Hi, folks. I've had an interesting experience recently.
I became affiliated with a local metaphysical shoppe and began to offer astrological readings through it, however in a complicated discussion with the owner of that shoppe I was recently informed that some people feel my readings are "negative." I find this concept terribly intersting and am interested in hearing some of your opinions.
I sometimes joke that the nature of my readings is to tell people how and why they're neurotic. Of course, that's not the entire process that is at work in the interpretation of an astrological chart, but some of it is involved. I believe people consult astrologers, healers, clergymen, psychotherapists, and other kinds of professionals when they are in times of crisis, and that we do a great disservice to others when we take payment for telling them that they are wonderful and that everything is going to be fine. I'll cut this entry here as I don't know how long it will become.
My personal belief is that it is the duty of the astrologer to unearth the patterns described in the natal horoscope which are being triggered by present-time crises, symbolised by current transits and progressions. Often, I think, when people hear that they have something to do with the challenges that are occuring around them, they recoil into the polarity mindset of positive-negative, and this, I fear, is one of the downsides of astrology at the social level. Because frequently, people who have an interest in metaphysics share a particular worldview, and often these are the individuals who come to astrologers for assistance. And this worldview, in my experience, appears to describe a particular kind of Neptune problem.
The native having Neptune emphasised in his horoscope, of course, is someone who is concerned in some way with birthing some kind of collective mystical vision. In Sun-Neptune people, the feeding of the sense of individuality is tied up with a longing to reunite with the whole; and one lacks living motivation to persist with life when one cannot see in others what one sees in oneself, and vice-versa. Moon-Neptune people seem to need to embody maternal qualities at a global level regardless of what the personal consequences of this may be; or conversely, they may need to experience the world and society as a kind of surrogate mother who will provide for and comfort them. Mercury-Neptune people often seem to reason by connecting things that someone else's intellectual process might see as horribly disparate, and see life as an interwoven network of emanations from a single cosmic origin. The Saturn-Neptune native might feel the need to materialise a vision of a future Utopia of some kind, or alternatively may reject the personal responsibility for having to "materialise" or "do" anything. Of course these are very trite, cookie-cutter interpretations which probably contain some hint of literalism, but my point here isn't to write a "cookbook." Because what seems to be the case in highly Neptunian people, whether its angular or heavily aspected or whatever, is that along with whatever kind of mystical vision of a damaged world returning to an originally blissful and wonderful condition, also comes an apparent longing to not have to face the requirements of the material world or
the personal psyche, resulting in an escapism by virtue of working on "karmic" issues, cleansing the aura, drinking alcohol, prayer, feng shui, meditation, pretending, and other substitions for taking responsibility for oneself and for one's interaction with the "outside" world. Frequently, this personality interprets inferrences of a need for action, or inferrences that one might need to accept responsibility for something, or inferrences that one's plight has something to do with oneself as a personal affront tinged with "negativity." The response is not just one of personal offense though, as it is tinged with a religious fervor characteristic of Neptunian ideal of a world of perfect light.
In the shoppe owner's horoscope, the Sun is placed in the twelfth house making no major aspects to any other planets in the horoscope except for one wide trine to Neptune (with an orb of 7'58"). There is a semisextile to Jupiter in the first and a quincunx to Chiron in the seventh. Sun is conjunct the ascendant with an orb of 7'54", yet aspects to the angles act rather differently to interplanetary aspects, since they are not planets representing psychic functions which "act back", and seem to serve rather as lightning rods that ground the planetary energy into some aspect of physical life. The conjunction of an almost unaspected sun in twelve to the ascendant would describe a native who embodies and lends voice to social dictates, familial patterns, and the aspirations of the personal father with hardly any consciousness or control over that process.
I normally don't do "written" readings as I like to make a little counselling session out of a horoscope analysis; however a written reading was what I did for her as it was what she requested. When she offered some feedback concerning it, she remarked on how surprised she was that I could see from the horoscope how wonderful her father was, as he had always understood her and validated her 'sensetivities,' but was quiet. I was alarmed, because that was not the interpretation I offered, but it was what she saw. And forgive me, but I am reluctant to interpret a paternal relationship characterised by Saturn in the fourth, Neptune conjunct IC, and a nearly unaspected Sun in 12th as wonderful. A classic Neptune tactic is to mask disillusionment and disappointment with idealisation, and these configurations describe a psychic inheritance from father of woundedness, impotence, escapism, and an inability to lay a foundation upon which the individual identity of a child can be built due to his own personal instability.
This could all remain entirely invisible however, for Mars, Uranus, and Jupiter conjunct in the first house, all squaring the ominous Neptune as significator of the elusive father and of her own idealism about life. This first house stellium implies the capacity of the native to carve with the power of a bulldozer whatever path for herself she would prefer, without regard for any kind of obstacle. It is a configuration that implies tremendous masculine power with Uranus as the shaper of the (perhaps generational or collective) goal, Mars as the principle of active pursuit, and Jupiter implying a sense of entitlement to the desired target. As these are in Cancer, the goal likely is to establish a surrogate mother of sorts, which can coccoon her while providing a vehicle for her own maternal drives toward others. Aside from owning a metaphysical cafe', her background is as a restauranteur; her fortunes were earned with a kind of "down home" cooking. This could comfortably overcompensate for her own lack of mothering in early childhood, described by the Virgo Moon squared Mercury and Venus in 11, describing a mother with interests and ambitions outside the home which could have made her ambivalent about wanting children. This together with a Sun that is more than likely unconscious or at least strained, leads back to an idealised father who was a victim and who could redeem her from the horrors of a world and a mother "out there."
Of course, if I spelled all of that out in a horoscope reading, I suspect that calling me negative would be somewhat justified. But I don't do that in readings most of the time, and I certainly wouldn't in a written report.
I was, however stunned, when I perused the horoscope of her best friend and business associate for whom I had done a reading with this theme in mind. Her Sun was only aspected in sextile to the Moon and a very wide square to Saturn, with Neptune in hard aspect with Moon, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus. Uranus/Mercury are conjunct the IC and Pluto is in the fourth. This woman is one who frequently feels "negativity" and uses incense and various healing modalities to remove negative energy from her environs and her person, as if to satisfy a paranoid anxiety. I recognise that two charts by no means constitutes a statistic, but I've begun to look in the other horoscopes I have on hand and am continuing to watch the charts of individuals with weakly aspected or unaspected Suns, difficult placements in the fourth or conjunct the IC, and heavy Neptunes.
I'm going to start looking for this signature in the horoscopes of all people who have an obsession with what they call "negative" and cannot practice any modicum of acceptance toward this part of reality, neither have they any modicum of willingness to acknowledge negativity or darkness within themselves. Negativity, for said individuals, is something to be banished; and it is certainly not something to be looked at within oneself. I am curious what these individuals would do if a "negative" person came to them for a reading or a healing. I would hope they would at least pray for him or something, rather than banish him.
I should state here that these observations aren't entirely objective, as no one is more upset than I am that I have to face life the way I do, but neither Saturn nor life back down to me. If I could get away with escaping through metaphysics, drugs, prayer, smudging, meditation, drinking, religion or shutting life down and out in some other way, I sure would do it. Perhaps this is why I resent people who are capable of using mystical means to damn certain facets of themselves to the unconscious; I envy them. I'd love to be right all the time in my own mind and see negativity only around me but never within me, but alas.
How do you relate to negativity? How are your Sun, IC, and Neptune proportioned?