As an astrologer, I get to hear all of the negative anticipation and second hand horror stories about the Saturn Return period.
Your personal Saturn return(s) (yes, more than 1!) will be exact when Saturn returns to the exact degree that it was at at the moment you were born.
On a transit chart, it would look similar to this (without the colours that were used to demonstrate the positions of both the natal and transiting Saturn):
That being said, Saturn’s return will be felt by you for a significant time both before and after it touches the exact degree it was at when you were born.
Let me explain.
You will feel the pressure of Saturn increasingly as it approaches your exact Saturn Return degree.
Because Saturn is a very dense and powerful planet, we can feel it’s effects in the form of internal pressure even before it arrives at its point of exactitude. This pressure will be at it’s height when it is exact with your natal Saturn, and decrease as it moves away.
I once had this explained to me, by an astrology teacher, as a train passing by: as it gets closer it gets louder and louder. When it’s right in front of you it is the loudest, and you can’t hear much around it over it’s (train noises), and as it moves away it gets increasingly quieter.
In astrology, this phenomenon is described as an “orb”. An orb is the spectrum of degrees where someone will “feel” the energy of the planets that are aspecting one another. A Saturn Return is considered a conjunction, which has an orb of 10 degrees.
So for a Saturn return, when transiting (moving) Saturn is moving into a conjunction with the point where Saturn was when you were born (your natal Saturn), you will feel the pressure of this Saturn energy the most when it is within 10 degrees of your natal Saturn placement. This 10 degrees can be on or including either side of the conjunction.
You will feel Saturn’s energy firstly as it moves into the same sign that your natal Saturn is in.
For example, if your natal Saturn is in Aquarius, you will begin to feel the energy of Saturn in that house as soon as it enters Aquarius. A lot of people believe that your Saturn return begins “officially” when it enters the sign that it was in when you were born. That means even if it is outside of the 10 degree orb mentioned above!
In my own experience, even though my Saturn return happened in the mid degrees of Capricorn, I felt the inner pressure, restrictions, and movement to hard work and structure building until it left Capricorn and moved into Aquarius.
To make that story even more spectacular, all of my grandparents died during my Saturn return (which felt like an extra charged catapult into adulthood), and the last one standing died on the night that Saturn left Capricorn. Right before it’s official ingress into Aquarius…for poetic justice.
That was a powerful and challenging time that I, in retrospect, am very grateful for.
If Saturn retrogrades over your exact return point, you will have multiple exact returns.
More opportunities for growth…and building life structures…right!?
Because Saturn often retrogrades, many people experience their exact Saturn return several times as Saturn goes over, backwards, and over again the degree of their exact Saturn return. Just like the train metaphor, you will feel this energy approaching, exacting, relenting and exacting again before it moves on, slowly getting quieter and quieter. These retrogrades give you extra opportunities to work on whatever is required of you during that time, and to integrate the lessons you’ve been learning.
Because the Saturn return period is often a challenging one that requires us to relinquish the things in our lives that are no longer working for us, many people fear their Saturn Return.
The positive side of the Saturn return is that it, in many ways, is the start of a new life, or at the very least the start of a new book in your life. It is a time when you are given lots of opportunities to build structures that will support a life that will be meaningful and satisfying for you.
Of course, not without hard work.
Sitting around being afraid is not especially helpful, and actually Saturn is the reaper, who will reward you for your hard work during this time and after it!
Here are 3 vital things things to do to prepare for your Saturn Return, and to make the best of it:
1. Commit to taking complete responsibility for your life. (This includes everything in it!) Saturn wants you to understand that you are the adult in your own life, and it is no longer up to anyone else to meet your needs. You, alone, have the power to get done what needs to be done.
2.Commit to hard work. Saturn is not a team of contractors that come to build your dream house for you. On the contrary, Saturn gives you the land and allows you to figure out the details, and do the hard work of planning and laying each brick in your metaphorical house.
It’s not glamorous, however it is the crucial work of building the foundation for this new chapter of your life. Know that what you put in, you will get back when it comes time. They don’t call Saturn “the reaper” for no reason!
3. Begin assessing your life before Saturn enters the sign of your Saturn Return.
The changes that happen during someone’s Saturn Return are typically things that were already waiting in the wings. Ideally, you would know before hand:
-the house that your natal Saturn is in (this will tell you the area of life that will be affected by this transit)
-the sign your natal Saturn is in (this will tell you the overall objective of the energy)
-any major aspects your natal Saturn has to other planets (this will tell you what influences or “flavours” your Saturn energy will express itself with)
Knowing these 3 things will give you an idea what areas of your life will be getting an overhaul.
How to find your exact Saturn Return degree
1- Create your birth chart (you can get one made for free here)
2- Look on the “planet details” chart for Saturn, and then record the sign and degree number indicated beside Saturn. These details tell you the exact location, by sign and degree, of your Saturn placement.
3-Find out when Saturn will next be in the same sign it was when you were born. I’ve created a helpful chart for you below so you can quickly look up the year(s) that Saturn will be in your specific sign.
3- Use an ephemeris to look up when Saturn will be in the noted sign, at your specific degree. Half the battle is knowing which year to look up, so I’ve built a chart below for you telling you exactly which years Saturn will be in the sign of your Saturn return.
Next, look up the year using this free ephemeris. You’ll want to look up the dates that transiting Saturn will be at your exact degree, and then the range of time that will fall within a 10 degree orb of your natal Saturn placement.
For example, if your natal Saturn is at 12 degrees of Aquarius, your “orb dates” will be the dates that fall between the time that Saturn is from 7 degrees through 17 degrees of Aquarius.
Saturn Return through the signs (from 2023- 2050)
|Aquarius Saturn return||January 17, 2023- March 29, 2025|
|Pisces Saturn return||March 7, 2023- May 24, 2025|
|Aries Saturn return||May 24, 2025- April 12, 2028|
|Taurus Saturn return||April 12, 2028- May 31, 2030|
|Gemini Saturn return||May 31, 2030- July 13, 2032|
|Cancer Saturn return||Jul 13,2032 – August 26, 2034|
|Leo Saturn return||August 28, 2034 – October 16, 2035|
|Virgo Saturn return||October 16, 2036 – September 7, 2039|
|Libra Saturn return||September 7, 2039 – November 12, 2041|
|Scorpio Saturn return||November 12, 2041 – February 22, 2044|
|Sagittarius Saturn return||February 22, 2044 – January 25, 2047|
|Capricorn Saturn return||January 25, 2047 – January 21, 2050|
Knowing the information discussed above about your natal Saturn placement will give you an idea what area of life will be affected by your Saturn return, and insight into how you can best manage and make the most of this powerful time in your life.
Because Saturn is so powerful, we will feel it’s movement all the way around the zodiac and through each of our signs and houses, just not as significantly as we do during the Saturn return period.
It takes between 28-29.5 years for Saturn to make his tour of the zodiac, so most people have 2, and potentially 3 returns in their lifetimes! In that regard, the Saturn Return is a rare transit.
Don’t let this potent transit pass you by.
If you are interested in learning about and preparing for your own Saturn Return, I am a professional astrologer and it would be my pleasure to help you make the very most of this time. You can contact me at info@ThatZoiLife.com to book your reading.
Aja Celeste is a mom to 6 beautiful children and a twin mom! She is also creator and writer of That Zoi Life and a professionally trained Evolutionary Astrologer who has been doing astrology for 7 years. She is also a health care assistant, has a Bachelor of Ministry Degree, and is passionate about supporting people in conscious parenting. She also does Psychosomatics using Recall Healing.
Please contact her at [info@ThatZoiLife.com] if you would like to find out more about working with her.