Reader’s Question: Shall I Go To the Ball?

Saturday May 12th 2012

Here’s a letter a reader wrote to me recently, reprinted with permission.
“I hate my chart. I hate its ambiguities, its lethargy (thanks Libra stellium) and its inability to just take a decision and stick to it. I hate my Virgo Moon, and its crippling inability to let me feel worthwhile…

I feel this deep sense of shame about not knowing what to do with my life. I also feel a deep sense of shame that I don’t let myself say, “Yes, I AM good at something’. Because that truth, once acknowledged, must be acted upon. But also acknowledging it brings the shame that I have done nothing about it. …

I just wish I had a stronger roadmap for plotting out career strategies. …
This intelligent young woman has had a rough few years which have culminated in her living back under her parents’ roof and without a real job. She is, in effect, starting from ground zero. No wonder she’s feeling stressed out. But it’s not her Moon “doing” it to her… or her chart. You can see how she’s projected her frustration onto a piece of paper just by the language she’s using.
She’s smart, but she’s making a classic mistake: blaming her chart.  “…its inability to just take a decision and stick to it.” Since when is a chart making decisions? 

No, dear Q, it’s you that has to make the decision. The chart is just a diagram.

First of all, let’s knock that shame on the head. You could say it’s a combination of self-critical Virgo and wallowing Cancer. But it’s also your choice to be ashamed. Not knowing what to do with your life? Most people don’t have a clue… You’re in the majority here.

With Moon in Virgo and Saturn-Mars in the 12th house, you may well have a crippling inner critic droning on and on at you, but to say the planets are doing something to you, is a basic misunderstanding of how astrology works.

The planets are energy, which you use in the best way you can. You’ve made the choice to feel ashamed. That’s a waste of energy. Now unmake it. Read on to see how and why.

Q has been having her first Saturn Return – hitting a stellium in the 12th house. That combined with Pluto opposing her Sun – and the whole Cardinal disco setting Sun and stellium off – was never going to be easy.

Q you are a survivor. Pluto opposing the Sun is one of the most difficult transits to get through. No one is going to bounce back from that. Feeling flattened afterwards is nothing to be ashamed of.

You have natal Saturn-Mars, which can be knee-capping. Mars says go, Saturn says stop. And in Libra Saturn is much stronger than Mars.

But in fact, this is the chart of someone with tremendous perseverance. Mars-Saturn is not going to give up – once on the right path, and that is the crux of the matter. Scorpio Rising can achieve anything. Maybe the reason she has not stuck to anything so far is because nothing has been right. She simply has not found her vocation yet. And that is not such a terrible thing.

Many of us spend our 20s imagining that everyone else was doing brilliantly while we had missed the boat. Unless you happen to be Lily Collins (see pic) or Leonardo DiCaprio or some other child wonder, feeling that you’re being overtaken is one of the main moods of that decade. Everyone else is going ball, and you, Cinderella, are left behind…

Rest assured, most of us did not quite get to the ball before the age of 28.

Your Saturn Return is your time to acknowledge that. You don’t have to suddenly make amends for your lack of direction and success by instantly figuring out what you’re going to do with the rest of your life  – or marrying the gal you’ve been living with for seven years. No you just need to face the fact that you’re not quite on the path yet.

But let me tell you, everything you’ve done, everyone you’ve understood, every mistake you’ve made up until this point is useful. It is all going into making you even more you. And that is what you should be aiming for. You should be striving to become the most youish that you can, the very distillation of you. You probably won’t ever achieve this, but striving to will feel very good.

And your natal chart gives you an outline of what being you ought to mean.

Everything is going to change for you in October, when Jupiter moves out of Libra and into Scorpio. Saturn crossing the Ascendant is always maturing; Saturn in the 12th is always the last gasp of a particular phase in your life, a settling of accoutnts. Saturn in the 1st in Scorpio means focus is coming for you, so stop fretting about now. Instead take these months to allow yourself to explore possibilities, to examine your inner nature. Stop beating yourself up about it.

With Saturn in your 12th house, you are supposed to be doing some navel gazing. Don’t be ashamed of not acting. Action is not always the better part of valour. Sometimes standing still is exactly what is required. And Saturn is all about slowing down.

Astrology can help point the way for you to some extent, but the decisions ultimately are yours.

As for vocation, this is how the chart reads. With Leo on the MC and Jupiter Rising, you need to shine, be noticed, applauded and preferably worshipped. You, Grace Kelly, Napoleon, Prince.
So how to go about this shine?
The Moon in Virgo suggests you need to serve and shine at the same time. Tricky. Also you have a knack for detail, and a drive to perfection. You could do something very precise and crafted.
The tenth house is ruled by the Sun and the Sun is in creative, artistic, sensitive Cancer. By progression, the Sun is on the cusp of the 10th house now (less one degree), so you are on the threshold of your career. Next year, you should launch into something new, and make it public. This fits with Saturn’s move into her first house too.
That highly emotional Cancer Sun applies to North Node, so self-expression, self-development, selfishness are your destiny. And you’re ambitious. Fear of failure has made you underplay your hand. You want to be top, so you don’t even try to extend yourself. You need to do something mentally challenging and stimulating.
Cancer rules the Moon in Virgo in the 11th: you should deal with the public. Since it’s Virgo, it’s healing or problem solving, which fits in with Scorpio Rising – a forensic combination, critical and systematic. You could be a surgeon with that combination. You can see that this could be the chart of an eminent consultant with a flock of students (9th house Sun) following her around the hospital (12th house stellium).
Imagine yourself in that type of role and see if you can come up with something that fits. With all those planets in the 12th, you’d feel comfortable as part of a large institution.
The Moon’s closest contact is with Mercury in the 8th at home in his own sign Gemini, so very strong. That’s a psychological but also a money-making placement. That’s an active Mercury, making close aspects to the strong Saturn and weak Mars, all in the mental air signs. She has a good mind, and with the Saturn aspect, an organised mind.
Moon in Virgo and Mercury in Gemini: both signs are ruled by Mercury, communications, words, books. She should look for a job organising information – and with the Venus-Uranus duet across her chart, she must love new tech, so why not a high-tech librarian? Aren’t all librarians high-tech these days?

And why not, Q, since that is exactly what you’re going to study. You’re a natural researcher but you need to share that research with the public. You need to be able to show it off.

That’s a day job. Then there’s the writing. You have a gift with words (Mercury-Moon, and Venus in Gemini). Mercury contacting Mars-Saturn suggests that you can actually produce a real thing, but it’s slow, so make that a long-term ambition. Writing will give you the opportunity to show off (Leo MC) your mind and craft (Moon in Virgo).

Right now, you need to get out and experience life again. You need to know that being indecisive is not due to your chart, but more likely due to your circumstances. Your choices now need come from your instinct. The trouble with Libra is that it can be too accommodating. You pay too much attention to other people’s opinions (needs) and not enough to your own.

Doing what was expected of you was what got you into this situation in the first place. Now it’s time to go your own way. Write your own invitation to the ball, and use it. That is the message of Saturn Returns.

Be brave, persevere and be reassured that come the autumn, you will be taking the first steps on a new and straighter path.

If you have any insights into Q’s chart, please share them.

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  1. Opal says:

    I think she’d make a terrific advocate for women’s rights, perhaps as an international lawyer or charity worker of some kind. That 9th house Cancer Sun and North node, with all the 12th house Libra speaks to me of someone who is very concerned with law and justice, and on the world stage (Leo MC). I don’t mean man-made law, necessarily, but more natural law – the ‘way things should be’.

    Venus in the 7th, and Moon in the 11th also points to working with women, and the aspect to BML in the second suggests the feminine power screaming to be acknowledged, in order to feel worthy. I think the sense of shame mentioned may well have something to do with Neptune conj BML, making her sense of self-esteem foggy or non-existent and I believe that if she involves herself in working to advance the cause of women in some way (perhaps in Africa or somewhere abroad) she will then have cause to feel pride in herself through her achievements.

    I think anyone with 12th house placements is dealing in archetypal realms and has a natural ability to access at this level – if the insights they garner here are not shared with the world or at large in some way, the person ends up feeling powerless and useless. I also have Pluto in the 12th and it’s not easy – first to access the power and then to wield it usefully.

    Anyway. I hope some of this is of help 🙂

    • Christina says:

      Thanks for those brilliant insights on the Cancer Scorpio Virgo combo. I do agree it has a medical vibe. Q has Chiron at 25° Taurus. It is in the seventh (so possible healing others) but there’s no tight contact with the MC, so maybe not vocational but personal.

      What’s fascinating about an open question like this is how we all bring our real life experience to interpreting the chart. In other words, we can talk best about the work we know about.

      I looked at the charts of identical twin sisters last month. Cap Rising, Scorp MC, Gemini Sun, Cancer Moon. One was a dental nurse and the other worked with disabled children. You can see how both were living out the chart, but in different fields. But I’d never have looked at that chart and said Aha – dental nurse!

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know an awful lot about astrology, but I do know some friends with the Scorpio/Cancer link; they work in psychiatric medicine. Another friend with a Scorpio/Virgo/Cancer link works as a finance director in a Mental Health Trust. I’m Cancer Sun, Libra Moon, and I think, as Opal says, it does tend to give a need to fight for the underdog, especially mums and children. I’m thinking with your loaded 12th house and your writing link you could be great running groups or doing some sort of therapy work in wards or with homeless charities. Or with your Virgo and Leo, helping to get support groups organised, writing tenders for funding for Charities, raising awareness via PR hobnobbing with the bigwigs etc. There are lots of volunteer opportunities out there if you want to give it a go and see if it’s for you.

      As for feeling ashamed – I remember reading something once that went along the lines of, the greatest gift you will be given is to know that you are able to come through your own humiliation. Hold your head up, you are special! There’s no-one else like you out there.

      Also, no-one really knows what their life path is, and if they do, then it always changes 🙂 There’s no one ‘special’ path out there for you to find that you’ve missed – so don’t worry, you’ve just got to make your own path. But as Christina said, nothing is really lost. Especially if you want to work with people, it helps to have a few cock-ups under the belt. (Otherwise no-one will trust you):)

      I wish you all the very best, and you are already well on your way, if you knew it all by now there would be something wrong. Gird your loins and jump in!

    • Christina says:

      What excellent insights, Opal & I think you’re right. What a good steer.

      I was wondering how to interpret the Lilith and I felt it might come out in the writing, if Q is working on something.

      I think the sense of shame is watery in general – so the Neptune BML as you say, but also just the 12th house stellium and the Sun in Cancer. I think she needs to defend herself against it quite strictly because otherwise it could stop her from doing anything. So it’s important for her to know how misplaced it is.

  2. Moonchild says:

    The first thing I thought of was children and motherhood when I saw this chart, because of the Cancer Sun and North Node. Because the Sun’s in the 9th I also think it may be to do with teaching people about motherhood or teaching children higher knowledge. This affinity with children and young people also fits in with the planets and gemini and the Leo MC.

  3. Jess says:

    OMG – just to confuse the issue, the first thing I thought of was gaming (Leo MC), Venus-Uranus opposition, bright Merc… probably totally off the wall

    • Christina says:

      Actually that’s supported by the chart. Just goes to show how many different ways the same chart can be interpreted & shows why it’s so important and fruitful to have a conversation with your client.

  4. Christina says:

    The other thing to look at, of course, is the second house and its ruler, income and expenditure. The second house usually shows how we actually make money – which might be different from vocation. Q’s 2nd house has Sag on the cusp (which fits with the 9th house Sun) ruled by Jupiter on the Asc in Scorpio. I’m still getting higher education from this but it could be the law or something to do with foreigners.

  5. P says:

    This is so interesting! (look what happens when I lose internet for a few days…)

    Why not a mental health advocate for underserved populations?

    And – in order to actually make money (we need to eat) free-lance writing?

    In Jyotish (vedic astrology) the 11th house is also an indicator of wealth.

    Which actually ties pretty well with the rest of the chart.

    Perhaps a consultant / advocate for non-profit issues?

  6. P says:

    Ooh! ooh! How about a voluntary position (11th Virgo) to communicate with (Gemini) governments (12th house)about mental health issues (8th house)?