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July 17, 2011


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So often in consultation with clients, I have found that the ruler of the Ascendant — its sign, house and condition — highlights an important storyline, an important thread that weaves it way throughout life development. Many times it allows the astrologer within minutes (if not seconds) to get right to the crux of the matter, to the heart of a very relevant theme within a client’s identity development. Read the entire essay here.


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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

Due to the speed of transiting Mars, this occurs about every two years, and for the most part will last 2 to 3 months. Should Mars turn retrograde, it can take 6 or 7 months to move through the 12th house.

What I’ve observed with myself is that everything seems to slow down, almost put on hold, and often I’ve found that a sense of “self-undoing” can seem right around the corner!

In my own horoscope, Mars is at the AP (00 Cancer) and rules the 12th house. Perhaps that contributes to what I’ve experienced each time tr. Mars visits its home stomping grounds, if you will.

Granted there will be other more significant transits and Solar Arcs occurring simultaneously. For example, this year when Mars was moving through the 12th, I also experienced the retrograde hit of tr. Neptune conjunct Mercury, the last hit of tr. Saturn opposed Mercury, and the final hit of tr. Saturn conjunct Uranus. With Mars moving through the 12th, it seems a bit grimmer!

Two years ago in 2005, Mars went retrograde through my 12th house for an extended period of 7 months. At that time the larger measurements were SA Saturn=Pluto, SA Pluto=Saturn, and tr. Pluto opposed the Moon.

Granted the background measurements may not form a pretty picture, but it just seems to me that tr. Mars through the 12th house has a void-of-course Moon feel to it.

Here’s an interesting consultation I had yesterday, where Noel Tyl’s Vocational Midheaven Extension Technique helped me out tremendously!

The female horoscope is May 11, 1965; 5:46 PM; Madrid, Spain (Asc 21 Lib 30; MC 25 Can 07; see horoscope below).

All I knew about her prior to the consultation was that she was a single mother who had given birth to her only child (a daughter) in December 2003.

I was looking at the following line-up, and my thoughts were “Wow, this woman is about to embark on a big, big project, possibly with real estate or involving children.

Tr. Saturn conjunct the MC (9/04, 6/05)

SA Ura=Jup (Ura r. 5th; 8/05; “big break; boundless optimism; intensification of the reward symbolism)

SP Moon conjunct Saturn in the 5th (8/05; Sat r. 4th)

Tr. Jupiter conjunct the Asc (9/05)

SA Plu=Jup/Ura (10/05, “tremendous drive toward success; publicity; gains”)

Tr. Ura opp Mar (Mar r. 7th; 3/06, 12/06; “application of great energy”; tr. Ura in the 5th)

SA Plu=Mar/Jup (3/06; extreme creative self-application; enterprise; demanding success from the environment; the really big picture)

Tr. Ura opp Plu (4/06, 2/07; Pluto in the 11th, r. 2nd)
When I asked her what she projected for herself over the next 6 to 12 months, she said she wanted to spend as much time with her baby and financially wouldn’t need to work for about one year. She had rental income from her apartment in Spain, and was living in the house she bought in Brazil since 2002. She would visit her family in Spain for 1 or 2 months in May 2005.

I kept insisting that next year from June to September 2005, she would be ambitiously and strategically planning, and I felt sure there was an enormous project on the horizon. But with her natal Sun in the 8th and Moon in the 12th (the sense of being withdrawn), it was like pulling teeth to get information out of her!

So I focused on the Vocational MC-Extension Technique:

1). MC in Cancer, ruled by Moon in Libra in the 12th quintile MC.

2). Moon disposited by Venus in Taurus in the 8th (Ven r. 8th); Venus conjunct Jupiter (r. 3rd), Venus sextile MC and quintile Saturn in the 5th ruling the 4th.

I put together the following statement, “a caring, nurturing profession; needing to be appreciated working behind the scenes; consulting or teaching children in a home environment. Have you thought about working with children…a day-care program within the home?”

Boy, did I say the right thing! She replied with, “Well, for several years, my friend and I have been talking about opening a center for underprivileged children. She has already bought the land for the project, and done the paper work to create a non-profit organization. And we’ve been talking with friends who are very interested in participating and helping us to finance the idea.”

My mouth nearly dropped wide-open! “Hallelujah! Thank you, thank you…that’s exactly what I see here!!! This project is very big and has the potential to be extremely successful!”

Patience, persistence, and the Vocational MC Technique saved the day!

and finances

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Female Client's Birth Chart

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