The Saturn Return: Your Quarter Life Crisis Explained

The Saturn Return: Your Quarter Life Crisis Explained

You began feeling the effects of it as you approached your late 20’s. It’s as if the rose-colored glasses and blinders have suddenly been ripped away, nothing makes sense anymore. You may find yourself questioning everything from the beliefs you have carried since childhood, to wondering if the career path you chose is authentic to who you truly are. You might even find yourself plotting your very own “Eat, Pray, Love” sabbatical. 

photo credit: Kevin Turcois


Can you relate to these feelings? You, my friend, may very well be in the midst of what’s called, a “Saturn Return” – an identity crisis and initiation into adulthood that has turned life upside down. Well, at least that’s how it feels


Astrologically, Saturn is the planet that represents life lessons, restriction, and karma. It is a slow-moving planet that takes approximately 30 years to return to the very spot that it was originally placed in your Natal Chart, at the very moment you were born. Now that Saturn has returned to where it began, it’s bringing its hard-hitting lessons that forces you to take some time for deep reflection and course correction.


Around 27 to 30 years old,  you may have begun to feel the urge to make career changes, relationship shifts, move away from home, and/or other big life transitions that feel more aligned with who you truly are. You thought you were grown at 18 but, astrologically you’re not a true grown-up until you’ve gone through your Saturn Return. Now you’re off autopilot and beginning the real inner work that helps you to ultimately create your most authentic and fulfilling life. 


In my work, I typically refer to Saturn as “Strict Dad Energy”. Saturn will hold things back until it knows that you’re ready and will throw some tests your way to make sure that you want what you say you want. There are lessons that must be learned in order for your soul to reach its full potential.


I know that doesn’t seem like fun but, Saturn is an integral part of our spiritual growth. The really cool thing about Saturn is when we master the lessons it brings (during our Saturn Return and beyond) it brings about a myriad of gifts.


While the Saturn Return sounds daunting, it doesn’t have to be. The cheat code is figuring out what Saturn is trying to teach you so that you can do the work and move forward. First things first, let’s find out what zodiac your Saturn is in, and what house it was placed in at the time you were born. If you have already created a Natal Chart, go grab it. If not, you can create one here to calculate your Saturn placement.

photo credit: Fredrick Filix


Lessons You’re Here To Learn Based On Your Saturn Sign:


Saturn In Aries: You are learning how to be unapologetically yourself, while putting yourself first. It can feel like you never get a breather from obstacles but, as the years pass, the fewer lessons seem to be thrown your way as you learn. Learning how to be amazing despite all you have endured, is part of your karmic lesson. Don’t give up now. Your breakthrough is just around the corner.


Saturn in Taurus: With Saturn is placed here, it can seem that you have never-ending lessons when it comes to money and acquiring material things. You teeter between being a big spender or feeling as though you never have enough. Financial Literacy and learning sustainable money habits will help you to work through your relationship with money. Though your wealth may trickle in slow and steady, it’s coming if you stay the course.


Saturn in Gemini: It’s possible that you may have experienced a lot of pain and tragedy as a child. During your Saturn Return, you will likely find yourself coming to terms with those childhood experiences that you detached from in order to protect yourself. The more you continue to bury your memories and feelings, the more this period will feel unbearable. This will be a time of deep healing, in order to unleash your greatest self. 


Saturn in Cancer: It’s likely that you took on “motherly tasks” as a young girl, which caused you to grow up too fast due to too much responsibility. You might also have a strained relationship with your mother. While you are ambitious and things are probably going well on the professional side of life, your Saturn Return will hold a mirror up to the past. Working through these issues with family will also increase your self-confidence which seems to be easily rocked prior to this age.


Saturn in Leo: Your biggest fear is being mediocre, so you do everything in power not to appear that way. Are you living life authentically, or are you just doing what you feel will impress others the most? Your Saturn Return will be a time to be honest with yourself about who you are living for. Skipping this work – or trying to – will only leave you feeling unfulfilled. 


Saturn in Virgo: You spend so much time trying to be perfect and fearing things that will never happen, that you keep yourself stuck. You would benefit greatly from meditation and journaling during your Saturn Return so that you can process your feelings and trust your decisions. You are the only person that can slow you down. Your Saturn Return is telling you that it’s time to let go of what you can’t control. In the words of Toni Morrison, “If you wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down”. 


Saturn in Libra: Relationships will be a big lesson for you during this time. Are you allowing yourself to get close to others? Are you allowing yourself to truly fall in love? Are you allowing yourself to receive love? Or are you putting up a barrier between you and others? If you answered “yes” to the last question, it’s time to dig deep and figure out why. You deserve the love and you have so much of it to give.


Saturn in Scorpio: What are you hiding? It’s time to bring it to light and face it with bravery. There is no need to suffer in silence or live a double life. It’s causing you pain. There is no need to carry this burden alone when you’re surrounded by folks who would help you, if you just spoke up. There is no way that they can provide you with the support and resources available to you, if they don’t know that you need it. Speak up!


Saturn in Sagittarius: Saturn will delay your success until you have found the balance between having security and an equal sense of freedom. It will also hold you in place until you have built the tenacity required for the level of success that you’re here to acquire in this lifetime. You have been knocked down more times than you can count – you need to keep getting up though. Saturn is putting you through your character building, while strengthening your work ethic and faith. Things will get easier, don’t quit when you could be just three feet from gold.


Saturn in Capricorn: Your lessons are around self-sufficiency. However, it’s equally important for you to accept that you don’t know everything. You are an authority in your work, and it’s ok to flex your knowledge. Just remember that great leaders also receive mentorship as well.


Saturn in Aquarius: It’s important for you to find the balance between being independent and also surrounding yourself with a community of people who love you. Otherwise, you run the risk of being lonely in your personal life, though your professional life is thriving. It doesn’t have to be lonely at the top. It’s important to trust your intuition as you build community in your work and personal life. 


Saturn in Pisces: You may be learning how not to sacrifice yourself to the point of having nothing left. You don’t have to deplete yourself for others, in order to be a good person. It’s time to create some boundaries around your energy. Otherwise, there will be nothing left for yourself. You don’t always have to be the strong one. It’s ok say “no”, and have others support you when needed. You are magic personified and don’t you ever forget it. 


The Area of Your Life You’re Likely To Experience These Lessons Based On The House of Your Saturn:


Saturn in the 1st House: Self-Expression & Authenticity


Saturn in 2nd House: Money & Acquiring Material Things


Saturn the 3rd House: How You Learn and/or Communicate


Saturn in the 4th House: Your Childhood and Family


Saturn in the 5th House: Sex and Creativity


Saturn in the 6th House: Work and Health


Saturn in the 7th House: Romantic Relationships


Saturn in the 8th House: Transformation


Saturn in the 9th House: Education and/or Travel


Saturn in the 10th House: Career


Saturn in the 11th House: Friendships and/or Hope & Wishes


Saturn in the 12th House: Secrets and Self Sabotage


Now that you have made sense of what’s going on, you’re empowered to take the necessary steps to navigate this time with less resistance. Spoiler Alert: Therapy and having a good astrologer  (like me) by yourself can help you to navigate this time with ease. Having guidance will ultimately help to take away the stress, depression, and confusion that typically appears during this transit. The less you resist the inner work and decisions that may be required based on what comes up, the better this whole thing is.


Remember, this time can bring you great rewards. You will never lose by stripping down to who you truly are, in order to heal and reach your soul’s full maturity. You are Blessed, Highly Favored and the Master of your reality. You are a Co-Creator and have the power to chart your own course. Work with Saturn, not against him. 


Are you in the midst of your Saturn Return or have you gone through it?

Share your experience with us in the comments.


  • iamFAMIRA
    November 17, 2020

    This makes so much sense. I upped and moved to Dallas out of the blue when I was 27. I experienced my Saturn Return there by 34 I had moved back to Virginia.

    Jhéanell is an amazing Astrologer! I’m looking forward to what she’ll share here. The Astrohive and her North Node teachings have changed my life!

  • Monique Williams
    November 17, 2020

    I feel like I experienced this in my early 30s. I think I’m at the tail end of my Saturn return. This information made so much sense. I’ve never had it explained to me in this way.

    Such a great article.

  • Shay Moana Polamalu
    November 17, 2020

    Saturn in Leo

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