Ask Jerico: How to Make Sense of Your Saturn Return


Welcome back to The Latch’s woo-woo-flavoured advice column, where Jerico Mandybur—best-selling author, award-winning coach, and real-life witch—breaks down spiritual topics, minus all the jargon. If you’ve ever been a little spirituality-curious, grab your black pointy hat, pull up a meditation pillow, and get comfy. Because this is everything you wanted to know (but were too sceptical to ask) about the mystical.

Today’s Question:

“I’m in my late twenties and people keep asking me about my Saturn Return. I know that’s something we all experience astrologically before 30 but like…what is it? And how will it affect me? It sounds scary!”

You’re right, babe! Every single one of us experiences a Saturn Return every 27-30 years. That means we’ll feel its effects in our late twenties, between the ages of 57-60, and again at 87-90 for those of us who live long enough. That also means millennials born between 1991 and 1994 are experiencing one right about now. Quarter-life crisis, anyone? But let’s back up for a second and break this thing down.

What is a Saturn Return?

Firstly, I want to assure you that there’s nothing to be scared of. Saturn isn’t out to ruin your life. For the vast majority of people, these two and a half to three year periods come and go in an undramatic fashion. It’s a long time, after all! Like Mercury Retrograde, the tea on our Saturn Returns is a little over-brewed thanks to social media. So breathe. Intensity doesn’t automatically mean “bad”.

Saturn is a slow boy (second only to chunky Jupiter) and it’s the sixth planet from the sun. Because it’s an ‘outer planet’ within our solar system, it takes longer to orbit around the sun (and transit through the 12 houses of the zodiac) and arrive in the same spot it started in, on the moment you were born. In other words, Saturn “returns” to the zodiac sign, and degree, it’s found in your birth chart.

What’s the deal with Saturn Return?

In astrology circles, Saturn is often talked about like the “big daddy” of planets. Traditionally described using male pronouns (but not necessarily), he’s a firm but fair taskmaster. He’s “father time”; the ruler of cause and effect. Of tough love. If you’ve ever had a sporting coach or a dance teacher who was really demanding of you, but only because they believed in you and wanted to bring out your very best, you know what I’m talking about.

When Saturn comes around, it’s time to grow up. The energy he offers us is all about hard lessons through hard work. We generally find our Saturn Return to be a time to deep reflection and taking stock. In terms of how we’ve been living, working, and our relationships (both with others and ourselves), our chickens are coming home to roost. Taking a deep inventory of our progress in life doesn’t sound very chill, and it’s not TBH. But it is necessary if we’re to properly identify what our next steps are.

Saturn isn’t interested in our self-effacement; he’s all about acknowledging, digesting, and taking pragmatic, responsible action on the wisdom this kind of soul-searching uncovers. He reminds us we’re not immortal. He lovingly calls us out on our immaturity. He asks us to do better. He wants us to stop wasting time and start making our mark on the world. And if we really stop and think about it, isn’t that what we want for ourselves too? Of course it is.

Yes, Saturn Returns are our cosmic wake-up call. And yes, sometimes that means things will change in our lives. But the planets are collaborators at heart and Saturn is no different. His return, if we’re willing to do the work, can also spell one of the most insightful times in our life. We get the chance to step up—to proactively define and refine what’s most important to us, where our values lie, and what we really want most out of life. We may even find that once our Saturn Return is over, we’re in an entirely different (and much more aligned) place in life. 

This energy is firm but fair; it loves to reward us for displaying integrity, discernment, and diligence. And think of it this way — Saturn Return is like a training ground for the next few decades of your life. Like any good bootcamp, it might hurt at times but you’re getting stronger with every move you make. And you won’t regret it.

What about the class of 2020-2023?

With the exception of a few months last year, if you’re 27-30 you’re experiencing a Saturn Return in Aquarius currently. Congrats! Aquarius is the zodiac wheel’s sign of innovation, blue-sky thinking, and humanitarian issues. It’s the sign of the avant-garde, the rebel, and the freedom fighter. 

What does that mean for you? Well, your Saturn Return will likely force you to assess and develop your relationship to the people around you and the world at large. What do you believe in? What kind of world do you want to help build? In what ways are you trying to fit in instead of embracing your eccentric qualities? What great ideas do you dream of actioning? Now’s the time, baby! And Saturn will be sure to let you know it. You’ve got this. See you on the other side.

Curious about a woo-woo topic but too shy to ask your mates? Got a burning spiritual enquiry and wish someone would just explain it in layman’s terms? Submit your ‘Ask Jerico’ question by sliding into our DMs at The Latch’s Instagram, or by messaging Jerico directly on Instagram

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