real life

If you're 28 or 29 and you feel like your life is falling apart, there's a logical reason why.

If you’re around the age of 28 or 29 and you’re currently in what can only be described as an all-encompassing life funk, then we have an explanation for you.

It’s this little thing called Saturn Return and its sole purpose is to force you to take inventory of your life, re-shift and evaluate. It’s not always fun, but like doing your laundry or taxes, it’s sometimes just easier to submit, and go through the process.

It is believed that Saturn Return makes you re-assess, adjust and recalibrate for the future and happens once when you’re around 28 or 29, and again at 56 and 84. Sceptics might call this life, others refer to it as being in your ‘late-20s’ (or a late-onset mid-life crisis if you’re experiencing it at 56 or 84ish), but there’s also an astrological explanation for the timing in which this occurs.

Tasked with delving deeper into the world of the mystical, Mamamia spoke to Sydney-based, award-winning astrologer Pia Lehmann.

Pia calls Saturn Return “one of the most important transits in your life.”

“It’s a maturity process. It’s a time you’re weeding out the things that are no longer relevant or important in your life. The things that no longer serve you, so you discard them and open the door for new things,” she says.

Pia Lehmann Astrology saturn returns
Sydney-based astrologist Pia Lehmann calls Saturn Return one of the most important 'transits in a person's life'. Image supplied.

Alright, alright, what is Saturn Return?

Enough with the woo-woo-babble... what is it?

So, the basis of all astrology comes down to how the planets, stars, suns and moons were sitting at the point of your birth and this is unique to every person. There are 12 houses which indicate aspects like money, communication, romance and family, how the astrological signs interact with each house will influence your personality and traits, and then your 'astrological fortune'  is determined by how the sun, moon and planets interact with each house.

It's complicated, but if you're into it, a trained astrologist can set this out for you.

Now, Saturn Return refers to the point when Saturn 'returns' to the original position it was in when you were born. This process takes around 28 and a half years and signifies a period of reflection. Like an audit of your life thus far.

"You have to understand the nature of Saturn," Pia explains.

"Saturn is a task-master. He is a teacher - a stern teacher. He is about will-power, discipline, and reigning in."


However, Pia stresses this doesn't have to be a difficult time. If you've done the work it can be a time where you get to "bring home the crown jewels," as she puts it. Perhaps it's a promotion at work, or you make the decision to pursue further education, or commit to your partner. It can usher you into your next stage of life or drastically pull you away from the path you're on now.

It's also important to know that these changes will confront you from the outside, it's not a shift in your inner dialogue. As Pia says, "this plays out in the outside world. Maybe the boss will say I'm no longer happy with you and you get fired, or you've been considering a move and you get sent overseas for work."

LISTEN: The Mamamia Out Loud team explain what the new moon has to do with all of us acting weirdly. Post continues after audio.

This all sounds a bit scary, what happens during Saturn Return?

Glad you asked. When you're approaching Saturn Return, Pia specifically says it's a time when you reflect and most importantly take responsibility (and she tells me this word must be underlined and bolded) for your actions.

"Don’t blame others, don’t blame life, don’t blame your parents, take responsibility for yourself and say 'have I done the things when I should have?' or perhaps there was a time when you needed to act and you didn't and avoided it."

"You need to be truthful and honest in this situation."

Even if you're going through a hard time and it feels like your life is in limbo, Pia stresses the things you'll be confronted with won't be things that "you weren't aware of before". It's not that you suddenly realise that you're not happy in that long-term relationship, or that you want to change careers, but you're at a time you have to.


"Things weren’t quite right before but now it's the time where Saturn brings it home," says Pia.

And are you sure I just can't ignore Saturn Return?

Short answer: No.

The thing is, Saturn Return is ultimately a positive thing, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time. Therefore the best thing you can do is go with the flow and not swim against the current, so to speak. Which we know never goes well.

"If you resist, than things will get worse. Unbearably worse," warns Pia.


"Things will get nasty and it could affect your health, because you get so stressed until you can’t take it anymore. You'll find yourself pushed, and if you resist people around you will make the decision that you should have taken and then it’s not good for you because you’re not in control."

Ok fine... but can you prove Saturn Return is real? 

The thing is we all have a friend that goes through pivotal life changes when they're nearing 30 - it's naturally a time to re-assess, but Saturn Return provides a logical explanation... depending on how firmly you sit on the astrology bandwagon. It's not like they've done scientific studies on it so we'll leave how you feel about it to you. But, if you are a believer, don't just take our word for it...

"Everything just happened."

For Pia, she says that when she was 28 she finally left a "mediocre" job and got transferred from South Africa to America. "I developed a lot of hutzpah to apply for another job in the trading word that took me overseas.."

She stresses that "everything just happened" to her.

"I also let go of a relationship that didn't serve me. I never dared to leave that man, I didn’t have the courage and things developed like that and I couldn’t say no," she says.


An unplanned pregnancy.

At 29 pregnancy and starting a family with her boyfriend was not on Saengtip's radar at all.

"The thing was, around the time of conception I often (like almost everyday) wondered if there was more to life than. My routine was work, home, relaxing and discovering things with my partner, repeat," she says.

"I honestly feel like falling pregnant was the answer to my frequent and unintended question to the universe."

Something else.

At 28 Kate was still living in the UK. She said that she was doing everything she felt she was supposed to do, but felt "there was something more." So she saw it as a time to just do it.

"Within the space of three months, booked ticket, packed up, rented my house and left."

As Pia says, Saturn returns signifies a "transit" and "evolutionary" period in your life. Essentially it's like a cosmic boot camp that forces you to re-align yourself with your values and goals, especially if you've drifted a bit from them. It naturally rewards those who have been diligent and gives those who haven't a kick in the right direction.

However, even if you sit in the latter group, if you can move through the lunges, jump through the hurdles and bust a burpees, just trust that you'll be a better person on the other side.

If you've gone through Saturn Return please share your story. We'd love to hear about it. 

LISTEN: This week on Mamamia Out Loud we look at workplace gifting, perfectionism and all the joys of the modern dating scene.

Feature and social image from Instagram @trippy.