News outlets are reporting that suicide rates for individuals aged 40-59 jumped over the last decade. The most pronounced jump was in the age groups from 50-54 and from 55-59 years old but there was also a big jump in suicides for those aged 60-64. (Full report from the CDC here.)
Astrologically, this age group corresponds to the Pluto in Leo generation. Leo is the sign that needs to feel special, and no age group has been as determined to be special as the Pluto in Leo generation of which I am a member. Obsessed with youth and the need to stay relevant, we didn’t trust anyone over 30 when we were young, and refused to grow old (a determination which as I wrote a few years ago has resulted in a tremendous increase in disabilities among this age group.
The baby boomers also demonstrated an increased suicide rate in adolescence: “The baby boomers also experienced higher suicide rates during their adolescence and young adulthood, doubling the rate for those age groups at the time. Their suicide rate then declined slightly and stabilized, before beginning to increase again in midlife.”
The sign of Leo is all about learning to celebrate the Self and find authentic avenues of Self-expression. Pluto in any sign tends to bring out the obsessive and self-destructive qualities of a sign and necessitates transformation in the areas that are governed by that sign. Pluto in Leo tends to regard everything as a mirror – failure then has the potential to become a rejection of the Self and not just a momentary obstacle.
Without more data it’s difficult to generalize, but the fact that this age group has such a pronounced suicide rate at vulnerable times of life seems astrologically significant.
When your dreams are larger than your reality can hold, you are more prone to disappointment. The suicide rate is still relatively small, but the increase in this age group demonstrates the desperate need we have in our society today for a perspective that encompasses something greater than the worship of Self.