Mountain Astrologer Review

Midlife Is Not a Crisis is reviewed by The Mountain Astrologer! I am deeply honored to appear in this highly regarded magazine, and to have my book reviewed by the esteemed Anne Whitaker.

“I do think that Virginia Bell’s Midlife Is Not a Crisis is bound to become a classic.”
–Anne Whitaker

Midlife Is Not a Crisis: Using Astrology to Thrive in the Second Half of Life by Virginia Bell
Weiser Books, 65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950, 2017.
Softcover—242 pp.—$18.95 (UK £14.95) (ISBN 978-1-57863-612-9).
Available from

Cycles govern all our lives, from the vast unfolding of the life and death of stars to the tiny monthly dance of Sun and Moon. Astrology offers us the gift of being able to plot what those cycles are and understand their core meanings, thereby choosing to set our sails to take advantage of life’s prevailing winds. In this book, Virginia Bell offers us her astrological gift:
“… the guidebook I wish I’d had while traveling through the generational cycles.” Her book is designed to help us navigate the choppy, challenging, potentially rewarding waters of the second half of life.

One of the book’s many strengths is accessibility across the board: It will appeal to seasoned astrologers, beginning students, and readers with little or no knowledge of astrology. In the first two chapters, the author presents a very clear introduction to the cycles we all share, listing them from the coming-of-age Saturn return at 29, to the Uranus return at 84. What follows is a concise overview of astrology, which is sure to intrigue non-astrologers sufficiently for them to wish to know more!

Each chapter thereafter takes those cycles and reveals their unfolding timings, their pains, joys, and — always emphasized — the opportunities presented to us at every stage to grow into who we are meant to be. Thus we fulfill as much as possible the seed potential revealed symbolically in the birth horoscope, whose “picture is yours forever; it is eternal, a piece of cosmic DNA.”

Virginia Bell writes with poetic sensibility and a feeling of awe at the cosmos that we inhabit. Triggered at her Chiron return at the age of 50 (which happens for us all around that age),
Bell was led from a successful career as a restaurateur to becoming an astrologer herself. At a time of considerable stress in her business life, a friend introduced her to Steven Forrest’s book, The Inner Sky. Virginia was captivated by his revelation of a profound symbolic world, and booked readings with Steven. These encounters, and her subsequent reading
and studies, opened up a whole new landscape, “a world of mythology, magic, wisdom, and inspiration.”

Since she is a good Taurus, however, her descriptions of the bigger pictures are grounded with many useful pointers and suggestions to help us along the way. Organizations, videos,
books, people to seek out for learning and wisdom, rituals, and spiritual practices all grace this book’s pages. They are all appealing and potentially useful reference points.

Another strength is the author’s liberal sharing of the challenges presented to a wide range of different kinds of people at each stage of the unfolding cycles, told through their stories. She describes how they dealt with sometimes very painful and disorienting experiences, thereby building resilience and inner strength. Virginia Bell also talks with honesty, humility, and humor of her own journey and its at-times quite difficult situations, making it also clear what she gained from some very fiery baptisms.

I found this book supportive, comforting, and helpful in reflecting on the many ups and downs, hardships, and fiery baptisms of my own life’s journey. These great astrological cycles are profoundly, humorously, and ably presented in this book. I do think that Virginia Bell’s Midlife Is Not a Crisis is bound to become a classic.

— reviewed by Anne Whitaker, The Mountain Astrologer

Midlife Is Not a Crisis is available from