We're conditioned to fear entering our late-20s because, as humans who age at a normal rate, doing so means we're that much closer to turning 30. Anyone who's actually in their 30s will tell you this transition from one decade to the next went relatively smoothly, though there might have been a slight hiccup of the cosmic sort when they turned 27, 28, or 29 — and it was all thanks to Saturn.
Whether we're aware of it or not, each of us experiences a major astrological event between the ages of 27 and 30 known as the Saturn return, when Saturn completes its orbit around the sun and returns to the exact point it was when we were born. Considering this planet's reputation as the disciplinarian of the solar system, this momentous celestial shift tends to mean one thing: Play time's over.
A heavy Saturn influence means focusing on your longevity and longterm success, making cautious decisions, and behaving with total maturity. With that in mind, a Saturn return should prove to be a crash course in adulting. You'll be challenged to rethink your priorities and question your drive, all in the name of maintaining a steady sense of purpose. Saturn returns hinge upon restoring clarity (and not necessarily peace) to one's life. Safe to say, they can be kind of rough.
Of course, by the time you're in your late 20s, you're probably already adulting on a regular basis, so you may not have to much to worry about. If you've already got your five-year plan on lock, your Saturn return could feel more like a nudge than a kick in the pants, but it's still in your interest to pay attention to the ringed planet.
Here's why: You'll likely live through two, maybe three more Saturn returns after the first one. In a sense, each one arrives as one phase of your life is ending and another is beginning. The return you experience around 60, for example, may signal that you're about to age out of what's considered "middle-aged." This isn't just a checkpoint for your physical age, but a reminder to take stock of how far you've come and where you want to go next in your life.
If you've been paying attention to your birth chart, you already know that certain placements allude to your life's general path. Nothing there will tell you exactly how long you'll live or how much money you'll make, but your north node can suggest what lessons you have left to learn, and your sun sign can indicate the type of person you'll one day become. Your Saturn return is an opportunity to reevaluate how you relate to these points in your chart, reflect upon whether you're making any progress toward them, and, if anything, read your horoscope. It might tell you more about how you're doing than you know.
Whether you dread or relish the thought of your first Saturn return, much like the big 3-0, it's coming regardless. Might as well pin down your longterm goals (and plan an extravagant birthday party to make up for all of Saturn's demands), like, now.