Astrological Landmarks : Age 58/59
The Second Saturn Return
The second Saturn Return is complete at around age 58/59. At the end of each period of 29 1/2 years, Saturn returns to the same position it occupied in our birthchart, at the moment of our birth. Each Saturn return marks the end of a phase in our inner maturing process. By the time the first one is complete, usually the set of inner and outer defences a personality has built for itself stretches over all areas of its mundane life. Saturn returns can either be times of high achievement or of frustration and disappointments. This varies from one individual to another, depending on the amount of work one has done on personal development and growth.
As ever, awareness is the key to a positive outcome of these events. Those who do not yet understand what is currently moving through their lives in my view are missing valuable opportunities for preparing themselves. And when, as a result, their Saturn Return takes them by surprise, they can be in for rather an uncomfortable and unpleasant time. However, if you are one of those fortunate ones who know what is at stake, you can roll up your sleeves and get to work.
For everybody Saturn returns are times for taking stock of our lives and for getting ready to clear away that which no longer supports our soul growth. What have we done with our lives thus far? Are we satisfied with the progress we have made? If not, clearly the time has come for making some profound changes in our attitude to life and our lifestyle. Clearing out and making the changes that have become necessary in one’s life is always a daunting prospect, as I know that only too well from my own experiences. May the following two items bring a measure of comfort and encouragement to all who are presently facing such situations.
* * *
The human soul does not like changes
And is afraid of parting with people and places
That have long outlived their usefulness in its life.
Changes are risky and scary,
But very necessary on our pathway
Back into the light of our true being.
From time to time, we need to
Review and transform our approach to and perception of life;
Let go of deeply ingrained negative thinking and behaviour patterns,
Old prejudices and false beliefs
About ourselves, each other and our world.
Although at times we all act like small frightened children,
Let’s take a few chances!
So what, if to laugh is to risk appearing foolish;
To weep is to risk seeming to be sentimental;
To reach out for another is to risk involvement;
To expose one’s feelings is to risk revealing one’s True Self;
To hope is to risk despair;
To try is to risk failure;
To live is to risk dying?
Risks have to be taken,
And the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The one who risks nothing,
Does nothing, has nothing and is nothing.
Souls who hope that in this way they can avoid
The suffering and sorrows of this world are mistaken;
They too are a necessary part of human growth.
The only thing one can hope to achieve that way is
To avoid precious opportunities for
Learning, changing, growing, loving and living.
Souls who remain enslaved and enchained
By their own false beliefs, rigid prejudices and opinions,
Forfeit the only freedom we truly have, namely
The spiritual freedom to follow our heart;
To think and believe what our inner Self tells us is true;
To have the courage to act upon the knowledge
That we have come from love and that love alone can show us the way
Home into what we always have been: spirit and soul.
Only those who are willing to take the risk
Of loving the way God loves us,
Unconditionally and wisely,
Can truly be free.
Created by Anon.
Edited by Aquarius
* * *
‘Come to the edge,’ He said.
They said: ‘We are afraid.’
‘Come to the edge,’ He said.
They came . . .
He pushed them . . .
And they flew.
Guillaume Apollinaire 1880 – 1918
French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist and art critic
Come to the edge.
We might fall.
Come to the edge.
It’s too high!
Come to the edge!
And they came.
And we pushed.
And they flew.
Christopher Logue 1926 – 2011
English poet associated with the British Poetry Revival
* * *
In the approach to the Saturn returns one begins to view one’s defence network as a whole. It’s a time when we can perceive what is real and what is illusory in the structures we have built up to now. If we have built well, that is if we have aimed for qualities of character and spiritual values and not merely external forms and outward appearances, the Saturn returns can mark peaks of achievement and the reaffirmation of our inner sense of purpose. If we have built badly, namely if we depended on and identified with our external attributes and circumstances only, then everything could be knocked out from underneath us. Either we do this under our own steam or – if we resist Saturn’s energies and requirements – circumstances that are only apparently beyond our control may this for us.
The momentum of our own unconscious currents may then force us to start again, but hopefully this time having found a different foundation and perspective on life altogether. Saturn returns are times when that which is transient or borrowed is dissolved, and only what has become a permanent attribute of our character will be allowed to remain. When you think back you may remember how the first Saturn return affected your life, which could help you to understand the purpose and meaning of what you are going through now. You will find that coming up to the second Saturn return, circumstances often repeat themselves, sometimes in quite an uncanny and unnerving manner. You may find yourself in situations similar to those you encountered during the first return. Frequently, you will have a strong feeling of déjà-vu.
This is happening for a very good reason. The progressions of the Moon, which run in two and a half year cycles, move through all the signs of the zodiac; this reflects how the Universe provides each soul with ever new learning experiences. One full sequence of these progressions lasts approx. the same span of time that it takes Saturn to do the same. One full Moon cycle takes thirty years and Saturn takes 29 1/2 years to do the same. Because our progressed Moon at the time of our second Saturn Return therefore moves through the same sign as it did around the first one, very similar experiences are drawn into our lives. This way the Universe is testing us how much we have learnt in the meantime and whether spiritually we have we made any progress at all. Only if our behaviour and our reactions to people and situations show that we have learnt from the mistakes we made earlier in life, shall we truly be ready to move on to different and more mature experiences.
Most of us undergo some form of crisis during their Saturn returns; it is time when many are making some very sudden and drastic changes in marriage, business, ideals and/or life-style. This is because life is now offering us the chance to view our old ego structures in a new light and this, needless to say, often is not all that flattering. However, wise ones cease the opportunity and take the time to successfully bring about some true and lasting changes that will greatly benefit us, in the long term. All Saturn returns are therefore excellent times for clearing out that which is crystallised and outdated within to make room for new things to be born. The second return in particular should be the start of our Age of Wisdom. Twice round we now have had the opportunity to clear out and to start again. We have reached the point where the outer structure will not be needed any more, as our inner strength should now have grown sufficiently to support us. If we have gained any wisdom at all, we should be ready and willing to share it with those around us who are still struggling with the things we too once had to confront.
There generally is some sort of a midlife-crisis at around age forty-two, another important landmarks in our lives. It does not have this title for nothing, as it can be a very trying time indeed. For those of us who did not deal constructively with the crisis at that particular time, it is likely it will rear its head again around the time of the second Saturn return. The Universe is now presenting us with another chance for disassembling ourselves and putting the pieces back together again, hopefully nearer to our heart’s desire. There will be parts of our nature which we have not integrated as yet into our conscious awareness. We might have been ignoring or not looking at them and they now demand to be acknowledged and integrated.
By facing the conflicts and crises of this time of life, we increase the likelihood of a fulfilling latter part of our lives. If we try to avoid the kind of self-examination which it demands from us, it invariably spells trouble for later on. The problems do not simply go away. Facing them and dealing with them now in a constructive way can make all the difference between a happy and integrated old age or an unhappy one that is filled with regrets over missed opportunities. It is generally considered to be easier to go through the midlife crisis at forty-two than it is at around fifty-nine. But those who missed that opportunity might as well get on with it, now.
A wide range of psychological issues occur during this phase in our lives. The stark realisation that we are not getting any younger sets us thinking about what we have and have not achieved so far. People passing away around us remind us of our own mortality. Where did we come from, where are we going to? Questions like these are bound to arise. In our late teens and early twenties we probably had visions of what we would like to be as a mature adult. Now we have a chance to compare this vision with what we have actually achieved. Maybe our dreams were too high flown anyway and we do need to scale them down. Or maybe we have been flying very high and the inner satisfaction and fulfilment we hoped to achieve is still escaping us.
Is There Something Missing In Our Life?
Feelings that something is missing in life may rise into our conscious awareness and begin to realised that for us the time has come for re-assessing our lives and making some changes. If we were successful so far, then our success frees us to take up other interests or endeavours which we have had to put aside in order to arrive where we are now. We can throw ourselves into new projects and outlets which will fulfil parts of us that our present achievements, no matter how great, do not satisfy. There is some part of ourselves, which is dissatisfied and this part now urgently wants some attention from us.
Some throw themselves into a new love relationship or into any sort of frantic activity with which they hope to fill the emptiness within. Maybe if we keep as busy as possible, we will not feel the pain and the emptiness within? And so it goes on. Really it is meant to be a time for spiritual discovery, a side of ourselves which most people, in our material age, either neglect by accident or choose to ignore. It is true that having affairs or cramming our lives full with all sorts of social activities might delay the mid-life blues, but almost certainly it will hit us much harder when it eventually catches up with us. As with any crisis, it would be a better and more constructive use of this time of life, to embrace it and to go down into it. Face the pain and the darkness with courage and with faith. Let go and see where the crisis will lead you. At the end of this particular tunnel there is indeed all the light, beauty and love which was not to be found anywhere but inside ourselves, if only we open our eyes and our mind to perceive it.
As with any crisis, first we need to grieve for the old self who is dying, for the identities and roles we have played so far. They must be shed now to allow the new and better self to be born. The next step is to look at the parts of ourselves which we have not been in touch with as yet, those aspects of our nature which were hidden or we denied ourselves so far. We may have to look at emotions and qualities we do not like very much, like jealousy, greed and envy. We need to face up to the side which is fearful and dependent or the one which is ambitious and competitive. Owning these parts means expanding our existing self-definition to include more of what is actually there, reaching into our own wholeness. Instead of believing in an edited version of ourselves, cut to fit into conventional and acceptable norms, we need to face the full version of who we really are; that includes the good as well as the bad. This does not mean unleashing the darker part of our psyche onto the world at large. It means reconnecting to more of what is within us to become a more whole and integrated person in the process.
Looking into ourselves in this way also puts us in touch with many positive aspects of our nature which have yet to be developed and integrated into our conscious personality. If previously we lived in a very one-sided way, the ignored and neglected parts of ourselves now have a chance to be discovered and nurtured. This will stand us in good stead for the rest of our lives. For instance, if during the first part of our life, we lived in a very down to earth manner and on the material plane only, the crisis could open the way to a more spiritually or esoterically oriented life. On the other hand, if we spent our life so far in search of Nirvana or spiritual enlightenment, we may well find that our interest in earning money and making something of ourselves in the material world comes to life.
Looking At The Less Favoured Parts Of Ourselves
The aspects of our nature that have thus far remained unfavoured, some of them we may not even have discovered as yet, may force their way to the fore. They are no longer ready to be overlooked because for our evolutionary pathway the are very important issues indeed, waiting to move into the main focus of our new hopes and aspirations. The process of expanding our personality to become more whole and to include our previously undeveloped talents and qualities can now begin in earnest. This task is not over when the Saturn return is complete which it will be eventually, slow though it is. Becoming more whole a person, true to us and our own potential, is the work ahead for the entire duration of the second half of our life.
There will be personality changes which generally involve what is known psychologically as cross-sex issues. This means that men start exploring qualities traditionally associated with feminine urges. Women usually turn to issues conventionally classed as masculine drives. Men who devoted the first half of their life to achieving in the outer world may begin to question the amount of time and energy they are investing in that direction. Focusing on external deeds and worldly accomplishments usually means that the inner world of feeling and the need for real intimacy, closeness and fulfilment in relationships, have been relegated to second place.
Taking a greater interest in his marriage and spending more time with his children, is one way a man can develop his capacity for relationships and intimacy. However, the obvious way of turning towards wife and family is not always his first choice when it comes to developing his feeling side. Sometimes it takes the stimulus of a mistress who awakens the feeling side within him. His wife might decide to run off in the opposite direction, for the same reason no doubt, and have an affair herself. In this way too he will be forced into re-examining and questioning his own ability to form and maintain good and meaningful relationships. A man’s attention could also turn to the creative and imaginative part of his psyche. He may realise that the work which takes up so much of his precious time, is not fully satisfying his need for creativity and self- expression. One solution to this problem is to look for a different type of work altogether which can be extremely difficult in the present working environment. Another way is to try and adjust his schedule to allow for more creative activities as well.
A woman may experience this time of life in a diametrically opposed way. If her attention, up to then, was primarily focused on relationships and the needs of her partner and children, she will be stirred by new urges. She may feel the need to fulfil herself in her own right, not merely look after the well-being of those close to her. She may wish to assert her power in the world and to achieve recognition in some concrete way. What about her own development and growth? Her child bearing days are over. Her children have grown up and do not need her so much any more. Almost certainly the day has already come when they have flown the coop! Where does it leave her? At this point she will be sufficiently motivated to take some important steps to alter the rest of her life in a more fulfilling way. What about going to college and developing her mind?
Such steps will neither be easy nor done without strain. But, rather than running away from herself, if she now faces herself and others and makes the necessary changes, she has a much greater chance of finding happiness and fulfilment in later life. In doing so, she could also become a pathfinder for others. Once the crisis stage is over, she will be able to help others through this what can be rather a harrowing time for some people, especially those who do not know how to work with it constructively. If she had much success in her earlier life, she may want to focus her attention away from career and achievement and make more time in her life for intimacy and relationships as well as spiritual development.
The Need For Pause And Reflection
Whatever our present circumstances, the crisis signals the need for pausing and reflecting on how we have thus far organised our lives. If we have veered too much in one direction, at the expense of other avenues of expression and fulfilment, now is the time to make the necessary changes to restore balance. From my own experience, I know what happens to a husband and wife who neglect to create a secret garden of their own, in which they sow, tend and nurture the seeds of their combined spirit and soul, during the early part of their marriage. Those who fail to dig the soil, whilst planting and fertilising the seeds of their togetherness will inevitably reach the point when their children have grown up and retirement loom.
They will find, to their dismay, that not only do they not have any flowers to share, but they will not even have a garden to grow some in, at this late stage. I feel that the best for those, who failed to recognise the spiritual opportunities marriage was offering them, is to go their separate ways, as soon as their karmic responsibilities towards their children and each other have been fulfilled. At the latest, at the second Saturn Return, will come their opportunity to set each other free, so that can each pursue the expression of their own unique creativity. By then, this part will be screaming for attention and it will not allow you to ignore it any longer.
Which way the second Saturn Return expresses itself in our life, obviously depends on how much rubbish we have gathered, over the years that is now waiting to be cleared away. It is a time when things clarify and crystallise in our minds, when we begin to realise with great clarity what is truly important in our life, and what is no more than ballast. If we can shed all that which is unsuitable to be carried around with us, for what is left of this lifetime, we stand a better chance of a happy and fulfilled old age. If we resist, we could be spending our time wallowing in remorse and regret over missed opportunities, instead, as so many old people do. The opportunities are here, but they must be worked with. This is our chance to clear out; the idea is only that which supports our Highest good and our greatest joy should be allowed to remain; the rest can go. If one’s husband or wife does not fall into the first category, then we do indeed have a choice. And it is important to remind oneself that that not choosing is also a choice.
By the time the second Saturn Return comes round, most people have developed sufficient inner strength to be able to handle the casting off of that which has become unsuitable. That is the only way of preparing better and more fulfilling ways to spend the forthcoming autumn and winter of their life. It is a time for learning to tap into our own inner wisdom and to make it work for us. We may come to the realisation of some quite marvellous things. Usually, we can make time available to attend to our own inner needs. That is why it is such an excellent time for making a conscious effort to work on improving our character. For example, it could dawn on us that, what potentially is a strength, meant to work for us, when not handled correctly, can turn into a weakness, which the world is only too happy to exploit, if we allow it to.
Time For Learning To Say: ‘No!’
The second Saturn Return is a wonderful time for learning to discriminate when to say the most difficult word in any language, which is ‘No’, in the right place and at the right moment. If we handle this right, we can take charge of ourselves, our character and our destiny. It is in our hands to turn a weakness into a consciously and truly well-handled strength, which supports us and makes our life more enjoyable, as it is meant to. Only apparently are we the victims of circumstances, as we ourselves create them. By taking charge, we can turn ourselves round from victims of life into victors! And I can say, from my own experience of life, it is well worth the battle.
All major life events, like the Saturn Returns or the Uranus Opposition, can be very tough and trying times for anyone, as it is likely that difficult decisions are waiting to be made by us. The only way of rendering them less stressful, as I can tell you from first hand experience, is by taking stock earlier in life and not allowing things to fester away until one of the special events is upon us and then forces our unresolved issues to come to a head. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. That’s why it is important to find out as much as possible about these events and their special requirements. Equipped with this knowledge it is so much easier to prepare oneself. By taking a careful look at unresolved issues and making the decisions they demand from us, ahead of the events can make all the difference and ensure a much easier passage through them. Most helpful of all is being in touch with the world of our feelings and listening to the guidance of our Highest Self that is received in this way. This is the only authority in the whole of Creation that truly knows what is good for us at any time.
Traditionally, all contacts with Saturn have had a poor reputation, but living in enlightened times, as indeed we are, it has gradually emerged that this is undeserved. In truth they are aimed to help us bring forth the best from within. And the gifts and qualities that are meant to be developed under its influence can be considerable for anyone who is willing to pay attention to what the Universe demands from each one of us with regard to our personal evolution. For example, during the times when we are more strongly under the influence of Saturn’s energies than usual we may feel the need to take on more responsibilities.
This usually includes taking charge of our inner and outer being, our character as well as our physical body, and becoming altogether more self-disciplined and focused in the achievement of our goals and targets in life. At these special times we can develop the ability to envisage them and slowly work our way towards them with great determination and stamina. As Saturn is highly critical and things have to be just right, an inner urge may overcome us to assess ourselves and our lives so far, and there is a danger of sometimes doing so excessively. As ever, a golden middle way needs to be striven for by not leaving love out of the equation, for ourselves and also for others.
* * *
White Eagle on Saturn And Patience
The following is the essence of a teaching from the White Eagle group of spirit guides on patience: ‘Saturn is the planetary ruler of Capricorn* and the tenth house, and also the traditional co-ruler of Aquarius *. This planet is sometimes presented as old Father Time and when looked at from the right perspective, time * is one of humankind’s best teachers. In earthly life it will always be your master and it can be an unpleasant one. But this only applies for as long as you perceive life with the limited vision of your small earthly self.
‘The likelihood is that you are taking part in Saturn’s wisdom at this very moment. The influence of its energies causes delays and frustrations that may test you to the utmost, as Saturn is very strict with his students in the school of earthly life. Under his supervision hurried lessons, hasty sums and superficial essays are not allowed. Saturn insists that the right time is given for every lesson. That’s why time is one of the most irksome forms of discipline that has to be endured for as long as you dwell on the Earth plane.
‘But on the upside, the Saturnian energies provide you with the determination to work your way one small step after another towards a distant goal. They equip you with the desire to try and try again. Through this your endeavours get better and more perfect all the time and when they are ready to be presented and shared with your world, they are likely to be crowned with success. Saturn’s rewards * can be great, when they come. And they surely will – for those who patiently plod on. So muster yourself with patience and remind yourself that you are taking part in one of the most essential lessons for every soul on their pathway of spiritual development.
‘That’s how Saturn in the end brings true, i.e. spiritual wealth to every human soul. Think of this beneficence and refuse to see anything malefic. Instead remind yourself frequently that all of you have a great deal to thank Saturn for and that at any given time. True, the influence of this planet’s energies makes people come across as somewhat cold and too earth-bound. This serves the wise higher purpose of holding things up and delaying the actions of those who in previous lifetimes hot-headedly rushed into things prematurely without due foresight and caution. This behaviour pattern is typical for the Fire signs, Aries of the head, Leo of the heart and Sagittarius of the spirit.
‘People who have been affected by this in one or several of their past lifetimes, hand in hand with the wise ones in charge of you in our world, choose a pathway in which Saturn is prominent, for example with the Sun or Moon in conjunction, opposition or square to Saturn. This forces people to move through life with great caution. Whenever they are tempted to rush into things, Saturn says: ‘No! You are here to learn how to proceed slowly and patiently, if need be trying time and again before you can succeed! If you persevere, you will.’
‘Anyone who sees this as unpleasant and resents it needs to be reminded that it is unwise to ignore the lessons of a venerable, gracious and wise teacher. And as co-ruler of Aquarius the Saturnian energies will be providing your world and ours the necessary strength and stamina, determination and perseverance for bringing Mother Earth’s new golden age into being. Saturn’s main task during your earthly sojourns consists of teaching the self-mastery that is needed to control the urges and desires of humankind’s lower animal nature.
‘After the Aquarian Age, from approx. 1900 AD – 4,100 AD, we shall be moving into the Age of Capricorn, which will last until about 6,300 AD. Capricorn is Saturn’s own sign where it’s energies are particularly strong and in the right hands can express themselves in the most positive and constructive ways. This will be helpful for the unfoldment of the new golden age in all its splendour. How great Thou art, o Great White Spirit, and how wise! We thank Thee and bless Thee.’
* * *