Men and women of every race and culture commiserate with the phase of life we like to call the "midlife crisis." Believe it or not, there are key astrological cycles we'll go through during our early 40s that help us move toward a level of individuation we simply could not have achieved until these years. That is, if they don't drive us crazy first.
It all begins with the Pluto square
Your midlife crisis peaks at around age 40-42, when we all experience the famous Uranus opposition. More on that in a minute, but first let me introduce you to the transit that opens wide the door to midlife for us -- kind of like the grim reaper. You know, I must be talking about a Pluto transit and it happens to be called the Pluto square.
For each of us, between the ages of 36-42 (depending on the year you were born), transiting Pluto in the sky will make a square to your natal Pluto placement. This transit forces us to confront what is no longer working in our life. What has died ... or is about to die.
Youth as we know it dies at this time while midlife is born. There's just no denying it -- our bodies and lives are rich with maturity and responsibility now. We're raising kids, building our careers and often in significant relationship transition. There is major internal pressure during the Pluto square to recognize where in your life there is stagnation. If you refuse to change it, the Pluto square makes that area of your life shatter.
Don't be afraid of it, though: the Pluto square might lead to a symbolic death of life the way we knew it, but you can be certain that it also paves the way for an important new beginning.
During my Pluto square I was going through a divorce and simultaneously building my Astrology career. Loss was certainly everywhere, but now that I'm past the Pluto square I can say without a doubt that the "death" needed to happen in order for me to turn the page in the book of my personal life and begin this next exciting chapter. And so it is with everyone who goes through a Pluto square.
Next up is the Neptune square
Your Neptune square happens at around age 40, and it has a lot to do with a shift in spiritual values -- even a sense of confusion about where you are. If you've ignored the Neptunian part of life, this time might coincide with a spiritual quest.
If you do this midlife cycle wrong, you might drink too much or practice another unhealthy escapist behavior. You might take stock of your achievements up until now and feel like they're worthless. A sense of disappointment is possible, and ultimately this will prompt you towards questioning your life and purpose in a deeper way. Ultimately, you will be spiritualized.
Your midlife crisis peaks with the Uranus opposition
Soon after -- or around the same time -- the famous Uranus opposition happens. THIS is when our world turns upside down. At around age 40-42, transiting Uranus will oppose our natal Uranus and we realize that half of our life is behind us and the other half is still ahead. This is a major personal awakening that often results in a restless energy that needs to be externalized. We recognize with a sense of urgency that we only have one more chance at making our lives into what we really want it to be.
THIS is when middle-aged married men buy the red sports car and have an affair with a 25-year-old. This is when the homemaker decides to go back to college, unsettling everyone in her family. This is when the confirmed bachelor gets married and the couple you thought would be together forever announce their divorce.
We're not old, but we're no longer young, and this realization leads to a major life assessment. It's time to either meet or revamp the goals we set when we were in our 20s. This is the cycle we truly individuate and begin to live life on our own terms. Hopefully, we can accomplish this without a rebellious outburst, but it's usually part of the package. One thing is certain: After this cycle, life is forever changed.
Your Saturn opposition is a reality check
Then, at around age 44 or so, we experience the Saturn opposition, when transiting Saturn opposes our natal Saturn. This is when we get a major reality check and need to face the consequences of the choices we made during our Uranus opposition. Remember, this transit will happen after the Uranus opposition and you WILL somehow "pay the piper" if you acted too recklessly during your midlife tantrum.