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The Astrology Of Midlife: How To Navigate The Big 5 Transits | CrunchyTales

The Astrology of Midlife: How to Navigate the Big 5 Transits

5 min read

Did you know that the internal and external changes at midlife can be a spiritual wake-up call from the universe written in the stars? That’s because, in our 40s and 50s, we’re supposed to experience five significant astrological transits – Uranus Opposition, Neptune Square, Pluto Square, Chiron Return and Second Saturn Return.

These transits can have a profound impact on our lives and self-identity. Learning how they can influence our midlife and how we can successfully navigate them will help us stay grounded when facing a crisis and understand ourselves better.

What are Astrological Transits?

Our solar system is constantly in motion. The planets revolve around the sun at different speeds. Some, like Mercury, are fast. Others, like Pluto, are slow taking over 200 years to go through the twelve signs of the zodiac. As a result, the relationships between them, their angles and the types of “conversations” they have with each other are constantly changing.

This happens to the ones that were in your birth chart, too. Your personal astrological transits occur when a planet forms an aspect where it was at the time of your birth. Whether challenging or supportive, all of them offer opportunities for change and growth.

To understand how to effectively navigate midlife challenges and seize opportunities, it may be helpful to realise that everything around us is constantly evolving, including planets and their movements can influence us.

These transits can be:

  • Conjunctions (when planets meet in the sky and are at the same degree in the zodiac. These can be hard or soft)
  • Oppositions (when planets are 180 degrees apart and sit across from each other. These are considered hard and challenging)
  • Sextiles (when planets are 60 degrees apart. This is a favourable, supportive aspect)
  • Squares (when planets are 90 degrees apart. This is a hard, challenging aspect)
  • Trines– (when Planets are 120 degrees apart. This is a supportive, soft aspect like a sextile but stronger)
  • Returns (when a transiting planet returns to the same point as the moment of your birth).

The Five Significant Midlife Transits

When faced with difficult situations, recognizing these cyclical transits empowers us to view ourselves as active participants in shaping our lives, rather than mere recipients of unpredictable events. Understanding the following five significant midlife transits can assist us in making the most of our time.

Pluto Square

Pluto is the planet of power and transformation. It takes 248 years to orbit the sun. The Pluto Square happens between ages 36 and 42 and is the first astrological, midlife pressure point. Women in their 50s either have Pluto in Virgo or Libra.

The Pluto Square is a gateway to the start of a midlife transformation. It can trigger power struggles and a desire for rebirth, empowerment, and change.

To navigate this transit, look at important issues you may have buried and do some shadow work, after all, Pluto is the god of the underworld. Let go of what is no longer serving you and find ways to embrace your personal power. Meditation, journaling, and other spiritual practices that help excavate your soul are powerful here.

Neptune Square

Neptune is the planet of dreaming, compassion, and transcendence. It takes 165 years for Neptune to orbit the sun. The Neptune Square occurs around age 40 and lasts for about 2 years. Most midlife women have Neptune in Scorpio or Sagittarius.

Since squares are a challenging aspect and Neptune is a dreamy planet, this transit can be a time of confusion, but also a period of idealism and spiritual exploration and awakening. You may find that traditional job no longer suits you and start to pursue a new career that lights you up.

To navigate the Neptune Square wisely pursue activities that you’re passionate about that ignite your creativity. Spend time deepening your connection with your spiritual side, rather than needing to know exactly where you’re going, and be open to your life path as it unfolds.

Uranus Opposition

Uranus is the planet of change and liberation, but also a midlife crisis trigger. It’s the rebel in the sky that can set you free. Most women in their fifties have Uranus in Virgo and experienced the opposition when Uranus was in Pisces between 2003 and 2011.

Uranus takes 84 years to orbit the sun. The opposition happens when the Uranus is across or 180 degrees away from where it was on the day you were born. This generally takes place between 40 and 42 and can continue to impact your life for several years.

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This transit can trigger unexpected changes, awakenings, and a longing for freedom and authenticity. You may become aware that you are running out of time and feel agitated because you haven’t reached the goals and dreams you set for yourself. You may feel discontent and unhappy. If you’re not self-aware you can even have a midlife crisis.

So, how do you work with this challenging transition? Rather than being deflated by a tough time, you can use the Uranus Opposition to reassess your life and get to know yourself on a deeper level. If you’ve been on a conventional path that isn’t working, give yourself permission to explore possibilities and embrace new perspectives.

Chiron Return

In astrology, Chiron is known as the wounded healer. The planet can point to your deepest wounds and indicate where you most need to healing. As a heavenly body, Chiron has been classified as a minor planet, asteroid, or comet.

Chiron takes 50.65 years or 18,5000 days to orbit the sun. This means your Chiron return happens between ages 49 and 51, right around your 50th birthday. Most women in their fifties either have Chiron in Pisces or Aries. If your Chiron is in Pisces you may be healing your tendency to be a people pleaser. If your Chiron is in Aries, you are likely healing wounds around self-worth and asserting yourself.

Regardless of your Chiron placement, it represents a wonderful time for self-discovery, and understanding your vulnerabilities. To benefit from this transit, experiment with various holistic healing modalities and self-care practices to help your body, mind, and spirit come into balance.

Second Saturn Return

Saturn is the planet of maturity and authority. Warning, if you aren’t on the right path, it may redirect you.

The Saturn return occurs between 28 and 30 and then again between 57 and 60. Most women in their 50s and early 60s have Saturn in Aquarius or Pisces. Saturn is currently in Pisces so you may be experiencing a Saturn return now. This transit can bring lessons, and a desire to reassess goals and priorities. You may experience a health crisis, relationship shifts, or career challenges.

Personally, I was diagnosed with breast cancer during this transit AND I also met the love of my life.

The Takeaway

So, how do you handle all these transits? As a rule of thumb, the best is to engage in self-reflection, especially about responsibilities and relationships. Ask yourself: What do I want to do to leave a legacy? What are my goals and priorities for the next decades of my life?

You may also want to look back at your first Saturn Return, which usually happens between 28 and 30, and review what was coming up then and what you learned.

Navigating these midlife astrological transits can be transformative especially if you are intentional, flexible, self-aware and pay attention to your intuition, inner experiences, and outer circumstances.

Stay grounded and practice self-compassion, and you’ll grow into the next and best version of yourself.

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About The Author

Dr Ellen Albertson | The Midlife Whisperer

Dr Ellen Albertson | The Midlife Whisperer

Dr Ellen is a psychologist, registered dietitian, board-certified health and wellness coach, podcast host, Reiki master, and self-compassion teacher. Known as The Midlife Whisperer™, she helps women have the energy, confidence, and clarity to make their next chapter their best chapter. A bestselling, award-winning author, and inspirational speaker, Dr. Ellen is an expert on women’s well-being and sits on the medical board of The National Menopause Foundation. Dr Ellen has appeared on Extra, the Food Network and NBC World News and has been quoted in Psychology Today, Forbes, and Eating Well. She has written for SELF, Better Homes & Gardens and Good Housekeeping. Her latest book is Rock Your Midlife: 7 Steps to Transform Yourself and Make Your Next Chapter Your Best Chapter! She brings over 30 years of counselling, coaching, and healing experience to her holistic practice and transformational work. She lives on the Champlain Islands of Vermont with her high-tech, raw-food-loving partner Ken and her tree-climbing Border Collie Rosie.

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