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In the news today:

Not only is the mid-life crisis a bona-fide affliction but 40-somethings from Canada to Uzbekistan grapple with it every day, a groundbreaking new study has found.

Researchers examined the life satisfaction of two million people in 72 countries through several decades of survey results and found that happiness universally dips when people hit mid-life.

“The 40s, roughly speaking, are the low decade,” says co-author Andrew Oswald, an economics professor at the University of Warwick in Britain. “If you’re finding your 40s tough, it seems good to know this is completely usual across the rest of the world.”

This global pattern of mid-life misery holds true regardless of gender, education, marital status, number and age of children, occupation and income.

The 40s are the time of the midlife crisis transits that create difficulty for everyone at the same time. And lately, due to Pluto’s elliptical orbit, the midlife crisis transits begin in the mid- to late thirties as transiting Pluto makes a square to Pluto in the birthchart, the “Pluto Square.”

There is a fairly reliable set of transits between age 20 and age 60 that are similar for everyone, regardless of what is going on in the rest of their chart. At around age 20-21 we have the opening square of Uranus to natal Uranus, and the closing square of Saturn to natal Saturn. This creates the dual reactions of rebellion (Uranus) and restrictions (Saturn). Then the famous Saturn Return is well-known as the time when we have to face the limitations of our newly minted adulthood and move forward in our life.

For now, the Pluto square is happening in the mid-30s and will soon arrive later and later into the 40s. This is a time when our power base is challenged and we have to let go of anything that holds us back, whether we want to or not.

Then along comes the Uranus Opposition at age 39-42 or so, the most famous midlife crisis at all. This is the crisis that creates the restless that makes us want to quit our jobs and buy a sportscar and a trophy wife. At about the same time, the square of Neptune to our natal Neptune creates confusion and makes just about anything look better than what we have currently. We want to lead a more spiritual life, but have no idea how to do it.

Next the Chiron Return at age 50-51 unlocks any gates we have built between ourselves and our emotions to evoke the healing crisis, leading to the second Saturn return at age 56-58.

The closing Uranus square occurs at age 61, and then there is a long break without any major crises until we are in our 80s. No wonder midlife is difficult!!

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