Saturn’s Return in Ten Simple Steps

Saturn’s Return is an astrological phenomenon that is said to greatly influence a person’s life around the age of 29. It takes approximately 29 years for the planet Saturn to make one full orbit around the sun and return to the exact degree at which it was positioned when a person was born. The average person will have three Saturn’s returns in their lifetime and with each one an individual is supposed to cross a metaphorical threshold of sorts and reach a heightened state of spiritual and emotional awareness or wisdom.

At the age of 29 we supposedly leave youth behind in order to enter adulthood (read: settle down with the ol’ ball and chain, commit to a mortgage that will haunt us for most of the foreseeable future, have kids or finally give up one’s lifelong dream of becoming an astronaut/professional chocolate taster in order to take a well paying but painfully boring ‘normal’ job).

Between the ages of 56 and 60 we finally reach ‘maturity’ (read: freak out when you realize that your life is probably more than half way over, begin to question what the bloody hell you’ve worked your ass off for the past 40 years for and then eventually say “stuff it I’m buying a Ferrari/boob job/plane ticket to Machu Picchu).

 Then, once we hit the ripe old age of 90 we can officially call ourselves ‘wise’ (read: start every sentence with “back in my day”, rock a socks and sandals combo like its nobody’s business and consistently fail to give two hoots about anyone else’s opinion).


Now at this point I’m sure you’re currently thinking one of two things –

a) You’ve got to be freakin’ kidding me. Enough with the airy-fairy astrological poppycock already

b) YES absolutely this is a very, very REAL thing because I’ve been there and lived it.


Well today I confess that I’ve been there and lived it.


I believe in Saturn’s return.

I think it’s bloody spooky.

I found it excruciatingly hard to navigate.

I know its utterly life changing.


I also reckon I have managed to simplify the process into ten easy-to-follow steps. I know, genius right? To the 28, 55 and 89 year olds out there, you’re welcome. To everyone else, you’ll thank me one day.

Step One – Experience a powerful life-defining change that will consume you for at least a year.  

For me, this was having a baby. From the moment I found out I was pregnant up until about the time that my daughter turned six months old, motherhood was all I thought about. I lived it and breathed it. It defined me. It also changed me deeply and irreversibly. I think this is normal. The way it should be. But you don’t have to have a baby, of course. Any massive life-shaking, core-rocking change will do.

Step Two – Retreat into a self-forged bubble that momentarily protects you from the pressures and responsibilities of the real world.

Most mothers I have spoken to have recounted a similar experience. I think for the large majority of first-time parents, the only way to really deal with a newborn is to bunker down and ride it out in a little cocoon of bewilderment. For the first six months my husband and I didn’t really feel as though we were living in the real world. It was all a sleep deprived, adrenaline-filled blur of nappies, breast pumps and DVD box sets.

 Step Three – Slowly and gingerly emerge back into the real world with a fresh perspective and new found super hero-esque confidence. 

Eventually, though, I felt ready to come out of the bubble. And when I did, boy, I felt like I could run the world. Beyoncé style. If I could make it through the first 6 months of motherhood with a baby who NEVER slept, I could do anything. Literally. Blindfolded. One handed, even.

 Step Four – Use new-found confidence to throw caution to the wind and pursue a useless and childish career from which there is no money to be made whatsoever.

“I know!” I thought. “I’ll follow my dreams!” “I’ll pursue my passion!” “I’ll become an actor!” You know how it goes. Carpe Diem and all that jazz. I dedicated three months of my life to auditioning for acting schools. It was an exhilarating and terrifying experience. It was probably the bravest thing I’ve ever done (except maybe for that time I endured a 72 hour pre-labour). I put myself out there and took risk after risk after risk. I was willing to make a fool of myself and accepted that there was a high chance that I would do just that while falling flat on my face. The best part is, I got in. I got offered a place at a great school. I succeeded and I still feel really proud of that.

 Step Five – Snap out of the dream and promptly put sensible hat straight back on head.

But everyone knows you can’t really be an actor. There’s no money to be made from it. Very few people succeed at it. Or so said the voices in my head over and over and over again. As I was faced with the reality of leaving my daughter for three days a week to pursue something that suddenly seemed so selfish and frivolous, I backed out. I just couldn’t go through with it. It didn’t seem right. And it certainly didn’t seem sensible.

Step Six – Attempt to save face by accepting a job in your previous ‘real’ profession.

So, in order to successfully complete the backflip I had so suddenly begun I decided to do the only logical thing I could think of. I accepted a temporary job in my pre-motherhood career. My very safe and mature pre-motherhood career. “That’s better,” I thought. “I feel like an adult again.”

 Step Seven – Very quickly remember all the things that made you want a new profession in the first place. Descend into what is known technically as a ‘big, fat funk’.

This really sucked. And it hit me like a tonne of dirty nappies.

 Step Eight – Flirt with a few other career options that act as happy mediums between the boring reality and the exciting pipedream. Note – some of these may come as a complete surprise to you, your family and friends.  

Midwifery? Nursing? Psychology? Vetinary Science? Let’s say it together now, “What the?”

 Step Nine – Begin to listen to all the maternal voices inside that are telling you that what you really want is another baby with a head that smells like happiness and the squishiest, tiniest feet in the world.

Please note, these voices will never acknowledge the realities of life with a newborn. Nor will they be frank with you about the downsides of pregnancy or the excruciating pains of childbirth. The manipulative little buggers can be VERY persuasive though. Babies. Are. So. Cute. And. Small.

 Step Ten – Blog about it in the hope that writing it all down will help you make some goddamn decisions.

Cross your fingers for me? 

Leah. x

Please note:  As this post went online the author was no closer to making any decisions about anything at all.