Saturn Returns

May 8, 2023

Well, it happened again. I heard a phrase for the first time ever, and since then I’ve been seeing/hearing it all over the place. Just like whenever I was pregnant--it seemed every other woman I saw on the street was also waddling along, big with child.  

At any rate, the new magic phrase is “Saturn Return.” The gang at Evan’s farm in Seattle talked about it, and the next day I saw a book by that name at Pike Place Market. I had no idea that it’s when the planet Saturn returns to the exact same place it was the day you were born. It takes between 27 and 30 years for Saturn to complete an orbit around the sun so that means we live through Saturn returns in our late 20s, and then again in our 50s, and 80s. According to astrology, Saturn is the planet of discipline and maturity, and the return is a time in life where hard but important lessons have been learned. I looked up my birth chart and learned that my sign (Capricorn) is in fact ruled by Saturn! On December 22, 1956 Saturn was in Sagittarius at 08° 12', and it’s been there two more times in my life (and will again if I make it to 82).

What to think about this? Well, to me it’s just another instance of humans trying to make sense, make patterns, of it all. To weave our lives into a bigger tapestry. As a person of faith, I really don’t feel the need to delve deeply into astrological signs and forecasts; I’m convinced my life has meaning enough.

But it was sort of fun to go back in time and see how accurate my “Saturn returns” have been. Let’s see—

27 was the year I was pregnant with my firstborn, Sheridan, after 7 years of marriage and 27 years of swearing I did NOT want kids.

Discipline/maturity/life lesson learned? Check.

Moving on to age 54. It would have been neat and tidy for this to have been my year of bipolar diagnosis, but no, that was 49. 54 was December 22, 2010. I was nearly halfway through my time at Christ’s Lutheran. Several of my children had graduated from college. Wracking my brain, I cannot pinpoint a major change in my life tied to this year—on the contrary, I recall it as a pretty uneventful and peaceful interlude.

One for two so far.

How will I fare when Saturn returns on December 22, 2038? If I’m still kicking, somehow I don’t think it will be a time of huge change and growth. But maybe I’m shortchanging this Major Milestone! Could ’38 be the year I finally scale Mount Everest (no mean feat with a walker)? Write a symphony (sorry for horning in on your turf, Sher!)? Run for president? (Joe Biden has proven it’s never too late!) With mighty Saturn in my corner, there are no limits, right?

Saturn, Octogenarian Style: Return of the Great-Grandmas!

 Coming soon to Netflix?


    I am an author (of five books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a retired director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: or email me at



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