Saturn Time….a slow, long view

If you’re coming around to 30, 60 or 90 years of age (rounding off the numbers for simplicity….consult a professional astrologer for your exact dates.) you’re probably approaching The Saturn Return. A return is when a transiting planet arrives at the same place it was in when you were born. Every year around your birthday you have a Solar Return.

Volumes have been written about the Saturn Return and I encourage you to ‘google’ the term and do your own research. I have a list compiled at and as soon as I develop some more technical skills I’ll share it with you. However, be prepared. You may not like what you read. Saturn has a reputation of bringing us face to face with cold, hard reality.

If you move thru this transition time with consciousness there are some very definite rewards to be gained if you are willing to work hard. It is a time for discipline and patience.

The Saturn Return presents us with choice points: critical decisions are considered, and changes can be implemented ……consciously and/or unconsciously.

All that said, the focus of this post is on the ~3 year period of time that precedes the return, beginning somewhere around the ages 27, 57, or 87 approximate.

The balsamic phase of the Saturn cycle lasts a lot longer than the balsamic phase of the moon. The balsamic phase of the moon is ~3 days. The corresponding phase of the Saturn cycle is ~3 years. Geometrically, they both move thru 45degrees of their orbits. (Note: Every orbiting body in space that moves in a circle, has a cycle of time that it takes for it to return to the same place.)

If you are currently moving thru a balsamic phase of Saturn then it’s time to do some serious clutter-cleaning of all kinds; physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, closets, garages, basements, attics, and every other way that you can imagine that you are ‘cluttered’.

Saturn-time brings recognition of the places in your life where you are: stuck, limited, over-responsible, under responsible, too serious, not serious enough. It’s a good time to re-define your relationship to time and re-set your personal biological clock.

You can read more about the balsamic phase of a cycle here to better understand the mood of these 3 years. You might also find some practical suggestions of appropriate actions to take during this time. Up until now we’ve been applying these phase definitions to the lunar cycle. However, in actuality we can apply these phases to any repeating cycle. (The manual is coming……:)) And, the saturn cycle, most, of all the planets, describes our relationship to time.

That’s Huge.

How we measure (prioritize) time (as a culture & as an individual) defines us as surely as anything else on this planet.

How we behave towards ourselves and each other is often a response to the often ignored subtle details of time *management*.

The position of Saturn in your chart establishes the beginning of your ‘life pattern’ that will unfold over the next 28-30 years, and then repeat itself once or two more times before you pass on.

So what to do?

I suggest you take the symbolism of this profound time of letting go and bring it with you to a Kripalu yoga class. Learn how to move stress thru your body safely, release blockages that have been building for 27 years or more, and re-learn the gentle art of breathing.

What I love about the philosophy inherent in vedic astrology is that it prescribes remedies. The ancient schools prescribed mantra, ritual, chanting, gemstones, herbs, and yogic practices. The intention was to make peace with the planets (gods & goddesses). In this way we could minimize negative events and engage in activities that bring joy & pleasure.

If you feel like you are moving thru a particularly Saturnian time…………(keywords are: ) then here are a few ideas of how to make your yoga time, a time of ritual & connection to divine energy.

1. Hold your postures longer. Notice: mind/body/emotions/sensations

2. Journal after a particular long holding.

3. ” Push Against” a person perhaps, partner yoga

4. Pranayama practice: 3- part Dirga with Kumbhaka

5. Meditation practice: Tratak………….holding the gaze.

Some need more personal attention during this time, especially those that have suffered serious trauma, abuse, injury, or accident. However, the potential for healing some of the more distant past events is possible due to spiritual potential of the balsamic phase.

The Vedic Astrologer’s have their own rendition of a Saturn Cycle. They call it Sade Sati and it comes at a completely different period of time than the western saturn return. The jyotishi’s begin to emphasis saturn in the chart when transiting saturn begins to move into the sign that precedes the natal moon sign. So, for instance, if your natal vedic moon is in Cancer , Sade Sati begins when transiting Saturn moves into Gemini and stays in effect until it gets to Leo. Hrmpf. That’s a really long time. I know. I just completed it and Saturn has truly ruled the roost in my world. Unfortunately for me, I now am in the balsamic phase of Saturn with the Return scheduled for next year. Whew. I really can appreciate this balsamic time of rest before my internal clock resets itself.

….to be continued. (excerpt from: As Above, So Below – The Teacher’s Manual on Yoga Therapy & Astrology)