Saturn Return: Your Cosmic Initiation into Adulthood

You’ve most likely heard of the infamous Saturn return, where it’s often depicted as a life crisis that strikes right before you turn 30. During this time, many of us we rename our wanderlust fund to our house down payment fund and trade in our Coachella tickets for a weekend with future in-laws. Saturn return ushers in a new lifestyle full of long-term commitments, retirement accounts, and more “adulting” than our 25-year-old brains could even imagine. It happens to all of us and is probably the most undeniable astrological phenomenon that exists. So what exactly is it?

Let's start with Saturn. Saturn is the ringed planet that rules our karma, life lessons, and responsibilities. It reminds us that every action has a consequence. It is up to us to decide which consequences we would like in our life. Saturn often teaches us through tough love and by handing us hardships to help us grow into the person we’re meant to be. Saturn also serves up karma in the form of life lessons meant to help us detach energetically from our past, and develop the faith to move forward. Faith for Saturn is not as simple as positive affirmations. It’s the kind of faith we develop because life becomes so hard, we only have two choices: break under pressure or develop the faith to carry on. This type of faith has no guarantee or evidence. We just have to believe that what we are going through is exactly the energy we need at this point in life. 

Just like we all have a Sun sign, we also have a Saturn sign. You can look yours up in your natal chart here. It takes Saturn 29 years to orbit the Sun. This means it takes Saturn approximately 29 years to move through all of the zodiac signs and for Saturn to return to his exact position when you were born. This is your Saturn return. You’ll start feeling your Return when Saturn re-enters your Saturn sign, and the energy peaks when he reaches the same degree as defined in your chart.  

It takes Saturn 2.5 years to travel through a sign. It will enter Pisces on March 7th from Aquarius, where it entered in 2020. If Saturn is in Pisces in your natal chart- you’re about to begin your Saturn return. If it’s in Aquarius, you’ve just ended your initiation into adulthood- welcome. You will feel the effects of your Saturn return the closer Saturn becomes to the exact degree it is in your chart. Each zodiac sign is composed of 30 degrees. If Saturn lands at 21 degrees Pisces in your chart, you will feel your return later next year when Saturn moves towards that degree.

During your Saturn return, you begin to feel the full weight of adulthood. This transition can feel like pressure for one, excitement for what's to come, and the urge to “settle down.”  It affects each of us differently, but the common theme is a change in long-term perspective. All of a sudden, we fully understand that what we do today impacts what life will be like in the next 10, 20, or even 30 years. We can choose to embrace this notion and start planning our future, or fight it and resist growing up. 

Often, our Saturn return makes us question our career choices, seeking stability now for the long term. It makes us question our relationships, compelling us to look for truly compatible partners instead of fun flings. Saturn return reminds us that we may want children soon, and changes the flow of our life to support that vision. Although some of the things it brings up may feel less glamorous than our carefree 20s, Saturn is really encouraging us to define what we’re willing to be responsible for in this life. Maybe it’s a dog, a child, a house, or even just holding the space for our dreams to flourish. 

If your Saturn is in Pisces, here are some tips to help you navigate this time. 

Change your perception of adventure: 

In our twenties, we consider adventures to be trips to Machu Picchu, backpacking across Thailand, and road-tripping to the Pacific Northwest. Once Saturn return hits, these things are still appealing, but there’s a gentle nag to think past the next great Instagram story. There are all types of adventures, though. Marriage is an adventure. Picking a city to live and plant roots in is an adventure. Having a child is an adventure. Even if you’re not ready to tie the knot at 29, start to reframe how you experience these concepts. Seeing responsibilities in a different light will make it easier to make them a priority and an exciting one too. 

Be true to you: 

The traditional paths of “growing up” are not for everyone. Your Saturn return is not about conforming to societal pressure. It’s about aligning with YOUR long-term visions and making commitments to get you there. Your goals may look completely different than other people your age and may not include a mortgage and a white picket fence. That’s great if they do, but also great if they don’t. You decide your future and what you want to work towards. Saturn is just here to remind you to do the work and discipline yourself to reach your dreams. The dream, though, is yours to create.

Do the work:

Your Saturn return requires you to transform into the next version of yourself. Evolving becomes much easier if you accept it and give yourself the space to do the work needed. Saturn gives you structure, so align with this energy to create routines that will help you discover the next you. Get in touch with your core self by making commitments to journal every day, take a yoga retreat or even see a life coach. View this time as a process of inner discovery. Come up with different scenarios on how you’d like your life to unfold and sit with them for a while. Observe how they make you feel and adjust them as necessary to resonate fully with you. What do you really want? Learn to listen to your soul, and making long-term plans won’t seem so daunting- they’ll seem exciting. 

Talk it out: 

The best part about Saturn return is we go through it as a collective. Almost everyone born within two years of you is going through it with you. This is probably a large majority of your peers, plus your older friends have already graduated from the Saturn school of life. Talk to each other. Share your unique experiences about the changing energies around you. Explore how different personalities are dealing with the same coming-of-age problem. Through discussions, you’ll expand your consciousness, and new insights will come to light about how you want to construct the next phase of your life. 

Release the pressure:

Let go every once in a while. This is heavy stuff! Even though it is ultimately positive, taking on responsibilities and thinking long-term is stressful. This period also includes doing things that may be new or different in order to create a new life. Unfamiliar territory is also stressful and can feel overwhelming until we learn the new pattern. Give yourself space to unwind and let some of this tension go. Plan trips to the spa, or the desert. Connect with nature to align your energy with the universe and soothe any feelings of pressure that come up during this time. Awareness is key here. Pay attention to when stress accumulates in your mind and body. Take measures to release it and find compassion for what you are going through. 

Enjoy it:

Saturn's energy in our lives makes hard things easier. This includes things like paying our taxes, writing a long structured e-mail, or staying on track with our disciplines. Use the extra energy given to you by your Saturn Return to do some of the hard planning for your future. Reframe how you think about challenging tasks during this period and open yourself to the possibility that becoming an adult is enjoyable. Through planning, you’re providing grounding and foundation for the life you’ve always dreamed of living. This is your moment to lay the foundation for your life. You can mold it however you see fit, and there is no limit. Allow this period to feel expansive and open new territory that once seemed out of reach. Nothing is unreachable during your Saturn Return.

Recharge with crystals:

Crystals are always helpful when going through energetic shifts. Here are some to help you ground, clarify, and direct your energy during your Saturn Return. 

  • Black obsidian to ground your energy during tumultuous times.
  • Blue apatite to help manifest your future and stimulate your intelligence.
  • Fluorite to help you clarify what you want and focus on your intentions.
  • Moonstone to tune into your intuition. 
  • Desert Jasper to help you begin new adventures with courage and confidence.

Learn more about what to expect from Saturn in Pisces in the Virgo Full Moon Workbook.

Saturn in Pisces


Im new to all this and don’t have a clue if this Saturn is in my natal chart— not sure how to find out. All i know is im feeling some kind of way today and lately. Not sure what my next move (career wise) should be or what direction I should be going.
Im a leo rising & gemini moon— birthday: 9/12
Hope wcan help shed some light.

Thanks again 😊

Iza March 06, 2023

What if it is the return after you have adulthooded and now looking at the other end of life?

Helen Milligan March 03, 2023

Hello! Wonderful wisdom! Was wondering: isn’t Saturn return also hitting us (again) at 59? Wondering if the basic guidelines are the same? Choosing one aspect of forward progress over another? From what I know this momentous occasion happens every 30 years. Maybe those at 89 are also experiencing this!?

Willo March 03, 2023

Would love to hear thoughts on one’s second Saturn return (we aren’t all 29 around here! :)

Karen March 03, 2023

Wonderful blog post! Saturn is the opportunity to rise to who we truly desire to be, on every level of being. It gives NOW a whole new meaning when we use it for our highest potential and go towards it instead of run away from it. I have been using Saturn to move me and my students towards our highest visions in this Now timeline, it has been very revealing of how much MORE we can actually grow and develop when we use Saturn fearlessly. Many blessings!

Phoenix Gaia Ladrieh March 03, 2023

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