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The Astrology of Midlife and Aging Paperback – May 19, 2005
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About the Author
Erin Sullivan's writing has recently been featured on the op-ed page of the New York Times and in other national publications. He is the author of many leading books on astrology.
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With her usual in-depth, insightful style, Erin gives anyone approaching or in process of the midlife phase of life much information on this cycle we must all navigate.
"To approach aging with a sense of honor and purpose means perceiving it as such: an honorable and purposeful task, one that is not over until it is over".
This speaks not only to the "baby boomers" who are currently in or entering middle age, but to those of us who attempt to counsel and guide those with serious aging issues.
"Even the ancient Greeks worried about it and fretted over the future", she states, and you won't be disappointed with the larger perspective this book will give you on these issues which are common to all humankind!
I love studying hirstory and astrology ends a fascinating look. This book is the best I have found for explaining the "jobs" of the Great Generation (Pluto in Cancer), Baby Boomers (Pluto in Leo), the Survivors (Pluto in Virgo), and Pluto in Libra, with a look at what to expect in the short time when Pluto is in Scorpio and society is rebuilt after the Virgo and Libra generations clean up the messes made by the Cancer and Leo generations. The different values of each group helped me a lot to understand why my mother's Baby Boomer friends are still so reluctant to be adults and why my generation (Virgo) are so much more realistic. Understanding my younger friends (Libra) is much easier too. The conflict between the Cancer and Leo group is now obvious.
The Pluto transit at midlife only happens for a few generations, starting with the Baby Boomers who grew up in the atomic bomb's constant shadow. That we generations are facing collectively a new midlife with a transit very much about facing death which previous ones did not was interesting. Perhaps the demotion of Pluto to a dwarf planet and the next younger people to be the last with the Pluto transit at midlife will mean good news about nuclear waste and war.
By seeing how when our ancestors lived shorter lives, their Saturn Return was their midlife crisis, and how new it is to have so many reach the Uranus Return of 84, humans are integrating the transpersonal planets into their lives in a way never before seen even without the Pluto transit. My grandmother lived to be in her 90s and I got deeper insight into how that was for her, how removed she was from the world as she outlived everyone she loved.
The information about how women often handle the emotional and social freedom of aging better than men coincides with the information that post-menopausal women don't make the "need to Mommy others" hormones, while a man often had a woman be their emotional and social self for them, so midlife and aging is very different at times. The information about gay and lesbian relationships I don't know if it is true or not, but it makes logical sense looking at biology and gender socialization.
I like my astrology books to be deep. I dislike cookbooks and superficial, non-humanistic astrology. This has given me much to think about outside of astrology, which is a great sign of a great astrology book. It helped me know parts of the human experience where I was formerly ignorant. Astrology in context of real life. Also the author shuns the "blame the victim" New Age which is WONDERFUL.
Planetary returns (such as the solar return that is our birthday) occur at regular intervals during the lifespan and each of these returns is an influential event. In the Astrology of Midlife and Aging, Sullivan gently but firmly walks us through the planetary cycles that occur in the second half of life helping us to meet our own selves head on.
Astrologically speaking, the time we call midlife begins between the ages of 37 and 41 when Uranus opposes its original place in our chart. This is the time, Sullivan tells us, that "something mysterious takes place within the psyche" causing us to recollect our life, examine the things we have not done, and move forward with greater awareness and purpose - something which I definitely feel I have done!
Drawing on her extensive knowledge of astrology and the work of that great pioneer of the psyche Carl Jung, Sullivan explores this important transition as well as those that come after. She reminds us that "midlife - all life, in fact - is a process...not an event" and then offers an astrologer's perspective on how we might align with the available planetary energies to make the most of this very significant process.
Sullivan goes on to provide specific information for the many crossover events of the latter half of our lives, including the Uranian opposition, second Saturn return and the return of the lunar nodes. This information is organized by birth year - making The Astrology of Midlife and Aging a wonderful personal reference for anyone interested in life after forty (or 37).
I particularly enjoyed Sullivan's wonderful writing, deep knowledge and sincere thirst for self-discovery. "Faith in the gods is good," she tells us, "but faith in one's own deepest self, which knows who one is about to become, is better."
I could not agree more!
To read more of my reviews and check out my most recent interview with Erin please visit my blog @ MysticalLiving.com
~ Barbara Graver