Let me preface this post by saying that my chart is quite Saturnian. Saturn aspects most of my other natal planets. I am very familiar with Saturn. The whole world falling apart experience is not how I would describe my Saturn transits. They are more like having the sense of a formidable pressure. Like, a serious PRESSURE.

A lot of digital ink has virtually spilled online about the horrors of the Saturn return. I want to share a different take on the transit because there is far too much writing out there that I could not relate to and that, as an astrologer, did not match the experiences of the people I was reading charts for. (On that note, for a great series of videos about the Saturn Return that isn’t all sturm und drang, check out ElsaElsa’s blog.)

My return began with dreams of crossing a long river. Debating pragmatically what to take with me and what to leave behind. Knowing I had to swim alone.

Then, one by one, all the areas of my life, many of which had always seemed so difficult to consolidate, which were always in a constant state of flux, began to fall into place. I have received in a capacity that I have laboured so hard for, but would never have dared to ask for. People kept telling me, “I’m so happy for you; you deserve it.” All this stuff though, is really just impermanent stuff. The process of getting here however, taught me something very important.

Seven years ago, when I could not have envisioned any of this, I recognized that the part of the world that I interacted with was my kingdom, a reward. The root of the word re-ward means to guard again. A reward is a responsibility you’ve earned. But I was impatient. I was resentful of this land that was barren and unyielding and dry. What I didn’t understand was that I was trying to twist that kingdom into the image I wanted it to be, and to bear the fruits I was already well familiar with.

Sometime in the winter, feeling displaced in a tiny aboriginal community 7000 km away from my urban home and 7000 km even further from my partner, I drew a crow with a scavenged eye hanging from its beak and wrote, it is time to listen. Not to my ideas about god, or who I was or what my life was supposed to be. And not to other people’s expectations and projections. In the nights, the sky of this raw and beautiful land would split open to infinity and I let it pour right into me, make me so small. In this void, removed from any familiar context, I realized that this earthly kingdom was more incredible than I could have imagined. My life wasn’t a dutiful obligation to fulfill, it was a great privilege. A privilege you are supposed to share, to keep passing along.

With Saturn’s return, I had a powerful sense of looking back on the past seven years and realizing that I respect myself. Recognizing all the decisions I made, even the bad ones, the stupid ones, the careless ones, the ones that I regret, and knowing that I made them and they’re mine. There’s a sense of feeling more concrete, of being more settled in one’s skin.

It’s not happiness, it’s not pride, it’s not confidence. It’s not something you can buy, it’s not even something you can make although you certainly do have to work hard if it’s going to happen. It’s something that only comes with time and experience. It’s something that nothing and no one can ever take away from you. And you can look in the mirror and finally see in your face that you are your own person.

I’ll end this post with an apt little quote by Simon Doonan:

Your 30th birthday is an important landmark. You are now ready, after ten years of dicking around with your personal style, to select a signature lipstick. This is the lipstick that will get you through thick and thin. When you are screaming for mercy during childbirth, this is the lipstick that will be smeared across your face. When you kiss the corpses of your dead parents, this is the color that will stain their cheeks… This is the lipstick that will flow into the fine lines and wrinkles around your mouth as the death rattle grips your throat. Choosing this lipstick is a momentous task. In order to complete it, you need to be slightly drunk.

Stay tuned for part two of Saturn Return redux…