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Happiness in Life's Middle Years by Dane Rudhyar.


Dane Rudhyar

First Published
Horoscope Magazine
October 1955

As we reach our middle years, to realize true happiness and lasting peace, we need to assimilate opposite, complementary zodiacal energies. If one is born with predominate Leo energies, for instances, in later life there is a need to balance Leonine drives with Aquarian values. In this popular article which requires no prior astrological knowledge, Rudhyar states, "He who can balance in his nature Aries and Libra or Taurus and Scorpio, and so on, is on the path to wisdom and to happiness in old age."
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Happiness in Life's Middle Years by Dane Rudhyar.

When astrology says that you are born with the Sun in Aries, Taurus or Libra, it simply means that the characteristics of human nature represented by these signs of the zodiac are accentuated more or less strongly in your personality. The Sun energizes these characteristics. When some traits are accentuated, the opposite ones naturally tend, by compensation, to be weak. Thus, if you are a strong Aries type of person, the qualities of the sign Libra are usually not well developed in you. They are immature or negative; they operate in a compulsive or irrational manner. This is particularly noticeable in youth. The solar force is very intense in youth. Unless some other factor blocks its way of expression, it will seek to assert itself to the point where every other tendency in your personality recedes in the background. The tendencies represented by the sign opposing that of your natal Sun will particularly suffer.

This stressing of one type of impulse and traits of character is, nevertheless, good. It produces differences among people and makes for powerful drives. It builds individuals who are born leaders in one field. This field means everything to them. But it can happen also that such persons become blind to everything else. They overstress fanatically the dominant traits of their personality.

There should come a time in any life when the danger of such an extreme of emphasis or focalization becomes psychologically evident. This is what brings about the often severe psychological storms around or past 40. Suddenly perhaps, the self-sufficient individual becomes aware that he has only developed certain aspects of his personality. The complementary opposite traits or qualities needed to balance this emphasis have been repressed. They demand insistently attention, care, development. They demand this often in the way a spoiled child asks for what he wants and must have at once.

The fifties are the period when the individual should overcome this trouble and the emotional demands of his or her "unlived life" and realize objectively what it is that alone can bring happiness and the strength of wisdom to his old age. The term old has most unfortunately acquired a negative or detrimental meaning in America. There was a time when the wisdom of the elders was not only reverenced but a dominant force in society. This may happen again. But if old age is to demonstrate true and creative wisdom, it must have realized that such a wisdom depends primarily on the balancing and harmonizing of traits and qualities which are opposite.

He who can balance in his nature Aries and Libra or Taurus and Scorpio, etc., is on the path to wisdom and to happiness in old age. The path to such happiness and peace in wisdom can be said, therefore, to be different for every type of person. The Aries type of person will normally travel on this path by incorporating the qualities characteristic of the sign Libra, and the Leo type by assimilating what Aquarius has to give, etc. There are, in this sense, twelve basic paths to happiness in the later years of life.

The following are indications of what these twelve approaches to wisdom and happiness imply for you, according to your own birth-sign. Strong planetary groupings in your natal chart would, however, introduce other points of emphasis which would then modify these necessarily general indications.

The Aries Path
If you are a strongly Aries type of person, you naturally seek to face the world and the people around you with a driving energy, as if everything depended upon your taking the initiative and changing the way things have been until then. You like to begin new enterprises, and you may be tense — and aggressive about it. Your way is the way simply because you feel somehow that life, evolution, destiny are behind you, urging you to act. You seem to have little choice but to show the new way in which people must now act. It is "God's will"; and it may be hard for you to understand why everyone does not see that it is so and fall in line at once.

This is your strength, but also your weakness. Your tendency is not to consider what other people feel about what you bring to them. Because you believe yourself, consciously or unconsciously, led by a power beyond yourself and greater than your (still rather immature) ego, you do not feel interested in or able to control the results of your acts. That which acts through you should and will take care of these results!

This attitude is typically male. It expresses the nature of the planet Mars. It is also nonsocial. A truly social attitude is one which makes you feel responsible for what happens to the people around you as a result of your actions and of the new plans or ideas you force into their midst. A person with a developed and mature social sense will consider how the new departure will fit in with the traditions, the culture, the habits of all those whom the action will touch. This consideration of others and of what others need and can take is. in the real sense of the term, love — Christian love. It is also the finest and most fundamental characteristic of the zodiacal sign Libra.

As a very strong Aries person, you may go on for many years trying to ram your emotional impulses or your revolutionary ideas into the people around you — and you may get away with it. You may even be highly successful in acting in this manner. Yet a time is almost inevitably coming when the tables will turn against you and society will direct its power of stability, or its inertia, against you.

If, on the other hand, you have rammed in vain and at great expenditure of emotional or physical energy, you will feel sooner or later very weary indeed and very frustrated. Frustration easily turns into bitterness, resentment or rebellion, against the inevitable. The simplest result of all this is, for you, unhappiness. At the worst, you may be driven into some senseless escape, such as alcoholism or acute neurosis.

The cure is clear: you must blend and assimilate the social genius of the sign Libra with your Aries temperament. You must integrate Aries's impetuous eagerness to change what exists with Libra's reliance upon social patterns and Libra's awareness of the needs and desires of others.

The Taurus Path
The most basic feature of the Taurus type of personality is its fruitfulness, its ability to provide the substance necessary for all kinds of growth and human development. One of the tasks of the mature and conscious Taurus person is to substantiate the new ideas and attitudes of its generations — that is, to demonstrate by example how these can be profitably lived and what constructive values they can add to the society of the time. On the other hand, at the more unconscious, instinctual level, Taurus refers to physical fecundity, childbearing and social productivity.

While a Taurus person often seems conservative and displays a good deal of inertia, what it means is that without the fecundative impulse of some creative individual or leader, the Taurean will simply keep on demonstrating fruitfully the old ways of Nature or culture. But if the Taurean person has been stirred and impregnated by new ideas or a new faith, he or she can go all-out for the new and while so doing, often disregard all that is traditionally taken for granted.

The Taurean eagerness to give more earth solidity and more substance to either the old tradition or the new revolutionary ideal shows actually very little concern for other people or their interests. Even when the Taurus type is that of a woman who feels it her task to raise many children, there is actually in most cases a basic lack of concern as to what the father of these children feels or requires as an individual. The partner is a channel through which the fecundative act occurs. He needs to be well taken care of (well fed and kept content) so that he may be able to fecundate satisfactorily; but what is all important is life and the works of life!

In the Scorpio type, the opposite of the Taurus type, we see the contrary attitude toward partners. The Scorpio individual wants eagerly, almost desperately at times, to be related to other individuals. He craves for human relationship and people who experience life with him. If he is jealous, it is because he needs his partners so much.

The sex urge usually associated with Scorpio is primarily psychological or occult (i.e., a matter of the blending of inner energies). Sex is seen as a means — the deepest, most fundamental means — to become totally related to another individual. Whether or not there will be progeny either does not matter or it matters because children would increase and steady the power of the relationship with the marriage partner — also because a new kind of human relationship would be experienced, the parent-child relationship.

When the normal, prolific or productive Taurus type of person reaches middle age, life does not flow as intensely as in youth; the Taurus person has been accustomed to rely mainly on the feel of this life flow, consciously or unconsciously.

A sense of loss and emptiness can be expected unless the Taurus person learns to become consciously related to other individuals, in an intellectual-cultural or spiritual give and take. Productivity and fruitfulness should also be given new, higher-level expression. The arts may be a particularly good field for a transformed manifestation of the — instinct to build bodies. For the painter, a canvas is not unlike a womb. The musician can let his higher type of life flow pour through and use his breath or his fingers. For a few rare souls, mysticism can be another path for the reoriented, transmuted and now universalized energy of life.

Happiness, bliss can be experienced up to the very threshold of death, as the Taurus person, in the intimate feeling of relatedness to other individuals, comes to realize the joy of being part of a group and eventually the unity of all mankind.

The Gemini Path
The eagerness to know more and to experience ever broader fields of sensations or inner realizations is characteristic of the Gemini type. As more and more experiences and information are gained, the person must then link, associate and classify them. This is the task of the intellect, the maker of categories and set formulas. Without these knowledge or experience could not be assimilated or even remembered. Without them there would be no mental security, no ability to use effectively what one has learned. The very act of acquiring knowledge or gaining memories of exciting new sensations gives to the typical Geminian an unsurpassed thrill. It makes life worth living. Here again, as in the other types of the spring season (Aries and Taurus), the main thing is the feeling of life being lived. Other persons, friends and partners are necessary to this living of life, but, in typical cases, they have no basic importance in themselves as individuals. They can come and go; they are, in the last analysis, means to an end.

When the intensity of the search for knowledge and experiences begins to ebb away, when the mind's categories are overflowing with information and when the ability to expand or change these categories is either lacking or exhausted, then the Gemini person is facing a hard time of psychological readjustment. Happiness and peace of mind in the last decade of life require that much attention be given to the opposite traits, those of Sagittarius.

While Gemini goes after personally gathered knowledge, Sagittarius seeks to provide conditions necessary to receive universal knowledge — knowledge that comes as some type of revelation, intuitive or collective, and religious knowledge. Having received, the Sagittarian is prepared to give out what was received: thus, to act as a teacher, apostle, missionary or even prophet.

Hence, the Gemini person in later years has to be ready to empty himself or herself of the acquired intellectual knowledge and of the memories of past experiences. As he or she gives out and teaches — in whatever field of capacity — the mind gets emptier and a Sagittarian kind of revelation can come in. The personal experimental approach to life becomes repolarized. A new sense of value can then develop; and it naturally unfolds into mental peace and happiness, as long as the aging individual really lets go of old memories.

The Cancer Path
Cancer is the symbol of life lived in a personal sense, within personally defined boundaries of self. Cancer is associated with the home and motherhood because the home is a more or less insulated group unit of people; and the mother is like a camera lens focusing within a little dark box the image of the vast, universal life force. The home life is a snapshot of this universal life framed within the four walls of a house — and, in a psychological sense, of a person's ego.

This is not said in a condemnatory sense, however. The diffuse light of space must be focused by a lens in order to gain the power to burn. All use of power implies a previous process of concentration or focusing of energy. Therefore, Cancer has a most positive function — in the Universe, in society and in the human personality.

However, by becoming overstressed and unbalanced by the broader type of integration represented by the opposite sign, Capricorn, the Cancer type of attitude can become negative and destructive. The individual, the home group, the proud and chauvinistic nation can emphasize beyond all sense of proportion their isolationism and refuse to cooperate in any larger community of individuals, families and nations. If a cell in the body does similarly, it cuts itself off from the normal flow of the life force and eventually may turn cancerous.

In youth happiness may be legitimately experienced in such a Cancer-type over-focalization upon the home and the closed family unit or the personal ego. But as the crisis of middle age comes, this focalization must be balanced by its Capricorn opposite or else ill health and un-happiness are almost certain — if not for the Cancer-type individual, then for his or her relatives! Capricorn symbolizes the wider aspects of integration. In this Capricornian type of unification, the Universe (or God) seeks the man; while in Cancer, it is the human being who longs for an insulated, comfortable, secure ego and home. Thus, past middle age, it is essential for the Cancer type of person to learn cooperation with larger groups of people and to tread the wider avenues of service.

What has been learned in the little camera box of self and home can and must be released for all men to gain from or enjoy. In this giving of self and this service to some kind of community, the Cancer type of individual will find happiness and warmth of living.

The Leo Path
The sign Leo represents all kinds of emotional self-revealing activity. The typical Leo personality wants all the world to be a stage for its speeches, its gestures, its dramatic scenes It "per-forms" — that is, it uses the form of its selfhood to act through (per). A Leo man or woman wants you to be very sure it is his or her form, his or her show. As a result, the "noble lion" often finds himself roaring and pacing through a veritable desert. The performance tends to become a soliloquy or monologue, even if there should be lots of people around!

When you are young, it is very exciting to hear your own voice orating or to pose in front of a mirror. The feeling that you are a person — and perhaps a personage — can bring a feeling of great joy. But we should also realize that such a feeling is very often a screen to hide a sense of social inferiority and inner uncertainty, as was the case with Mussolini — and what happened to him past middle age! The Leo type is almost bound to experience either acute frustration or at least loneliness — whatever he or she may still show on the surface — if the qualities of the opposite sign, Aquarius, have not been assimilated to some degree.

Aquarius as a social sign, perhaps the most socially conscious of all zodiacal types. By social I mean that for the typical Aquarian the problems, conflicts, interests and welfare of the community (or any group with which he has become identified) are of vital importance. The Aquarian may be egocentric and selfish, but his self-centeredness requires the group as a field of operation. He assumes that he is the group — or at least its representative. His ego has become inflated into a group egoism.

If the Leo type of person can learn to function sincerely in terms of the interests, the values, the ideals of a community, he will be relieved to a large degree of old-age loneliness and perhaps self-insulated pride. He will learn to feel with people on a basis of equality and no longer of a dictator-to-subject or virtuoso-to-public relationship. If he can overcome his emotional yearning for self-expression or for personal creativity (and for progeny to rule over), the Leo personality may learn the, to him, difficult secret of sharing and true cooperation. In humility he will gain happiness; and tolerance will bring peace to his mind, radiance to his last years.

The Virgo Path
The keynote of the Virgo type of personality is overcoming through discipline or personal crises. If the person is either careful or wise, he may choose discipline rather than crises. Yet it is likely that there has been at the start either some sort of critical situation to overcome (perhaps because of ill health in youth or of a psychological parental complex) or else a deeply remembered example in one's close environment of how important discipline, personal care, hygiene, etc., are.

This often produces the fastidiousness of the Virgo type, a sense that danger of some sort — or contamination of body, mind or soul — must be watched for and avoided. In other cases a Virgo person may blunder helplessly into crises as if compelled to do so or may deliberately seek self-purging experiences (what the psychologists call catharsis) in order to experience the excitement or the struggle and the joy of overcoming and victory.

The result is, however, in most cases a lack of spontaneity and a characteristic aloofness — if not the long-suffering understanding look. Age tends to crystallize further this inhibited approach to life and to make of the look an often unattractive mask which keeps acquaintances away.

The cure is a good dose of Pisces's openness to the unknown and receptiveness. The Piscean is not afraid of contamination or of leaving the doors of his mind open for strangers to come in — unless, of course, many bad experiences have enforced caution! The Piscean person invites the Universe to enter his house and his soul. He often is too indiscriminate to see at first the difference between the Divine and the spooky.

To an older Virgo individual, the feeling of open welcome to all who knock is, however, most necessary in order to counteract his fastidiousness with any and all visitors. If this individual is the kind who loves the feel of crises, the need to go beyond his own small personal (and perhaps imaginary) crises is likewise very great. He must identify himself more with collective (social, national, religious) crises. He must feel himself participating in great causes. He must feel warm compassion and real sympathy — even for those who might contaminate his purity or bring heretic views to his mind. He must overcome his critical attitude.

At the last the Virgo person should learn to open to the presence of death, in a truly Piscean acceptance of the unknown and the beyond. He will then greet the mystery in happiness and peace, unconditionally, ready for whatever may come.

The Libra Path
As we come to the last six types in the zodiac, it should be clear to the reader that the problem of assimilating in later years the qualities of the complementary signs has already been defined by implication in the preceding analyses of the first six types. The Libra type, thus, will find in the already stated characterization of the Aries type the very qualities he particularly needs for experiencing happiness after the excitement of youth vanishes.

Above all the Libran must avoid Saturnian crystallization in old age, formalism, a set worship of cultural or social ideals. Reliance upon the community for his various needs should be overcome by a sense of creative freedom at some higher than usual level. The feeling of new departure, of perpetual transformation, of joyous individual discovery can then so reorganize the settling Libran person that he or she will accept the fading out of youthful beauty or the revolutionary ideals of a new generation — and, indeed, death itself — without a sense of breakdown and utter loss.

The Scorpio Path
For the person who has been completely dependent upon the feel of relationship with other people and perhaps upon sexual experiences, the waning period of life can mean tragedy and embittered isolation. The cure is, of course, to learn from the spontaneous and abundant productivity of the Taurus type how to let life pour through one's individual self, how to become simply and spontaneously attuned to the greater life of the Universe and God.

Truly the Taurean fecundity (already described in "The Taurus Path") cannot be experienced biologically by the Scorpio type in later years. But there is a higher fertility which does not involve a dependence upon intimate, emotional contact with other persons or a group. The soul alone can tap infinite reservoirs of cosmic energy and divine inspiration. There is a spiritual progeny to be had. The lover can become an inspirer for the youth; the sex-entranced, a God-radiating individual, a true mystic. The beloved is within and so is the ultimate happiness that needs no other.

The Sagattarius Path
If the Sagittarian person is always ready (as we saw under "Gemini") to let God, truth and the universal mind take form within his or her mind, this descent of vast and universal ideas can become an invasion. The individual may accept uncritically all high-sounding philosophical or religious statements as gospel of truth and become dogmatic and fanatic. He may be, in other cases, so fond of being where he is not (that is, of constant travel) that he actually belongs nowhere.

The antidote for him is the Gemini love for firsthand and well-defined knowledge born of personal experiences. The aging Sagittarian can easily become a phonograph record repeating sermons or quotations, recipes for holiness and lawful ways to reach the ultimate truth. These can sound very hollow after a while even to himself. He should learn to test truth and take capitals off many big words. He should look around him, just where he is, and instead of narrating his adventures in foreign lands or his visions, be a good neighbor and learn to love simple people and their everyday, matter-of-fact experiences.

In time this will bring a rich harvest of happiness and inner tranquility, a good foundation for old age.

The Capricorn Path
While describing the main features of the Cancer type of individual, I stressed that of being a limiting but clear and effective focus for the energies of life or for the vast collective trend and impulses of society. A home, an ego, a separate nation, a system of thought or ideology constitutes such a focalizing field of human activity.

These may not appeal too much to the Capricornian youth who is more naturally attracted to the big fields in which men meet and act together in their quest for power, prestige and publicity. But in due time, the fires of youthful ambition burn less compulsively; and more attention is paid, or ought to be paid, to what is close at hand and more easily known and felt. Happiness and fulfillment may then be seen to lie where one can walk-across the familiar field, rather than in the racing speed of jet planes flying over vast territories which the flyer cannot experience actually and whose characteristics he can not assimilate as real food for inner growth.

One dies at home, rather than in the market place; and it is important to learn to die in peace and fulfillment, among the treasures one has actually possessed and enjoyed to the full. The home can be broadened, made more inclusive; the ego can become a mouthpiece for God to speak through. What matters is the quality of the use — not how big the field or the instrument. To know this brings happiness to the Capricornian.

The Aquarius Path
The eagerly social Aquarian type of person can easily lose himself or herself in seeking to become identified with big causes or simply with the activities of a club, the success of a charity organization or social welfare. As youthful enthusiasm bubbles away, it should be most important for the progressive Aquarian to realize that what he gives to progress or to any group is, first and last, himself. Society needs leaders who can really lead because they are truly individuals with imagination and with a sense of power as individuals, not merely joiners and followers.

As one grows older, the beloved cause may seem empty, the social service somewhat futile. But the self remains always valid and true and full if it can be made valid, truthful and rich with the personal experiences of one who has lived as an" individual! Leo treasures should, therefore, be gathered by the middle-aged Aquarian before the capacity for richly experiencing fades out gradually. The matured Aquarian can give of himself to society — rather than being absorbed or entranced by the ebbs and flows of social, collective trends and fashions — but only if he has a self to give! Happiness in old age flows from what one is, not from what one has become absorbed into.

The Pisces Path
The extreme openness of the typical Piscean personality can mean many things. Here again it is the quality of the openness that really counts. Such a type of person usually feels himself or herself deeply influenced by social, national, religious forces; by events which affect the community, visible or invisible. The Piscean senses the collective trend of his people, his time. He easily identifies himself with the overtones of what is actually happening; he feels ahead of himself and of his times. He may, thus, help to lead his people, his nation, his culture out of a crisis, the end of which he already anticipates.

In so doing, self-sacrifice or martyrdom is often easier for the true Piscean type than an everyday, efficient work of service. He may lack technical perfection or even effective skill because he sees too far ahead of himself or of the immediate need. He is so taken by the sense of being an actor in a vast life drama — whether between two worlds or between past and future — that he has no interest in learning carefully his part. As a result he may fail to play the very part he had dreamed he should play. This may mean a sad or lonely end of life.

The Virgo sense of discrimination and eagerness for technical perfection are, therefore, the very things he must learn. Even if, during youth or middle age, the Piscean lost his way in mysterious mirages or through his half-baked performance, there should still be time for him to face, in a true Virgo spirit, his personal crisis.

As the Piscean emerges victorious from this crisis, he may then contribute effectively to the social crisis or the spiritual reform. There is no happiness for anyone weeping over the suffering of enslaved people or starving Korean orphans; but the simple tasks of service well done and the small acts of self-overcoming can give a rich reward of peace and inner happiness, as "the day is done."

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