You could call it “crazy time.” Or maybe you prefer “midlife crisis” (or, more optimistically, “midlife shift.”) Whatever you call it, everyone in their late 30s and early 40s goes through it.
It’s commonly associated with the stereotype of the middle-aged family man suddenly buying a screaming red Corvette and running off with his sexy young mistress. But it can also be a time of profound and positive change, a quantum leap to the next level of your evolutionary journey.
The Uranus Opposition
Astrologers call this period of transformation the “Uranus Opposition.” This once-in-a-lifetime event occurs when the transiting planet Uranus circles around to a point directly across from its natal position. (The transformative power is further boosted by the fact that both Neptune and Saturn are squaring their natal positions. [A square is a 90° angle.] Neptune squares dissolve that which no longer serves your highest need, while Saturn squares challenge all outmoded structures in your life.)
Uranus embodies the archetypal energies of revolution and paradigm shift. It rules the breakthrough moment, the “Aha!”, the “Eureka!” I view it, like all transiting planets, as an angel sent to serve your highest need. If something in your life no longer serves your highest need, it’s Uranus’ job to get rid of it as quickly as possible!
While Uranus will use the tactics of shock and surprise when required — and can even create wholesale chaos if need be — it usually won’t take such extreme measures without firing warning shots across your bow. Like all transiting planets which herald an important life change, it offers you a choice: the easy way or the hard way.
Follow the Flashes!
The easy way is to follow the guidance of your intuitive flashes. (It’s intuition when you feel the “ITC” — the Intuitive Tingle of Certainty.) In my experience, and that of my clients, the more quickly you act on your intuition, the easier the transition will be. The longer you resist, the more you’ll experience increasingly stressful and potentially painful situations until you finally embrace the needed change.
My “Crazy Time”
I experienced one of the biggest turning points in my life during my own Uranus Opposition. As I approached “The Big Four-Oh”, I was living a life that looked great on the surface. I was 15 years into a job as the Oklahoma sales representative for Nabisco Foodservice. The money and benefits were great, and my position with the company was secure. My sweetheart and I lived together in a very nice house and had a wonderful relationship — my best committed romantic relationship ever to that point.
And yet I was experiencing a typical Uranus Opposition symptom — a gnawing dissatisfaction, a disquieting feeling that something important was being left undone. Though I was still hitting my sales quotas, I had grown bored with my job. I wanted to live someplace more physically beautiful, spiritually progressive and creatively inspiring. There was a deep sense of urgency — a feeling that if I didn’t act soon, a critical “now or never” opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream would pass away forever.
A Dream of Music
The dream in danger of dying was to become a professional singer/songwriter. I had played music most of my life, studying classical piano as a child and immersing myself in 15 years of serious classical guitar study in my teens and 20s. I became fascinated by electronic music in my mid-20s, ultimately releasing the meditative electronic album The Beauty Within (download this and my other albums for free here) at 34.
Not long after that, however, my focus shifted to guitar and vocals — first as a cathartic expression of the deep psychological purging I was experiencing in my new Buddhist Vipassana practice, and later to write songs that people might actually enjoy! My new identity as a singer-songwriter felt great, and I applied myself to it diligently. I took voice lessons, soaked up everything I could about songwriting and performance craft, and learned the business skills essential for survival as an independent musician.
Up until this point, I had been mostly living the “safe” part of my chart (cautious, detail-obsessed Virgo Moon in the security-craving second house; four planets in the conservative, don’t-rock-the-boat sign of Capricorn). But now, with transiting Uranus opposing its natal position, I finally had the planetary support to do something totally crazy: move halfway across the country to Asheville, North Carolina to become a full-time singer-songwriter!
My sweetheart, with both her boys now out of the house and also ready for greener pastures, was happy to move with me. (Although an astrological “perfect storm” — all five transiting planets from Jupiter out simultaneously hitting sensitive relationship points in my chart! — signaled the end of that relationship two years later. However, this allowed a new relationship that eclipsed all the prior ones to start blossoming just a few months later.)
From Musician to Astrologer
As it turned out, my new career did not go as planned. Despite establishing something of a reputation around Asheville under the stage name Benjammin, and releasing the CD Shining From Inside to strong reviews, my musical income never even came close to meeting my expenses. However, moving to Asheville in pursuit of my crazy dream set up another life-changing event: meeting my astrological mentor Kelly Lee Phipps at an open mic, where he was reciting his cosmic poetry. Thanks to his inspiring teaching and expert guidance, I soon learned enough to hang out my shingle as a professional astrologer.
The contrast between the two career arcs was remarkable. As a musician, doors opened for me grudgingly or not at all. As an astrologer, they seemed to fly open everywhere I turned. There was no question where Spirit was throwing its support!
Better Than I Could Have Imagined
I’ve shared this little bit of my life story with you here to illustrate an important astrological principle. Because I followed the intuitive guidance I received during my Uranus Opposition and dared to make a radical change in my life – although, at that time, I didn’t even know what a Uranus Opposition was! – my existence was utterly transformed. Even though things didn’t go as expected – and with Uranus, surprises are the norm – the outcome was far better than anything I could have imagined.
I don’t even want to contemplate what a dull gray man I would have become if I had stayed in a place that no longer suited me, working at a job that had grown stagnant and unrewarding. I might never have started practicing astrology, which fills me with joy every time I have the privilege of sharing its life-affirming guidance with another client. I might never have branched out from there into doing the immensely satisfying work of shamanic healing and awakening activation. And I might not be able to say that every year since I mustered up the courage to follow my dream in 2001 has been the best year of my life.
Slightly revised 1/10/15. Originally published in the April 2008 newsletter.