This discussion really isn’t under the purview of astrology necessarily; it’s an old system, a little obscure, with not much in the way of proof to support it. But humans have always seemed to want time to be neatly sliced into segments, whether in hours, days or in this case, the years of someone’s life. (And then to ascribe certain behaviors to these segments of time must be irresistible to those seeking to make sense of an oddly imperfect world.)
According to this system, the first seven years of someone’s life are under the influence of the Moon. The next eight years, age 7 to 15, are subject to Mercury’s direction. The following nine years are ruled over by Venus; ten succeeding years by the Sun, the next eleven by Mars and the next dozen years by Jupiter. As the planets with orbits far beyond what can be seen with the naked eye came to be discovered, thirteen years in a lifetime progression were ascribed to Saturn, the next fourteen belong to Uranus, the fifteen after that to Neptune and Pluto takes the last years from age 99 to 115.
It’s believed that Shakespeare was referring to these demarcations in his “Seven Ages of Man” from ‘As You Like It.’ So let’s take a closer look at what we can delineate.
Examining the Natal Chart for indications of what the native’s first seven years of life may have been like, you’ll recall the Chronocator for these years is the Moon. Heavy afflictions to the Moon in the chart suggest none too robust health for the native’s earliest years; perhaps the usual childhood illnesses were unusually severe or became chronic. An example of this may be a child allergic to many types of irritants, from pollen to common household dust, who was taking antihistamines in grade school. If the chronic allergic reactions continued for years, would the asthma eventually diagnosed be a result of the constant irritation? And could the Moon be designated the ‘signpost’ as it were for the health problems? Interesting theory.
Also under consideration for this first seven years must be the huge range of learning which any child is expected to undertake, from the tasks of getting dressed to the basics of self-care such as bathing, to learning to read and acquiring the social skills to be in a classroom situation for many hours daily. Note also this is the time the infantile teeth begin to be replaced by permanent, or adult teeth. Could a square involving the Natal Moon and Saturn (ruler of the bones and teeth) account for cavities and toothaches in a young child?
A case could be made also for this period in everyone’s life being the years in which controlling the temper, learning etiquette and manners, eating in a restaurant or dealing with the birth order of the children in the family are necessary skills. Tantrums are strongly discouraged (or at least we bystanders hope they are) and the self-absorbed potential tyrant learns the consequences of ugly behavior or actions.
It’s indeed a bit ironic that the moods of small humans need to be dealt with and the child taught self-control when the Moon is considered the most volatile and changeable ruler of emotions and feelings.
We’ll consider the next eight years as guided and directed by Mercury in this column next week. This Chronocator points to the beginnings of the child becoming separated, as an individual from the parents in actions, words and dress. The peer group becomes the pace setter for the first years of puberty in the age segment 7 to 15.
My apologies for filing this column a day late. Unexpected schedule changes occurred. – MZ