He is the most generous of all planets if we bow down and admit our weaknesses, our human faults.
In Seattle, where Nordstrom was founded, a legendary customer service story surfaces now and again. As the story goes, someone supposedly was allowed to return a set of tires to the Anchorage, Alaska store.
Do you think Nordstrom would allow me to return my Saturn too?
Even in the event that they would take my Saturn back, or if it were actually possible, it surely would not do me any good!
Saturn in the horoscope determines our fate and our karma.
Uniquely personal and decidedly non-returnable.
Our Saturn return is literally the time period in our lives that marks the return of Saturn by to the place where Saturn is located in our horoscope at the moment of our birth.
From the lens of Vedic astrology, the return of Shani (Saturn) is a significant astrological event and carries a karmic life lesson that will come to fruition in this lifetime—for a positive experience, or for a major growth opportunity and personal transformation. And sometimes, both!
Saturn represents structure, organization, discipline and responsibility. Hard work.
A healthy Saturn may show up in our life like this:
Responsibility is your middle name. Calm, cool and collected under pressure. You thrive in a dynamic environment with the utmost attention to even the smallest of details. Being early is on time for you! Tick-tock, always aware of the clock. Practical and pragmatic. You approach a goal scientifically, step-by-step, with a side of serious thrown in for good measure. Your focus is sharp and your decision-making is calculated and thorough. Your style is classic and conforming and you are mature beyond your years.
In addition to these Saturnian qualities, each of us has a unique karmic lesson as it relates to Saturn and our prarabdha karma.
Prarabdha is our accumulated karma from previous births, or our destiny that is shown by the planets at the time of our birth—particularly Saturn.
Most of us will experience at least two Saturn returns, and if we are lucky, three.
Our Saturn return occurs between the ages of 27-30, 57-60 and 87-90. Saturn takes about two and a half to three years to transit one zodiac sign.
The transit time of Saturn can vary slightly depending upon its cycles of retrogradation. Right now everyone who was born with Saturn in (sidereal) Libra is experiencing their Saturn return.
That includes those of us who were born between 10/5/82 – 10/20/84 and 6/1/85 – 9/16/85 due to the retrograde phase of Saturn back into Libra. And anyone born from 11/26/52 – 4/24/53 and 8/21/53 – 11/12/55.
If you were born during these dates, you are now and have been experiencing your very important Saturn return for a little more than the past two years. Often during our first Saturn return in our late 20‘s responsibility and hard work is the key theme. Assuming total responsibility for ourselves and becoming serious about our path in life.
With each subsequent Saturn return our karmic lesson may be repeated depending upon how we respond the first time around when we were 28-30.
“And the seasons they go round and round,
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time,
We can’t return we can only look,
Behind from where we came,
And go round and round and round in the circle game”.
~ Joni Mitchell.
Even if you are not an astrologer, you can determine a big picture perspective about the lesson of Saturn in your horoscope by understanding some of the fundamental meanings of the bhavas (houses) and the bhava where Saturn is placed in the horoscope at birth.
Contemplating the bhava (house) that Saturn is placed at our time of birth is a great place to begin if you are currently experiencing your Saturn Return.
Here are some of the basic meanings of the different houses of the horoscope:
- First house: Our soul is represented by the first house along with our intellect and our physical body.
- Second house: The second house is connected deeply to our birth family and accumulated wealth.
- Third house: Siblings, short journeys and courage are associated with the third house.
- Fourth house: The fourth house relates to our personal happiness, mother, comfort and our home environment.
- Fifth house: Creativity, children, our students, yantra and mantra are represented by the fifth house.
- Sixth house: The sixth house is our shadripus. This is a very special house, particularly if you are having your Saturn return here. Planets in this house and the shadripus are said to be one of the main causes of our births; lust (kama), greed (lobha) anger (krodha), arrogance (mada), attachment (moha) and jealousy (matsarya).
- Seventh house: The seventh house is deeply connected to our personal relationships—significant other, business relationships, too.
- Eighth house: Longevity and transformation are key themes of the eighth house.
- Ninth house: Dharma, sacred places and teachings, father, good fortune, and long journeys all fall under the realm of the ninth house.
- Tenth house: The tenth house shows our karma and what we are known for in this lifetime. Our career. This is the most powerful house in the zodiac.
- Eleventh house: Older siblings, groups of people, the income we earn from our career and our achievements is shown by the eleventh house.
- Twelfth house: Antya adhi, the end of everything. The end of the zodiac. The end of the day. The end of the earth (foreign lands) and the end of our lives can be seen from the twelfth house.
Unfortunately, like life and the complex web that is our karmas, Vedic astrology and our Saturn return is not quite as simple as only the bhava placement.
There are additional elements that must be considered when evaluating Saturn in our horoscope to determine the intricacies that are connected to our life lessons.
Here are a few more considerations:
- The bhava (house) of the horoscope and the sign that Saturn is placed in at the time of our birth.
- The bhavas Saturn owns.
- Grahas (planets) that are placed in the same sign with Saturn.
- The aspect from Saturn to other bhavas and grahas (planets)
- Aspects to and from other planets to Saturn.
- The placement of Saturn in the divisional charts.
If we do not accept the lessons of Saturn, then this is when our lives can become very complicated and sometimes fraught with difficulty—or, metaphorically speaking, when our karmic payload deposits boulder-sized obstacles in our path to get our attention.
The exact opposite occurs if we pay close attention to Saturn’s lessons and humble ourselves and accept our karmic lessons.
He is the most generous of all planets if we bow down and admit our weaknesses, our human faults. Acknowledge our past karmas that we are here to experience and work hard to overcome them.
Through the ancient wisdom of Jyotish and understanding Saturn in our horoscope and our Saturn return, we can face our karmic storms with grace and ease.
Coming through the storm transformed—a better person—not only toward ourselves and our loved ones, but also for our community and the planet.
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
~ Haruki Murakami
If you would like to learn more about your Saturn return and when you will experience this very important transit, please contact me for a reading.
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Apprentice Editor: Ola Weber / Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: courtesy of Dragonoak/Flickr
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