Astrology is a vast subject, but the doorway in is pretty straightforward. Once you cross the threshold, it can be like walking through the wardrobe from our world into Narnia, which makes astrology a rather amazing spiritual tool if you are willing to plumb its depths, either on your own or with the guidance of a professional astrologer. Come explore this subject with me. I want to show you how beautifully complex the subject is and how useful it can be in many different ways in your life journey.
The 2nd Saturn return is the final major transit up for consideration in this series. It is about entering “Elderhood” and realizing that now it is time to give back your knowledge and wisdom as your form of production. We are supposed to be productive our entire lives; really, no such thing as retirement should even exist. Successful work through this transition should put you on the last path, which is that of the wise man or wise woman.
Saturn is the point in our charts that defines; it wants to structure and perfect. It seeks order. Which sign and house Saturn occupies tells you how you prefer order and want control, energetically speaking, and where that energy will most express itself in your life. My Saturn is in Aries in my 6th House of Service. My “way of structure manifests through my independent and heroic quest for and attraction to maverick and individualistic service to others” (147, Astrology Unlocked). Saturn and Aries make “strange bedfellows” since Saturn is about control and order and Aries is about initiation and maverick action (i.e., “doing it his or her own way”).
Saturn is the outermost of the inner planets, the planets we can see with the naked eye. It “contains” or sets the boundary for what we know consciously. Uranus represents the innermost of the outer planets, the planets we cannot see with the naked eye. Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto represent the human unconscious. Chiron plays a unique role because its orbit takes it inside of Saturn and outside of Uranus, so it acts as a “bridge” connecting the two in a dynamic way that facilitates more interaction between the conscious and subconscious of humanity. The Internet was essentially “born” in the same year Chiron was discovered, 1977. If the inner planets represent our tribe, the outer planets represent our humanity, then Chiron “brings the unconscious to the conscious (Saturn)”.
When Saturn Transits
A Saturn transit applies pressure to bring things in order, fix flaws, and review/create rules. Clients who see me during a Saturn transit are usually having to address some responsibility or consequence, no more “kicking the can down the road”. The need to assert control or repay a debt or get something in order is especially profound during major aspects in transit. The major aspects include the conjunction (Saturn “on top of” another point), the square (Saturn 90 degrees from another point), and the opposition (Saturn 180 degrees from another point).
When Saturn conjuncts, it merges with the point in the same sign and house and, in essence, works to define the point and order what is going on in a person’s life at that time. If Saturn squares a point then it usually performs a critical, pressure test function, which will reveal flaws and problems that need addressing and cannot be put off. And if Saturn opposes, then the work involves more maintenance than pressure; it’s in “tune up” mode.
As you can guess, when Saturn makes a hard aspect with itself, it “doubles down” on the defining and responsibility work. Only aspects with the Sun and Moon would compare in effect and intensity. Because Saturn is one of the visible planets it is likely most of us will experience two returns, one at 27-29 (see my other article) and a second one at 57 to 59. Some rare individuals even see a third return (my grandfather did; he lived to be 96). If we have done our responsible work for our second Saturn return between 57 and 59, then we will become and accept the mantle of the wise man or the wise woman for our world.
Understanding Your 2nd Saturn Return
You can begin by understanding your 2nd Saturn return by knowing which sign Saturn was in when you were born and reviewing your first Saturn return. It is not considered a generational point, but you will share it with a cohort between 2 to 3 years. My Saturn at birth was in Aries, so it returned for me in 1996 and 1997 and will come around again in 2026 and 2027. Those of us born between 1967 and 1969, as well as 1996 and 1998, share Saturn in Aries. Basically, as a group, we need to learn personal responsibility and self-discipline.
At the more personal level, understanding your Saturn means knowing what degree and in which house Saturn occupied on the day you were born. In my case, Saturn was at 16 degrees and 22 minutes of Aries, in my 6th House of Service. Therefore, I am here to learn my own skills to offer in service to others in an individual way, while also “managing myself” instead of being managed. I am a sole proprietor of my spiritual advising business and make my living doing one-on-one work for people in need of spiritual guidance.
The Second Saturn return represents the time when each of us needs to embrace our “elder” role in life. We are supposed to take on more responsibility, not less. From 58 on we are supposed to impart our wisdom and acknowledge our responsibility to our world, our community, and our family. We are not supposed to retire unless we are to “retire” to a life of responsibility guiding others. Instead of doing the active work of our midlife, we should be established and using our knowledge and expertise as our “coin of the realm”. We should keep working, always.
Depending on the house transited and the sign of your natal Saturn, you will find yourself defining or redefining yourself for the final push through life. At the time of the return, you are supposed to be testing your life to see if you are ready for the next phase of responsibility. To navigate this transit, you have to think about what you have built, accumulated, invested, and established.
If you are reading this article “in front of” or “in the midst of” your second Saturn return, then I would suggest you invest time in studying your natal Saturn, your first Saturn return, and what you are likely going to have to accept as your limitations. If your interest in astrology is not on the research, but the result side, then I would recommend a professional reading with an experienced astrologer. That could be me, or another professional. If you are on the other side of your second Saturn return, then look back at that time with this knowledge and see if a review yields any new insights that will help you now and in the future.