By: Janette Dalgliesh – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
There’s a powerful undercurrent running through 2021 – the tension between stability-loving Saturn and revolutionary Uranus.
It’s having an impact on us all, in terms of societal patterns.
And it could also be affecting you personally, especially if you’re at a special ‘hot zone’ point in your life cycle.
The Saturn Return happens when Saturn returns to the exact point in the zodiac that he was at the moment of your birth. The ringed planet’s orbit is 29 years, so we get a Saturn Return at the end of our twenties, again in our late fifties, and – if we’re lucky enough to stay around that long – again in our eighties.
Saturn is the curator of our personal life mission: That Thing we came here to do, the purpose we yearn to express in the world.
He wants to make things real and tangible, he’s the mentor and taskmaster who keeps us focused and keeps us building.
And it’s his nature to prefer stability, the feeling of being solidly grounded with robust foundations.
Uranus takes far longer to do a circuit of the zodiac – 84 years.
That means we don’t get more than one Uranus Return in a human lifetime. But we DO get the Uranus Half Return, which is when Uranus is exactly opposite the point in the zodiac that it was at our birth.
You’ll notice I use ‘he’ for Saturn, because this planetary spirit is powerfully linked to the masculine archetypes and has been for millennia.
But I use ‘it’ for Uranus, a planet only discovered in relatively modern times, because although the planet is named for the Father of the Sky, partner to Moter Earth Gaia, it is far more ambiguous.
Some astrologer refer to Uranus as a feminine planet, some as masculine.
I don’t think radical Uranus can be contained in a box of anyone’s making, including the constructs of binary gender.
Uranus yearns for freedom, independence, the wide open spaces.
You can see the tension at play.
Stability vs revolution.
Right now, Saturn is square Uranus.
The 90º square is the challenge which leads to breakthrough and the opening up of new possibilities.
It’s not the smooth, effortless support of the trine.
It’s the shout that awakens us out of slumber with an adrenaline rush, so we can do the not-always-comfortable work of growth and development.
Collectively, we are in the process of making some big choices between the stability of the status quo, and the revolution which needs to happen so that EVERYONE has equal access to freedom and independence.
Personally, we’re in the astrological weather zone of potential upheaval leading to even more joy and freedom – but it’s not necessarily a super smooth ride.
And that’s okay!
We had a short preview for a couple of months in early 2020, but the full square began in January this year and – with the exception of a brief reprieve August to October – it’s with us all this year.
And there are three ‘exact’ dates to notice, thanks to Saturn moving retrograde (seeming to go backwards) between late May and October. In other words, Saturn squares Uranus, comes back and squares again, turns forwards and squares yet again.
If you want to maximise the benefit of this period, and you’re given to ritual, you could definitely create a specific protocol to use at those exact moments (times below). But you don’t need to.
This phenomenon happens about every twenty years, and once this season is over, we don’t get it again until 2043.
So make the most of it (more on that below).
First though, how does this affect you if you’re travelling through a Saturn Return or Uranus Half Return?
Saturn Return at age 29-31 is when we are asked to strip away everything which is no longer authentic. That can be in your career or your personal life, or both. At my first Saturn Return, I left my ex-husband and moved to the other side of the planet to create a whole new life. At my second Saturn Return, I stopped working for other people and created my own business.
Uranus Half Return at around age 42 is wildly different. Our first Saturn Return at age 29-31 helps us break free into proper adulthood, and establish our new, more authentic self. Then along comes Uranus and we feel the sparks of defiance coursing through our blood, like the zap you get from touching a metal surface after walking over cheap nylon carpet. I remember at my 40th birthday party, a potent (and slightly alarming) moment of knowing to my bones that I am the boss of my own life.
Those sparks are a cry for freedom, a yearning for more fluidity, spaciousness, independence.
That very thing we spent years establishing – the new, more adult, more independent self – has begun to feel like a prison in some way.
It’s sometimes called the Harley-Davidson Return, because (especially in men), it’s associated with the classic ‘mid-life crisis’.
In the most disruptive cases, it looks like smashing your whole life, selling everything and hitting the road in what looks like a quest to regain lost youth.
It’s not really the quest for youth – it’s the desperate quest for a freedom which might feel unattainable in our current life.
Stability vs rebellion.
The life we’ve built vs the open road.
It seems like a powerful and impossible choice, a binary that cannot be resolved.
The trick with a binary is to find the third dimension, where both urges can be satisfied at the same time. Start by looking at the commonalities.
What do Saturn and Uranus have in common?
They both crave authenticity: expressing the truth of who we are, and what we came here to do.
Saturn does it by urging us to mastery, by pushing us to become even more of who we came here to be and building our life’s work step by step.
Uranus does it by yelling “my way or the highway” and smashing through the fences that lie in the way.
Get them to collaborate, and suddenly EVERYTHING changes.
That’s your invitation.
We’re all going through the Saturn-Uranus square right now, so we’re all being invited to tap into that sweet spot where we can express our own authentic self.
And if you’re going through a Saturn Return or a Uranus Half-Return, you can use this current season to help you navigate even better.
How to make the most of it:
- revisit your sense of purpose and what you’re here to do – ask ‘what’s the CORE of my work here?’ (if you need help figuring that out, then reach out)
- review what you’ve created in your life so far – practice being proud of yourself for what’s going right and THEN look to what you want to change
- notice any irritants and get curious about what first steps you could take to change them
- if you feel like your circumstances are keeping you trapped, question that assumption – activate your own resourcefulness and creativity (and if you need support with this piece, reach out)
- be aware that if you have unaddressed trauma – and most humans do – you may find your trauma response coming up for healing and processing. That’s not a problem, even though it may not be comfortable or easy. Reach out for help, or support yourself with excellent resources such as Pete Walker’s book Complex PTSD
And for the folks going through a Saturn Return or Uranus Half Return:
- celebrate the fact! Whatever work you might need to do during this Return, it has the potential to result in your finding sweeter and deeper joy than you’ve known before – especially if you go in ready to embrace whatever emerges
- practice being kind to yourself – it’s SO easy to think you’re ‘doing it wrong’, especially with the Uranus Half Return. ‘I built this thing and now I don’t like it – what’s wrong with me???’ is not kind or helpful!
- ensure you are nurtured in whatever ways you need – these slower, big planetary returns can require work on your part, so ensure you’re well cared for and your energy is being replenished
- activate non-judgemental curiosity – rather than suppressing moments of irritation, sit with them and ask ‘what do I actually want instead; what can I learn here?’
- if you’re just starting your Return, it’s unlikely you’ll know right now how things will be by the end – make a powerful decision that you will go with the flow and relish whatever develops; you don’t need to know the whole path to take the first steps
Remember this Saturn-Uranus season is a slow progress, not an overnight thing.
Kindness turned inwards. Soothe yourself if you get nerve jangles. Know that nothing is going wrong here.
Look to the spacious horizon AND keep your feet on the step by step path, towards your authentic expression in the world.
(PS If you’d like to get my expert eyes on your chart (especially if you’re going through a Saturn Return or Uranus Half Return!), I have spots in my calendar coming up – book here at your convenience)
Exact times (US Eastern Timezone)
- 17 Feb, 2:07 pm
- 14 Jun, 6:01 pm
- 24 Dec, 2:16 am
Janette Dalgliesh is a coach and astrologer, who helps people from all walks of life to experience the deep joy of living their soul’s true purpose in the world. You can get Janette’s eyes on your chart, explore coaching options, or sign up for her emails at her website.