Saturn: Master of Karma
Every 28-29.5 years, Saturn returns to the place it was when we were born. The long orbit finds us entering our 3rd decade on planet earth, and a great deal coincides with this poignant time. The various rites of passage we propel through during our twenties (for some of us that means school, the initial career path) lead us to an existential crossroads that is either completely full, or completely devoid, of meaning. If we are on the right path, Saturn refines us. If we are not, Saturn obliterates our life Tower leaving us to pick up the pieces.
This planet is the Master of Karma. It is shadowy, dark, mysterious and formidable. It is ruled by the number 8 in Vedic Numerology, lending itself to seriousness, stubbornness, having difficulties with authority, and being deeply ambitious and restless. Depending on where it lands in your birth chart, it can be a gravitational force towards challenging circumstances.
Saturn casts an unflinching spotlight on what is no longer working or necessary. The buildup, zenith and die off of a return can last years. It is a wake up call and an unparalleled opportunity for growth and rebirth. A fellow astrologer and mystic discussed Saturn's return being the invitation and passage into the real life of the self, whereas the 28 or so years leading up to it were a life more dedicated to familial and past life Karma. The return is the initiation into your own life as you need and wish to live it, leaving behind the ties of the past. Again - it must be stressed that this is an invitation, a wake up call. Some people endure their Saturn return, entering the vortex of the giant planet, feel the chaos about them but do not act accordingly. Perhaps out of stubbornness, obliviousness or denial, they miss the lessons Saturn presents to them. This can lead to stagnation, regression and negative patterns until the next return (59 years old) when the next opportunity in the spotlight comes back around. This isn't to say that if you are unaware of the fact that you are going through a Saturn return that you will miss the train...but it is to say that awareness is helpful. Humbly bowing to Saturn's power is to find some grace in the storm.
This disassembling of parts is a crucial part of the soul's journey. But the identity pieces that are questioned and sometimes stripped away may be those that you've carried, or your family/peers have carried for you for a long time. Letting them go may not be easy for this reason, but still necessary. Relationships, careers, locations, and perceptions of self may be tossed out the window for good. Once the spiral begins, it does not end until you are spit out and left disoriented for a while. But this is good. The confusion is merely a symptom of discomfort and discomfort is needed for growth to occur.
Whatever remains on the other side of a Saturn return is what is meant to be. We are still so nascent in our twenties and should not know exactly what our path should be anyway - even if we paid tens of thousands of dollars for an education, and spent years fetching coffee for our colleagues in order to reach the career goals we were after. Perhaps we shouldn't have been with that person for life, perhaps that city was not right. These things will be shifted as is the soul's calling.
Trust, and let it happen.
"Saturn comes back around
Lifts you up like a child,
Or drags you down like a stone
To consume you
Let this go."
~ Tool, The Grudge