It can be somewhat frustrating to read articles about questions that are easily answered by astrology. Astrologers know that beginning at around age 40, we humans experience a series of planetary cycles that I like to call the “midlife crisis transits.” This series begins at age 37-40 with the Pluto Square (transiting Pluto forming a stressful square aspect to Pluto in the natal chart), and continuing at age 40-43 with the Uranus Opposition (transiting Uranus opposite Uranus in the natal chart) and the usually simultaneous Neptune Square where transiting Neptune forms a stressful square aspect to Neptune in the natal chart. This series begins with breakdowns and power struggles under Pluto, and continues with the restlessness and desire for change under Uranus combined with the confusion and self-delusion of Neptune. Then there is a break for a few years until the Chiron Return at age 50-52 which can be a culmination of life lessons and the emotional reactions to them.
A recent book by Jonathan Rauch called The Happiness Curve asks why life gets better after age 50:
He explains: “I was someone who was fortunate. I had good health and after my 20s, which were difficult because I came out as gay, I met one goal after another with more success than I’d ever expected.
“Yet around the time I turned 40 I noticed this strange feeling of restlessness and discontent. This continued to grow as I got into my 40s to the point where I was 45 and I won the most prestigious award in magazine journalism [a National Magazine award] and that gave me a great feeling of satisfaction with my life for approximately 10 days.
“All these feelings of discontent and restlessness – and even sometimes worthlessness and this feeling I’d almost wasted my life – kept coming back.
Rauch backs up his hypothesis with an amplitude of scientific studies such as this one which concludes “Reported life satisfaction levels among European men and women minimize around the mid 40s. What explains such differences remains an open question.” IT’S NOT AN OPEN QUESTION! IT IS EXPLAINED BY ASTROLOGICAL FACTORS!
Of course, there are major planetary cycles that occur throughout our lives. There is a confluence of astrological cycles at age 20-22 (Saturn square and Uranus square), the famous Saturn Return at age 28, the midlife crisis transits at age 37-43, the Chiron Return at age 50-52, the second Saturn Return at age 58-60, the closing Uranus square at age 60-62. And now that people are living longer, we have the old age crisis transits: the Uranus Return at age 84, the third Saturn Return at age 90, and the Pluto Opposition for some people will occur at around age 88-90.
To me, understanding these natural cycles of personal evolution are so helpful. Mr. Rauch goes on to say “None of this made any rational sense. I began to think there must be something wrong with me. I began to think my personality had begun to turn dark in some way and that of course compounded the problem.” Under the rubric of astrological understanding, we find the rational understanding and learn that there is nothing wrong with us – we are undergoing the natural cycles of time which ask us to continually examine our lives and discover the blueprint of the path forward into the future.
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