Adele’s Walk with Saturn

I’m sure some of you may have noticed the Saturn theme that Adele brought to her spectacular one night only concert in Griffith Observatory recently: a Saturn tattoo on her wrist, dramatic Saturn earrings and a dignified black gown, Saturn’s color.

But the real Saturnian influences are embodied in the songs themselves. Saturn has left his fingerprints all over her new album which isn’t surprising as the beloved vocalist went through her Saturn Return during their formation. “I feel like this album is self-destruction, then self-reflection and then sort of self-redemption” she shares with British Vogue. Self-destruction, self-reflection and self-redemption are the mileposts for many a Saturn Return.

Anatomy of a Saturn Return

In the beginning of a Saturn Return, we’re often faced with our bad habits and go-to self-sabotaging maneuvers. Saturn can bring us to our knees. We usually face a turning point where we can remain autopiloting, making the same bad decisions we’ve eternally made. Or, we begin to realize we’re tired—sick and tired!—of accepting so little for ourselves.

First: Self destruction. In Adele’s case, she had to cancel two shows and the drinking started happening earlier and earlier in the day. Adele admits to problem drinking. But at this point in her life, severe anxiety kicked in as her marriage spiraled downhill. The culmination was self-destructing.

Next: self reflection. I imagine this is where the songs started lining themselves up ready to be birthed by Adele. She shares that this album began as a way to answer her son’s questions. “I just felt like I wanted to explain to him, through this record, when he’s in his twenties or thirties, who I am and why I voluntarily chose to dismantle his entire life in the pursuit of my own happiness. It made him really unhappy sometimes. And that’s a real wound for me that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to heal.”

One of Saturn’s hallmarks is a time of deep, inner examination while we kick the tires on all our supports and scaffolds to see if they’re sustainable. We realize that some of our foundational constructs are built of sand. If we’re brave enough: we dismantle them and pursue our happiness.

Yet another one of Saturn’s signatures is the theme of responsibility. As Adele reworked her life to point it towards happiness, she was fully cognizant of the impact on her son and strove to do the responsible thing for everyone, which included buying her son’s father a house across the street so Angelo’s life—her son—wouldn’t have to change that much. Further, some of the songs are an attempt to explain herself to her son. Adele never acted in pure self interest. She put the responsibility of motherhood first.

Finally: self redemption. To address her disruptive and chronic anxiety, Adele began working out THREE times a day: weights, walks and cardio. She wasn’t going after an aesthetic; she was aiming for peace of mind and greater ease. In the process, she lost over 100 pounds. She also walked away from an unfulfilling relationship and raised her expectations when it comes to qualities she looks for in a partner. Saturn might put us through the grind—and it certainly did with Adele—but is invaluable wisdom on the other side of the grind if we do the work. Now in new relationship, Adele has not only found love, but she shares that she truly loves herself for the first time.

Of her megahit albums, Adele imparts:  “I always say that 21 doesn’t belong to me anymore. Everyone else took it into their hearts so much. I’m not letting go of this one. This is my album. I want to share myself with everyone, but I don’t think I’ll ever let this one go.”

She shouldn’t. This album carries her Saturn Return, the threshold of the old self she shed and the new person she’s becoming. It’s sacred.  And if the part is reflected in the whole, I think she sings for so many of us on our own walks with Saturn right now.