Marlena Applebaum

M.A. in Counseling Psychology

Astrological Counseling

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January 12, 2012

Astrological Rites of Passage



As the planets move through the sky and through the zodiac, they affect each one of us differently depending on how they connect with one’s individual birthchart. There are some astrological events, however, that happen to everyone at approximately the same age, which mark important rites of passage and correspond with certain life phases. Here is a list of a few of the major ones: 


Saturn return (Saturn conjunct Saturn), first one at age 29: 

This is the symbolic entrance into adulthood — new structures are built or current structures break down if they are not in alignment with one’s proper track in life, responsibility increases, and/or obstacles must be overcome.

Second one at age 59: This is a time of passing on the torch to the next generation — all that has been learned and achieved can now be shared fully, and let go of, as one prepares for the last third of life.  


Pluto square Pluto, varies due to Pluto’s irregular orbit, currently takes place at age 35-37, but in certain other eras, it was around age 62:

This is a significant turning point involving the integration of one’s shadow — can be experienced as intense pressure, forced growth, or having to surrender. This eventually leads to regeneration, transformation, empowerment and finding new purpose and meaning in life. 


Neptune square Neptune, age 40-41:

This is a spiritual turning point — the need arises for direct experience of something greater than the ego self. Initially it can manifest as confusion, doubt, or escapism, but leads to a shift in consciousness.  


Uranus opposite Uranus, around age 42:

Uranus brings freedom from that which is limiting or preventing one from being true to oneself. Sudden changes and shock often accompany this transit, but culminate in the awakening to a new life.


Moon’s Nodal return, every 18.6 years, at approximately age 19, 38, 56 and so on:

The nodes have to do with the soul’s direction in the larger scheme of one’s life. The nodal returns are moments in time that may be particularly destined and feel like they have a karmic quality to them. 


Jupiter return, every 12 years, at age 12, 24, 36, 48 and so on:

These are times of growth, opportunities, blessings, and abundance connected with the area of life where natal Jupiter is in the birthchart.


I would love to hear about people’s experiences with these major passages through time. Feel free to contact me with questions or comments. 

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