Posted by: Donna Cunningham | August 19, 2011

More About Saturn Returns And The Blog

(c) August 15, 2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 Yesterday’s announcement of the opening of the second Saturn return blog was marred by one small mistake, a typo in the link to the blog. If you didn’t get there yesterday, here’s the correct link: 2nd Saturn Return Blog. I also want to share answers to a couple of questions from the comment section. 

Elena, who’s facing her third Saturn return, asked how I would distinguish between the first second and third returns. 

 Here’s how I would explain the three Saturn returns – each is the culmination of a stage of maturation, focused in the areas of life represented by the house Saturn is placed in natally and by natal Saturn’s aspects.

Saturn represents important roles we play, such as wife, parent, boss, or teacher. The return may focus on adjusting to those roles. It is also a mini life review, an interval in which we ask ourselves and are asked by our surroundings,” how’m I doing?” 

At the first Saturn return (age 28-29), you are beyond a doubt fully adult, and faced with major personal and vocational choices and their consequences – commitments, responsibilities, and the limitations they entail. In other words, you focus on your roles.

You may have to play catch up if you have been neglecting the positive qualities of Saturn, such as structure; discipline; desire for quality and accomplishment; maturity; authority; perseverance; and realism. 

At the second Saturn return (age 58-60), you are likely to have completed your responsibilities in those adult roles. You now need to assess whether they still serve you and to begin planning for your senior years as Saturn cycle continues to evolve.

So there may be sadness as those roles draw to a close and anxiety about providing for yourself as a senior. You face the consequences of choices you made around the time of the first return, and you come to terms with your personal limitations and the limitations of significant others. 

Although I have no experience with the third Saturn return (86-88), I would imagine that it is another life review, with ample time to ponder how we’ve done in our lines and to reap the rewards and benefits of service provided to our families and communities.

It is a time of fully emerging as an elder with experience that can benefit others. And, yes, increasing limitations may cause us to spend time seemingly idle and alone, but it can be a time of grace at a life well spent. 

Carrie asks, “This next year or so, my husband will have both his second Saturn return and a Jupiter return. I wonder what those together mean?”

 My answer: It’s actually quite common, as that’s an age where the Jupiter cycles and Saturn cycles coincide. It was great for me when it happened, and I figure it’s the place where AGE meets WISDOM. A nice boost for the process of digesting our life experience and reaping the well deserved rewards.

If you’re having your 2nd Saturn return, do visit the blog, or if you know someone who is, pass trhe link along. 


  1. Donna, let me add some complete guesswork to your guesswork around the 3rd return. In some cultures, attaining a certain elder age brings the person back to age zero. For example, in Judaism, it’s at 80 I think. So at 93, you can become a bat/bar mitzvah again. Perhaps the 3rd return permits not just the life review, but an opportunity to start anew?

    • Good thoughts, Deb. I’d never known anyone over the age of 80 until moving out west,and they are a wonder. Donna

  2. Born 11/3/1952 in Evergreen Park,Ill. at 9:56PM. My name is Marcie (still)

    I have studied Astrology for fun since I was 16. Moved to California 7/1967 almost 16. Very hard for a 16 year old to transplant.(especially at that time in the 60’s 70’s). I became a massage therapist in 1973. Just to learn as to help older people but ended up slowly becoming a confident and professional in the business . Now 38 years. I believe it has taken most of those years to feel like I am one of the best in helping people change patterns in their body. (if they want to) My first Saturn return I bought a house(31) and work out of it …Slowly getting my license to work out of the home ( Massage has not had such a great reputation with city licensing etc.) As of 9/09 The State of Ca. has license Massage therapists)I received mine 12/10. This is a great accomplishment for me and my profession. Where am I going with all of this… Well on 4/23/2009 i had to have my right hip replaced. I missed 4 mo. of work. ( my work takes a lot of stamina) Really i was not myself for a year and now the other hip needs repair. I have no more resources($$$) to sustain myself during this next surgery. So I am trying a new therapy. Uses my own stem cells re rejuvenate my hip. A 3 to 10 month process. I am just going into my 3 an half month. The jury is still out but i have much hope. Now a single mom getting my daughter thru her last year of high school. I need to either work part time and make $$ doing something else or sell my home and live in a 55 year and older complex& do massage or something part time or hope something will break through ( a new relationship and or stay in my home and rebuild my home and teach pool therapy etc. Or something I never thought about… Through all of the last years my finical world was hit and I had some good advice and not so good.
    On Oct.15 Saturn will conjunct my Saturn. 4th house (Sun in Libra will be there too) I have my sun in Scorpio 4th and Venus and Mercury will be transiting my Sun too) Through all of this turmoil i have grown and faced many fears. From my recovery bed I was getting my house loan modified… Went with a consolidation company that was(refereed to me from the law firm I was working with) stealing from me and the company she represented, which I was the whistle blower. So I ruined my credit score with working with that company and had to regroup with those creditors I had not paid. A lot of fear to over come and perseverance to keep taking of one day at a time. Now I am not walking easy but still working and living from day to day. With a trust in myself and spirit and my angles in this world and around me. Thanks for reading my recent story. With gratitude, Marcie Martini

  3. My Dad turned 97 and is quite amazing. What is most remarkable is his will, his inner strength and determination….he just loves life. Gemini sun, moon in Leo, he is definately failing, but focuses on what he can do – gets out of his apartment and meets and greets people at the diner, goes food shopping and enjoys what life he can. When I get down, I think of him and hope some of that dna kicks in 🙂

  4. I am dreading my second Saturn return, I checked the ephemeris and it’s in October, about the time my son’s baby is due to be born, under less than ideal circumstances (he and his girlfriend are estranged, she is taking him to court to get every penny of child support that he can, and is doing her best to keep his side of the family away from this child). I have distanced myself from both my son and this baby to be. It’s the only way I can cope with a situation like this.

  5. Well it sounds like yours is around mine. I am a Scorpio but it hits my Saturn Oct.15. What house is your return in ?…I am dreading mine too but I took some time to review my meaningful moments and really my last Saturn return had many changes but all ended up toward the good. Remember many things will change (usually after the baby is born) And your son has a lot of decisions to make toward the out come of his life with or without this child. Sounds like he may be having a Saturn return ? It helped me in reviewing the past, maybe this will help you get through this time period.

    • My Saturn is in the 7th, in Libra. And I have a feeling my marriage is going to be strained with this new grandchild coming. My son doesn’t get his Saturn return until 2013, when it enters Sagittarius. Right now he’s headed into a train wreck with a new relationship (not the child’s mother) who has a child. He never seems to learn from past mistakes. With the way things are going, leaving the country without a forwarding address seems like a wonderful idea, since watching disasters close up isn’t pretty.

  6. Well Katley, I know having Saturn and Neptune conjunct in my 4th house can stir up fear of loss of my home sometimes.I have seen from past experience of myself how I could have taken more responsibility for my own anxiety instead of placing it on my now x-husband. We had other problems but i do see that I was unaware (looking back ,always easier) of how fearful I really was…I am learning slowly how to reach out and get help with what it is I need to do so i will be able to take the steps i need to calm my anxiety. As I said I took all the major events in my life (on my computer, I have an Astrology program ,you can use an ephemeris) looked at the date & years more objectively. You having Saturn and Neptune in the 7 house is not only your marriage but one on one relationships etc. I do not know you or your relationships but I know for me those 2 plants can stir more fear than reality or fear so to make a change. If your son is not taking responsibility for his choices… It seems this is not a new story.And the universe is his teacher. He is an Adult even if he is not acting like one.He is responsible for child support by law. Judges know the law and this might be the very thing that could be your son’s wake up call. Saturn is our teacher. I have found Saturn is not always as scary as he seems. When Saturn crossed my first house I was very fearful and it was the best thing for me …I lost weight and really felt good about myself those 2 and an half years ! Think back at what happen during your last Saturn Return. That may help. From what you said about you son’s age it looks like you had him right after your SR. Take Care

    • thanks for sharing your storie, Marcie. I remember the Saturn transit to my first house. I had been dreading it, so I made some positive life changes during this time. I had started to drink too much, and sought counseling. The problem was midlife depression, and once that was addressed I felt better. I seldom drink now and only at social events with friends.

      The other life change was taking dance and exercise classes. It improved my mood and got me in shape. This is a habit I’ve kept to this day.

      I think Saturn is harder to deal with when it involves other people (relationships) because those are situations beyond my control. Part of the problem is that my husband enables my son, and when I put my foot down he gets angry with me. That is something with which I can use some help. I don’t want to divorce the men in my life but toxic relationships are something I can live without. I am ready to move on.

      As for my son and the child support, that is something required by law. And that is his responsibility, no one elses. If he doesn’t pay, they will cart him off to jail.

      • Hi Katley, Yes it is complicated when parents are in different mind sets. With Saturn in the 7th you may want some consoling & counseling . It could give you some peace of mind. and support. I was reading that Mars will be in Virgo for about 8 mon, Starting in Nov.. I looked up mine & it will be moving back and forth between my 2 & 3 house. I have Mars in Capacorn so . some of the time it will trine my Mars. I am hoping this will be helpful with Saturn the return. Maybe for you too. Sometimes it is the not knowing that is the biggest block…I think what we both did with Saturn going over our first was smart and it worked. I am not really sure about the return… With my life one day at a time all I can think is to get clearer with my papers. Keeping things in order. I will be working at looking at grants for my daughters college etc. She graduates from High School this year… i started late…ha ha

  7. Hi, Donna, I’ve been studying astrology since 1980. I was born August 23rd, 1961. 6:12 pm Dayton, Ohio.I have a loaded 12th house, and my first Saturn return was AWFUL. I have Saturn, Jupiter, and the Moon all in cap in my 12th house. At the time of my first Saturn return, I experienced unbelievable hardship. I divorced my alcoholic husband, went on welfare, and raised my two small children on my own. At the time all this was happening, I was living in a termite infested, decaying house that my father owned, out in the middle of the country, with no one that I could call or get help from to let know what was going on. I was finally able to escape that ungodly horror by moving into low-income housing. I never spoke to my father again. He and my mother were both sexually, physically, psychologically, and emotionally abusive. It seems I have lived a life of sorrow and misery, the only good things that have come out of it have been my children(who are now raised and have become good, productive happy adults) and my lesbian partner of 15 years, who has stood by me and been with me through all my surgeries and illnesses. I am a diabetic since 2001, have had heart surgery, thyroid surgery, and a total hysterectomy. I am now experiencing a severe breakout on my right hand from oil on tubes that are on the heater cores at the place of my employment. I have experienced unjust harasment and discrimination at the hands of this company I have been with for 13 years. But I have to make a living, and with my hands. As soon as Uranus in Aries opposed my natal Mars in Libra at 4 degrees, my hand started breaking out from the oil and although my family doctor has agreed that it is contact dermatitis, the company doctor denied there being any oil on the parts and my supervisor has been harassing me relentlessly on my job. I am currently on sick leave waiting for my hand to heal up. Mars is in my sixth house in Cancer, past its square to my natal Mars but this T-Square with Uranus, Pluto, then Mars and Saturn has really done me in. I am almost at my wits end. I am HOPING that by the time the transit to my sixth house is over my hand will be healed up(Mars rules my 3rd house of the hands) and I will be able to get back to work with no problems. I got through my first Saturn return , this current transit of the outer planets SEEMS like a second Saturn return already!! Although this time I have no children to take care of and I’m not on welfare. My finances are so tight right now, I’m a first time homebuyer, and I have not been able to keep up with my bills because of layoffs and health problems. Any advice or insights, Donna, or anyone else who reads this?

    • Not sure if this applies to you, but I suggest that you to stop paying your mortgage if your home is under-water. Many banks are letting people staying in the home for an average of 400+ days. That will translate into 1 year of free rent for you. Would be a good relief if it applies to you.

      Normally, I really dislike those deadbeats, but not if you really need it.

      Best luck.

  8. I think you are doing incredible but I am not Donna. I know Donna is dealing with her hands also… So I just wanted to encourage you and remind you that you that you really over came much in your first Saturn return ! I think you over came a lot! I was sure impressed with what you have accomplished through all your adversities. If you read my story you will see what i have had to deal with… And from what i wrote Katley I believe it is our Fear that is a big block for us to over come. It is for me. I have learned to find the right resources that will get me through my circumstances. I am still dealing with my hip and creditor but for today I am OK..People told me I could not deal with creditors but i have learned. They have a heart ship Dept. and I have written many letters. They do not like being ignore for long. Anyway you have a great partner ! And isn’t that wonderful. Hang in there !

  9. When I checked my chart to see when my first Saturn return happened, I noticed that Pluto and Saturn were in conjunction at the time. So some of the pain and fear associated with our group’s first Saturn return was likely due to Pluto’s involvement in the transit. Saturn has moved well out of alignment with the Pluto-Uranus square by now, so it is no longer a Saturn-Pluto-Uranus t-square, and the Saturn return won’t be tangled up with Pluto and Uranus (of course, some people may have other planets being transited by the Pluto-Uranus square).

  10. Reading your post, came to mind. It’s been primarily used for sharing sound recordings of music but I see folks beginning to use it for sharing spoken word. Perhaps this could provide you with a way to maintain contact with your readership while you are recuperating. You could record your “Blog Post” and then upload to site and then post it here to your Blog. Just a thought…Best wishes to you on your recovery Donna 🙂

  11. Hope you are feeling well soon! Take care, Kristy

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