Saturn Explained - How Saturn, its Retrograde and Your Saturn Return Impacts Your Life

23 June 2021

Saturn is without a doubt the prettiest planet in the universe, but don’t let its looks deceive you. With its colourful ice and dust rings and at least 62 moons, its grandness lets us know that it has a great impact on our lives. Saturn has an important placement in the sky between what we can and can’t see, with it being the last planet we can see with the naked eye. Beyond Saturn has more of a feeling of mysterious energy to us. Therefore, Saturn deals with boundaries between the seen and unseen. It is the keeper of time, and the impact of limits and structure; as well as the impact that restrictions have on us, as they are either helpful or harmful in our lives. 

It is the taskmaster of the planets and ensures we learn the lessons about hard work, discipline and responsibility. As these aspects of ourselves evolve with age, we usually don’t get these lessons until our first Saturn return, approximately 27 years into life. With Saturn, much of our work is to reflect and see how those three traits faired with us. It is important to understand that within the boundaries that Saturn sets, we are not supposed to be so hardworking, disciplined or responsible that we do not live a youthful life where mistakes are never made because we are too boundaried. On the other hand, your lesson might be that hard work, discipline and responsibility have not been taken seriously and your reflection is on the maturity you need to heal the wounds of those actions. 

Saturn’s greatest impact is in the way it gets us to measure what we have done with our time and brings ambition, career, structure, realism, desire and status to the fore throughout our lives. Saturn’s only way of getting our attention is in the feeling of restriction or disappointment at where we find ourselves at different times in our lives. 

This is why being aware of Saturn Return and what a big deal it is can help you consciously evolve your personality and grow into the wisdom of your past actions. This is the very reason why Saturn is known as the karmic planet. Returning to where it started in our natal chart every 27 to 31 years allows us to assess our lives at that point, but before we can delve too much into that, we need to understand where Saturn is in our birth chart and what that means for the life lesson that Saturn wants us to learn. 

If you don’t know where Saturn is in your chart, run your birthday through this free astrology website: to find out the zodiac sign and house Saturn was in at your time of birth. 

Now let’s explore what it means for you depending on the sign Saturn was in at your time of birth:

Saturn in Aries
Aries is about self-identity and living your individuality, so when Saturn is in this sign, your lesson is not to hide your authenticity for fear of what others will think. Life lessons around braving asserting yourself will be centred around making sure no one ever thinks you are acting egotistical or being arrogant or self-centred. In the constant need to stay small, you won’t brave making bold decisions and may avoid confrontation. Your work is to build the courage to make mistakes and not let them change the authenticity of who you are, and in the other extreme to fight for your right to know you are right. 

Saturn in Taurus
Taurus is about the comfort of material and earthly things and with Saturn here, your fear of not having what you need will cause insecurity and vulnerability. Your great work will be to separate your self-worth from your net worth and very often you will have issues of material loss or being dependent on others and this causes the feeling of worthlessness. Your work is to know you can create the things you have created in your mind as being unable to attain. On the flip side, you could feel guilty when you do have the means to indulge and will misuse that which you have until you return to lack.  You fear people thinking you are lazy, and won’t ask for help when you need it. Your healing work is to find your worth beyond what you have and to empower yourself by knowing that you don’t have to figure all of life out by yourself.  

Saturn in Gemini
Gemini is about your expression of self into the world and with Saturn here, you will have issues around not speaking your truth or expressing yourself in the creativity that defines you. You are naturally light-hearted and enthusiastic but may brave expressing that for fear of your own discomfort or self-consciousness. Watch for being overly sensitive to criticism because you tend to hold it to yourself and then overly process something that you may have misinterpreted in the first place. Your healing is in trusting yourself to express your strengths of communication and not fear that you are not logical or accurate enough in your thinking. 

Saturn in Cancer 
Cancer is about nurturing and emotional expression, and when Saturn here, you may lack the feeling of emotional support and feel safe in your surroundings. Being the natural caregiver can be the root of your Saturn healing, thinking that you have been left to take care of yourself all of those around you, while the lesson is that you never allow anyone else to take on the role. This could lead to resentment when you need the care and others are so used to you taking care of yourself. It does not help that you feel uncomfortable being taken care of, so your Saturn work is to find the balance and get yourself and everyone else out of the impossible situation you created! Ultimately, Saturn wants you to learn to honour your own emotions and practice self-care, for you to feel fulfilled!

Saturn in Leo
Leo is about living wholeheartedly and with pride and when Saturn is here, may have been forced to grow up too quickly and don’t express your playfulness. Your pride may be personally misunderstood, creating an unconscious pattern of not being able to let go, and convincing yourself that you don’t want or need to express yourself openly, but you will only be denying yourself your joy of proudly expressing yourself. The battle between feeling overly confident and not wanting to call attention to yourself will leave you feeling unacknowledged or overlooked, leading to resentment of those around you. Saturn wants you to learn to not grow up too fast and to have a carefree time. When you relax into owning your pride and your youthfulness you will awaken the naturally warm energy deep within yourself, and there will be enough to go around. 

Saturn in Virgo
Virgo is the perfectionist of the zodiac, and with your Saturn here, you will create limitations on yourself because of your need for routine, attention to detail, service to others and commitment to work. You may consistently fear criticism or making mistakes, which limits your opportunities to either create something new or finish what you started. Your self-deceit may emerge in you not finishing things so that there is no risk of it being less than perfect! More times than not, the standards you set for yourself and others are too strict. Trusting in your natural attention to detail will help you not be so hard on yourself. Through overworking or stressing over the details, you can learn to simply let go. Saturn wants you to find the simple joy in your work and service to others, knowing that caring too much is the root of your problems. 

Saturn in Libra
Relationships are the theme of Libra and with Saturn here, the discomfort that comes from being authentic in relationships causes issues around commitment. In the fear of being authentically you, decision-making and weighing the different sides to a situation eventually becomes painful.  It is easy to convince yourself that you don’t care when you care too much and end up avoiding anything that feels like a commitment. Softening the perceived results of your commitments help you not take them so seriously. You are forever grappling between wanting your independence and then feeling lonely. You have a well-developed sense of fairness and justice, but take your responsibility too seriously and then decide that relationships and commitment are too exhausting. Saturn wants you to heal your fear of commitment while finding the tolerance to understand yourself and others.

Saturn in Scorpio 
Scorpio rules transformation and the depths of power and passion. With Saturn here, you can shy away from exploring, expressing and identifying with the deeper parts of life. Hiding away from the truth that you have feelings of jealousy, anger or frustration will give you the impression that you are cold and don’t have feelings. However, denying the full expression of who you are, ultimately limits you. Your work is admitting your emotional vulnerabilities or your desire for emotional intimacy. Opening yourself up completely doesn’t come naturally, but with work and effort, you can get there. Saturn wants you to embrace the depths of who you are in order to enrich your life. Don’t be afraid of facing change head-on, as it’s is the best way to learn who you are in your most present and authentic self.

Saturn in Sagittarius 
Sagittarius is the optimist of the zodiac and with Saturn here, being sceptical, not trusting and doubting could be your life work. Expressing enthusiasm doesn’t come naturally and you may struggle to get excited about something enough to grab the opportunities. You have to define what your truth is and not stick to the seemingly secure and stable route. On the other hand, you won’t merely follow someone else’s “truth” or belief, in life and in spiritual orientation. This does mean that you must trust you independent nature in discovering the truth of what you want to believe. Saturn wants you to know that this may come in the form of your faith being tested frequently throughout your life. Ultimately, you are inspired by your own conclusions rather than following the mainstream, but if you don’t put the work in, you will be wandering until you feel lost in your own world. 

Saturn in Capricorn 
Capricorn is the ambitious and persistent zodiac and is unconsciously far more responsible than those around them. With Saturn here, you can have a love-hate relationship with the amount of responsibility you have. From setting such high standards for yourself, you sway to wanting to denounce your responsibilities and lower your ambition. You can go as far as not to care about your material success entirely. However, there is always a strong desire for success buried deep within you, Your work is to accept your ambitious side. You are usually harsher on yourself than you need to be, which can prevent you from embarking on opportunities that could benefit you. Looking around you, there may be envy that others have a simpler time with creating their realities, but Saturn wants you to know that learning to lower your standards for yourself will still be higher than most people’s standards around you. Learn to trust in your capabilities with more ease and flow. 

Saturn in Aquarius
Aquarius is the eccentric of the zodiac and with Saturn here, you may gain the reputation of being the sceptic with an impartial and realistic viewpoint to almost everything. This will create Saturn issues of difficulty getting close to others and you may never find a circle of close friends who you deeply trust, because of your own issues. This is not to say that people don’t like you, but you might create a social comfort zone that you have difficulties moving out of. However, once a true connection is formed, you take it to heart and are steadfast and loyal. The realist in you does the same with dreams or future plans, not putting yourself in a position of counting on something that may never happen. Trusting your intuition takes a lot of time and effort, more so than for most. It also takes much effort for you to be in groups or crowds, which is an interesting challenge in career choices. Saturn wants you to know that once you let go of control and trust in the universe, you can dare to dream bigger and lean into others for experiences you wouldn’t dare to imagine.

Saturn in Pisces
With the intensity of emotion that is Pisces, Saturn in this zodiac struggles with everything to do with feelings. From being uncomfortable to show feeling because you cannot gauge what is too expressive and then making you look vulnerable or weak. However, the loneliness you could create for yourself brings about the awareness that not allowing yourself naturally emotional qualities, ends up limiting you. Your catch 22 is that if someone dares show you anything resembling pity, you will shut down and cut them out. In turn, you tell the world that you don’t need love, support, kindnesses and compassion. This makes you intolerant of anyone who you think is playing the victim and Saturn wants you to know that your work is to intuitively connect with your own feelings and that of others. It is only with connecting to the Spirit of your emotions that you stop the restriction of how much of yourself you show to others. Do the work to learn to trust your intuitive emotions and don’t fear expressing them. Get outside of your comfort zone and honoured your feelings and those of others, for the happiness that you are worthy loves lies beneath all you avoid dealing with. 

Saturn in the Houses:

1st house 
When Saturn is in your first house the lesson on the zodiac sign will be about all things that come first. From you putting yourself first to first impressions and initiation of all things in life.

2nd house 
When Saturn is in your second house the lesson on the zodiac sign will be about values, from material and wealth to how you value yourself. 

3rd house
When Saturn is in your third house the lesson on the zodiac sign will be about all things communication from how you do it, to who you do it with. 

4th house
When Saturn is in your fourth house the lesson on the zodiac sign will be about home, security, and what is closest to your heart – the very things that root you. 

5th house 
When Saturn is in your fifth house the lesson on the zodiac sign will be about self-expression and your freedom to do so with authenticity in the world. 

6th house
When Saturn is in your sixth house the lesson on the zodiac sign will be about service to the world with your unique gifts, while finding the balance between service to you and to others. 

7th house
When Saturn is in your seventh house the lesson on the zodiac sign will be about relationships and relating, with the world around you and yourself.  

8th house
When Saturn is in your eighth house the lesson on the zodiac sign will be about the power within the mysterious from death and rebirth to dark secrets and understanding life and yourself on the deepest level.

9th house
When Saturn is in your ninth house the lesson on the zodiac sign will be about all aspects of expansion through intellect and imagination.  

10th house
When Saturn is in your tenth house the lesson on the zodiac sign will be about the highest potential and the depths to which you can impact your world. 

11th house
When Saturn is in your eleventh house the lesson on the zodiac sign will be about fitting into society and your ability to be authentically true to who you are

12th house
When Saturn is in your twelfth house the lesson on the zodiac sign will be about the unconscious mind, intuition and self-inflicted wounds. 

Saturn in Aquarius 2020 -2023
In its 27 year journey around the sun, Saturn spends about 2 to 2.5 years transiting a sign and changing the lesson for us. While in Aquarius, we are forced to take a good, hard look at ourselves as individuals. Saturn is the ruler of Aquarius, which is a good thing because the lessons don’t have to be hard if we don’t fight against them. Saturn is the planet of responsibility and it’s calling for us to take it. That means we can’t look around at our government, country, our neighbour or our friends and family for anything to change. It’s on us as an individual to create the world we want. This has been evident with Covid-19 and the witnessing of those who have taken it upon themselves to be responsible, don’t slip into the conspiracy theories, wear their masks and do the right thing to keep themselves safe; while knowing that if they do so they keep others safe too. Isn’t that a great way to live consciously? 
This Saturn transit isn’t about fighting against “them” when we the power to look at our own limiting beliefs and see that the work starts within. Most of what is going on around us are more about what we don’t do that is keeping us small and out of integrity. 
This Saturn transit is very much a part of the huge shift into the Age of Aquarius, where we have to fight for our own freedom and not wait for the world to change around us. Saturn in Aquarius demands us to take our responsibility back by pushing for us to figure out how we, as individuals, can bring about the change we need to make the world a better place.
This is not only about the world at large, but it becomes very personal to each of us. During this time, Saturn gives us the opportunity to do the hard that we think is hard when it comes to healing our particular Saturn wounds. Being in Aquarius is a reminder that this is the truly opportune time to build the sustainable foundations of change in our lives. The more we better ourselves, the greater impact we have on the world around us. 

We can’t look at Saturn without referring to the great 21st December 2020 conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter. You can catch up on what I said about it in December last year, but here it is in a nutshell, the rare conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter, known as the Great Conjunction, happens every 20 years, but they meet up in the same element for 200 years. The cycle of elements takes 800 years to start again, and the elements is not a small thing in astrology. The great move from earth elements into air, as it moved in Aquarius gives us a new sense of freedom from the structure that no one has experienced in this lifetime. Disruption of order and the very way we live a conscious life will never be the same again. Thinking that anything structured in the way we manifest our realities will have us falling short, as Saturn and Jupiter take us along for the ride that will demand we trust in the unfolding of our lives because no matter what we think we are worthy of, we limit ourselves with those very thoughts. As for the world around us, community and learning to build them in a way that is not confined by the structures we are forced to be in is the work that will take 200 years to kick start. It won’t be in this lifetime that we see the full extent of the impact of this transition, but we are the disruptors and Saturn wants us to do the brave work in order to be a part of the great order of change. 

In 2021 we are focused on the Saturn Retrograde that happens between 23rd May and 10th October.  This Retrograde word is ‘resistance’. Saturn won’t let us get away with staying small. Feelings of restriction will purely be because the Soul, Higher Self, All That Is within each of us will be tugging you to your highest potential and your ego will be trying to tug you, so you don’t leave the shadows. The pull between bravery and safe action and reaction will be the theme. Your work will be deeply personal, depending on where Saturn is in your natal chart, so pay attention and brave going into the shadow of who you are to get the healing work done. 

Once you know this and you feel it is time to have support in understanding and working with Saturn’s call consciousness, Transformation Coaching with me is the ideal support. Book a session here or book a free 30-minute exploratory consultation to understand more about how the coaching works. 

Your Saturn Return
It takes Saturn between 27 to 30 years to do a full rotation around the sun and back to its original placement in your natal chart, this is known as Saturn return and happens around the ages of 27 to 30, again at around 50 to 60 and at 89 and into your early 90s. Each time Saturn returns, you are faced with the question of your values and what is important to you. This changes vastly at each return, making one no more significant than the other. Aligned to the life lessons Saturn wants you to learn from the placement in your natal chart when it is your return time, you are faced with anything in your life where you are not in alignment and living within your integrity. This is why Saturn Return has the reputation of being such a tough time in life. If only we trusted our intuition, build a relationship with our soul and higher self from young and did the conscious work to follow our fulfilment and joy. Luckily for us, we don’t have to put pressure on ourselves, because the very evolution of our ego would not allow us to dodge the lessons that we need to learn from our returns. We are meant to get to the place of deep questioning because it through the places we get ourselves stuck that we learn the true strength of our character and Saturn believes in each of us far more than we believe in ourselves. 
Saturn goes into ‘tough love’ mode during our return and emotions can feel very out of whack. If we don’t brave letting go of what we need to ourselves, then life will happen, and we will lose it anyway. This is a time of significant endings and beginnings, and you will be rewarded with creating your own destiny if you brave doing the work. If not, and you ignore the signs and don’t follow your intuition then you will look back on your Saturn Returns with painful memories. 
Partnerships and choices around relationships is usually a big theme during your first Saturn return. It may be a time when we painfully are forced to let go of those who we once thought served us so well, but Saturn awakens a maturity within us that often brings about the separation we didn’t know we needed. This does make the first Saturn Return more painful than the second, where at a more mature age we have learned to focus more on ourselves for our happiness. 
Ultimately, in whatever Saturn Return you are in, reclaiming responsibility for your fulfilment and joy is the theme. Saturn, the taskmaster of your happiness and shows you that the only way to experience is to take full responsivity for it. At your Saturn Return, wherever you are giving away your power will come up in feelings you don’t want to deal with, but reclaiming your power to choose to be happy will result in lasting happiness, success and satisfaction.

Use the Saturn Return Calculator to find your exact years. 

To fully benefit from the work, a minimum of 4 sessions is required. To support your journey, we have a coaching bundle (which saves you 15%) to allow me to guide you into the awareness needed to anchor your self-worth before digging deep into the shadow consciousness work. 
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