The Saturn Return is a new 28-30 year cycle of Saturn. Between the ages of about 28 to 30 years old, the planet Saturn has traveled through all of the zodiacal signs and has come back to the place it was at one's birth. The second Saturn Return is after another 28-30 years, and happens around 56-60 years of age. And of course, it is possible to have even another new Saturn cycle start in one's mid-80s to about 90 years old.
The way a new Saturn Return starts out is very much affected by how one has consciously put the positive Saturn qualities into effect during the previous Saturn cycle. Saturn has to do with one’s self-discipline, good structures and routines, the ability to let go of stress and tensions, and the ability to be in the present moment. And the deepest level of using Saturn well in our lives is to have a deep sense of clarity about what things are the most important to us in our lives. And this is much deeper than an intellectual or logical process. It is a gut-level, soul-searching kind of process, which we can often be compelled to get into during strong and challenging Saturn times.
When we have gotten in touch with this deeper clarity, it can be much more profound and ‘real’ than what we may arrive at intellectually. This can be greatly facilitated by meditation and asking inside to connect with what those important things are. When we do get this clarity, it can become the inspiration and the energy to then put into action other positive Saturn things in order to nurture and develop those things that have become more clearly important. We may only have a handful of things that we really want to nurture in this way, like our peace of mind and happiness, our health, our family, our important relationships, etc.
Saturn is always influencing our lives, sometimes stronger than other times. Throughout our lives we are presented with Saturnian challenges and tests. These times are also opportunities to develop the positive 'gifts' that we can get from Saturn.
So let’s say, for our peace of mind, we decide to meditate everyday at the same time, no matter what resistance (a Saturn thing) comes up, no matter how tired we are, etc. We will be sure to attract resistance and all kinds of reasons not to do it. This is why it is important to have gotten in touch with such a deep level of clarity that what you are doing is important. This clarity can initiate the commitment. Our minds will often fight the commitment. And the more we give in to resistance and other things in our minds, the more we are feeding into patterns that get harder to break out of.
If we do stick with our example of committing to a meditation practice, then we can grow tremendously on many levels, including spiritually, emotionally and mentally. We have to do that kind of work ourselves. Everyone has, as human beings, the right and the ability to become truly happy, free and fully conscious (Sat Chid Ananda in the Vedic traditions). But we have to put in the conscious effort, which has a lot to do with using Saturn's positive qualities well.
If we have been able to have a good strong momentum of commitment to positive Saturn things in the first Saturn cycle, then the end of it can be a major completion or ending of vast amounts of issues, tensions, karmas, etc. that do not carry into the next Saturn cycle. The new Saturn cycle can manifest as a more expansive and dynamic period in one’s life. Sure, there can be challenges to test one’s resolve as Saturn is conjunct one’s natal Saturn (at the Saturn Return). But, it can truly be a time when you can feel like a lot of things have changed. It can be a rewarding time on a large scale, from your past and current effort. The conjunction of Saturn back on the natal Saturn can be a tremendous opportunity to gain and grow from. It can be a stronger challenge. And that is why having a good positive momentum of good structures and discipline (in terms of months and years) leading up to this time is important. It will facilitate a new positive and expansive level of Saturn manifesting in one’s life.
The opposite of this is that we can become more shut down, crystallized, negative, resistant, fearful, old, tired, sick, etc. The choice is always ours, no matter whether it is the Saturn return or not. And that’s really the most important. If we have used our challenges and Saturn well on a daily basis, then we don’t have to worry about the actual Saturn Return (whichever one it is). But it’s good to know that it will be an extra good opportunity for growth.
When one has put into effect positive commitments and structures in their life, then one gets ‘bigger’ than the challenges that come their way. One doesn’t get thrown around by their issues, tensions, etc. One has built a strong inner mechanism or capacity. It still has to be a conscious effort that is brought to one’s life. And we can all be happier and happier as life gets less and less dramatic and more rich, rewarding and full.