"Saturn Return" Is An Astrological Wake-Up Call. Here's How To Navigate It

mbg Contributors By The AstroTwins
mbg Contributors
Ophira and Tali Edut, known as the AstroTwins, are professional astrologers based out of New York and Seattle. Their work has been featured in The New York Times, Elle Magazine, Vogue and Good Morning America and they are the authors AstroStyle, Love Zodiac, Shoestrology, and Momstrology.
"Saturn Return" Is An Astrological Wake-Up Call. Here's How To Navigate It

Photo by Isaiah & Taylor Photography

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 returns 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—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 20 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.

Saturn in the signs and houses:

Saturn in Aries (first house).

Impulsive much? Saturn in me-first Aries can make you rather impetuous. You may be the first one to dive in, kick-start 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.

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Saturn in Taurus (second house).

Practical luxury and comfort are 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.

Saturn in Gemini (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.

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Saturn in Cancer (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!

Saturn in Leo (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.

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Saturn in Virgo (sixth house).

Order in the court! You love systems and know how to 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 nonprofit 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.

Saturn in Libra (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 coexist 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.

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Saturn in Scorpio (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 power broker 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.

Saturn in Sagittarius (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 from 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.

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Saturn in Capricorn (10th 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 10th 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.

Saturn in Aquarius (11th 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 nonprofit, 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 11th 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.

Saturn in Pisces (12th 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 12th 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.

Calculating your Saturn return: Saturn sign by date

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

Apr 7, 2010: Rx Virgo

Jul 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

Looking for some more insights into your birth chart? Here's everything you need to know about what your Mars sign says about you.

The AstroTwins
The AstroTwins
Ophira and Tali Edut, known as the AstroTwins, are professional astrologers based out of New York...
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The AstroTwins
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