Suddenly, everyone’s Googling “Saturn return.”
And, like most things being searched for right now, it relates to megastar Adele, who is just about to release her first album in six years.
Last week the superstar described the events that led up to her “year of anxiety” in her cover interview with Vogue, revealing when she hit her “Saturn return,” she “lost the plot.”
“When that comes, it can rock your life. It shakes you up a bit: Who am I? What do I want to do? What makes me truly happy? All those things,” she continued, adding that while she doesn’t blame her divorce from Simon Konecki (her charity executive husband of two years) on her Saturn return, she believes it was a result of it.
“I was just going through the motions and I wasn’t happy. Neither of us did anything wrong. Neither of us hurt each other or anything like that. It was just: I want my son to see me really love, and be loved. It’s really important to me,” she said.
In fact, as a reminder Adele has even had an inking of the planet Saturn on her wrist, along with a drawing of LA.
So, what is this astrological phenomenon and what are the signs it’s approaching?
First, what even is Saturn return?
Caggie Dunlop, who runs the Saturn Returns podcast, explains it’s when the planet Saturn returns to the position in the sky that it occupied at the time of your birth.
It is thought to take around 28-30 years. “It usually occurs during your late twenties to early thirties,” she says. “Saturn is a slow moving planet, and with its return, it brings new lessons of discipline and structure. It’s like an assessment from the Universe about how authentically you have been living your life — and where you need to make adjustments, which can often throw things up in the air.”
It can be a particularly poignant moment for women, she argues. “Around this age, they often become more aware of what a woman in her late twenties or early thirties ‘should have’ achieved in the eyes of society, like promotions, pay-rises, marriage or children, etc. We feel the pressure, we hear the clock ticking and whether we want to admit it or not, we feel the need to perform and to check at least some of those boxes on that internalised checklist.”
London-based astrologer Sade the Astrology VIxen, says: “The Saturn return marks a pivotal moment in our own personal journeys. It beckons us to reassess our purpose. During this time, you may powerfully question the legacy you wish to leave in the world. To navigate this, Saturn gives us the courage to face the misaligned parts of our lives that require a shake up and change. My best advice is to bridge the gap between, what society deems your life should ‘look like’ and the life you truly want to live.”
How do you know your Saturn return is approaching?
“It can manifest itself in different ways and depending on peoples’ charts different things will show up — but there are some obvious ones where we can experience a sudden shift in career, a desire to pursue that thing we always wanted but didn’t have the guts to do before, friendship circles often change, as we outgrow those we were close to in our early twenties, relationships can dramatically collapse,” Dunlop says.
“Saturnian break ups are notoriously guillotine-like, seemingly out of nowhere. Emancipation from parents is also a big theme as we craft our new identity based on autonomy and becoming our own authority.”
Why does Saturn return cause such extreme reactions?
“Because it comes to strip away what is no longer serving you. But old habits die hard, we find it hard to let go, even of things that might be toxic, and also to accept change — there is a death and rebirth that happens that feels like everything is spinning off its axis,” she continues.
“But it’s working for you, not against you, although it doesn’t feel like it at the time. When we are out the other side we go ‘oh yeah — I’m so glad things worked out like that!’ It’s just tricky to feel that way when you are going through it.”
How can you use Saturn return to delve deeper into your identity?
Sade says: “My best advice is to bridge the gap between, what society deems your life should ‘look like’ and the life you truly want to live.”
“Start by asking yourself which parts of your identity are holding you back from becoming the adult you’d like to be,” Dunlop adds. “What do you associate with yourself and how much of that is weighing you down. So peeling back the layers of yourself till you get to the most essential version of your authentic core identity, would be the first step. Once you’ve done that you’ll have the perfect foundation to build upon as you grow into an outer identity that accurately represents your inner identity.”
Is Saturn return a time when you are likely to meet someone, or the opposite?
“It depends on the chart and what else is going on astrologically,” Dunlop says. “However, Saturn tends to manifest in relationships (including platonic ones) that test you. For instance, you might meet someone right around your Saturn return or right after it that tests you on lessons of self-love and healthy boundaries. Sometimes this then translates into having healthier, mature relationships but at other times the test forces you to choose yourself and walk away from a relationship or situation that doesn’t honour you.”
What could Saturn return mean for your career?
“Saturn represents the work we engage in during this lifetime. During its return it puts a focus on the work you’ve been doing thus far. It challenges you to be authenti in your career choices (particularly if you haven’t been),” Dunlop offers.
“Many will go through a career change and career related pressures at this time - you might get a promotion and are now more burdened with responsibilities, for example. You might decide you no longer want to be a lawyer and instead start a new business. Some decide they want to go back to school.
“It’s definitely a time where initiatives to be more aligned in your career are rewarded tenfold at the end of transit and well into your thirties.”