Three Master Cycles
of Jacob's Wheel

Critical Junctures
on the Path of Life

The Jacob's Wheel system maps out within the dimension of Time an infinite ascending and descending spiral of 'wheels within wheels', or in other words—cycles within cycles. When the Jacob's Wheel spiral is superimposed onto the life of a human-being it reveals certain ages where major transitions occur. At these special times new archetypal energy influences come into play and old ones are left behind. The main table below shows the ages where those major transitions occur as well as the nature of the archetypal forces entering in to our lives at those times.

The left-hand column of the table lists the age (in years and months) that each cycle begins. Read across horizontally to see what three archetypes are in force during the period from the current 'start age' to the next 'start age'. Some archetypes remain in force for seven years (and therefore extend across several rows) while others are of shorter duration. Thus, the larger cycles overlap (and in a certain sense contain and dominate) the smaller ones.

Each spoke provides a general influence as suggested by the keywords in the small table below, but the cycles also have their own astrological archetypes (as shown in the main table).

Looking at the table you will see that after every seven years we experience a very significant change in the archetypal Jacob's Wheel forces that are effecting our lives. That is because it is only at the seven year transition point that change occurs at all three levels of major cyclic activity.

Note: It should be remembered that the astrological archetypes of these cycles need to be considered in light of their placement in your own astrological birth-chart for a more personally meaningful interpretation.

The cycles are colour-coded according to the particular spoke (1 to 7) of Jacob's Wheel that they belong to. The 'colour key' to the main table is as follows...

1st Spoke 2nd Spoke 3rd Spoke 4th Spoke 5th Spoke 6th Spoke 7th Spoke
New beginnings.
Action. Will.
Mental activity.

The influences of the seven spokes are significant in that they provide a general atmosphere within which the astrological archetypes (i.e. of the cycles) are expressed and experienced. For example, a time of particular interest (as revealed in the table below) is the period from age 47 years/3 months until the 49th birthday. During that time we are working with the cycle archetypes Taurus-Virgo-Taurus all of which occur on the 7th spoke (coloured violet) of Jacob's Wheel.

Start Age 7 Year Cycle 3.5 Year Cycle 1.75 Year Cycle
0yr Moon Moon Moon
1yr 9mth Uranus
3yr 6mth Uranus Saturn
5yr 3mth Jupiter
7yr Uranus Saturn Mars
8yr 9mth Aries
10yr 6mth Jupiter Taurus
12yr 3mth Sun
14yr Saturn Mars Libra
15yr 9mth Neptune
17yr 6mth Aries Gemini
19yr 3mth Cancer
21yr Jupiter Taurus Leo
22yr 9mth Virgo
24yr 6mth Sun Pisces
26yr 3mth Venus
28yr Mars Libra Sagittarius
29yr 9mth Mercury
31yr 6mth Neptune Aquarius
33yr 3mth Capricorn
35yr Aries Gemini Scorpio
36yr 9mth Moon
38yr 6mth Cancer Uranus
40yr 3mth Saturn
42yr Taurus Leo Jupiter
43yr 9mth Mars
45yr 6mth Virgo Aries
47yr 3mth Taurus
49yr Sun Pisces Sun
50yr 9mth Libra
52yr 6mth Venus Neptune
54yr 3mth Gemini
56yr Libra Sagittarius Cancer
57yr 9mth Leo
59yr 6mth Mercury Virgo
61yr 3mth Pisces
63yr Neptune Aquarius Venus
64yr 9mth Sagittarius
66yr 6mth Capricorn Mercury
68yr 3mth Aquarius
70yr Gemini Scorpio Capricorn
71yr 9mth Scorpio
73yr 6mth Moon Moon
75yr 3mth Uranus
77yr Cancer Uranus Saturn

You will notice that the 7th spoke influence gets increasingly strong from age 42 until age 49. Generally speaking, this is a period of inner reflection and growing spiritual awareness that leads to a 'turning point' and a new beginning as the 1st spoke influence (colour-coded red) is entered at age 49. A major concentration of 1st spoke energy (encompassing the archetypes Sun-Pisces-Sun) is then experienced and lasts until age 50 years/9 months, but the 1st spoke influence remains active (in lessening intensity) right up until the 56th birthday.

Note: In human terms, age 49 is comparable in significance to age 0—that is, to the age when physical birth, or 'reincarnation' occurs. At birth the 1st spoke archetypes are Moon-Moon-Moon, while at age 49 they are Sun-Pisces-Sun. The rebirth that occurs at age 49 is a 'rebirth in consciousness' (i.e. it is 'solar' in nature) unlike the 'lunar' rebirth that occurs at age 0.

It is obvious that during the Taurus-Virgo-Taurus period the dominant archetype is Taurus while Virgo also contributes its energy, but with less emphasis. Therefore, issues related to the theme of personal values, desires and resources (i.e. Taurean issues) are a major concern during this time, but so too are issues concerning work and health due to the influence of the Virgo archetype. The house positions of both these astrological archetypes (i.e. Taurus and Virgo) need to be examined in your own birth-chart in order to discover what specific areas of your personal life will be effected.

Note: The length of a cycle determines the relative significance of the evolutionary (and/or creative) process that it represents. Some personal issues are deeply rooted, take longer to resolve, and therefore require a longer cycle. Similarly, some creative enterprises are 'monumental' in scope and require a longer cycle to complete. In this sense, the length of a cycle determines the relative importance (from the perspective of your 'soul') of the cycle in your life.

Taurus and Virgo are two of the three archetypes that appear on the 7th spoke of Jacob's Wheel, and you will see from the adjacent table that we experience their cycles quite early on in our lives. However, the final 7th spoke archetype—Scorpio—is not experienced until we reach age 35. Interestingly, age 35 to age 36 years/9 months (see table) happens to be the time period of the 'Pluto square' transit for the generation of people born with Pluto in Virgo. The elongated shape of Pluto's elliptical orbit determines this as being the youngest age that any generation can experience their 'Pluto square Pluto' transit. It is significant here because Pluto is the modern ruler of Scorpio.

It appears therefore, that age 35 is the 'lower age limit' required to be reached before a human-being can 'safely' undergo the significant kinds of transformation that accompany a major Jacob's Wheel Scorpio cycle (as well as the Pluto square Pluto transit). The Jacob's Wheel Scorpio cycle does not occur again until the age of 70. We receive our most potent dose of the Scorpio archetype from age 71 years/9 months to 73 years/6 months. At that time two major cycles of Scorpio overlap. (See the table.) This age also happens to be close to the current average life expectancy of a human-being.

Age 73 years/6 months is another time of 'rebirth'—i.e. from the 7th spoke to the 1st spoke. It differs however, in nature and scope, to the experience we have at age 49. Looking at the table you will notice that the transition at age 73 years/6 months involves the same archetype that is in force at physical birth (i.e. age 0)—that is, the Moon. You will also notice that it occurs on a level below (in terms of cycle length) our original physical birth. In other words, it is a 'little rebirth' that involves themes pertaining to the Moon archetype and which, of course, can include the need for physical nurture and care. Physical death is certainly not a 'given' at this time, but the condition of the 'etheric body' (represented by the Moon) is a focus, and physical death can occur during this period if the etheric body is unwilling or unable to maintain its 'vitalizing' connection to the physical body. Statistics show that many souls do choose to take the option of physical death at this cycle juncture. The fact that the Gemini archetype overshadows this 'little rebirth' at age 73 years/6 months suggests that our prevailing 'mental condition', and the 'measure of light and darkness' within our psyche at that age, is a big influence that effects the outcome (and the nature of our experience) of this important process of transition.

If you look again at the table you will see that another 'little rebirth' occurs between age 24 years/6 months and age 26 years/3 months. This rebirth experience (or 'initiation') pre-empts and reflects, on a smaller scale, the major 'solar' initiation that we experience after turning 49. It involves a process of ego development, but is not as deeply transformative as the process we go through after our 49th birthday because the latter involves larger cycles.

Notice that Jupiter is the 'overshadowing' archetype during the little initiation that commences at age 24 years/6 months. Jupiter's influence here suggests that the 'solar rebirth' initiation that follows age 24 years/6 months involves a change on 'higher mental' levels, a changed perspective of one's current life-direction, and a changed mental focus. Of course, this very general and basic interpretation needs to be modified and elaborated according to the placement of Jupiter in each individual's natal chart.

Because the table (and the Jacob's Wheel system) is 'fractal' in structure, the Jupiter archetype also overshadows the major initiation that begins at age 49. It is not visible in the table because I have not included (in a column) the larger master cycle of which it is a part. If had chosen to include it you would see a large green rectangle containing Jupiter, positioned to the left of Taurus and the Sun, and signifying a fourteen year cycle that extends from age 42 to age 56.

The table above reveals many interesting cycle combinations that occur at key ages in a person's life. It provides valuable information that we can use to help us better understand our major evolutionary processes and thus to see the events of our lives as part of a larger perspective. The kabbalistic astrological information set forth in this table is also contained in my free Jacob's Wheel software.

Powerful Times of Life
Age 26½ & Age 53

There is a certain Jacob's Wheel phase combination that occurs only twice in each person's lifetime and that appears to sometimes coincide with a major crisis in consciousness, leading to personal transformation, and increased self-awareness.

[Note: These kinds of powerful changes may often coincide with this particular phase combination, but more research is needed to determine if that is indeed the case. Feedback regarding your own experience of these critical times of life would be much appreciated.]

This special phase combination occurs when the Jacob's Wheel Sun and Venus cycles are concurrent at age 26½ and at age 53.

The transformation that begins at age 26½ is of two months duration, while a longer four month process of change begins on the 53rd birthday.

The phases involved are:

Sun-Pluto [2/6]
Venus-Pluto [1/4]

At both times of life the Sun-Pluto phase is the longer of the two phases, and in both cases the Venus-Pluto phase is exactly half the duration of the Sun-Pluto phase.

Age 26½

Sun-Pluto [2/6] - 2 month phase
Venus-Pluto [1/4] - 1 month phase

Age 53

Sun-Pluto [2/6] - 4 month phase
Venus-Pluto [1/4] - 2 month phase

As you can see this period involves a double Pluto influence and therefore is potentially very powerful, and in each case, the first half of the Sun-Pluto phase corresponds with the period of maximum intensity.

Age 53 (12 Months)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Sun-Pluto [2/6] Sun-Moon [2/7] Sun-Leo [3/1]
Venus-Pluto [1/4] Venus-Moon [1/5] Venus-Uranus [1/6] Venus-Saturn [1/7] Venus-Gemini [2/1] Venus-Cancer [2/2]

The four month period of JW Pluto transformation following the 53rd birthday is particularly significant because it also coincides with a person's entry into the 5th House one year sub-period of the twelve year 5th House cycle in the astrological birth-chart.

[Note: I wrote previously about the repeating twelve year cycle through the houses of the birth-chart in an article on this web-site.]

The 5th house sub-period of the 5th house major cycle through the houses of the horoscope is a time of intensive self-development, increased self-knowledge, and personal creativity. The fact that the beginning months of this 5th house sub-period coincide with the JW Sun-Pluto [2/6] and Venus-Pluto [1/4] phases is remarkable. The four month Sun-Pluto phase, in particular, indicates a time of powerful transformation of self that likely involves a struggle for freedom from Self-limiting circumstances, and/or situations and associations that do not support the full and true expression of the Self. Similarly, the Venus-Pluto phase corresponds with a time of personal transformation where the main emphasis is on developing an increased awareness and intensified expression of personal values—especially within the sphere of relationships.

So, as you can see, this period following the 53rd birthday is potentially very volatile, but also it leads to freedom of the Self and a greater opportunity for Self-expression and increased personal creativity.

If you have any personal experiences relating to these two times of life—that is, in the months following age 26½ and the 53rd birthday, please post them to the JW group (or email me privately) for the purposes of ongoing research. (Note: If you send your experiences to me privately they will remain confidential.)

[Two brief real life examples.]

Patrick Mulcahy
[Updated: 16 Feb, 2009]