Saturn Return Isn't Just About Personal Growth - It Could Change Your Relationships, Too

Hearing the words "Saturn return" might instill a bit of dread for astrology aficionados. Notoriously known as the planet of karma, boundaries, and structure, Saturn has a reputation for being a strict authority figure, enforcing limitations and loss where needed, and rewarding hard work. It takes Saturn roughly 29 years to orbit around the sun, and it will stay in one zodiac sign for about three years. Saturn return begins for you when it returns to its placement during the year of your birth. Depending on where Saturn is placed within your natal chart, both the sign and house Saturn is in can affect the experience. For example, Saturn rules the signs of Capricorn and Aquarius, meaning that Saturn's themes more graciously align with the themes of those signs. Saturn also rules the 10th house of the natal chart, which is the house of career, achievements, reputation, and prospects. As such, one's Saturn return can be both demanding — and illuminating — when it comes to these areas of life. Big changes are known to occur during Saturn return, sometimes completely upheaving the path you thought you were on, or catapulting you further than you ever thought you could go. 

Marking a major transition, the first Saturn return is often warned to be the most acute. Moving from one phase of life to the next, you might find that certain personal patterns or relationships do not align with where you are headed. Saturn promises this is for the best.

How Saturn impacts your relationships

Endings can be fraught with loss. And Saturn return does mark an end: the end of one's youth, and often, the things you associate with it. People you bonded with from long ago might feel remote; places where you once spent so much time might feel unreachable; and the habits, patterns, and ideas of yourself that you have constructed over time might not feel aligned with who you are meant to be in the future. Grief can become a right of passage at this time, as you work toward accepting these realities. But while this advent might sound frightening, astrologer Stefanie Iris Weiss suggests that Saturn return can be freeing and empowering. During Saturn return, we can stop defining ourselves based on the outdated expectations of others. "No boss, partner, parent, or peer group determines who you came here to be, and during your Saturn return is when you tend to meet your true power and purpose for the first time," she tells Well+Good. Yes, those one-sided friendships will no longer cut it. 

Thus, the effects Saturn return has on our relationships can be bittersweet. It entails the realization that even those closest to you, who might have supported you for your entire life, cannot always be responsible for your personal growth. Responsibility is a critical theme. Learn from your mistakes, learn from the past, and with your newfound wisdom, commit to yourself over and over again.

Saturn return entails new beginnings

But just as much as Saturn return signals an end, it also signals a new beginning. Although beginnings can sometimes feel unstable, unsure, and even chaotic, you might ask yourself during this time: what version of yourself are you looking for? When you envision your life at the end of your Saturn return, what does it look like? Have you finished a creative project? Received a promotion in your job? Have you met a new partner, made new friends, or established a new network? No matter what your goals are, your Saturn return is the perfect time to commit to them completely — submitting to even the most intensive details to get there. 

"People do fear Saturn, because people fear the consequences of living according to their true values. Or at least some people do," astrologer Stephanie Johnson told Harper's Bazaar. Johnson suggests changing your perspective. What if we viewed mistakes as marks of bravery for trying? What if instability was not unsafe, but an opportunity to forge a new foundation based on your authentic values? Saturn return is a moment in time that asks you to be strong, to lean on yourself for support and answers, rather than those around you. While this might take some adjusting, remember that Saturn return is a slow transit. Being conscious of how you spend your time, and for what reasons, is what you need to know as you traverse your Saturn return. Its lessons will be evergreen.