Astrologically speaking, Saturn is often called the taskmaster because it rules over structure and regimentation in all things. (If you know a Capricorn, you won’t be surprised to learn that Saturn is the sign’s planetary ruler.) But perhaps its biggest cosmic legacy is the infamous Saturn return transit, which simply refers to whenever the planet moves back into the place where it was when you were born. This particular transit is likely why Saturn resonates so deeply for Adele, who recently went through it.
"With Saturn return, you experience a kind of intense rebirth, going through a cosmic crucible of change." —astrologer Stefanie Iris Weiss
Known for serving up a hefty dose of tough love, a person's first Saturn return happens sometime around age 30 and tends to generate the upheaval and growth needed to shuttle them into adulthood—something that astrologer Stefanie Iris Weiss calls “a kind of intense rebirth,” where you go through “a cosmic crucible of change.”
“When [Saturn return] comes, it can rock your life,” Adele recently told Vogue. “It shakes you up a bit: Who am I? What do I want to do? What makes me truly happy? All of those things.” While it’s not always tumultuous, the singer says it hit her hard, likely beginning in 2017 and lasting through 2019—which she described to Vogue as a time when she simply “lost the plot.”
“This period encompasses both her wedding to her former partner Simon Konecki and her [filing for] divorce from him,” says Weiss, adding that this isn’t entirely unexpected: “The likelihood that you’ll struggle in a marriage that happens during your Saturn return is fairly high.” And that’s particularly the case for Adele, she says, whose natal Saturn (aka where the planet was at her birth time) is in Capricorn—which Weiss describes as “one of the most challenging yet rewarding Saturn placements of all”—and most likely in her seventh house of relationships, no less.
What we can learn from Adele’s poignant experience of her Saturn return
Born of her traumatic Saturn return is Adele’s upcoming fourth studio album, set for release on November 19, and aptly titled 30 (aka the age around when the fated transit occurs). In her initial announcement on Instagram, she called the album itself her “ride or die during the most turbulent period of her life” and “the friend who came over with a bottle of wine and a takeaway to cheer her up.” Given hardship typically yields great art, we can expect the album to be a beautiful, if gut-wrenching, depiction of her own coming of age.
Typically, the struggle of Saturn return springs from the difficulty you might have in finding and embracing your true purpose—particularly if it’s different from what others around you might expect, or from the societal norm that’s come to define you.
“For Adele, as she told Oprah, this [norm] meant being married, in a nuclear family, so that her child would have that two-parent unit intact,” says Weiss, who posits that that's the reason the singer remained in this relationship for longer than ideal. “Tauruses, in particular, can and will hold onto their relationships and try to make them work,” says astrologer Vanessa Hardy, referencing Adele’s stability-focused sun sign. “But this recent decision of breaking free was probably unequivocally necessary to her growth as a person and an artist, and I am sure that based on the timing of it, it was not easy at all.”
But that’s what Saturn return is all about: uncovering a way to live your truth and breaking the ties that may have been restricting you from doing so—and at all costs. “Whatever went down seems to have pushed Adele to fully embrace the parts of herself that she was not confident enough to show beforehand,” says Hardy. And as a result, she can step into her wholeness, both as a person and as an artist.
The fact that Adele is now using this growth experience to create art and share it with the world is a key sign that she’s emerged successfully on the other side of her Saturn return, according to both astrologers. And as for the tattoo and earrings? “That’s just next level Saturn obeisance,” says Weiss. “It’s saying: I hear you, Saturn. I honor you, I believe you, and I will live my life authentically, on my own terms.”
While Adele’s Saturn earrings were custom-made by the designer Schiaparelli, we've rounded up some similar Saturn-inspired selections below.
3 pairs of Adele-inspired Saturn earrings
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