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When the planet Saturn returns, watch out – strong life lessons may be about to pop-up.

Called the “taskmaster planet,” Saturn returns to the degree it occupied at the time of your birth every 29 years.   During the three-year period surrounding this date, Saturn shines a light on any areas of your life that are out-of-sync. 

Challenges may suddenly become the order of the day. As daunting as it may sound, discomfort, unrest, and challenges are important wake-up calls telling you something’s amiss.

Saturn is gifting you with a wonderful chance to reshape your life in accord with your true wishes and goals. With his help, you can become stronger, wiser, and more capable. The key is to be willing to  looking at life’s struggles as lessons, learn from them, and adjust your path accordingly.

Seasoned astrologer Susan Miller explains Saturn in this way:

“Saturn is the planet of concentration, permanence, tangible rewards, tenacity, ambition, and productivity. This taskmaster planet also rules caution, delay, constriction, limitation, responsibility, rules and regulations, pain, fear, authority, discipline, control and denial.

Before you say, “Ugh!”, consider this: Without Saturn, we would see little or no progress. We live in a tangible world, and Saturn urges us to deal with reality. Without Saturn we would have no gumption, no standards, or controls, no structure – just chaos.

Saturn, the Great Teacher planet, brings maturity and teaches us the value of patience and sacrifice.”

Saturn, Uranus, and me

In my own life, unrelenting challenge has been the theme for a decade. But, I can’t blame it all on Saturn! Uranus also danced into my sun sign for 9 years.   He enjoys breaking rules, demolishing patterns and structures, and creating sudden – even drastic – change.  Gee, thanks Uranus.

It has been one heck of a time.  I’ve felt overcome by challenges, suffering, and pesky emotions.  Treading water – barely.  Gasping for breath.  Hanging on for dear life. Hardly the triumphant heroine!

But true to task, the resulting lessons – thanks to Saturn – have been profound and life-altering indeed.  Here I share just two of the most potent ones.

Potent life lessons from Saturn

1.  Frustration and anger harm only you
Imagine living in a small community, in a rural area, and foreign country.  Then having your health go bonkers.  That’s what happened to me.

Not speaking the native language, I was wholly dependent on others for assistance.  Thanks to the planetary conspiracy, miscommunication turned out to be the norm.  The fulfillment of my medical requests were frequently delayed or, even worse, obstructed.  Some of the medical mix-ups were downright bizarre.

It often proved impossible to get the simple food I needed for a digestive system in total disarray.  Our meals were prepared by others.  Each mealtime became a trigger for an emotional storm. Don’t get me wrong – the food was great, but most could not be eaten by me.  I felt driven into frustration and despair with every indigestible culinary delight.

There for a purpose, I was not about to leave.  So this drama went on day-in and day-out…for a very long time.  I was constantly churned up, frustrated, and annoyed.

One day, I was walking back to my place after another inedible meal. My mind was in a tizzy of frustration and resentment, a full dialogue of righteousness and recrimination taking place in my head.  A scene that had already taken place uncountable times.

Out of the blue,  I instantly woke up.

How can you describe the remarkable moment when you suddenly see an obvious truth? One that had been fully hidden just a second ago!

The big “ah-ha” was as simple as this:  the constant sense of frustration and the repetitive, negative thinking – mostly in my mind, occasionally emitting from the mouth – were only harmful to me. The negativity was making me constantly unhappy, complaining, and unpleasant.  No doubt it was eating away at my sensitive gut too.

I was living 24/7 with a negative person – ME!

On the spot, I decided enough was enough.  I might not be able to change the circumstances, but I could change me. I didn’t become a paragon of patience overnight, but I immediately got a good start. The change that slowly took root in my disposition became readily apparent and appreciated by all.

Ironically, as my inner landscape changed, my outer landscaped also greatly improved.  Obstacles began to diminish, clear communication ensued.  On top of feeling so much happier myself, I began to genuinely feel more empathy and understanding for my previous “foes.”   Just being more spacious seemed to magically circumvent obstacles before they grew.

It’s true – habits die hard.  I haven’t fully eliminated anger, frustration, and blame from my repertoire.  But, happily they are no longer the leading stars in my life.

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” -Mark Twain

2.  Befriending impermanence
Have you noticed there’s almost always an automatic denial when the possibility of death touches us in some way?

In her spellbinding book, Naked in Eden, Robin Easton describes this perfectly when she says to herself, “No! Not Dad.”  Recently, actor Michael Douglas responded to his diagnosis of throat cancer in the same way, “No, not me.”

We live most of our life denying the possibility of death.  It never occurs to us that embracing impermanence could actually transform our lives.

Have you ever had a moment when you thought you might be dying? I did thanks to my planetary friends.  More than one.  Alone, in the night.

In the aftermath of those moments, I decide I needed to face up to death.  These mini-shocks made me see how deeply attached I am to this body, this identity, this life, and all the plans and ideas that pile up in my head.  Yet, I know, it’s this very attachment that brings suffering and pain.

How could I use these close encounters to remember dying and unravel my strong attachments now? How could I use this awareness to meet death with confidence, fully prepared?

It’s certain we are going to die, we just don’t know when or how. It might be much sooner than we think.

Memento mori” is a Latin phrase that Christian monks repeat to help them “remember dying.”  What benefit could there be to remembering dying? Here’s the short list.

Recalling our own mortality, wakes us up.  It helps us live fully in the present moment and appreciate this gift of life. It reminds us that there is no time to waste.  It’s an impetus to getting our priorities straight.  It prompts us to express our love right now as there may be no tomorrow.  It sparks us to drop negativity, anger, aggression,  self-recrimination and other self-limiting emotions.  Most importantly, it underscores that we are not this physical body – it’s only a temporary hotel.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” -Teilhard de Chardin

With its tremendous transformative power, I wish I could bring impermanence to bear on each and every moment of my life!

The potential of the Saturn return

Saturn brings life lessons

Image from Wikipedia

The Saturn return occurs at the ages of 27-30, 58-60, 86-88.

Saturn doesn’t create problems, it just shines a light on them.  If you have been living your life on-target, these may be times of fruition and further clarity.  But if your life is out-of-sync, it’s likely to become obvious and uncomfortable when Saturn returns.  The issues that arise typically relate to time, structure, responsibility, power and accomplishment.

Remember, it’s a chance to take a fresh look at your life.  In these periods, take some time to examine the structures you have created to determine if they are serving you well.  If not, here’s your chance to reset your course in a more fulfilling direction.

Do you recall the Saturn returns in your life? Do you have a life lesson to share?

If you liked this article, please share it with others.  Thanks so much! Sandra