Saturn goes around an astrology chart every 28 years. Twenty-eight is an important number. Recall the Marilyn Monroe movie, “The Seven Year Itch.” Seven is one quarter turn of Saturn’s wheeling course through the sky.
So there’s a normal, observed relationship pattern, happens at every cardinal corner of Saturn’s wheel. Even find it referenced in media, like the real, “7 year itch.”
In more practical and applied astrology terms, Saturn “returns” to its exact position in the natal birth chart some time between 28 and 30 years of age. In strange examples, I’ve seen it happen as early as 27 and the final pass as late as 31, with the most common occurrence starting at 28.
I’ve seen it hit once, make a clean sweep, then back over the same point two more times. Sometimes it’s a single pass and that indicates a single rite of passage, or even a right of passage, but most often, Saturn camps out to make sure the message is clear.
Sexist Saturn rant:
Over the years, I’ve seen this be a very promiscuous (flavored) transit. Saturn wants the person to define himself or herself through his or her inner world. The problem being, Saturn will dangle bait in front of the person, like a diversion, and the bait usually is sexual in nature. The sexist part comes from the differences between males and females. Motivated, horny, desperate males emote a special, “Desperation Aroma,” scares off most (all) females. Desperate females? Not so much.(1)
During a Saturn Return for one buddy, I watched as he went without the touch of a woman for more than two years. The only caress was from paid professionals(2), an illness all its own.
Look at the sign a natal Saturn is in, that’s the starting point. The starting point for a Saturn Return is when Saturn enters the sign it is in, looking at the birth chart.
Hint: look at your birth chart, look at the sign that Saturn is in, realize that the main indications about the Saturn Return direction is best found in the natal location, and the “Saturn Return” starts when Saturn hits its sign.
What Saturn wants: grow up.
How Saturn gets it: hard work and pain.
In short, the hard work is obvious. Pain and suffering are optional.
In a more leisurely way of expressing it? The options are usually clear; however, most eschew expedient route in favor of less problematical routing. That creates a painful pathway. Then, repeated failure to confront the original issue, highlighted by Saturn, sign and location in the astrology chart? The pain of avoiding becomes suffering.
It’s all about choices(3).
(1) Observed cf., ‘stink of desperation.’
(2) “Dancers,” eg., strip club “employees.”
(3) For example, coming up, Saturn will enter Scorpio, and that starts the beginning of the “Saturn in Scorpio” Saturn Return scenario. As Saturn currently makes a final pass through Libra, look at how relationship issues have been a focus.