Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Saturn for Sun Leo People


July 8, 2005


Dear Eric,


Over the years I've heard a lot about one's Saturn return.


I'm a Leo -- does this mean that when Saturn enters Leo next month this is my Saturn return -- or does this occur when Saturn moves into the sign it was in when I was born?





Dear Debra


The Saturn return is when Saturn returns to the sign it was in when you were born. In other words, it involves your Saturn sign rather than your Sun sign. The word "return" is astrological jargon for when a planet, any planet, orbits back around to where it was when you were born.


We have planetary returns on a fairly regular basis. Mars returns to its natal position every two years; Mercury between one and three times a year; Jupiter every 12 years. The Sun and Moon are also said to return; these are called the "solar return" (your birthday, when the Sun is in the same position as when you were born) and the "lunar return" (and a kind of monthly mini-birthday, when the Moon is in the same position).


People have their Saturn return at the time they turn around 29 years old, since it takes Saturn about 29 years to go once around the Sun. In a recent edition of this page, I covered the basic technical details of the Saturn in Leo phase to warm up the subject. That link is here. And if you're curious about the Saturn return specifically, there's a Saturn return resource for readers of this page, which is kept on my site.


But you raise a different question, which is what's the effect of Saturn occupying your Sun sign -- that is, the sign determined by just your date of birth, and the one you check when you read the newspaper. And the answer is going to depend on what kind of astrologer you ask; there are two main categories.


One looks at the exact natal chart (an astrologer you would consult for a session) and the other (principally a newspaper astrologer, or an astrologer writing a newspaper column) looks at the planets in the sky now (because your date of birth is not known to them, and not necessary for the wide-audience work they do).


Someone doing your natal chart is most likely going to say that Saturn going over one's Sun has the most impact when the exact transit occurs. For example, if you're born on Aug. 21 of any year, you're not going to experience the exact transit of Saturn in Leo on your Sun for nearly two more years. If you're born July 24, you're going to get the transit right away. For most dates in between, we would need to check the time, but basically, anyone born the first eight days of Leo is going to experience the transit right away.


This is a truly important life transit; it happens just once every three decades and it represents a major phase of growing up, personal adjustment, getting your act together and that kind of thing, and it is in many respects kind of like a mini Saturn return because you really feel the effects of Saturn. I would sum this transit up as an opportunity to work right up to the edge of your limits. Since most people work so far from their potential, working right up to your potential can be an extremely productive time. And it peaks at the time Saturn makes its exact meeting or series of meetings with your Sun.


People writing newspaper horoscopes are pretty much all going to comment on the sign change of a major planet like Saturn as if Saturn not only affected all Leos, but affected everyone else too. You will read in many Leo horoscopes, "Saturn, now in your birth sign, means so and so." Or, "Saturn, now aspecting the sensitive area of your chart where you work with security issues, is saying you need to feel safer." (We'll track some of these comments by astrologers when the time comes, and compare their statements and ideas. They are already starting to appear, and they will make an interesting study.)


You may ask, as many people do, how both methods can be true? That is, how can the exact effect of the transit be so meaningful, as well as how can astrologers writing Sun sign columns in newspapers make statements that apply to all Leos or all people?


Think of it like the weather report. It's possible for the weather forecast to tell you it's raining (I personally believe those things except when they tell you what's already happening, such as, it's now 29 degrees.) And that fact can be accurate and meaningful for everyone.


But that does not tell you what to wear. You can take the information that it's 29 degrees and you can wear a parka and big furry boots (for Americans reading, 29 degrees is pretty warm out, getting close to human body temperature of 37 degrees). And, a meteorologist can say, "It's looking like rain, you might want to bring an umbrella."


With astrology it's possible to make rather accurate statements without knowing everything. Those accurate statements are often based on the changes of planets moving in and out of signs. And the thing about these transits is that they really do affect everyone, on some level; some people are more or less sensitive to them, and different astrologers are more or less intuitive when it comes to suggesting how a large, sweeping change affects people specifically, or their readers specifically.


Of the two, I would suggest that the people writing for a large audience are the ones we want to get it right in the first instance. A natal astrologer who has unimaginative, negative ideas about Saturn can mess up individual people; but someone writing for an audience of millions who spreads unhelpful propaganda about Saturn can perpetuate ideas in the culture that last for generations.


The idea aspect of astrology is vitally important, and it works on every level, whether it is your personal chart with your time of birth, or a statement a writer makes to everyone. Astrology is all about ideas. Watch for ideas that send you on bum trips, and make sure you check against other writers who bring a little more spirit, imagination and sense of humor to the work.


Let's see what people say about this. Remember to get as many opinions as possible and make up your own mind.