The Saturn return is a period of time, generally lasting 2-3 years, when the planet Saturn returns to the same point in the sky that it occupied at the moment of a person’s birth. It generally occurs at the ages of 28-30 years old. This period is marked by a disintegration of ego boundaries, confrontation of child hood trauma, and rapid developmental growth.
I saw it coming.
It was like a rolling cloud of grey matter in my mind’s eye.
I could feel the heaviness of it, perceive the external texture…
but the substance, the raw matter that it enclosed.. That for so long… was a very frightening mystery.
Yes, I knew my Saturn return was on it’s way long before it came. As an astrologer, I’m paid to pay to attention to those kind of things. For the sake of my clients, (and my own curiosity) Very few major movements of planetary bodies go unnoticed by me.. or even more so unfelt.
I also knew what the Saturn Return symbolized: a pruning period- a moment in which planetary forces, made manifest in my own psychic and emotional body would hurl me into a number of circumstances and situations that would make me stronger..or break me in the process.
Yet all that intellectual preparation did not stop me from having to feel it. All the theories did not prevent me from having to face my own shadows and suffer the hardships. It didn’t mean that I didn’t have to look in the mirror and see each side of my face, no longer absconded by my ego but revealed in a new beauty….. a fullness that could no longer fragment my faults.
Intellectualizing the pain did not prevent it.
What it did do was take me across the country and back. It took me to friends arms, and lovers beds..it took me to new employment and old patterns…it took me to past memories and future prophecies..
And it mostly just hurt. Bad. Like every voice and every insecurity I ever had, came raining down upon me, a psychic torrent collapsing upon my sense of self.
What I didn’t realize then, was that the universe needed for my ego perceptions of my self to be shattered..so that I could become something more than what my imagination would allow me to be. I began to realize in that moment, on a much more profound level, the necessity of pain to push many of us forward. Because if it wasn’t for that pain I may have never moved from that place of comfort. And If I had never moved from that place of comfort, that place of comfort might have killed me.
So I went head on. Opened myself up to how much I hurt. Wrestled with my past, my present and my desires for my future. It was a painful emotional experience.
But you know when it stopped hurting the most? When I stopped resisting it.
When I stopped holding on to what was, what could have been, how I thought I should have been or should be. When I stopped grasping for the remnants of my old sense of self. When I stopped blocking out the aspects of myself that didn’t fit into my narrow minded philosophy. When I was able to be honest, naked, exposed, hurting and in need of nourishment. When I was able to say that what I did was wrong. When I was able to admit that what I sensed, was misguided. When I realized what I thought I knew about myself.. was not the whole truth.
When I was able to hold all of this, and let the raw eggy soul substance sit in my palm without embracing my impatient urge to squeeze my fist and watch it seep away..it was then that I watched my life slowly coalesce into something else..something which upon first glance appeared to be in diametric opposition to everything in which I believed. Something that I told myself I would never want…
But it was something that I needed.
Something that was necessary. Something that was healing. Somewhere I would not have dared to have gone had the hurt not happened. A place I would not have traversed, had the pain not pulled me there.
And thus my greatest lesson from these last three years, my Saturn return, was this:
“Pain is a friend, who is misunderstood.”
I know now, on a level I could not fully comprehend before, about how pain can teach us about ourselves. About how pain can lead us to new places within ourselves. About how pain can push us towards healing. Even when it’s chronic, even when there is no respite, it gives us something. Sometimes it draws us together when nothing else can. Sometimes is slows us down when we refuse to otherwise. Sometimes it alerts us that something new must come into being.
Pain truly is a cosmic alarm, a divining rod..and despite how hard the difficult can be, and how hard it can be to hurt, I am grateful for the gift of pain. I am grateful for the difficult and the challenging. I am grateful for my saturn return. I am grateful for the growth.