professional can help you unpack some of the deeper rooted trauma you may carry. Allowing yourself to tap into these different facets of yourself helps guide you toward what lights you up and also what you may need to let go of.
Find an outlet for mindfulness.
Practicing mindfulness increases awareness of your thoughts and feelings while decreasing stress and mental chatter. Just like going to the gym and building muscle, developing mindfulness takes skill and practice to reap the full benefits.
As for how to find an outlet that works for you, there are many different options. "Meditation can help you become aware of your thought patterns while at the same time relieving stress," Sitron says. "Journaling can help you gain clarity. Hypnosis can help you relax and create new habits."
There are many types of meditation out there. You might try guided meditation with an app like Calm or Headspace or movement meditation such as walking or gardening. If you're looking for something a little more pointed towards navigating change, Sitron created a guided meditation and workshop along with transformational coach Dana Balicki, specifically geared toward your Saturn return.
When it comes to journaling, there are also many forms such as bullet journaling or gratitude journaling. Personally, stream of consciousness journaling is one of the best things I've discovered for my mental health. Every day for at least ten minutes, I'll write whatever comes to mind on a blank page. Even if I think I have nothing to say, I'm always amazed at what flows out after a couple of minutes of writing about "nothing." I highly recommend trying out this practice to see if it works for you, too!
Create a community.
While you experience a plethora of new changes, it's important not to isolate yourself. Sitron says that one of the best things you can do for yourself is to find a community to support you.
"The Saturn return can feel quite lonely and people tend to feel as if they're running out of time or they are quick to compare themselves to others," Sitron says. "Try to override those impulses and really connect with trusted people who can support you and help you feel included."
Your community can be your existing network of friends or it can be a group of people online who share similar interests. It can be connecting with an old friend over coffee or it can be exchanging DMs with a stranger after vibing with something that they posted. Community is all around you if you're open to it, and your Saturn return is a great time to lean into it. People need other people to feel less alone, supported, and even as a vessel for understanding themselves better. It is through opening up about yourself, exchanging ideas, and taking part in shared experiences that we grow.
Set intentions to manifest your vision.
By now, you know that the planet Saturn is not here to mess around. It's here to shake things up, put your life into perspective, and place you on a path that aligns with your greater purpose. What better way to get clear on your life's path than by setting intentions?
Intentions are a roadmap for staying focused on what you most want so you can check in with your progress. Intentions aren't goals, which are focused on results or outcomes, but rather the joy of the process itself. An example of an intention could be to connect with fellow entrepreneurs as you turn your passion project into a business. Or, it could be to put feelers out for exploring whether or not going back to school is what you want to do. Intentions are merely guiding principles that pave the way for new opportunities to come through.
When you have your intentions in mind, write it on a piece of paper or create a vision board and keep it close by so you can reference it. You can do this however often you want, but I love writing intentions each month on the new moon when the energy is fresh. Throughout the month, I'll keep the intention in mind with everything that I do, as it helps me focus on investing my energy in the right places.
So, now that you're ready to navigate your Saturn Return with confidence, I hope you have a newfound sense of power and possibility. As you reflect on what you truly desire, what you need to feel in alignment, and what you need to let go of, I hope one thing is clear: your life can be anything you make of it. Now is the time to go do the thing.