People are going through their mid-life crises earlier than in past decades. This is partly due to the fact that some planets have been moving a bit faster than usual in recent years. Normally, things start to heat up around age 40-42, but recently I have seen clients as young as thirty-six start to feel the pressure of what we astrologers call the Uranus opposition.
When the planet Uranus in our birth chart opposes transiting Uranus, it's as if something "strange" begins in our lives. It's a period when people feel as if they only have one more chance to make something out of their lives. The Uranus opposition/mid-life crisis usually lasts a little over a year and in some cases up to two. But the effects can be felt even longer; sometimes for several years. It marks a period of major transition in our lives. Most of us come to terms with realizations that aren't always pleasant.
It's an awkward cycle to be in because we aren't old, but we aren't getting any younger, either. People assess where they're going and where they've been, and do so with an intensity like never before. Some people will feel as if they haven't lived up to their potential. Others may feel ambivalent about the future. Did they plan for old age? Will they be ready for retirement? Are they happy in their marriage? Should they get married?
We all have certain goals we set in our twenties that we expect to reach by our forties. Some of them are likely to be centered around a career, a beautiful home, or a happy marriage with children. The Uranus opposition is a time in which people are forced answer their own questions of self-worth. Many will feel as if time is running out and they have one last chance to make their dreams come true. Some will question the goals they set when they were younger and either change them, furiously pursue them, or just give up!
If you are one of the those folks who don't feel the usual effects of the mid-life crisis, then it is likely you've accomplished many goals you've set for yourself and at the same time fulfilled inner and spiritual needs. However, there are many other people that become overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy, or an urgency need to do something NOW to make things happen.
I went through my mid-life crisis last winter. My friends couldn't believe it when I told them that I felt like a total failure in my own life, especially with my career. I had gone through a period of feeling total disgust with what I perceived to be a lack of accomplishment. This period lasted from last February through June. Yet my agent and my friends couldn't believe I was feeling like this. Llewellyn has just released by first book; I was making regular appearances on national television; I was in the middle of a successful lecture tour across the country; and business was booming. Still, I felt like a complete failure. No one could tell me different. When the Uranus opposition was over, it was like a dark cloud had lifted. Luckily for me, I know astrology and could ride this cycle out.
Unfortunately, many people in similar situations act without thinking. They'll end a long-term marriage or quit a job. Many long for a much more exciting, new lifestyle. Some want to dress differently, act younger, hang out with a younger set of friends. Some will have an affair and, yes, many do buy that infamous expensive red sports car—all hoping to hang onto the symbols of youth.
As I mentioned earlier, some people never make drastic changes, and many escape without feeling the negative effects of the Uranus opposition. If a person has taken advantage of opportunities and has not allowed life to become rigid, then the mid-life crisis may not be upsetting. It is possible for one to experience the true meaning of this astrological influence. The Uranus opposition can be a peak time in your life—a climax to all you have worked for. It can also indicate a major change in life direction that coincides with issues you will deal with later on. Many of you will one begin to plan for retirement, the empty nest, and so on.
The spiritual lesson of the Uranus opposition is that you will come to terms with your perception of life and its true meaning. The outside world is not as important as it was in the past; accomplishments will have to mean something to you on the inside. You will no longer live for approval and applause from the outside, world but rather seek spiritual fulfillment. If you don't work toward spiritual fulfillment in the years following the mid-life crisis, life may grow empty and meaningless. But if you choose to work from your spiritual side, you will find the mid-life crisis to be a true blessing.
You can find out the exact times that your mid life crisis begins, peaks, and ends in your natal chart or by contacting an astrologer. We all experience some sort of change in our lives—but what the change is is different for everyone based on his or her birth chart. While some deal with marriage issues, others may deal with career questions. Still others may face past-life issues or family situations. The Uranus opposition is a major astrological cycle in our lives. It can turn our lives upside down and inside out. But knowledge is power, and learning the when's, where's, and what's of your Uranus opposition can help you be prepared to make better choices when the time comes in your life to let go of the past to make way for your future.