Inspirations from Tapestries: The Seven-Year Rhythms from Birth Until Age 63 and Onward, Part Two

The ages from 21-42 are for the development of soul maturity, psychological maturity.

Ages 21-28

  • The “I’” incarnates more fully.
  • Strong emotional life, excitement, impulsivity, sociability, adventure, sensuality.
  • Memory reaches its peak.
  • A time to prepare for a career and to gather experiences.
  • Betty Staley also writes about marriage when both partners are in their early 20s and how this often works but can be a difficult road as both partners do not have a bank of life experiences to draw on.
  • Men during this time period are often focused on work, marriage and family and trying to set and achieve goals “he thinks he deserves by the time he is 35.”

Ages 28-35

  • The “I” begins to enter the soul-life more deeply and penetrates thinking.  We begin to experience life through our thoughts and our thinking.
  • We feel the need to organize our lives.
  • We regard things more objectively than before, but at times our objective thinking can also separate us from life – if we judge everything around us, we can become cold, distant, critical, self-righteous.
  • In this phase we tend to think that thinking can solve all of our problems.

Ages 35-42 – Going into consciousness

  • A time of strength, ambition; but also of emptiness and loneliness.
  • Life taken in through our senses, through our bodies, does not excite us the same way it used to.
  • Our natural spirituality fades and we can feel overwhelmed by life
  • Life takes on a routine quality, and yet we can experience more and more problems than before.
  • Much of what used to bring contentment no longer does.
  • We become critical of causes, philosophies, religion that used to appeal to us.


Whew!  I think when we are in the 35-42 year phase, we have to be particularly careful to NOT pass on our adult baggage and criticism to our small children.  I have seen over and over parents of this age frame to have difficulty working within the Waldorf framework with the spiritual elements because they themselves are going through a period of disillusionment with spirituality.  Please make sure to not shove your 8-year old into the 35-42 year old phase  by putting your “adult stuff” on them!

We will talk in detail about each of these seven-year cycles, but next we will look at the last part of this overview of the seven-year cycles that covers ages 42- 63 (and beyond), a time of developing spiritual maturity.

Till next time,


5 thoughts on “Inspirations from Tapestries: The Seven-Year Rhythms from Birth Until Age 63 and Onward, Part Two

  1. Wow, I am 34 and it helps to have this perspective…Thanks so much for this post…I will have to get this book, though I am enjoying your rendition of it 🙂

  2. 35-42 seems to be the much touted ‘midlife crisis’ (although I think some men wait until their mid/late 40s to buy a motorbike and a young wife…)

    On a serious note though, this post was very interesting as there are a few years between dh and I and I recognise much of what is written for our respective ages.

  3. I think this might have been meant for one of your earlier posts, but how do you feel your kids respond to the Grimm’s fairy tales? I ask because aside from being a Waldorf-influenced mama, I also work for a Swiss book publisher with a lot of classic fairy tales and I’m always struggling with the inherent goriness of Grimm’s. I recognize that the original stories need to be available, but they are pretty hard core. Can you recommend any good books on teaching fairy tales?

    • There are several posts on this blog about the fairy tales, I think the main thing is as the adult YOU have to be comfortable; then the child will be comfortable. If you are not comfortable with that particular tale, do not use it with your children. The best book I have found for the adult on the subject is Bruno Bettelheim’s “The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales.”
      The main thing to keep in mind, if this helps you at all, is that the fairy tales are hopelessly optimistic; good always prevails! The struggles of the hero are archtypal struggles found in fairy tales from almost every culture around the world; we can recognize “Cinderella” stories from many different cultures, for example.
      The key is to pick the tales right for the age, to be comfortable with the tale, and if possible to memorize the tale to bring your own inner warmth and dynamic into it. Check out the fairy tale posts on this blog; they may really help you as I write in depth about all of these issues and what tales to pick.
      Hope that helps,

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