Your Saturn Return: A Cosmic Rite of Passage

Saturn Return

Every 27 to 29 years, Saturn returns to the sign it was in when you were born, a cycle called The Saturn Return. Understanding this cosmic rite of passage can help you advance into your next stage of adulthood.

by The AstroTwins


What do you want to be when you “grow up” and are you even ready to take on such a momentous role? Every 29.5 years (approximately), you’ll get the nudge you need to advance into a new stage of adulthood. In astrology, we call it the Saturn return.

There’s a very obvious reason for this name: Saturn takes approximately 29.5 years to complete one full orbit around the Sun and literally return to the same zodiac sign it was in when you were born. The first Saturn Return, which can happen between ages 27 and 30, is a bit like a cosmic bar mitzvah, quinceanera or communion if you will: a rite of passage welcoming you into your more mature role here on Earth.


In astrological lore, Saturn is the great taskmaster of the skies. We prefer the term life coach or personal trainer actually, since Saturn is “cruel” to be kind. It breaks you down, makes you lift the heavy weights so you can build those rock-hard muscles and get into fighting shape! Wherever Saturn is in your chart will point to your toughest lessons, but the ones you might become obsessed with breaking through.

We often see people finding careers that match the zodiac sign their Saturn is in. It’s not surprising since Saturn can help us with excellence and mastery. Here is where we will toil away for hours, obsessively, to reach our grandest goals. It makes sense that Saturn is the ruler of ambitious Capricorn, the high-achieving, hardest working kid in the zodiac. (Cosmic fact: Saturn is cycling through its home sign of Capricorn from December 19, 2017 to March 21, 2020.)

During the Saturn return—which lasts 2.5 to 3 years (see the tables below)—you will come face to face with your own blocks and be forced to push through them. All the “mistakes” you made in the nearly three decades leading up to this seem to crystallize. Rather than repeating them on autopilot, you have a chance to turn lemons into lemonade. And if you refuse to heed those lessons, Saturn will bring a drill sergeant style smackdown. Indeed, the Saturn return starts off feeling a bit like boot camp for a lot of people. But drop and give him twenty instead of rebelling against those barking orders.  Three years later, you’ll be General Awesome or Captain Fantastic of your own kick-ass army—at the very least, you’ll be decorated with a star or two.


This sign-by-sign guide can help you understand all of Saturn’s karmic lessons. First, look up what sign your Saturn falls in on the table below the 12 signs. If you want to know what house your Saturn falls in (more info on those golden lessons learned the harder way), do your birth chart here:


or Saturn in the first house
Impulsive much? Saturn in me-first Aries can make you rather impetuous. You may be the first one to dive in, kickstart a project, or start a new trend. The trouble is your staying power is not quite as strong. Conversely, Saturn in Aries or the first house can make you hesitate, so that you wind up with a zillion genius ideas that never get off the ground. The lessons of your return are to become a leader without doing everything yourself—or becoming completely bossy and domineering. There can be a “my way or the highway” pitfall for you. Stamp your name on your innovations and get them out to the world, but remember that many hands make light work. You could be a stellar athlete and a daredevil. A career as a motivational speaker, CEO, military leader or athlete could be in the cards as well.

or Saturn in the second house
Practical luxury and comfort is paramount to harnessing the stabilizing energy of Taurus here—but do you actually have the funds to pull off those champagne wishes and caviar dreams? You may struggle in the money department, living in a fantasy world and learning tough lessons about budgeting and delayed gratification. Beware laziness, too. Learn to be the charging Bull instead of the sleeping one, or opportunity could pass you by. With a little elbow grease, you could become an incredible money manager and might have a shining career in finance. Hospitality and the fine goods markets could also be your path. You have a keen eye for beauty and might even own a brick and mortar store one day.

or Saturn in the third house 
Hello communicator! The gift of gab or the power of the pen—you are meant to use your words. But Saturn’s suppressive powers can make you shy about expressing yourself, and it could take a while before you have the guts to voice your opinion or shop around your memoirs to publishing houses. Though you thrive in a partnership (chatty Gemini is the sign of the Twins), you could be a little too quick to compromise, losing your autonomy in the process. Working as a dynamic duo could bring you great success. You could have a career in writing or teaching. You may excel in more sartorial or technical pursuits (especially coding or software development), or harness your people skills to make a mint in sales.

or Saturn in the fourth house 
Home and family can be a source of comfort and angst in equal measure. Some people with Saturn in this position may struggle to leave the nest, or become overly attached and responsible for their relatives. Shyness can plague you, making it difficult to come out of the proverbial Crab shell. Some people born with Saturn in heartfelt Cancer or the fourth house have difficult childhoods, with an absent or challenging mother. Although you may resist becoming a parent, it could be your greatest joy, whether you have children or pets. Your care-taking instincts could lead you to a career in the culinary world, hospitality or nursing. Working from home or owning a small business will be fulfilling too. You love being hands-on!

or Saturn in the fifth house 
Glamour, passion and fairy-tale romance: you want them all, but may take the long road to achieving them. Although you have talents as a performer or presenter, Saturn’s influence in dramatic Leo can make you slow to find the stage—or hard on yourself once you do. Finding your voice, self-expression and confidence will be a riveting journey. You may struggle with excess—and learn some tough lessons about overindulging. A tendency to romanticize and idealize people can bring struggles in relationships. Although it may take you a while to figure out who is right for you (or distinguish a player from a prince), you could enjoy a rich and rewarding love life. Creativity is your calling card and you could find a career in the arts or theater, or by making beautiful objects by hand. Leo and the fifth house have a regal vibe, so being the boss like the proud Lion is in your blood.

or Saturn in the sixth house
Order in the court! You love systems and know how make life run like a well-oiled machine. Chaos, which is a naturally occurring phenomenon, could confound you—and you could struggle when things don’t fit into neatly categorized boxes. Learning how to stay on top of the details while also going with the flow will be one of your biggest lessons. Perfectionism could plague you too, and even lead to struggles with food since purifying Virgo and the sixth house govern the digestive system. Your Saturn falls in the sign of service too, and you could excel in non-profit work or as an agent who helps others accomplish their dreams (with a percentage for your time, of course). All things natural appeal to you: organic foods, cruelty free and sustainable products, holistic healing. You could open up a business based around any of the aforementioned, or even train as a therapist, masseur, acupuncturist or herbalist.

or Saturn in the seventh house
Relationships are both a blessing and a thorn in your side in this lifetime as your Saturn theme is all about partnership. You may struggle to find the proper equilibrium of give and take. Your Saturn Return brings the hard truths about what it really takes to co-exist harmoniously with another. Your Saturn Return could also herald a marriage proposal or the dissolution of a relationship based on shaky ground. Harmonious Libra and the seventh house bring a people-loving vibe, but you may struggle with boundaries and lose a few friends before learning to set limits. You could be drawn to the law, fashion or sales as a career, since you’re equally concerned with justice and beauty.

or Saturn in the eighth house
Money, power, sex! Having Saturn in sultry Scorpio or the eighth house is no light and fluffy thing. You could deal with blocks to abundance, fear of success or body hang-ups—but your Saturn Return brings an incredible opportunity to work through them. Who knows? You could emerge a yogi, dakini, or powerbroker by the end of this phase. Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, something must die for a transformation and rebirth to take place. You may deal with a powerful loss that shapes your life path, or discover your own psychic powers during your Saturn Return. Your career may involve medicine (you aren’t afraid of blood) or helping people through personal crises and transformations. Resourceful, you are an alchemist who can turn the mundane into gold.

or Saturn in the ninth house
You’re a worldly one with your Saturn in global Sagittarius or the ninth house. Cross-cultural relationships will be your learning grounds and you may become “adopted” by a culture different than your own at some point in your life. If you haven’t traveled extensively, your Saturn Return would be an ideal time to live abroad. Or, if your nomadic nature has given you a tumbleweed complex, you could pause and put down roots for a few years during the Saturn Return. Higher education is governed by this sign and house: you’re an eternal student of life. Your Saturn Return could be a great time to go back to school for that graduate degree or special certification. Your career could involve traveling, teaching or publishing.

or Saturn in the tenth house.
Goals, goals, goals! You may be obsessed with success to a detriment, and your Saturn Return will remind you that the end does not always justify the means. If Saturn has stalled your ambition, you could finally find your career calling now. Ambitious Capricorn and the tenth house are associated with men and the father. Daddy issues could plague you, or you may have a strained or distant relationship with your father. Or, your dad could have been very stern and authoritative, making it difficult for you to express yourself in his company. These will need to be dealt with during the Saturn Return, but powerful men will also help you manifest your dreams. Big business could call your name. You may return to school for an MBA, be promoted to a director’s position, or open up shop on your own venture. Hello, CEO.

or Saturn in the eleventh house
Community could be a source of struggle for you, but your Saturn Return is the time to find your tribe. Humanitarian issues may rouse you, like a calling, and you might start a non-profit, get involved in social justice work or find ways to make your everyday environment a place where people from all walks of life are welcome. Since future-forward Aquarius and the eleventh house govern technology and innovation, you could invent something life-changing, like an app or gadget. Though you could do many kinds of work, you’ll want to surround yourself with progressive thinkers and inspiring innovators as colleagues.

or Saturn in the twelfth house
You are a born healer and your compassionate nature will be awakened during your Saturn Return. You may be drawn to the hidden side of life, such as spirituality or esoteric pursuits. An interest in human psychology or alternative medicine could emerge since ethereal Pisces and the twelfth house rule the subconscious mind. Learning boundaries will be a huge lesson now, especially since you may be prone to making too many sacrifices. The arts—especially music and poetry—will call your name. You may also discover a gift for working with numbers and codes or doing holistic healing.


How to use this table:
Find your natal Saturn sign by looking up the date on or before your birth. To find your Saturn Returns, look when Saturn will enter the same sign as your natal Saturn again.



Dec  2, 1926 Sagittarius
Mar 15, 1929 Capricorn
May  5, 1929 Rx Sagittarius
Nov 29, 1929 Capricorn
Feb 23, 1932 Aquarius
Aug 13, 1932 Rx Capricorn
Nov 19, 1932 Aquarius
Feb 14, 1935 Pisces
Apr 25, 1937 Aries
Oct 17, 1937 Rx Pisces
Jan 14, 1938 Aries
Jul  6, 1939 Taurus
Sep 22, 1939 Rx Aries
Mar 20, 1940 Taurus
May  8, 1942 Gemini
Jun 20, 1944 Cancer
Aug  2, 1946 Leo
Sep 19, 1948 Virgo
Apr  2, 1949 Rx Leo
May 29, 1949 Virgo
Nov 20, 1950 Libra
Mar  7, 1951 Rx Virgo
Aug 13, 1951 Libra
Oct 22, 1953 Scorpio
Jan 12, 1956 Sagittarius
May 13, 1956 Rx Scorpio
Oct 10, 1956 Sagittarius
Jan  5, 1959 Capricorn
Jan  3, 1962 Aquarius
Mar 23, 1964 Pisces
Sep 16, 1964 Rx Aquarius
Dec 16, 1964 Pisces
Mar  3, 1967 Aries
Apr 29, 1969 Taurus
Jun 18, 1971 Gemini
Jan  9, 1972 Rx Taurus
Feb 21, 1972 Gemini
Aug  1, 1973 Cancer
Jan  7, 1974 Rx Gemini
Apr 18, 1974 Cancer
Sep 17, 1975 Leo
Jan 14, 1976 Rx Cancer
Jun  5, 1976 Leo
Nov 16, 1977 Virgo
Jan  4, 1978 Rx Leo
Jul 26, 1978 Virgo
Sep 21, 1980 Libra
Nov 29, 1982 Scorpio
May  6, 1983 Rx Libra
Aug 24, 1983 Scorpio
Nov 16, 1985 Sagittarius
Feb 13, 1988 Capricorn
Jun 10, 1988 Rx Sagittarius
Nov 12, 1988 Capricorn
Feb  6, 1991 Aquarius
May 21, 1993 Pisces
Jun 30, 1993 Rx Aquarius
Jan 28, 1994 Pisces
Apr  7, 1996 Aries
Jun  9, 1998 Taurus
Oct 25, 1998 Rx Aries
Feb 28, 1999 Taurus
Aug  9, 2000 Gemini
Oct 15, 2000 Rx Taurus
Apr 20, 2001 Gemini
Jun  3, 2003 Cancer
Jul 16, 2005 Leo
Sep  2, 2007 Virgo
Oct 29, 2009 Libra
Apr  7, 2010 Rx Virgo
Jul 21, 2010 Libra
Aug 21, 2010 Libra
Oct  5, 2012 Scorpio
Dec 23, 2014 Sagittarius
Jun 14, 2015 Rx Scorpio
Sep 17, 2015 Sagittarius
Dec 19, 2017 Capricorn
Mar 21, 2020 Aquarius
Jul  1, 2020 Rx Capricorn
Dec 17, 2020 Aquarius
Mar  7, 2023 Pisces
May 24, 2025 Aries
Sep  1, 2025 Rx Pisces
Feb 13, 2026 Aries
Apr 12, 2028 Taurus
May 31, 2030 Gemini