Deb Eleanor on Change and Saturn’s Return

The Weird Sisters, by Eleanor Brown

I believe good fiction is all about change.  If there’s no difference between the characters at the beginning and the end of a novel, a memoir, even a non-fiction screed, I’m likely to end up dissatisfied.  I want the characters to go through discomfort and maybe even a little pain, and to come out the other end reborn through the experience.

Though it’s never mentioned in the book, when I wrote The Weird Sisters, I did a lot of research on Saturn’s Return.  Here’s a nice summation of Saturn’s Return from Uncle Wiki:

The Saturn Return is an astrological phenomenon that occurs at the ages of 27-30, 58-60, 86-88, etc., coinciding with the time it takes the planet Saturn to make one orbit around the sun. It is believed by astrologers that as Saturn “returns” to the degree in which it occupied at the time of birth—approximately every 29.5 years—a person crosses over a major threshold and into the next stage of life. With the first Saturn Return, a person leaves youth behind and enters adulthood. With the second Return, maturity. And the third and usually final Return, a person enters wise old age.

The planet SaturnI call The Weird Sisters a belated coming-of-age novel.  There is a reason my characters are 27, 30, and 33- I wanted them to be on the cusp of great change, to be pushed into places where they confront the lives they have created and acknowledge -and change – the pieces that aren’t working.  My own first Saturn’s Return period was absolutely fraught with change, and I believe it was largely because I was trying to stuff myself into a place where I didn’t belong, and the universe was saying, “Umm, no.  Try again.”  I’m interested to see what happens next time Saturn comes around and where I’ll be.

What about you?  Have you survived your own Saturn’s Returns?

16 Replies to “Deb Eleanor on Change and Saturn’s Return”

  1. Good morning! I could write a book about it… You’d better learn to change when life kicks you in uranus more times than you can count. And in the autism world, mercury plays a big role. Life – you just can’
    t planet.


  2. Kim, pretty funny. Humor is always good medicine and I am glad you can laugh and smile.

    I do not agree with Saturn Returns from an astrological perspective but do believe that we all need to cope effectively with change. Change, big and small, is ever present. It is my belief that how we cope with change (life) that determines our happiness as we age.

    My life has been a constant change for the past fifteen years with little progressing as I expected. On the one hand, I feel I have changed little but at the same time I know I look at things a little differently. The biggest difference is that I am outwardly more of who I am.

    The most recent change in my life is the passing of my mother. Her passing has lead me to reconsider how one should live one’s life. One of the most amazing things about my mother was that she lived true to her beliefs and I really admire her strength in that regard. I am not sure where I will end up but it will be part of my continual evolution.

    1. I’m glad to hear you’re taking up your mother’s mantle of being herself and holding to her beliefs – this has been one of the most pleasant surprises to me of growing older. But fifteen years of change? Holy cow, that sounds like a lot to manage. More power to you.

  3. It’s getting out of your comfort zone (forcing yourself out) that really teaches you the most valuable life lessons. Eleanor, I would love to hear more about your own personal Saturn’s Return period…and I absolutely can’t wait for THE WEIRD SISTERS!!

    1. Jocelyn – I think a lot of my writing is trying to work out everything that happened in that period – maybe it’ll carry me all the way through to the next one!

      And I totally agree re: comfort zone – it’s scary, but so worth it.

  4. Thank you for giving me on more thing to mark on my calendar! Must also remember to include Free Slurpee Day at 7-11.


  5. Not only is there a free Slurpee Day at 7-11, there’s also Free Cone Day at BOTH Baskin Robbins and Ben and Jerry’s. Just sayin’.

    I actually think Saturn was a little delayed with me, and chose to return NOW. The last two years have been a time of gradually increasing dramatic change, with the biggest wow factors — both wonderful and horrible — hitting the fan only in the last few months. The great part of that kind of massive upheaval is that it forces you to look at who you really are and who you really want to be, so you come out of the change period galvanized and transformed.

    Ideally. 🙂

    1. I think that’s why the idea of Saturn’s Return appeals to me – I like to view it as a sort of cosmic housekeeping, where you get a full-life do-over, a chance to sweep out all the cowbwebs and say, “This is how I really meant for it to be.”

      I believe you’re strong enough to be one of them galvanized and transformed folks, whatever upheaval comes your way.

  6. So fascinating! I have never heard of the Saturn Returns theory, but it explains a lot, looking back. I’m 32 now, and the past years have been insanely change-oriented–all in good ways, but boy have they toughened me up. I’ve worked harder than I ever have and learned a lot about happiness in the process. Thanks for sharing this–I learn something new everyday on the Deb Ball! 🙂 xoxo

    1. I felt the exact same way when I first heard about this – I’m not super into astrology or new age thought, but it does make a certain amount of logical sense in terms of life stages, and kind of kicked me with an, “Ohh….so *that’s* why!”

      The full article on Wikipedia is really interesting. You know, in all your spare time.

  7. Wow, this is fascinating. Thans for sharing this. I am about to turn 30 in a few weeks. There has been a crazy amount of soul-searching these past 3 years and I definitely consider this a time where I’m trying to figure everything out with this deadline of ’30’ looming ahead (I’m still not exactly sure what will happen on the fateful day– will my carriage turn into a pumpkin?). The characters in my novels and stories tend to be this age as well. Word.

    1. 30 is culturally a HUGE milestone and I think that adds to the general idea of Saturn’s Return. I remember my friends and I having serious panics about that birthday, but I’m glad to report it turned out just fine (and IMHO, 30s are waaaay better than 20s).

      I sincerely hope the only pumpkin on your birthday comes in the form of PIE. 🙂

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