The Progressed Lunar Return
When the moon returns to the sign and house it was in at the time of your birth, it signifies a time to take stock of yourself. There’s a certain familiarity about the energy; after all, you’re pretty used to it since you’ve been living with it all your life. We tend to think of familiarity as a good thing, producing comfort and ease. However, the word familiarity stems from the root family, and I’m sure we can all relate to the concept of our families making us distinctly uncomfortable at least sometimes in our lives! So experiencing happiness or comfort during this time will actually depend more on what you’ve been doing with the last 28 years of your life since the cycle began. Do you like who you’ve become? Do you like the choices you’ve made, or at least, where you find yourself now in your life? If not, you may find yourself quite uncomfortable as you wrestle with feelings of being lost or unhappy. Even if you’re happy with who you are, we all have multiple potentials inside of us, and we cannot follow every potential, every path, and an awareness of all those paths and which ones you did and didn’t go down can come into consciousness now as you think about who you really are.
Either way, whether you’re content or restless, it is during this time that you’ll be reminding yourself of what you want, consciously or in the emotional undercurrent. It’s actually not a bad time to reminisce if that’s something that you enjoy doing, even back into childhood, to contemplate the activities that have always made you happy and that you’ve found yourself doing as a hobby or coming back to repeatedly throughout your life. It’s a great time to also pay special attention to your dreams, waking and sleeping, to see what is on your mind these days, so to speak.
These ideas are simply ways to bring the emotional experience you’re having up to the surface; even if you aren’t much into contemplation, something will be settling into place during this time. As it does, you can certainly have access to a sense of peace and hopefully some clarity and direction. However, we’re talking about the moon, the heart, so your job during this time isn’t necessarily to get your 5 year plan in place and it’s not a requirement that you know ‘what you want to do with your life.’ It’s also completely possible that you will feel even more confused about what you want. Confusion may not be fun but it can be a useful signal. Confusion, just like unhappiness, may stem from discordance between what your heart wants, and what direction your life is pointed in.
Your job now is mainly to remember yourself. To let what you feel, even if you don’t know why, come up, to validate it and pay attention to it, because it’s during this time that you have the opportunity to develop awareness about the things that make you the happiest. Are there things you need in your life that you can no longer deny or that you need to make more room for? From this point, you’ll be taking what you know of yourself forward as you make choices over the next 28 years, and it’s so easy to aim in the wrong direction if you don’t really know what your heart wants or aren’t willing to acknowledge it.
A Pisces 5th house moon may rediscover their art. A Cancer 11th house moon might decide it’s time to take their dream of a community center seriously. A 7th house Scorpio moon might cut themselves loose from a relationship that they finally realize cannot fully handle and support them in the deep way that they need. Your task is to come home and make your life yours again by reconciling with the emotional necessities that you just can’t deny.
Prep Work: Prerequisite to the Saturn Return
In addition to homecoming, the Progressed Lunar Return has special significance because of its relationship with the Saturn return, which is when transiting Saturn1 returns to its natal location in your chart. Saturn is a planet that represents our path toward maturity, achievement, self-discipline and self-respect, most often through hard work and the ability to turn setbacks or limitations into motivators. Saturn’s first return happens around age 29-1/2. While much has been written in a more complete fashion regarding Saturn’s return, the basic idea is that Saturn’s return signifies a time in our lives when we feel the need to ‘get serious,’ to commit ourselves to some meaningful work or choice in our lives. At this point, we’re entering our thirties and it’s common to feel pressure from society to ‘grow up,’ but an internal hunger also arises in us to begin our great work, to lay down real foundations in our lives.
The first Progressed Lunar Return precedes the first Saturn return by about 1-2 years, and this is no coincidence. The two are meant to work together: the Moon laying the foundation for the choices and commitments we will make at the Saturn return. Regardless of the sign in which Saturn resides in your natal chart, it is a planet that represents hard reality and tangible results and Saturn’s return will prompt you to face a certain reality about the results that you’ve gotten in this area of your life through hard work, or the lack of results and stagnation that you may be facing as a result of simply lamenting your limitations rather than working with or around them. At your Saturn return, you are asked to take concrete steps toward a goal. It’s time to stop wishing or waiting and do, plan, and commit. But how do you know what to commit to? How do you know what goals to set? That is why the Progressed Lunar Return is so significant, because it is a time to remind yourself what you love, what you want, and what is important to you. Pay special attention during this time to the things that you long for and daydream about, and take them seriously. They are an important clue that can guide you toward the biggest achievements in your life, whether it’s a family you love or a fulfilling career or another personal accomplishment.
The second Progressed Lunar Return precedes the second Saturn Return by about 3-4 years and once again, it will be time to take stock of yourself as you prepare for the next 20-30 years of your life and what direction you want to go now. The second Saturn Return can be marked by a recognition that you are entering what is likely to be the last third of your life, so you may be thinking about the legacy you want to leave, and what your options are for continuing to live a fulfilling life while recognizing life’s natural limitations once again.