‘It’s All About Clarity’: Caggie Dunlop Discusses Her Saturn Return, Confidence And Finding Balance

Caggie speaks exclusively to Grazia

Caggie Dunlop

by Annie Vischer |
Published on

When I hop onto my Zoom call with Caggie Dunlop she's all glowing skin and warmth. Her first book, Saturn Returns, has not long been on the shelves and she's already reeling from the launch. 'It's funny, I felt so free when I was writing this book, I loved doing it but I didn't take the time to get pensive about the fact that people were actually going to read it.' The hardback is a tangible complement to Caggie's wildly successful podcast by the same name. 'I started the podcast at the beginning of lockdown,' she says, 'and yet it wasn't a reaction to lockdown, it was conceptualised long before the pandemic took hold, I first started thinking about it in 2017,' around about the same time that Caggie was going through her own Saturn return, an astrological transit that repeats every 29.5 years. 'I was in LA and someone told me I was about to go through my Saturn return,' she says, 'I delved into astrology and spiritual practices and really leaned into that side of things.'

Caggie Dunlop

What is a Saturn return?

'It's something that happens when Saturn returns to the same place it was when you were born,' Caggie explains, 'Saturn takes just under 30 years to orbit and when it does it brings with it lessons, obstacles and challenges. It's associated with karma, with time, discipline and responsibility.' 'People often experience their Saturn return as an initiation into adulthood,' says Caggie, 'some people might feel they have an epiphany about how authentically they have been living up until that point, something that encourages them to make a change, to level up or to take responsibility for something.' 'It's not supposed to be a scary time,' Caggie assures, 'it's all about clarity.'


Caggie's pre-Saturn return experience

'Before my own Saturn return I was living in LA,' explains Caggie, 'I felt a big shift between being 26 and 27, not long before my Saturn return. I was trying to look after myself and get things on track, but I'd always revert back to old habits that weren't serving me. I wanted to be liked and loved by everyone and often leant on alcohol as a means of doing that. I soon recognised that alcohol wasn't a great thing for me, but the only way I knew how to abstain was by not going out. I reacted by completely isolating myself and not going out. I couldn't trust myself to remain anchored and grounded at the same time as managing social anxiety, so I'd flit between abstinence and staying in, and going out all the time and drinking again, I couldn't find a balance. I'm an extremist by nature, so neutrality was foreign to me. Now balance is familiar, now it's comfortable but that wasn't the case before my Saturn return.'

Prior to her time in LA, Caggie's life took a turn when she was heroes as Made In Chelsea's main character, a reality TV lead in its very first season. Her voice rang out Sex And The City style, narrating the first few frames. 'I didn't know who I was as a person back then,' she says, 'and I was in an environment were everything was heightened, everything was high-drama and I felt very out of control.' And Caggie felt detached from the version of her the public were getting to know. 'I felt like there was this entity that existed in the press and I could recognise aspects of it, but she didn't feel like me or who I wanted to be either.' Stepping away from the show, which she did in 2015, four years after it first aired, was important for Caggie. 'It was also quite hard,' she says, 'to a lot of people I appeared successful and looked like I was having a lot of fun, but the truth is I felt at odds with myself for a good couple of years after. I was lost and a started trying to find out who I was.' It's a journey that many in their mid-twenties will be able to relate to, but there's no doubt the experience must have been heightened by fame. 'A lot of my relationships and reactions were documented,' says Caggie, 'throw in public opinion and the internal turmoil heightens.'

Caggie's post-Saturn return experience

'Nowadays I check in with myself a lot more,' Caggie says, 'life is often so fast paced, and, particularly as a woman, I feel there are so many demands and expectations placed upon us in our 30's. We are supposed to be managing our careers, maintaining great relationships, all while keeping one eye firmly on our biological clock. I've tried really hard to re-programme that dialogue in my head, to be mindful of not echoing the voices of those around me and internalising that pressure. I make space for myself a lot more than I ever did and concentrate on being my own biggest cheerleader.

Caggie Dunlop

We often become our own worst enemies by default, a negative voice that holds us back.' That voice can often be traced back to childhood according to Caggie, 'I'm still struggling with confidence myself,' she says, 'we all have this internal limiting belief that we're not enough, not worthy, not lovable, sometimes it's latent, sometimes it's overwhelming, but the key is in recognising when those thoughts are playing up and why, and in combatting them with positive ones. It's OK to acknowledge your wins and successes, to take stock and congratulate yourself, there's so much worth to be found in being your own driving force at times.' And yet there's no need to do so alone. 'Speaking about your insecurities is just as important,' she says, 'leaning into a vulnerable moment and speaking about it with a partner or friend can alleviate so much, it's something I've been trying to do more recently with my partner. It's not easy and it's something I'm still working on, but it's a very important part of self-care.'

Shop: Caggie Dunop's Saturn Returns Book


Saturn Returns by Caggie Dunlop

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CREDIT: Caggie Dunlop

Saturn Returns Your Cosmic Coming Of Age

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