It is no secret that we go through different stages as the passing years go by. Astrology recognizes seven important stages for personal growth and development. Perhaps you are in the life cycle of wild enthusiasm (age 21-24) of new experiences and wondering which path to follow. Or looking at 30 and deciding upon a new relationship or career direction, one that you can count on and not regret. Or in the tumultuous years of 38-45 traditionally called the mid-life crises and wondering what you need to do in order to have an authentic and fulfilled life. Your eyes may be focused on a new decade with turning 60 anticipating a new chapter in your life. As you acknowledge the importance of these cycles you can embrace and celebrate your growth and transformation. Knowing these time frames and what you can expect helps you navigate the unknown and brings you more control over creating your future.
Age 21 - 24
At 21, Saturn is at a 3/4 turn to the position it was when one was born and Uranus is making its first 1/4 turn. This is a time of balancing responsibilities with new and exciting challenges. Freedom is strong along with the urge to do life owns own way.
Between the ages of 21 - 24 one experiences Saturn, Uranus and at 24 Jupiter, This 3 year period can be the most productive, exciting and transformative time of a person’s life, setting the stage for years ahead.
If one owns being responsible for their choices and actions (Saturn) is being true to themselves, Uranus, (not another person’s or society expectations) and embraces a positive confidence and belief of being able to accomplish, Jupiter, then the road ahead is free of pot holes and speed bumps for many years.
Age 28 - 30
The next decisive turning point is between the ages of 28-30 when Saturn returns to the position it was at birth. If the road taken during the ages of 21 - 24 were not in alignment with a person’s higher self and true calling then this is a time to make the changes needed. It could be divorce or changing professions, cleaning up ones act and leaving the old patterns behind. Saturn is always a time of looking at life from a realistic perspective. The cracks appear in the foundation that one has built their life upon. Negative relationships? Time to leave. Dead end job? Reassess where you want to make your living. Too much drinking and junk food? Time to clean out the system and hit the gym or yoga studio. No opportunities where you live? Pack your bags and head for the end of another rainbow.
Being willing to take a serious look at one’s life and take on the changes that your inner voice is speaking is critical in equipping one for the next phase of life. Think of it as making the effort that your car is ready for a trip across Death Valley going to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Preparation is essential in case of unexpected break downs.
Age 35 - 45
Barring no major transits (astrological influences) to your personal planets, sailing through your early to mid-30's stays the course when you have positioned yourself with the wind at your back and your compass pointing in the direction of your choice. The navigation gets tricky between the ages of 38- 45 when you have a convergence of 4 of the major outer planets aspecting their natal positions with the additional solar arc progression stressing out all your chart with a 45 degree angle. Saturn will be opposing Saturn, Neptune will Square Neptune, Pluto squares natal Pluto and shortly thereafter Uranus is opposite the position of Uranus in ones chart when they were born. From an astrological perspective it is amazing that anyone survives these years without significant changes in their personal world. The truth is many don't. It is a time when those who had children at a young age are dealing with the kids being an adult and moving on. Changing jobs or even careers is normal. Going back to school for a second or advanced degree is all very common during this time period as is deciding whether to stay in a committed relationship.
Pluto to Pluto has not always occurred at such a young age, in fact in most people’s grandparents age group they did not face the power struggle conflict until closer to 60. However since the orbit of Pluto is unusual and elliptical (inclined at a 17 degree angle and lies on a different plane than the other planets) the discrepancies between generations reaching their Pluto square Pluto transit is off as much as 20 years.
Today we have the fate to face issues regarding deep introspection of personal empowerment and growth during a time when one could be knee deep in raising a family and advancing their career. Pluto is a strong psychological component of exploring the purpose and meaning of life. Is this all there is? What am I here for? What am I doing? Why am I the way I am? At times individuals will hire a personal or career coach to help them get to a new level of personal awareness and growth.
Age 52 - 58
Having survived the mid-life crises and weathered the re-stabilization period from the mid to late 40's when we reach 52 we experience our Chiron return. Chiron shows us where our wounds are, what we came into heal and be able to share and teach others about. This can be a subtle experience of owning ones power and feeling at home in one’s own skin. Sometimes for the first time in a person’s life. Much is about acceptance, accepting that the wounds of life, in hindsight, were tremendous times of personal growth and that those experiences gave such an opportunity. Each person’s experience is different depending upon the location of Chiron in the chart. At times the wound is around children, having them, not having them, disappointment in some way. Other times it is around career, having situations knock you off your career trajectory through no fault of your own. Other times it is health concern, facing an illness that challenges your strength and determination. Many times it is around love and relationships, a wounding of the heart that leads to a wiser woman whose eyes have been opened.
As our society is very busy, and the Chiron cycle is quite internal, many times the awareness of the blossoming of greater depth and wisdom comes only after time to withdraw from hectic schedules and reflect.
Age 59 - 63
First the second Saturn return arrives, demanding one to take a deep breath, take a look behind at the previous 3 decades. This in itself can be a real eye opener. Where did the time go? Where did these wrinkles come from? Is that me in the mirror? When did this all happen? What do I want to do with the rest of my life? How will it be possible? The ease of the second Saturn return rests upon whether or not you listened to your inner voice during the first Saturn return or at the Mid-life crises point. If you did, then it can be a fun time of anticipating the years ahead with more freedom to do what you love most. If the inner voice was not heeded, then approaching 60 can be depressing as the realization that the emotional, financial, cost of now making changes appear insurmountable. Of course they aren't, but with less time in front of you than behind you the reality of time lost and what it takes will not be denied.
On the heels of the Saturn return Jupiter catches up. Jupiter brings an opening of positive motivation that expands your world view to a Yes I can attitude. This is when turning 60 feels great, 60 is the new 40 slogan kicks in as true and even better. You moved through your mid-life changes, whizzed past the wisdom trials, and arrived at a point in your life where you feel great in your body, happy in your heart, with knowledge and experience to handle whatever is ahead. It is a time of planning what you want to do and setting the wheels in motion to make it happen. Another career is often embarked upon, usually not based upon financial gain, or at least only in part, but on a collective aggregate of what you enjoy and what you are good at.
This is a point when you don't take life so seriously, can embrace the philosophy of live and let live. Around 63 the planet Uranus is rounding the bend squaring to its natal position. The bucket list is in full swing and promises made to get back to experiencing life are calling. Now is not a time to be rigid in your thinking or attitude. Change and adapting to life’s events are what it is all about. Old ideas can be shattered. Never thought you would retire? Might happen anyway. Always expected to live your days out in the house you raised your kids in? Downsizing could become very appealing. The purpose of this cycle is to reassess, get real, find a plan, look on the bright side of situations, and allow for change. When you can incorporate those aspects from the archetype of the planetary energies you enter into the final third of life with a great astrological report card.
Uranus if you have made it this far, 84 at your Uranus return can be the ultimate bucket list time. It is a time of flaunting your age. Uranus is a planet of independence, breaking free from the well-worn path a new surge of energy to do more rushes into your world. This can be a time, after the death of a spouse that a person begins to live for themselves again. Sometimes moving into a different place, other times taking on a new hobby such as painting. If you are someone you know is around 84, this is a time to get inspired once again. Check out new activities that your body is still able to do.
Age 90 and Beyond
Currently only 4.7 percent of the population (in the USA) lives to be 90. By 2050 the number of living nonegarians will have a 1 in 10 chance of being alive. To be happy and healthy into your 90's it will be in direct correlation to your attitude, belief systems, and changes you made at the second Saturn return which was coupled with the cycles of Jupiter and Uranus. Find articles on the healthy habits of 90 year olds, read the biographies of remarkable men and woman living active life’s into their 90's. Saturn is called the teacher, the master of discipline and responsibility. True responsibility is to your higher self and greater purpose. At the third Saturn return reflecting back on life is a powerful experience. Saturn will open the door to the regrets of life, the world of's, should of's and could of's. Reviewing one’s life is critical at this stage to release guilt of what could have been and accept what is. Focus on staying mentally and physically healthy consumes day to day actions. Chronically the years is a great project at the third Saturn return, recording one’s life story and sharing wisdom to those who have ears to hear.
Astrology shines the light on the path of life's journey. Learning about the cycles that are ahead brings you information that you can easily use to change your life at any part of the cycle of life you are at. However many times you have traveled around the sun, you can take notice of the phases you are in to listen to the whispers from the universe and make better choices to feel empowered that you are living the life that you choose.