Life cycles and the outer planets: Saturn

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August 8, 2014 by ameshall66

Other than the infamous Mercury retrograde, one of the better known planetary cycles in astrology that has made its way into popular culture is the Saturn return. For those who don’t know about this, or who only know a smattering, it’s basically when Saturn has returned to the location it was when you were born. To the ancients, Saturn was the furthest planet they could see with the naked eye and it’s return symbolized the ending and beginning of a lifetime. The orbital period for Saturn is 29.45 years. Saturn is the time keeper and the task master. Saturn is the great disciplinarian. As a planet it rather compels rather than coaxes. 

So, for the regular human being here is usually how it plays out. Somewhere between 28 and 30 most people will find some major change in their life. It’s typically a time when people start a new phase of their life, they buy a house, they move, they change careers, have kids, get married, get divorced, any of the major life changes one might expect. I have had clients that resisted some of these changes. They stayed in bad marriages because of the kids, they stuck it out in their dead end job because of financial burdens, etc. In those cases, I’ve generally seen a stronger effect at the second return when someone is around 56 to 58. The infamous “mid-life crisis” – where marriages crumble and layoffs after decades of service are a big kick in the pants. 

What’s also interesting is to look at the Saturn return as a cycle. We can break that 29 year cycle down into 7 year quarters when Saturn forms a square (90 degree angle) to it’s natal position. So, after that great shift at 29, what happens at the 7 year mark after that around 36 years old? Are there corrections being made? New decisions that propel one forward on that path or is the client refusing the change and making the situation difficult? I definitely see a lot of adjustment at the opposition mark – about 14 years into the cycle. So for most people that’s around 42 or 43 years old (the time varies because of retrogrades, etc.). Here you’ll see a lot of re-evaluation of their goals, a lot of questioning of their path. I’ve seen plenty of affairs happen here also. The next square at 49 to 51 gives the last shot at making corrections before the return. If one has been on the right path, so to speak, this can provide some great opportunities to be taken advantage of.  

So how do we manage through this cycle? The first step of course is to consult with an astrologer to give exact timeframes for these aspects according to your own personal chart. By consulting an ephemeris (chart of planetary motion), they can give dates when each of these aspects become exact. The effect may be perceived a bit earlier or later than the exact date, but it’s an excellent starting point. They can also give you a fairly good estimate of when the planet goes out of aspect with that point. That’s the beautiful thing about astrology – the timing is often easy to calculate for these things. 

The second step would really be getting some good divination that helps make good choices. This is definitely a case where having a perspective is essential. Saturn is methodical more than surprising and the path is usually pretty well laid out. The difficulty is in our ability to give into those directives or not. 

For clients going through this transition, I often look to product lines like Clarity, Crucible of Courage and I really like to burn a trio of candles – Blockbuster, Road Opener and Crown of Success. Understanding the direction Fate wishes to take you and embracing that, exhibiting the necessary discipline, and making it your own is the way to make these aspects work in your favor. 

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4 thoughts on “Life cycles and the outer planets: Saturn

  1. […] will focus on the actions of the Uranus life cycle. If you haven’t yet, check out the post on Saturn as […]

  2. […] the third in the series (see the posts on Saturn and Uranus if you haven’t already), Neptune holds the most interesting challenges yet. Taking […]

  3. Lynne says:

    Hi Professor Ames,
    Do you think certain sun signs tend to be able to flow better with these great life changes and challenges than others?
    Thank you.

    • ameshall66 says:

      Yes, I do think so, but all for different reasons. Sun signs like Aries with their bold, action orientation often blow right through some of these transitions. I’d put Sagittarius in that category perhaps. The other cardinal signs are a bit less apt, Capricorn hates been veered from their goals, Cancer will likely pull inward and Libras will try to find balance and consensus. They still have the desire to move forward and to initiate. The fixed signs, Taurus for instance have a hard time with change and like stability. Mutable signs deal with the change aspect, but might have trouble with the “what’s next” part. As always, a person’s overall chart will better dictate how they handle change and life crises. A Taurus with Moon in Aries for instance might crave change and make the change brilliantly.

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