Saturn is known as the great task-master of the Milky Way, representing time, discipline, security and sobriety. Every 29.5 years, Saturn completes its orbit around the Sun, returning to the exact place it was at the moment of your birth.
Like a spiritual drill sergeant, Saturn rips the rug from under you, breaks you down and forces you into a gruelling state of self-analysis. Suddenly you look at EVERYTHING through a lens of 'am I living my most authentic life'? A fork in the road, which may have seemed liberating in your early twenties, is loaded with so much consequence that it becomes a source of crippling self-doubt.
Do I even like my job? Am I making the most of life? Do I have anything in common with my friends? Should I start having kids? Maybe I should move overseas? Have I missed out on x,y,z?
The mistakes you've made over the past 28 years seem to crystallise. To avoid repeating them on autopilot, Saturn jumpstarts your system into self-realisation, giving you a stern nudge to learn from your pitfalls and prepare for your more mature role here on earth.
For those astrology sceptics, there's a well-founded correlation between approaching the age of 30 and experiencing an identity crisis. The societal pressures and expectations around career, marriage and wealth, coupled with a feeling that time is running out, seem to compound into an exhausting spiral of worry and scrutiny. This is particularly true for women, who don't just have to face Saturn looming over them, but the stark reality of our biological clocks timing out.
It's not all doom and gloom. Saturn Returns presents an opportunity to pause and reassess what matters to you, to get to know yourself better and elevate to a higher plane of bliss and fulfilment. The following is a crash course in how to emerge from Saturn Returns as a more well-rounded, authentic version of yourself, with navel-gazing guidance from internationally renowned astrologist, author and founder of astrology.com.au, Dadhichi Toth.
Finding meaningful work
"Saturn is ruled by Capricorn, which is an earth sign and is all about security and steady earnings, so there is a maturing which starts to take place. However, Saturn Returns is not about having all the money you want so you can renovate your house with gold. It's about interior decoration, that is decoration of the spirit and designing your life from the inside out."
"Saturn will cause us suffering if we are not following our true path, because when we are doing work that doesn't fulfil us, that's what causes dispassion and indifference. When you don't yield to the transformational power of Saturn, you stagnate. You don't grow, you don't deviate and you accept the status quo. Listen to your intuition; it's a very powerful instrument."
Love and children
"People will often find that they go through relationship break ups during Saturn returns, or perhaps the dynamic in their romantic relationship will shift. This is because Saturn often takes things away from you during its cycle. It's only when you are stripped of all of those accoutrements and you are left with the pain and suffering, loneliness, emptiness and rawness - it's in that moment that you can evolve."
"When you are not being dependent on anything or anyone is when you can become a whole person. Once that process is complete, then you are in a better place to enter a relationship."
"Women approach child-bearing age just as Saturn swings around the Sun. Biologically by necessity, Saturn will make you conscious of security - simply for the sake of protecting, nurturing and educating your future offspring. All of these considerations will start to influence women's choices."
Self-discipline and letting go
"Saturn will not allow you to find your authentic self unless you resist the temptations of life that drag you down morally, ethically, mentally and emotionally - all those bad habits are what are obstructing you from finding and being your authentic self."
"There's an element of self-control and self-containment which strangely people don't like because people say 'I want to be free' but actually what they will learn is that through this process is that the attrition of all the desires to live a hedonistic life are what are obstructing you from true freedom and happiness."
"As Saturn swings around to its return, you will start to eliminate what's not necessary in life. That process of the snake shedding its skin is very much about renewal. You must learn to relinquish those habits that are not serving you, relinquish those people that are holding you back and relinquish the circumstances that you become habituated to."
"The things that bring us joy in our lives are not the sources of joy. They are projected, just like the light being projected off the ocean."
"Yes there are events and there are things that happen to us and some of them are pleasant and some not, but beyond that there is the true self that is not touched by any of this. Bringing your attention to that inner part of yourself is really the most liberating thing - self-realisation. That is the real job of Saturn."
"Where there is love for what you do, where there is a genuine passion for what you do, then that action of seeking it will be so joyful and easy - it will just open up and blossom like a beautiful fragrant flower. That's how we have to live life."
For more detailed insights on your zodiac, visit astrology.com.au
All artworks by Alexandra English, @alexa_jay_collage