WTF is This ‘Saturn Return’ Thing… And DOES It Explain the Quarter-Life Crisis?! We Investigate

Everyone’s favourite witch Emma Watson raised eyebrows when she credited her ‘Saturn Return’ for catapulting her life in a different direction. But what is it? Is it even real? And what can you do to navigate through your own? Kelly Bertrand reflects on her own Saturn Return – and what she wished she knew then.

The year was 2018.

It’s not a year I look back on with great fondness – in fact, I don’t actually really remember anything about it apart from sadness, depression and rosé. To be fair the rosé probably has something to do with the not remembering part – but the point is, 2018 was one of my, if not the, darkest year.

At 28, I was trying to cope with a very tough breakup; a traumatic living situation and a toxic work environment all at the same time, and life was tough. The previous year was one of the best – I’d met a great guy, I thought my career was heading in the right direction and I had a wonderful flat in a great part of Auckland.

But fast-forward to end 2017 and the beginning of 2018, everything – everything – crumbled within a month of each other, and I was left trying to pick up the pieces of a life I thought I was supposed to be living and my GOD, how it hurt.

But through the wine-soaked haze that was my life, I remember thinking “how the hell has all of this happened to me at the same time!? – SURELY the universe isn’t that cruel!?”

And then, thanks to Emma Watson (of all people!?) I now know – a Saturn Return.

What is a Saturn Return?

A Saturn Return is a previously little-known astrological phenomenon that, just like our old mate Mercury Retrograde, can wreak absolute cosmic havoc on your life.

Basically, it’s when the planet Saturn – known for its power, dominance and rigidness, amongst other things – returns to the exact spot it occupied during your birth, with its transit then lasting about two and a half years.

Saturn is the planet that rules karma and justice, and is associated with virtues, values and cosmic timing. Hard work and resolve are its good points; but it can also be harsh and unforgiving. And when it returns to the same degree and sign as it occupied when you were born, BIG changes, upheavals and twists happen as you enter a new phase and stage in life.

And guess what – it occurs every 27-29 and a half years.

Essentially, if you’re not following the right path in life, Saturn will not-so-gently yank you off it, and plop you back down on the right one – although it certainty might not feel like it at the time. Growth is painful, right?!

What does Emma Watson have to do with a Saturn Return?

The Harry Potter star posted about her own Saturn Return experience – crediting it for her huge self-growth but also her “really sad and pissed off” period of life where she learnt more about “love and being a woman”.

“Holy moly. Before 29 I hadn’t even heard of a Saturn Return as a concept,” she wrote on Instagram. “Let’s just say I am now well acquainted”.

Emma isn’t the only celeb who believes in a Saturn Return – Adele credits the astrological phenomenon for her divorce.

Is a Saturn Return a real thing?

Well, it all depends if astrology if your thing. But if you’re like me and you set some store in the stars, then hell yeah, she’s real.

The late 20s have always been known for their volatility, unpredictability and their HUGE amounts of pressure. Careers begin to enter their important years; people start getting married and having children, and even you know absolutely do NOT think of yourself as an adult, you come to realise that you probably should have some savings in your bank account and eat at least one thing green per meal.

They’re crazy times – and that’s even before a Saturn Return. Or is it BECAUSE of Saturn!?

It’s the start of a new chapter and an astrological coming of age, and that means deep reflection, self-actualisation and huge transformations. Only thing, it lasts between two and three years.

The average age of people going through a divorce is 30. THIRTY. On the other hand, everyone else seems to be getting married, moving to new cities. It’s a wild, turbulent time.

What do you need to know for your own Saturn Return?

First, don’t panic. Everyone’s Saturn Return is different due to their own, unique astrological chart, so just because someone else’s relationship has imploded, it doesn’t mean yours will.

Another thing to remember is that while it might be horrifically painful right now, Saturn is adjusting your fate so you can be the best version of yourself that you can be. It’s got your back – but most definitely in a tough-love kind of way. Have faith that it will all work out – everything happens for a reason, after all.

And best of all, get ready to meet your true, authentic self after Saturn has had its way with you.

What happened to you?

After I (unknowingly) emerged from my Saturn Return, my life changed – and I mean changed – once again.

As fast as things unravelled, that’s how quickly everything got so, SO good. We started Capsule and found our dream jobs – working for ourselves – after years of professional trauma. I met the love of my life. We moved in together. I used my passport even more than before the pandemic. And for the first time in my life, I have true, glorious contentment and the knowledge that my life is moving in the direction that I want to, with the right people around me and so much to look forward to.

I guess I should thank Saturn!?

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