My Presence is My Past: Your Saturn Return in Aquarius

Cover Image (c) Kelsey Smith

I LOVE(D) the 90s. Mind you, I was only 5-6 years old at the turn of the new millennium, so my memory of things is warped by things a 5-6 year old would concern themselves with: the latest toys, not going to bed when I’m told, and trying my damndest to make some friends in kindergarten.

PET DOCTOR BARBIE - She had snazzy legging pants AND came with a cat and dog that moved "magically" when you patted them ... so obviously she was on every kid's wishlist, circa Christmas 1996.
I was too busy being salty about not getting this version of Barbie around this time. I mean, come on mom, I want Vet Barbie so I can have a toy dog I’ll lose in a week! (Image (c) Martel).

Nonetheless, I remember just enough of the 90s that I more or less miss everything about it. Yeah, most of that might have to do with the blissful innocence that being a young kid can bring, but the gift of retrospect helps me realize that I got to grow up during an era that feels like lightning-in-a-bottle. Being on the youngest end of the millennial spectrum, I was one of the last to remember a time where the Internet wasn’t breathing down my neck at every turn.

I remember when there was still a delineation between “online” and “offline.”

I remember when climate change — though we knew of its existence for decades before it hit “crisis” levels — still seemed like a faraway conclusion that could wait.

I remember when a subculture was just that: a subculture.

But I’m not here to wax poetic all-post-long about how the 90s rocked and everything since “hasn’t been the same.” The occasional pang of nostalgia isn’t harmful, of course — I experience it myself in waves — we just have to take caution that our longing for days past doesn’t blind us from creating a better present. Change is also natural; inevitable. To pretend that it’s not is how we get into situations like these, where reactionary politics and societal decay take over.

And that’s one of the primary missions I think we, the children of late 1990 to early 1994 have to learn. We have to learn this because we are the torch-bearers of change. As one of my favorite astrologers (Alice Sparkly Kat) says about the current Saturn in Aquarius generation: “we are no longer young and, being no longer young, we cannot think of ourselves as subcultural and naïve anymore.”


What a loaded statement I just put out there! It’s easier said than done to enact change when we know the powers that be want to cling to the status quo.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though. And before you think this is going to be a long list of things you can do now to help (i.e. being on the ground protesting, calling your representative, etc.), I want to say that, while all those actions are important and very much necessary, those are not the ONLY ways you can enact the change you want to see in the world. The change, as a cheesy, age-old adage goes, starts from within.

Saturn in Aquarius: To Break the Rules, You Must First Know Them

One of the very first things you’ll ever learn if you’ve done any kind of art is the rules. If it’s music, you learn how notes work. If it’s poetry, you learn different techniques to elevate the reading. So on and so forth. The idea is supposed to be that you can’t really call yourself an “expert” in a given practice if you decide to say “fuck it” and break the rules of your craft without having bothered to at least try learning them first!

The same logic applies when your natal Saturn is in Aquarius. Aquarius, the egalitarian, community-loving Water Bearer, pours what it knows from its container so the people have the knowledge to challenge our current understanding of things. When you understand the game our politicians are playing — when you understand how companies try to get you to divest your sweet time from enacting change by strong-arming you into buying their latest product — then you understand the “rules” they are playing by. By that I mean they aren’t really playing by any in the first place. Sure there are laws that protect us, limits imposed on policymakers and CEOs that inhibit them from doing shit like putting lead in our gasoline, but for every rule that pops up is another rule that is in desperate need of writing.

Image result for saturn aesthetic
It gets said a lot but one more time for the new folks in the back: Saturn (who is associated with Lord Chronos) deals with things like rules, limitations, boundaries, and foundations. It was also seen as the “ego-slayer” in Traditional Astrology for it represented the divide between Heaven and Earth. To pass, you must first release that which no longer serves you (image (c) hexagonest).

Yet here you are, a common everyperson who knows that you are required to follow them! They told you to do good in school and get a Bachelor’s degree so you could be competitive in the job market and grind the good ol’ career ladder like everybody else. Unfortunately for you, whether or not you chose to do that didn’t really matter: you were doomed before you could even start.

Worse still, I bet you, you fellow Saturn-in-Aquarius bearer, noticed that you felt like you didn’t fit in regardless of which path you chose. You could have been a standout, straight-A student who made it all the way to Harvard, or a “I’m-trying-out-community-college” after being out of school for five years student, and you probably felt like you an outcast either way.

This is why I mentioned subcultures earlier. And it’ll all tie in together in a second, but you gotta walk with me here for a sec.

First, let’s add one more association to Saturn: our “authority” wound. Everybody has one no matter where your natal Saturn is, but what sign/house its in will tell you how the authority wound manifests in your life.

To keep this short and sweet, in the case that you have Saturn in Aquarius, your authority wound has to deal with the fact that you KNEW the rules don’t really matter because they weren’t enforced equally. Yet any effort you made to disobey or rebel was met with harsh punishment. This punishment may have been quite literal, like losing recess because you tried to cheat on a test. But it can also be more subtle, like getting rejected from a group of friends because you weren’t able to intuit the unspoken rules of interacting with each other.

Subcultures in the 90s and early 00s were a refuge from all of that. I know I loved the young, wild west of the internet as a kid because I could come up with a ridiculous ass username, shout some inflammatory shit about a fictional character I didn’t like, then log off and go play outside without ever once thinking some rando dudebro was going to doxx me for it.

Kagome sweetie I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry that a ugly ass bitch (me) like this would even say that. Oh my god. (Image (c) Viz Media).

Again, however, this is now a bygone era. We the children of Saturn in Aquarius are now hitting an age where we must accept that there’s nowhere left to hide. Now you are being called on by your Saturn Return to accept the truth: you’re kinda fucking weird and you might’ve been a victim at one point but now’s your chance to BE the weirdness you want to see in the world.

Saturn Return In Aquarius: Fuck the Rules, I’ll Make My Own

Well that sounds nice and poetic, doesn’t it. If I could have said “fuck the rules” already, I would have tossed all my stuff into the trash, booked it into the woods, and started a commune of fellow witches where we drag each other via tarot all day long.

Except, if I really want to . . . I could. Just like I decided to say “fuck this job, I’m out” by quitting, moving across the country, and starting up my business as an intimacy coach/spiritual practioner/poet/amateur boudoir model.

Image result for ahs coven
Listen y’all. . . .I’m down for the coven if you are (Image (c) FX).

Now I’d like it to go on record that not everybody has the ability to do that. Our current system kicks some of us down more than others and for some, being alive is your biggest achievement right now (which by the way is a form of rule breaking since our system would rather see you dead, in which case, you’re already doing the damn thing ♥)

There are plenty of other ways to break rules, though. Example: I joined a Buy Nothing group for my area and have already done a couple of exchanges with people. I’ve also participated in donation-based yoga sessions and have been a part of a virtual art community despite having never met these people face to face before. In a time where isolation is necessary and buying goods can be difficult because of our shit economy, being able to build community (how very Aquarian) can become a lifeline. And it’s something your fair-weather capitalist is never going to tell you because it benefits them more when you compete AGAINST each other instead of work TOGETHER.

As transiting Saturn begins to roll over (or has already rolled over) your natal Saturn, think about all the ways you break the rules in your life. Also think about how your weirdness (which might have gotten you ostracized as a child/teenager) is seen as more acceptable now since the dissolution of subcultures. Are you still ashamed to be who you are? Are you shutting other people out because you don’t trust you can be your authentic self and make a difference?

Today — as in, right now — you can be the difference you want to be. It can be as elaborate as starting your own community garden or as simple as taking a stance against bigotry and calling out that Karen when she makes a backhanded statement on your friend’s Facebook post. Instead of waiting to find the right community for you, make your own. Start a Discord server, a Tumblr chat, a Telegram. Honestly, I don’t care how you do it but one of the most important things Saturn in Aquarius asks is that you SHOW UP for your community. Not your boss, not your government, but the people who live next to you.

Image result for mr rogers
A wise man once said “it’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood / and a beautiful day for a neighbor.” (Image (c) PBS)

You can also get a clearer idea of what ways that needs to show up in your life depending on what time of day you were born. As I mentioned in my previous post, Saturn is considered the dinural (daytime) malefic planet. How you’ll experience your Saturn Return will depend on if this maleific is happier (day) in his position or not (night).

If you were born during the day: How have those with perceived authority made you feel powerless? How have you made yourself feel powerless when you had the chance to claim your authority again? Why are you afraid to deviate?

If you were born during the night: Think about the next time where you had a chance to be an authority on something but weren’t taken seriously. On whose merit are you looking to be accepted by? In what ways are you still looking for authority to rescue you? Do you still trust you know yourself without the validation of an authority figure?

The influence of your Saturn Return further varies depending on what house it’s in and what aspects it’s making. You may also experience it differently if you are Saturn-dominant (meaning Saturn is the strongest or one of the strongest influences in your chart) because you are a child of Chronos and are used to way he tests you. To find out where you fall, you can book a chart reading with me and take 15% off if you’re one of the first 10 to do it.

Ending Thoughts

Listen, nobody is pretending that being an adult is easy. . . except for Boomers who can’t let go of a past that no longer exists. Which is exactly what I’m warning you against, my fellow millennials! Mainstream media will gush about how Gen Z are doing all the heavy lifting when that’s just not true at all. We have reached a fever pitch in a time of unyielding crisis — you are watching, in real-time, what happens when those who make the rules but don’t listen themselves.

Is it so bad now to be weird in a time where “normal” is failing?

Saturn in Aquarius is asking you to find comfort in your weirdness.

Saturn in Aquarius is telling you to use your weirdness and create a new normal that centers on those around you.

Saturn in Aquarius is demanding that you finally recognize that you really do know yourself. Stop looking for authority to validate if you’re doing it right.

You’re doing it right already.

Further Reading

Saturn Return in Aquarius

About the Author

Jasmine Lomax (she/her) is a freelance content creator, educator, and poet who currently resides in Seattle, Washington. When Jasmine isn’t busy ticking away at the computer, she enjoys reading, swimming, tending to her spiritual studies, and the occasional bout of crying over fictional characters.