The Quarter Life Crisis refers to the period of your life, beginning in your early twenties and extending to the late twenties, when you have officially reached adulthood.  In crossing over this threshold your life has come to a turning point, where you learn to embrace not only the freedoms, but also the responsibilities now entering your life. It’s a phase each and every one of us has to go through, though what is unique is that it’ll affect each generation differently, according to the planetary energies you’ve been born with, in particular the energies of the slow-moving, social and generational planets.

If you are currently in your early twenties (or maybe you have children who are) this can be a time of enormous stress, anxiety and pressure. You want to break free, do your own thing and march to the beat of your own drum. Most importantly, you now have individual rights and thus the sanction of independent action, which could result in major changes. Since you may still be insecure and uncertain about the future and life in general, as well as only partly aware of the implications and consequences your actions will entail, the choices and changes you will make at this juncture may not always be the smartest ones or in your best interest. Some may be irreversible or stay with you for a long time, as per example getting married, becoming a parent, breaking up a course of study or breaking the law.

Your dilemma is perfectly reflected in the overlapping of two planetary cycles – Saturn’s and Uranus’ – with both of them at quarter points in their respective cycles; – a first-quarter square for Uranus and a third-quarter square for Saturn*. The former has been termed “a crisis in action” and the latter “a crisis in consciousness” and that significant distinction pretty much explains why you, on the one hand need to follow the call to establish your independence, while on the other, you aren’t quite ready yet for this undertaking, because you haven’t completed the process of full maturation. You may have grown up on the physical level, but your ego and consciousness development is still forming. Subsequently, when reality differs too much from what you’ve expected and are prepared for, the ‘shock’ could leave you in a state of disorientation.

Factoring greatly in this scenario for the current generation is the unstable socio-economical situation, which makes it even more challenging to follow a clear-cut career path or to establish a self-sufficient lifestyle. However, each generation is endowed with potentials and qualities to find ways to overcome the challenges of their time, as each generation has a purpose and function to fulfill in the grander scheme of things.  If you are currently undergoing the quarter life crisis, you are a member of the Pluto in Scorpio and Neptune in Capricorn generation with either Uranus and Saturn in Sagittarius or Capricorn (also classified under generation Y – the millenials). You are an extremely resourceful generation of young adults equipped with an extraordinary capacity to bounce back and pull yourselves up. Your intensity, depth and obsessive tendencies will assist you well in discovering your true passions, tapping into your own power, probing your psyches and conducting some serious self-assessment. As a generation, your attitude toward sharing allows you to merge resources, i.e. carpooling, cohabitating, lending, renting, bartering. Born into fast-changing environs, you have developed an indomitable will and infallible skills, which are both practical and technology-savvy. Although you have a range of options – among them becoming self-employed and/or business owners, your expectations are realistic, your visions are feasible and your definition of success and power may lean towards the commonwealth, which also opens you for acquiring experience through volunteering, co-ops, part-time work, internships and in particular for career changes.

Humanitarian, charitable and talented in planning, organizing, orchestrating, administering, managing and executing, your generation will take networking to the next level, thereby utilizing your capabilities to the fullest to further the cause of humanity, locally and globally. With transiting Pluto, agent of transformation, now in conjunction to your generation’s Neptune in Capricorn, there is the press for group integration through embodiment of your ideals, your vision and the implementation of your resources and universalism. The inner search is intensifying for your generation, you want to follow your calling and make yourselves useful in a degenerating society, amidst an economic downturn and global crises of epic proportions.

Having recently experienced your second Jupiter return, you’ve become more aware of your intrinsic values and assets as well as your worth to society and the mutual benefits of this understanding. Also contributing to this pivotal phase you’re currently undergoing is the so-called “cardinal climax” configuration that brings another encounter with Saturn and Uranus in an extremely challenging alignment with Pluto (momentarily conjunct your Neptune) that will test your inherent strengths and unlock your birth potential in addition to any latent capability you and members of your generation may have. Your group purpose is to concretize your communality and your evolutionary potential will allow you to transcend borders, limits and other restrictions and unify behind a common goal. In the same sense, your egalitarian values will have you focus on your commonalities instead on your differences. As opposed to previous generations, you will group together, ensuring your interconnectivity and group solidarity.

Conformer Saturn, traveling the relationship sign Libra, squares transformer Pluto in the consolidating sign Capricorn and will soon oppose reformer Uranus, in the self-assertive sign Aries – a setup that constitutes the cardinal climax configuration and to which the expansive energy of Jupiter will add even more explosiveness. These energies are pushing the collective and the individual to restructure where outmoded forms have failed and to rearrange relationship and power dynamics to create the necessary impact on your generation to ‘awaken’, accept your collective responsibility and emerge onto the social scene as an influential force to be counted on and reckoned with in the struggle between conservative and progressive trends, rather than just reacting passively and dwelling on negativity or frustration due to the disappointing and discouraging experiences you will inevitably go through. When Jupiter joins Uranus in Aries and triggers the challenging configuration, the urge for breakthroughs, specific solutions, radical and lasting changes will be amplified and will also spread, thereby boosting your determination, your enterprising spirit and moreover rousing your quest to give meaning to your life. Your birth chart provides information about your individual journey and vocation and how this fits in with your group or social purpose as well as with the larger themes confronting the collective.

 The following are a few suggestions to help you steer safely and sanely through these trying times:

  • Get career information and conduct research: Talk with professors, alumni, and career services, schedule informational interviews.
  • Develop a career network: Start building and expanding relationships with people who can help you in your career or with your chosen path.
  • Cultivate career skills: Learn how to network, make good first impressions, write a resume, answer job interview questions, negotiate job offers.
  • Start early and weigh different options. You may even want to take some business classes or other courses or go to evening school.
  • Find a mentor or get advice from an elder, an authority figure, someone with experience.  Go on a journey of self-discovery to learn more about yourself, your likes and values, your dreams and where you picture yourself in the future.


*Human life is a process that operates individually and collectively according to celestial movements, which have rhythm and structure, and can be measured as well as giving meaning using cycles of experience. A cycle projected into space takes the form of a circumference, which can be divided in any number of segments or arcs. The four-fold rhythm (correlating among other things to the seasons, the elements and the four directions) basically places a square – each corner has a 90-degree arc – within the circle. In the same sense as spring is different from fall, has the first quarter square a different quality than the last or third quarter square. These spatial distinctions are an integral and important part of astrology.  

 Further reading links:


NOTE: This article is featured in Look After Saturn and Saturn Will Look After You as part of the 2010 International Astrology Day Blogathon. The purpose of this web-based event is to create a permanent library of articles about how to deal with the stresses of the Cardinal T-Square of Pluto, Saturn and Uranus. The main page for the Blogathon collections is at The 2010 International Astrology Day Blog-A-Thon.

 The URL for the Saturn collection is:

The URL for the main blogathon collection is:

 @All rights reserved by Verena Donath.

My biography:

I was born and raised in the east bloc of Europe in a predominantly materialistic society, governed under a socialist system, which called itself a democracy, but oppressed individual rights and freedoms guaranteed in their constitution. Therefore, it wasn’t possible for me to realize my career ideals or take a course of study that would have suited my interests and talents. Only when I crossed the ocean – literally and metaphorically – a door opened that wasn’t there before and that led me on a path to find my true vocation through the study of astrology. For this purpose I enrolled at the former OCA (now IAA), where I completed almost the entire curriculum and also taught as an instructor. During my time at this institution I began to write at first monthly astrology columns and later daily blogs about this topic. I also accepted the post of Media Director for one year. Currently, I’m blogging on a pretty regular basis in my spare time. It is my goal to share my knowledge with others and to provide advice and counsel to the best of my abilities.

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