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The Gift and Curse of Natal Astrology

Jeff Jawer's Blog

Jeff Jawer
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The Gift and Curse of Natal Astrology

Wed, 04/04/2012 - 04:57 pm PST by Jeff Jawer

There is nothing like a natal chart to describe one’s personality. A chart calculated for the time, date and place of birth is a deeply rich and textured picture of psyche, soul, potential and problem areas. The great gift of having a personal natal chart done is the way in which the various drives, needs and desires are expressed so beautifully by the Sun, Moon, planets, signs, houses and aspects. It’s liberating to recognize individual characteristics as appropriate when they differ from family or cultural models. At its best, a natal chart is a passport to oneself and a source of individual freedom.

Yet a birth chart analysis is, like any other system, a double-edged sword. While it provides self-understanding that can be liberating, it also may have the opposite effect of boxing us in to a limiting set of beliefs about ourselves. The key to making the most of Astrology is in how you apply this uniquely perceptive tool.

For example, I was born with the Moon in Scorpio, which represents emotional intensity and going to extremes. Learning this helped me put the powerful feelings I’ve always experienced into a meaningful context. It’s the need of a Scorpio Moon person to dive into the depths of him or herself to discover underlying desires and motivations. What previously simply seemed like a character weakness or neurosis finally had a name and a purpose. I’m supposed to be intense and complex, sometimes pushing emotional buttons -- my own and others’.

Names give things power. Scorpio Moon gave a name to my feelings, which made sense out of them. Yet it also became a limiting factor because I wasn’t supposed to have access to the lightness of a Moon in Gemini or the spontaneity of a Moon in Aries. The gift of self-identification, especially an accurate one, must be handled carefully. It is a tool that can be applied constructively and destructively. This is the risk of astrological analysis: that it describes us so well that we may be stuck with that description. There are, fortunately, some remedies for this.

One is to recognize that we all have a Moon and that we all have feelings. This is the primary truth of our human experience. The shades of difference accorded to each Moon sign are meaningful but they are not the whole story. Rather than stopping with the symbol, whether it’s the Moon in Scorpio, Mars in Libra or any planetary placement, think of these as starting points. The birth chart represents default behavior; the unconscious responses to life that operate when we don’t pay attention or take responsibility for ourselves. Learning that my Moon is in Scorpio is not an excuse for resentment, jealousy or emotional extremism, but a warning signal. I need intensity, yet part of growing as a person is to express it in healthy ways. The sign that any planet is in is a gateway to its essence, yet beyond that opening lies a much wider range of expression.

Another remedy is to step away from the restrictive self-identification of the birth chart when it’s not serving a useful purpose. Instead of justifying my stubborn thinking because I was born with cerebral Mercury in fixed sign Taurus, I can recognize when I’m caught in a mental rut and make appropriate adjustments. Instead of reinforcing the behavior astrologically, the awareness a birth chart provides can show us how we’re limited by old patterns and habits and need to change them.

Astrology is a brilliant technology that can be used to reinforce negative traits, which makes it less than helpful. However, when we recognize the chart as a model rather than an absolute rule, we have the freedom to choose how we work with it. This is no different than the ways we use the traumas to assess our lives. The child of an alcoholic parent can explain certain behavior because of that experience, but the goal is to use this understanding to move beyond rather than to reinforce the pattern. When self-identification with Astrology or with any other system empowers us it’s worth using, but when it becomes a barrier to growth it’s better to let it go until we can apply it in a more constructive way.

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9 Comments to "The Gift and Curse of Natal Astrology"
The profile picture for arifinter.
arifinter says:
Tue, 05/01/2012 - 20:55

ternyata bintang" bulan itu ada

The profile picture for Russell.
Russell says:
Sun, 04/15/2012 - 07:38

I am fairly new to studying Astrology, and I have not seen anything close to the definition or accuracy of individuals and their personalities as Astrology is. I don't even know how to explain how liberating it has been for me.

Thanks Jeff for your article, because not only do I have the moon in Scorpio, I have have the sun in Scorpio. I didn't know until I studied my birth chart that I was felt things much more emotionally than others. I couldn't explain why I can meet someone and within a few minutes I know whether or not I can trust them. These things also set me apart from others, making me feel out of place and frankly somewhat of a freak.

Now, I know it is just my general makeup and I am cautious about how I use those traits. I thought everyone felt intensely as I did. Astrology has certainly helped me to understand who I am, and to not feel so isolated as a person.

Thank you so much for your continued insight

Russ Olson

The profile picture for Russell.
Russell says:
Sun, 04/15/2012 - 07:38

I am fairly new to studying Astrology, and I have not seen anything close to the definition or accuracy of individuals and their personalities as Astrology is. I don't even know how to explain how liberating it has been for me.

Thanks Jeff for your article, because not only do I have the moon in Scorpio, I have have the sun in Scorpio. I didn't know until I studied my birth chart that I was felt things much more emotionally than others. I couldn't explain why I can meet someone and within a few minutes I know whether or not I can trust them. These things also set me apart from others, making me feel out of place and frankly somewhat of a freak.

Now, I know it is just my general makeup and I am cautious about how I use those traits. I thought everyone felt intensely as I did. Astrology has certainly helped me to understand who I am, and to not feel so isolated as a person.

Thank you so much for your continued insight

Russ Olson

The profile picture for Jhi.
Jhi says:
Fri, 04/13/2012 - 14:37

Very well said! Love your columns.

The profile picture for Katie.
Katie says:
Sat, 04/07/2012 - 19:20

I felt the same way when I found out I have Venus in Capricorn. A lightbulb went off, like, "Oh, THAT explains it!" The knowledge of this placement has been incredibly enlightening.

The profile picture for Kristin.
Kristin says:
Sat, 04/07/2012 - 10:49

Very good article saying that it is important to consider everything in your natal chart. Since our sun, moon and ascendent and other planetary has an impact on us. It can be imformative and helpful pages in a book to understand ourselves, but that they or us are not in concrete, and black and white. There are shades of grey and degrees and percentages of aspects. Upbringing has a lot to do with it too. Like the tarot team very much.

The profile picture for jane.
jane says:
Sat, 04/07/2012 - 08:48

I will always remember my natal horoscope reading. An astrologer was seeking people to have natal horoscopes charted. She wanted to find out if there was a common thread of somekind running through the natal charts of people who had problems

The profile picture for Kim.
Kim says:
Fri, 04/06/2012 - 16:29

I too, have my Moon in Scorpio and Midheaven too! It's been a double-edged sword for me! I'm dealing with my intensive (and extreme) nature; I still have to cope with the intent of pointing things out to people without hurting their feelings AND only when asked to!

The profile picture for Genevieve VenJohnson.
Genevieve VenJohnson says:
Fri, 04/06/2012 - 07:50

Wonderfully put, Jeff. I think you are describing a most practical, and evolved perspective in using the Natal chart.

 
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