Here’s my old astrologer friend Steve Jolly’s (RIP) rave about the influence of Saturn that he wrote quite a few years back when a friend was going through the hard yards that Saturn deals out.
It’s not an easy read but his words go true and deepSaturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn (detail in illustration by Mo 1999)
“The Saturn return cycle is a marker of the different ages of life. Our first 28 years is living out karma from past lives, and is symbolised by our domination by parental values. We are adjusting to the world (and the world to us!) without necessarily having our own individual frame of reference.
The second cycle, from 29 to around sixty, is our time of life achievement, where, normally, we create the karma for this life. This is when we stand independent and make our own way. It’s a time of action.
The third cycle is one of reflection and dissemination. Our time for action is largely over and we are preparing ourselves for moving on. This is the “elder” period of our lives, where the wisdom we have accumulated is available to the tribe, where we can pass on the benefits of our successes and our mistakes.
Saturn has the reputation of being a hard planet, a malefic as the old astrologers called it. In large measure this is a reaction of fear. Certainly it represents limitations, obstacles and challenges. But it also represents form and structure, the skeletal framework by which we are able to survive on the material plane. The return period is difficult because it requires us to change structures, to abandon outworn habits and begin a new alignment to the world. Just how difficult this is depends on the individual.
Saturn is also symbolic of age. This is because, in earlier times, many did not even make the first Saturn return, let alone the second. It coincides with the cycles of human achievement, but also of life and death. It is a reminder of our mortality. As we age, we gain experience and, hopefully, the ability to deal with difficulty more easily. It’s for this reason that the second Saturn return is reputed to be “easier”. It’s not the planet’s energy at work here, but our own experience giving us a helping hand.
Similarly, the difficulty or otherwise of a Saturn return depends very much on the chart of the individual, and, probably more on how each of us handles change. Saturn demands acceptance of its conditions and will erode and undermine any structures we have created which do not serve the ultimate purpose of growth and awareness, or which are built on shaky foundations. If we cut corners, it’s a fair bet that when Saturn comes along this is where the problems will lie.
It’s no surprise that your friend felt lonely and depressed at this time. This is Saturn’s form. He is forcing her to evaluate what is really important in her life. This is a time of trial which, when it’s over, will have made her stronger and more self-reliant, ready, in fact, to take on elder status. That’s really something to look forward to. No growth happens without accompanying discomfort…”