This is Part 2 of a three-part series focusing on our Saturn cycles as three different Acts in our life. The series is inspired by an interview of Jane Fonda by Oprah, where Fonda said that she is in Act III of her life. For women, we’ll be looking at these Acts as our Maiden, Mother, or Crone Days.
Saturn naturally plays a pivotal role throughout our life and ushers in a new phase of life when it returns to its original spot in our natal chart. Each of Saturn’s whirls through the entire zodiac takes about 29½ years ~ plenty of time to begin, fully experience, and release a major phase of our life.
Saturn, Act II
The dew is off the rosebud. We are fully in adulthood now. We’ve been “legal” for about a decade ~ able to vote, drink, make our own decisions, and venture out on our own. Most of us are responsible for our own bills and are earning a living for ourselves. Many have made a choice of a life-partner, and quite a few are already estranged or divorced. Youth can make passionate, yet sometimes ill-conceived choices, so we set out to un-do or re-conceive our ideas for our life as a fully functioning adult in the real world.
We may find ourselves in a life very different from the one that our training or a college major prepared us to enter. Artists may find themselves hooked into a day job with no time to engage their art. Some who set out on a business track may abandon the corporate world for a life of less restriction and more authenticity. Those of us without training search out training on the job. Many of us continue to struggle while others find success and achievement in their field and establish themselves as authorities, experts, and experienced consultants.
Depending upon the generation you belong to, your ideas about how to handle this can vary enormously. Those born in the 40’s or earlier carried the weight of doing what was expected whether it was what we wanted or not. There were roles to play and we had to get on board. To diverge from that path was rife with danger, criticism, and estrangement.
Those born in the 50’s or 60’s might feel like we “sold out” when we abandoned our dreams for a day job. We’ve learned to deal with that disillusionment and finally trust people over 30. We are over 30! Those born in the 70’s or 80’s experienced a world of technology that offered more opportunity than ever before, while being plunged into an economy that withholds the opportunity that was promised. This is the generation that coined the term “funemployed,” a result of having to create a livelihood because no one is hiring. Cinderella has no shoes. There is no ball.
We have to suck it up and get on with our lives. That’s just the way it is. There are mouths to feed and bills to pay and “what was I thinking?” looms large in our minds.
For the lucky ones ~ those who are living the life they imagined or one better than they imagined ~ “real” life still rises with the sun every day. While satisfaction with work and home life may be deep, there are still responsibilities to be fulfilled. Doing what you love may mean there’s less money, that you’re only getting by, or even that you’ve made it ~ you’re a star in your field.
We polarize politically. Midlife crisis hits. Men are looking at sports cars and younger women. Women are looking at ads that promise to make us look as youthful as the media demands. The competition for both sexes is getting younger and younger, and we start longing for a sip from that magical fountain of youth.
We’ve seen it all! We’ve experienced Saturn’s movement through every house of our chart. It’s affected our appearance, our finances, our family structure, love life, debits and credits, careers, friendships ~ you name it! Saturn’s been there.
As we approach the end of Act II, we’ve become well acquainted with loss. Dreams fade. Children leave home. Loved ones pass on. Our beloved icons are looking a little haggard around the eyes. Wars began and ended and we can now mark our days by decades. As Judy Collins sang, “Who knows where the time goes.”
Does that sound depressing? Well, Saturn, our old devilish friend, can be such a buzz-kill. Obligatory Disclaimer: While Saturn teaches us harsh lessons, he also brings us rewards. Yeah, yeah, yeah…tell that to the face in the mirror. Problem is, you can’t see that face without 2.0 reading glasses.
Our Mother Years
Family. For some, it’s the family we’re born into and continue to regenerate. For others, it’s the family we create from scratch. Either choice brings with it the desire for security and long-lasting attachment, safety from the world out there that can be so demanding, shared memories, and someone to remember our birthday.
Many of us are already mothers ~ birth or adoptive ~ with all the demands and joys of raising children. We’ve made it through the years of juggling schedules, handling tantrums, wiping scrapes and tears, and longing for adult conversation. We watch triumphantly as our children march in cap and gown toward a future that no one can predict, pick up the tab for the celebrations, weddings, and the baby showers that follow. We imagine holding a grandchild in our arms for the first time.
We also realize that there are regrets. We know we made mistakes with our children and we worry about the impact our lack of knowledge made on who they are today. We wanted to be a good mother. We wanted to protect them. We wanted them to have everything they ever dreamed of.
Others of us now accept that we will never be mothers and go about the difficult process of letting go. Can we accept and embrace the part of us that we had reserved for a child?
Still others have no regrets ~ could never see ourselves as a mother, anyway ~ and are quite happy with things just the way they are. We have our “children” ~ our business, our art, our creative endeavors, our charities.
We’ve lived with fluctuation all our lives. As we bled, we adapted. As we nursed, we adapted. As the world around us changed, we adapted. We are the strongest creature on earth. We suvived as our hormones ran amuck. We’ve suffered through endometriosis or hysterectomies, some that came too soon. We’ve endured perimenopause, menopause, cancer, and we’ve survived.
Some are married or with partners, some are divorced, some remain single, and others are widows. Partnered or not, we all trepiditiously trek toward one common revelation ~ we are aging. We’re automatically given the senior discount at the cash register. Oh…my…god!
[Note to self: Stop by the cosmetics counter before going home and pick up a few of those miracle creams. Thought: Is there enough money in my retirement fund to afford these million dollar potions? Just a little nip here would take 10 years off. I'll cash in my insurance policy for a facelift. The kids are on their own. Why can't I find any clothes for someone my age?!?!?!? Am I really trying on something from the teen department? Does this bag make me look sexy? Where the heck did my butt go? It's not supposed to be at my knees.]
There’s a lot more to Act II than can be covered here ~ and admittedly, the focus has been on some of the fears that are commonplace. Saturn does offer rewards, many of them. Some are important documents filed away in safety-deposit boxes. Some hang on your office walls as testaments to your labors. But there are others, more powerful, more enduring. They fall across your beautiful face as the wisdom in knowing eyes and in the touch of your hand when you reach out to someone who just wants to sit a while. You’ve been there. You understand. More than understand ~ you really know. You encourage, support, and uplift. With each unsteady step of someone who seeks your guidance, the mother in you stands by. The maiden may have faded, but the mother will always remain.
You are now dead-center at the crossroads again. Welcome to your second Saturn Return and a whole new phase of life.
What are the most notable victories or revelations from Act II of your life?
Link: Jane Fonda on Oprah