Menopause & Other Midlife Transformations
by Lara Owen
“Many people never climb above the plateau of forty-to-fifty. The signs that presage growth, so similar, it seems to me, to those in early adolescence: discontent, restlessness, doubt, despair, longing, are interpreted falsely as signs of decay. In youth one does not as often misinterpret the signs; one accepts them, quite rightly, as growing pains. One takes them seriously, listens to them, follows where they lead. One is afraid. Naturally. Who is not afraid of pure space — that breath-taking empty space of an open door? But despite fear, one goes through to the room beyond.
But in middle age, because of the false assumption that it is a period of decline, one interprets these life-signs, paradoxically, as signs of approaching death. Instead of facing them, one runs away; one escapes — into depressions, nervous breakdowns, drink, love affairs, or frantic, thoughtless, fruitless overwork. Anything, rather than face them. Anything, rather than stand still and learn from them. One tries to cure the signs of growth, to exorcise them, as if they were devils, when really they might be angels of annunciation.”
— Anne Morrow Lindbergh, A Gift from the Sea
I’ve been thinking about midlife a lot lately. I’ve had a spate of clients coming unstuck around the age of 50, with all the classic symptoms of Porsche-buying, mad love affairs, and frantic attempts to look younger. And as I just turned 50 myself, I’ve been paying attention.
The obvious question for astrologers to ask is whether astrology can illuminate this passage. Can astrology help us to figure out how we can best go through the storms and tribulations that inevitably occur at some point or another during these years? After all, no matter how fortunate we are, no one escapes the very real ramifications of our youthful decisions or the coming shift into old age.
Definitions: Midlife and Midlife Crisis
First of all, I want to distinguish between the midlife crisis and midlife, two terms that are often used interchangeably but actually refer to the acute and chronic versions of the middle phase of life.
Midlife covers the period between 40 and 60. We are now neither young nor old. This is usually a period of peak productivity and responsibility. During midlife, we have the chance to fully individuate, to grow into ourselves, and to express our life force in the way best suited to us. The process of finding out who we really are, what we really want to do — and who with — can, and usually does, provoke various crises along the way.
Midlife crisis is a term for the acute phase (or phases) of the period of readjustment to the realities of life. Midlife crises often coincide with major changes, such as divorce and career change and the accompanying sense of dislocation. In astrological circles, the midlife crisis has generally been considered to involve primarily the transits of the late 30s and early 40s — namely, the Pluto square, the Uranus opposition, the Neptune square, and the Saturn opposition (see the Table below). In this article I expand this view to include the later transits of midlife, and make the case for these being equally if not more significant.
|Planetary Aspect by Transit or Progression||Approximate Age Aspect Occurs|
|Transiting Pluto square natal Pluto||38–42|
|Transiting Neptune square natal Neptune||40|
|Transiting Uranus opposite natal Uranus||40|
|Transiting Saturn opposite natal Saturn||44|
|Fourth Jupiter return||48|
|Transiting Pluto trine natal Pluto||50–54|
|Transiting Uranus trine natal Uranus||54|
|Transiting Neptune trine natal Neptune||54|
|Second progressed Moon return||54|
|Second Saturn return||58–59|
|Fifth Jupiter return||60|
The idea that the midlife crisis typically occurs between the ages of 38 and 42 originated with psychologist Carl Jung, who went through what he diagnosed as his midlife crisis during this period, which happened to coincide with the years of World War I. (Jung was born in 1875, and his crisis began in 1913, with his dream of Europe being flooded, a dream he had when he was 38.)
Jungian astrologers adopted this concept of midlife, and so was born the idea that the transits that happen during this period are the Midlife Transits. Now, it is true that these transits often shake up the psyche and can therefore coincide with changes in life direction, partner, etc. However, there are significant transits that happen later and can have even deeper effects; these transits also correspond with major physical changes.
By 1918, Jung was through the most turbulent period of his life, but he continued to undergo significant and sometimes unsettling inner experiencesuntil 1928, when he was 54. If Jung had been a woman, I suspect he might have thought the time of menopause was a more powerful midlife crisis than anything that happened earlier or, at any rate, a major time of change that warranted a significant amount of psychological attention.
Some pretty meaty transits and progressions affect all of us in the 15 years following the traditional midlife transits — in particular, the Chiron return at age 51, the second progressed Moon return at around 54, and the second Saturn return at 56–58. So, we can see that there are potential crisis trigger points throughout the midlife period; it depends on a whole range of factors which, if any, of these trigger points will actually manifest as a true crisis. In particular, it is notable that the median age of menopause falls smack in the middle of the whole midlife period, at age 51, which happens to coincide exactly with the Chiron return. Isn’t that fascinating?
But before we go more deeply into that, let’s review the whole midlife period and the astrological pattern of these two decades of life.
The Astrological Pattern of Midlife
If you were to enter the life stage between 40 and 60 with foreknowledge, it would be like looking at a series of hurdles, with the prize at the end of the entire phase being individuation and a well-earned sense of inner peace. Ideally.
The internal pressure to individuate begins for most people with the Pluto square (38–42). Some people do go into conscious exploration of individuation earlier, due to individual karma and response to certain transits and progressions, usually Plutonian ones. But for most people, the Pluto square kicks the process into gear.
This internal pressure intensifies and becomes more specific with the Uranus opposition (around age 40), when you need to pick up the imperatives of the internal disturber and make some real changes. If you don’t, then the changes will come from the outside in one way or another: You get fired, your partner leaves you, etc.
Either just before or around the same time, you have the dance of values and subsequent confusion that comes with the Neptune square. This can be a very bewildering time and may contribute just as much to marital infidelity as the Uranus opposition and its urge for freedom. The Neptune square, by stimulating the spiritual quest (often in an extreme and hard-to-integrate way), can turn our values upside down. Suddenly, what was forbidden appears to be completely necessary, and we can’t live without it.
Then, the Saturn opposition hits us, at around 44, hot on the heels of the Uranus and Neptune transits. Here, we find ourselves squeezed by reality, often as an apparent result of whatever we did at the Uranus opposition and the Neptune square. It’s time to take the consequences, regroup, and deal with your authority issues.
After that, there’s a brief respite where you get to work hard, coping with the midlife nitty-gritty of divorce papers and teenage kids’ school reports. Then, at 48, you have your fourth Jupiter return, which can be one of the most inspiring Jupiter transits. You go on a big trip, go back to school, or begin a new spiritual practice. A Native American teacher told me that, when we do something four times, we really get it, so this fourth Jupiter return can be enormously expanding and enriching. At this point, we have the opportunity to take a major step toward our spiritual and philosophical goals.
It’s advisable to make as good a use of Jupiter as you can, because you will need all the help you can get when, just a couple of years later, the Chiron return comes along. If you’re a woman, you are right in the thick of menopause by now, and if you’re a man, you’re wondering where your hair went and why young women don’t seem to notice you anymore as anything other than a paternal figure with deep pockets.
Whichever your gender, you’re in a kind of reverse puberty, but with awareness and dependents this time. Yet, your body is behaving as unpredictably as it did when you entered the fertile years — and most unfairly, just when you had got used to the whole deal. However, hang in there, because once you are through the Chiron return, life becomes smoother and you enter the home-run phase of the midlife years.
At 54, there’s the second progressed Moon return, followed swiftly by the second Saturn return. This period is, ideally, a major phase of psychological integration and is bolstered by accompanying trines: Pluto trine Pluto, Uranus trine Uranus, and Neptune trine Neptune. The second progressed Moon return is an opportunity to clarify how you want your living situation and your lifestyle to develop during the next phase of your life: to dream a new dream of home, family, and emotional satisfaction. The relationship with the mother is reconfigured: She, too, is in a new phase of life, and you can finally withdraw your projections from your mother and take responsibility for them.
Saturn, as always, brings lessons, but this stage of life is a very different experience from the first Saturn return, because this time, if you’ve been doing your homework, you become Saturn, rather than being governed by him: You become an elder for your tribe.
And then you get the blessing of the fifth Jupiter return. At that point, ladies and gentleman, you are 60. Midlife is over. You have endured. You have arrived. And the best thing is, in some parts of the world, this is the moment when you get a free rail pass.
Menopause, Andropause, and the Chiron Return
Some people manage to avoid the impact of the earlier midlife transits, but no one avoids the effects of the Chiron return. It’s hardwired into the human body to go through a major shift at this age. As I said earlier, the median age of menopause and the Chiron return exactly coincide, and I think this is a very useful piece of information about the menopausal transition.
In women, the peak of midlife is often experienced around menopause. For women (unlike men), there is a clear biological marker that youth is over, even if that marker is only understood retroactively. There is no green light that goes on when you have your last period, no announcement that this is the last one. No genie jumps out of your packet of tampons or pads and says: “You won’t need me anymore!” No, you have to wait a year before you find out that was indeed the last one and that fertility and the rhythm of a monthly cycle are no more. It is indeed puberty in reverse, but this time with a lot more awareness of how you feel, confusingly combined with a lot less clarity about when the significant moment has actually occurred.
Thus, many women get anxious and confused during this time, think they are ill, and don’t realize they are in the midst of a process that has its own wisdom and that is indeed moving along its merry way. All is in flux; it is not going to be like this forever. But when you haven’t slept properly for a month, and the hot flashes are happeningseveral times an hour with increasing ferocity, it’s hard to believe that it will ever end. So, many women choose hormone-replacement therapy to try to take everything back to where it used to be, which is usually a bad idea.
This is not to deny that the symptoms of menopause are often very troublesome. But their coinciding with the Chiron return is an indication that supports the intuition and experience of many women: that menopause can be a deeply healing passage, if dealt with respectfully and gently, allowing plenty of time for rest and adjustment.
In Chinese medicine, there is a concept of a women’s life called the Four Gateways. The first gateway is at menarche, the onset of menstruation; the second, at marriage, which also means the onset of an active sex life; the third, at pregnancy; and the fourth, at menopause. During any of these gateway phases, a woman’s health is both more vulnerable and also more accessible to positive change. Her health can change for good or ill at these times, depending on how well she cares for herself and on the quality of any medical care she receives.
The menopausal woman is in a liminal, transitional phase, and she is pregnant with her future, wise, elder self. She needs to take very good care of herself, go on retreat as much as possible, not exhaust her adrenal glands, clarify her life so it really works for her, andlet go of occupations and relationships that drain her physically or emotionally. Most of the symptoms of menopause are actually an injunction from the body to do just this, and we harm ourselves by trying to medicate them away, especially through the use of hormones. Hot flashes, for example, will greatly diminish if one adopts a pregnant woman’s diet, with bland nourishing food, no alcohol or spices, along with early nights and an under-stimulating schedule.
At the Chiron return, men also feel a drop in their hormone levels, paralleling the hormone changes in women. While these changes are often less obvious in men than they are in women, diminished levels of testosterone can affect male sexuality and mood.Andropause can give rise give rise to a loss in confidence and a sense of insecurity.
For men, too, if you can relax around the transitional time and follow the wisdom inherent in the process, there is a rebalancing of body and psyche that changes emotional needs, sexual drive, and energy levels. This doesn’t make relationships and sexual experiences any less pleasurable, but in fact gives a heightened capacity for intimacy and fully felt heart and body satisfaction.
Male or female, if you engage with the processes of menopause and andropause with respect for the body’s wisdom, then with the Chiron return you will gain a gift of deep healing that can have profound psychological, physical, and spiritual effects.
Midlife in the Individual Chart
Now, let’s take a look at how individuals can be affected by these various midlife transits.
Even those of us who have done a lot of work on ourselves, who have put in years of meditation and psychotherapy, eaten organic food forever, etc., may find that our 40s and 50s bring both mental and physical challenges. Hormonal changes, for both men and women, often have deeply unsettling psychological effects. For many people, this will be the first time they experience physical frailty and have to face the inescapable fact of their mortality.
Specific factors in the natal chart tell us about our likely experience of midlife and how we can best heal psychological and physical issues. Parts of the chart that have hitherto been dormant come to life during these years, stimulated by transits and progressions. The promise of the natal chart unfolds throughout life, so to a certain extent, we can choose whether to grow into the challenging parts of the chart at midlife or be consumed by them.
Here are a couple of examples:
“Liz” is a woman with a predominately air/fire chart. She’s an Aquarius with Sagittarius rising. She hates menopause. It’s the last thing she wants to be bothered with. But the Sun is in the 2nd house. At some point, she’s got to get into her body, despite the elemental emphasis of her chart. She goes on hormones to try to avoid the effects of menopause, but it backfires. She ends up with a lot more symptoms; her body is screaming at her all the time. The astrologer can help here by saying:“Look, you’re not someone who really likes admitting that you have a body with limitations, but right now you have to face reality. Stop drinking and going on exhausting trips, and start looking after yourself.”
Our other example is “Peter,” a man with Saturn–Neptune in Libra opposite Venus in Aries, with the Moon and Jupiter conjunct in Gemini. What does he do at midlife? Yes, you guessed it. He has an affair with a woman half his age. And it destroys his marriage, which was actually a reasonably good one, with two teenage children and a large home. Not until everything in his life lies in shreds around him does he consult an astrologer friend, who says: “Yep, facing aging is really tough for you.” Then, it dawns on him that he is getting older and that his terror of aging has been fueling all his self-destructive actions. He makes a complete reassessment of his behavior and is utterly shocked by what the fear of aging has led him to do.
So, the individual chart will have its own predisposition at midlife. Where in the chart the emphasis falls and which houses are highlighted by transits during this period can tell us a lot about how someone experiences midlife.
Midlife through the Houses
- The 1st House
At midlife, everyone seems to get a bit obsessed about their appearance, at least for a while, until they get used to the reality that the bloom of youth has forever abandoned them. For people with a strongly tenanted 1st house or transits of slow-moving planets through the 1st house, their appearance may become something of an obsession.
Hair is a big issue: There’s not enough of it, it’s the wrong color, the old hairstyle doesn’t work any more. And if that isn’t bad enough (hair being such an ancient symbol of sex appeal), there’s also weight gain — expanding girth.
Most of us first get an intimation that aging is going to affect us personally at the Pluto square of the late 30s. This is when the first grey hairs come in, the first lines on the face, the first evidence of gravity taking its toll.
Saturn transits during these years tend to age us, especially when they are hard aspects (in particular, the conjunction) to the Sun or to the ruling planet. Then, with the Chiron return and the second Saturn return, the aging process further affects our appearance. Some of our clients will find this very difficult to accept, and it’s not enough to say this is simply caused by a superficial outlook. We live in an image-based, highly visual culture. But it is helpful to say to clients with a strong 1st-house emphasis that this is a time when they can get more authentic about their expression of their core self in the world at large and to others in general, and that can be a very good thing.
- The 2nd House
One major area that comes up for review during midlife is our values. What do we believe in, anyway? And what are we worth? What have we been doing with our lives? Did we make the best choices for ourselves? And do we really make choices, or does life just sort of happen to us?
When Neptune squares Neptune around the age of 40, we flounder a bit. Our old sense of values and our own self-worth start to shift, and we momentarily fall into the gap between what we think we know and what is actually staring us in the face. We have to get real.
It’s not “only money” when you have to file bankruptcy because you’ve been living beyond your means for ten years. Religion isn’t only an opiate when you find yourself at your first funeral of an old friend. Sex isn’t just sex when your heart gets well and truly broken after you have an affair with someone you know you’re not really in love with, the kind of relationship you could get away with emotionally before. When it ends, predictably, you find yourself feeling terribly hurt, as Neptune brings you right up smart against your unacknowledged need for an elevated love, a really deep and heartfelt connection with another human being. Midlife is all about deepening, about authenticity, about letting yourself have feelings you have tried hard to bury.
- The 3rd House
For most people, the years of midlife are psychologically the furthest away from childhood that we will ever get, and often the furthest away from the family bosom, while we are busy making our own lives and families. So, this distance can manifest at midlife as distance from siblings — sometimes, to the extent of losing touch completely or having a falling-out.
Certainly, big changes in sibling relationships often happen at midlife. Issues that did not seem important before become more so, as our personalities have become increasingly fixed by this point, and behavior we would have tolerated before now becomes something we can’t handle. There can be an awful lot of self-righteousness at midlife; this may influence relationships with neighbors and siblings and give rise to battles over property or inheritances.
- The 4th House
Either you did marriage and family and it’s driving you crazy, or you didn’t do it and are feeling the void right around now. Maybe you’re facing the kids leaving home and don’t know what it will be like without them. As the family grows up, there is bound to be change on the home front; major transits through this house will have a big impact on the psyche and will highlight unfulfilled areas.
Children leaving home makes gaping holes in marriages more evident. The end of the fertile years means that those who have not had children have to face that reality, whatever the cause. But 4th-house issues run deep and can be very tough to deal with, so psychotherapy may well be needed. When the house of the family is in high focus, midlife is a great time to delve into early childhood imprinting, if this work has not yet been done.
Many people find themselves caught in a knot of duty between teenage kids on the one hand and aging parents on the other. This nexus of family demands may peak at the second progressed Moon at age 54, depending on the chart. All the giving required in family life during midlife may be problematic for menopausal women who really need to take very good care of themselves at this time and not become exhausted.
- The 5th House
Creative writing classes and art courses are full of people between the ages of 40 and 60, dried out from years of working in offices and desperate for some of the juice of a creative life — desperate to just play a little.
It is often the Uranus opposition that drives people to seek more creativity in their lives, to try to rekindle some of the fun they used to have when they were young. Thus, this may also coincide with the attempt to regain lost youth by having a relationship with someone younger.
- The 6th House
At midlife, health and lifestyle issues often loom large, especially with the Chiron return and the second Saturn return. Gravity is taking its toll on our bodies. There’s the menopause transition to navigate — and, often, weight gain.
Bad habits that we could get away with when we were younger are often, by now, causing real health problems. Addictions that weren’t dealt with at the first Saturn return will come up for re-examination as the body screams out its message loud and clear.
Midlife is a time when we expend a lot of energy. We have many responsibilities: children, parents, partners, our work, clients, pets, etc. So, there is a great demand on the body to be healthy, which usually involves some lifestyle adjustments in terms of diet, sleep, habits, and exercise.
- The 7th House
Marriages can come under a lot of pressure at midlife. As I said earlier, the Uranus opposition stimulates urges for freedom that may cause marital problems, and the Neptune square at around the same time brings confusion and vague longings that can translate into secrecy and affairs.
Wrapping your life up with someone else’s is such a fundamental choice, and those who did not choose well, or chose too early, often find that a powerful 7th-house transit in midlife will stir up a difficult marriage to the point where there is nothing to hold onto anymore.
Then, with the Chiron return and the end of a woman’s fertility, women, sadly, sometimes get rejected. Some men see their desirability reflected in their partner, so when a woman’s outer beauty starts to fade, the husband abandons the wife and chooses a younger mate. It’s not a pretty story, but it’s a fact of midlife for many people.
On a more positive note, the increase in self-actualization that occurs during this phase of life can mean that you are able, often for the first time, to create a relationship with someone with whom you are truly, joyously compatible.
- The 8th House
Money looms large at midlife: how to pay for the responsibilities, the alimony, taxes, insurance, and mortgage — but most of all, the retirement pension! People who had always put off the thought of retirement suddenly realize that their energy level is indeed declining, and at this rate, full-time work won’t really be an option in another decade or two.
So, 8th-house transits can best be used to focus on responsible use of resources and working out good methods for dealing with the financial needs of old age. Also, 8th-house transits may activate our awareness of death. At the second Saturn return, we often find we are looking the Reaper in the face, one way or another. Your friends and acquaintances start to get mortal illnesses. Your parents or elderly relations die. Death must be faced, yet you still have maybe half of your life left to live. There is so much that you can still do — that you may feel you must do. We write wills during this phase and focus with more intent on living fully and deeply.
- The 9th House
Midlife is often a time of spiritual growth. At 48, we experience the fourth Jupiter return. As I stated earlier, we need to do something four times to really get it. The fourth Jupiter return can be a time of great spiritual expansion, as we finally piece together what we learned during the preceding three Jupiter returns about our own personal take on spirituality.
Menopause and andropause are processes of spiritual awakening. The energy body changes, and the energy that once went into reproduction, and all the activities surrounding it, is freed up for spiritual, intellectual, and artistic pursuits. When this maturation is handled with grace (either through sheer luck, good karma, or active application), it brings with it a softening of the heart and a lessening of pride. This can allow for a spiritual flowering that was simply impossible before.
- The 10th House
People at midlife are usually at the peak of their productivity and ability. Whatever your background, it is time to get your act together and take yourself seriously. We know what 40 or 50 years feels like now, and if we’re lucky, we’re halfway through life. So, do something meaningful; it’s now or never. Women who have raised a family go back to college to get more training. Women and men with careers that have worn out their interest regroup and move toward doing what they know they really love.
Social status often changes under powerful 10th-house transits and progressions. This can include divorce and new marriages, as well as career matters.
- The 11th House
Many people fall for the myth that, to survive, you have to work 9:00 to 5:00 and give up your own dreams. Of course, there is a lot to be said for regular work and a realistic attitude.But if you reach your Uranus opposition without fulfilling at least one of your life dreams, you’re going to have a little revolution in the psyche. Something’s got to give.
The 11th house is activated in midlife through our pursuit of our personal dreams and goals, particularly as these relate to the greater social whole. Thus, 11th-house transits may propel you into joining groups and societies that will enable you to form bonds with like-minded people and further your usefulness as well as your earning capacity. Friendships of the social sort (not 7th-house deep bonding friendships) will go through changes and ruptures as your social face changes to better suit the person you are now.
- The 12th House
When the 12th house is active in midlife, we may find that our accustomed ground feels very shaky beneath our feet. Elements of life that we thought essential drop away as we leave the old phase. Once the transiting planet crosses the Ascendant, we step into the new phase, but there is usually some pretty significant shedding before that can happen. This can be a very intense process, bringing up difficult material from the unconscious, and people may become miserable, depressed, and confused. Astrology can be very useful for giving us an idea of how long the shedding phase will last before clarity returns. If you and your client are both comfortable with the concept of past lifetimes, you may find that 12th-house transits and progressions illuminate old patterns and give you the opportunity to heal trauma from previous lifetimes.
The Cauldron of Midlife
It is in the cauldron of midlife that you come into your own. This is where the True Self is cooked. It is a period when the psyche develops from the rawness of youth into the temperance of age. It is not a death, even though at times it feels like one.
It is a preparation for death, in that aspects of the psyche die, and there are times when we feel reduced to dust — by the body, by relationships, by disappointments in love and work. But out of this grief and regret, this personal reckoning, the true Self is born.
If you just keep going, one step at a time, through this series of initiations into authentic personhood, you will emerge from the ashes with the wings of wisdom, like the Phoenix, reborn and with renewed dedication for the real work of your life.
© 2006 Lara Owen – all rights reserved
This article was first published in The Mountain Astrologer, July 2006.
Comments transferred from Planetary Energies
Submitted on 2011/02/15 at 11:53
This is a treasure. If it weren’t for astrologer like you, I would not have made it through my midlife crisis. What you say about the early 50s has been spot on for me so far. We can use astrological symbolism to help guide ourselves through these challenges. I especially appreciate your thoughts about accepting the physical limitations that men/andropause present us as time outs to stop doing and go deeper. Thank you!
Submitted on 2010/05/31 at 02:11
Submitted on 2010/01/05 at 04:00
Thank you so much for this wonderful, enlightening article! I will be 55 in 3-1/2 months and have been peri-menopausal since 52. Still haven’t hit that 1 year of missed monthlies… I wonder if I’m holding it back? I will experience my Progressed Moon Return this Saturday; this is how I found your article. You write beautifully and eloquently. I will save your article for my three daughters, if you don’t mind? Thanks again!
Submitted on 2009/11/04 at 13:15
This is a very fine article, Laura–clear and such helpful information. I’ll be in touch with you separately about featuring you as a guest blogger and reprinting it on my blog, Skywriter. Donna Cunningham
Submitted on 2009/07/23 at 13:04
Dear Lara & respectful ladies. Let our midlife transformation become as smooth as possible although sometimes painful – in the proccess we grow into light of present. Wish you – from the edge of Chiron return – maNY blessings. Marko
I am sorry to hear about your losses, Rose. But you know, good things are always happening, and when times are tough it’s good to focus on the small things that bring pleasure. Stay in the moment. Keep going. In time, life will change. For many women life lightens once menopause is well and truly finished with. Meanwhile, eat well, rest, and do what needs to be done!
Submitted on 2009/07/21 at 09:37
I agree with your article. I was born in India on 8/24/1957. I lost my husband on 5/1/2000. Lost my job in 2001. I am struggling. I am raising 3 college aged children.
Do you see any good things about to happen to me?
Submitted on 2009/05/28 at 22:51
Thank you for your encouraging and healing words.
Submitted on 2009/05/11 at 01:00
This is fantastic! you are telling my story, my chiron return is close and I am experiencing all these feelings.
Submitted on 2009/03/07 at 23:56
Reading your article has confirmed so much for me. I have done many of things in the past 10 years based purely on intuition, instinct and reconnecting with my past. I experienced early menopause at 41. Two years after giving birth to my first child. So it has been a very intense time. I will be 50 in May. I allowed myself to transform through mythology and symbolism at 45 to start the self healing process. This inspired me to have my first art exhibition and returned to study at 48. My biggest challenge I feel now is to separate myself consciously from my partner who is 55 and who is not living in harmony with my style and ambitions. What happens next? I am not sure. But your insight has helped me. I love everything you have said and can relate to all of it.
Submitted on 2009/01/02 at 02:20
hi, lara. i was so glad when it said that 48 is a good time to go back to school. this info can really help explain how so many women are feeling. feeling blessed in many ways. thank you for this year of wisdom. i plan to pass it on to many over time.
Submitted on 2008/04/25 at 23:55
Thank you so much! You said some things that I may never have realized on my own. I sat here and cried when I read your response. I called my sister and read it to her and she said, “That is beautiful, who is that woman?”
Thank you for your kindness and your very wise thoughtful words
I begin a new phase of life, with a new perspective
Submitted on 2008/04/24 at 07:15
I’m sorry to hear about your loss, and surgery. I hope you’re starting to feel stronger now, and thus ready for a change. I wonder how much it is really what you call “the type A” that is holding you back. It’s most likely also attachment to the known, to the familiar, and to the identity which has been created within the context of your current position.
It can take a while to let go of a former identity, but if it’s time, it’s time! I think you know what you want to do with your life…….
It’s noteworthy that you lost your mother, and then your womb, and that you describe your job as being “taking care of 2,500 people”, i.e. being a very big mother. It sounds like the ways in which you experience Mother and Mothering are transforming, big time. Perhaps now you are looking for and finding ways to be that giving, supportive, nurturing person to yourself as much as to others, and that when you are with others in a caring role, to express the mother archetype in a way that really nurtures you (as well as them), rather than depletes you.
Submitted on 2008/04/24 at 01:20
I’m a Sagittarius (51 years old), type A personality, travel frequently for my job, manage an office, to include taking care of approximately 2,500 people and their issues at work. I lost my mother quite suddenly in September 2006 and had a hysterectomy in mid 2007. The stress of it all has been and continues to be terrible! I’m thinking of a career change, to match where my heart is resting….working with seniors. I’ve always loved them and have received messages over the years that keeps bringing them back to me. My husband has been very supportive and keeps telling me to take the leap! The type A keeps holding me back. I don’t know much about astrology, but your website keeps ringing true to me. Please advise, though I believe I know what your response will be
Submitted on 2008/04/02 at 13:04
Submitted on 2008/04/01 at 18:28
What a marvellous article! Everything you said resonated with what I am going through (age 49 1/2). When asked to explain how I was feeling at this time, during some counselling sessions, all I could come up with was feeling like I was preparing to die, not in a morbid way, it just felt that everything was winding down. Thanks for such great illumination; such a help!
Submitted on 2008/02/25 at 07:20
Submitted on 2008/02/25 at 03:20
From a woman in the midst of this special transition (age 49),
Lara Owen writes and researches on menstruation, work, and feminism. Based in Melbourne, she teaches and consults internationally.