The Saturn Return… Sorry To Say But Not All Lives Turn Out Well

This is in response to a comment on this post: Saturn return… Take A Lesson From These Two Losers

Defending a Capricorn-type comment regarding the Saturn Return.

More on this topic – Demystifying the Saturn Return (a video series)

My Saturn return story – How the God straightens things out.


51 thoughts on “The Saturn Return… Sorry To Say But Not All Lives Turn Out Well”

  1. Elsa, you’re right that not everyone’s life automatically turns out well… but everyone’s life has that potential, if they’re willing to do what needs to be done. Our choices in life really do have long term effects.

    That said, I have to believe that no matter where someone is in their life that they always have the choice to move in a new direction, without exception. The benefit of those changes may not happen over night, but they always show up.

    Saturn return or no, what comes to mind when I think about this is a line from Stairway to Heaven — “Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on.”

  2. I get what yer sayin, Miss Elsa, but my Saturn return – if it did in fact happen when I was 30 – was particularly noneventful. I was sitting in Paris with a boy I dated for six years who was God awful, and I did nothing about it.

    When I turned 35, however, now THAT’s a whole ‘nother story. I made some powerful statements about what I wanted my life to be and, in fact, 18 months later, things are coming around . . .

  3. Do people really listen to the “sound of Saturn” though? Its these crucial developmental times like the Saturn return where fate takes a direction. There are plenty of choices including avoidence of reality. The lesson will be about something at the return. I guess some people miss out on their teenage rebellion stage of development to only experience identity issues later in life. The missing bits will emerge at some stage.


  4. I’d agree that some things have long-range effects, but not everything in life has that same level of permanence. There are various degrees of “oops” that a life can tolerate without necessarily staying stuck in them for 30 years. And there may be some degrees of “oops” that are simply lifelong. The catch is recognizing when an event or action has the potential to stick with you, and working in a way to make the stick positive. 🙂 Just my humble opinion.

  5. From my understanding, I sort of thought that if you don’t grab hold of these lessons or issues at your SR, you can still deal with them during that next 30 year cycle. The results of those decisions made and those paths walked come home to roost at the second SR. You might change them along the way, though, especially when you have opportunities again at Saturn squares. It might be harder to change, but still possible.


    I’m totally into this because I just finished that first SR and the large sweeping changes were just really unbelievable.

  6. Gemini with Leo rising says: TALK ABOUT ME ALL YOU WANT, I’LL TOTALLY EAT IT UP. 😉

    When you mentioned that about the Saturn return, it really struck home for me because of the horrible situation that happened last year… which inspired a fit of depression that you later helped me out with on this blog. I thought about that situation, and about the idea of those two alternatives… getting another chance 28 years along, or never getting one. In this particular situation, I just couldn’t see a good outcome. Heck, if I got another chance a week from now, I couldn’t see one.

    And that fits with what you’re saying. This is something in my life that may very well never sit right with me. It’ll always be a scar. It may become part of me, but it’ll be a part that aches when it rains.

    But for some reason it just confounded me that I couldn’t see a good outcome anywhere. You’re right. The things we do, they matter. It’s possible to do a wrong thing, that you feel for the rest of your life. In fact, I’ve gotten into a habit of looking for people who have one or two of those in their lives… when you find someone who has really screwed up massively, and who has incorporated it into an otherwise happy life, that’s a person you can learn a lot from.

  7. Heather M, I stated my case and stand by it. In theory all things are possible. In reality what happens is typically way, way beneath what is possible in theory. I have been watching this a very long while.

    I would allow for the anomaly though but anomaly means an actual anomaly which is very, very rare thing.

    1. Elsa, I back you up. Saturn means business, and there’s no way around it– ill conceived seeds do not grow into a productive harvest. But, when you don’t get what you want, you at least get experience! One simply cannot opt out of their saturn, because if you don’t do your saturn, it will do you. I think it’s totally normal to dream of an escape hatch, but the trick is to not dread your lesson, rather– honor it. It’s a gift, really. The beauty of Saturn (and it is the most beautiful planet in our solar system), is that if you honor it, you’ll find that your self respect may increase also. Saturn is the great teacher. It has rings around it to symbolize *boundaries,* and it tells us where our boundaries are, and/or should be. At least that’s how I’ve put a positive spin on it, anyway!! You see, I had to, I have a prominent Saturn, conjunct my Venus and Moon, and many years ago when I first discovered astrology, I read all about the doom and gloom associated with it. But instead of accepting the archaic interpretations, I realized that Saturn was showing me there were no short cuts to my heart’s desire; I had to know my values and respect them [Saturn in Taurus], I had to ask for what I want, and even harder– wait for it, accepting nothing less, giving nothing less. I wouldn’t say that I ACED my first saturn return, but I did get what I wanted, at least in part, by the time I turned 30, after years of struggle toward it. Also, I want to add, that as much as I know about Saturn, and it’s return, I never thought about the interconnectedness of the first and the second returns, and how the second saturn return could be a boomerang to the first return, but it makes perfect sense. I certainly see that what occurred to me during the years of 28-30 are still working and unfolding 15 years later. It’s less a quick intense shot like lessons of my 20’s, and more like a slow burn toward refinement. I realize, I’ve got some work to do!

  8. I certainly agree with you Heather. People also have the capacity to remain “fixated” at different developmental times. That is they seem to stay in one of the Saturn Cycles and that has a great impact on their personality just like the person who “skips” over the saturn lesson. Usually the person already has a highly adapted personality style, not that they know that. I would say that other developmental times could trigger the “lessons”. Such as the Saturn squares or perhaps the Uranus opp, pluto opp Uranus and the other “midlife crisis” aspects.


  9. Nice, Ewinbee! I love that.

    Elsa, can I be the anomaly? 🙂 . . . at 36? Maybe my SR got delayed somehow? Forgot about me for five years?

  10. Well, I guess time will tell, eh?

    I feel like I certainly learned my SR l, although some of my methods may have been suspect. Maybe I did skip over part of it. Or maybe I just got a B instead of an A. 😉


    >In this particular situation, I just couldn’t see a good outcome. Heck, if I got another chance a week from now, I couldn’t see one.

    Yes. I understand not being able to find a good outcome anywhere. Especially in relating it to the now. That is very much my perspective as well.

  11. But what about the effects of Uranus and Jupiter? Do they not come along at different moments to liberate and expand which can help set you back on course?
    I have a hard time understanding your theory except to relate it to the fact that everything is learned, and people who are miserable but don’t know they can fix it, stay in their state not working on it for their whole life. And for that person every saturn hit makes life tougher.

  12. I’ve stated it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t feel like I learned anything from my first SR. It was a deep, dank, dark hole of gross for over a year that I’m only just climbing back out of now that Saturn is moseying off. I have no clue what that was supposed to teach me, if anything, and how any lesson could be absorbed in as bad a funk as I was in. I’m usually a pretty darned resilient person, but if that’s what I have to look forward to during my next SR I may just opt for an induced coma instead. 😉

    1. Same here. I’m only learning afterwards. Was a black hole, and only after it passed, did I feel clear enough to change.

  13. For some reason this makes me think of the blog on Elizabeth Smart and suffering in the collective. I mean here’s a girl who did absolutely nothing to deserve that and she will live with the reprecussions for the rest of her life. Is there such a thing as a reverse saturn return. Life will get better for those who have suffered undully? ( OR perhaps Saturn is about taking responsibility for situations that are out of our control)…

  14. Des – I think E. Smart’s situation was part and parcel of being a mega-Scorpio – A plutonian thing rather than Saturn. Pluto kidnapped her and took her to the underworld.

  15. Yes, Elizabeth Smart does sound more like Pluto than Saturn. In a way, Saturn energy is far kinder than the Plutonian kind. Saturn seems more about cause and effect. There are rules, consequences, a choice to do the right thing or not. You know this ahead of time, and if you don’t do it right you spend a LOT of time trying to fix it. You’ve got control…you just have to exercise it or else Saturn takes control.

    Pluto doesn’t really seem to work this way. An overwhelming energy just takes over, and things just happen to you. You have no control, you just accept it.

  16. Amber,
    Interestingly enough, I’ve also got Pisces on the midheaven! That’s an awesome quote, I need to go read the whole article.

    As far as SR goes, though, I’ve seen a large improvement since transiting Saturn is in it’s very last degrees of conjunction with my natal Saturn. I’ve actually been able to process what happened during my return and try to find the “meaning” of it all, whereas I was just living the crisis at the time. So hang in there! It should lighten up once Saturn goes past exact. 🙂

  17. i like to think of it as multiple chances to get things right… but you only have so long to study any one subject before something else will stand up and require you to pay attention.

    …by the time saturn actually hit exact during m return things had massively improved. most of a year later i’m finding i’m implementing those lessons i’ve learned, all the time, everywhere… it’s like i squeezed through a bottleneck and in the process shed some ideas of mine which were confining me. but the next phase is already in motion… saturn’s gearing up to cross my ascendant this august. that should be fun… 😛

  18. I like the bottleneck image, wyrdling! I think I’ma steal it. 😉

    It actually hit me a few days ago, after I wrote this, that the ball-o’-gross I experienced wasn’t due to my SR. *eyeroll* It was actually Saturn running over my Sun five times (no lie) before moving on to conjunct natal Saturn.
    My actual SR has been more about picking up the pieces and moving on with my goals, plus having some new, possible goals highlighted for me. T Saturn is exact today! 🙂

  19. I was always aware, perhaps too acutely aware, that things could go seriously wrong since junior high and that being responsible required certain short term but major sacrifices w/long term pay offs, distant pay offs you might not be able to conceive of save conceptually, payoffs that you wouldn’t see for years, w/no certainty that it would work out for that matter.

    However, it wasn’t until I was older and started to learn about my family members, world history etc. that it really started to sink in that long term consequences, and so much of your life’s path, could be a result of things entirely out of your control that bear no relation to your integrity. My grandparents’ generation – so many w/promising futures – became refugees and destitute when China’s Cultural Revolution rolled around. The ones lucky enough to escape, that is.

    I find many ppl’s basic assumptions about the inherent stability of the world – particularly political and environmental stability – difficult to relate to, but understand the powerful sway of N. American optimistic ideologies of continual progress and being “self made”. I do think many ppl have an unconscious faith that the world powers and values and ideologies of today will be the world powers and values and ideologies of the future. Although it seems to be becoming more difficult to ignore the incredible cost it takes to maintain the world as it is, and whether we can feasibly afford such a cost.

  20. I am in the fall season of my second Saturn return. It has been a very rough go. Something you wrote Elsa in another post about “Peter Pan” ties in with what I’m trying to say. It could be a teary write, but it’s important. I’m an old girl who has been through the fires because … like you said I took a wrong turn at around 28 yrs and I’ve been paying ever since.

    I was pregnant a second time at 28. I remember looking into a mirror and seeing how hot I looked feeling my youth and in the prime of my career days. My husband wasn’t really into having a second child, never really wanted the first one … though he came to love our (only) son. My memory is that of me looking at that mirrored-reflection and two voices speaking back to me. One said, “You look good!” The other said, “You’ll have regrets.”

    I opted for the easily though supported by women’s rights at the time … this was early 70’s. I had an abortion … consciously I have moved on; unconsciously my karma has stirred my conscience every day of my life since. So much from that time has become truly ‘another lifetime.’

    Here’s where Peter (Pan) flies in. I am a deep dreamer/willful soul a Scorp Sun/Cappy Moon-Ascend. Saturn plays hard in my chart and is taking all the chips. Because of the writing and commentary here, Elsa I get the gig is up. Saturn is in my 8th house as it rides out this return. Birth and Rebirth. Other peoples’ resources and mine are running out.

    It doesn’t always work out. I see the mirror. I pray for the wisdom to accept my flying nature (Sag in Venus) and correct my flight pattern with the time I do have. Right/Wrong … we’ll see

  21. ::waves at Mokihana:: I also think you’re terrific!

    Bottom line here, the things you do have consequences both good and bad. If you think you are just going to get endless chances, well you’re just plain wrong. Sooner or later you are going to meet that wall. Much better to mature internally…

  22. I am not often able to watch the videos, which sucks because I like them. But I was able to watch this one, and it was very clarifying.

    I am trying to find the sweet spot between having so much weight on the choices I make that it causes a whole lot of stress (which I think results in living a diminished life in my case), but not abandoning the future completely and just living for today (not in my nature at all, although I do need a bit more of that).

    I have some really good examples in my life of what will happen to me if I do not choose wisely. Hopefully, I’ll heed that message well enough.

  23. Phew. Very poignant, as I go through my return.

    It’s our responsibility to ourselves. Make choices, deal with them. See an opportunity, take it or not, and take responsibility for what you did. And those endless chances disappearing – true, true, true. Glad I read this today.

  24. Avatar
    Strawberry Fields

    At my 1st Saturn Return (which stretched over a period of three years)… I…

    a) walked out of my first significant long-term relationship (because it was the wrong mountain and I knew it)

    b) took a short breather, then took a gamble on what I thought was the right mountain (‘The Love of My Life’ syndrome)… and got kicked off that mountain 2 years in

    c) walked around like a zombie until I snapped to and entered a rebound relationship — HUGE HUGE mistake, that ended up lasting 15 years (another wrong mountain)

    I then stuck to valleys for 4 years and did not allow myself to claim another mountain as mine until a year ago. I think I’ve got this one right now. (Been through a Saturn transit through my 7th house and did serious work re: relationships while in the valley.)

    continued below…

  25. Avatar
    Strawberry Fields

    On the work front… similar scenario, over the same time frame… I…

    a) got fired (kind of self-induced, ‘asked for it’) from my first long-term, serious, adult job, which I hated and had not chosen but fallen into

    b) got into a new job in a completely different field, loved it — it remains one of the high points and best memories of my work life, but it was only a contract, and when it expired, there was nowhere for me to go — no door opened up

    c) because I was (am) super self-responsible and had to have an income, went back to my previous field, hoping things might turn out better this time around — but they didn’t.

    Long story short, I have been trying ever since to find “my” “right” mountain, workwise, but still haven’t.

  26. Absolutely agree! My life went “north” (playing on the life going south bit) based on a decision I made during my Saturn return. Not sure it made my life any “easier” – but, looking back and seeing where I am now… It was definitely the right thing to do for myself and my children.

    Actually… It was slightly past natal Saturn at 12 27 Aries. Over my natal North Node when I travelled North for the first time for a wrok-related gig, and Saturn was retro on the NN when I made the decison…

    Wow. I’d never looked at that before. That was long long before I got into astrology.

    There is something deeply satisfying about this.

  27. It’s been a long time since I recorded this. Back in 2008, Jupiter was conjunct Neptune, remember that? Everyone believed the fog machine.

    Jeez, I don’t mean to be dismal, but people die in terrible circumstances every day. My own mother had a horrific death. I lost my daughter. These things are never okay.

    The best you can do is try not to contribute to your own demise (on whatever level) and the emphasis there is on TRY.

  28. I remember 2008. One of the worst years of my life. I’m sorry about your losses, Elsa. One of my friends is about to do from brain cancer. Any day now:(
    Healthy, young, loved. Life is so short.

    1. Me too!
      Did you see that flip’s husband is having brain surgery today? Prognosis is good though. SCARY.

  29. ((Kashmiri))

    4 yrs later and the impact of Saturn is playing-working through. At the time your words were “meet the wall … and mature internally.” It’s a lifetime affair maturation.

    What is wonderful is to have your blog redux to measure the process and the progression, Elsa. God, thanks for you!

  30. My Saturn is 7 deg sag so I’m approaching the return of saturn to its position at exact degree in december this year, and recently I have been feeling an urge to make changes to my life, like I need to change, things can’t stay this way for long anymore (I’ve been depressed with relationships falling out and pushing hard in my career yet it doesn’t feel like a good match between me and my career path now)… So I will apply to immigrate and open a business of my own with the support and collaboration of some friends who are going through Saturn return and extremely excited about the business, if things happen as I planned it some years ago and been keeping my eyes on it, it will be a miracle…cross my fingers…I will work hard…(my Jupiter square Mars wouldnt fear exhaustion ;p even though it wouldn’t be working smart most of the times 😉

  31. How would you define the period of Saturn return personally, just to clarify. Is it the period till Saturn is conjunct your natal saturn, but not after… or is it the year before and after that point… or the period saturn is transiting the house of your natal saturn?

    1. I would say it’s upon you, five degrees out. Seven if you’re sensitive. Then when it’s a couple degrees past exact, you can start thinking about it as if it’s in the rear view mirror.

  32. Avatar
    Fuck you Saturn

    Saturn Return is a curse that people try to find something positive to say about, but it’s not positive. Positive things are beneficial to your life, they don’t make your life worse.

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