Sunday, July 06, 2008

 

Saturn Return

The years between 27 and 30 were my most painful. I have journals and journals of sad scribbling from this period, sure to rival any morose teenager's collection of sob stories.

After 30, I wrote some good stuff, then started to get published and then, despite the occasional writer depression/temperament issues, felt very much on the right path with my life. I was extraordinarily lucky. I also worked hard (and will continue to do so).

However, I remember being 27 and the anxiety I felt very vividly. "You are going through your Saturn Return," a hippy said to me knowingly on an airplane as we flew from California to New York.

My what?

Regular readers know of my feelings about astrology. Still, I think there is something to this notion of the Saturn Return.

One of my very favorite poets (my hero Lisa likes her too) is Kay Ryan.

How fascinated was I, then, to run into this very erudite blog post on the Saturn Return phenomenon as it applies to Kay Ryan. Some of you young writers might even find this comforting.
Kay Ryan was born in 1945. At around 30, her first Saturn Return, she took time off for long bicycle ride in order to “find herself”. She was right on schedule with the task at hand. Everyone should do this between 28-30! Something about the pedaling, pedaling, pedaling reminded her of poetry. She had an epiphany, as many do at 30, and decided to devote her life to writing poetry.

Ryan took a job in the teaching field where she could work just two days a week and pay the bills. In order to live like this, she stripped her life down to the bare minimum.

For the next 30 years she wrote and wrote. Nothing much happened and she did not seem to ask for much to happen.

When she was around 60 someone gave a book of her poetry to someone that mattered in the literary world and soon Ryan’s work appeared in The New Yorker. Thus the second Saturn Return was positive payback time. Ryan had worked diligently at her authentic task and the reward was bound to come. Thirty years seems like a long time but Saturn wants us to focus on what is really important to us between 30 and 60, not what someone else wants. These are our mature, serious years when we bear the yoke and pull the plow. The harvest comes at 60.

One of the fascinating things about this blog--and point of view--is the notion that the Saturn Return comes several times, and that each time can yield rewards--but only if essential work is done the first time around. I literally became cold when I read the line "You are not reading this by chance." I say this because the first time I read this blog post was probably about a month before my novel was sold, and I was wondering what I could do help myself. I don't even remember how I found the post. But I love Ryan's poetry, and the idea that work put into art starting around 30 can yield riches by 60 is very appealing to me.

It fits my agricultural roots.

The other thing that this post makes me think about are the repercussions for those who don't address the Saturn Return the first time around. That is to say, if you don't address fundamental questions around 30, you will feel the backlash at 60.

In what I have observed in people and in aging, this seems to me to be very true.

The psyche comes loaded with potential pitfalls and pieces of code waiting to be unleashed. It's important to explore them and let the programming run its full course. You really do not know what you are capable of doing, unless you ask yourself to do it.

Comments:
So glad I found this post (perhaps I am not reading it by accident either...). I'm stuck in one whopper of a liminal phase/neutral zone myself (pleasant but the daily feeling of "wha? how did I get here? how did I not get over there?" is rather screwing up my ability to write). And I love Kay Ryan - On The Difficulty of Drawing Oneself Up is genius.

I didn't address my phase around 30quite as well, though good sorting myself out stuff has been happening too, and one must have one's head screwed on straight sooner or later (in my case, stop feeling guilty and like I have not impressed my parents enough).

On another note, hope you are doing as well as can be expected at this time. Always glad of another post (and say hello to dark Angus from my orange Angus).
 
hmmmm. this is very interesting to me.

(what if saturn hasn't gone anywhere before 27-30? can it still return?)
 
Marla -- Angus greets you back. He has been very active lately and we think it has to do with the fact that he is on some kind of mouse hunting spree. He assumes your Angus will understand!

Thanks also for the kind note. As for sorting oneself out--I don't see how anyone can "get everything" and we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves if we don't. But the attempt to take honest stock is always a good thing, whenever it happens.

Moonrat--I have no idea. From what I read, it sounds like Saturn is always on the move, whether you want it to be or not, and it always comes back between 27 and 30 and then again around 60. Supposedly, you want to know what sign is in Saturn for you (in my case Taurus) and then address those "issues." At least that's what I hear. Taurus in my case, among other things, has to do with having a good network of friends to stave off the feeling that I don't get enough love or stuff or whatever. I don't really have huge material cravings, but a good network of friends has been key for me and I find the pay off very important--like now for instance. Being a good friend is important--and I know that you know how important friendship is!

Anyway, that's my morning ramblings as of today.
 
Oh poo, the new post explains it - I'm a Virgo.
 
Hello. Just found your blog. Do you know anything about what happens when Saturn is sitting in direct opposition to Neptune AND when Saturn is in your rising sign on top of it?

love your blog

nanette
 
Nanette--I'm afraid I have no idea. I really know nothing about astrology. I read about the Saturn Return, and find the concept interesting. But there are definitely people out there who know much more about astrology in a much deeper way than I do.

Thank you for reading, though!
 
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