Dear Madame Zolonga: Do I keep the mother, too?

Posted by Planet Waves


Between the ages of 58 and 60, you’ll experience your second Saturn Return (or SSR — not to be confused with AARP). An SSR Sagittarius with Saturn on her doorstep asks Madame Z if slowing down her traveling-sales-rep lifestyle to get involved with a male acquaintance she likes — even though his elderly mother lives with him — will cramp her style.

Dear Madame,

I’ve been rethinking my close acquaintance with a man I see regularly when I come to his town. (I’m a traveling rep.) The last time I was in town he invited me back to his place, where I met his mother. It turns out she lives with him, which sort of surprised me.

He’s been helpful to me in the past, introducing me to new clients and making my time more comfortable in his town by recommending restaurants and the like. We get on very well. I’ve known from the first that he was interested in becoming more than being my host, though. Neither of us are spring chickens, so I’ve been cautious about this attention. As a woman who’s worked hard for her independence, I’m not sure how I feel about settling down anywhere, or with anyone.

But honestly, it’s the fact that his 82-year-old mother lives with him. I think my reluctance to get further involved comes down to the recognition I’d be taking on an elderly woman as well as a lover, if I pursue this. When I see him, I can’t help but picture his mother there, too.


I have an early Sagittarius birthday. Is there anything in this Saturn business about Sagittarians finally settling down? I feel like this is going to come up again the next time I come into town. If we have to part company, I’d be sorry for it. Not sure if I want to.

— Saggi Blu Knows Not What To Do

Dearest Saggi Blu,

It’ll take more than a few kind words and helpful tips to conquer the locals if you wanna tame a Saggo. So it’s clear to me that if he’s turned your head and dropped you to a trot, you’re intrigued — or simply road-weary and ready to park it in a friendly stable.

Indeed, that Saturn piece does play a part. According to your chart, you are nearing what astrologers call the Second Saturn Return (SSR), which kicks in around age 58 and lasts a couple of years.

The SSR sounds like the Second Coming, and is surprisingly similar: if you’ve been doing your Saturn well, the SSR is like a liberation. Twice-liberated from the things that make us work for wisdom, we’re ready to change the tempo of our lives after the second Saturn cycle, and kick off a few residual restraints imposed on us by others. This is because, unlike the first Saturn return that arrived when we turned 30, the Second Saturn Return can be the beginning of a new season that releases many of those responsibilities that claimed the second 30 years of our lives.

Don’t confuse this with the AARP card that arrives in the mail. Your SSR arrives with a cosmic Master Card, and the pre-paid benefits of wisdom, experience, and (hopefully) some change in your structure of work. No interest, no fees.

Unless you failed to pre-pay. If you’ve not copped most of life’s essential lessons, the arrival of Saturn on your doorstep smells as bad as sulfur, and his rates stink even worse. Even if you’ve paid up, many find years 58-60 a spiritually and emotionally difficult threshold in our youth-obsessed culture. We have no clear status markers for 60 that help us feel significant to others.

But it wasn’t always thus. In ye olden days few reached the age of 60, but if you did, you were an Elder. Respect? Usually, if only for reaching such a ripe old age. With the support of surviving grown children and grandchildren, you could reduce your personal workload and instead take on the task of mentoring the young people who need additional guidance or supervision. Or you’d have the luxury of time for personal pursuits. However you chose it, it was time to give back and share whatever you’d gained through the years. And reap a few bennies, as well.

May I gently suggest something about your current Saturnian dilemma? Could it be that hanging around too much with Ma will only serve to remind you that you, too, may one day be that age? That you are nearing 60, even if in your head you’re 47? That age and limitation are not anything you’ve ever willingly embraced before?

I say this regardless of your future with said out-of-town gentleman and his mother. Resisting the Saturn experience is fruitless and exhausting. If there’s anything you don’t wish to face, it certainly finds you anyway. This is tough medicine for Saggos, who love the open road. But with Saturn in your natal 9th house for the next two years, he may force the point. You may need to pick a neighborhood and hang close by rather than fly the friendly skies.

Give this some thought, and some time before you decide with this man. Do you have a year, dear? Get to know the mother better. Observe how your fellow treats her, tips service staff, keeps his bathroom tidy. Observe the small things, because right now, the small things count more than usual. If you married, yes, you’d inherit the mother. When you marry, you marry the family, too. We all do. Sometimes, that’s actually a blessing.

Galloping away,

Madame Z

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