Lessons in Soul Alchemy


I wish you could see the contented smile on my face, the ash and soot on my soul from having emerged from the deep, shadowy, depths of my Saturn Return. Post-celestial journey, I can honestly say I had a super successful Saturn Return. It was not short of Saturn-y challenges and emotional breakdowns by any means, but I deliberately met them head on, eyes and heart wide-open, and loved (almost) every part of it. Dare I say, even with a few moments of waiver, I came through overall with successful integration of lessons learned and consciousness evolved.

Today I’m sharing the insight I gained as well as some mindset tools for success to help others faire well on their Saturn Return because…

The Saturn Return has a bad rap!

“I lost my job, my partner cheated on me, my car died (again!), I’m broke, and my Saturn Return is Ruining my LIFE! Help!”


Ah, yes. Quite often I get messages from folks who had every comfort they thought was a permanent fixture in their life completely blow apart. And not-so-coincidentally, most times it is during their Saturn Return.


It does NOT have to go down like this.
I’m not saying these kinds of things won’t happen, but…
It does not have to be a life ruiner and a spirit breaker.
I promise you, the nature of the cosmos is not abusive.

And even though it may feel like it at times, you did not incarnate so the powers that be can point and laugh at you while you face the trials of your Soul Contracts.
Everything is always happening for us, not to us.
Just like everything else in our “human experience” we have the power to co-create with Saturn and embrace the soul alchemy it’s return has to offer us… and yes, we can come out on the other side of it more enlightened, more aligned with Source and a feeling of heart-centered fullness.


What is a Saturn Return?

All of the planets and stars etc. held a unique position the moment you were born, each coordinate perfectly aligned with the karmic lessons you have chosen to process in this incarnation. We can know these positions by taking your birth information and casting a natal chart. One of the many things you can find by casting your natal chart is the notorious Saturn Return. In Western Astrology, the Saturn Return occurs when Saturn has made it’s return to the degree in its orbit that it occupied at the time of your birth.


When will I have my Saturn Return(s)?

To find this information you can either:

-Cast your natal chart the old school way (much more involved) by hand.

-Get a natal chart reading from your favorite astrologer. 😉

-Use a free & easy online calculator like this:


What’s the astrological significance?

The Saturn Return influences the development of your life and evolution of your soul in a significant way at roughly 29.5 year intervals.


However, you may even feel the influence of Saturn returning a few years before the exact conjunction, and variable orbits of the planets can also make the time period longer or shorter.


Think of it like a evolutionary cosmic rite of passage; at the time of the return you cross over a major threshold and enter the next stage of life. During first Saturn return, you enter adulthood. With the second return, maturity. And with the third and usually final return, you enter your wisdom as an elder. These periods are usually occur at roughly the ages of 27-31, 56-60 and 84-90. You may even get to experience a fourth return if you’re lucky enough to live to see the age of 114-118.

Like any conquest, the more knowledgeable and prepared for the journey you are before you embark, the better your odds for success. Going into your Saturn Return with an aligned mindset will enable you to meet any adversity on your path with wisdom and grace. Using an aligned mindset means approaching your karmic dance with Saturn with the tools necessary to nurture growth from the challenges, and heal from it’s sometimes harsh (feeling) lessons.

Lessons from Saturn


Saturn seeks the truth. Saturn will often expose the truth in our lives, cleansing us of any illusions we may be attached to. Often when the truth is exposed we fall into low vibration patterning, we claim “bad luck” or otherwise abandon the truth of our hand in creating our destiny (especially if it’s a hard truth to face). But really the lesson being offered is: Truth is freedom from our own bullshit. “What we lose in telling the truth, was never really ours to begin with.” When we embrace our truth, we gain alignment with Source and Universal Truth… we set ourselves free and remove falsities obstructing our highest path.


Integration of Shadow aspects. This comes as a triple-layered lesson; learning to love our individual Shadows, as well as the Shadow nature of everything and everyone around us, and also the Shadow aspects of the journey of life.


Simply put, Shadow is part of the nature of everything. From Wikipedia: “In Jungian psychology, the “shadow”, “Id”, or “shadow aspect/archetype” may refer to (1) an unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not identify in itself, or (2) the entirety of the unconscious, i.e., everything of which a person is not fully conscious. In short, the shadow is the “dark side”.

Because one tends to reject or remain ignorant of the least desirable aspects of one’s personality, the shadow is largely negative. There are, however, positive aspects which may also remain hidden in one’s shadow (especially in people with low self-esteem, anxieties, and false beliefs).[1] To know oneself, one must accept one’s dark side.”


The lesson is: What value does Shadow have? What does it teach us? How does it serve us? In which ways does it not serve us? How do we find the balance within light and dark?


Once we can love and see the beauty, wisdom within, and evolutionary importance of the Shadow aspects within and throughout the Universe; we will be free from the illusion of ignorance, suffering, and struggle.


In order for our consciousness to continue its evolution into more aligned vibrational resonance with Source, we must learn to love and embrace all aspects of this experience. Light, and Shadow.

If we want to be happy in this lifetime, we must figure out how to enjoy the living process in its entirety, darkness included. To do so, we must understand the full scope of our life’s lessons, not only the easily palatable light aspects, but also the strong medicine, sometimes bitter-tasting dark aspects.


Gaining a Higher Perspective. The way one might be tempted to speak of Saturn as a planet of malevolent teachings, really speaks volumes about how we as a culture view our challenges in life.


Suffering is part of what makes the life experience what it is. And it’s absolutely 100% part of what we signed up for when we chose to incarnate, when we chose our soul contracts (ie the karmic path of evolving our consciousness).

Saturn might deal some tough, heart and faith-testing blows. But when it does, what it’s really asking is this: “Will you stay attached to suffering? Or will you evolve and choose a Higher Perspective?”.


Higher Perspective means deliberately choosing Unconditional Happiness. Unconditional Happiness becomes available to us when we are able to fully let go of the idea that our suffering needs our attention because it needs to be fixed.


Instead, we can ask “What is my suffering teaching me? Where is my learning and growth in all of this?”, and then finally *let it go*. Letting go simply means choosing to deliberately not bring something with us into our present or future.


Higher perspective is walking with grace through the paradox that is: “life is suffering, and it is our destiny to be happy.”


Divine accountability. As Saturn governs the realm of responsibility, its lessons extend beyond the practical applications (having your shit together in the muggle world, etc.) and into your Divine nature. This time Saturn asks “Will you take accountability for all that you have manifested?”.


The lesson is thus: every single thing in our experience, we have chosen either by Soul contract before incarnation or as a Divine co-creator with the Universe along our life’s path. Not just the fun stuff, all of it, we have co-created every atom of this experience. And the fun stuff too! Remember, fun or no fun, we’ve created it all for our highest good. At this marker in our soul alchemy, Saturn asks if we are finally ready to evolve into the higher consciousness knowing of our hand as Divine Co-Creators, and if we are ready to accept accountability as such.


Motivating the Heart Path. Saturn gives us an opportunity to define what “responsible” really means to us. Simply defined as “able to respond”, we are presented with various crossroads in life where we get to ask ourselves “am I responding to my Soul’s calling? Or am I responding from the societal conditioning I’ve inherited?”. Saturn may even provide you with some tough, contrast situations, as a tough-loving nudge to say “follow your heart, no, really”. Saturn will have us thinking long-term, about everything, and about the longevity of happiness any situation has to offer us..


Furthermore, these crossroads are great opportunities to release inherited beliefs and societal conditioning about what responsibility means. This way you can follow your heart moving forward, freeing yourself of the limitations of the collective.


Unprecedented magic lies just beyond our limitations, all we must do is take the heart centered leap.

Stability and deliverance. Without Saturn’s lessons and wisdom, we wouldn’t be unable to manifest our desires. It takes persistence and commitment to our dreams to actualize an intention. Saturn gives us many opportunities to become responsible and consistent enough to deliver for ourselves and others.


So, during your Saturn Return you may find yourself in situations that ask you to examine and expand the ways in which you show up, deliver, and provide stability for yourself, for life, and for your desires.


Saturn asks: “Am I fully present? Am I consistent? Am I dependable? Can I rely on myself to create the destiny I desire?”


Self discipline. This lesson asks us to look at the ways in which we tend to not be living from our center. Each of us have unique things that cause us to pendulum to an extreme, leaving our center and knocking us out of balance.


Whatever throws you off balance may come to light, and you will have this simple choice: “Am I willing to sacrifice my alignment for this? Or will I choose discipline and devote myself to what is aligned with my highest good?”


If there’s anything about your lifestyle or choices that you’ve been questioning whether they’re truly serving you, or if there’s a facet of your life that would benefit from more loving devotion… now’s a good time to ask yourself if you’re willing to give yourself and others your highest potential.


Lastly, Saturn asks us to be self disciplined in our minds. To grow up from childlike emotional reactivity, into responding with balanced evolved maturity. Again, it has to do with maintaining alignment. In the face of crisis and challenges we are offered a chance to respond with wisdom, from a place of understanding our dharma. Not to condemn our human nature, or our emotions, but to stay awake and conscious to receive the dharma that’s been revealed to us.


If you find yourself asking “WHY?!” amidst your Saturn Return…
First, be easy on and compassionate toward yourself!

Think: gentle. Listen, this Saturn Return stuff is soul shaking, heart jarring, wound healing, life shifting medicine! It’s not easy at times, and can be quite exhausting on all planes (spiritual, emotional, physical, etc.).

Please remember SELF-CARE FIRST, at all times. Breathe! And breathe some more! Then, breathe again! Your spiritual endurance is being tested, and strengthened. Self-care is great harm reduction, it won’t save you from growing pains, but with it you won’t face as much exhaustion during this endurance marathon of soul alchemy! Anytime you’re feeling the sting from some tough Saturn experiences, know that the remedy for the burn is always more love and compassion.


Then try asking yourself these questions:

-Why would I have manifested this? (No, seriously.) Because I did.

-How could this be an opportunity for growth?

-Where is the lesson? What are the shadow aspects teaching me?

-Where are the hidden blessings in all this?

-What am I avoiding looking at?

-Where does that pain or fear originate from? Why do I carry it with me?

-What is ready to be healed?

-What is aligned with my highest good?

-Is there something that’s asking for more love?

-Am I trusting my intuition? Or is my ego too loud?

-Am I being gentle, loving, and compassionate?

-How is this for the higher good of all involved?

-Is this a recurring lesson in my life? Why? What begs to be released?

-Am I done with this lesson? Am I willing to let go and move on?

-Will I allow myself to follow my Soul calling?


10 Suggestions for Saturn Return Success:

  1. Use this an opportunity to rebirth how you view yourself, and the world. Reenvision what you want from this life experience.
  2. Look at the bigger picture of your life, and from that vantage point, think long-term about everything.
  3. Let go of the past. Let go of your losses and embrace the endings. Create your destiny from the present, free of old energy.
  4. Give yourself the space you need to finally deal with *that one issue*, you know, the one you put off and secretly know that it could free up some serious psychic space if you dealt with it at long last.
  5. Take care of yourself, your body in a way that is aligned with you and no one else. Tune in to what your body needs, let it show you what it wants. Clarity of our temple, gives us clarity in all other aspects of life. When we nourish ourselves, we nourish our highest potential.
  6. Clarify what defines happiness and success for you. Remove all the other peripheral voices chiming in, and align with a path of true happiness and success defined in your terms.
  7. Evolve from the temptation to compare yourself to others. It’s unfair to all involved, and is an inaccurate measure of self-worth. Instead, “compete” (friendly, loving competition!) with yourself.
  8. True happiness and fulfillment are not destinations. Allow yourself to be present in the moment, don’t wait until you’ve achieved or attained x to be happy. Enjoy the journey!
  9. I can’t emphasize “breathe!” and give yourself loving compassion enough. Self-care is paramount, especially in times of great soul alchemy.
  10. If you don’t complete everything you intended to during your Saturn Return, it’s okay! The lesson here is “You are perfect, whole, and complete, just as you are”, and same goes for your Saturn return.


The illusion is that Saturn is working against us. But the truth is, we are working against ourselves. Saturn gives us the opportunities to liberate ourselves from self limitation.


The thing is, Saturn Returns can be such an intensely intimate experience for us because it asks us to face and work through our “stuff” which often includes many triggers. Sometimes those triggers involve revisiting painful trauma or karmic patterns that are ready to be healed. Sometimes triggers come with our massive attachments to beliefs, habits, choices, and mindsets that no longer serve our highest good. And if we stay attached, if we don’t let go, we can manifest suffering in the form of further opportunities to finally release patterning. Like the zen proverb: “Let go. Or be dragged.”

Saturn asks us to grow up, as in up to higher consciousness, releasing low vibrational patterns, reaching beyond our self limitations and breaking through our upper limits… because Saturn knows that this is the path to fulfilling your highest potential.


I hope this article finds you well, and that it proves useful if you or someone you know is going through their Saturn Return. I would love to know what you think or if you have any questions! Please feel free to comment on this blog or forward to someone who’d enjoy it! Like always, if you’d like to go deeper into your journey, I am happy to support you in a 1 on 1 private phone intuitive session. Thanks for reading!


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