Cycle of Development

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Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, represented as a pyramid with the more basic needs at the bottom[1]

In addition to processes specific to an individual which can be examined using various predictive methods such as transits and secondary progressions, there are cycles of development that are common to all. These are shown by the cycles of the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The following cycles are considered to be the most important.

  • The twelve year cycle of Jupiter when it forms a conjunction to its natal position is seen as marking a new cycle of growth
  • The cycle of Saturn, which marks important phases in maturity in which a critical appraisal and recognition of past achievements often occurs, takes 29 1/2 years to form a conjunction with its position in the natal chart. These themes are also triggered roughly every 7 years when Saturn forms important aspects to its natal position - the waxing square, the opposition and the waning square. This seven year cycle plays an important role in many traditions

It takes Uranus 84 years to traverse the Zodiac, and at around 42 years, it forms an opposition to its natal position, while at 21 it forms a waxing square and at 63 a waning one to its natal position. These aspects represent stages of emancipation which are often characterised by times of crisis. Above all, these are times when we need to come to terms with newly found freedom. The so-called mid-life crisis is common around the age of 42 and marks a time of transition into the second half of life. Several important transits occur at the same time: the Uranus-Uranus opposition (this can only happen once in a lifetime), the second Saturn-Saturn opposition and the Neptune-Neptune square which, like the Uranus opposition, also happens only once in a lifetime. As would be expected, so many transits occurring at the same time leads to a variety of questions concerning: newly found freedom at the height of professional success (Uranus); bidding farewell to youth and contemplating growing older (Saturn); unfulfilled wishes and longings (Neptune). It is possible to experience the (only possible) Pluto-Pluto square around this time so that the individual is also likely to be confronted with suppressed themes that come to form the so-called Shadow. The Pluto-Pluto square can, depending on the generation the individual is born in, occur a few years earlier or in other cases up to two decades later in life due to Pluto's extremely eccentric orbit during which it spends between 14 and 32 years in one sign of the Zodiac. For this reason, the Pluto-Pluto square is not, as opposed to the other transits mentioned here, tied to any particular chronological phase in life.

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Notes and References