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Turning 30 – Why The Year Before Is SO Stressful!

April 21, 2022 Insights Career Lifestyle
Turning 30 – Why The Year Before Is SO Stressful!

Meet Amy. She’s a 29-year pharmacologist and she just got a promotion at work. Everyone’s happy for her – her parents are celebrating her success, and everyone’s telling her that she’s a rising star.

Everyone’s happy… except Amy.

For the last few months, although her projects have been going swimmingly, Amy has been going to work with an unexpected emotion – dread. 

Because she knows in her heart that she wants to quit pharmacology. 

Even though her parents paid through the nose for her to complete her degree. Even though she is on a fast-track to career success at a reputable company. 

Amy secretly yearns to be a fashion designer. This thought isn’t a new idea – she’s been thinking of it for the past year, and truthfully she’s been thinking about it ever since she did a part-time job at a fashion house a few years ago. She found a course that will help her make the transition into fashion, but she’ll need to quit her job to commit to it. 

She’s terrified of disappointing her company, and most of all of disappointing her parents, if she makes the move. She’s also not sure if her boyfriend will be supportive of the change. 

Even she’s not sure it’s the right decision. It feels like she’s giving up a lot to pursue a completely new path.

The phenomenon that’s happening to Amy is called the Saturn Return, an astrological transit that happens to everyone at about age 28-30. If that’s where you are in your life now, then Amy’s story may resonate strongly with you.

The most common experience of the Saturn Return are major career or job changes, but many people also go through drastic relationship decisions, or change can also occur in other areas like religious or political beliefs or even nationality or sexual orientation, to name just a few.

The Saturn Return is often associated with ‘heaviness’, since these types of decisions tend to have long-term life consequences, requires a lot of effort to execute and most of all, demands that the young person take personal responsibility for their decision. 

Although internet memes may make the Saturn Return sound like a terrible ordeal (usually because the memes are created by the very people who are freaking out about their own Saturn Returns), most people can look back at this time and recognise it as a maturity milestone that marks their true initiation into adulthood and personal responsibility.

After all, everyone above the age of 30 survived their Saturn Return. 

And they not only survived, but many used their window of personal decision-making to commit to purposeful marriages, meaningful careers, parenthood and some even to embark on impactful entrepreneurship projects. 

The Saturn Return gets its name from the cyclical orbit of the planet Saturn. Since it takes approximately 29 years to make a full circle around the Sun, it is around the 29th year of a person’s life when the transiting planet returns to the same position it was at the time of their birth, hence the name ‘Saturn Return’.

The dreaded reputation of the Saturn Return is derived from the less-desired qualities that Saturn represents: stress, hard decisions, personal turmoil, that feeling that you’re not meeting standards, hard work… essentially Saturn is no walk in the park.

But the fact that Saturn doesn’t make things easy also means that people start taking their lives seriously instead of bumming around like an overgrown teenager. Decisions are heavy only because you realize that there are long-term ramifications, and in some cases your decisions can affect other people’s lives as well.

Most of all, the scariest part of the Saturn Return is that you’re on your own for this decision. For possibly the first time in your life, this isn’t a decision that your parents make for you, or a choice that’s just about going with society’s flow. 

Whatever choice you make, you know that you have to take personal responsibility for the outcome. Getting married is a huge step. Becoming a parent is a huge step. Deciding to move to Iceland is a huge step. Accepting a promotion at work that puts you in charge of 1400 people across 5 countries is a huge step.

For Amy, quitting her secure pharmacology job to take on an uncertain fashion career is a huge step.

Heck, I would know. I quit my high-paying managerial job and a lucrative real estate license in my 29th year to become the founder of Selfstrology. 

Of all the decisions I could have made, I chose to be an astrologer. I was definitely on my own on that decision, and there definitely wasn’t any parental or social precedent for that decision. Just like how some people choose to be parents at their Saturn Return, on mine, I took on responsibility for raising a new baby in an unestablished industry.

For all the negative traits Saturn is associated with, it is also a planet that represents strong foundations, solid commitments, maturity, responsibility and the determination to put in real-world effort to produce real-world outcomes.

In Amy’s world, a career change would require her to start from the bottom again, to put in the hours to learn new skills, to redefine and restructure some of her personal timelines and financial goals. Given such a high price to pay, if Amy decides to commit anyway, you can bet that she’s determined to make a success of her new career.

Decisions made during the Saturn Return determine the trajectory of your adult life for the next 30 or so years. 

Those who are willing to pay the price to live life on their terms get control of their adult lives, but many who shy away from the window of opportunity often get stuck living their lives and careers on other people’s terms. It can be even more difficult to make such powerful decisions once the Saturn Return has passed.

If you’re between 27-30 years old, you might have a major life decision on your mind. It can be a confusing time, and it can be hard to ask for help from anyone, because you could have difficulties even articulating the thoughts and emotions in your mind.    

‘Is this the right decision for me?’

‘Why do I feel like my life right now just isn’t aligned with who I really am?’

‘Have I been just doing what society demands without being conscious of what I want?’

Rather than a time of fear and stress, the Saturn Return is a great time to consolidate and figure out once and for all who you are and what your purpose is. If there is a major decision on your mind, it is crucial to know what factors are holding you back, so you can get clarity, address them, and make powerful decisions in your life.


Many students who enroll at Selfstrology Academy are at crossroads in their life, and have discovered that the astrological chart reveals insights about themselves that speak firmly to their core identity.   

Students complete the Beginner’s Intro to Astrology course before going on to do the Psychological Astrology course, where we journey into our psychological patterns and behaviours and formulate powerful life commitments.

Get more information about the courses here. 

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