3 Unique Saturn Returns: Rihanna, Emma Thompson & Christopher Plummer

Rihanna, Emma Thompson and Christopher Plummer are individually celebrated for their artistic achievements around the world. Beginning in late December 2017 and through 2018, they also celebrate a Saturn return to their natal Saturn in Capricorn.

They each share the hallmarks of Saturn as expressed through Capricorn: a call to duty, perseverance and prizes won against worldly obstacles. Individually, they will express in some sphere of their life organizational skills that with age and experience lead to accomplished life goals. There may be displays of dour practicality or frugal efficiency. Each will feel a unique interior pause as one Saturn cycle ends and another begins.

In general, Time Lord Saturn returns to a person’s natal position every 28-29 years. Most of us experience the first return before our 30th birthday while many of us will age to understand the second return as we welcome our 58th-59th year. Some of us will physically endure to celebrate a third return as we approach our 88th year. If any soul upon their 117th year reaches the 4th Saturn return….their worldly wisdom is beyond compare.

Saturn returns signify a cycle of world experience has completed. An inner tally of challenges met, hurdles overcome and lessons learned is part of the transit no matter what the native’s age. The return is the culmination of Saturn’s cycle through our lives. The chart below is a cyclic example of Saturn in action for these three individuals.

Saturn’s similarity with a lunar cycle is noteworthy. The moon’s 28-29 day cycle symbolizes the flux and flow of our interior life, while Saturn’s 28-29 year cycle heralds our mastery of this earthly reality. Saturn’s waxing, outgoing square has a first quarter feel, while an opposition alludes to a full moon moment. The waning, incoming square is similar to a third quarter moon which leads to a natal Saturn return and new moon promise.

Rihanna is experiencing a first Saturn return, with the exact transit having occurred on December 24th, 2017. If the reported birth time is correct, the Saturn return will echo through the 9th house spheres of life:  spiritual quests, long distance journeys, life philosophies, higher law and education.  As I write, she is making a public call to end gun violence as she mourns a younger cousin’s tragic death over the Christmas holiday in Barbados.

Christopher Plummer follows with his 3rd Saturn Return on Jan 02, 2018. He recently received a Golden Globe nominee for Best Supporting Actor for the role of J. Paul Getty in the film “All The Money In The World.” With Saturn like discipline, this 88 year old actor credited his early theatre training in allowing him to step in and replace Kevin Spacey over a demanding 9 day re-shoot. Will Plummer be rewarded with an Oscar nod later in January?

Emma Thompson will experience a 2nd Saturn Return in 2018 beginning in February and ending in November. In October 2017 her frank assessment of Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood culture made headlines around the world and illustrated this Saturn in Capricorn native’s ability to overcome career impediments placed in her path. Thompson’s interior dialogue with Saturn will determine the direction of her next 28-29 years. 

Are you born with Saturn in the early degrees of Capricorn? Then you have or will experience a Saturn return in the coming months. Your experience may not be as public as the three mentioned above, but it is a moment to take a deep breath and consider lessons learned, challenges met and plans yet to achieve. The celestial taskmaster has returned and beckons you to grow in maturity and wisdom. Many happy Saturn returns to all.

Saturn Into Capricorn – An Early Welcome

On December 19, 2017 at 11:49 pm in Toronto, Canada, Saturn will return to the sign of its rulership – Capricorn. The Sun will follow suit upon the winter solstice on December 21st around 11:30 am and join in conjunction with the time lord Saturn in the longest night of the year. This festive season will usher in for most of us living upon the shores of Lake Ontario, holiday parties, ice hockey and getaways to warm weather places.

People living in the northern hemisphere experience the holidays as the Sun’s most southern point in declination, followed by the Sun’s slow climb through the winter months and culminating in the balance of the Vernal Equinox. Sagittarian ruler Jupiter wearing the mythic guise of the Holly King is cosmically overcome by the proceeding Capricorn ruler Saturn as the Oak King in Celtic lore. January becomes an earthbound, stern season of sober reflection, befitting the symbolic horned zodiacal Capricorn goat climbing upward along with the sun towards the far off mountain top. Prudent goals are set, elder sages honored, laws and tradition hold sway, and society rewards those who reach the top.

The Midheaven and 10th house in the flat chart are associated with Saturn and Capricorn, representing our public identity and career possibilities. It is here that benefits are received from a person’s 2nd house set of values and resources and the 6th house rewards of vocational toil. Where Saturn is placed in the natal chart and what sign it expresses its planetary energies in is a person’s apprenticeship in this thing called life.

Within the birth chart, Saturn in Capricorn natives are born with an innate sense of limitation, boundaries, rules and the awareness of the inevitable bottom line. Many with this placement will have responsibility thrust upon them early in life. Their parental figures may believe in the value of discipline, family tradition or tribal custom. Too many rules and restrictions may lead the native into fits of anxiety or irrational fear. Others will gradually learn a work in progress approach to life’s many challenges and will slowly master the situation at hand. Aspects to Saturn will bring greater clarity to any interpretation.

How to work with this universal taskmaster? Take the time to understand the myths, archetypes and dynamism of Saturn. Learn more about how a zodiac sign adds to the basic Saturn expression. Then work with house placement and consider Saturn’s sphere of influence in the chart. Add aspects to further define Saturn’s planetary expression.

Finally, consider where Saturn is in the larger 28-29 year cycle it makes in a natal chart. Native Saturn in Capricorn cohorts will be experiencing Saturn returns beginning in the middle of December 2017 thru December 2020. There will be a brief dip into Aquarius beginning mid-March 2020 followed by Saturn’s retrograde movement back into Capricorn in the first few days of July 2020. Brush up on how to read an ephemeris or learn how to use an astrological software program, like Solar Fire.

Astrology is often associated with the prophecy of Uranus but it is the many hours of study that will lead to an understanding and ultimate mastery of Saturn’s energy.

Saturn Introduced

Somewhere in the middle of life, I was sitting with John Marchesella, a skilled New York City astrologer, for one of many astrological counseling sessions he graced me with over a 20 year period. Though aware of astrology basics, the finer points eluded me back then. He kept repeating basic themes of discipline, mastery, overcoming fear and rising to the occasion and pairing it with the planetary energy of Saturn. Finally, in a fit of impatience I said “Saturn, Saturn, Saturn – what is it about this planet that makes it such a prominent part of life?”   He chuckled and gave me a line or two that smoothed my edges away…but not my curiosity.

Upon the 2017 Fall Equinox, Saturn sits at 21° of Sagittarius and will soon move into Capricorn around the Winter Solstice. This numinous, planetary energy was given form and structure in ancient myth by the Titan god Kronos who swallowed his children in an attempt to avert his eventual removal. Zeus and other Olympians gave battle, forcing generational change.

In modern myth, Saturn is often depicted as an older man in a long robe holding a staff or scythe. The tarot hermit card is an older but wiser archetype worthy of weaving into a more holistic, conscious consideration of Saturn’s energy. Liberating the planetary energy from myth, cultural and gender bias loosens up the many positive possibilities inherent in each of us. Saturn’s many themes include: mortal reality, the aging process, limitations, depression, mastery through discipline, shouldering responsibility and plain hard work.

In the birth chart, Saturn’s themes will be expressed through the lens of an astrological sign and in the sphere of life signified by house placement. For example, Saturn in the mutable, air sign of Gemini will find day to day communications challenging or limited in some way. Place this combination in the public and career 10th house and this may be the executive who enrolls in a speech class to overcome their childhood fear of public speaking.

Saturn takes 28-30 years to cycle through all 12 signs of the zodiac (about 2 ½ years in each sign) and will return natally 2-3 times in the course of a person’s life. These Saturn returns are bellwether moments, where life experiences are tallied and the wheel is set for the next spin of time. An individual’s return will be uniquely sensed and processed either in full awareness and increasing mastery or within the shadows of doubt and lurking disappointment. Either way the celestial taskmaster’s presence will be felt; if not in the day’s waking moments then in the night’s dream world.

The first Saturn return as a person nears 28 to 30 is the final hurrah of youth and the journey towards mature adulthood. Responsibilities normally increase, relationships grow or wither away and life’s purpose continues to be shaped by Saturn’s call to authenticity.

The second Saturn return between 58 and 60 will reflect wisdom hard won through the course of the adult years. Shamans of experience, the wisest among the second Saturn returnees will walk into their elder years laying foundations for future generations.

At the age of 88-89, the third Saturn return signals culmination, an approaching mortality, a final opportunity to bring talent, wisdom and a bit of hard work to relationships and life projects the ancient one loves and cares about.

Weaving Saturn into the larger picture will bring definition and clarity along with the passage of time. Wisdom is always hard won and bittersweet – to be treasured as well as shared for the benefit of all.