The Saturn Return & A Woman’s Biological Clock

baby pinkA woman’s biological or baby clock is something to behold. It’s not uncommon to see a woman who never wanted children change her mind, whiplash fast. The woman herself can be taken aback. I experienced this myself. Baby fever!

Astrologically, the timing of the ticking baby clock correlates with the Saturn return. It kicks in about 28 years old. I acknowledge that some women do not feel this; in fact that’s what this post is about!  But most women do feel this urge. You feel your baby clock kick in. The ticking may be subtle in the beginning but the intensity increases as months and years pass.  Eventually, the drive and desire for a baby takes over. This INSTINCT is baked in!

I’ve been an astrologer for decades and worked with many women during this phase of their life.  The volume of a woman’s baby clock does vary. I wonder today if this can’t be seen in the natal chart.

This is occurring to me now, probably because Saturn is in Capricorn. Most the women having their Saturn return at this time have a stellium in Capricorn. Speaking in general terms, they are naturally “parental”.

Would this matter? I think it does. Really, how could it not?

Compare a woman who is naturally nurturing to one who primarily lives in the world of ideas. It seems to obvious to me how one women might set aside her physiological urge more easily than the other. Some women find it nearly impossible… or even impossible.  

If you want to witness this, turn on the show, “Married At First Sight.” Invariably, the women want a baby… an immediate baby.  They want a baby so bad, they are willing to marry a man they’ve never met or seen in their life!

I can understand this, having had the feelings myself.  It’s like being pregnant and diving for protein, even if it’s sitting on another person’s plate.  The urge is primal.

What do you think about this? If you are a woman who has heard your baby clock ticking, what was your experience? Do you think the degree of something like this can be delineated via a natal chart?

33 thoughts on “The Saturn Return & A Woman’s Biological Clock”

  1. From an astrological perspective, I’m certain certain influences suggest childlessness (conditions of planets in the 4th, 5th, and 8th houses come to mind), position/aspects to the moon, etc. and the Saturn Return, as mentioned. But I find that saying there’s such a thing as a “biological” clock is a pervasive myth that perpetuates the idea that women are beholden to their uteruses and that women who choose to be childfree are really on “borrowed” time. This is a myth that science has long debunked:

  2. I know people have different takes on things, but I most definitely had this experience and I talk to women in the middle of it, frequently. I also see it on tv, as noted. So to me, it’s a real thing.

    1. I don’t doubt that you went through that experience, or that other women didn’t – your experience is valid. But some women like me never feel this supposed ‘clock,’ so it feels like my experience is being discounted by attributing the desire to have children strictly on a vague, biological urge.

      1. Maybe its more of a psychic or spiritual urge? I just cant buy that its strictly social conditioning though. I actually think it goes against social conditioning to desire children.

        1. That’s a possibility – I think it is a bit more complicated than social conditioning, but culture does play a huge part in it. For example, revisiting the “biological clock” – no scientific study has been able to prove that it determines if/when a woman experiences “baby lust.” It’s often a woman determining, based on the experiences of those around her and her thinking about whether or not parenthood is an experience she’d like to have.

          I also find it interesting that you’re saying it’s the “opposite” – that people are conditioned NOT to have kids. I suppose that can be true depending on one’s immediate background (your family and school), but the broader culture engages in what I’d like to call “pronatalism.” It is still very much seen by our (Western) culture as a woman’s “duty” to have children. Often, she’s encouraged to “have it all” – she can be both a career woman and a mother. I know I have been told, implicitly, whether through a commercial about a doll or by my cousin suggesting I’d be a good mother despite my saying I’m not interested.

          RE: 8th house. I’m biased because it’s my favorite house, but I do think its condition can point to whether or not one chooses to/wants children since it deals with (re)birth. I have a stellium of planets there in Capricorn, but its planetary ruler sits right on my Midheaven in Aquarius. I’ve always been far more obsessed with a career than I ever have with children ( just as a fun, personal example of somebody who doesn’t experience “baby lust.” ) 🙂

          1. In my experience, it was like a life wanted to “come through” me. Thats the energetic/spiritual thing I was talking about. I agreed, on an energetic level to let this being grow inside me and come forth through me. It happens on the archetypal level. I don’t think our conscious mind has much to do with it. We have freewill of course, but some themes are ingrained, because we sign spiritual contracts on the higher dimension. It overrides the conscious mind, although may be presented in that way. Life might use certain experiences to push the woman into further alignment with her destiny, so that it does become a conscious decision.

            There are some women that don’t sign such contracts in the spiritual dimension. Ive seen it. But when thats the case, there is no inner or outer conflict about it. She’s totally confidant in herself and won’t even be presented with opposition in the outer world, because shes totally aligned with her own spiritual calling. It just flows. Shes not triggered by anything. I guess what Im trying to say is that, if there’s a “pushing against”, of anything, then there’s something to look at there. If we break one kind of chain for another chain, thats not empowerment. Its just a more subtle slavery. They are two sides of the same coin.

            To escape social conditioning is not so simple as just doing the opposite of what society does. Ive fallen prey to that in many ways. But Ive found Its about truly living in your own destiny/authenticity. We find that by following our joy, which is tricky because it requires a quietude. And throwing away of the entire coin.

            Just some thoughts. Your post is really well put together and truly thought provoking and I want to thank you for sharing.

              1. No, it was more subtle than that. Ive heard of that though. I can only put words to it, looking back.

            1. And thank you for sharing your side of it! 🙂 I’m happy to have this conversation regardless of which side of the fence a woman has fallen on when it comes to this decision. I think it’s important to challenge assumptions that all women must experience this phenomenon or have children in order to be a “whole” woman. We all have our spiritual paths to walk!

      2. 8th House – check the 2nd paragraph – there’s a mention that some women don’t have this experience ?

        Libra Noir- Agree it goes against social conditioning. At least from my experience since I was encouraged to put off having children (or don’t have them) so that I could “live my best life.”

      3. Avatar
        Clifton Greene

        Both Hippocrates and Paracelcus were of the opinion that anyone without a thorough knowledge of astrology is not really a doctor. 20th century medicine is of the opinion that the uterus’ sole function is for “birthing babies.” Unfortunately, very few women are happy with total or partial hysterectomies. Some people of knowledge say the womb is a “dreaming organ” and is, in fact a woman’s advantage over men, but that’s another topic. In any case, Else’s opinion trumps that quack whose article you linked. Dowdy if I hurt your feelings. Oh Sowwwwwwwwy

  3. I have gone back and forth about if I want children since before my twenties, my biological clock was probably a bit late…I did not feel a hormonal “lets go” before I was 31, felt it strongly in my body. I am 35 in a month and I’ve decided not to have children. If my situation in life changes , and my emotional and financial situation settles I might become a foster parent. I love kids and I “borrow” my friends kids. People around me are having them, a good friend of mine born in 90 with a cap moon just gave birth on Friday.Another 2 days before that. Love this text you wrote Elsa. Nurturing vs Ideas. Its me and my best friend , she has kids like its the most natural thing in the world and I’m so neurotic next to her…” but what about …” “what jobs are going to be available in 20 years?” “how do you explain life, and why we are here?” 🙂

  4. From a young age I wanted a big family. When age 28 rolled around, I was single and living in a foreign country. Time seemed to speed up. I realized I’d been focused on impermanent things and a lot of frivolity (encouraged by people I trusted) and it was a shock that I was “running out of time.”

    I quit my job, booked my flight home, went on a bunch of dates, got discouraged and then found my husband. Timing was perfect. We got married and had children immediately. Thank goodness we do love each other because I think we might both have had a biological clock thing going on.

  5. After checking my ephemeris, I was surprised to learn that I made the decision to begin our family on the exact degree of my first Saturn Return. Also after 28 years in my Libra 8H, my Pr Sun ingressed into my Scorpio 9H. A death of a close family member triggered this decision. Prior to this, I was in full career mode.

    1. This is very common. And the second Saturn return = empty nest. New cycle. I can’t count how many women I’ve worked with who call during this phase. They are surprised but also reassured when they realize what’s happening. It’s a perfect 28.5 year deal.

      Again, I know this is not true for all. I am constantly pointing out that people are individuals!

      1. And yes, Elsa, at the onset of my second Saturn Return I became an empty-nester. I downsized and sold my family house.

  6. I always,always,always, knew I wanted to be a mom. I married at 20 and my husband age 26 said he did too. We worked to buy a house and save money and get established, blah blah blah, the things you do (practical things). As time went on, he never felt it was the right time – but my desires never changed. I was deeply in love with this person, but by age 27, I knew I couldn’t stay married to him and not have children. I divorced him and married someone who wanted children and had my first baby at age 30. At the time, I had no idea about Saturn returns or Astrology, but I can attest that the desire to have children are very real for those who want them and the corresponding need to have them at the saturn return age is just as real. I am living proof.

    Taurus Sun, Venus, Merc, Mars (8th House)
    Leo Moon
    Libra Rising

  7. I did not want to be a mom. Adamant about it until I hit 34 and suddenly changed my mind. I had my 1st at 35 and he died at birth. Had my 2nd at 36 and he’ll be 21 shortly. I have no idea why I changed my mind. I didn’t want children when I married at 29 but suddenly wanted them at 34–so yes, I guess I am one of those biological clock women.

    1. Hi Carolp,
      This was the same with me! At 34 I started feeling the urge. On my 35th birthday I cried all day because I was ‘old’ without babies. I managed to convince my husband it was time and we got pregnant within 4 months and had him at 36. We never spoke of children before that besides that we didn’t know if we would have any. We loved our life. At 28 my life was literally crumbling before my eyes so no way would I have a baby then.


  8. I always thought I’d have children somewhere in the back of my mind. But it was the back, as I was really focused on my education. Married at 30. Around 31/32 is when the clock started ticking for me. Had my first at 33.

  9. I come from a family of eight kids and the urge to have my own completely escaped me. Eighth house planet person, FWIW.

  10. Dolce’s comment about permanent things – that’s so spot on for the Capricorn energy. A child is a permanent thing in your life. You are bound and committed.
    I wanted that, voted for an engagement with my BF at the time – who hurried on to dump me after 8 years relationship.

    When Uranus transmitted my 8th house Libra moon in Aries I quit my job and moved 300 miles away, left my roots to look for family for a man I wanted children with. Only to discover that he had no father potential.

    So… my baby cravings doozed off. But I had a cat. That’s more commitment than I ever had in life (personal responsibility and commitment) to something.
    I also have NN in Cancer, 5th house, so you would think that made it obvious to foster children, right?

    Well, fast forward 7 years and I have had no children whatsoever.

    I wonder if it’s because of my Aquarius Ascendant, and my moon which is square Mars in the 12th.
    I also have Uranus close to the MC, so Def. something uranian or detached here. My 4th house is Gemini, the most non-nurturing ever in this house…

    So yes, maybe there is something about it?

  11. Married with Saturn in Sag, had my first kid with Saturn on top of my ASC (Cap) and now heading towards to my first SR and I just don’t know how to make another 2 kids ASAP. I’m so frustrated that I’m that person – parental (ASC Cap and a bunch of planets there + Cancer Venus and another water Moon) plus also very independent, airy and career driven. I just don’t see how to balance this dichotomy. I’m finding myself in a weird situation: I finished medical school, moved to another country and I must learn the language first in order to practice here but if I make another kid in the meantime I ”lose” another 2 years (at least) and at some point my education is becoming ”irrelevant”….My point is that I might have made the wrong career choice since I always wanted to have a big family and to stay with the kids home during the formative years, but being a doctor doesn’t really help.

  12. Humans are psychologically hardwired to survive, and implicit in this is the urge to procreate.

    So naturally social and environmental issues play a big role in our ability as a species to survive. In times of great threats to human population and its continued existence we procreated more, and social conditioning facilitated this e.g. women married young, not allowed to work etc.; all this designed to ensure survival of humans against the odds of threat (animals, black plague, Polio, Cholera etc).

    In modern times, there have been less threats for humans, but procreation has continued although people are having less children and later in life. The urge to procreate still exists. Except, Women now have options due to social environmental advancements, which includes not having children.

    So, to me the concept of a “biological clock” doesn’t exist. But options are real and can be felt very deeply and strongly.

  13. Avatar
    Hildegarde's Noviciate

    Oh absolutely.
    My saturn in aquarius is a 5 degrees….in the 5th house.
    My saturn return got me into a relationship with someone I thought I loved. But I didnt. He left while still pregnant.
    . when I found out I was pregnant, I Cried for 2 days. I was scared of being a single mom. then was all agog with the process. I actually loved being pregnant.
    By the time my 5th house saturn return ended my boy was in my arms. I realized that it wasnt passion of a man that fullfilled me. It was my beautiful boy that gave me just the love I needed. Yup new life and new love…and new purpose. And fitted my Saturn in the 5th house to a tee.

  14. My saturn return isnt for another few years as I am 24 now. But I had a huge shift 2 years ago when saturn entered my 5th house and I met a guy who I quickly fell for and became pregnant with. He was not ready and I ultimately had an abortion which was the right choice as the relationship was not worth keeping over a child. I just re-entered a relationship with my long term ex boyfriend. And we both said how one day we want to have kids together but now isnt the right time. I believe he is my soulmate because we feel so complete together. He will be entering his Saturn return soon (aquarius 2nd house) We broke up when he quit his job and had alot of debt, I cheated which ultimately ended us. I’m hoping despite his saturn return coming soon and mine shortly after (pisces 8th house) we can get through this. Any insight?


  15. This is such a wonderful article and thread! Thank you! I just turned 29 and have been experiencing my Saturn Return. I have Saturn in the 5th house of children in Aquarius. I never wanted children until about 2 years ago. It actually started when Jupiter entered my 5th house for the 2nd time via retrograde. I still struggle with the fear of the responsibility that children would bring me, but I’m struck with baby fever nevertheless lol.

  16. How is the biological clock not true? Fertility clinics are getting rich from women in their 30s and early 40s desperate to conceive due to infertility…Use it or lose it, that’s the way of the World..

    1. The hormones in the food are throwing things off. But they do massively mislead women about having babies later in life. It’s huge and horrific and virtually NOONE has figured it out.

      Probably best they never do. Might drive them insane.

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