The Chiron Return: The mid-life “crisis” is actually based on astrology
Known as your Chiron Return, it’s not unlike your Saturn Return but typically arrives between the age of 46 and 52 and is an opportunity to heal.
When was the last time you saw the expression “mid-life” when it wasn’t followed by the word “crisis”? “Mid-life” implies having reached a peak and preparing to freewheel, involuntarily, down towards the final chapter. It’s quite depressing, isn’t it, and yet it gets used all the time. I’ve grown to dislike the term and so I want to encourage you to reframe just how you think about it too.
There’s absolutely no point denying that we reach a point in our lives when we start to question things in a much more profound way. We begin a process of searching for answers and looking for our true purpose and calling more than ever.
I have clients who come to my practice apologetically using phrases like; “I feel lost, is this all I have to look forward to? How did I end up in this career, in this relationship? I’m stuck, I simply have no idea what my purpose is or where to look for it.” They find themselves in a place where there is as much road behind them as lies ahead of them and they want to be sure that they are following the best route.
This is such a critical time in our lives as many of us just don’t know how to respond to how we are feeling, or where to go to look for help finding the answers. We end up feeling alone and deeply frustrated.
These frustrations can often lead us to making drastic life-altering decisions such as walking away from close relationships or careers, in an effort to reorganise our lives, by making significant changes so that we feel validated and worthwhile.
In asking what we are going to do with the rest of our lives we can’t always see that we are in fact crying out for a profound transformation to take place.
Call it by its name
But what if I told you, that this period in your life, from the ages of 46-53 years, actually has a name and has its roots in astrology? It’s called The Chiron Return and comes from the placement of the smallest planet in the solar system, Chiron, at the exact time of your birth. It plays a huge and distinctive influence in how you manoeuvre through this period of your life.
The Chiron Return happens just once in your lifetime and occurs when the planet returns to the place it was located in when you were born. It usually stays there for a period of seven or eight years.
So just what is Chiron and what exactly does it do? Well, known as the wounded healer, it helps us release and heal something from our past we don’t know how to deal with. It provides us with an opportunity to let go.
The issues and challenges that you may have faced at earlier stages in your life, say at the ages of 28 (also known as your Saturn return), come back up again for a final clearing and healing during the years of 46-53.
Can you see yet just how it has the potential to be one of the most transformational times in your entire life?
What can it do
It can provide you with multiple opportunities to heal and to discover the gifts hidden within your wounds. It represents a critical turning point in your life and offers another chance for you to align with your soul’s true intention.
Anything that keeps resurfacing, that still needs to be healed will come back up at this time of your life. You may even experience an intense healing crisis or be left facing the consequences of choices and decisions that you’ve made in the past, but you can also experience a real sense of completion, of coming back home to you and your true calling.
When you give your wounds space and view them from this larger perspective, you can then fully come to terms with just who it is you have become.
This gives you greater clarity on the possible meaning of what exactly you want from your life and gives you permission to release the destructive habits and finally accept the parts of yourself that until now you’ve denied or ignored.
It will also leave you feeling grateful as you acknowledge that there’s an inevitability to it all and that your life simply couldn’t have unfolded any other way. There really is enormous comfort in this knowledge.
As the pain of the past resurfaces, which it will, you may need time so that you can grieve before you prepare to create your future free from your old fears. You might also need to let go of long-held hopes and dreams that no longer reflect the person you’ve become. That letting go process can be difficult.
As Chiron approaches the return, you may begin to carry out your own life audit. You know that everything you have lived through has made you who you are. Now you get to take your best lessons, based on that wisdom and experience and carry it forward excitedly with you into the next chapter.
However, let’s not for a moment ignore that this time in our lives also marks the beginning of some very disruptive, challenging and most uncomfortable physical changes within our bodies; but know that Chiron encourages us to regain some control by choosing what we are going to do with all this time we have left!
Tough love energy
The more you release now the more space you create for new beginnings and new opportunities. You can always heal after this transition happens, but it might get harder because as you get older you get more stuck in your ways and attached to your way of doing and feeling things.
The Chiron Return shows you your core wounds and long-standing unresolved issues but remember, it also provides you with the desire to address them. It adds urgency to your healing by offering you a simple choice – you can acknowledge your wounds and hurts and address them or you can avoid facing up to them and hide. You can accept responsibility for your life or you choose not to.
But if you don’t, then you are handing over the power to others, which will result in you stepping further into your victimhood role. By not accepting responsibility for our life circumstances we greatly reduce our power to change them. You did not have this choice in your younger years but you have it now. If you accept yourself as you are then you can home to yourself fully. Choose wisely.
If you are approaching, in the midst, or coming out the other side of this stage of your life then my hope is that now you understand the Chiron Return you will also understand yourself better. You may feel better prepared to face and heal those wounds or it might even serve to explain what is happening in your life right now.
Either way, the Chiron Return is to be welcomed not feared and in the words of Carl Jung, “Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakens”.
Niamh Ennis is Ireland’s leading Transformation Coach and Founder of The RESET for Change 3 Month 1:1 Private Coaching Programme for women going through their own Chiron Return and host of The TOUGH LOVE ENERGY™ Podcast. She’s known for her practical solutions to life’s challenges and her ability to tell you not what you want to hear but always what you need.