When you reach your late 30s and early 40s you reach a significant turning point in life where you are given the opportunity to release the past and evolve further into your own authentic self. Having completed your Saturn Return around age 30, you are now looking at your mid-life transits. Mid-life is hallmarked by four major transits of the outer planets.
Because the orbit of each planet differs, these aspects will occur at different times or each person. Some generations did not experience them until they were more solidly into their 40s, but as of the writing of this article, they are occurring as early as age 36. To discover when these aspects are in effect you should sit down with an astrologer or intitive coach.
The four transits will take you through approximately ages 36-45. They are:
Transiting Pluto square natal Pluto
Transiting Uranus opposite natal Uranus
Transiting Neptune square natal Neptune
Transiting Saturn opposite natal Saturn
To summarize the nature of the planets and their midlife transit effects:Neptune's nature is to confuse and obscure reality. You can end up feeling as though your existence and accomplishments up to now are worth nothing. You are faced with questioning yourself and working through things an emerging with a new spiritual connection - or you could escape reality buy delving into obsessions and addictions with sex, drugs, alcohol or lying.
Uranus is the planet of surprise, bringing sudden shocks, changes, upsetting issues situations, eccentricity and the unusual. Where Uranus sits natally, is transiting and rules is where you need to exercise more individuality and independence.
The nature of Pluto is transformation, destruction and control in order to create something authentic. Where you have been playing around and not being serious, you will get serious now because everything will come to ashes around you and you will need to rebuild.
When these three outer planets have finished their wild ride with you, serious Saturn joins the fray for the final lesson around the age of 44/45. The nature of Saturn is limitations, restrictions, structures, discipline, reality and resistance. These are challenging, difficult and often painful situations in our lives. We may suffer from depression, repressed anger, physical illnesses (especially bones and teeth) due to the heavy responsibilities we are carrying in life - family relationships, work situations or attempts to pursue an authentic life. Mental illness is possible if a stable base cannot be formed in life. This is where astrology works! By being conscious and knowing where Saturn is in your chart you can make beneficial changes. Mid-life transits mean major re-evaluation of the value and meaningfulness of our lives. Have we achieved the goals and dreams of the past? Are those dreams still relevant? Are our current circumstances serving us? This reevaluation is much like a birthing process, transforming life from one phase to the next and defining how we are going to live the second half of our life. At times the changes can be so profound we hardly recognize the person we were before. This process, both excruciating, and exhilarating, is a re-birthing, a redefining of who we are that brings us into profound communion with our spirit. And just like being born, this phase can be marked by alternating periods of tremendous pressure, turmoil, and intensity (the contraction), interspersed with calm (the relaxation) and, finally, the excitement as something new and promising comes into existence.
The mid-life transit we are concerned with in this article is Neptune square Neptune. Occurring at age 40 or 41, this transit provokes contradictions, confusion, forces us to deal with our dreams and brings difficulties in concentration. Neptune’s hallmark is to unsettle our basic ego through confusion and the revelation that what we thought was real is not. Neptune can make you feel as though you are nothing and have nothing. You begin to question yourself, your motives, your beliefs, your goals, and your reason for existing. It can be the catalyst for you becoming a martyr, victim or savior if you are not careful to view reality without a veil.
During this transit, as with all transits, we are faced with choices. We must choose a course of action, even though it is difficult. With Neptune, we can choose to see things clearly or not.
When a person undergoing the mid-life transit Neptune square Neptune does not see clearly, decisions can be made which may later be regretted: choosing to divorce, choosing to cheat on a long-term spouse with a younger person, quitting a job to join the circus, experimenting with drugs, drinking to avoid problems or joining a religious cult.
The problem with this transit is that just when you think you have firmly gripped a solution to your anxiety and problems; it slips through your hands like water...it becomes like trying to hold onto fog. Your frustration and anxiety can increase if you are accustomed to having things under control. You may find yourself surrounded by dysfunctional organizations, liars, overly dependent people, thieves and folks with substance abuse problems.
So how can you navigate your way through the murky waters of this Neptune transit at mid-life? You have no idea where you are going and there is no way to go but forward because the past is washed away and dissolved. Here are some tips:
- Slow down, physically and mentally
- Stay away from drugs, including resisting the temptation to use prescription drugs to numb your feelings during this time of life
- Acknowledge that you have no control in life and that you must let the Divine/the Universe work in its own time and its own way.
- Focus on developing, exploring and enriching your spiritual life
- Do not make any significant decisions
- Take up a watersport – swimming, sailing, waterskiing, surfing
- Ask yourself what you can do in this hour, this day, this week (make a list of small things you can accomplish, such as home projects
- Read inspirational material
- Journal and reflect upon your dreams
This is a time of increased creativity, dreaming, inspiration, and intuitive sensitivity. Old dreams must die but new and more realistic ones can come into existence. Do you desire to start a home web design business and leave the corporate world? Do you want to revive your repressed artistic dreams? Have you wanted to spend more of your life involved in a spiritually meaningful pursuit? Who are you as a spiritual and/or creative person? Neptune square Neptune will force you to face this aspect of yourself and the need to make decisions: Will you accept and integrate this part of yourself?
The person who successfully navigates this time of life does so by relaxing into the present and enjoying riding the wave. S/he will not try to control where it is going, but trust that the wave knows and will get her/him where she or he needs to be.