Before I start a post with a controversial title such as this, I want to define exactly which 'cycle theories' I'm talking about. I'm confining myself to my direct competitors, who deal with cycles within an individual human life. So, physical/biological/mechanical/economic cycle theories are excluded, as are those to do with societal and historical cycles. No, in terms of cycles said to impact on individual lives, we are left with the two most common occult theories ie. astrology and numerology.
Try a test for me. Google search <12 year cycles of life> and see what you get. You get Jupiter, Jupiter and more Jupiter, and to my pleasant surprise you get a couple of entries for 'Life Cycles'. Now astrology interprets the planet Jupiter, which orbits the Sun every 11.8618 years (which they would say is close enough); to be one of many influences on your life and your personality. You know, they have this funny phrase :- "being ruled by this, that or the other astronomical body", like it's a real demonstrable scientific fact. Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system, a gas giant that is 1/1,000th the size of the Sun. This is interpreted to mean Jupiter is to do with largeness per se, like expansive/extravagant behavior and for some mythical reason luck as well. It's straight out projection of course, and we'll examine their 'so-called' supporting evidence in a minute.
OK, the big question is :- "can Jupiter, or any other astronomical body, influence our lives in different ways?" For the answer to this I went to Rational Wiki. It was said up front :- "Astrology is a mass cultural delusion...". The only meaningful physical influence is gravity and :- "it is practically impossible for planets to influence actions on earth". They go into a lot of scientific detail in explanation, but the bottom line is 'can't work, won't work.' So, even though I have stated many times, I have no idea what is behind the 12 year correlations with significant life events that I study; I can categorically say that it is not some mysterious connection to the planet Jupiter.
Now a quick read through of your typical astro-Jupiter article will talk about the influence of Jupiter's return as if it was a 'hard fact' and needed no case-history support. On page one of Google entries, there is an astrologer by the name of Beverlee, who was the only one who attempted to illustrate with real-world behavior. So, here we go. She said that Jupiter "rules" a number of things including spiritual matters and that she remembered from her Sunday School class, the minister said :- "many girls around the age of 12 go through a phase of wanting to become nuns." Case closed wouldn't you say? I mean how loose a statement can you possibly get!
Let's proceed to 24 now. "I have Jupiter in my '5th house of children'. When I was 24 I became pregnant. Talk about expansion!" You've got to be joking surely? This is post-hoc rationalization at it's worst. I've read and agree with most of the sceptics objections. That's why I am so careful in my research and evidence. But not for Beverlee. 'Make up any old thing and whack it in', seems to be good enough for her. It gets worse. At 36, she talks about the deaths of Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana, as being due to their 'expansion' ie. they over-reached themselves with either studio bosses or the Royal family. She then qualified this by saying that 'planetary energies' (you know, the ones that don't exist!) didn't cause their untimely deaths (got to be a bit careful), but rather "offered them opportunities for growth" and the rest was up to them. Hmmmm... This summary may sound a bit cruel, but the truth hurts sometimes.
OK, now to the equally suspect 'Laws of Numerology'. Numbers are an artificial human construct and conclusions drawn from our base ten system do not work for other systems (eg. like the binary computer code of 1 or 0). Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxyneatly summed this up by saying the ultimate answer to everything was 42 and the question was 'what is 6x9?' In base 13 you see, 6x9 does in fact equal 42! The most common application of numerology to life cycles is the well-known 7 year cycles (ie. the ages of 7,14,21,35 etc.) The Bible mentions the number 7 a lot, adding due gravitas to the process.
Seven is said to be the 'perfect number' and according to St. Augustine must have been divine in origin. Then there are the pseudoscientific claims said to 'prove it'. Every cell in your body is replaced every seven years. This assertion is quite false and I'd be happy to show you the detailed proof, as it is a bit beyond the scope of this article. Equally we are told the seven-day week is 'natural', as well as divine, in origin and the only such construct that properly works. This is also not true according to comparative anthropology studies.
But what about the application to life cycles? Well the most famous theoretician here is the Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner, who embraced the esoteric. His strongest evidence is that at the age of 7 there are physical changes, like you get your adult teeth, and at 14 you become sexually mature and that these really signify, that important spiritual changes are occurring. OK, it has a certain surface plausibility to some, but what about when we study the facts? I am told that the process of acquiring our permanent adult teeth usually begins at 6 with the appearance of the first tooth and will continue up to the age of 13, when 28 of our 32 adult teeth will appear. I am also told that girls begin puberty on average at 10-11 years and boys at 11-12 and the whole process typically lasts until 17 years of age. Let's face it these correlations of Steiner's are artificial and the whole thing is part of a long process. So we're just left with 'unprovable assertions' again.
Now for the kicker, let's have a look at their so-called case history evidence. Basically there isn't any, but a while back I did see one article, which mentioned a numerology correlation between 5 disparate individuals and the onset of a new 7 year cycle at age 35, meant to signify imagination and creativity. These 5 people included a little-known 15th century Dutch philosopher, who suffered from schizophrenia and Jesus Christ, who according to biblical accounts, left this life at 33! Now this article has mysteriously disappeared from Google, thus eliminating it from view. Mind you I'd do the same, if that was the best I could muster. The rest of their articles are generalisations that are not in agreement.
So, one article says at 35 (we'll just take this age as representative):- "you are usually handling life monetarily well(a bit awkwardly expressed), have a stable career and settle into a mated relationship...whilst a lot of people split up relationships that were heavily karmic". Talk about hedging your bets! Another says that at 35 :- "I took more time out from the busy world and began to get a feeling of being a soul with a physical body." (sounds interesting if you have the time...). Still another says:- "this is the time of the final battle; Wisdom of Heart vs. Wisdom of Logic" and "It is a freedom factor..a cutting off of other influences" etc. etc. In other words it's vague generalisation piled on vague generalisation, which is both waffly (because you can't measure it) and contradictory (because you can't handle money well/settle down/split up/discover you have a soul/undergo the Final Battle -sounds like Star Wars- and find freedom all at the same time.)
Now the choice between this and 'Life Cycles' is simple and stark. In spite of Jupiter's 12 year cycle and the 7 year interval between the 'Year of Revolution' and the the 'Year of Broken Pathways', there is ABSOLUTELY nothing in common with my evidence-driven approach and their waffle. Either I can find a real quantity of meaningful case histories, showing turning points and challenges at my 'significant years', or there's no theory. I didn't create all this 'out there' material and then try to force-fit it to people's lives like it's a science. By the way, 'Life Cycles' is NOT good enough to be called a science. I know that. What amazes me beyond belief, is that I can continue to find good quality supporting evidence. Some of this evidence is a bit subjective too, and obviously there are many major life events, that are not tied to these years. You see, I'm equally critical of my own approach, but guess what? It's got to be streets ahead of my 'so-called' competitors wouldn't you say?
There is NO other system/theory etc. of life in cycles that is even vaguely like 'Life Cycles' (featuring the ages of 7,12,19,24,31,36 etc. with linked themes and derived 'Life Charts'/'Life Scripts' and 'Confluence' and 'Real-Time' analysis and many more brand new terms and concepts, based on analysis of biographic evidence). No there certainly isn't. So the occult and 'Life Cycles' are mutually exclusive. You can't have both. The final choice is simple :- "either they're right or I am." You be the judge. Go on, do yourself a favour and read more of 'The Truth And The Evidence'. Stop wasting your time with the daily Horrorscopes (sic). Till next month :- "may the cycles always bring you good fortune."