Many years ago, one of my crazy, mystical friends told me that our life changes every seven years.
I recently discovered an astrological analysis of the ten stages of life, whereby our life changes every seven years based on celestial bodies. Upon close scrutiny, it also seems to parallel my life. Perhaps some of my mystical friends aren't really crazy after all.
The Moon Age -- (1 to 7 years)
In the Tarot, the moon reflects unforeseen peril. There is plenty of unforeseen peril in a new born human entity. The child is in a fluid psychological state -- helpless and vulnerable. The early ego is formed by fluctuating urges, affected by the surrounding environment.
In my Moon Age, I was definitely helpless and vulnerable. I had a caring mother and an indifferent father. I cried during the first day of kindergarten as I was thrust into the world of my peers. Eventually, I tried to blend in by being lost in my own thoughts and silently observing the erratic behavior of certain others.
The Mercury Age -- (7 to 14 years)
In astrology, mercury represents communication, quickness and nervousness. During the early school years, children tend to make connections, to belong to a group of similar peers. You learn to communicate, to make friends and enemies. As you advance into the early teens, you are more able to rebel against authority, often by your clothing or hairstyle or music or your actions.
In my Mercury Age, my family moved from a peaceful setting at the outskirts of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, to the suburbs of Kansas City, Kansas, when I was in the middle of fourth grade. Thus, I had to start my life over, as a newcomer stranger among my peers. Once again, I tried to blend in by being lost in my own thoughts and silently observing the erratic behavior of certain others. After the end of fifth grade, my family moved to the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota, where I once again tried to blend in by being lost in my own thoughts and silently observing the erratic behavior of certain others. In those early teenage years, there was plenty of erratic behavior to observe.
The Venus Age -- (14 to 21 years)
Venus (the Roman goddess of beauty) is the influence of relationships, love, culture, pleasure and emotions. This is the age of sensual emotions and attraction to beauty. It's also a period of creative activity and the forming of deep friendships. Childish behavior fades and the demands of adulthood loom on the horizon. When we are born, our brains are a pile of mush. By our mid-teens, the human brain becomes fully assembled with nerve fibers and insulated with fatty tissues. During the first 21 to 25 years of life, a slow maturing process takes place. This is why teen-agers do crazy things and often act like idiots. Unfortunately, some of them never advance beyond the idiot stage.
In my Venus Age, high school was a drag and college was freedom at last. In high school, I once again tried to blend in by being lost in my own thoughts and silently observing the erratic behavior of certain others. I had a motorcycle and an old Chevy, and spent much of my free time hanging out in the local pool hall or goofing around in outdoor neighborhood sports. In college, I majored in math, but had no clue about my future. I yeaned to be an architect or a mining engineer, but mostly lived in the present. At age 20, I spent a year in Miami taking college computer courses -- it was the best 5 years of my life,
The Earth Age -- (21 to 28 years)
The Earth Age is a period of development through self-evaluation, a coming of age. It's an adjustment to responsibility and material pursuits. As a young adult, you endeavor to pursue an occupation or career. This is a period of moderation and balance. It's a rude awakening, where you tend to put down roots. Major decisions take place. At the end of the Earth Age, one is often confronted with a crisis, an upheaval leading to a new beginning.
In my Earth Age, self-evaluation was the norm. I returned from Miami to Minnesota on my 21st birthday. After several years of college geared toward computer science, I soon got a job as a computer programmer in St. Paul. Nine months later, I was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Era. After basic training in Missouri, I spent the remainder of my two-year commitment at 3rd Army Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, as a data processing analyst. After returning to my civilian job for about six months, I decided to return to college to get my B.S. and M.S. degrees. I spent much of my free time carousing and shooting pool in bars. Less than a week after I finished graduate school, at age 28. I started a job as a computer analyst in the Minneapolis suburbs, definitely an upheaval and a new beginning in my life.
The Mars Age -- (28 to 35 years)
The Mars Age is a stressful period as you stabilize your character and strive to make an imprint in life. Ambition is paramount, aggressive action takes place -- a desire for personal egocentric and materialistic success. After years of adjustment and creating a foundation, you have finally stabilized in character, seeking to succeed.
In my Mars Age, at age 28, I totally changed my life overnight. No more carousing or gambling or shooting pool. I was now working full-time, earning a living, being a responsible adult. I advanced from programmer/analyst for company A to senior programmer/project leader for company B. At age 30, I was restless for change and moved to Los Angeles as a senior system analyst for company C, later as lead programmer and general manager for company D by age 32, followed by becoming an independent contractor. I bought a house (with pool), drove a Cadillac and got married. Life was fast-paced, stressful and I had achieved material success. My wife was an Aries. Ironically, Mars is the ruling planet of Aries. Mars is also the ancient god of conflict. Perhaps I should have referenced astrology prior to marriage.
The Jupiter Age -- [35 to 42 years)
The Jupiter Age represents acquisition, expansion and abundance. For many, this is the prime of life, a psychological maturity. You now have a foundation as a respectable member of the community. It may also include distant journeys. There is also an inner journey of the soul, a deeper examination of spirit.
In my Jupiter Age, my wife and I had many travels -- exploring the local region on weekend jaunts, trips to Mexico, Hawaii, Tahiti, West Indies, etc. We bought, lived in and sold several houses, and even lived on a yacht for several months. After five years of marriage, we divorced. It was back to square one for me. Two weeks after my 42nd birthday, I left Los Angeles in a camper to become a gold prospector and adventurer in the Arizona desert. Once again, at the precise end of seven years, my life took a dramatic turn.
The Saturn Age -- (42 to 49 years)
The Saturn Age represents obstacles, restrictions and responsibility. It's a period of adapting self-discipline whereby you become a determined person. It's a crossroad for those who were fulfilled in earlier stages of life versus those who find themselves in the path of decline and depression. Some of those who were shaped by society are now in a position to serve others.
In my Saturn Age, it was definitely a period of obstacles that prompted me to become a determined person. Starting at age 42, I went off into the wilderness to find a better way of life, which included finding a peaceful area to live and finding peace within myself. After about 9 months of wandering around in the wild, I decided to settle down in the desert of central Arizona and purchased a nice modest home on six acres a mile about 55 miles northwest of Phoenix. I managed to do an occasional computer contract for old Los Angeles clients (at home via modem, a couple of times back in L.A. for a couple of days of work). I spent time in the desert, poking around, filing a couple on mining claims. At age 48, I sold my place with the intention of moving to a higher elevation to avoid desert heat. When the place was in escrow, I traveled to northern Arkansas to visit my parents at their retirement village in the Ozark Mountain foothills.
The Uranus Age -- 49 to 56 years)
The Uranus Age represents change, independence, and intuition. Rather than a transformation based on restlessness, it is a transformation based on wisdom and a new state of consciousness. Rather than seeking accommodation through surroundings, it is more of a revelation of a spontaneous inner, subconscious, intuitive desire.
In my Uranus Age, my life became a series of synchronicities and revelations. I intuitively realized that I should remain in Arkansas rather than relocate somewhere else in Arizona. It was a flash of obvious truth. Once escrow closed on my Arizona house, I found a rental cabin of 400 wild acres in the hills about 20 miles from my parents and settled in. No phone, no TV. I instinctively realized I should write some novels. I decided to write four novels, then try to find a publisher. If they sold well, I would continue writing -- if not, I would follow my next flash of instinct, whatever that might be. After I finished the four novels at age 54, I began sending queries to publishers and agents. As I began to run low on funds from selling my Arizona home, I found a 10-month computer contract, at age 55, in Memphis during the 1999 Y2K computer Bug crisis, and gave up the Arkansas cabin for an apartment in Memphis overlooking the Mississippi River. During this period, I found a publisher for my 4 novels. Once again, another 7-year stage of my life took another major turn.
The Neptune Age -- (56 to 63 years)
The Neptune Age is all about transcending from material pursuits toward enlightenment. One becomes more spiritual in nature, rising above the need for psychological security, placing less emphasis on memories of the past, yearning to grow beyond egotistical pleasures.
My Neptune Age began with the ending of material pursuits. I returned from Memphis to Arkansas at age 56 (in the year 2000), the beginning of my Neptune Age, and bought a piece of property with my earning from the Memphis computer contract -- a nice mobile home on 8 acres of woods, 4 miles from a small town (population 1,400) on a dirt road with no nearby neighbors. It was the beginning of a more in-depth spiritual journey. I scratched out a living, starting with working on the 2000 U.S. Census. Then in 2001, I started writing a weekly column for a couple of regional newspapers and also starting teaching computer courses at a local college. At age 62, near the end of my Neptune Age, I started receiving monthly Social Security payments, and quit the newspaper and college jobs.
The Pluto Age -- (63 to 70 years)
The Pluto Age is the final stage of human progression, where you comprehend the mystery of life. It's a new luminous beginning, leading to a sense of purpose and destiny.
My Pluto Age began with my full-time retirement life. Even though I had written 4 novels and some 400 newspaper columns, I still had the yearning to continue to write. It was a labor of love. I began writing regular blogs and posting them on various websites. As I accumulated material on a wide variety of subjects, I decided to create a book containing 44 of my blogs and old newspaper columns. Once it was published, I started another book of 44 chapters, then another, then another, and so on. By the time I turned 70 years, the end of my Pluto Age, I had 7 non-fiction books in print, containing various articles on a variety of topics. Writing was another step in my human progression, a spiritual journey of discovery and sharing my thoughts in print. I was alone, with a couple of dogs, writing blogs & books, growing tomatoes, communing with nature, watching sunsets, contemplating existence.
The Golden Age -- (70 to oblivion)
As I write this piece, in February of 2015, I am currently 70 years old, having entered this age in August of 2014. The astrological analysis ends at age 70. Apparently, the creators of the Ten Stages of Life ran out of celestial bodies to signify the various stages of life, I have chosen to dedicate age 70, and beyond, to the Golden Age, which I believe is the period in one's life when you finally realize that life is very simple and incredibly complex, both at the same time.
My Golden Age has just begun. Life has been a struggle, a learning experience, but I now realize it has also been a glorious ride. In all likelihood everything happens for a reason. I will spend my remaining years seeking to be at one within this divine existence.
The hardest stages of life are between ages 7 and 70.
Life is good.
Quote for the Day -- “It's paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn't appeal to anyone.” Andy Rooney
Bret Burquest is the author of 10 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a couple of dogs and where life is a glorious adventure, in 7-year intervals, one day at a time.