All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players;
they have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.

~ William Shakespeare (Died at Age 52)


What is the “Critical Year” and why do so many people die around Age 52?

If you do a quick search on the internet, you will immediately find some astounding results. As a student of Cardology for over eighteen years, I have read about this age with great interest, but it wasn’t until I went through that time-frame around Ages 51-52-53 myself that I fully appreciated what this “Critical Year” means in one’s personal life. It is a time of massive change and an opportunity for a better life, one filled with true happiness.

I know from previous research on the Maya civilization in writing my novel, Flying Between Heaven and Earth, that this age has some significance in the indigenous cultures. So what is the real significance of Age 52?

Let’s take a closer look and imagine that each of these two calendars are like gears in a clock turning each other. (The Maya had more than one calendar.) The Tzolkin revolves and turns the Tun (prophetic and divine calendar) and in doing so imparts its meanings of the Aspects and Intentions of creation. At 52 revolutions of the Tun calendar, when the calendars match back up again, every possible Aspect and Intention of creation has been experienced. (This is 51 ¾ years in our Gregorian calendar. You can learn more in “The Egg Moon: Living the Question” by Von Goodwin on page 157-158 via Google Books.)

At the age of 52 Tun, every Mayan and native North American person becomes an elder in their tribe as they, too, have now experienced all Aspects and Intentions of creation. So important was the 52 Tun turns to the Maya that they would extinguish all fires. They made sure that every single spark of fire was put out, all debts were struck off and civilization started again. Maybe we could apply this concept of releasing old debts (sins) and starting our lives fresh and anew.

It seems obvious now that at Age 52 we reach a place where we have lived out much of our divine purpose and get to choose whether or not to stay on the planet. Everyone gets to ask themselves if they want to continue to live or leave this lifetime.  I have noticed in my own family and friends, and even with celebrities that opportunities disguised as health issues or accidents happen within a year or so of this age to help provide that very choice. Do I live or leave?

Some say “yes” and others, like Superman actor Christopher Reeve, say “no.”  Reeve turned his personal tragedy into a public crusade and from his wheelchair became the nation’s most recognizable spokesman for spinal cord research. At Age 52, he chose to leave. Could it be that his personal mission for this lifetime was complete? (His birth date ironically was September 25, 1952. Notice the 25 and 52 in his birth date. His wife, Dana, died later in 2006 eleven days before her 45th birthday. Age 44 is called a Pre-Birth Year and Age 45 is called the Re-Birth Year.)

Interestingly, Age 52 is the year when everyone enters their 13-Year Saturn Planetary Period in this system. (This is a time when we encounter our major challenges or difficulties for this lifetime but it also teaches us patience and responsibility. British and Welsh researchers report that the tipping point of being grumpy occurs at age 52 when people are more likely to gripe than laugh. They state that men in their 60s are 4 times grumpier than their female counterparts.)  I noticed during that year that my 7-Year Script was the same as my Yearly Script for Age 52. The intensity was palatable and intense. Since the science of the cards is a fractal system, I would guess that we are reliving our birth year and all its memories, conscious and subconscious, once more. For someone like myself, a Queen of Diamonds, whose Life Script occupies the entire Saturn Row, this can feel overwhelming at times. There is a real heaviness that exists.

Another interesting fun fact about Age 52 is there are also 52 cards in a deck and 52 weeks in a year. A year is complete and ends after 52 weeks as we have just experienced for 2014. It is over and now we look forward to see how we are going to play out the next 52 weeks. The number 52 is a very spiritual number (5+2=7) and plays out in very unique ways in our lives. While this “Critical Year” may sound difficult, it is still a Jupiter year, a very blessed year. It can bring magical events into the inner workings of our lives. You may also notice that many things that you began around Age 44 or 45 will now be finished or completed in some way by Age 52. Look for the magic and you will find it. I did!

Here are some people who decided to exit the world’s stage in or around their “Critical Year” of 52. (Note that most of these famous people had access to and/or could afford the best medical services available in their time. The names below are listed by age at the time of their passing.)

Age 51:

Napoleon Bonaparte,Wallace Delois Wattles, Brian Maxwell, Buddy Adler, Charles M. Hall, Bill Evans, Tony Canzoneri, Pedro Armendariz, Andrea Pininfarina, Carl Wilson, Walter Reed, Walter Woodbury, Calamity Jane, Amy Lowell, Édouard Manet, Ken Boyer, Jack Swigert, King William III, Stanley Milgram, Marcel Proust, Tommy Burns, Billy Carter, Alois Alzheimer, Susan Butcher, Billy Kyle, Ronald Williamson, Homer Haynes, John Gorrie,  Max Baer, George Morgan, Dr. Eric Rofes, Wayne Stewart, Letitia Tyler, Edward Miller, Randy Starkman, Nicolette Goulet, Wendy O. Williams, Michael Weiner, Tommy Dorsey, Randy Castillo, Brad Armstrong, Michael France, Alan Kirschenbaum, Joe Voci, Steve Appleton, John Peale Bishop, Bobby Moore, Christine Cavanaugh, Cornell Gunter, Max Brand, Michelle Sima Yan, Roger Maris, Simon Marius, Eleanor Mondale, Bernie Mac, Kara Kennedy, Richard Machowicz, Jill Saward, Henry Badenhorst, Sean Hughes, Pam Warren, Greg Smyth, Vladimir Voevodsky, Richard Cross, Anthony Young, Guru Josh, and James Gandolfini

Age 52:

King Henry VII, Peter the Great, William Shakespeare, Harry Houdini, Admiral Gunther Lütjens, John O’Donohue, Margaret Tudor, Christian Dior, Velma Barfield, Grace Kelly, Sir C. Wyville Thomson, H. John Heinz III, David Schramm, G. David Low, Emperor Fushimi, Kevin DuBrow, Deborah Palfrey, Harry Nilsson, Robert W. Nudelman, John Woolman, Roark Bradford, John Ogdon, Emin Pasha, Daniel Judson Callaghan, June Pointer, Abbie Hoffman, Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, Elizabeth of Russia, Enos Mills, Jason Shinder, Louis Adamic, Katherine Swynford, Robert Morrison, Lord John Philip Sackville, James Wright, Dave Stevens, Roy Orbison, Wendell Willkie, Tony Adams, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Francois Truffaut, John Wayne Gacy, Doug Henning, Todd Cruz, Charles Watson-Wentworth, Marcus Garvey, Shelby Storck, Hiram Bullock, Fred Berry, Erwin Rommel, Kurt von Schleicher, John Slade, Lew DeWitt, Frank Zappa, Eddie Kendrick, Laurie Bambi Bembenek, Dan Callahan, Melvin Franklin, Mick Imlah, John Pinette, Mark Gil, Dennis Johnson, Bob Crow, Robert F. Chew, Dave Stevens, Carlos Monzon, Jim Fixx, Dr. Kathleen Frances Marshall, Orlando Woolridge, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Ken Uston, Delmore Schwartz, Campbell McComas, Eric Malling, Axl Rose, Christopher Reeve, Willie Huber, Kevin DuBrow, Mary Kennedy, Ken Ober, Bernie Nolan, Christine Maggiore, Danny Gans, Stephen Murray, Dan Borislow, John Bachar, Elizabeth Garrett, Jerome Kersey, Tim Wilson, Valerie Stevenson, Robert Gallagher, John Fasano, Suzanne Crough, Paul Christian Gordon, Dwayne “Pearl” Washington, Dr. Ronald Gilbert, Alex Giannini, Tommy Ford, Nicole Bass, Lisa Lynn Masters, John Berry, Jay Bontatibus, Chris Cornell, Lari White, Pamela Gidley, Big-T, and Jo Min-ki.

Interestingly, Lolo Soetoro, also known as Lolo Soetoro Mangunharjo, (January 2, 1935 – March 2, 1987) the Indonesian stepfather of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States of America, also died at Age 52.

Age 53:

Robert Edward Turner II, Jerry Garcia, Maurice Gibb, Emmy Noether, Gene Siskel, Jacqueline Susann, Tony Snow, John von Neumann, Sandy Allen, Enrico Fermi, Leroy Sievers, Theodor Escherich, Kenneth Tynan, Stefan Banach, Spike Jones, Jack Wild, Queen Margaret, Joseph E. Fields, Peter Tchaikovsky, Babe Ruth, Vivian Leigh, Philip Barry, Danny Joe Brown, Ivan the Terrible, James Polk, Jim Henson, Veronica Lake, Ma Rainey, Scott Miller, General George Thomas, Paul Ehrenfest, Carolyn Jones, Jackie Robinson, Vladimir Ilich Lenin, Hermann William Goering, Ulíses Heureaux, Mikey Dread, John Denver, Maria Callas, René Descartes, Carl Watts, Lex Barker, Dian Fossey, Aimee Semple McPherson, Jay Adams, Kidd Kraddick, Veronica Lake, David Caruso, Terry Keenan, Charles Nolan, Richard ‘Night Stalker’ Ramirez, Chrissy Amphlett, Philip K. Dick, Miss Cleo (Youree Dell Harris), Lee Bracker , George Michael, John Major Jenkins, Anne Dufourmantelle, Melissa Bell, Gord Downie, Wendy Pepper, and Jim Johannson.


More about the Critical Year:

For advanced students of the Cards of Life and Cardology, you will discover that the Environment Card, the card that occupies our place (the position in the Master Life Script) in the Life Script for Age 52, reveals what specifically we will be dealing with when we reach this time in our life. It represents a life-time challenge that will somehow become a blessing or gift that is given to us if we are see it from the higher perspective, not the lower. Age 52 gives everyone an almost magical ability to have a better, happier and more spiritually aware life.

You either learn your way towards writing your own script in life, or
you unwittingly become an actor in someone else’s script.

~ John Taylor Gatto, author, teacher and Three of Clubs 3♣

Those whose Lifetime Challenge Card is a Seven, well, get ready for some eye-opening experiences. For example, the Queen of Diamonds Environment Card for Age 52 is the Seven of Hearts. This tells us that if the Queen of Diamonds can see the high side of their life, they can experience a “spiritual” approach to love that potentially can transform their thoughts and the rest of their life. Where they have experienced heartache, disappointment and betrayal in their relationships, they can now experience a spiritual knowing and understanding of the events that have occurred in their life. What was the greatest challenge in their life, now has the opportunity to become their greatest gift.

This Seven of Hearts Lifetime Challenge Card contains the lesson that unconditional love will bring opportunities to experience a higher form of love with those who are closest to them. They can still expect challenges of an emotional or affectional nature as they continue to learn the lesson of letting go and letting others be as they are. However, if they are already loving others without attachment, Age 52 for the Queen of Diamonds can bring even more enjoyment and giving love to others.

Here is a chart that shows the “Lifetime Challenge Card” for everyone (except the Joker) at Age 52.

Lifetime Challenge Card

These Lifetime Challenge Cards (Master Life Script 52 Environment Cards) are symbols that represent some aspect of our life that we need to open up to and accept if we want to play the high side of our cards and live the joyous life we are given the opportunity to experience. Look up your card and see if you can relate to it in a lifelong sense. Is it something that has been a issue for you that has affected your happiness and well-being?

Experts in Cardology believe that Age 52 is a “critical year” in life because it offers us the opportunity where we can create on a soul level what the rest of our life will be like. If we are open and receptive to the gift that our Lifetime Challenge Card brings, then we are open to truly live and to receive the abundance that the rest of our lives will be blessed with by its influence. However, if we choose to play small and operate from fear, especially with the knowledge of the gift that our Lifetime Challenge Card brings, then we die inside. We sentence ourselves to a lifetime of fear, drudgery, lack and limitation. For this reason, the Critical Year is accurately referred to as the “live or die” year.

Are you willing to take what is the greatest challenge in your life and allow it to become your greatest gift? The choice is yours.


Image of Christopher and Dana Reeve from

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