July 7, 2011

too old to die young



A new coworker recently introduced me to the concept of a Saturn Return. He was on the phone with a friend going through a particularly shitty ordeal (bedbugs, heartbreak, injuries without health insurance!) and remarked, "Oh she's just going through her Saturn Return, but she'll get through it."

Now since this is a semi-professional environment, I felt compelled to inquire what this planetary movement was all about, since this is the person who is telling me what to do and stuff and I'd prefer it if he was as mentally accessible as a person who signs off on my paychecks and essentially ensures that I'm not homeless and totally broke. 

"It's like when you're turning 30," he explains, whispering the number thirty the way some people talk about cancer. "Saturn takes about 30 years to revolve around the sun and when it comes back to the position of your birth your life gets all chaotic and stuff-- but don't worry, everyone gets through it." 
I presume he means everyone aged over thirty years. Kurt Cobain, not so much. 

Wikipedia says this:
The first Saturn return is most significant because it represents the first test of character and the structures a person has built his/her life upon. According to traditions, should these structures be unsound, or if a person is living out of touch with her/his true values, the Saturn return will be a time of upheaval and limitations as Saturn forces him/her to jettison old concepts and worn out patterns of living. It is not uncommon for relationships and jobs to end during this time of life restructuring and revaluation.
But the Saturn return is not all about painful endings. During this time, astrologers note that goals are consolidated and people tend to gain a better vision of where they are going in life. There are added responsibilities and a person may reap the rewards from her/his hard work. Many major life milestones seem to happen around the ages of 29 and 30. This is why astrologers believe that the 30th birthday is such a major rite of passage — because it marks the true beginning of adulthood, self-evaluation, independence, ambition and self-actualization.
The planet Saturn represents many archetypes, such as Father Time, the Grim Reaper and its scytheChronos, and the Lord of Karmaand teacher. It is the ruler of limitations, fears, seriousness, responsibilities, burdens and lessons. While those concepts may come across as negative, Saturn also astrologically rules over civilization, government, structures, harvests, prestige, maturity, discipline and order.
I mean, this sounds totally like something out of the Deathly Hallows or something, right guys? It's gonna be huge and super serious. It's gonna mean Business. All of the Business!
Having recently come into acquaintance with a handful of 29/30 year old people this year, I can attest that it really seems like they are having kind of a shitty time. Maybe even to a point of taking it out on other folks. Maybe sometimes I'm those folks.
I'm not a terribly hokey, spiritual person, but I don't think you can believe in science and not put a little bit of stock in astrology. Becoming a casualty of this fat planet's rotation, as unfair as it is, at least somehow justifies the undo upheaval. It's like your life is on its period. Gross.

And having just turned 25, I have this to look forward to. Even though it feels like maybe I'm one of those early bloomers in this case. Or my parents lied and I'm totally 30 now and I'd never really be able to tell because Asian people age really well so they generally look younger than they are. Or maybe Saturn's training for a marathon or came back from vacation early or something.

Julie Klausner says that your twenties are the worst part of your life that you can't and don't realize it is until you're in your thirties. I'm sure her Saturn Return was very helpful in providing material to be spun into hilarious memoirs.

1 comment:

Alexandra said...

Interesting theory... my boyfriend will turn 30 in about 10 months and he is already freaking out... you think forwarding this to him would help ;-)?