One of the best ways to look at the birth-to-maturity process is the cycles of Saturn (the planet symbolizing maturity & responsibility), and the aspects it makes to itself in a person’s natal chart.
Saturn takes roughly 28-29 years to go all the way around our solar system and return to where it was when you were born. For those of you with some knowledge of astrology, 28-29 is the period of the “Saturn Return.” But Saturn has been busy throughout those years, and it serves as various mileposts during that time.
If you know your child’s birth chart, the qualities of whatever sign the moon is in will be strong for the first seven years of his or her life. The moon is a powerful influence all life long, but is especially prominent from birth to 7 years old. At the start of life, we are learning to talk and communicate in a linear, logical way but we need to communicate our needs from the get go… so we tend to be much more intuitive than logical. And between the sun & the moon, the moon is the intuitive side. The qualities of the sun sign will be there, but the moon kicks in strong at birth. The moon is also the traditional symbol of the mother, and most of us are familiar with the concept of “mothers’ intuition.”
At roughly 7 years old, this changes. Saturn moves into the first square to itself, forming a 90º angle to its original position. A square is considered a challenging aspect, and this is when we take our first major shift toward adulthood. By 7, most of us are in school of some form, and have begun to learn to read & write & deal with the outside world. This is when we start to take stronger notice of our personal world in contrast to the outside world. The rules at home may not be the same rules we have to obey “out there.”
By roughly 14, Saturn is now opposing its original position, and is now at the opposite side of the solar system. And 14 we are now teenagers and beginning to establish ourselves as separate from family. These can be awkward and troublesome years, and we frequently find ourselves in “opposition” to many forms of authority.
Add 7 more years and we are 21 years old, and Saturn is once again squaring its natal position. Legally speaking, we are recognized by society as adults, but we have not had a lot of practice actually being adults. So we go out into the world and see what we can do. We experiment. We make mistakes. Hopefully we learn our lessons as we roll along, and then we get to our Saturn Return. And this is when astrology considers you an adult.
And as I have said before, at your Saturn Return, you no longer get your rules and regulations from the outside world. You have had 28-29 years to learn what works for you, what doesn’t, and now you become your own parent and your own authority. Now you should have a clearer notion of your role in the world.