Everyone who lives to be 57 or thereabouts goes through their second Saturn return. This means that they have reached a point in their life journey where they are entering the earliest stages of “old age” or elderhood. Like the first Saturn return, it is once again a cycle of maturation involving significant life passages. People retire, they become grandparents, their own, aging parents may die, they may move, values changes, bodies change. This is hardly the end of the road, however. It’s actually just another beginning.
Saturn wants these folk to climb their own mountain, too–only it’s a far different one than the one of the first Saturn return. There is a gravity to their efforts, and a sense of less time ahead than before them. Therefore, an urgency often arises to pass on what they know. Many people who volunteer, for example, are older. It may, in part, be as a result of extra time due to retirement, but that’s only part of it. They want to give back.
Older doesn’t mean wiser, of course, but it does mean that someone of 60 has had more life experience than someone of 30. All of us have had the misfortune to have to sit and endure an older person pontificating about “the good old days.” How boring is that? We don’t learn, or want to learn, from such lecturing. Those are the individuals who fail the second Saturn return, to be left alone in Saturnian loneliness and solitude, cut off from the kind of meaningful connection that can occur between youth and elders.
The Cool Old Man or Woman, who traverses this critical life cycle elegantly and consciously, shares examples of his or her life. In that way, younger people want to hear what they have to say, because they’re not being judged and the stories close the gap between the generations. Think of Dustin Hoffman–he’s funny, wise, enjoying the hell out of life and is eminently human. He still acts, but his main focus is on his family and truly taking time to do what he enjoys. He doesn’t care what other people think. He’s one cool dude.
The second Saturn return, done correctly, allows the person to chill and mellow. To notice what’s important now, not in the doing, but in the giving. In the sharing. In the reflecting. Life tends to become less serious and sweeter. If someone tries to ignore this passage, they may face end-of-life fears which could manifest concretely as lack, restriction and loss of faith.
I approach my second Saturn return this year. I look to it with curiosity, openness and respect. I have a sense of what it will bring, but I choose to make the most of it. Meanwhile, I surround myself with people younger than I am, who remind me not to get rigid, to go with the flow, to be curious, open and celebratory.