During the twenties it can seem that anything is possible. The energy is there, there is naivety in abundance… the path is paved to be Master of the Universe. There are finance geniuses, football stars, successful models, rock idols – possibilities that are there simply because of youth. If these successes are not to be like a comet illuminating the sky just for a short period, there has to be a dramatic readjustment by the age of thirty. It can be marriage and children, or divorce and independence, or a career reorientation – the crucible of the Saturn return and the first sextile of Pluto to its birth position at the age of 29 demands soul-searching and change. Many “personal” motivations during the twenties lie in the conditioning of parents and society, and the unconscious reaction to them.It is possible to ignore the signals as the age of 30 approaches – lack of motivation at work, lack of love at home, lack of desire to get up in the morning – and struggle on. Much has been built up, must it be sacrificed? But life is too short for compromise. Burn out during the thirties, and a sizeable life crisis around 40 is the price. And it is far more difficult to start anew at 40 than it is at 30.In the last article on the twenties, I pointed out that it is in fact possible to outline an individual’s life in quite some detail if you know the person’s age. Also, if you know the year of birth you can be even more specific through an understanding of the position of the outer planets at birth. Many people in their thirties today were born with Uranus and Pluto on the move from Virgo to Libra, and the relationships of people in their early thirties, when both planets are in Libra, are deeply affected by the gender transformations that took place in the seventies.

Supermodel Helena Christensen (25 th Dec 1968) and actress Rene Zellweger (26 th April 1969), who have Uranus in Libra, but Pluto still in Virgo, are classic examples. They come from a generation who find it a real challenge to make a commitment to a relationship. Helena Christensen changed her lifestyle around the age of thirty, and gave birth to her son, Mingus. However, when asked if she had married the father, her response was:

“Nej, vi var aldrig gift… når vi gik fra hinanden var det mere noget med at sige goddag til hinanden langsomt. Vi var nødt til at gå fra hinanden for at blive venner. Nogle mennesker er bare bedre som venner, ikke?”

“No we were never married… when we left each other it was more like just saying hello to each other slowly. We had to leave each other to be friends. Some people are better as friends, aren’t they?”

Rene Zellweger’s role as Bridget Jones is also a classic example of the plight of the singles culture that seems to have resulted from the influences of the outer planets in Libra. In 1969 Saturn and the Node were in Aries, Jupiter in Libra, and Neptune still in Scorpio (just).

The age of thirty is characterized by the ongoing transition engendered by the Saturn return. The pieces are just beginning to fall into place after a period of transition. Every 15 years Mars returns close to its birth position on the birthday, so 30 is also a year when Mars is strong and ready for battle. Therefore it would be possible to say of a person born in the very late sixties or early seventies entering their 30 th year:

– As you enter your thirties and a new decade, it is important to harness the lessons you have learned from the twenties, whilst letting go of the parental and social conditioning that could lead you along a path that is not uniquely yours. During the course of this year, you will lay the foundation stones for a new life structure on which you can build your life, especially professionally, during the course of the next 10 years. For you this is partly connected with overcoming any fear of taking an initiative, and any resentment that there are blockages on your path (Saturn in Aries). It is now you need to apply all your energy and willpower into achieving what you really want for yourself – not what others want for you. By mobilizing your resources for battle, setting your sights, and investing all your energy, you embark on the first steps towards creating your own unique and independent future.

After the struggles of the previous three years, much resistance has been swept aside, and with Jupiter trining its natal position age 31, there is a good chance of a smooth run. Helena Christensen had her child at this time. For our hypothetical client…

– At the age of 31 you can slip into overdrive as you begin to reap the benefit of the changes that have been so much a part of your life for the past two or three years. The basic structure is in place for you to expand your influence and harvest some initial results. There may be a hint of overconfidence, but your potential for good fortune is strong, and an optimistic attitude attracts success. For you the greatest bonuses can come in connection with your personal relationships, and there will be an expansion not only in your social life, but also perhaps in connection with a deeply significant romantic bond. (Jupiter in Libra)

32 can be a magical year – especially if Venus and Mars are strong in the chart, because the birth relationship between Venus and Mars will repeat themselves. Jupiter squares its natal position at this time, so this is a year when there is a tendency to do things against one’s better judgement too…

– During the course of your 32 nd year you have the need to realize your relationship potential. It is important that your romantic needs are met at this time, and that you feel valued in your relationships. Feelings and passion need to be integrated – love and Eros go hand in hand, and you want fulfilment on all levels. If you are unattached, then this is a year when your attraction peaks, and potential partners come your way. If you are in a relationship, it needs to be satisfying; otherwise your eye may stray. As this is not a year characterized by the best judgement, or wise ethical choices, you may be tempted to allow yourself to be guided by your passions, though this may not necessarily be a bad thing in the long term.

At the age of 33, Saturn makes its first sextile after the return, and the Nodes make a square to the birth position. This is also a year when Mercury returns to its birth position at the birthday so…

– As you enter your 33 rd year, you are in a positive development phase of your life, and the new structures you established as you entered your thirties are beginning to show their potential. (Saturn) Confronting fears of going it alone, you have been able to take personal initiatives and establish your independence on the career front. (Aries) This is a year in which you are filled with curiosity and there is much to learn. You may wish to attend courses, study and travel. (Mercury) Questions arise during the course of the year as regards the direction in which your destiny lies. You encounter people, or get involved with groups, who may not be aligned with your mission in life, but who nevertheless inspire you to consider an adjustment in direction. (Node) A crucial question for you is whether to pursue independence or whether to make compromises for a relationship, and finding a balance is not easy at this time. The ideal is to avoid dependence on others, so that you can give your strength to a relationship. (Aries/Libra)

During the 34 th year, the Saturn sextile is still effective, whilst Uranus is quincunx its birth position, which is its last aspect to itself before the coming opposition…

– As you enter your 34 th year you are building strongly on firm foundations, and making concrete progress on your path, acquiring useful communication and educational skills and building a solid network. (Saturn) Your initiatives are beginning to pay off, and there is a sense that what you are building now will stand you in good stead for the future. A sense of restlessness may also inspire you to make some adjustments at this time; on the one hand you don’t want to rock the boat, whilst on the other you would like to distinguish yourself from the norm. Your unique choices as regards relationship come to the fore at this time, and you may be chafing at the bit if you feel there are too many restrictions. At work you seek out a personal niche.

The 35 th year brings the third return of Jupiter to its birth position…

– This is a year when you gain deep insight and expand your understanding of your role in the world. This gives rise to strong views about your life situation, and some concerns about what is right, what is wrong, and whether justice is being done. During this year you propagate your views and express your latent wisdom with confidence and optimism. (Jupiter) The principle of fairness is particularly important in terms of relationships, and you do your best to ensure that balance is attained according to the enlightened principles that are so important to you. Your capacity for success is at its highest right now, and if you catch the wave, you can expect a surge of progress and good fortune. If you do not have a relationship, then good fortune can smile on you. If you do, then it can move to a higher level. (Libra)

At the age of 36, Saturn now makes a square to its birth position, and this is a time to review past progress and plan the future…

– During the course of your 36 th year you encounter a number of challenges, particularly in your professional life. The progress you have made over the last seven years is up for review, and structural adjustments are called for. Pressing demands on your time force you to improve your organization and planning. There are times when it may seem too much, but hard work and effort put in now will help you attain goals set earlier. (Saturn) You may feel that the burden rests on your shoulders alone, but this may be your personal choice and the price of maintaining your independence. By mobilizing your determination and fighting spirit, you overcome the obstacles the year presents. (Aries)

The Saturn square will often drag on into the 37 th year, but the main feature of the year is the second return of the Node to its birth position at the age of 37 and four months. These cycles are immensely significant, because the Nodes relate to eclipse cycles and have the capacity to occult the Sun and Moon, suggesting a cosmic consciousness factor superior to the forces of personality…

– During the course of your 37 th year you are rounding the corner in terms of overcoming challenges and realizing professional goals, after putting considerable effort and determination. Success is within grasp, but what does success mean for you, and are the goals you are striving to achieve in accordance with your higher mission in life? Equally important: are the people you are associated with, your friends and partners, conducive to a happy future? This is the year to say goodbye to those who are no longer relevant to your spiritual growth, and welcome new people who are… both in your personal and in your professional life. (Node) For you this is concerned with any dependency situation, and this is the year when you make choices that emphasize your independence. (Aries/Libra)

After the somewhat disjointing effect of the nodal return, 38 is a year when the waxing Jupiter square brings exhilarating change, warming up for the next two years, when the Uranus opposition will make its presence felt, as well as Neptune’s square to itself, and, for those born in the late 20 th century, the Pluto square.

– As you enter your 38 th year there is a sense of exotic promise. New experiences are awaiting on the horizon, but you may not know what they are to be as yet. After a period of effort and measured growth, the urge is now to pull out all the stops and expand your horizons. It may seem as if your local environment cannot supply the inspiration that you need, in which case you may start investigating possibilities farther afield. There is a growing sense that meaning is more important than achievement, and therefore a need to expand on the new circle of acquaintances you acquired last year to attain personal growth and consciousness change.

During the last year of the thirties, there are many changes in the air which are keenly felt because of the impending Uranus opposition. Nevertheless, with both Saturn and Jupiter trine their birth positions, this can be a year of unprecedented growth and consolidation of everything that has been achieved in the preceding nine years. As 39 is also a year when Mercury returns to its birth position for the solar return, it’s a busy year…

– Your 39 th year is the culmination of the choices you made as the thirties began, and a time to harvest the results of all the efforts you have made. It is at this time when you both establish and advance your position in society, and maximize your influence and success. You are eager to gain more knowledge, and to spread the word about what you know. Whenever a peak is reached, then it also heralds the time for a new start, but at the same time it is important to enjoy the results of your labours and realize the assets you have built up. (Saturn/Jupiter) With your foundations firmly established, you may feel that you have the resources to take a few risks and experiment with your life. On the one hand you may want to see the world, and experience exotic cultures, whilst on the other you would like to manifest a more radical side of your nature. (Uranus) This can be connected with your interest in experimental forms of relationships that combine freedom and intimacy.

During the last years of the thirties a person will normally have established a life framework that serves well for the future, both spiritually and economically. But for those who perhaps compromised too much as they entered the thirties, and allowed the demands of society to have more say than their own personal needs, the price is paid during the period from 40 to 44 as the Uranus opposition, and Pluto and Neptune squares force readjustments that culminate in the Saturn opposition. For some this will be a period of soul-searching and inner upheaval, whist for those firmly established on their path, these influences bring turbo-charged growth and a sense of personal fulfilment. More of that in the next article.

Adrian Ross Duncan September 19 th 2005