By popular request – my take on the 2nd Saturn Return. Disclosure: I’m not there yet but I can sniff it on the breeze and I’ve been researching this phenom for ages.
There are some posts about or mentioning this phenom already on site but the requests – or, more accurately, pleas – are for something directional.
I get it – when times are turning screw or you’re still scrambling to pull s**t together post-pandemic, the last thing you’re in the mood for is a ‘maturing growth passage’ or more fuqing accountability.
So if this is your 2nd Saturn Return or you’re gliding toward it, you’re Generation X. Not only that, you’re the classic, hardcore Gen X with your natal Saturn opposite Uranus + Pluto and maybe Mars in Virgo.*
(Note: if you want to determine exactly when your Saturn Return is or what house/life area it is influencing, please get a Year Ahead report.)
You’re Generation X and you don’t want to read dewy millennial takes on their Saturn Return or boomer-esque aging tips. You’re too seasoned for a ‘manifest your desires ‘ romp through anything involving Saturn and you don’t need instructions on ‘adulting.’
Yet nor are you (generally) able to relate to the vibe of the Pluto in Leo people born the generation before. This year’s second Saturn Returners aren’t getting ready for a mellow retirement, they’re getting ready for a coup.
*Mars was in Virgo from November 6 1964 until June 30 1965. As Uranus and Pluto were in Virgo then, this meant multiple Mars-Uranus and Mars-Pluto conjunctions over that nearly eight-month long phase.
And the Saturn-Uranus opposition was in effect from 1964 until 1967 so if you’re having your Saturn Return in the next two years, you’re also having Saturn opposite your natal Uranus, thus activating a core ‘persona pattern’ within your psyche.
As this is a blog post not a book nor even an essay, let’s just call it ‘a rebellious tendency’ – many Gen X people thought of The Matrix as a sci-fi docudrama more than a sci-fi.
Read this evocative poem and then get down with some pithy Saturn Return tips.
A Buddhist Poem For The 2nd Saturn Return
For real insights, get across seven year cycles. Saturn doesn’t simply hide out in between Saturn Returns – Saturn squares and opposes your natal Saturn in approximately seven year increments. So Saturn was last in Pisces in 1994-1996.
The 2001-2003, 2008-2010 and 2015-2017 phases were all super-intensive Saturn development years. The actual orb of influence will be more narrow but you get the idea. Think of this as a continuum, not some crazy ‘oh no not again’ ambush. And while you’re in this mode, remember to take stock of your accomplishments as well as defeats or regrets.
Or simply stay in analytical mode – from the saturnine perspective, guilt-tripping or stalking yourself down the corridors of your past like a fury is utterly unproductive. You have accrued timeless wisdom with every year, some of it with ease and some of it painstakingly put together to save yourself.
Your second Saturn Return can also confirm the old Mark Twain axiom that history doesn’t repeat but it sure does rhyme. For example, Courtney Love and Keanu Reeves are both having their second Saturn Return this year. Courtney Love is putting out her first album in over a decade. One of the themes is her emotions around the tragic death of her husband – Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain – in 1994. That was her first Saturn Return – Kurt passed in April of that year.
In the lead-up to his first Saturn Return, Keanu Reeves was grieving River Phoenix and getting a crash course in Buddhism courtesy of playing Siddartha in Bertolucci’s Little Buddha. Now, with this second Saturn Return imminent, he’s just angered the Chinese government by reciting Beat poetry at a benefit to raise money for the Dalai Lama.
(2) NOSTALGIA CAN BE HAZARDOUS
Any Saturn transit can make you hyper-conscious of age and time – even when you’re 15. It’s annoying but it often does spark improved productivity and awareness – so go with it. Timeline things and recalculate metrics for new insights. But the age-awareness of a Saturn Return in your 20s is naturally a different creature to that of your Fifties.
You are definitively older and the you of your first Saturn Return would probably screech at your hair or physique and taste in fashion/bedmates etc. Then again, the you of back then would also be in awe at the coolness with which you handle so many situations – professional and personal.
It’s interesting to think about on occasion but have you noticed how some people talk – and presumably think – about the past a lot? Nostalgia can be therapeutic – sharing ludicrously amusing anecdotes with an old friend or a lucid new take on a particular passage of your life – but it can also be hazardous.
Nostalgia can congeal, take up valuable headspace and set your psyche in a mode that thinks the most intriguing part of your life is done and dusted. Your second Saturn Return is also a time when you accept that certain mysteries from your past cannot be ‘solved’ as such and that with some people, there won’t be a ‘last word.’
Old maps are fascinating but they’re not navigation tools.
There are two stages of a Saturn funk – the first is when you read or hear about something unpleasant associated with age and google it with intent to freak the fuq out. It can be confronting when you go to a doctor for a check-up, they’re apparently born around the time you got your first divorce or something and they airily cite “at your age…”
But stage two of the Saturn funk is when you say ‘fuq that’ and do a quality risk assessment/action plan. By the time you’re in your Fifties, you know a fad, marketing ploy or outdated info when you see it.
And even if you don’t, your hyper-genius research skills will root out relevant info. Nearly everyone born in the 1960s has Uranus and Pluto in Virgo, which could well account for the classic Gen X cynicism.
Twyla Tharp’s book Keep It Moving is fantastic inspo for the physical dimension of your second Saturn Return and beyond. As a dancer, she became intimately acquainted with time, gravity and the spectre of injury well before even her first Saturn Return. She completely reinvented her business at the second and is now just a few years off her third.
Keep It Moving has unique, brilliant moving meditation/exercise sequences that seem to work and straight-up stoic advice. “We don’t lose youth,” she writes. “Youth stays put. We move on.”
And while her various suggestions are anti-aging in the sense that agility offsets saturnine creakiness or rigid joints, she disdains talk of ‘turning back time’: “Time only moves in one direction – forward.”
Alogn with chronological consciousness, Saturn Returns highlight skeletal you. However you do it or whatever your dietary and health philosophy is, this is a good time to strengthen tooth and bone. Fact: Every Saturn transit seems to involve kettlebells.
(4) MAKE YOUR OWN WAY
Yes, I know life can bring limitations and once you’re in orb of your second Saturn Return, you’re aware of the shortfalls of politicians, communities, governments etc. However, where-ever you have agency, do things your way.
There is no invisible arbiter with insider info of the ‘right way.’ Take informed input but the core protocol is DIY – you invent it.
Graphic novelist Jennifer Hayden pulled off a fab Chiron Return switch-up that put her on track for an epic second Saturn Return this year. Her secret? Not going back to school or signing up for something self-development-ish even when everyone was pushing it as the done thing.
Her advice: “You already know what you have, you already know what to do so speed it up – don’t slow it down.” In a similar vein, the musician Kim Gordon says her anti-aging secret is “not conforming.”