By Phil, the Astrologer

The recent passing of Amy Winehouse got the TV’s talking heads puzzled by the fact that she was 27, as was Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain when they all melted down. It was no real surprise though for a clueful astrologer because 27 can be a difficult age for anyone, largely involving the Moon‘s movements.

As most women in particular know all too well, the Moons’ 27 – 28 day monthly cycles can be quite overemotional, more so if PMS is involved or if a natal Moon is termed “afflicted” or poorly aspected to other planets, to which males are certainly not immune. A so-called “bad” Moon in a person’s birth chart is an understandable yet unfair judgment because it’s natal and never fatal, there are always many methods we can utilize to evolve away from those innate emotional challenges. We astro-geeks describe those inherent strengths and weaknesses but it’s incomplete without acknowledging a person’s desire to further develop their strengths and leave their weaknesses behind. So, we often rely on a technique known as the “secondary progressed” or “evolved” chart, whereby we transfer a day for a year and vice versa to see how someone has been evolving for the better, worse or neutral, for reasons too complex to get into here, it simply works. Therefore, just before everyone reaches the age of 28, we all go through what is known as a “progressed Lunar return,” when our progressed/evolved Moon returns to its place in our natal design for the first time, the same process repeats at the ages of 54 and 81 if we get that far.

Assuming there’s no serious mental illness involved, a progressed Lunar return works just like any real-time New Moon does, it’s a time for new beginnings as if our emotional selves (Moon) can either hit the reset buttons which would be the “correct” thing to do, or miss out entirely on it as the above-mentioned did. It’s like a cosmic wake-up call to reinvent ourselves as adults, which some highly sensitive, deep and gifted artists have done and can do, David Bowie and Madonna come to mind, while others embark on solo careers, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, etc. But others simply can’t or won‘t, especially if there’s substance abuse and/or other psychological issues going on, in a perhaps delusional belief that such a reinvention would be a sell-out to the shallow and sinister money gods for instance, a commonly held but largely unnecessary mindset.

And, in a hideously twisted and macabre way, the “entertainment” moguls know that the premature demise of a troubled yet talented artist with an extensive catalog (the more manic the “better”) is a great career move for them, obviously not so much for the artist, so they’ll push them harder and harder until they snap under the pressure which they know and hope they could, it’s really sick. That same predatory dynamic can sadly happen among us mere mortals, an even sicker psychic power-and-control issue for whomever “they” are, and not necessarily for the 27 year-old involved. It might take a few years but escaping from that vampire-like trap is indeed possible, either during the reset energetic of a person’s progressed Lunar return or during a few other major life transits happening for everyone in their mid to late 20‘s.

On the mysterious levels of our subconscious minds, ages 27 – 28 is also when a lot of people begin sensing the approaching cosmic “doom” of their “Saturn returns,” when real-time Saturn begins nearing one complete orbit around the Sun since their births. A Saturn return happens for everyone as we approach the Big Three-Oh and issues surrounding maturity inevitably arise in our “official” entry into adulthood, feeling like there‘s no turning back. However, when properly handled a Saturn return is simply triggering our inner judge and authority figure (Saturn) to “ask” ourselves to define the words “maturity” and “responsibility” any way we want to in our inner dictionaries, so it would be very helpful to know well beforehand what‘s coming, what to expect and how to maneuver it correctly. And very generally, well adjusted people with happy childhoods gladly accept their roles as grown-ups and parents before or during their Saturn returns, while others adopt a Peter Pan approach, sowing as much wild oats as they can, in most cases largely due to their own childhood woundedness.

And assuming there’s not a lot of other challenging planetary events happening by transit or progression specific to the individual, healing our inner child can be quite complicated by another major life transit happening at roughly the same time, when we all get real-time Pluto visiting our natal Neptune. Basically, the Ruler of the Underworld starts dismantling how we express our spiritual (unseen, Neptune) selves in both the most exalted manners but also in how we’re deluding ourselves. This two-year process starts by Pluto completely shredding our ideals and illusions (Neptune) plutonium-like, and then we start sifting through the debris looking for the elusive gems of our former child-like selves in a process that can actually take many decades to unfold. It can start off as a nervous shifting or come at us as subtle as a flying mallet, it largely depends upon how well we’re acknowledging that life is indeed a spiritual Neptunian process, even if we can‘t articulate it as such. Oy, the hormones of that age…

We can express Neptune’s debilitated aspects by giving up on ourselves and joining a cult of any/many different colors, sink into the various fantasy worlds of substance abuse or become addicted to the Internet and video games, overly tattooed and pierced, or any of a number of other self-destructive Plutonian activities. And here’s one of the greatest secrets of life, we may simply be engaging in those “negative” patterns on our subconscious levels, the place where we’re unconsciously looking for the same types of negative patterns of our past-lives, in order to figure out why we we’re all back here, reborn into our current lives. There are certainly some past-life gems to rediscover but the illusions of the “real” world has created a dense Neptunian fog-bank to hide those gems. Just look it up in your soul’s karmic contract with yourself, it’s right there in the fine print, that clause that talks about our spiritual (unseen) past-life amnesia, just above the line where our celestial signature was required to seal the deal, in order to return to this holographic Earth-plane.

Also in those karmic contracts of ours, we all agreed to go through the mystery school of our Pluto on Neptune transits and progressed New Moons, right before our Saturn returns, major pieces of life‘s grand puzzle. One could refer to these planetary events as part of the “Divine plan,” although we also need to remember this; “the plan is that there is no plan,” we’re simply dealt a hand and it’s up to us in how we play that hand, with an emphasis on “play.” As Shakespeare and others have noted, all the world is a stage and we are merely players in it, we “simply” write our own characters into various scenes, trying to figure out the plots and sub-plots as we go along, also of our own free-will making.

And as we age, we simply need to forgive ourselves for any youthful indiscretions we may have made, along with any “wrong” turns we took that led us to so many dead-ends because all of those trajectories have helped to land us all precisely where we are today, right here and right now at this exact moment. So, if you’re in your mid to late 20’s reading this, you now know some of the challenges and opportunities happening “up there” for you, your soul’s mysterious way of asking you “down here” to search for and acknowledge your true immortal selves. Or if you’re an old fart like me, it’s never too late to have a happy childhood when we were so much closer to our birthrights of fearlessness and guiltless free imaginations, birthrights that simply need to be reclaimed at this specific time. Perhaps those birthrights were seemingly beaten out of us at our Saturn return or other Saturn transits, which would be an unfair judgment of our own inner Saturnian authority figure, the receptacle of Universal wisdom.

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