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Adolescence Date Published: by Kathie Garcia
Bio: Kathie Garcia

In addition to being a professional astrologer, Kathie Garcia has also been a teacher for over 25 years. She used her background in Montessori methods and her experience with children to write Child*Star, a computerized astrological interpretation writer from Matrix Software.

The Wheel of Life

Astrologers often refer to the astrological chart as "The Wheel." The wheel of life tells a story of the unfoldment of a specific lifestream during a specific time period with a destiny particular to that soul. In the telling of the tale of past, present and future possibilities, the astrologer must illuminate the cycle of unfoldment through which the individual is currently passing. Each cycle of life is a story within a story. We say, "let me tell you the story of my childhood." That an old woman was once a babe or that a toddler will soon be a man is hard to imagine at times. One of the most critical stages in human development is the cycle of unfoldment away from childhood and toward adulthood. We call this period adolescence. "Adolescence" means "to continue to grow" and is a critical turning point on the road of life. Adolescence is almost always a challenging time, not just for the youth him/herself but also for the parents and the authorities within the community of which the adolescent is a part. The Wheel affords some necessary objectivity and serves as a reminder that the adolescent isn't a teenager forever, but is a soul on a journey.


Imagine the line that draws the circle on the Wheel as a road.

Visualize yourself walking along the path drawn by the line. You've come from one place. You're moving toward another. You started at the moment of the birthcry, your entrance into the world. This place we call the Ascendant, the natural house of Aries. Our wheel is divided into 12 houses, marked by the zodiacal signs and symbolizing stages of experience. The first (Aries), seventh (Libra), fourth (Cancer) and tenth (Capricorn) houses are called Cardinal Houses. These represent major changes of gear.


Jupiter symbolizes opportunity. If we begin the walk at Aries under a 12 year Jupiter cycle, at age 12 we've had an opportunity to sample something of all the areas of experience represented by the wheel. We begin the walk again, but at a different octave of experience. Ideally, the twelve year old graduates from childhood into puberty feeling good about him/herself, secure within the family structure and respected within the community. At age 12, s/he may feel motivated in a certain direction. Kids who have some sense of purpose at this age often do best regardless of whether they end up doing something totally different later on. Kids without a rudder often begin complaining and blaming and are more prone to detour. The sensitive parent will witness evidences of career direction and will assist the child in getting him/herself off the ground.


The other marker of time is Saturn, the tester of our souls, the teacher, the disciplinarian who trains us to master time and space. Saturn has a 29 year cycle, so in our Saturn mandala we can divide the Wheel into 4 quadrants of roughly 7 and a quarter years each. At age 141/2 transiting Saturn opposes the natal Saturn position. Saturn is halfway through its round, and is now at the gates of Libra. This is called the first Saturn opposition, a time of major adjustment. The soul emerges from childhood and from the primary care of the parents as described by the first 6 "personal" signs in the bottom half of the chart. The youth is now midpoint between Cancer (the mother and the home) and Capricorn (career, society, the externalization of talents in the world). Libra , Scorpio, and Sagittarius form the third quadrant of our Wheel. They, and their complements, Aries, Taurus, and Gemini, tell the story of the soul's journey from age 14 to 21.

One of the great boons and bombs of adolescence is the descent of karma. Resources and conflicts inherent to the soul's makeup and destiny appear. As the youth emerges from the family into a more individualized sense of self, s/he meets up with aspects of the personality that may not have been evident before or perhaps were there in glimpses, but now are quite striking.


Aries is the "me" sign. Libra is the "we" sign. During the Libra years (ages 14 to 16), identity is very tied into relationships. This sudden acute awareness on the horizontal me/we bar of the Wheel causes the youth to redefine him/herself in relationship to the family and to society, represented by the vertical Cancer/ Capricorn bar. The persons with whom the youth becomes involved may reflect subconscious or unresolved aspects of the youth's psychology or karmic history. This is the time to bring forth not only relationship skills, but a positive sense of self and the development of the heart.

Parents must be wiser than they ever have been, and their capacity to love may be stretched to the limit. Parents may feel rejected or bewildered by their child's problems or changes. The child may expect unconditional love and not understand the emotional reactions of the parents. The marital relationship takes on added dimensions and trials when husband and wife become father and mother. Each child, by his/her nature and karma, brings a different challenge to the couple. When the child enters puberty, the whole family makes the shift. Now father may also become older brother to his son as he recalls the steps of his own journey through adolescence. The mother likewise can become older sister to her daughter. Conflict between the parents often results in treating the youth inappropriately as equals or subconsciously making the youth a substitute for the spouse in some way. Situations involving stepparents and divorced parents, who may not think alike or even like one another, call for even greater adjustment. This can be extremely confusing, and is one reason why so many kids feel compelled to separate out from their parents at this age.

Moreover, if the parents are in their mid forties, they have arrived at the Saturn opposition again and must wrestle with their own unresolved psychological patterns from the teenage years. They must redefine their own lives individually and in relationship to each other, as they learn to let go of the bird that soon will fly out of the nest. Generational astrology, as well as the nature of the times in which the soul enters adolescence add to destiny's design. Parents born 1942 to 1955 have Neptune in Libra. Although the baby boomers were really into love and relationship, their formulas led to much confusion and an unprecedented divorce rate. Many of their children, those born between 1971 and 1984, have Pluto in Libra. Their destiny is to regenerate the marriage relationship. Then there's the matter of the youth's personal astrology. Some cycles happen once in a lifetime and can be devastating and/or fabulously transformational. It helps for parent and youth to know the map.

It's vital that teenagers feel empowered and recognized. The first Saturn opposition can be extremely frustrating. The youth feels ready in so many ways; his/her body is mature, s/he begins to separate out from the family worldview, s/he may be helping out with the family business or earning money after school. Some kids are driving cars, others are away at boarding schools. Kids learn that they have to be more accountable. The price to pay for rebellion can be quite high. Society won't allow us to remain protected in the nest forever. But the pre-adult is not yet an adult. S/he's not emotionally ready to make it alone, nor do most youth in our society have the means to be financially independent.


At ages 16 to 19, the adolescent travels through Scorpio. Scorpio initiates lessons in love, in giving and taking, in sharing and owning . The ability to say "no," to control overpowering desires and to delay gratification will depend greatly upon childhood training. The family's values and those of the youth's friends or peer group are likely to clash.

Relationships formed during these years can be extremely magnetic. They could represent ties from other lifetimes, or represent a deep need to resolve certain hidden aspects of psychology. Sexual urges can be compelling. For many, the Scorpio years can begin a detour that lasts for decades! Repressed emotions, particularly those related to pain and anger, are likely to surface for resolution. Much healing can happen now. This is a good time for the youth to somehow think about and care for others, to develop compassion for life. The parents' wisdom and love ideally help liberate the child from intense and potentially destructive karmic tendencies that can arise at this time. Rigid parental reactions are likely to result in power struggles. Parental guidance related to sex is still a major disaster for many households which is unfortunate because the media, school sex ed classes and the school of hard knocks are questionable substitute teachers. Because Pluto was in Scorpio was 10 years, from 1983 to 1995, this generation of youth have had an intense and early exposure to sex and violence. The last part of the Scorpio experience coincides with the first taste of adult freedom under the law at age 18. This is when kids can take off or really revel in partying, sex and drugs. Understanding of global matters needs to be sharpened. It's essential that the youth learn about the handling of money. As we make it through the sometimes turbulent Scorpio seas, the journey continues. .


At age 19, the youth enters Sagittarius, the philosopher's sign.

Perhaps s/he's halfway through college or training on a job. The teenage years are coming to a close and greater initiations into adulthood loom on the horizon. The vision of the future should begin to come more into focus. S/he's got plenty to think of as this time approaches. The youth who has been guided now comes to new realizations of old wisdom. The challenges of the times in which s/he reaches adulthood, the destiny of the generation and personal astrological cycles all come into play. At age 21, the youth will come to Capricorn, an adult contemporary of the parents at last.



© Copyright: Kathie Garcia





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