I distinctly recall the first time I heard the words "Saturn Return." I was a bright-eyed 24-year-old living in Manila, slaving away in the publishing industry. My dearest friend Katrina Holigores and I were driving back to our neighborhood when she described this astrological phenomenon that hits people when they're between the ages of 27 and 30. I listened with fascination but took it with a grain of salt. I mean, sheesh, 30 sounds AGES away when you're 24 and when have I ever paid attention to astrology anyway? Fast forward to 2009 when my world suddenly unraveled and big lessons were hurled at me with the delicacy of a quarterback throwing a Hail Mary pass. I thought back on that afternoon when Katrina gave me my first lesson in Saturn Return, shook my head and muttered, "Damn, she was right."
So I've asked Katrina to write a guest post on Saturn Return. This post may give you a lightbulb moment—or at the very least, assure you that the madness of Saturn Return is a normal occurrence and you do not need to get committed to an asylum just yet. Katrina is a wonderful writer with serious publishing credentials, and she writes a regular column in The Philippine Star and a gem of a blog called Soul Train. I hope you will take a look at her blog and articles and learn from her as I have throughout the years.
Saturn Return is, indeed, a difficult and confusing time. But as someone who can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel, I assure you that this too will pass, and if you learn your lessons well, you will come out of it far stronger, better and, dare I say, happier than when you started. So buckle up and enjoy the ride!
By Katrina Holigores
THIRTY. The number seems to strike fear, dread and anxiety in most people. Male or female, one should have, must have, done this, bought that, had this, reached here, gone there etc. When the late 20's hit, there is a maniacal assessment of one's social, financial, physical, economic and even spiritual station in life. Being past 30, I look bemusedly and with much sympathy at those who are going through what I once was. Unlike many of my peers, I was actually looking forward to hitting the Big 3-0. Not because I was right on track with everything I wanted to achieve, but because of a little known planetary pattern that astrologers have come to call "The Saturn Return."
The what? The Saturn Return, and yes I am referring to the original Lord of the Rings (sorry Tolkien) and it's "return." To be more specific, the first time Saturn completes its cycle through your birth chart and returns to the spot it occupied when you were born. Without getting too technical, Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest in diameter in astronomical terms, but it is known as "The Great Teacher" in astrological ones. It completes a cycle approximately once every 29 years, and its energies are believed to be the cause of why those years approaching 30 seem so messed up!!
If you are 30 and over, look back at your life between the ages of 27 1/2 to 29 1/2, if you are between 27-30 or are close to someone who is, stop and read this, please. I can assure you that it's not going to be a sermon, and you can of course come to your own conclusions and use this to train your dog. But, if it does spark an "Oh man, so THAT'S why....?!!" reaction, then do more research on The Saturn Return because it doesn't just come once, but even thrice in a lifetime. The last cycle may catch you at 87, and honey, you had better have learned the lessons by then, or you are going to be one cantankerous old goat! Although a surly 28-year-old or 58-year-old is still pretty unpleasant.
What exactly happens during the ages of 27-30? Hmmm, why don't you tell me? Perhaps you're in a relationship now. Everything is blissful, perfect ... and yet ... you just want to be left ALONE, your partner doesn't UNDERSTAND you, you feel like you don't know whether to STAY or LEAVE. How about work? Normally you're content but all of a sudden there are other offers or major changes abound. You feel you're being pulled in all directions, the career path you've chosen is unfulfilling, your colleagues or your business partner PISS YOU OFF, or worse, you have just decided that life behind a desk is hell compared to making beaded underwear for a living. But so what? Life is nothing if one is not happy right?
Basically, as a whole, you're going nuts. The normal you is almost unrecognizable. Your family, colleagues, romantic partner and friends see you turning into something different—and they're right. Saturn asks you to "break" old patterns in your life, in order to sit your ass down, look you in the eye and say "Grow up, or get out."
True adulthood and wisdom are obligatory, because Saturn strips away illusions and points out limitations, allowing you to view yourself in a harsh, often unflattering light. At the same time, it endows you with prudence, practicality, and the perseverance to work hard toward achieving your purposes. When friends who are 27-30 or are dating someone of that age ask me advice about their current relationship (especially when it involves marriage) I shake my head and tell them to WAIT the period out.
But why, why, why? You moan. Because what is normally begun during this period is not long lasting. Relationships that have withstood distances, parental disapproval, racial and religious differences can fall flat when one goes through this period. The people and situations that enter your life in this season are literally being "used" by the Universe to teach YOU a lesson. You may even befriend someone suddenly who has recently passed a Saturn Return, because they know "exactly how you feel" even on a subconscious level.
If you, on the other hand have a friend who is going through his or her return, then you have to be the patient and understanding one. It is not an easy time. They'll be a little psycho—and trust me, so were you (ask your older friends or relatives). Sadly, 28-29 is the age when most suicides occur, because instead of growing up, the individual gives up.
Ok, wait, wait, wait, before you decide that this article stinks and you had been better off reading about the latest vote off on American Idol hear me out. There is good news ... this phase is temporary, and it's always for the best, because that is what change is for: the chance to renew, to rediscover and to recreate the path. This is meant for your absolute peace of mind and peace of heart.
Saturn brings to your attention what is important to you, to fill a void. Think of Saturn as that teacher you had in school, the one who was super strict but knew his stuff so even if the lessons were hard, you learned from him the most. That's what this planet is attempting to do with you, and it is a worthwhile education.
So what now? Should you dump the person, friend or career if it is indeed occurring during your Saturn Return? That is up to you. Let me clarify that the life lessons you have to endure are directly correlated to the quality of life you have lived during your 29 years. If you learn the lessons quickly and take them to heart then the dramas won't be as dramatic. Know this: If you truly, truly love who you are with and what you are doing, then this is just a bump on the road. And when you hit your 30s you can, like me, look back with a smile and say "Phew! Thanks for the lesson!" See you again in 29 years.