A map of the human life cycle that is associated with the Islamic middle ages and a philosopher/scientist named Al Biruni (973-1048 C.E.) is called Firdaria.  It is a system of astrology based upon specific planets that influence our lives at different stages of life.  The Sun rules the first 10 years of life (ages 0-10), Venus the next 8 years  (ages 11-18), Mercury the next 13 years (ages 19-31), the Moon the next 9 years (ages 32-40), Saturn the next 11 years (ages 41-51), Jupiter the next 12 years (ages 52-63), Mars the next 7 years (64-70), the North Node (a mathematical point that takes into consideration the relation between the Sun, Moon, and Earth at the time of one’s birth) the next 3 years (71-73), and the South Node the next 2 years (73-75).

After this, the cycle repeats itself starting again with the Sun. This pattern applies to the astrological charts of individuals who were born during the day.  If the person was born during the night, the cycle begins with the Moon and follows the same sequence. According to the blog site Ceol Agus Realta, Al Biruni:  “made contributions to a very wide range of human endeavors, from chemistry to math to astronomy. He knew that the earth rotated on its own axis and knew about both heliocentric and geocentric perspectives. He developed special instruments for astronomical measurements and he is said to have written over 200 books. There is even a crater of the Moon called after him.”

From a psychological standpoint, the sequence given above makes sense, at least with respect to most of the planets.  The Sun represents the ego, and the first 10 years of life involve the development of the child’s self as it enters society. Venus rules the adolescence years, when romance and passion are at their height.  Mercury represents the mind, and early adulthood is a time when the mind is required to succeed at one’s career, in one’s relationships, and in becoming a good citizen.  Saturn, which is the planet of responsibility and discipline, rules the midlife years, when it is often necessary to work very hard to master the lessons of life.  Jupiter, which is the benevolent planet, is associated with mature adulthood, when financial and emotional stability make it possible to give something back to the greater community.


For more about the stages of life in cultures and traditions, see Thomas Armstrong, The Human Odyssey:  Navigating the Twelve Stages of Life (Ixia Press, 2019)

This article was brought to you by Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. and www.institute4learning.com.

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