The Astrology of Mid-Life Crisis
A flashy red sports car, trendy new clothes and a 25 year old girlfriend – a boob job, a few weeks at a fat farm and fantasies that the cutie pie at a local construction site is going to whisk you off to Hawaii for a romantic holiday. Ah yes, all the old standard themes and dreams of reclaiming our youth. A storehouse of common actions that continue to be staple indigents for jokes of late night TV talk show hosts. Very few of us are immune to these dreams.
Therapists, counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists, and yes, your own personal physician have heard and seen it all…over and over and over. Prescriptions are written by the thousands. Rogaine, hormone replacement therapy and let’s not forget the increasingly popular, latest anti-depressant on the market. And the number one question always seems to be; just how long is this living hell going to last? Look up in the sky, the stars have an answer for you.
So let’s take a quick trip through the time table of the mid-life crisis. You may laugh, you may cry. Although, a simple ah-haaaaa will be the gateway to navigating the passage of inner growth the Universe has laid out for you.
On the astrological time table, this normally involves transits of the outer planets and the intensity can be exacerbated if an outer planet also touches on a personal planet, and even more so, if the outer planet touches on the Sun and the Moon. Depending on the way an individuals chart is laid out, sometimes the four angles can also get caught up in the drama of personal growth.
First Saturn return
Ok, at around age 28-29, you hit your first Saturn return. That is the final astrological rite of passage into adulthood. A major life change will occur … marriage, divorce, having a child, buying a home, taking on a very responsible job, etc. Now at that age, most people are starting to come out of the whole thing that everything in life is a damn big deal. The big deal about everything in life is the young to mid-20’s, then you start to settle in.
Transit Saturn squares natal Saturn
At around age 35 – 36, then you hit Saturn squares Saturn … it is a seven year cycle, and that is the time you go back and reflect on the big deal stuff that happened during the Saturn return. If it is still holding up, it gets stronger. If it was shaky to begin with, oh boy, life may not be too sweet that year because you have to backtrack and clean up your mess. You are still doing pretty good because you have youth on your side and not too many people have faced the question of their own mortality yet.
Transit Pluto square natal Pluto
Then we start hitting the biggies …… now many years back, Pluto making a square to natal Pluto did not happen until much later in life. But see, once Pluto hit Virgo, it started speeding up, the time it spent in Libra was shorter, Scorpio was real short (thank you very much God) and now the time is increasing again as Pluto moves through Sagittarius.
Let’s start with one of the most dynamic aspects, a square – a 90 degree angle. Just a few reminders about why the square aspect can present such a challenge. With a square, the elements of the two signs are out of sync, one sign is female in nature and the other is male in nature. Keep in mind, there is some help with a small trick here, the qualities of the signs are the same, either fixed, mutable or cardinal.
Now for the last of the baby boomers, somewhere in the late 30’s Pluto is going to make a square to your natal Pluto. Think like this ….. natal Pluto being the god of the underworld, and transit Pluto possibly being the god of hell. You are going to get squeezed, that is all there is to it. You just have to get to the heart and soul of the issues with the house that natal Pluto is located in. The house that Pluto is moving through is where you find your salvation because that is where you will find the answers and the energy to deal with the natal placement of Pluto. So along comes the square …….transit Pluto putting a choke-hold on your natal Pluto placement. Remember, we are talking about the group of very late baby boomers who lived through the speed-up motion of Pluto, for prior to that, Pluto could and did spend two and sometimes even three decades in one sign.
Transit Neptune square natal Neptune
So, after you duke it out with Pluto and just start to catch your breath, here comes Neptune, oh lets say around age 40 – the mistress of delusion and deception the queen of la-la land, the one and only original mystical wizard. And what is Neptune going to do? Well, transit Neptune is also going to make a square to your natal Neptune. Here we go again…..another square. Find where Neptune is in your natal chart, and most likely, that is the spot where you are in self-denial, have been deluding yourself, or have been deceived by others.
Again, by way of a square we have received a demanding memo from the Universe that you have to pay attention and work, work like the dickens so you can have a shot at claiming a very rewarding prize. That natal Neptune is going to get broken down … no two ways about that. If your natal Neptune is in a female sign, you almost have to pull the male energy out of your personality to harden up the Neptune and get yourself to get real and if natal Neptune is in a male sign, use the transit of Neptune to soften up the hard shell that you have surrounded yourself with as a phoney layer of protection.
By the way, as for what signs are male and female – all earth and water signs are female, and all fire and air signs are male, that’s it, that is all there is to it. Where many get confused on this is that they are drawing on energy that is not usually expressed by them and it throws them off center. With the square aspect, elements that normally do not compliment each other are bringing friction and the individual being pressured with the challenges of a square are having to learn to integrate yin-yang energy.
Transit Uranus opposition natal Uranus
You still standing? Enough you say … oh no the Heavens say, we are not done with you yet ……. now we are going to give you a real jolt … Uranus opposition Uranus. Hello and welcome to the club of insomniacs anonymous! Your whole body is just in this huge state of rushing energy, you can feel like a pressure cooker ready to explode, and yet you are craving something, you just don’t know what you are craving … you are dissatisfied with everything in life because nothing is moving fast enough for you, life is boring and people are stupid … you have these tremendous flashes of insight … things like all of a sudden you know what the meaning of life is.
You feel like just tossing everything overboard, for at this point many aspects of your life do not make a lot of sense, you feel like a volcano that has been dormant and just ready to blow. And you don’t sleep, how could you? You cannot turn the mind off. Colors are more intense; you finally understand the lyrics and meanings of songs you have heard hundreds of time in the past. A stodgy life style is cramping you and yet you cannot figure out what is happening. What is happening is that basically, you have done most of the work that is required by an adult for usually when this transit hits, your kids are pretty much taking care of themselves and the company you are working for is offering you an early retirement/buy-out package so they can bring in someone younger to do the same job at half the cost.
Face it … this really is a new lease on life. If handled with care, you kind of get to be a kid again, only this time you have to accept the responsibility and the consequences for your actions. Eastern teachings have an expression for this type of energy release – kundalini energy is rising … it starts at the root chakra, base of the spine and starts to move upwards. This is the transit when men leave their wives and go get themselves a red sports car and a 25-year-old girlfriend. If more women were smart, before this hits, they would get themselves in shape, and turn the tables on the husbands. I personally feel that men get more out of this transit than women because women are too afraid to have a long term marriage fall apart and they worry about their kids, what their friends, family and neighbors will say and their financial security. If both men and women were smarter and seeing what is going on, they would use this transit to put the spark back into their marriages.
Transit Saturn opposite Saturn
So far, we started with Saturn, we moved to Pluto, then hit Neptune, now Uranus is wrecking havoc … but wait … there is more to come, we come right back to where we started and this usually kicks in somewhere around the age of 44 … Saturn positions himself opposite to the natal placement of Saturn. This is like a kid being brought up by two very stern fathers … no matter what you say or do, you are going to be held accountable for EVERYTHING! And I do mean everything. This is the time when you have to go back and clean up all the wreckage that has been caused by the preceding transits. This is usually felt as a personal tour of hell on earth. What do they say? As above, so below … so you are going to catch it from both directions. You have got work to do and you will work very hard and that is for at least a year, give or take a few months. There will be days when you come crawling home and are thinking about nothing else except a good long sleep. Find the house that natal Saturn is in, those are the issues … go across to the polar opposite, and that is the energy you are going to have to draw on to get home base Saturn taken care of.
You still with me? Are you reeling … OK, it gets better, for now much of the hard physical work is done, and with Saturn, it mostly is physical work, for Saturn is a very materialistic type of energy. Breath deep, and again, and again … because as you draw nearer to the 50-52 age mark, you come up on the return of Chiron. I do not know anyone that has had a lot of trouble with that, for by that time, you have adopted a pose that is very well phrased by American author and poet, Alice Walker: Expect nothing; live frugally on surprise.
Transit Chiron conjunct natal Chiron
The Chiron return seems to be the huge healing of all the upheaval of the mid-life crisis. You cry, you laugh and you are grateful to be given another chance to maybe fulfill some of those youthful dreams. And the dreams have never really gone away, you just put them on a shelf. Now you take them back out and see if you can make a go of them and if those dreams are still a part of who you have become. And you may have a few wistful moments when you realize that some of those dreams really did not fully express who you could be … you short changed yourself. Now you have the ability to start reaching for the stars again.
Some of the best things that you can do for yourself to get through the mid-life crisis, keep your body physically fit, cry when you need to, take an extra nap when you feel like it, light body work such as massage and Tai Chi, change your diet to a lighter fare, drink gallons of water, find an enjoyable hobby or creative pursuit, make sure you have a great circle of friends for a support group is always needed at this time, do the very best you can to keep the finances under control and don’t ever expect that you will know what the next day brings. You won’t, learn to accept that.
My first astrology teacher/mentor had a wonderful saying: Forty is the old age of youth, but forty is the youth of old age. Just think, you are not going to be sent to your room if you don’t want to eat your veggies.
Reprinted from Voice of Choices – Seattle, WA
See also: Astrological Influence During Mid-Life