Saturn Return is something I have a very personal connection with, it’s one of the main reasons you’re even reading this blog! To help break down this pivotal time in our lives we’ll be using The Tower card to break down what this time might mean and how we can navigate the challenges it throws our way.

What does ‘Saturn Return’ mean?

All the planets in our solar system travel around the sun at different speeds. For our lovely planet Earth, this is 365 days which gives us our 12-month year, for the moon, it’s 28 days giving us our monthly moon cycle, but for Saturn, this journey takes between 28-30 years.

This means that when you reach the age of 28-30 Saturn will once again be in the same position as it was when you were born and with it comes a whole lot of rediscovery, reflection and if you’re lucky like me, a quarter-life crisis. You may also notice that you go through this cycle again around the ages of 57-60, most commonly known as a mid-life crisis.

Saturn Returns usually happen between ages twenty-eight and thirty and fifty-eight and sixty. Those are the ages at which you lose your illusions and mistaken ways of thinking to take great steps forward.
— Suh Yoon Lee, The Having: The Secret Art of Feeling and Growing Rich

Saturn is the planet of structure and boundaries so when we talk about a Saturn Return, often we’re looking at these areas that have so far been a part of our lives, crumbling or cracking, forcing us to take a look at where we are and take stock of our lives as a whole.

How can The Tower guide us through our Saturn Return?

Although the planet of Saturn is linked with The World in Tarot, our Saturn Return is the epitome of Tower energy. It’s a destructive or at least a no-holds-barred look at everything in our life and our connection to it. We often have that sudden realisation that we’re getting older and that we may not be where we want to be in life, or at least in a place where we feel aligned and truly happy.

For me, this came right bang on time on my 28th birthday and continued right up to my 30th. Just a few days before my 28th I had this bolt of panic hit me, it was literally like The Tower card had come and slapped me in the face. I was only two years away from entering into my 30’s and I was living my life as if I had everything I could want, even though I didn’t feel it.

I had a flat in the centre of Manchester, a job I loved with people I was friends with and that paid me a good wage and in that second, when Saturn broke down the door with its bags packed ready for a two-year visit, I realised that it wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I was happy with it, but it didn’t feel like the conclusion, it felt like a pit stop and I needed to decide what journey was next.

So, I called up BUNAC, the work abroad people, and booked a year of travelling and working in New Zealand. This was my tower moment when I decided that the structure around me was already crumbling, already shaking on cracked foundations and I needed to face the reality that it wasn’t going to last much longer. I needed to reset everything and build something new for myself.

Rummaging through the rubble

The Tower and consequently Saturn Return, always leave behind a big pile of rubble, the remnants of our own lives that we then have to sort through. We throw out the bricks that no longer feel like they’re a part of our future structure and we keep the bricks that still feel aligned.

I went to New Zealand with an idea of what my life should look like in this new phase and I came back with a completely different view of the future. I collected new bricks on my journey and threw away others that looked like they should fit but I knew deep down that they wouldn’t. It was a bit like going for a lovely stroll along the beach, picking up pebbles and shells that look appealing on the surface but the more you look at them the less they feel like yours.

It’s exhilarating to be alive in a time of
awakening consciousness; it can also be
confusing, disorienting, and painful.
— Adrienne Rich, Poet and Feminist

As I inched closer and closer to my 30th birthday and the end of the road for my New Zealand adventure, I decided to start The Self-Care Emporium and become a freelance marketing consultant once I returned back to the UK. I’d always had the gut feeling that I should work for myself and this Tower period of my life had cleared the way for that to happen and pretty much forced my hand in the situation. I had no structure to go back home to, so I could build whatever I wanted with these new materials I’d picked up on my journey.

Navigating Saturn Return with The Tower

I want to stress, my story isn’t always the way it goes, I was lucky and very privileged to have the means and position in order to navigate my own Saturn Return in the way I did. It’s important to know that a Saturn Return, even though mine sound very exciting, can be a very rough period and it’s ok to struggle through it and not feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I went to New Zealand and met loads of amazing people and did amazing things, but I wasn’t settled. My depression and anxiety were high and I ended up ending my journey sooner than I had originally planned. Saturn Returns are hard and uncomfortable. They challenge you and everything you think you know, but we can use the wisdom of The Tower card to help us better understand and weather this storm. We can learn that some structures are just not meant to last for our entire lives and that’s ok. That even if everything does come crumbling down in a traumatic crashing of dust, that the dust will always settle and we will always be able to rebuild.

With all this in mind, if you’re currently trying to battle your way through your own Saturn Return or if you’re coming up to the age where a quarter-life crisis is looming, then here are a few Tower card Tarot journal prompts to help you find a bit of clarity in all the confusion.

  • What are the structures you currently have in place and do they feel like they are supporting you right now?

  • If everything disappeared overnight, what kind of life would you want to rebuild for yourself?

  • What values, passions, ambitions, do you have that may not be supported by the way your life is currently and how could you make more room for them?

  • Do a life audit. List all the things that bring you joy and fulfilment currently and all the things that don’t. Explore how much control you have over both, do you have the power to change things? Do you have the authority, or are you giving that power to someone/something else?

  • List all the things you would do if there were no barriers or hoops to jump through. Then, list what things currently stand in your way from doing those things. Look at these barriers and challenge their authority. Are they barriers implemented by others or by society, or are they self-created?