I am fascinated by the concept of Saturn returns.
“Have you heard of ‘return of the Saturn’?” I asked a friend of mine. Three of us – a woman friend, my sister, and I – stood leaning on the island that doubles as cutting board and social magnet in my kitchen. “It is not Star Wars,” my sister injected, at which point we all burst into laughter and began wielding our imaginary Jedi light sabers, replete with sound effects and ridiculous “West Side Story” dance-like fighting stance.
I was raised in the rational, Enlightenment tradition that is customary of western culture, so any hint of astrology or one’s sign that has been introduced into my conscious thought at different points in my life typically makes a hasty exit from whence it came. Yet, what I find intriguing is that at some of the most tempestuous moments in my life, a friend whose intelligence I do not question will mention something in the realm of astrology, and the insight will explain exactly what I am experiencing, often with impressive detail.
Here I am at a clear transition point in my life, yet this transition has not been so apparent to me with its gradual unfolding over the past weeks, months, and year. This transition has also been anything but smooth. I have felt like a screeching freight train with faulty brakes, plowing down anyone who crosses my path. I have felt moments of empowerment, joy, and clarity, juxtaposed with equal feelings of pain and grief, of being completely lost and alone, grasping for something solid that will stop my reeling mind and heart.
So when a friend recently asked if I had heard of Saturn returns, which he knew little about but had heard was a time when planet Saturn comes back into orbit in a person’s life. Saturn comes into orbit when we are born, and it returns roughly every 27-32 years. Saturn’s return is often a time of transition, and this transition can be messy. It can mean a change in profession, locale, or relationship – or in my case, all of the above.
Am I losing my mind? When my sister came to visit, I hesitated to mention anything of Saturn or stars or signs to her, fearing the raising of eyebrows or worse. So it came a complete shock when she asked if I had heard of Saturn returns. My response was with ecstatic accord, and we rejoiced in this newfound connection we could share.
The answer is that I am not crazy. My mind is intact. I was simply raised to believe that any doctrine that strayed from the western realm could not entirely be trusted. Yet, I truly believe that a fundamental part of the human experience on this planet is the muddling and slogging motions we go through to make sense of ourselves, our relationships with family, friends, and love, and our place on this planet. At this point in my life, I am struggling to find solid ground, and I feel open to information that speaks to what I am feeling.
The astrological dogma that is offered up by the media can be likened to the difference between news shared by Fox vs. the BBC – sugary sweet fluff that brushes the surface of a deeper, more complex dessert. The astrological information that wise friends have shared with me is anything but simple. This complexity speaks to my academic mind. How could something so complex be so easily cast aside as unreliable, particularly information so closely connected to the earth and the greater universe and stars? I am at least willing to give it a chance and see where it takes me.