The First and the Second Saturn Return

It takes Saturn 29.5 years to orbit the Sun. When Saturn returns to the same sign and degree it was when you were born, this is called The Saturn Return. We experience Saturn returning to its natal position just before turning 30, around 59-60, and—if we make it that far—once again in our late 80’s.

Saturn coming home to itself often coincides with times in our life where we accept more responsibility, gain authority, face our fears, and reap our just rewards. These times can be accompanied by limitations, delays, and setbacks as well. Whereas one person may step into their power, another might have a fall from grace. For instance, spiritual author Eckart Tolle broke through a crippling depression during his first Saturn Return and began his life as a spiritual teacher. Allegations of sexual abuse were filed again Kevin Spacey during his second Saturn Rx forcing him to step down from his starring role in House of Cards.

The first Saturn Rx has been hailed by many astrologers as crossing the threshold into adulthood. Most people can look back to 29-30 and clearly remember decisions made or steps taken to become responsible for the unfolding of their life. This is a time of making choices, establishing career and families, or deciding not to do these things.

A time of reckoning accompanies the second Saturn Rx. The individual is often reminded of the fleetingness of life and begins to take measured steps to add more meaning in life. Folks might recommit to a marriage or leave it. The past catches up to us and this can be a time of making amends or of finally actualizing dreams that have laid dormant until now. Just like the first Saturn Rx, there’s a sense of waking up to one’s destiny and—as signified in the World card—seeing how all the pieces of our life have come together to create a whole story. The difference between the first and second is the first Saturn Rx builds the structure of life as a young adult whereas the second is about making sure we haven’t lost the thread on our hopes and dreams in the process of adulting.