#CapricornProblems🐐

climbing SOM

Yesterday, it took about 90 minutes to be seen for a few minutes at my endocrinologist’s office. And the blame can be spread almost evenly between my doctor’s office and the endocrinologist’s.

I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and I haven’t been on medication for it since at least last year. Now that I could actually afford health insurance (HMO), I’ve been trying get my health back in order.

Long story short, because of a clerical error with my primary care physician’s office, an authorization for my visit was missing. I called that office three times and got the authorization code myself. I didn’t want to reschedule.

The endocrinologist’s office was very apologetic, and I told them that thought it wasn’t their fault.

But they should have been the ones calling, not me. 💡

It took me a few hours after returning home to realize that I had overstepped my boundaries as a patient, even though I was invited to do so.

Here’s the problem, though: I’ve been conditioned to do this, to take care of things for myself, ever since I was a child.

A few examples…

I’ve advocated for my mother more than once. I wrote my dad a letter that he should treat her better. He asked me if I wanted to talk about the letter. I said no. It wasn’t a discussion, in my opinion. It was a directive.

Also, let’s be real — my dad was an imposing figure. Almost 6 foot tall, large, had high expectations, and could talk himself out of a lot of things. I didn’t feel like having a discussion with him about how he should treat his wife and my mother was a meeting of the minds — even if my parents treated me like an equal far too often.

Many years later, I called my mother’s pastor (and my former pastor) when my father had gotten her and my brother evicted from their apartment because he had been harassing staff (he was and is mentally ill). They had even called the cops on him.

I’ve advocated for myself with my dad when I wrote a letter asking him that I hope he’d pay my college tuition bills since he had been reluctant to pay for school trips and other activities. He said he would and then he didn’t.

Those are just three examples that I can think off the top of my head. Being a firstborn child, being a leader comes easily. And your parents even rely on you to be the third parent, to help younger siblings learn how the world is.

These are #CapricornProblems.

As I’ve explained a few times on this blog, my sun and ascendant are in Capricorn, so Capricorn problems are of double import to me.

If you’re a part of what I call the “Cap Stellium Kids” group, those of you who have Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in Capricorn (which also means you started your Saturn returns last December), you will probably recognize these situations.

What I actually don’t want to do is explain what the zodiac sign Capricorn is about. But I will say that one of Capricorn’s problems is also one of Capricorn’s strengths — resilience.

So yesterday I was offered to reschedule, which I found to be a ridiculous notion.

This was an easy error to fix. Why can’t someone just fix it?

I had scheduled this appointment weeks ago. I’m going to be out of town in a couple of weeks. I’ve waited over a year for this appointment in terms of being insured. The time was now.

So I stuck it through. I was applauded for it, although when my blood pressure was taken, it was a little high.

Of course it was. 🙄

Capricorn is known for enduring very rough conditions in childhood while succeeding in adulthood. I may as well still be a kid since things are still really hard. Even living here has conditioned me to adapt to circumstances that needed some pushback.

Simply put, the seagoat will endure a lot of things that they don’t need to, because it comes so easily for Capricorn to do.

On top of that, because of this propensity to lead, people will start to rely on Capricorn to do all the work they don’t want to do.

Another strength that can be wielded into a weakness is Capricorn’s willingness to lead–especially when there’s a vacuum in leadership.

I felt like had to take a leadership role here at home because it was getting so absurdly unstable.

This year, I sent increasing annoyed emails, texts, and letters to the owners of this house about the actively psychotic and all-around selfish jerk whom I call “the creep” because he spent a week stalking me in my own house. And things shifted only about a couple of weeks ago after one particular pointed and angry email where I basically had to tell the owner that the creep owns the house now and that she was being unfair to me.

She acted within hours of receiving the email, finally banning the creep from smoking in the house.

I put up with a lot of shit from the owners’ lack of courage and the creep’s lack of boundaries. I spent money I didn’t need to. I gave grace when I didn’t need to. I helped another resident here multiple times when I didn’t need to.

Why? Well, it was just easier to do it. I’m here. I’m of strong mind, body, and will. Let’s just get this shit done already.

But aren’t other people here, too? Why can’t they handle their own responsibilities?

Capricorn can really trust themselves, more than they will trust others. They take pride in their self-sufficiency. People who feed into this can possibly manipulate Capricorn to, again, do the things they don’t want to do.

Sure, this is a big reason why Capricorn can be seen as controlling. But then Capricorn looks at the world, so undone and teeming with chaos. Saturn rules Capricorn, and being a child of Saturn, Capricorn loves and craves stability and order.

Especially when my world is covered in chaos, taking charge and getting things done for myself is something I love to do — and maybe, a side benefit is to shame those who refuse to do what they need to be doing.

Yet it’s interesting that neither doctor’s office yesterday felt any shame that I had to do their jobs for them.

So that’s the double-edged sword of being self-sufficient: it can end up cutting back against you.

And this hasn’t happened much in my relationships, but this sort of obstinate self-sufficiency could block love and care from others.

The Capricorn child who is left to fend for herself, who then takes pride in taking care of herself, her parents, and her siblings, may have a really tough time receiving that same love, care, and devotion from her partner, family, and friends.

Ultimately, I feel that Capricorn has to learn: just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

For me, this is a lifelong lesson with boundaries. There are so many questions that I need to ask myself when faced with someone’s dereliction of duty.

  • Is this short-term win worth it in the long run?
  • Am I training people to be lazy and irresponsible if I come in and save the day?
  • Have I expressed my needs clearly enough?
  • If I leave this alone, will the world actually end?
  • Is forcing my will here the right thing to do for me first, and for everyone else next?

I find Capricorn to be extremely willful and resourceful and have a propensity to try to solve all problems–because Capricorn at least believes he can’t.

But, he can’t.

Capricorn can be a lot like Atlas, carrying the world on his shoulders. We can also be like Sisyphus, rolling this boulder of responsibility up and down the never-ending hills of life.

But whose world is that? Whose boulder is being pushed? Is it really mine?

Additionally, we could be blocking the lessons others need to learn when we just swoop in and try to save the day. 

Tomorrow, I will write letters to both doctor’s offices and fire both doctors. I have enough of the world to carry because when I have to do your job, then you need to be fired.

Back to my housing situation…

There’s a lot of things I’ve let go of being unchanging here, like the cleanliness of the house. The microwave is disgusting, and usually this would drive me mad.

But no one is dying, including me. So dirty it will stay until I leave.

Still, there’s a lot of absurdity here that I have to live with because the owners like money more than my customer satisfaction.

So I can only care about myself here, and no one else.

Let things fall into chaos around me. It is not my responsibility. And it never ever really was.

And of course, people will push back when you decide to mind your own business a little more. People who relied on you to be their eyes, ears, and hands will pout and put the blame on you.

Eventually, you’ll just need to walk away from it all.

So the only thing I know is that I won’t have to endure it for long. The plan this year is to move out. It’ll take some focus, endurance, luck, and a miracle or two.

But that’s one thing that Capricorn can do so well — time travel into the future and then return back and create the steps to make the future he desires a reality.

There could be so much more I could accomplish if I used my skills of resilience, and the deep I have in myself, for the right causes, for the reasons.

What dreams are waiting in the wings as I continue to focus on the wrong things? The petty things?

The needless things.

Just because Capricorn can endure doesn’t mean Capricorn should.

So sometimes, true strength and resilience requires the courage to let go, to let entropy decide the consequences, to look inward and create stability and order within oneself.

I am not responsible for the world.

So let the world fall apart and fall back together as it should.

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aimless in archer season ♐

she was waiting SOMIt’s been a strange season as the sun rolls this party college town Sagittarius. Besides that my birthday is coming up in 22 days, I haven’t been feeling that festive.

There’s a danger in this lull–or usually, there would be. The danger is to reach out for new experiences, at almost any cost. Especially in Sag season. Sag things are about accumulating experiences.

And besides that I have just been trying to survive for the past few years, I haven’t felt much drive to accumulate experiences.

Yet, despite my lack of luck in most areas of my life, I’ve been lucky with travel. This year, I visited Tampa for a short day trip in April. I’ve driven over 1000 miles from Miami to D.C. in May. In August, I went to St. Pete right before the solar eclipse. In September, I visited Chicago for almost two weeks to avoid Hurricane Irma. And, I will hopefully will travel again for my birthday.

Beyond that, though, with the upheaval at home that has been here since May, I don’t really have much drive to try to accomplish something big.

After grad school, I felt like I had come on earth to do what I had to do–write my memoir. It’s not published yet, and it probably won’t be until my parents are dead (don’t want to deal with the immigrant parent blowback).

It’s weird to feel done at age 36.

And then there’s been more life lived, a lot of it humiliating and harrowing. Just this summer, though, my life as a freelancing writer and editor has started to show some sort of stability. I really wasn’t planning to start my own business–even if astrologically and otherwise, it makes more sense to do that.

But here I am, with clients that are starting to look like permanent ones. I am grateful, so grateful. Twitter was a big part of finding that stability, through people and friends I’ve met just this year.

I’m now in expansive Sag season and I feel contracted. I feel stalled. I’m used to having visions and missions bigger than me, consuming me.

The one thing that’s left in my life that I want to do or experience, no one wants to engage me on, which I am taking as a sign to not talk about anymore. So, I’ll spare you, too–and spare myself the embarrassment of glazed-over eyes and silence.

Maybe because I have experienced so many things already–and a lot of them haven’t really been uplifting–I have a small fear of planning anything.

What would be the point of planning if the Universe is just going to do this?

https://giphy.com/embed/gqItoeqRWSBnavia GIPHY

My time here was supposed to be missional. I thought I was signing up for finding my people, my tribe. I got the “Everybody Hates Me” sign-up sheet by mistake.

Besides that Florida is just a tough state to live in, and that I was really awakened to my own proximity to white supremacy (you can never be that close to it before it tries to bleach you)–I still had some hope, some stupid, unflagging hope that this was my home.

Thankfully, and most mercifully, that hope is dead now.

But to be in the holiday season and not really feel anything, not the sense of wonder or the beginning bubbles of joy percolating–I don’t even feel any hatred toward it…it’s a little scary.

I’m used to feeling inspired and awakened to big things. But my life has gotten so small, I could fit it in a pocket.

I wasn’t created for a small life–only an ever-expanding one.

I’ve gone ’round and ’round with trying to create a community for myself here, but nothing takes. There are loved ones across the country and around the globe, but nothing for me here.

Maybe this is what “chop wood, carry water” looks like. It’s not scaling a mountain or fording a stream. It’s very unglamorous, building my business and rebuilding my life. But it’s worth it.

There are times that I see people doing fun, exciting things, and I think, I should be out there doing those kinds of things. But then I think, with whom?

When I was doing NaNoWriMo this year, I got jealous of my main characters. They were doing exactly what I want to do now, exactly what no one wants to hear about. They were having a lot of fun, a lot of fun that I was used to having.

Being stuck in a cycle of poverty, I just haven’t had the space for fun, for mirth, for frivolity, for silliness. But both cycles–of poverty and over mirthlessness, are coming to an end–thankfully and most mercifully.

Even now with this one thing that no one wants to hear about, I remember having people in my life who wanted to hear about that stuff. I remember having people wanting to fully engage with my life. I remember being so irreverent, laughing at my calamity and pain because I knew I would eventually conquer them.

Now I feel like a spinning top that has been at rest for a while. There’s a deep level of inertia that I can’t Capricorn my way out of. I can’t act upon myself. It’s almost comforting, because I don’t really know what I’m missing.

I’m waiting on the Universe for clarity, for these synchronicities that fly around my head like annoying gnats to come into form. I’m waiting for the neon “open for business” sign to click on. I see it flickering…

Maybe it’s not that I am not wanting anything. Maybe it’s that I want more, so much more than I have ever had. I want to be engulfed by something bigger than writing my memoir, than getting through grad school, than pure survival mode for years.

I want to drown in something new.

I know what that new thing is, but I don’t know how to get from here to there–safely. I don’t feel compelled to start shaking every tree and trying to figure out what I should be doing. That’s how I usually would do it.

If I have to use a big term like paradigm shift, then that’s what this ole sea goat will have to use.

It’s about receptivity. It’s about active waiting. These are cringey, uncomfortable things, because it looks like learned helplessness. It looks like depression. It looks like like I’ve given up.

But, I haven’t. I’ve probably doubled down more than anything.

It’s also about just connecting with the Universe and saying, “I’m tired. I don’t know what the fuck is going on or where I’m headed. I want this thing and I don’t know how to get it. Please help me get it.”

So maybe I’m not aimless in archer season. Maybe I’m just motionless. I’m at rest.

With astrology, planets travel through signs and the 12 houses that are in your natal chart. Right now, the sun is in Sagittarius, which is going through my 12th house of healing, intuition, secrets, dreams, and the subconscious mind. It’s like the basement of the soul, in my opinion.

It’s also a place of rest. If you’re into tarot, it’s like the 4 of Swords card to me. For Capricorns and Cap rising people, this is like the disco nap before the big birthday party. It’s very weird to be chill during Sag season when everyone else is getting their holiday party on.

There are twinges of sadness that come up when I feel waves of FOMO wash over me. But they never last. I finally have embraced that this, for now, is where I’m supposed to be. Trying to force things hasn’t worked (believe me, I tried, just last month–spectacular failure).

Even for what I want, I have an idea of what it’d be like. But who knows if I’m ready for it, or if what’s waiting for me is ready for me? There’s a lot I can’t see or know.

I don’t know how this will all turn out. A new faith is being forged and I’m flailing around with impatience.

Even though I know what I want, I am like this Camus quote above: she was waiting but she didn’t know for what.

At least I do know I want this, for me and for you:

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08.12.12

some mysterious fractal

August 12, 2012 is when I finally made it to Florida to start grad school. It was on a Sunday. I was supposed to leave the day before, but the movers I hired were terrible and took too long. I guess I missed my flight? I couldn’t get a hold of any friends to crash with so I had to stay at this noisy airport hotel.

I had to stay with my cousin here for a couple of weeks because my stuff was being bounced around all over the east coast. Such a disreputable moving company.

I don’t even want to rehash all of that because it was horrible and I am tired of complaining about how horrible life has been down here. I think the horror magnifies with how hopeful I was to finally find my tribe, to make a real connection with a blood family member, to escape the cold and growing disappointments of Chicago.

Well, life had other plans for me.

It’s been very transformative spiritually. Going into year six of my life down here, I feel like I’ve unloaded a lot of emotional and spiritual baggage. I feel cleansed and unencumbered. But the journey to get to this very precious place has been very expensive: on my bank account, on my credit, on my body, on whatever I would call my social life.

Has it been worth it? I’m not entirely sure yet. This is a rather 7 of Pentacles moment right now. I’m looking at what I’ve grown so far and knowing there is more work to do.

Instead of regaling you with how shitty and disappointing and heartbreaking and humiliating and scary (and I’m pretty sure this blog has detailed a lot of that, so just peruse the archives for a good gasp, cry, or sigh), I’d rather just pivot from here and say that I’m done with this period of my life–or maybe my (very warranted) emotional response to it.

I’m not like Katrina and the Waves walking on sunshine yet, but I am tired of feeling like my life is one long, painful climb, even if that is the Capricorn way. Eventually, I want to be able to rest and enjoy the views up here…

 

The prolonged money and housing instability has been interesting to navigate as someone who is a Capricorn sun and rising with a Cancer moon. My sojourn in Florida has hit me where it hurts, over and over. That’s probably due to Pluto and his heavy demolition crew obliterating my 1st house of self, where my Capricorn sun and rising reside.

Who am I without a stellar reputation? Without stable housing? Without friends to lean on? Without a reliable stream of money?

What is my home? Who is my family?

I don’t really know what the answers to those rhetorical questions are. I believe I’m making it up as I go along–as we all do. I thought I knew those answers.

I didn’t realize how much I had relied on my plucky nature to get me out of jams, and how I have always had a strong community there for me to lift me up. Even with social media, I had both strong online and offline communities, where even both worlds would begin to meld. I met my last boyfriend in an MSN chat room and then we met in IRL–he lived in the same city and went to college with people I knew from my church.

It’s hard to have these stalwarts stripped away–sometimes very violently, and sometimes very slowly. But all the same, it’s left me very vulnerable and open–well, it’s easier to hear from Spirit in this way.

Looking back over these five years, I don’t have much gratitude for this stripping process yet. Still, because I want to change my attitude towards whatever has been unfolding in my life, I took myself out to dinner downtown.

As a sidenote, I do think it’s funny how some Americans will roll up into a nice restaurant and wear soccer jerseys or whatever else seems like casual attire.

My Cancer moon needed to be fed and nurtured. It felt so good to eat the (sometimes literal) fruits of my labor (I had a peach salad and a peach cobbler). As my current housing situation is driving me a lot batty,  it was also nice to not physically be here for three hours, to breathe healthier air in a different space, to not have the draining energy of this newest, inconsiderate boarder. I could at least afford to do this for myself, to celebrate my survival in a tough, unsympathetic state. That’s an accomplishment in it of itself.

But that’s the reframe right there: survival of losses, not just the losses. It’s what I’m good at. I do like to to triumph over circumstances. It may not be that I got to keep my car or my housing or my bank account at a consistent level. I have survived those losses. It seems right now the triumph is over death, over giving up, over having my spirit decimated.

I’m in a real spiritually desperate place right now. I am desperate for real, meaningful change; desperate to have Spirit move me–both literally and figuratively–to a place where I am nurtured and can be nurtured; to a place of deep fulfillment and appreciation; to a place where I can be fully myself again.

I am desperate enough to not solely look to other people to help me. I am desperate enough to shut out the world and to look within for all the treasures that were hidden underneath all of the things I’ve lost. I am desperate enough to not look to myself first and then come to the end of myself–I want to look to Spirit first where there is no beginning and no end.

I’ll be going on a retreat this weekend and I hope that my desperation will be met with opportunities and answers and practical solutions, and maybe a little more patience and strength as I keep journeying from the “here” of discontent to the “there” of “finally!”

By the way, that’s a perpetual round trip we all make, from discontent to contentment.

As the solar eclipse comes closer, I know there’s more coming my way—actually good things, things I’ve been wanting for so long, like stability, like expansion, like love in all forms. Lately, it’s been wonderful to have things to look forward to, not just things to dread.

As I grow older and closer to the midpoint of my life, I feel the pressure of limited time and there’s so much I want to do with my life than just survive. I have to trust that all that I’ve gone through here was not in vain–that there’s a purpose that’s greater than my own soul growth and spiritual development, that the ripple effect will be wider than I will ever know.

It’s really easy to forget, that even within the chaos, there’s some order—even if we don’t understand it yet, like some mysterious fractal that begins to unfold.

I have to trust that this unfolding, albeit painful, is truly both beautiful and beneficial. Otherwise, my life has been utter madness without any method or reason. I’m not talented enough to invent reasons or methodology on my own.

So here I go, with another long trust fall with the Universe. Even as I squirm and question and fret, there’s still a knowing that I am following, that nothing is ever wasted, that at least some of this wild and wacky ride will make sense, soon.

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lucy, desi, lucie, desi jr.

family is more than blood SOM

I recently wrote about my own family’s astrology, which really tripped me out because of how my brother and I were the solutions of what elements my parents lack (earth and water). I randomly stumbled upon Desi Arnaz’s natal chart because he and I have similar chart patterns (bowls above the horizon). I noticed that he and my mother have the same birthday.

I had read that Lucille Ball had noted that her marriage to Desi wasn’t anywhere near as pleasant as it was portrayed on the TV show, “I Love Lucy.” And then I saw that she was a Leo. It was like my parents, but reversed–including in age (Lucy is older than Desi).

Today is Lucy’s birthday. She would have been 106 years old if she were still living. She is a Leo like my father. What’s interesting about Lucy and Desi involves their moons and ascendant/rising signs. Desi has a Cancer moon and rising. Lucy has a Capricorn moon and rising. By degrees, both of those placements are in strong opposition.

Guess what their children’s sun signs are? Lucie Arnaz has a Cancer sun, Capricorn moon (hello full moon baby, like my brother), Leo rising. Desi Arnaz, Jr. has a Capricorn sun, Pisces moon, Aquarius rising.

I looked at their north nodes, which have a lot to do with fate.

  • Lucy’s north node is in Taurus.
  • Desi’s north node is in Capricorn.
  • Lucie’s north node is in Pisces.
  • Desi Jr.’s north node is in Aquarius.

And here are some interesting connections in their charts:

  • Lucie’s midheaven is in Taurus is conjunct, but not by degree, to her mother’s north node.
  • Lucie’s north node is conjunct to her dad’s sun.
  • Desi Jr.’s south node, in Leo, is conjunct his mother’s sun.
  • Desi Jr’s Mercury in Capricorn, is conjunct his father’s north node.

I didn’t want to start looking at what all these signs may mean about their relationships to each other, or their individual personality traits–that would take a lot of time and it’s not necessarily my focus of this post. I just thought it was so random to have a famous family have the same sun signs as my family, but all in different configurations.

The north node contacts make me think that although this marriage ended in divorce, there was a lot fated for this family to be together, to learn from each other.

Additionally, quincunx relationships, or relationships with signs five signs away (the angle is 150 degrees), can feel like fate. The Obamas are a classic example of how that can work, and work beautifully (Pres. Obama being a Leo, and the First Lady as a Capricorn). But it can take work. It can be really tough. I can only imagine what a Leo woman living with a Pisces man could feel like. Maybe those lunar and ascendant oppositions weren’t harmonious.

I can tell you as someone who has that Capricorn-Cancer opposition, it’s a push-pull seesaw that can give me emotional motion sickness. It doesn’t mean, though, that I can’t find some spiritual Dramamine, or a way to keep my eye on the horizon. And that goes for relationships with people, too.

I don’t want to get too heavy into the synastry (relationship astrology), but it doesn’t seem that hot between Lucy and Desi, in retrospect. I don’t personally think any relationship is doomed because of synastry. It can be a good user’s manual for a relationship, or a post-mortem of why a relationship worked–or didn’t work.

If you didn’t get any of that somewhat technical astrology jargon, here is your TL;DR: you and your family, for better and for worse, are probably bound by fate in ways that you don’t even realize. Astrology is a way to explain those connections, to make sense of the randomness of the genetic lottery that we’re all a part of.

Even when I felt like I never belonged with my family, I can see how I am inextricably tied to them, and them to me. Even if it’s not the happily ever after that I’ve fruitlessly sought, I know that our astrological aspects to each other, even just our sun signs, have taught me things about loving myself (Leo), the importance of family and close friends (Cancer), and spirituality (Pisces).

Even when things end, there’s still a lot of good left.

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the astrology of my family

family

The other day, a friend of mine called me an astrologer. I definitely don’t feel like one. I don’t feel like I know enough, especially compared to the astrologers I know, and of them, especially the ones who have been certified through organizations like the International Society of Astrological Research. I have helped people understand their own natal charts and the natal charts of their children, but I like having some cred.

Whatever I am, an astrologer or just a very curious person, I thought I’d take a deep dive into astrology in this post. My website name is an astrological aspect (sun opposition moon, which means that there was a full moon at the time of my birth). I keep talking about sun signs (aka the sign you look up for your horoscope) in my posts as well. I’ve been in a horribly didactic mood lately, so I might as well go all in and talk about how astrology can help you understand your family.

Today is my brother’s birthday (June 28th). He’s two and a half years younger than me and is also a full moon baby (Cancer sun, Capricorn moon). I don’t know his birth time because I really just started getting into this and my mom is quite evangelical and thinks astrology is ridiculous. So I’m not asking her.

Let’s start with my planets first.

My planets

Sun: Capricorn

Moon: Cancer

Ascendant (or Rising): Capricorn

Mercury: Sagittarius (retrograde)

Venus:  Sagittarius

Mars: Leo (retrograde)

Jupiter: Cancer (retrograde)

Saturn: Virgo (retrograde)

My generational planets are Uranus in Scorpio, Neptune in Sagittarius, and Pluto in Libra. There’s some interesting things to talk about with both Uranus, as it transits to Taurus next year (it is opposite Scorpio), and Pluto, which is squaring, or at a 90 degree angle with the current transit of Pluto in Capricorn. It’s hard to say what is going on for us Gen Xers as Pluto is going through Capricorn. But I will definitely write about how Pluto in Capricorn is affecting me, doubly, in another post.

A few pointers:

  • Your ascendant or rising sign is the zodiac sign that was rising on the eastern horizon at the time you were born.
  • If you have a rising sign that is the same as your sun sign, you were probably born early in the morning (and I was).
  • Every sign has some element to it (triplicity):
    • Fire: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
    • Earth: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
    • Air: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
    • Water: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
  • Every sign also has another kind of quality called a quadruplicity–basically, how a sign functions within a season:
    • Cardinal: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn–they start off seasons
    • Fixed: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius–they keep the season going
    • Mutable: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces–they close out the seasons
  • Every zodiac sign has a luminary or planet ruling it (I use the old school rulers).
    • Sun rules Leo
    • Moon rules Cancer
    • Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo
    • Venus rules Taurus and Libra
    • Mars rules Aries and Scorpio (Pluto is the modern ruler of Scorpio)
    • Jupiter rules Sagittarius and Pisces (Neptune is the modern ruler of Pisces)
    • Saturn rules Capricorn and Aquarius (Uranus is the modern ruler of Aquarius)

Still with me? All these groupings will impact personality and actions. You start combining these natal planets and put them into signs, and then put them into houses, and then put them at degrees 0 through 29, then you can get a real specific sense about a particular aspect about a person (e.g. I have Jupiter in Cancer at 0, retrograde, in the 7th house).

The planets also have their own personalities and like hanging out with some signs more than others. It seems like if you know some Greek and Roman mythology, some of this will make sense already.

All this information–and I haven’t even talked about what the houses do (which are ruled by both zodiac signs and planets)–is why I don’t feel like an astrologer. It’s a really vast subject. But all these signs and planets and how they relate to each other in transit and natally–they explain things like self-expression, communication styles,  and romance preferences.

So, by looking at how natal charts can interact with each other, you can also get a sense of how people can interact with each other, for better and for worse.

Back to my chart.

My chart has most of the planets “above the horizon”, in houses 7-12 (The natal chart starts at the 9 o’clock position and goes counterclockwise). So that means a public life. I’m pretty wide open about my life, to much distraction. My north node (who I am destined to be) is in Libra, and it’s somewhat conjunct (adjacent) to Pluto in Libra.

A little primer on retrograde planets

Retrograde means that a planet will look like it is orbiting backwards from our viewpoint on planet earth. How that affects us here is that we get to review certain things that are associated with that planet. Mercury retrograde, probably the most famous one, will deal with communication and travel. I was born under one, so it’s been said that for me, I will have an easier time communicating. It honestly all depends on what sign Mercury is in at the time and what house it falls in as it transits. Some retrogrades are easier to handle than others. Mercury retrograde is commonly felt because it’s the fastest planet.

Right now, both Saturn and Pluto are retrograde, and both planets are a lot smaller. What you end up seeing are events that play out on a larger, global scale, like trends in business, politics, fashion, etc. Unless you’re a Capricorn or Capricorn rising, or have some other personal planet in Capricorn, you’re not likely to personally feel this years-long transit.

I’ve heard it said that if you have many planets in retrograde (I have four), it’s the sign of a past life as well as some deep spirituality.

Based on these planets, maybe you could call me a volcano on an island? Fiery planets, some cozy watery placements in Cancer, and some earthy placements. You can see how I compare to the rest of my family.

My brother

My brother, M,  has a chart that is clustered mainly on the left-hand side, with the 12th and 1st houses holding the majority of his planets.

Sun: Cancer

Moon: Capricorn

Ascendant: Virgo

Mercury: Cancer (retrograde)

Venus: Gemini (retrograde)

Mars: Virgo

Jupiter: Virgo

Saturn: Virgo (I have this, too)

Since we’re both in that famous Gen-Xer/Millennial gap, he and I share the outer planets (Uranus in Scorpio, Neptune in Sagittarius, Pluto in Libra–he has all of these as retrograde!). But for this, it’s not really important. Those are generational planets and those are interesting to talk about with global events and how generational beliefs. That will be more relevant for my baby boomer parents.

So what’s interesting about my brother, besides the stellium (three or more planets in one sign) that my brother has in Virgo (in his first house), is that, beyond the astrology, my brother is developmentally delayed (DD). So much of astrology is about how we view ourselves, our self-concepts. I’m not sure how my brother views himself.

The Virgo stellium–I’m not sure what to say about it with the backdrop of DD except that my brother remembers details vividly and at times, even with his DD, he’s able to integrate those details–that’s what Virgo is about. When he was little, he was able to go get something my parents were talking about in another language–they didn’t ask him to do it, he just understood. His intelligence is just different, even though it’s poorly understood.

He’s definitely a Cancer–a very nurturing person who loves to give hugs. But he is quite temperamental. He’s been through a lot–we all have as a family.

I think if he ever was in a relationship (he sort of is?), all that Virgo along with his Cancer placements would make him a very nurturing person.

As you can see, he lacks fire and I lack air. My parents have both of those, but not that much of air. I’ll talk about how that impacted us later.

His north node is in Leo, which is my father’s sun sign. It’s interesting since that’s also a sign he’s probably already progressed into.

My father

Sun: Leo

Moon: Capricorn (ETA on 6/17/18: it’s Scorpio!)

Ascendant: Scorpio

Mercury: Leo  (ETA on 6/17/18: it’s Virgo!) (retrograde)

Venus: Cancer

Mars: Gemini

Jupiter: Virgo (my brother has this planet placement)

Saturn: Cancer

The generational planets are Uranus in Gemini, Neptune in Libra, and Pluto in Leo.

My dad’s north node is in Cancer which means his south node is in Capricorn. These nodes on the moon show where we have been (south node) and where we are going (north node). Even through my father’s degenerating mental health, I think he was better able to relate to me and my brother on a soul level.

That my brother and my father have north nodes in each other sun signs–my instinct is that they definitely needed each other, at this time, for soul growth. They have the tightest bond out of us four.

So you can see that my brother and dad share a Capricorn moon–it’s within a few degrees of each other, probably conjunct. Sharing a moon with someone makes it really easy to be friends. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why they also acted more like buddies than father and son. They also share the same Jupiter in Virgo.

ETA: My father’s Mercury is conjunct my Saturn in Virgo–both retrograde.

So Saturn is your proverbial wet blanket, and I honestly did not want to hear my dad pouring his heart out to me. I had to give him some major boundaries in communication with me. 

My father has impeccable penmanship and Mercury is exalted in Virgo. I wonder if this is a trait that Mercury in Virgo folks have…

My dad’s Mars being in Gemini–he definitely was a multi-tasker and had his hand in so many different projects. He also did a lot with his hands. He’s very handy in general. 

Could this be a foreshadowing of his bipolar disorder? I have no idea. I haven’t studied psychological astrology, at least not yet.

Both my dad and my brother are primarily ruled by the luminaries, the sun (which rules Leo) and the moon (which rules Cancer), as well as a bit of Mercury (which rules Gemini and Virgo).

I myself have a little bit of everything, but Jupiter (which rules Sagittarius) seems to be my ruler. First decan Capricorns (born within the first 10 degrees) are ruled by Jupiter, too.

Across all three of our charts, there is a lot of 11th house (ruled by Aquarius, which is traditionally ruled by Saturn) and 12th house (ruled by Pisces, which is traditionally ruled by Pisces) planets. My brother and I have personal planets in the 12th house, so it’s time to talk about our mother, who I am calling a fire fish (you’ll see why).

My mother

Sun: Pisces

Moon: Sagittarius

Ascendant: Gemini

Mercury: Aquarius (retrograde)

Venus: Aries

Mars: Leo (retrograde) (I have this planet placement)

Jupiter: Sagittarius

Saturn: Leo

Being baby boomers, she shares the same generational planets with my dad: Uranus in Gemini, Neptune in Libra, and Pluto in Leo, with the latter two in retrograde.

And now you can see why I call my mother a fire fish. I can see why my dad was attracted to her. Her Venus trines (60 degrees apart) his sun. A trine means the planets share elemental signs.

In this case, Venus in Aries (a cardinal fire sign) trines a Leo sun (a fixed fire sign). Her Mars is weakly conjuncts his sun. It’s a fiery, passionate connection, which was for them about evangelical/charismatic Christianity.

All About My Mother

So, what are the missing elements from my mother’s chart? Earth and water! What do the rest of us have in abundance? Earth and water! She basically gave birth to and married what she was lacking, especially with my brother.

Everyone else is much more airy (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) than me, but this lack of air created a very intellectual household. My parents are both very smart and our home had a library of books all over, in almost every room. Although I may not really relate to air signs, all of my family members have personal planets in air signs.

You would think that having a mom with a Pisces with a Sag moon that she has something for everyone. Well, not really. I really think my mother is ruled by her moon (emotional expression). Sags like freedom and expansion (Jupiter, its ruler, is an expansive planet–which can be good or bad).

I’m not saying that anyone with a Sag moon can’t have a family, but my gut says, even though I don’t know her birth time, that this moon would be more about exploring her horizons, meeting a lot of people, having fun outside the home.

And that’s what she does. She is actively involved in church (Jupiter and Sag love religion!) and really loves her friends and her family of origin.

Her north node is in Taurus, and I don’t really have much to say about that, although my Chiron and M’s Chiron is in Taurus. That is interesting to look at: pain. Chiron is the wounded healer. I definitely have a painful relationship with my mother and my brother’s relationship with her isn’t that great, either. His Chiron is conjunct her north node.

There’s so much more I could talk about when it comes to my family, but my mom’s Sag moon seems to be really the heart of my own issues with her. She’s a citizen of the world, and my serious relationships were with men who were just like that (neither of them live in the United States anymore).

Knowing this makes it easier for me to accept her as she is and also sheds light on who I am attracted to–just her moon alone!

Neither my Mercury or Venus are close to her moon, but they are conjunct her Jupiter. I think both of those conjunctions is why we can do small talk really well, especially about religion and spirituality (this is in Sag).

The ultimate goal for me is to understand why my family connected and disconnected in the way that it did. Astrology is a tool that helps me to do that. For example, all of us have Mercury retrograde natally. Would that leave to communication breakdowns like we had? I’m not sure. Mercury is retrograde at least three times out of the year, for a few weeks at a time. But it is interesting see that my parents have fixed signs for Mercury and my brother and I have cardinal and mutable signs, respectively.

It can get even more involved if you look at transits during key times for families, as well as looking at synastry (how two people vibe or don’t vibe together). For example, I looked at a transit chart of when I was being dumped by my first boyfriend–there was a Sun-Pluto conjunction, which can be a very explosive time. It helped me understand how and why this happened–even if I could feel it come a few days before.

Astrology can go much further than your sun sign and its particular quirks. It can help you with your partnerships, business, friendships, and children for starters.

I spoke with my Mercury in Cancer brother for a few minutes on his birthday. He didn’t have much to say. He wanted to talk more about old friends of mine than about himself. Cancer and Virgo tend to be other-oriented signs, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. But it saddened me that the closeness we had as children has now disappeared behind a wall of loss and disconnection.

All I can do is show up for him when I can.