Lifestyle Astrology Turning 30? Saturn Return Is the Best Time to Take Stock and Manifest What’s Next Here’s how to make the most of it. By Maressa Brown Maressa Brown Instagram Twitter Website Maressa Brown is a journalist and astrologer who's a regular lifestyle contributor and resident astrologer for InStyle. She has nearly two decades of professional experience writing, reporting, and editing lifestyle content for a variety of digital and print consumer-facing publications including Parents, Shape, Astrology.com, and more. InStyle's editorial guidelines Published on May 9, 2023 @ 07:30AM Pin Share Tweet Email Photo: Stocksy/ InStyle During a week that you feel especially emotional, it can help to know that the moon is full. Or when delays and technology glitches seem to dominate your day-to-day, it’s easy to take heart in the fact that Mercury, the planet of communication and technology, is in retrograde. Simply put: Being aware of what the planets and luminaries (aka the sun and the moon) are doing can offer a sense of comfort because it’s a reminder that you’re far from alone. While we all navigate full moons and Mercury retrogrades collectively, at the same time, you also go through major astrological events — aka personal transits — in tandem with people who were born around the same time as you. One of the buzziest personal transits is the Saturn return. Saturn, the taskmaster planet, oversees rules, restrictions, limitations, boundaries, discipline, authority figures, and challenges, and it takes about 29 years to make one full trip through the 12 zodiac signs. That said, when you’re approximately 29, 58, and 87, Saturn comes back around to the exact spot it was in when you were born, presenting you with a Saturn return. During this period, you’re nudged to consider your progress on the lessons that the planet has to teach you regarding work, responsibility, and structure and lay foundations that will serve you for the next 29 years. You can think of this period — which you’ll feel for about two to three years — as a major reality check and official welcome to adulthood. It’s a good moment to not only take stock of how far you’ve come but also where you want to go from here. In other words, it’s astrology’s perfect opportunity to reinvent your perspective and your path to set yourself up for even more success in the long run. Here, learn how to figure out when you’re having your Saturn return, care for yourself throughout, and make the most of the transit. Getty Images How to Know When Your Saturn Return Is Happening If you don’t already have your natal (aka birth) chart handy, you can run one on my site, MaressaBrown.com, or the TimePassages app. From there, take a look at the symbol that looks like a lowercase “t” and “h” hybrid. See what sign it fell in when you were born. If you’re around 29 or 30 now, it was either in Aquarius or Pisces, and you either just went through your Saturn return or are about to experience it. A quick guide to recent Saturn return dates: If you were born from February 13, 1988, to June 10, 1988, or from November 12, 1988, to February 6, 1991: Your natal Saturn is in Capricorn, and you experienced your Saturn return approximately between December 19, 2017, to March 21, 2020, and July 1, 2020, to December 17, 2020. If you were born from February 6, 1991, to May 21, 1993, or from June 30, 1993 to January 28, 1994: Your natal Saturn is in Aquarius, and your Saturn return happened approximately from Mar 21, 2020 to July 1, 2020 and December 17, 2020 to March 7, 2023. If you were born between May 21, 1993, and June 30, 1993, or January 28, 1994, to April 7, 1996: Your natal Saturn is in Pisces, and your Saturn return will be happening from approximately March 7, 2023, to May 24, 2025, and September 1, 2025, to Feb 13, 2026. You can get an even more specific window by knowing not only the sign your natal Saturn is in but the degrees of that sign. (It may pay to work with a professional astrologer to zero in on that info.) How to Make the Most of Your Saturn Return Astrology aside, the end of your 20s is a major transition. You’re likely seeing lots of people around you getting married, getting pregnant, maybe buying a house, or hitting their stride professionally — all super-Saturnian events because they’re related to commitment, structure, foundations, and traditions. During your Saturn return, you could be on the precipice of doing any number of these things yourself or laying other similar groundwork for your adult life. And if you’re not, you might worry that you’re falling short. As you take stock, reflect, and — at times — feel pressure to make your life look a certain way, consider caring for your well-being and making the most of the transit in the following ways. Know You Can Create Lasting Structures Without Conforming Saturn transits ask us to be more mature and step up to the plate, but it’s also important to bear in mind that Saturn is like the rules-obsessed parent of the sky. And certain rules, traditions, and conventions simply don’t fit with who you are as an individual — and aren’t meant to. Know that your Saturn return isn’t meant to push you to conform to societal norms in order to be successful. Instead, it can be about considering those customary aspects of adult life and doing serious soul-searching around whether they’re right for you — right now or even altogether. Know that your Saturn return isn’t meant to push you to conform to societal norms in order to be successful. This is especially a self-care must for anyone with their Saturn in rebellious, convention-loathing Aquarius or imaginative, sensitive Pisces. The structures that fill up the heart of your adult life, which follows your first Saturn return, are up to you to dream up and define. And if you’re striking out on your own in some way — whether that’s by opting for a long-term relationship over a formal marriage or becoming an entrepreneur versus taking a traditional 9-to-5 — you’ll likely be more successful than you would have if you took the standard route. The point is that no matter what structures you wish to implement, you should fully embrace and commit to them. Getty Images Approach Your Wildest Dreams From a New Angle Your Saturn return acts as a reality check related to your aspirations. Maybe when you graduated college, you were positive that before turning 30, you’d be a successful screenwriter or have a long-term partner. But your career has gone in a different direction — or it’s taking longer than you anticipated to hit particular goals. The taskmaster planet’s influence can be harsh, so you could be harder on yourself than your toughest professor or strictest parent. Try to swap a self-critical lens for a more industrious, creative one. If you still want to achieve what you initially set out to do, your Saturn return is a chance to rethink how you’re going to get there. You might opt to go back to school for an advanced degree or commit to self-work and healing that can help you better identify the right partner. Visualize Your Ideal Life You may already have an intention-setting practice for new moons or enjoy meditating. But when you’re in your Saturn return, make sure to set aside time for disconnecting and tuning into your most genuine desires. Close your eyes and envision yourself at ages 39, 49, and 59. Who are you surrounded by? How do you spend your days? What does your career look like? How do you care for your mind, body, and spirit? Where do you live? Spending as much time fleshing out this vision — and possibly even writing it down — can begin to help you make the most of this time. Your Saturn Return Is the Ultimate Opportunity for Reinvention Like eclipses and retrogrades, the Saturn return has a reputation for being an intimidating, frustrating moment that can make your life — which is already challenging enough these days — even more of an uphill battle. Take heart: This gloomy reputation is unwarranted. Yes, Saturn can serve up tough lessons, especially if you’ve been struggling to step up to the plate and take ownership of your actions, behaviors, and future. But the taskmaster planet also rewards hard work, pragmatism, responsibility, maturity, and commitment. Uranus, the planet of revolution, might bring stunning change, and Pluto may be the planet of transformation, but around 29, Saturn presents you with an opportunity to renew your commitment to long-term goals — or reimagine them entirely — and then come up with a concrete game plan for getting across the finish line. In other words, it’s a chance to reinvent yourself in a way that could set the stage for success for decades to come.