A significant astrological event during our life time is the Saturn return. The first Saturn return occurs around age 29, when transiting Saturn returns to the exact placement it was at our birth. Saturn has completed its journey around the zodiac, touching on all parts of our natal chart, thereby giving us opportunities to develop self-sufficiency and maturity in corresponding areas of life. It has provided difficulties, hardships, obstacles and challenges for us to hone our life skills and learn important lessons about the real world. It has given us opportunities to grow up.
Having completed its cycle, the first Saturn return is time for us to assess how prepared we are to go out into the world as a self-reliant individual. In order to move forward in life we need to become a fully fledged adult. It is time to let go of childish attitudes and dependencies on others, especially authority figures. How mature are we? Do we take responsibility for our life and exercise self-discipline? It is time to get real about our goals and ambitions, and what we need to do to achieve them. Have we created the necessary structure, organization and ability to work within the constraints of time to make success attainable? Are we willing to work hard and delay gratification?
The term “adulting” was coined by millennials to describe this process as they approached the first Saturn return. According to the Oxford Language dictionary “adulting” is the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks. While mastery of worldly tasks is an important part of becoming an adult, an internal shift in our attitude and relationship towards authority is also required.
One of the Divine Virtues found in various sacred texts and religions is self-referencing. Self-referencing can be described as tapping into your own inner source of wisdom, knowledge and personal experience, rather than looking outside yourself for answers or guidance. We internalize and cultivate our “inner adult” and regard it as our highest and best source of information and direction.
How do we develop this “inner adult?” One step is to stop blaming others for who we have become and for our lot in life. We let go of spinning stories about their behaviors, their treatment of us as justification for our own attitudes, choices, and actions. Perhaps we did not have the mother/father/boss/spouse we wanted. We take responsibility by first releasing them from playing that part in our life. We then take on, practice and express the traits of the adult we always wanted someone else to be for us.
This takes commitment and diligence, with consistent, repeated effort. Over time we see results, which we then evaluate and make needed adjustments. Through testing our approaches and methods we learn through practical experience. We become our own authority through the real-world outcomes of our choices.
We earn respect from others by taking responsibility, being disciplined, honorable and having integrity while we do the hard work. In time we gain a reputation for being a wise, pragmatic authority, someone people look up to. We feel more self-sufficient, stable, and confident in our abilities to navigate difficulties in the wider world. We become our own self-referencing authority in life.
“Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.”