Saturn Dark Mask

Saturn and The Seven Year Itch !

There are many different cycles that astrologers look to when explaining unique development patterns to clients. Each has their own unique timing, lessons to learn and quality of experience to integrate. This article is about Saturn the Saturn Cycle.

Most people have heard of the seven-year itch. We all use the phrase and giggle when ‘things’ just don’t go right, particularly in relationships when they reach the seven-year mark! Well, surprise, surprise, that broadly correlates to a significant astrological cycle that culminates between 28 and 30 years of age and then again between 56 and 58 years of age and again in ones mid 80’s. Astrologers call this the Saturn Return. It is only one of many significant astrological cycles that coincide with key periods of growth, challenge and change in our lives, however, it is significant enough to warrant special attention.

Saturn: Good or Bad?

Despite what you will read as you move into the content of this article I think Saturn can be a good guy. The ancients thought he was a bad guy and labelled Saturn as the Lord of Karma, The Teacher, and considered his influence malefic.

He’s a bit like medicine you might not like taking it but it really does help your condition if you do! Notwithstanding that statement, he can play havoc with your development, life and life direction, career, business and relationships.

The Saturn Cycle

The cycle occurs roughly at seven year intervals and will often be experienced as a time of frustration and testing. It’s often not a pleasant time and I can guarantee that some of you will experience some, if not all, of the following. You will be challenged and very often not get what you want or you may find yourself working very hard and not getting anywhere. You may feel as if your efforts are being blocked and they usually are: either by circumstance or other people opposing your view. I liken this process to swimming through treacle. Treacle is thick, like honey so can you imagine how taxing it would be on your energy if you had to swim in it for any length of time? Progress would be very slow. You would probably need to think about how you would proceed and what you would focus on in order to reach your goal. This of course leads to frustration and causes us enough stress to begin asking if what we are doing is right for us and should we make changes. It’s probably time you did, or at least conducted a review to see if you’re heading in the right direction and honouring who you really are and who you need to become.

Arroyo (1978 pg73-74) raises an interesting point about our mundane experience and spirituality…First, it shows us slowly but surely what the reality of the material world truly is, once all of our wishes hopes, fantasies, self deception, and desire are out of the way. Secondly, the Saturnian experience of the material world tests us in every step we make in our development. Saturn allows no room for self deception, escapism or rationalisation. Saturn tests how concentrated our spiritual growth really is. Through Saturnian experiences we have to answer the question: Now that the chips are down, does our supposed spirituality or self knowledge enable us to meet this karma with grace, acceptance, and patience?

My clients report quite regularly that during these times they experience a crisis of confidence. Although it usually only lasts for as long as the Saturn contact, and therefore is temporary, we should not overlook its meaning and ask deeper questions about our life and our purpose. At this time, we decide what serves our purpose and what doesn’t and adjust our life, values and subsequent behaviour accordingly. So easy to write so hard to do!

Physically you may feel very tired and become isolated from those closest to you. This may be your doing or you might feel as if you have a contagious disease and no one wants to associate with you. Astrologers would say that the isolation one feels during this time is necessary for the individual to go inward and explore the reason/s why they feel the way they do. As Green, (1978 pg11) states, whether we use psychological or esoteric terminology, the basic fact remains the same: human beings do not earn free will except through self discovery, and do not attempt self discovery until things become so painful that they have no other choice. Isolation can be another way of keeping and preserving energy and so enabling the self discovery process.

Relationships frequently go through a testing time during this period. It’s as if, the universe is challenging you to see if it’s right for you. Usually the good bad and the ugly of relationships manifest, particularly the bad and the ugly. If your relationship is new and by that, I mean the first Saturn square or seven year hit you’ll be confronted with how mundane the relationship has become and wonder where the spark may have gone! This test will be about your long-term compatibility and the capacity you must work through and resolve any issues you may have. Many don’t pass the test and many, many relationships break down during these periods.

At each Saturn contact we are supposed to learn something about ourselves and how we interact within a relationship. We are supposed to define and refine what’s important to us similarly what’s important to our partner and see if these qualities are in sync. If it is, there’s nothing to worry about yet if there are differences in the relationship that cannot be resolved or moved in another direction suitable to both parties, the relationship often ends.

So, what’s so great about Saturn?

Saturn transits provide the opportunity to have or create necessary structure in our lives. I deliberately plan to go slower and find that the focus Saturn provides allows me to achieve more! Saturn energy coincides with the tenacity to work through the very issue/s we may find ourselves being confronted with. Saturn is about accepting responsibility for our lives and circumstances while building a secure platform or the next phase of growth we experience after the Saturn contact has passed. My advice is to get to know the energy and work with it and in so doing just watch and see how much progress you make.


Liz Greene – Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil 1978 Samuel Weiser. New York City N.Y. 10012.

Stephen Arroyo – Astrology Karma & Transformation: The Inner dimensions of the Birth Chart. 1978 CRCS Publications Vancouver Washington