Dawne Kovan

Sky Watching Wisdom , Astrology

The Saturn Return – Saturn in Scorpio

Saturn has a cycle of 29 years 5 months as it orbits around your chart to ‘return’ to its natal position as you reach between 29 and 30 and 58-59. This 12 month period has a special significance in that it is a time of decision making with one eye on your future and your goals. I have noticed that people who are single often marry during this time; those who are married may divorce; some people start a family and others start their own business; some even come to the conclusion that their chosen career isn’t giving them what they hoped, and so they opt to start again.

This has all the markers of Saturn as the builder and structure maker, looking to a life of maturity and being a real grown-up. It may not be an easy passage, however it is inevitable. The Fire signs find it particularly hard as they feel that their wings are being clipped by an energy that limits their ideas so that they make something solid and real rather than just talking about them. Water signs can struggle with having to be tough rather than always being sweet and compliant. For everyone there will be delays to deal with and a sense of being limited by the outside world and that can be frustrating. However, no matter how you feel, a reality check is always useful when looked back on, once the transit is over.

We all go through a number of Saturn returns, depending on our age. The first return is to those who were born with Saturn in Scorpio between December 1982 to April 1983 and then from end of August 1983 to mid-November 1985. The second Saturn return is the generation who are now in their mid-fifties, born with Saturn in Scorpio at the end of October, 1953 to beginning of October 1956. The third is the generation born between 1924-1926, who will have other major life changes to put in place for their futures.

For the rest of us, it can be a useful question to ask ourselves what we were doing when Saturn was last in Scorpio 1982-1985. What important choices were being made and how are we revisiting that time now in the present – what opportunities, people and ideas are being repeated now? What steps did we take then and what new steps can we take now?

For those of you who are in the second Saturn Return, in your late-50s, you are being confronted with major life questions – the biggest of these being: What Now? What Next? How do I refresh, revitalise myself and my life? How do I reboot my path that is not bringing what I hoped it would? Yes, I have the nice lifestyle but I’m not happy – I feel my life has no meaning, and so on. There has to be more to life than just this. The kids have left home and don’t need me any more, the job is uninspiring and relationships are dull. It sounds scary, yet everyone goes through it and emerges at the other end. It’s the quality of the other end that interests me.

We can rely on the fact that the Saturn Return lasts for a year and then life goes on – albeit in a different direction than the one we may have imagined. Saturn doesn’t ‘do’ imagination, by the way – he prefers checks and balances. And for some people it is an easy period to go through – mainly for Capricorns and Aquarians, who are happy to take on the responsibility of doing whatever is necessary for a positive future. As Saturn is their ruling planet, they understand the need for such periods in their lives.

It can be understood as touching base for the next phase of life – a kind of rite of passage – that helps find a new meaning that is congruent with whichever Saturn Return you are experiencing. The key is that this is a finite process with a specific timing. That’s the beauty of astrology, knowing how and when to deal with each phase of the process. Like all transits there is a beginning, a middle or review stage, then the end phase of putting all the pieces together meaningfully in terms of your resultant new future.

I hope this article enlightens all you “Returners” and explains some of the “down” feelings and thoughts you may be experiencing right now. These are part of Saturn’s effect on us – to bring us down to earth and help us get real. It’s an act of mental strength to thank Saturn for the reminder and think of something more positive – on the theme that Saturn is expecting from you right now.

Good luck – and if you want to know more, email me at dk@dawnekovan.com to book a reading.



  1. A great post Dawne, particularly for me as a Second Saturn Returner. During my First Saturn Return I left a good job thinking I was going to live and work in the USA. Nothing worked out other than I had a wonderful extended holiday and I returned to what was the beginning of setting up my own business. This was all done with a youthful energy and in the recessionary times in the Ireland of the mid-eighties. Working with new technology assured me of plenty of work at that time.

    Now at 60 years old, and with many life challenges integrated into my being, it has raised my spirits to review my life experience when I was 30, and realise that back then I didn’t resist anything, and the next piece of the puzzle fell into place. I feel that Saturn asks us to be at home to ourselves so that we can be found by whatever is seeking to connect with us.

    It is really useful for me at a time when a new phase of my life is presenting itself, to know how to work with the planetary influences and potential contained therein. In fact, I am excited now about reaching 90!

  2. Dot Fisher, Good response. Transitting Saturn is one degree from exact comjunction. Lifting the lid on the natal Saturn patterns,..knowing whats going on gives me some containment, so I can let go and let it happen.

  3. Thank you Jean – that is an equally good reply to the Saturn Return issue. It is always about containment with Saturn even though it can feel tough at times, it’s always a choice to let the energy do what it needs to do in your life, and a brave one, too. Good luck with it all.

  4. In my second Scorpio return, sag sub, Scorpio moon, conjunction with Scorpio Saturn… Any advice?

  5. I am slightly confused as to the meaning of “Sag Sub” – however, the rest is clear: your Saturn Return in Scorpio will also include your Moon in everything you read. Good luck

  6. Thank you Dawne. I am in my first Saturn Return in Scorpio, and its been the MOST difficult and intense, yet clarifying and releasing time of my life. Im a Leo Moon, and Pisces rising, Gemini sun. Am I have such a difficult time with it because of my moon being a fire sign?

  7. Thank you for this explanation. I have know that the Saturn Return was something huge in my life, both at my birth and during my first one. My first Saturn Return held for me, pregnancy, marriage, illness of my husband, birth of my first daughter, death of my husband. Whew! I went on to get a teaching credential and have been teaching ever since. I’ve remarried 18 years ago and had a son. Now I’m ending my second Saturn Return. My therapist now is the woman who was both my midwife and grief councilor and my first husbands death councilor. It seems she came back into my life to assist me with my second saturn return as well. interesting an hoping I’m getting it right.