Uh Oh, Dad's Home: How To Survive Saturn Return

© Franjo Matković

© Franjo Matković

Saturn Return is like baptism by fire into a fully functional, mature, & evolved human being. The planet Saturn takes 29 years to orbit the sun, which is the age you’ll be when it finally cycles back to the position it had been when you were born. By the time Saturn swings back around, it'll signify an anstrological rite of passage into mondo soul-growth.

If you were born between 1987 & 1989, you’re probably entering your own return. You’ll sense the creeping, ominous gravity of Saturn starting around age 27 & feel like you’re climbing downwards through Saturn Return until close to age 30. 

If you're lucky, you’ll actually skid through 3 Saturn Returns in your lifetime. You can find out when they’ll happen using this Saturn return calculator. Your first return is supposedly the gnarliest—the one that really whips you into shape. You’ll be challenged in ways that will change you... like astrological bootcamp.

My Saturn Return started in September of last year. What I’m finding: Saturn doesn't give, but tasks you with learning all the inner-resources you haven't yet acquired. Patriarch Saturn expects you to get your shit together. He's asking, “So, what do you plan on doing with your life?” Saturn tests your self-perception & prepares you for being judged. 

Saturn Return demands constructive action, taking the initiative, & showing integrity. You’ll finally figure out the rules of engagement that the world seems to be operating by—& better yet, know how to engage with the world in the way that gets you what you actually want out of it. 

And in exchange for taking Saturn's tasks seriously, you’ll become your own person. 

I haven’t yet survived my Saturn Return—but I’m going strong. (Maybe because my moon is in Capricorn? I’ve got some Saturn rulership in there somewhere.) I’m figuring some things out about leaning in & breaking through the Patriarch’s grimness, so allow me to shed some light for your own cold, rocky path through the Return.



© Franjo Matković

© Franjo Matković


During Saturn Return, middle-of-the-night revelations will hit you like a train running through your bedroom. You’ll need private space to write everything out, self-reflect, & spot patterns. You’re finally getting some perspective on how you operate & also beginning to understand yourself more deeply than ever before—which means you'll be able to get ahead of your own foibles & bad habits. Buy a new notebook, a new favorite pen, & begin the self-analysis.


Saturn is the Patriarch. How you react to this hardcore masculine vibe is supposedly analogous to how you manage your relationship with your father & authoritarian figures in general. 

Crack open your new Saturn Return diary & have a little reflection. Honestly, how do you feel about submitting to someone else's will? What do you perceive as threatening to your own self-authority?

Do you bristle when a colleague orders you around? Have you ever accused a lover of trying to control you? If you're in Saturn Return right now, how are you responding to the challenges of growing up--sulky, contentious, evasive, or trying too hard to be winsome?

@@Saturn Return teaches you a thing or two about authority. Self-sovereignty is a Saturnine virtue.@@ You're being tasked to find diplomatic, yet unapologetic ways of claiming your own space. This is what I believe, how I feel, how I choose to behave. I’m in charge of this. Thank you

So, try to notice how you're interpreting & responding to this massive dose of astrological Patriarchy. Let it show you how to reset your Daddy karma. Once you know what sovereignty / self-authority feels like for you, you'll feel stronger, confident, & clarified.

(Want to read more about claiming your beliefs, feelings, & actions? Read this post: My Rules For Sovereignty: How To Become The Holy Queen Of YOUR Psychic Universe.)


So, you agonized through early adulthood trying to find flattering hairstyles & a cut of jeans that work for you. Then you had a baby, stopped playing college volleyball, or finally all those Cup O' Noodles dinners caught up with you.

Is this... my body now?

Even if your physique hasn't changed all that much (quit lyin'), something inside you has changed. It's a new hardness around the eyes or a softer smile than you had before. It's a certain je ne sais qoui in your facial expression or how you carry yourself.

During Saturn Return, there comes a point where you suddenly don't feel as confident in your clothes. You may still love wearing skater dresses & hot pink eyeliner, but the look doesn't square up anymore with how you want to world to see you.

Ergo, it's time to re-craft your personal style. Spend a few weeks curating new looks into a secret Pinterest board. Translate your favorite styles from the past few years into a fantasy "grown up" wardrobe. Imagine dressing for some of the experiences you hope to have in the next few years: formal dinner parties, job promotions, running around for classy appointments, like a lunch date with your kundalini instructor, etc. 

I loved the advice in this article: Get It Together: Dressing Like A Grown-Up. Also check out The Cosmic Babe's Guide To Chic--there are tons of links to articles to help find style & shop for wardrobe basics.

If you're suffering hard with this Saturnine style mayhem, invest in a salon makeover. Try something fresh. Go in with some inspo or take a risk & let the staff create a new look for you. After your makeover, ask a friend to take your pic, then send copies to your friends & family. Please keep this in your wallets & on your mantlepieces now. Thx!

Saturn Return is also a great time to re-decorate & declutter. Switch out your band posters for real art from Society6. Invite your girl gang over & ceremonially burn your Ex Boxes (the shoebox-tombs of fetishistic leftovers from bygone relationships). Anything you find too precious to destroy—just for the sake of human interest—do something special to memorialize it, like pasting it into a scrapbook of your college years. 

© Franjo Matković

© Franjo Matković


When you enter Saturn Return, stuff starts catching up with you. Like, your FICO score. Like, that wake of terrible job performance reviews. Like, that string of one night stands… that lasted four years. 

Growing older, you’re going to rely a lot on your integrity & character. This isn’t to say you have to glide into your dirty 30s a specimen of perfect maturity… Just that you’ve got to shore up. @@This is your life. The only person you’ll have to rely on the whole way through is you.@@

This is actually what I was talking about before about how you’ll finally start getting perspective on yourself. There might be HUGE, obvious patterns in your life that you never noticed… because you never had enough data to analyze. Now that the data is in, check in. Be honest.

Grab your Saturn Return diary & favorite pen. How’s the holistic view of your life? What’s slipped past you over the past few years? Your physique, your bank account, your confidence, your friendships, your career? Can you look at your life & say, “Wow, that’s rock solid, babe”? 

Really, the most important question: Are you proud of who you’ve become, or are there some things you really need to work on?  

Whatever areas of your life feel weak to you, those are the areas to put a little love & cash into. Find a mentor or hire a performance coach. Book an appointment with a financial planner. Sign up for a fitness bootcamp. Get on a dating site. Get off Grinder. Get out of that relationship that hasn’t budged in 4 years. Learn to cook for yourself.

Start exploring the boundaries of who you are. Sometimes it’s not really self-improvement we crave, but self-knowledge. Invest in something totally whimsical for you. You know what that would be. Follow your curiosity. (Just don’t let it distract you from where you need to improve.)


During Saturn Return, you’ll find yourself thinking a lot about what you expected to happen before age 30. I thought I’d be married… I thought I’d have a house… How have I not made it to Paris yet? 

For a while, you might be in denial. Pfft, marriage = DEATH, so I'd rather be single... Whatever, the housing market STILL sucks, it’ll always suck, I’m not getting sucked into it the suck... Everyone goes to Paris, it’s so overrated—what’s on Netflix? 

But let’s be real. You’re disappointed. And also—this is a weird symptom of Saturn Return—feeling left out.

Scrolling through Facebook, you might notice a lot of your friends are off making fabulous memories—some memories even more incredible than your wildest dreams.

But maybe the only reason why your expectations haven’t been met is because you’ve waited on serendipity.

Serendipity is where you wait for coincidences to determine your next move. Basically, allowing events to set the agenda. Sure, many awesome things in your life may have happened serendipitously, but if you’ve entered Saturn Return & feeling disappointed about something that hasn’t happened yet, it means your strategy has failed.

Papa Saturn wants you to start making a plan & take the initiative. Waiting on coincidences won’t lead you where you want to be. At best, you’ll wind up in an “okay” place; at worst, a shitty reality full of meaningless relationships, totally avoidable consequences, & constant regret.

TODAY, start planning for experiences you really want: exotic vacays, hosting family holidays, launching a 6-figure business from your laptop. Another Q for your Saturn Return diary: What do I really want to happen? Build an ideal outcome in your imagination. Then reverse-engineer it: break it down into a list of daily habits that can snowball into that outcome. What should you start doing today to make the experiences you want inevitable? When can you now reasonably expect it to happen, as long as you keep planning?

Start keeping a schedule. Put your bills on auto-pay. Fluff up your savings account & start building an investment portfolio. Don’t wait for the “right moment” to start planning for a great life—start planning for a great life now.

If you want my best practices on getting ahead of self-sabotaging habits, check out this post: The Cosmic Babe's Guide To Getting Proactive.


Okay, here’s the big question Saturn wants to you answer: What do you plan on doing with your life?

All the other tips really build up to this. How you manage your time, craft your personal style, build your reputation, & invest in yourself should all contribute to who you want to be… as a self-sovereign adult. 

This is a doozy, even if you think you know the answer. Saturn Return will deliver up many challenges to force a re-assessment.  

Whip out your diary again. (Just leave it here.) Make a list: “What I Know For Sure.” (I love Oprah.)

What has life taught you so far? What mistakes did you love making? What advice are you happy you ignored? What piece of advice would you want to give someone who’s just entered their 20s? What would you rather erase from the public record? Look back at the other entries—about your shattered expectations, the experiences you want to have. Highlight any overlapping themes. 

Finally, answer the Q: What do you plan on doing with your life?

The answer to that question will become the backbone for how your prioritize your life. It will be the the first thing plugged into your schedule every week. It will inspire true grit & bright faith. 

Whatever you want to do with your life, there’s nothing stopping you. You’re a GROWN-UP. 

If you want more self-reflective Qs to A, visit this post for tips & a worksheet for brainstorming a mission statement.   


Saturn Return is all about creating a real home for yourself in the world. All the inner-resources you’re building: they're raw material for tending & protecting the space your inner-child lives in. She needs safe space to grow & be nurtured, so that when she’s out, she is strong, bright, & joyous. 

Growing up does not mean sacrificing your inner-child, though it’ll feel like it does. You’ll feel restless & probably “binge” on some careless behaviors you used to be able to get away with. (Ranging from clandestine all-weekend-long Netflix binge-watching to maxing out your credit card on an impulsive Mexican getaway.) 

But you’re in for some crushing disillusionment… because those things won’t feel the same. It’s a totally private loss that’s hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t been through Saturn Return. It will feel as if your soul has simply moved. 

But let me be the one to assure you: Your inner-child isn't dead or dying. She’s just super-bored & intimidated by the grown-up demands creeping into your life. You need this time during Saturn Return to get oriented, learn to trust yourself, & stock inner-resources. Once you’re on the other side (I hope), you’ll be confident. Playtime will be back on.

Many people assume that Saturn Return means they’ve got to start “settling down”, but if that’s not what’s in your heart of hearts, then it’s time to start actually doing what is. Your inner-child is going to be childlike forever, so it’s on you to live the fantasy grown-up life she dreams about. Sometimes, yes, that means ice cream for breakfast. Followed by pilates & a green smoothie.

What I’m learning about Saturn Return: growing up is a trade-off. You exchange carelessness for mindfulness. You exchange messy clean-ups for super gratifying payoffs. You’ll feel like you’re flunking out, you’ll try harder, but you will never, ever regret thinking proactively about the future. (It comes so fast.) You’ll be happy to have your integrity. You’ll be happy to have started sooner rather than later on becoming your own person.

I love that I can expect more out of life, because I can expect more of myself. I’m not aimless, even when I’m wandering. 

I prioritized & set aside time to just wander. 

What are some of the biggest challenges Papa Saturn has thrown your way? Tweet me about them & any survival tips!

And everything will be alright.


All images credited to Franjo Matković.