Editorial  

February 17, 2005

Longevity and the Modern Planets

We live in exciting times.  The technological advances in health care, surgeries, and increased awareness of forces that are responsible for improved quality of life has significantly and positively influenced the average human life expectancy. It is important to recognize that until the eighteenth century the average life expectancy has been less than thirty years or so.  Then in the eighteenth century the rate of human life expectancy slowly started rising. 

The outer modern planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, were (compared to other planets of our solar system) recently discovered.  Until they were discovered they were not part of our collective conscious, and therefore, their influence on our lives was insignificant. English astronomer William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus in 1781.  Then in 1846 Neptune was discovered followed by the discovery of the planet Pluto in 1930.   The rapid technological advancement began in the last quarter of the eighteenth century with the advent of steam engine. With successive discoveries of Neptune and Pluto in the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries respectively we have experienced exponential growth in technology. For instance, while we take air travel so much for granted, the invention of airplane occurred only about hundred years ago. And then came television, computers, satellite communications, and so many other inventions, and since then our lives have been profoundly changed the way we live today.

Until Uranus was discovered the slowest moving planet known to us was Saturn with its thirty-year period for orbiting around the Sun.  Itís interesting to note that before the discovery of Uranus the average human life expectancy was around thirty and in the next century the average human life expectancy started rising.  It takes on average eighty-four years for Uranus to orbit around the Sun.  After itís discovery the first orbit of Uranus around the Sun was completed by 1865, and then it totally became the part of our collective conscious.  It is after that year the average human life expectancy passed over 30 years.

With the similar logic until Neptune was discovered the slowest moving planet known to us was Uranus.  The average period of rotation for Neptune around the Sun is about 168 years.  And therefore, after itís discovery the complete rotation of Neptune around the Sun will be approximately completed by the year 2014.  By then Neptune will totally be a part of our collective conscious. Thus by year 2014, according to logic applied earlier for Saturn-Uranus case, the average human life expectancy is expected to surpass eighty four years.  Presently average life expectancy in the United States is about 75 years, and for world as a whole, the average life expectancy is not too far behind. In light of current state of human living conditions and rapid growth of technological advances itís very probable that collectively we will surpass the average life expectancy of 84 years by year 2014.

With the similar reasoning, until the planet Pluto was discovered the slowest moving planet known to us was Neptune.  It takes on average about 268 years for Pluto to orbit around the Sun, and therefore, it will be approximately year 2200 before Pluto completes itís first orbit around the Sun after its discovery.  Applying the same logic as we did before for Uranus-Neptune pair, it wouldn't be surprising if we surpass average human life expectancy of 168 years by year 2200.

 

March 14, 2004

Living

The other day during the course of consulting, one of my clients asked me, "Why is it that only during difficult periods I had I felt like I lived my life far more fully?" A very perceptive and thought provoking, and perhaps seemingly abnormal question! No one has asked me such question before. 

Although I tried to explain him that it was perhaps due to his unique personal characteristics associated with his rising sign and planets affecting the first house of his natal chart--I confess I wasn't very satisfied myself about the answer I gave him. His question stayed on my mind.  It forced me to reflect on my own life. Then as I was reflecting on my own life I really could see the parallels and possibly the truth behind it. 

Astrologically speaking, typically the difficult periods occur during the times when the predominant planets in the birth chart make squares or oppositions to the natal positions of the planets which are unfavorably placed in the chart. And also during the unfavorable planetary cycles which are based on Moon's position at the time of the birth. It is during these times we are challenged! The experiences underlining such challenges threaten the state of our security and comfort that we have been clinging to it so dearly. Until such crisis occur in our lives we enjoy our daily comforts and material pleasures. But when crisis occur (and depending on their severity) suddenly we are thrown in oceans of pain and despair. It's as if we are being tested by nature or by our own fate.  

Why are we being tested?  What's the purpose?

Imagine for a minute that such challenges in our lives were totally absent.  Then what's the life is going to be like?  Each one of us would then enjoy the daily comforts and material pleasure.  There wouldn't be place for incentive to do anything else. You think everyone would then be happily lived...forever! I wonder if that would really be true!  If there's no challenge wouldn't we all be doing nothing but attending to satisfy our senses and body though material pleasure until we die?  Wouldn't that be boring? Wouldn't we become like living-dead? 

But when we are being challenged (or tested) our focus immediately shifts to meet those challenges. When our "Self" is challenged doesn't it tend to bring out the best in "Us"? Doesn't life force flow though us? Doesn't it provide us with an opportunity to have a glimpse in understanding who we really are?  Doesn't it make us feel that life is worth living and that there's more to life than just enjoying daily comforts and material pleasures? Until such challenges occur in our lives do we really know who we are? 

Reflect on the crisis you had in your lives and how you faced them.  In most cases (especially the ones when you rose to the occasion) when you look back on those life experiences don't you feel good about yourself? Didn't you learn about yourself little more and understand yourself little better?   Perhaps through this very understanding of ourselves through our life experiences when we face crisis ...we find meaning to our lives.  

Then ...such crisis are really not bad after all!  Seems like such challenges (or crisis) are blessings in disguise, and they become a necessary condition for living a full life as they help us in bringing out the best in us. A true sign of life!