First Saturn return: breaking from past bondage

Hitting the age of twenty-eight, we all enter the period of our first Saturn return. This is a transformative time of three years that is marked by growing up and the difficulties coming along with it. From our own experience, with or without knowing about astrology, we can see that people of this age go through major changes. Those young adults become more mature: they buy a house, get kids, find a serious job with ambitious goals or get involved in society is some other responsible way. It is this involvement in society, this putting ourselves more firmly on the earth, what is represented by the first Saturn return. In this article I want to show the big importance of this process as also the challenges it can bring.

Some of the most important aspects Saturn represents in modern astrology are: time, karma, limitation and responsibility. He is the last planet we can observe with our naked eye, representing the end of the physical world. Being the watcher on the threshold of the earthly domain, he forms the border with the subtle realm. This astrological symbol shows us where our ego meets itself and where we experience our physical limitation. That makes that Saturn is labeled as a malefic planet, as meeting our limitations is for most of us a painful situation. Very important to add, is that the pain we experience when we are facing Saturn, can go together with growth. It is this process of learning through suffering that makes life so interesting. When in the end of our twenties we feel confused, limited or somehow confronted with unmet expectations, we are actually meeting Saturn while he is making his first return to his natal position.

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saturn return

So you know who you are?

Depending on how deeply and honestly we are relating with ourself and the world, how much we will be able to grow during this transition time. In the first twenty-eight years of our life, we are relating with the world through the lens of our personality. Personality comes from the Latin word “persona”, which means mask. So we see that in the ancient world, people were aware that our personality was just a cover of a more authentic part of our being. Revealing more our authentic self is the aim that goes together with the pain of the completion of the first Saturn cycle. When we make an effort, put our priorities to the highest and take full responsibility during this three year transition, it will be rewarding in a more meaningful and satisfying adult life. Unfortunately, many of us don’t use this crucial period for moving towards a more creative expression of themself, but crystallize even more their unconscious behaviour. I hope for the young adults who read this, to choose to look Saturn in the eyes and don’t turn their back to the responsibility it takes to grow up properly. Let’s continue reading and find out how to use the transformative time for its highest cause.

Saturn is making his first return, he gives us an opportunity to leave our borrowed personality behind. Yes, our personality is borrowed! It is not truly ours. During the first twenty-eight years of our life, we learn how we should behave and how to be a respected someone. We take unconsciously a sense of I, which is only a copy of what we can learn from our parents and society. We learn how to be polite, how to relate with one another and about value’s and ethics. Yet, those certain behaviours are very relative to the culture where we copy them from. What people perceive normal in China, may not be so accepted by most people in the west. Also, we see how throughout the years this sense of I changes and takes different forms and shapes. What we like to wear, eat, or listen to now a day is not the same as when we were teenagers. Also, our value’s and belief system has hopefully gone through some serious changes compared to our adolescence time. We are the same being as we were back then, yet our personality has changed. When we contemplate this more deeply, we start realizing that this persona is indeed just a mask, covering up a deeper identity of ourselves. Realizing this can be painful. The ego personality likes to hold on to what it knows, letting go hurts. Yet, the process of letting go of who we thought to be is a big part of Saturn’s first return.

saturn return vrouw

We all deserve to play big!

All what we learn and do before the first return of Saturn, is linked to our karma and past. But from this moment on, we can start to live our dharma and choose our own path, which is different as the path we have been walking before. At the end of our twenties, something in how we perceive the world can shift. What we used to prioritize, does not seem to be as important anymore. Partying every week, using substances, is not as meaningful as it used to be. The promising rewards of working hard in society do not seem to be as fulfilling as we hoped. Listening to our parents advice does not always seem to be the wisest idea either. Maybe there is more out there, more that life has to offer? We might feel to break out of a certain lifestyle that we have been believing to be meaningful. The first requirement for getting loose from past bondage is to see and experience that we are stuck, somehow unsatisfied with life. This asks a sense of honesty and clarity, if not we will stay stuck in seeking satisfaction in superficial existence. Yet, we all deserve to play big!

Living a satisfying life

We are more than a person in a society. We are an autentic individual, worthy of living a satisfying, meaningful life. We do carry gifts within us, let’s start putting them out there! What is it that makes your heart feel truly alive? What makes you deeply happy? It is that which deserve your full attention, this will give you a satisfying human experience! It can be something else as what your friends and family expect from you. Saturn asks you to turn your back to the past, using the fruits it gave you to plant new seeds for a better future. I want to clarify that we don’t have to go against our parents or society, in some cases we can walk together with the people we grow up with, but sometimes we need to say goodbye to those that served us in the past, but will no more in the future. Deep inside, you know what direction to go, which shoes to put on. Once you start expressing authentically, you will feel more alive than ever. Like breathing for the first time, a sense of rebirth. It is possible we feel a sense of stuckness or boredom with life, but we don’t know yet what makes us truly happy. Probably because society with its expectations and temptations is still directing our life.

When we are living fast, getting our ass from one thing to another, or we numb ourselves out with movies or drugs, we are not giving life the chance to reveal its magnificence. Take time alone, go in nature, breathe fresh air, sit still for more than five minutes, take distance from what you know and explore new horizons. Do those things consistently and your path will become more clear. When you choose to move away from what you know, you might move away from that what blocks you from feeling happy and satisfied. Important to mentioning is that Saturn does not always make people feel stuck or restricted, he can also bring amazing achievements. So some of us won’t feel the need to change direction, instead they will feel encouraged to continue the road they have been taken while Saturn is making his first return. In this case, Saturn will be a helpful companion, bringing physical manifestation and divine embodiment.

saturn return berg

The realization is instantaneous, the deconditioning is a process

Saturn is a symbol of time. So all that we want to achieve with his blessing asks patience and perseverance. Like a spiritual teacher of mine says: “The realization is instantaneous, the deconditioning is a process”. Moving away from past habits and behaviours is a process of falling down and standing up again. We can get a glimpse of our deeper self and how it likes to express, but yet we are so bound to the past. We are asked to do conscious work and come back again and again to the path we want to walk. Keeping our direction in front of us and mind clear to see signs and obstacles. We got so used to wearing masks all the time, that we need to accept that it will take time to get rid of them. Compassion towards ourselves and others is a very important attitude that can help a lot easing the process of life.

If we fall back into old tendencies, we look at ourself with loving eyes and return to our unique pathway, again and again. We can feel guild or judgmental towards ourself or others, because we or them don’t behave in the way that seems correct. We all walk our unique path, so we take full responsibility for our own actions and leaving others responsibilities with them. It already takes enough effort to stay completely truthful and honest with ourselves. Trust that others do the best with what they have, just like we do. So moving with love, loving our own and other’s imperfections is important if we want to use this transformative time for its highest cause.

Now we start understanding why Saturn rules over the aspects of time, karma, limitation and responsibility. We humans are mostly meeting the present moment through the lens of our personality, which is created through past experiences. When Saturn makes his first return, we are confronted with this past and get the opportunity to connect with our deeper self. We can choose to keep putting a mask on our face, or to be brave enough to throw it to the ground and show our true face to the world. Of course this is a process of time and the three year period of Saturn’s first return is not enough to reveal our full divine nature, but the movement towards our authentic self is so potential at this time, that it would be a shame to not take this valuable opportunity full-handedly!
If you are a young adult and you don’t know where your authentic boots are yet, trust that time will show you. Open to the possibility that you are creative and you can manifest unique things. Remember that everyone walks at his time and pace.

Using the planets to guide us

The wisdom of astrology helps me tremendously to face life openly and understand the deeper meaning of what is happening on a daily basis. I am available for astrology readings and in this way guide you through your process, of any kind. Interpreting the deeper meaning of the position of the planets, from the small Pluto to the big Jupiter, can give deep inside in life’s unfolding. When we see the bigger picture and understand why things are happening, we start experiencing life with more ease and grace.

How did you experience your first Saturn Return? Let me know in a comment below. 


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Seppe van Immerseel

Seppe van Immerseel


Seppe is sinds 2019, toen hij met de astrologie in contact kwam, gefascineerd door het vak. Hij volgt de opleiding tot consult voerend astroloog bij Ishtar opleidingcentrum en geeft sinds dit jaar ook professionele begeleiding. De wijsheid van de sterren geeft hem de basis om het leven op een open en vrije manier te beleven. Graag deelt hij deze kennis met anderen om het pad voor iedereen te verlichten.

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