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Happy Saturn Return!

I’m counting the minutes to my 2nd Saturn Return – there are literally 2 Zodiacal minutes until Saturn comes back to the very degree of the Zodiac where it …. loomed?...... the day I was born. Saturn will take a few earth hours to traverse those last couple of zodiacal minutes, finally arriving at 22 degrees 51 minutes of Aquarius on Sunday morning, April 10. I’ll wake up, have my creamy coffee and an orange as usual, but something will have changed. I’ll be in my 3rd Saturn cycle, just as one awakens on one’s birthday, the Solar Return, with a new age. In Saturn terms, I’ll be 2. I'm not trying to be coy about my age -- Saturn takes between 28 and 30 years to orbit the Sun and fully transit the Zodiac. Everyone who makes it experiences this transit at around the ages of 29, 58 and 87, plus or minus a handful of months due to Saturn's retrograde periods. Here I am at 29 and 58. Same old, same older. I hope to turn this diptych into a triptych in 29 years or so.

Like all rites of passage, what happens after the Saturn Return is unimaginable in advance – by now I’ve accomplished enough such milestones to know that. We anticipate with optimism or dread an inevitable seeming next chapter, basing our preconceptions on folklore, oral histories and our observations and inclinations, but really one never knows until one knows.

I of course took a look at my 2nd Saturn Return chart in advance, but not very far in advance. Pardon my jargon, but I was alarmed to see Mars conjoining Saturn conjoining my Saturn, jolly to see the Sun conjunct my natal Jupiter, pleasantly surprised to see transiting Venus opposite natal Uranus. Jupiter and Neptune are within a degree of their historic conjunction in Pisces which takes place on April 12, 2022 and will send dreamy ripples of mystic spirituality and escapist fantasies all around the world, and my very balsamic progressed Moon is conjunct progressed Venus at 22 degrees of Leo, exactly opposite … my Saturn Return!! In simple terms, my understanding of all this is that I’m at half a dozen giant turning points in my life at the very same time. It’s simultaneously thrilling and terrifying, but since I’m an optimist, I’m going straight for the Sun Jupiter conjunction.

A Sun Jupiter conjunction in a Solar Return chart would be said to bode well for auspicious opportunities and abundant blessings in the year to come, and since this is my Saturn Return chart, I think I can reasonably hope for all the Sun Jupiter pros and cons in the 29 years to come.

And if a birthday is just a Solar Return rounded to the closest day on the Gregorian Calendar, why am I not having a huge party for my Saturn Return? Why don’t we shower one another with gifts, song and festivities at this coming of age? While ordinarily Saturn may be too reserved to fight for the right to party, I’m inclined to take that Mars Saturn conjunction combined with Sun/Jupiter to do that very thing.

One thing about a 2nd Saturn Return is that a look in the mirror may not be the walk in the park it once was. Only if you’ve diligently been finding the beauty in beings in the later phases of their life cycles for quite some time may you be spared a shock of body dysmorphia some Saturnine day. Since Venus is opposite my natal Uranus in the Saturn Return Chart, I plan to embrace my irregularities and unconventionalities in the 29 years to come.

And because I’m at a turning point full of turning points, I’m paying close attention to all the people appearing, reappearing and disappearing in my life at this time. I’m thankful that I’m still playing the saxophone in bands, grateful for the bandmates I’ve been playing with in my previous Saturn cycle who are stepping into the next one alongside me - the bands of Reverend Vince, Nick Waterhouse, Burnt Sugar and all the beautiful sprawling music families I’ve fostered across the land and overseas. I'm reverently cherishing the spirits of those who recently left, (Melvin and Greg) heralding distinct ends of eras, in my heart. Welcoming new friends, joyously reuniting with reappearing friends. Aquarius is about friends and Saturn is about commitment. I feel lucky that my friends and I built solid foundations to our circle in the last 29 years.

It’s funny to think that most of us, those of us who make the 2nd Saturn Return, get to start over in many departments of life at around age 59. Grown ups taking baby steps. For those of us who never fully grew up, baby steps may be easier, based in a a low center of gravity. And now I’m there I realize maybe people of a certain age – the age of the 2nd Saturn Return – might need a babysitter, or at least a helping hand or watchful eye from time to time. Just as a dark New Moon precedes a delicate Waxing Crescent, the Solar Return kicks off a brand new year, a new age, the Saturn Return is the very beginning of a whole new ball game, whole new scene - a new 28-30 year era. It's a time of tenderness. So be gentle with your Saturn Returners (the 28.5 year olds and -87 year olds too) if you’re in the picture at what for them is the end of an era and the beginning of a new one; to you it might be just another gig, but to them it may be the gig of a lifetime.

Please enjoy (one of) my 2nd Saturn Return gifts to myself, a Zodiac Soundtrack of music inspired by that distant, ringed planet, the planet of discipline, home to one of my heroes, Sun Ra.

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