© by Donna Cunningham, MSW
The following is an excerpt from Donna’s Cunningham’s classic, An Astrological Guide to Self-Awareness, now in a newly updated 2014 ebook edition. Saturn’s complete cycle around the Sun takes 29.4 years. Hard aspects of transiting Saturn to its place in your birth chart (squares and oppositions) take place each seven years. Each 7-year period ends with a new phase of maturing and taking stock of our lives.
At those stages of life, we experience an “itch” to make more of ourselves and our contribution to the world. The 7-year phases between Saturn aspects to natal Saturn are the normal stress periods of living and growing, which psychologists call normative crises (for example, adolescent turmoil at 14, or moving out on your own at 21). While 21 is popularly considered our coming of age, in reality it’s just an entry-level position into adulthood.
We become true adults at about the age of 28-29, when Saturn has made a complete orbit around the Sun from where it was when we were born. This crucial period is referred to as the Saturn return. At 56-8 years old, we experience the second Saturn Return. These Returns are considered significant milestones in the human cycle of maturing. The person who is 28-30 has now faced most of the challenges of becoming a seasoned adult. Periods like your Saturn Return or other Saturn transits are opportunities to change from misuses of Saturn to better uses. Saturn is a time marker, but shouldn’t be devastating unless we are only marking time. For those who are growing and developing steadily through persistent effort, aging holds little regret because they’re not getting older; they’re getting better.
In fact, in the very areas where they seemed to have been late bloomers, Saturnians often come into their own in some later phases of their Saturn cycles. Many young Saturnians are too mature for their age and not comfortable with their peers. Their comfort level improves with age, especially as they approach the age where Saturnian qualities like maturity and caution are expected due to responsibilities of a career or family. They are more at ease once they find a sense of security and self-worth through their accomplishments, so that the more difficult expressions such as insecurity and self-condemnation improve.
Saturn transits make you face up to reality… a jolt if you’ve been fooling yourself about the problems you face. But the positive result is that once you’ve finished emoting about the unfairness of it all, you can get to work on establishing more substantial and solid foundations. Foundation building may not be as much fun as drifting and dreaming on a pink cloud, but the bank doesn’t take pink clouds as collateral.
Saturn represents the wisdom gained from experience… even if you’re thickheaded and your alma mater is the School of Hard Knocks. Many negative situations that arise under Saturn transits result from not using Saturn in a positive way in the first place. If you haven’t developed self-discipline, a Saturn transit might bring the loss of something you haven’t been disciplined about. Discipline imposed from the outside is meant to foster discipline from within.
If you’ve built your house on the sand, figuratively speaking, a Saturn transit might make you go back to build more solid foundations. Saturn is not punitive, but impartial. It’s the Celestial Computer kicking your input back for correction because “it does not compute.”
Transit Tracker: This one-page reference summarizes the transits of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto from 1990-2020. Print it out and use it to look back on past transits and to look forward for the next few years. Download it here: HO-transit trackingtable-1990-2020.
Note: This is an excerpt from Donna Cunningham’s classic text for beginning to intermediate students, An Astrological guide to Self-Awareness, the newly-revised edition in eBook form. For information on this and other books by Donna, or to order it, see: moonmavenpublications.com.
How about you, Readers? Are you using current Saturn transits to make more of your life? What areas of life are they affecting? What steps are you taking to put your life on a more solid footing? More about Saturn Transits on Skywriter:
- Saturn Transits—What do They Mean to your Career?
- Taming Transiting Saturn
- Saturn in Scorpio—Your Guide through the Dark
- Saturn in Scorpio—Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot?
- How Have You Grown from Saturn in Scorpio’s Transits?
- Transiting Saturn in Scorpio Takes Skating Champ to Olympic Gold
- Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself