From the "New Age Directory", online version, entry for "Saturn Return":
Astrologers call the period between ages twenty-eight and thirty "Saturn Return." That's because it's the first time the planet Saturn completes its cycle through your birth chart and returns to the spot it occupied when you were born. Internationally respected astrologer Rob Hand calls Saturn Return "one of the most important times in your life. . . a time of endings and new beginnings."
For most of us, ending a phase of life that is familiar and embarking on one that is new and untried is unsettling, even painful. Few people describe Saturn Return as a pleasant period. While undergoing your Saturn Return you may find yourself turning inward and reflecting on your individual destiny. You examine your true needs and desires and the role you want to play on the world's stage. You may feel lonely and alienated from those around you, while family and friends think you are shutting them out. But this is a necessary period of consolidation, when you must retreat from the distractions of the outer world and focus on yourself at your most fundamental level. The Saturn Return is every individual's search for the Holy Grail.
The first Saturn Return marks the end of youth and the beginning of the productive adult years. It is now that you truly become an adult--not at eighteen or twenty-one. You realize your need to define yourself as an individual within society and to demonstrate what you've learned. Newswoman Jane Pauley described turning thirty as having grown into womanhood. German film director Werner Herzog compared this period in his life with a maiden's loss of virginity, a line drawn across his path marking the end of his youth.
I turned 28 in May. I have avoided looking closely at how all of this is flowing for the last few months. So much has changed. Vermont was a jumping board, a leaping point. I work in silence most of the time now, when I used to love music, noise, action. I have refocused many friendships. I told off a bad date right away over a month ago. Brave, strong, singular actions I was completely unused to in the past are now flowing out of me without question.
I have been sitting meditation for a year now, all in preparation, I am quite sure. Being this vulnerable and actualized really takes a lot of fucking patience. I am weepy a lot of the time, but it has a sense of relief I have never had before in my life. And despite the feeling I have always had of compulsiveness - wanting to do something a.s.a.p. before I lose the opportunity, I also have a wisdom which came from - inside myself? - that the ONLY way for me to proceed is one step at a time. Everytime I get myself in a tizzy - figure out where you are going next, grad school or not, move or not, leave the bookstore or not - I get all wrapped up and then all of a sudden there is this calm, this --- inside space --- where I feel like I realize that I already know what to do. I am, quite beside myself, laying out each step so carefully as if it *is* fate, as if I know exactly what I need, not only next, but for the rest of my life. Of course this is wishful thinking. I know plenty of folk who have survived their return only to turn around and say, uh, so where did *this* land me? A thirty-nine year old friend scoffed at my optimism that the Saturn Return will clarify things yesterday - "Girlfriend, mine still hasn't ENDED."
I have heard from many many people that if you have set up your life well, things will really blossom in the Saturn Return. Equally, whatever is a shortfall will fail (I just read this is the most common period in adult life in America to get a divorce!). This is so clear it is absurb. I had a crying fest with a good friend this morning - for years we have tried to help each other the way we want to be helped, only to hurt one another, as we both need support but in opposite ways. Ridiculously obvious adjustments - or they seem that way now, anyway - are slipping into gear, quite without my attention - perhaps *because* I am not paying attention, not controlling, letting go.
It won't fix everything. But this feeling is amazing. If I can keep this feeling throughout all this and after, I have really gained something stronger than the right to vote or drink. I hate to overromanticize it, but this feels like true empowerment.
And a bit like procrastination. I need to go write the rest of my first book review for LiP...