Illustration by Lucia S.

Have you found yourself in a situation so tough that you didn’t know how you’d make it through, but once you did, you suddenly understood why you had to experience it? In astrology, that’s how Saturn works.

In your horoscope, each planet has a different meaning. The sun shows where you shine, the moon shows how you feel, Mercury shows how you express yourself, and so on. Saturn, on the other hand, shows where you’re going through hard things in order to grow. It’s not fun, but it’s always worth it in the end.

If you’re new, allow me to introduce myself! I’m Amelia Quint, and I’ve been writing Rookie’s new moon horoscopes (with help from the intrepid Dylan Rupert) for the last two years. I also write about astrology all across the internet. As far as my stars go, I’m a Scorpio with a Gemini moon and Sagittarius rising, which means I’m driven by intense curiosity in everything I do. But most of all, I’m passionate about helping people live better.

This column, Ask Saturn, is all about adulting and how we grow up. Basically, it’s the voice I wish I’d had on my side when I was a teenager. Since I’m a little older, I have some perspective on what happens when the stars decide to teach you a lesson. I just finished my Saturn Return, which is when Saturn’s position in the sky matches the position it held when you were born. It happens to everyone around age 28 or 29, so many of you won’t have to deal with yours for a while. Still, it’s notoriously difficult.

As an astrologer, I have given people pep talks about how to handle Saturn transits for years, but nothing could have prepared me for what it was like to have my own. I experienced a lot of self-doubt as I restructured everything in my life from the ground up. I laid a new foundation for my career and reimagined my ambitions. I lost jobs and got new ones that were better than I ever could have dreamed. I let go of toxic relationships and built others that were more life-affirming and loving. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, and it was by far the best.

My Saturn return wasn’t pretty, but now that it’s over, I totally get why it had to happen–and I’m here to help you figure out your down-to-earth problems and cosmic lessons, too.

For Ask Saturn, I want to you ask me your toughest life questions about things you have to contend with in the “real world”–like budgeting and boundaries, coming out or letting a friend go–and I’ll give you my best advice on how to move forward, with a little help from the heavenly bodies. Here’s how it works:

Send your questions to [email protected] with “Ask Saturn” in the subject line, along with your your birthdate, the city or town where you were born, and your time of birth. That way, I can see if there’s anything going on in your star chart that’s causing your troubles, like Saturn, or Mercury retrograde, or something else entirely. I’ll select one question each month to answer here, giving you my very best advice–both astrological and otherwise.

Saturn is the planet of responsibility, and whenever it’s active in your horoscope, it helps you build your self-confidence and make wise choices. That’s exactly what I want this column to do! I’m here to listen to whatever you have going on, no matter how weird, stressful, or overwhelming it might seem. Together with the cosmos, we’ll figure out a way forward. ♦

Follow Amelia on Twitter @TheMidheaven for astrology updates and @AmeliaQuint for everything else!