New Year and other celestial staging posts

Janus, the two-faced god, rules the New Year – one set of eyes looking back, the other looking forward. A time for most to stop and consider.

In every individual life there are several, even more significant though less frequent, staging posts as the outer planets move to make hard aspects to their natal place and in the case of Saturn to return. They don’t always fall at the ages you might imagine.

The First Saturn Return at 29 is the first maturing transit. Despite most of us assuming we’re grown up at 16, it takes until the late twenties to face facts, get real and settle into the Saturnine virtues of hard work and self-discipline. Running into it is a pressured, sometimes painful year of tough experiences. The Second Saturn Return at 58 also brings sober realisation, this time about the next phase of life running into retirement, or at least slowing down to accept the limitations of age. The Progressed Moon cycle hits marginally earlier with a Return at 28 and another at 56 – which is an emotional taking-stock.

Uranus makes a square to its natal place, aged 21, which is a touch late for a teenage rebellion, but will bring a strong urge to express individuality as well as a restless desire for adventure. The next Uranus hard aspect, the opposition at age 42, is usually even more dramatic bringing a mid-life crisis. This goes along with a desire to throw everything that feels stale and dull in the air and go hot foot after unfulfilled ambitions, sometimes including buying a sports car or taking a younger lover. The next Uranus square at 63 isn’t as dramatic but coincides with a restless period of questioning – ‘where have I been and where am I going’ – as plans for the future are pondered over in light of what has been achieved. The Uranus Return at 84 brings it back full cycle.

The most significant staging past of them all occurs across a few year span from the late 30s to early 40s. What Carl Jung called the individuation crisis – starting with the Second Nodal Return at 37 (occurring every 18.6 years), and running on through the Uranus opposition, Pluto and Neptune squares to their natal place. Negotiating this transition successfully, he thought, brought new energy and vitality to the second half of life, as a deeper connection to the inner soul or Self came with a new sense of purpose. Ignoring it, he felt, brought stagnation and decay to the second half of life.

“Individuation answers the question, who are you, beneath all of your social roles and responsibilities? If you took off the ‘masks’, or personas, that you hide behind? Who would you be if you faced up to all your hidden secrets and made peace with your darkest corners? And dared to be yourself no matter how different you are from others?”

It may just be personal experience, but my impression is that more people than the average die in their late 30s perhaps because of this cross-over point which for some is a step too far.

It can be helpful for those angst-ridden times of dark nights of the soul to understand the astrology of the experience and decipher the direction in which the celestial winds are blowing.

5 thoughts on “New Year and other celestial staging posts

  1. What I find interesting is how the interpretation of these astrological milestones have changed over the years. People’s life stages have changed.

    For example, I am coming up to the Uranus opposite Uranus (it will cross my asc first, god help me). Quite a lot of friends the same age as me have very young children and toddlers, as many in this generation put off parenthood until later. They’re all buying great big people carrier type cars instead of sports cars. Whereas, the previous generation in the 70’s, 60’s and further back – it wasn’t unusual to get married and start a family at 21 like it is in Western Europe today; so a very different Uranus square Uranus to the university gap year style ones that came later.

  2. Yes. Useful post.

    I have Saturn in 5th so my whole life has been an individuation crisis lol *shakes head*. Without astrology to guide me and give hints – I’d be a nutcase. My first Saturn return was a cruicial time indeed xxx

  3. Thank you so much Marjorie for yet another year of your astrological knowledge and a happy 2020 to everyone.

    My mother is on her third Saturn return btw!

  4. hello Marjorie,
    Yup… those mid-life transits are something! I’ve also noticed that many people seem to die in their 50’s… the “Transition Decade”. Another time to take stock, let go and move into the Elder years.

    Every current major aspect or eclipse happening now and into the next 4 , 5 or more!!! years are triggering my chart in a major way. So, at 61, I am in for yet more profound transformation. Sigh!
    Part of me wants to go hide under a rock (Pluto/Saturn square natal Mars/Jup then nodes, then Moon/Nep plus way more)… another part is engaging in Tai Chi (not the gentle kind) to try to do something constructive! 🙂

    And.. I have found that knowing the astrology DOES help. I had Pluto cross my ascendant in spring of 2005. I spent 5 years preparing for it.. as an astrology “test”….finances, emotional health, etc…. and in late May a close friend died in a plane crash. I was at the scene and was supposed to be on that plane. In the midst of it all I had a peaceful place inside because the thought was, “This is that thing that I knew was coming.”.

    It was horrible.. but by preparing ahead, I could take months off work, grieve well, and move on into the next part of my life. My description is that “a tsunami is coming so I can be at the beach or up on the hill.” Astrology helped me be on the hill.

    It is not about fear (well. there is some)
    …. just a wider wisdom, some preparation maybe, and a kind of surrender.
    To all who write in here regularly with great insight and knowledge, may the New Year be good to you in some way!

    bye for now,

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