For those that practice and study astrology, or even those with a passive interest in their monthly sun sign horoscopes in Cosmo magazine, there is a question to consider of whether astrology is purely deterministic—that is it can be used to predict with relative accuracy specific events—or still leaves room for free will for us human folk to triumph and screw up as we so choose.
Much discussion could be offered debating this issue in the realm of transits, i.e. real time astrology and its effects on us. However, I’m going to steer in the direction of the birth chart, the snapshot taken of the sky at the moment of birth, and the psychological analysis of that individual that one can, in my case, cook up with delirious pleasure because I just love this stuff that much.
Does your birth chart and all its challenges mean you are screwed for life? Does that question make me sound like Carrie Bradshaw? If so, please smack me.
Like many, my own study of the stars began with learning about this psychological aspect of it—what the positions of the planets can teach you about your personality.
In other words: Why the hell am I like this?!
For me personally, one of the points in my chart that gave me that a-ha moment was becoming enlightened on the aspect of my Capricorn Saturn squaring my Aries ascendant. In my chart this aspect is a tight one—within less than a degree—and it explains A LOT about… you guessed it… why the hell am I like this?!
A fabulous thing about astrology is that any placement or planetary aspect in the chart offers a fantastic perspective on why the individual might have an enviable knack for something, be naturally drawn to certain things…or why they continuously make the same f*ck-ups, are rattled by the same fears over and over, or feel completely stuck and livid at themselves for being stuck.
But a second fabulous thing about astrology is that by revealing this information, by showing the individual the specific energies at work that are leading to said frustrated f*ck-ups, that person now can start to finally GET what’s really going on with them…and begin to heal it. Or put less sweetly, get their sh*t together.
Take my Saturn/ascendant square. Saturn (especially in Capricorn) is a super judgy planet who makes us not only work hard, but often isn’t satisfied until we get to the next level, then the next. Saturn doesn’t have time for foolishness, messes, or wildly jumping into things without a business plan. Aries, on the other hand, is the little kid of the zodiac who wants to just GO NOW. Aries doesn’t have time for censorship or pleasantries, and he just wants to be his fabulous self. The ascendant point represents the energy with which you move through life, often how you’re defining yourself. Aries ascendant wants to charge right through, kicking ass and taking names, so to speak.
Being in a 90° square means these two energies are flowing in two different directions, bumping heads at the corner, fighting for who’s going to get through. I mean, we’re talking about Capricorn the goat and Aries the ram here, so the horns are clashing.
What does this clash mean for me?
A life history of debilitating self-doubt and constantly wanting to say and be one thing, but feeling cut off and unable to do so, and hella frustrated at myself for it.
But remember the second fabulous thing I told you about astrology about heeeealing (or getting your sh*t together)? This is where that comes in.
Before I understood the energy of Saturn and Aries and how they’re interacting, I mistakenly just thought I was shy and I also thought I was so bizarre and out of place that I couldn’t possibly let people know, so I better lock the heck up before they call the asylum on me.
I also thought I was destined to be this insecure corked weirdo forever.
But wait…now that I know about the birth chart, now this is more than just plain insecurity and hiding one’s true alien form in a regular human suit. It’s my natural urge of expression being continuously audited by perfectionism and wanting to appear together. The times in my life when I’ve felt so desperately to be one thing, but then second-guessing and thinking that, oh, I just couldn’t possibly, it was fiery Aries wanting to show himself to the world while Saturn was saying, “Just hold up one minute. Are you sure about this?”
One energy isn’t necessarily better than the other; in fact people with completely unhandicapped Aries energy can be too freaking much for anyone else to deal with. I have a dad and a dear friend who are strong Aries people and DAMN is it a ride sometimes. On the flip side, too much Saturn, too much control and responsibility is way too Type A and doesn’t leave enough room for risk taking or spontaneity.
Using a very businessy and corporate expression that Saturn would love, to circle back to the determinism and free will duality that I introduced at the beginning of this article, you are 110% not determined to be affected by your particular personality challenge forever. If you have some stuff f*cking up your Mars, you don’t have to be an angry prick forever. If you have some weird Moon/Venus issues, you don’t have to be emotionally unavailable in your relationships forever.
In my case, I don’t have to be an insecure weirdo forever.
Your birth chart doesn’t equate to permanent stains on your personality and your life. All you need is a little Spray ‘n Wash.
And exerted effort to rub the stain out.
Here is Part II of this series where I present some constructive troubleshooting tips (there’s that Saturnian corporate chatter again) for working with the challenges in your chart and overcoming them.
Or to put it a more Aries way, getting your sh*t together.
Catch you next time!