Are you between the ages of 57 and 59? If so, then this is the season of your Second Saturn Return; meaning that the planet Saturn has completed or is about to complete the second cycle of its 29-year-long orbit around the Sun, and has returned to its position in the sky when you were born. It’s a very influential and potentially challenging time, rich with possibility for setting the tone and trajectory for the last third of your life. The movement of Saturn back to its natal position signifies that themes related to the planet Saturn will figure prominently in your life.
All of the planets are linked with particular archetypal aspects of human experience. Saturn is thematically linked with time, maturation, credibility, experience and the wisdom of the elders, responsibility, duty, authority and alignment with universal laws.
The Second Saturn Return brings with it an awareness of mortality. Saturn slows you down and forces you to take a long hard look at reality. How much time do you have left? How do you want to spend it? There really is no time left for procrastination, otherwise time will be up and those books will never be written or paintings painted. Ironically as the remaining time diminishes, subjectively it passes with ever increasing speed.
The Second Saturn Return is an epoch of life review and soul searching. How did you get here? Is this really where you want to be? Often it represents a crossroads of sorts, and an opportunity to deal at last with unfinished business. Sometimes this means getting rid of people, jobs and situations that no longer fit who you are or want to be. There is a taking stock that can culminate in a kind of purging and reordering of your life. This death of the old way of doing things can be painful, but subsequently there is often a feeling of relief and gratitude that you are no longer stuck in circumstances that no longer served you.
Saturn is also known as the Lord of Karma or Lord of the Harvest. You will reap what you sowed. It is a time when hard work will be rewarded, but if there has been neglect or carelessness, the natural consequences will not be able to be avoided.
Saturn asks you to claim your authority, to step up to the plate. It is inappropriate to wait for someone else to do it.
In my own case, I am 57 years old and just received notification of my upcoming 40th high school reunion in May. I am just on the cusp of my Second Saturn Return. I am thinking about letting my hair go grey. There is less of an investment in vanity and more in spiritual wisdom. I am accepting invitations to do public speaking, even though it makes me want to cry and throw up. It feels more important to share my thoughts and make my contribution, than to give into shyness at this late date.
I am writing about Astrology, even though there are few subjects in our culture more generally viewed with contempt. But Saturn is asking me to make a contribution and give voice to what I believe is true, and to write about what is important to me and on my mind. I have no idea how Astrology works, but empirically I observe that it does, and it provides an invaluable context for making sense of our experience, guidance for making choices that are most meaningful, and a perspective on ourselves and others that promotes compassion and understanding.
One of the most common regrets that people voice at the end of their lives is that they did not sufficiently honor their own truth, that they lived in accordance with other’s expectations or internal “shoulds” instead of listening to their heart. The Second Saturn return is often not an easy passage, but it is rich with opportunity to re-create our lives in order to have the most meaningful and vibrant remaining years, so that when we are on our death beds looking back, we can sigh and say, “Ah, that was a life well lived.”