A Client Case of Low Self-Esteem (August 2007)

August 15, 2007

I thought this was a good horoscope to share particularly with a dominant Neptune-Saturn square, which is often difficult to understand. It can register as confusing ambition or putting it to sleep; things can be doubted, pessimistic, threatening, insecure, or unknown.

The horoscope (Dec 12, 1963; 4:00 PM; Athens, Greece; Asc 03 Gem 36) shows a strong western hemisphere emphasis, with two dominant squares. The first square is Neptune (r. 11th)-Moon in Scorpio (r. 3rd) in the 6th square Saturn (r. 9th) elevated in the 10th near the MC: suggesting doubt about lovability and recognition probably linked to the father, carrying over onto the mindset; being idealistic, a perfectionist or escaping into a dream world. Neptune is quindecile the Ascendant, perhaps a protective veil over the persona.

The second square is Jupiter in Aries in the 11th (r. 7th, 8th) square Mercury (r. Asc, 2nd, 5th)-Mars (r. 12th) in Capricorn in the 8th house: suggesting anxiety about good things not lasting / doubt about the way things are going, linked to a lack of self-confidence about feeling special, valued or supported by others; as well we feel behavior over-compensating to make things happen and get things done strategically in his own way, in order to gain personal recognition. The Sagittarius Sun in the 7th quindecile the Ascendant echoes the drive for recognition, a “you will notice me” attitude.

The psychological theme in this man’s life IS all about doubting himself and being a perfectionist. No matter how successful he was with each of his endeavors, it was always “I could have done it better”, “If I had only done that or why didn’t I think of this.” Always beating himself up! Nothing he did was good enough. He is the biggest promoter of Grand Prix racing events and expositions in his country, and his most recent racing event last week was covered internationally by CNN, BBC, and many well-known sports networks. Wow, things couldn’t be better. He had just completed a two-year transit of Pluto conjunct his Sun in the 7th – talk about creating and arousing prominence! But his self-esteem was zero (and this man who is extremely attractive, kind, and sensitive).

When I asked him to tell me why his wife loves him, to tell me one positive quality about himself…he thought about it seriously and looked at me and said, “I really don’t know”. I said, “Oh come on my friend, I know you can tell me ONE thing you are proud of, one thing you like about yourself, one thing your friends admire about you?!” But honestly as hard as he tried he couldn’t come out with ONE thing! Boy, did we have self-worth issues to tackle here!

It all stemmed from his father. It wasn’t that his father wasn’t supportive of him, it was that his father never acknowledged his achievements, never gave him a pat on the back, never gave him any reinforcement of recognition. By never hearing his father comment on his grades in school or recognize any of his accomplishments, he interpreted his father’s silence as “he thinks I’m not good enough since he didn’t say anything…I should have done it better.” So as an adult, no matter what recognition he receives from the public, from his spouse, from his friends, he doesn’t believe the authenticity of their compliments (8th house tension) and his conditioned way of thinking is, “I should have done it better”!

Now here’s where Noel Tyl’s genius and guidance comes in (please read Noel’s article this month entitled “Filling in the Gaps”…wow, so powerful to use in consultation). I used Noel’s technique and cut out two circles from cardboard. I put one of the coaster’s on the desk and said, “Let’s see this circle as the ideal situation, the way you’d like to have things (the issue was about really feeling successful in his profession, without always doubting himself and needing to be perfect).” I gave him the other marker and said, “Now please put this in relation to the ideal marker, where you think you are with this issue right now.” He pointed to the far corner of the room and said, “Over there in the corner.” I said, “Okay, now please tell me, ‘what’s in between?” He said, “Doubt”.

So I said, “Let’s imagine the following…hypothetically what if…just what if, you didn’t doubt yourself anymore, you stopped trying to be perfect…how would things be different? How would your life change?” He thought about that and said, “you know, I’ve thought about that before, and when I allow myself to remove the doubt even if it’s only for 10 minutes, I feel so high as if I could take on anything, that I could tackle the world!!!” I said, “That’s exactly right, you could! Okay, we both know that the doubt is self-defeating…it’s disruptive, you know that and I know that. We know where it comes from…from the conditioning with your father. And you’ve just told me what you gain when you stop it…you said, ‘I feel as if I could take-on the world!’ Now please tell me, can you think of anything positive about the doubt? What purpose it serves in your life?” He responded, “No, none!” I said, “Bravo! That’s right, NONE! It doesn’t have any purpose whatsoever!” So he said, “Okay, now how can I stop the doubt when it starts to creep up into my mind?” And I said, “by being CONSCIOUS of it and taking back your power…every time you feel yourself slipping back into doubting yourself, you need to catch it right away and say, ‘No, I am not going there…this has no purpose in my life…this is self-defeating’, and each time you do that, you are taking control over the doubt, and the doubt is no longer taking control of you! And soon I guarantee you that you will start to see a difference…that over time you will no longer allow the doubt to have any power or control over you!”

Client's Birth Chart


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