Ever wondered why some years are transformative for you – especially in your 40s and beyond? Look to the planets, says top astrologer Carolyne Faulkner
Younger clients often say to me: ‘I’m not at all like my star sign’ which – to me, at least – isn’t surprising. After all, your natal chart (the positions of and interactions between specific celestial bodies on the day of your birth) is only one astrological factor at play in your life. It should never be viewed as some kind of blueprint for your personality or experience.
During our lives we are also impacted by what are known as ‘transits’, which is when the planets – in particular Uranus, Saturn and Neptune – hop around into different signs and play ‘snap’ with our own chart.
A major awakening that I often see in clients commonly happens at, or around, the age of 42 and it’s all about the orbit of Uranus – the planet of rebellion, change and sometimes reinvention. Although it takes Uranus 84 years to complete a full orbit of the sun, the halfway point of that cycle is frequently the time of most turbulence.
It’s important to remember, however, that when we talk about ‘rebellion and change’, that doesn’t have to be negative. It’s possible that the first manifestation of this Uranus half-cycle might be painful (divorce or relationship breakdown are common), but actually it is often a blessing hiding in all the upheaval.
Once clients hit their early 40s and are impacted strongly by Uranus, they then look back to see what other effect it has had on them to date. Because the planet spends around seven years in each sign of the zodiac, its effects are often seen in seven-year cycles; children hit seven and tend to begin asserting their independence from their parents. I think we probably all know a rebellious 14-year-old too!
It’s not until we reach 42, however, that the effect of Uranus becomes impossible to avoid. I’ve had countless clients who have come to me at that age saying that they’ve managed to keep a marriage limping along up until this point but just can’t do it any more. Others have stuck at a job they hate for years and find themselves handing in their notice in a bid for freedom. When I show them their chart, they begin to see not just the why – but the why now.
The other attribute of Uranus is that it’s quite an immature planet so– depending on the other influences in your life– 42 can be a time of trying very hard to hang on to youth. In some clients this manifests as a desire for a younger partner or cosmetic surgery, or maybe they blow a fortune on a sports car then immediately regret it.
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But Uranus is not the only planet which makes midlife an astrologically significant time. At around the age of 56 (but going into your early 60s, depending on your chart), you will feel the effect of your second Saturn Return. By this, astrologers mean the number of years it takes Saturn to orbit the sun twice and return to where it was when you were born.
Saturn can be viewed as the opposite of Uranus in many of its attributes. It is the planet that invites us to lay down our egos and examine our lives with honesty.
Sometimes this phase is deeply rewarding, but some clients find it uncomfortable. If you’ve been lying to yourself about anything, then your second Saturn Return will surely make you face up to it– but when you do, it is positively life-changing.
Finally, it’s also worth mentioning the effect of Neptune at around the age of 42. Neptune is the planet that helps us to manifest our dreams and it orbits the sun every 165 years – meaning at around the age of 42 you’re seeing a quarter-cycle. It’s not as obvious an influence as that of Uranus or the second Saturn Return but it’s there, nonetheless.
Neptune can be a tricky one because although it helps us realise and manifest our dreams, the flip side is that it can amplify our fears and sink us into quite a deep depression. The thing to remember here is that this depression might actually be masking something incredibly powerful and – in conjunction with the effect of Uranus – something that is going to propel you in the direction the universe wants you to go. As I often tell clients who come to me at this age: you can’t always be in the driving seat. The major lesson is that we must not be too self-absorbed, but, rather, listen to the gentle voice within (intuition) and pay heed to our hearts over our egos.
I can’t promise you that all the cosmic impacts on this part of your life will be easy, but I can promise that – if you let them – they can be truly transformative.
Are our lives really governed by the stars? Find out what Liz Jones thinks…