I turned 42 in February this year. In the lead up to the day I realised it was a 7 year cycle, and did a bit of research into what this meant.
I looked mainly in Anthrophosophical text as this is where I’d heard of the concept previously, through my children’s education, the 7th birthday being a very big transition and then the 14th etc. (though there are many crossings done over all the years)
Here’s a few things that I found..
‘In the next cycle from forty-two until forty-nine a major change usually takes place. It is as if one takes all of one’s life experience up till this age and begins to digest it, and extract from it new ideals and a new direction in life. There is often tremendous unrest in this period and that following it. The unlived aspects of life cry out to be recognised and allowed. The desire to make a mark in life if it has not already been achieved presses for action here.
At this point it appears to many of us that we have reached the mid point of our life and from here on there will be a decline. Even if this is not so it is often felt very strongly and acted upon in one way of another. People change partners, life directions, and even attempt major personal changes, although these latter may have begun in the last cycle.
Also, the emotional age and the maturing of love may at last show signs of an unconditional love. If this is not appearing in small degree, it might be one is still locked in earlier ages. Strangely, many of us maintain the emotional age of a child right into mature years, feeling all the fear of abandonment, jealousy and possessiveness of our childhood. Many divorces and new directions appear around this period.
In these years we move from old stereotypical roles with a new found confidence in our individuality. We are prepared to please our self, rather than society and gain a real understanding of our uniqueness, accompanied by a sense of urgency to express our true self before it gets too late.’
Here’s a chakra take on it from Learning Mind.
‘Major crisis years of the adult life are ages 21, 28 (also called Saturnian death in Astrology), 35, 42 and 49. The first 49 years of human life can be simply described as spiritual childhood. We observe Nature and learn from it until we grow up. Some of us mature before 49, some never do. A spiritual adult is the one who is able to express their own creative essence and cooperate with surrounding environment by living a happy life, as Nature intended
The 6th 7 year cycle- Our inner philosopher is born from 35 to 42. This life cycle is guided by the Third Eye Chakra. We begin to look for the meaning in everything. We need to walk the walk, we cannot just talk the talk anymore. It is the final battle between the Wisdom of Heart and the Wisdom of Logic.’
This whole page was really interesting and felt right to me.
I realised that one thing I thought I’d read in my initial research was that 42 was the End of the spiritual childhood.. mmm not so, I still have a few more years to go. And that feels right too.
Entering 42 I felt strong in myself, who I was, and what I was here to do. I had found my life purpose and was living it passionately.
I’m not sure exactly when it started, but some time around June/July.. that fire was gone. I was unsure of who I am, why I’m here, what is important, where I wanted to be or what was even the point!
This feeling has come and gone, back and forth, feeling fulfilled and empty, that I have so much to give and nothing at all. It has coincided with some major life changes for our family. And my husband is also 42, so we are getting the full whammy of it’s depth, which is both supportive and frightening! We are both floating, not deciding, not acting, living in indecision and being as ok with that as we can.
I had a skype session with my Star Witch Mikailah when this started. Her words told me everything I needed to know, and, there were no answers.
She shared that I was in my Neptune Square. It is an initiation, a challenge. Two energies are butting heads. (happens at age 41, 42)
It is a time to be very gentle with yourself, a time to be rather than do.
Spend time by the water, sing, dance, get body work, foot spas, reflexology to ground.
Not a great time for life changing decisions, this is a time of confusion, do not go into partnerships.
Surrender, let go. You can’t articulate what you are feeling. Go to the water.
See how that’s relieving and unsettling? And when I am unsettled, I dance, I go to the water, and repeat.
Though I am not yet at peri menopause just yet, I am definitely on the way.. all us women are! The average age for entering peri menopause is 45-50 years old. Dr Christine Northrup says a lot about this, but here’s a small part that feels relevant considering this 7 year cycle goes to 49 years-
‘The menopausal transition is actually a profound developmental stage in which unfinished business from the past comes up once again for resolution and healing, so that we can free ourselves from the outmoded beliefs and behaviors of our past. All the issues that weren’t resolved during puberty and early adulthood—such as body image, relationships, vocation, fear of aging, and self-esteem issues—now arise once more to be healed and completed.’
Yes, all of this is coming up! When I turned 40 I had a flash of simultaneous fear and relief.. ‘I won’t be attractive anymore’! and- ‘Thank god I don’t have to be attractive anymore’!
It’s not that I think I am unattractive, I just know I am not the cultural hot young thing I once was, or strived to be for so many years. It is exhausting to crave that kind of attention, it is exhausting for that to be expected of you from about age 10 as a girl. (that was my experience). What a relief to let that go! And such an unfamiliar place to find myself.. If I don’t have to be that, what am I?
I think this is really hard for most women in this culture that values youth and beauty above all else. And why this is the time that many women look into botox, laser, plastic surgery, fighting against time to stay in the race to… what? Stay desirable, appealing, acceptable, hot, not invisible? I didn’t know I had lived with this pressure until I was on the other side of it, and deciding whether to stay in the race or step aside and figure out what this place has for me.
Though I look at my silver hair and think.. ‘maybe I should just dye it’ occasionally, it is becoming more exciting to see who is under there. What else do I have to offer? What is inside of me waiting to be born once I release this heavy burden of needing to be pleasing to others? And maybe I’ll dye it to please myself, we’ll see.
I feel like this is a profound rite of passage, one that I come to aware and awakened, ready to receive the potent blend of my life experience so far in the next evolution of myself and what I wish to share. Knowing also that this work might contribute to a more easeful peri menopause if I am present with each step.
Perhaps not.. but I actually have very little choice in how I approach this. I either fight it, have a proper mid life crisis, get the botox, do the crazy things and still find this person on the other side of that.. or be with this, feel it all, accept it all, and trust that I will find who I am and why I am here in this form on the other side.
I realise many might find this blog extremely vulnerable sharing, but I don’t see it like that. For me it is freeing to be real about this. About ageing, about beauty standards, about not feeling sure who I am at 42.
I shared a little on my new Instagram page (the old one got deleted.. yes I’m upset) @makingsacred2 and I received so many comments from women about their own experiences. If you go to the posts below you can read the comments. It was affirming that we really need to talk about this stuff, support each other, celebrate the silver hair, the experience and the crows feet!
She is a brave Goddess shedding the layers of societies expectations to go meet her power. It is hard, important work.
See you on the other side.
Here I share my offerings with you. All the forms that this work takes, and the many ways I express this in my life. The path of women’s mysteries teacher, mother, menstrual educator, doula, lover of birth, dance, music, the earth, magic and the gathering of Women. With this we bring beauty, we honour your journey, we make it sacred.
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