Saturn Return (Or: A Journal I’ll Immediately Forget About)

A Saturn return is when the planet Saturn returns to the same place in the sky that it occupied at the moment of your birth

A person’s first Saturn return occurs somewhere roughly between the ages of 27 and 31

It happens at different times for everyone

A Saturn return means you’re entering the next stage of your life

A Saturn return sure is a real time

A Saturn return




I’m in my Saturn return rn, you guys. I am ~in it~.



I decided that on the first day of my Saturn return, the 21st of December 2017, I would start journaling again. I would chronicle my entire Saturn return, writing in my journal every day. The idea felt half-baked and dully important, like trying to remember the love interest your subconscious made up for you in a dream last night. I was travelling over Christmas, heading to Newcastle via Sydney for my grandmother’s memorial service, and purposefully packed a new green moleskine journal in my carry-on. Like: yeah! Imma do this. Then I landed in Sydney, forgot about the journal completely, made a bunch of – too many – Instagram stories about Sydney’s double-decker trains, and got drunk with my boyfriend’s aunt and uncle. At almost midnight, I remembered about the journal, and jumped out of bed, fished it out and wrote the following entry by the light of my iPhone torch:

Well, it’s the first day of my Saturn return, supposedly, and also the summer solstice. Feels like an auspicious time to start a new journal, no? I’m going to be honest with you, journal. I’m at Murray’s uncle’s place in Sydney and I’ve had, like…a lot of bubbly.

Everything feels up in the air, but I’m not sure if that’s me talking, or Saturn. Either way it seems obvious I’ll have nothing intelligent to say tonight.

I never wrote in the journal again.

Astrology is fake and Saturn returns are fake and 27, or 29, or 30 or 31, is a tumultuous time because of course it fucking is. Your late twenties and early thirties are when you’re expected to know what you’re fucking doing, finally, to procreate and/or buy real estate, or at the very least to own bedside tables. It’s no longer cute if you never wash your sheets, or if you press both of the bottoms of your palms to your lips and make a loud fart noise when someone asks why you and your long-term partner aren’t married yet.

From experience 27 and 28 and 29 and 30 is knowing everything is bad and nothing matters and you’re still stuck here for another 50-70 years, and finally joining a gym maybe and going to a Zumba class sometimes even though what does that even say about you, a body positive feminist, if anything, and though I can’t say for sure, I imagine 31 is much of the same. And then I guess – I hope – 32 is accepting all of the above, and riding it out.

Birth-12 is unknowing

13-26 is suspecting,

27-31 is dukes up,

and 32+ is urgh, fine.

and then your second Saturn return hits in your late fifties and you get a tattoo or cheat on your wife and move to France with your lover, I guess.


I mean. According to the stars, anyway, this is what happens. 32 year olds let me know in the comments.

I’m trying to remember how to write for myself instead of shoehorning my thoughts about myself and my friends and my life into a review of someone else’s work, in the way that is currently fashionable.

This is me trying to figure that out.

Maybe it’s like: if I pretend that I’m having these feelings and thoughts as a response to the latest hyper ‘grammable new release autofiction novel, it’s a cute lil smokescreen. Or, like: ‘me’ becomes more palatable, sellable. ‘Me’ becomes cool in association to the cool thing, something you’re allowed to avert your eyes from. ‘Me’ becomes, hi, I’m 30, and I know what writing about ‘yourself’ means now. How to do it. When. Smooth.

My psychologist asks all the wrong questions. She stares at me waiting for me to have feelings and to express them. ‘You seem emotional,’ she’ll say, when I choke up talking about how my grandmother died and I wasn’t there and I should have been – maybe not, like then, specifically, but generally there, a broad, encompassing thereness, the way you’re meant to be for the people that love you too much. Well: yeah. ‘Yeah, I don’t know,’ I say, avoiding eye contact. Embarrassed. Change the subject to my sexual assault and ill-advised crushes and whether I’m sleeping enough. Look away, look away, too much ‘me’. What is a smokescreen, anyway.

But I want her to look which is what I’m paying her to do. Obviously.

Saturn returns are fake but I am in mine and it’s hard not to believe in something when you can reach out and touch all of the corners of it, feel the weight of it on your chest as you sleep at night.

Half of my friends are in their Saturn returns and half of them aren’t and I can tell which ones are which by the way they move their bodies across the earth. How much eye contact they make when we’re sitting together, close but not too close, in a corner somewhere with some beers, talking about how we really gotta buy some bedside tables already.

(A smokescreen is a cloud of smoke created to conceal military operations.)

How to survive a Saturn return in 8 easy steps:

Stop acting like a dickhead at social events. You’re hurting the people you love.
It’s ok to sit New Years Eve out. I promise.
Now’s a great time to think about getting another dog.
The people who loved you once won’t love you forever. This sucks. I’m sorry to say that you will handle it badly.
Call your fucking parents, sometimes, even if they taught you it is shameful to cry and to experience emotions and subsequently things are much harder than they need to be with your therapist.
Have a crush on everyone. Yes, everyone. Crushes are harmless and fun and make you feel alive.
Ok, but: I didn’t actually mean everyone.
Stop bringing up the passing of time with everyone you come into contact with. It is discourteous and also boring. I’m not going to tell you again.

It’s day 193 of my Saturn return and I’m writing this in my house filled with all of my dead grandmother’s furniture, the heater going full throttle and my fridge filled with containers of soup, soccer’s on the telly and my dog’s heavy head resting on my shins and everything’s kinda fine, it really is, and all of this counts for something though it’s becoming harder and harder to figure out exactly what it counts for

And as always it’s still so, so important that I never ask myself:
                                                 What is the purpose of what it is you’re writing right now?

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