Karina Lafayette – February 2022
I’m just so comfortable right now. And not in a lazy, indifferent kind of way. The kind of comfort that can only be found through authenticity and discovering your deepest desires.
Of course it wasn’t always like this. I used to be afraid, deeply afraid of everything. I constantly found myself worried about the future, about what people thought of me, about relationships, and about how my writing would be received, even if it meant tweaking certain things and leaving out certain feelings to avoid offending anyone. Then there came a point where everything arrived at a standstill, forcing me to reanalyze my whole life, only to realize that a lot of stuff that had been getting my attention, simply didn’t matter. And it didn’t take me a look at the planets to know that this would mark the theme of my Saturn Return.
It’s been a little over six months since I left my job and even longer than that since I’ve flirted or tried to date anyone. Sure, I’ll sometimes smile or fantasize about people I find good-looking, but beyond that, nah. And honestly, it feels so good… To not think about being cheated on or lied to, or wait for some text message… To not be expected to arrive somewhere and pretend to smile for eight hours… Instead, I can focus my attention on the one thing I spend almost three decades of my life neglecting- myself.
And yes, there is a hint of cynicism in my views toward relationships lately. Ideally, I would love to have a partner, I just don’t have the patience or even want to invest in someone right now, unless they were the opposite of clingy and understanding of my need for alone time.
In all honesty, the few years leading up to my Saturn Return were some of the worst. I had a whirlwind of an abusive relationship, and a divorce. I got into pre-production for a movie that still hasn’t been made yet. Then, I was homeless and living in a shelter with my dog from early 2019 to July 2020. The only good things that came out of that period of hell were me writing my memoir (which you can find here), and the fact that this was when I started giving astrology readings. Luckily, at the early start of the pandemic, I landed a job as a staff member for the shelter I first stayed at, and that was the ticket to getting our own apartment. And for awhile, this job was great, but between all the overdoses that would happen with the guests and a supervisor who was constantly microamanaging everything I did, it started to get to me. However, what finally pushed me to walk away was when my grandmother went into palliative care after radiation for skin cancer. I knew either I could continue dragging my feet through a situation just because it felt comfortable, or I could take a chance and do things on my own for awhile while grieving. And even though it’s uncomfortable to talk about, the Saturn Return often kicks off with that type of turning point.
There’s a lot of talk about the Saturn Return, mostly as being this big scary thing that happens to everyone (even those who don’t believe in astrology). This is basically a transit that happens around ages 28–31 and again between ages 58–60, which can be calcutated here. When doing research, some make it sound like something that has you kicking and screaming, when there’s so much more. And another thing to keep in mind is that Saturn usually makes an important aspect to your chart every seven years. For example, around age 7 or 8, there’s the first Saturn square, with the second one happening around 21. Between that, there’s also the first Saturn opposition around age 14. But to avoid any confusion, let’s stick with the first Saturn Return.
While I definitely had my share of crying and screaming last year, I like to think of the Saturn Return as being a much needed hot bath, the kind that lets you release tension and clear away any dirt so you can focus on what you really want. Whether it’s the dirt of old relationships, a career path, past trauma, or anxiety, this is the time to get clean, get honest, and most of all, take ownership of who you want to be in the world. Around this transit, people often get married, start a business, or take on some type of commitment to better themselves. During this period, it’s also normal to feel a bit isolated or to want to get away from everything in order to focus, especially if there’s already a specific goal you’ve been working on. Writer Cassandra Clare started her first novel from the Shadowhunters series at age 30. Sylvester Stallone wrote and directed Rocky, the movie that launched his career, at age 30. Even singer Phil Collins recorded one of his greatest hits “In the Air Tonight” at age 30 while going through a divorce. Most recently, Adele said that her album 30 was inspired by you guessed it, her Saturn Return. Just a few years ago, Lizzo was about ready to give up music while her song “Truth Hurts” became a radio hit when she was 31, despite recording it a few years earlier. I don’t know about you, but maybe the thirties need to be taken seriously, huh?
Here we are acting like being young is everything and yet, a lot of times success happens later, or when we least expect it.
The best way to work with Saturn is by looking at whatever house it’s in, because this is the area of life that you’ve likely had to push harder at to see results. For me, my Saturn is in the sixth house. I’ve written a few times about my health and also my views on motherhood and lack of want to physically push out a baby (even though I love kids), so it shouldn’t be a surprise to know that the sixth house rules health, routine, and work. Just last summer, I was diagnosed with an iron deficiency, which was somewhat of a weird blessing in disguise, because this is what made it so I started to eat better and take better care of my body. Health has often been an issue with me either when undergoing a lot of stress, or when I don’t put myself first. As a kid, I clearly remember getting all the attention and love when I didn’t feel well, only to get pretty much ignored after I got better. It’s almost like people only wanted me around when they knew I needed them. Maybe it’s that I have a good poker face, but it’s like I have to remind people that I have normal human emotion, even though I express it differently than others- earth sign problems, you know. For routine, I wasn’t raised with one. If I wanted to stay up late on a school night, I could. If I decided to wait to the last minute to do a class project, instead of being yelled at, my mom would do it for me. If I forgot to brush my teeth, no one reminded me to do it. To most kids that probably sounds like freedom, but it actually made me isolated. Other people my age always saw me as immature just because I wasn’t familiar with basic responsibilities. I would arrive late to job interviews, meetings, hangouts, etc. Yes, I was that “inconsiderate” person known for showing up late all the time. Really, I don’t blame anyone for thinking that being late means you don’t care, but it’s probably because I care a bit too much, and have a deep fear of failure.
And obviously, I’ve failed a lot, because the thing with Saturn is it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I see it all the time. Things like, “does having Saturn in the seventh mean I can’t get married?” When in reality, the person asking that question is likely someone who pushes others away at the thought of intimacy. “Does Saturn in the first make me insecure?” Says the person who already cares too much what others think. Saturn is usually a weakness we have that’s super obvious to everyone, except for the person it should be obvious for… you. Literally every time a teacher or boss was about to complain that I was late again, I would already cower around them. I knew I didn’t have a good track of time, and yet I didn’t do much to make up for it either.
Speaking of work, don’t even ask. Anytime I have a job, I’m that person who does too much. I help everyone. I hold everything down and pretend to have my shit together even though I probably don’t. I do it on my own even when I need help. I’m that quiet one minding my own business that others like to gossip about just because my hair might be different. I’m nice to everyone but won’t choose your side if it really was your fault. Then somewhere down the line I get exhausted, resentful, and frustrated. So I’d check out by quitting. Think of the Energizer Bunny that just keeps going and going. Work-life balance wasn’t even a thing for me till, well, my first Saturn Return.
I’ve decided to stop being that person everyone goes to when they need something. I stopped saying “yes” to everything. I started arriving on time to places… that I actually want to be at. That doesn’t mean I never have to do something I don’t like, but at least, not as much. I started recognizing my limits. I’ve been taking my goals more seriously. I also got a lot better at doing dishes right after meals, making my own bed, washing my face, and overall self-care. I also started to realize something else: how much I underestimate myself. Despite the irony, the Saturn Return is when you can truly begin to love yourself. As much as the word love isn’t exactly synonymous with Saturn, since this is the planet of commitments and contracts, it absolutely makes sense to fall in love under Saturn, because you gain a whole new understanding of who you are as a person.
While I can’t speak for other people, I can say that the three years before my Saturn Return were the worst. Like I honestly wouldn’t wish that kind of pain on anyone. It really felt like being on a merry-go-round that I didn’t want to be on: meeting the same person in different bodies, experiencing the same job in different locations- the same disappointments over and over without a resolution in sight. That’s pretty much how Saturn works, situations repeat themselves till we finally look up and say, “Enough”. Because the important key to figuring out your Saturn is by taking the iniative in whatever area of life affected by it, otherwise others will try to do it for you. For example, someone with Saturn in the first needs to take better charge of their image, whereas someone with Saturn in the sixth needs to take charge of their health and work by listening to more of what their body needs. The only time this area will feel out of control is if you allow someone else to stir the wheel.
Now obviously, there isn’t a Saturn Return without a few reality checks. It can be easy to blame the entire world for our problems, but sometimes, we are the problem. Even on the Internet, people give a lot of talk about haters, but not everyone who gives negative feedback is a hater. They might just be saying the thing you don’t want to hear. Are they really a hater, or do you just have a problem with being wrong? Sometimes we have a hard time admitting our mistakes because we don’t want to be vulnerable, the same way we doubt our own skills and do it on purpose to procrastinate just to say, “See, I knew I wouldn’t make it.” Like, how many times have I done that? Too many. Then again, the house Saturn is in can also be very frustrating, because it does make you feel like an Energizer Bunny. It’s like that one muscle in the gym that takes longer to develop than the rest during workouts. The good news is that after some time, you become so strong in this area, that other people see you as the expert, as to go-to person, because they notice how much effort you put in. The Saturn Return really is a time of mastery. Don’t be fooled by anyone who says it’s only about difficulty. They only say that because they wouldn’t know what to do with the gifts he brings. And those gifts are harnessed by yourself.
So, yeah, after all that I am falling in love with myself. I’ve begun to realize that I’m actually pretty great, even with all these mistakes and flaws and trauma, and why not? When I sit down and think, like really think about everything that brought me to this exact moment, everything listed, it’s hard not to. In love, whether it’s self-love or in relationships, there’s a lot of talk about Venus, but Venus is there for the romance and beauty and good parts; Saturn is there even when things get messy. That’s how the Saturn Return is all about returning to yourself. It’s a full circle moment where you’ve had the chance to develop every area of life, here’s to coming back to what matters most: You. It’s also a good time to restart any hobbies or goals you had as a kid, before you got distracted by school and outside pressure to succeed. The way I see it, I’m spending the rest of my life with myself no matter who else is here, might as well make a commitment to enjoy this. Because of that, I’m eating better, sleeping better, spending better, communicating better, choosing better, and all in all, doing better to prove that I am indeed like Lizzo says, “that b!tch”. Happy Saturn Return!
If this is your first or second Saturn Return, what’s it been like? Let me know in the comments. And if you’ve already had your Saturn Return, what do you want to share about it? If you enjoyed this article, you might want to also read Saturn in Aquarius (2020-2023): It’s Not Just About You as well as Little Mix are a Perfect Example of What to Expect During Your Saturn Return
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This article was originally published on Medium.