|This weekend reading is an ECLIPSE re-print, edited, augmented, and with completely new sections added on Uranus and Neptune.|
The internalized voices of the mother and father (or the caretakers) are something everyone absorbs in childhood and carries for life. We know how a parent would likely respond to most everything we do, and often as not that assumed parental assessment floats through the mind as we make choices. But, as we age, we’re meant to compartmentalize those particular voices, and replace them with a central one belonging to ourselves, with ones belonging to our idealized Archetypes—the Mother and Father of our dreams, so to speak—as secondary, as a set of counselors. These have the benefit of being all-loving and totally supportive; they tell us what we need to hear to assure our choices are healthy for us and supportive of our Soul’s needs, and best of all, these Archetypal voices support the adult that we are, rather than commenting on the child we were. We can if we’re so inclined characterize these as God’s voice, the voice of our incorporeal guardians or angels, the Higher Self, or of the sexless but living Universe—whatever fits your belief system. The internal Parents will speak to what’s most productive for us as individuals—and this ‘feedback’ varies from that of the actual mother and father in situations where they were truly supportive to a kind of neutral, responsible common sense advice meant to aid.
Have your internal voices (at least the directly real-life parental ones) evolved from the personal voices of the actual caretakers into an Archetypal energy that ‘speaks’ in your best interests, or is the voice you hear still the one of the actual parent, with all the encouragement, judgment, and limitations of their life imposed on yours? And do you get that confused—or more likely, allow it to sidetrack you—when you’re in the midst of decision-making? We get some clues in the chart on how to deal with the parental influence by examining contact between the personal planets and lights (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars) and other bodies, some that are specific to the personal chart and some that are universal. Here’s a quick look at the info, cookbook-style. Remember, of course, that these are not the only meanings these contacts have–we’re just concentrating on particular manifestations and concepts.
Jupiter in contact with the personals seems to have two main early expressions: seeing the individual or subject represented by the contacted energy as god-like, or seeing the contacted energy as something we always need ‘more’ of. We tend to relate this attitude to, or draw it from, whichever parent seemed god-like at the time—so not necessarily the parent who held the most authority, but the one to whom it seemed nothing was denied. When this takes on an Archetypal maturity, we see the opportunities we’ve had related to the contacted energy, and we access direct knowledge of the related concepts. Natal Venus in Scorpio trine Jupiter in Cancer may suggest we had a female caretaker who ‘had it all’ emotionally, and that she was either provided this by a god-like figure or that she herself was that figure. She was cared for emotionally, at least (Cancer), and sex and mystery (Scorpio) may have seemed to be her province, denied to the individual with the aspect, as was a sense of truly being nurtured, with that reserved for the caretaker as well—and this may have resulted in over-the-top sexual experimentation, emotional spending, or having 15 children, trying to claim Venus-Jupiter for oneself. With maturity and an Archetypal Jupiter in place, one is not only able to claim the energies for the Self, but also to see how they may be best used. In this case, knowledge of what it takes to nurture (Cancer) combines with the worth of Truth, deep and intense relationships, and yes, sexuality, to inform the life choices and open the Self to the wider world and its worth.
As the Old Man of the chart, Saturn in contact to any of the personals can describe the permanent influence of an authority figure, usually the parent perceived as ‘in charge’. Typically this is a sense of suppression of the characteristics of the contacted planet, with maturity bringing a change that incorporates Self-discipline in place of external restrictions. For instance, the natal Moon in Aries square Saturn in Capricorn, with Saturn repping the father, may suggest the individual observed suppression of the mother’s (Moon) independence, autonomy, or leadership potential and incorporated this into the emotional make-up, or that the individual directly experienced it her or himself, possibly through a denial of the intuition or even the emotions themselves. Every time this person makes a move on his or her own, he or she may experience that sense of paternal suppression, and so may show temper, aggression, or insist on the ‘I want’ in response. With maturity and the Archetypal response, though, the individual may shift from seeing Saturn as conflict and potential negation of the feelings to support of these through following the ‘rules’ and through sufficient Self-restraint. This is just one possibility, of course. When we’re still hearing the voice of one or the other parent, we will tend to refuse or at least resent complying with Saturn’s requirements; by the time we form an Archetypal version, we will frame it as the inner voice of caution and common sense—and likely have attracted one or two ‘real-life’ versions, people exhibiting extraordinary maturity no matter their age, on which to model our approach.
Uranus related to the inner parent concept may stand for one or both as erratic, unreliable, Self-involved, and if it applies to both maternal and paternal authority figures (for instance, by ruling or being posited in the 10th) the parents may have presented as a ‘group’, sticking together so that there was no way for the child to make an end run around one parent to appeal to the other. The home life may have been perceived as chaotic, no matter the surface appearance of things, and the sense that accidents could happen anytime, or that the parent could simply disappear, could breed hyper-vigilance in the child that becomes an uneasy sense of distrust of all others, or the world itself, in the adult. Relationships may innately seem precarious, and if there’s a denial of this influence, the individual could be repressive and controlling themselves, unconsciously seeking to keep potential chaos at bay.
In my upcoming Moon book I discuss the personal effects of Uranus using the chart of singer Karen Carpenter; here are a couple of excerpts:
“She has a 00 Cancer 34 Ascendant, with Uranus retrograde at 00 Cancer 57–this shouts naturally wired, high strung, nervous, and in Cancer the likely conduit for the nerves is the stomach, and possibly in motherhood (or the rejection of it–Carpenter had no children). Uranus rules the Whole Sign 8th, which holds Venus, Jupiter, and Mercury. We can see anorexia, the disease from which she suffered and from which she died, in at least one sense as rebellion: from control of others, from norms, from forced sharing (8th House) in an attempt to create one ‘private’ thing in the life, one thing completely, irrevocably under the individual’s sole control—and these planetary and point relationships describe this to a ‘T’.
Uranus can be seen as a kind of co-Ascendant, so closely and thoroughly is it tied to Karen’s connection point with the world. It suffers significant isolation from the other chart energies, with only a semi-square to Pluto (which touches Uranus’ ruler, the Moon) and a square to Juno. These aspects suggest intense control issues, a known component of the equation that prompts anorexia. But, though the two bodies Uranus touches are control-oriented, the involvement of Uranus suggests a fear of losing control, a dread of the chaotic and the unanticipated. She may have identified herself as potentially always on the verge of personal chaos (Uranus closely conjoined the Ascendant)—and that easily could’ve driven her to be constantly vigilant, and to clamp down on anything and everything within her reach.”
Neptune to the personals and linked to the parental figures can make for a number of intensely disorienting experiences for a child: the parent may seem to (or even tell the child that) they hold all the creative ‘cards’, making the child feel they can never live up to the parental creativity (this is not uncommon in the charts of children of successful artists or celebrities). The suggestion in the mind of the child is that the parent presents an ideal that can never be reached, convincing the child he or she is drab and untalented by comparison, even if the parent has never implied this. Or the child may suffer from a sense of nebulous or incomplete identity, taking their cues about who they are and how they feel from the parent. There may be a lack of boundaries that, if carried into adulthood, can bring gullibility, unrealistic creative attempts, and co-dependent relationships until the individual learns to set boundaries and clearly differentiates the Self and the Self’s responsibilities from those of others. The child being persuaded they’re someone they’re not is a distinct danger. Learning they’re not responsible for those around them (and especially for the feelings of those around them) can be a significant milestone.
The sense that it’s natural for the individual to feel they are just a small part of something larger can bring perpetual uncertainty, and may be the foundation of a spiritual search in adulthood; a good parent will recognize the fears and inability of the child to know where he or she ends and everyone else begins, and can assist them in channeling that Cosmic awareness into appropriate expression–a not-so-good parent may use the child like a battery, absconding with the child’s creative and life energies, insisting the child exists as an adjunct of them. This can be a tough enmeshment to recognize, as it may present as the parent deeply concerned with fostering the child (the modern ‘helicopter parent’ comes to mind) which can easily smother or disorient the child’s creative and imaginative urges. Most difficult contact for the native within their own chart? Neptune and the Moon, no question.
Pluto is symbolic of what’s commonly known as ‘The Devouring Mother’, but that’s too narrow a definition by far; this is really a designator of a power figure, male or female, who overwhelmed the individual, and likely persuaded them that, whatever energy Pluto contacted was not to be theirs. The typical indoctrination involves framing the energy as destructive, as likely to obliterate the individual if she or he engages with it. Who would tell (or imply) something like this to a mere child? Sometimes it’s done out of fear, in an attempt to protect, but just as often it arises from rage, an attitude that says, ‘If I can’t have this, neither can you!’ When this is the voice we carry in our minds, we are likely forbidden to even think about the energy too much; we have been so conditioned to see it as, essentially, death, that we avoid it actively.
As we see others access that power, though, this leads (at least at first) not to accessing it ourselves, but to rage of our own at being denied something we see others have: we in essence become, attitudinally, the mirror of our caretaker in regard to this subject. The classic example is Venus square Pluto, which traditional literature calls a denial of Love for the individual until they learn to be loving. I find this a misunderstanding of the dynamic at work: the individual appears to not understand Love and to behave badly because of it, but they are actually reacting to the denial of Love for themselves, in that they are raging at being denied what they see everyone else have. They are not devoid of Love themselves, but so afraid of it (and in some cases this applies to money/ assets, too) that they dare not approach it. Remedy begins when the individual first tastes genuine Love (not romance) and finds they don’t die; dramatic as it seems, that’s what it takes to show them they can not only have it, that they are worthy of it—and that is the essence of the Plutonian Archetypal form, the ability to be powerful and unafraid, and so abandon the need to rage and destroy.
I often see Ceres described as a kind of ‘Earth Mother’ figure, but that paints her as entirely too passive (and with far too little power of her own). She is an active energy, Nature itself, and though she nurtures, her mothering role is this: she cares for and carefully tends the welfare of her offspring, as long as they do precisely what she wants. I contend that the story we know of Persephone/ Proserpina’s abduction by Pluto/ Hades is told from Ceres’/ Demeter’s point-of-view; that’s why it’s an abduction, not an elopement, and imprisonment in the Underworld rather than the voluntary experience of sexual maturity, which in itself requires the individual to separate from the maternal figure. Ceres’ grief at her daughter’s escape to the Underworld in many ways resembles a fit by a too-controlling parent: I will withhold the very essence of life to all that grows on the planet (creating autumn and winter, which hadn’t existed–before that it was perpetual summer) until my daughter returns to me. The daughter is treated like a possession, and the negotiation for her partial return is carried out not with her but with Pluto—she is never asked what she wants!
With Ceres in contact to the personals, then, we may see someone who was required to conform to the caretaker’s expectations to the letter in the areas of life signified by the contacted energy. Getting free from that all-encompassing hold means acting, not necessarily in ways we want to, but in ways that take us outside the parental reach. That means early attempts to break free of Ceres’ hold can be very bad choices, indeed—but they serve to make the individual more autonomous, at the very least, and that may set them on their way with a determination not to return to a Ceres-approved life. When we bring the Archetypal version of Ceres into being, we connect directly with what we might refer to as the ‘Voice of Nature’; this energy makes us highly aware of and respectful of all living things (and even that life essence found in inanimate objects, invested by the Being who created them) and in its fullest form makes it very difficult for us to stand by and allow damage to the Earth. Natal Ceres conjunct the Sun, for instance, may start out with the individual placing a Solar entity (the father, or the person about whom their internal Solar system orbits) in the center of the life, which is really a position each of us should hold in our own lives—it’s inappropriate for another to be in that place. You can imagine the drama that would unfold as this individual struggles to claim the Solar energy for their own—and the life-or-death tinged threats that may be made if the individual withdraws from the temporary Sun/ Ceres individual’s compass. Eventually, though, withdraw they will—because in the end, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Bonus knowledge on Ceres: When one person’s Ceres makes cross-chart contact to particular natal bodies of the mate, a super anti-romantic energy can ensue. For example, a woman’s Ceres conjunct a man’s Mars may start out okay (he may like the sense of nurture and acceptance he feels from her) but quickly devolves into something akin to a repelling energy: she soon starts to feel like Mom to him, and only if he’s into sex with Mom do things work out! It may not be that blatant (or icky) but he will likely come to see her every interaction with him as emasculating, in a sense—the funny thing is couples with this cross-chart interaction can end up staying together for a long time, as he becomes a serial adulterer (for sex) then returns to the mate for comfort and a sense of home.