astrology at the pointy end.
Generational Astrological SyndromesBy Sudha Hamilton.
We are all individuals with our own unique astrological blue print, which charts the myriad of interacting complexities that make up our lives. The planets within the zodiacal signs and the houses aspecting each other and the points of reference like the ascendant and midheaven. As we journey on the road of self-discovery, we can use our own horoscopes as an amazing tool to illuminate so many portals into character, destiny and potential. Utilising the richness of an astrological language that cannot be matched, in my opinion, by any other system of human philosophy.
But we are also all part of a family, a network of mothers, fathers, and children, siblings and even grand parents that have shared characteristics. Born of our parents' loins, we repeat the evolutionary genetic success story that makes up our particular branch of the family tree. More than the obvious blue eyes, brown eyes, fair skin, dark skin, short stature, tall stature, we continue other less easily seen traits like particular types of intelligence. Generations of breeding have refined certain characteristics that you now share with your family, and whether through nature or nurture, these qualities are the bedrock of your identity.
I know in my own experience and that of many friends, who have broken away from their families at one time or another to discover themselves, free from filial expectations, you reach a point where you clearly see the shared characteristics of family operating within you. As you get older and hopefully wiser you have those déjà vu moments of behaving just like your mother or father, despite the fact that you may have rejected their values and life styles. Is this your family curse or family blessing?
Studying generational astrology can be an incisive analytical tool for understanding the finer complexities of familial identity and a bridge to greater understanding and acceptance of difficult family relationships. Why am I so hung up about sex? Why have I got such a trip about money? Why is my whole family hung up about these things? Getting hold of birth charts for everyone in your family and in particular grandparents, parents and yourself can show you a whole lot of answers. You may find it difficult to get exact birth times for grand parents and even some parents but you can still read the natural chart, sans houses, and derive a great deal of information.
Ask yourself, what is one of the primary characteristics of your family, something that you have noticed in your mother or father's behaviour and that you are aware also resides within you. It may also be something that you can see or remember seeing in your grand parents behaviour. It is a fascinating process to begin, and although when you do isolate this particular trait it may have had negative manifestations in your life, and the life of your family, ultimately becoming aware of it will heal those problems. This is why astrology is such a useful tool in the development of self-awareness and it is that consciousness that heals all wounds. It is easier to forgive when you understand that the possibly repressive actions of your mother/father were a result of their own often now unconscious pain and that they too were the victims of similarly repressive behaviour by their parents.
Staying with the theme of repression, we look to the planet Saturn in our own birth chart firstly, and see by sign, house placement, rulerships and by aspect; what is the strongest focus here. In my own horoscope it is the particularly challenging aspect, Saturn square Moon, and I look inside to feel that pain deep within that seemingly never goes away. The pain of unfulfilled nurturing at the hands of my mother that has echoed through countless relationships. With my Moon in the Seventh house, I have searched for that nurturing in all of my relationships and that has been, I suppose a defining quality of what I call 'true love'. This knowledge first seen through an astrological chart session and then explored through psychotherapy and observed through self awareness within the relating process, once again conveys how apt real astrological work is. Like a mirror to life, seeing the reflection and then feeling the life experience. Technically speaking, Saturn's placement in the chart, and aspecting influence indicates where we experience limitation, restriction and fear in our lives.
Saturn the inhibitor squaring, in this instance, the Moon, which represents our emotional experience of our mother and therefore all nurturing coming after this, through unconscious repetition. Immediately this aspect draws you to the experience of your own mother and father's relationship and the challenging nature of the square bespeaks of the father thwarting the mother's individual expression. Blocking and restricting her behaviour and life style, most probably in my parents' case, through the manifestation of fear. The father of those with this aspect is also often a wet blanket to the child's natural exuberance and constantly deals negativity upon childhood enthusiasms. The upshot of this in later life is a lack of trust in women and a desire to prevent further hurt by either cutting off or creating that cessation of relating through the other's actions. The imprint is that Men don't express their feelings and don't trust anyone that does.
Looking now to the charts of the parents we see firstly in the father's chart Saturn in Scorpio in the second house squaring the Moon in Leo in the twelfth house. Once again, and now closer to the source of things, we see the same kind of repression but quite possibly much more damaging to the native of this chart. As the Moon conjuncts Neptune as well, spinning a spell of mother/goddess/saviour so that dad is idolising his mother but still never getting the love he so desires. The Saturn in Scorpio motif intensifies the fear of emotional expression and becomes a placement that we will see repeated in two of his children as well. In the father's horoscope the fourth house cusp is ruled by Jupiter and this finds itself in Capricorn reinforcing the same emotionally repression.
In the mother's chart we again see Saturn in Scorpio, this time in the third house but approaching the fourth house cusp. It is also involved in a very challenging T-square as the crux point squaring Mars and Jupiter in the seventh house in Aquarius and squaring Neptune in Leo in the first house. The Saturn squaring Mars influence once again puts fear often instilled by the father and a great seriousness about things that inhibits expression in life and can block off creativity. The Neptune effect will once again delude the native into idolising her father and preventing any real analysis of the situation.
The incredible value of all this is that you can look closely into the roots of your own negative behaviour and attitudes that have been imprinted upon your psyche when you were very young and unable to defend yourself. Through a deep understanding of the patterned behaviour operating within your family you can take real responsibility for it and be released from its instinctive clutches. Without a tool like this it is very difficult to actually get to the guts of the situation and most often your parents don't want to know about it. For them it is akin to lifting up an old rock in the garden and seeing the creepy crawlies that live underneath it. The manifestation of the Saturn influence in your family may be a family promise to keep quiet about some traumatic event that occurred long ago, but the tentacles of shame still reach down and bind the truth from emerging and freeing you all. There are so many skeletons in the closet that purport not to hurt some family member, but energetically damage every family member. These are indeed family curses and like some spell cast down by a wicked witch, tend to reappear in the following generations, manifesting in each of us. Astrology used in this way can be like a mirror, that when held up to your face not only reflects you but your whole family.
Looking now to another planetary influence that is often strong in families, we encounter Pluto, ruler of Scorpio and the eighth house. Pluto is ultimately a transformational energy but when involved in challenging and often unconscious aspects like the square, conjunction and opposition it can manifest in being controlled or controlling others. It is a compelling and often irresistible force that underpins the behaviour of many mothers and fathers. Perhaps this desire to control had its beginnings in the primal urge to protect one's children from danger but in time has degenerated into simply staying in control. Someone famous once said, "children naturally grow out of childhood but parents never grow out of parenthood." What once nourished and protected us can now strangle and choke the life out of us, if we are not aware.
Pluto in hard aspect to the Moon can indicate a level of emotional control and manipulation that is often handed down from parent to child, and is then considered normal. The signs are obsessiveness in all loving relationships, planning everything down to the last detail so that no unforeseen thing can happen. If the mother strategically works out every course of action she is killing off spontaneity and preventing the freedom of the moment from entering her child's life and the life of her partner. Love is ultimately about freedom and trusting that it will be there without constant effort and for those with Pluto/Moon aspects that is a difficult premise to accept.
Looking at a second family now, we see the father has Pluto in Leo in a stellium with Mars and Saturn and this forms a very powerful T-square. Squaring the Moon in Taurus and also squaring a massive stellium of planets in Scorpio that includes the Sun; Chiron; Mercury; Venus and Jupiter. We don't have an exact birth time here so we are without a house system. Despite this we can read the strong influence that Pluto is having on the entire chart with its square being exact to the Moon, and with five planets in Scorpio, and the native having his Sun sign ruled by Pluto as well. This is a controlled/controlling chart with nearly the entire chart in fixed signs and Pluto anchoring that powerful T-square. The strong mother influence here indicates the importance of family above all else and stability and security - the Moon is over there on her own however and at times intergrating this nurturing energy is a struggle.
In the daughters' charts we see the Moon in Scorpio and Scorpio rising in one, Pluto opposing the Moon in another, and Pluto squaring the Moon and a Scorpio rising in the third daughter. Here we can see the continuing inheritance of this family's generational obsession with controlling nurture. The manifestation in this family will involve issues like secretiveness, inner tension in the maintaining of emotional control at all times and manipulations based on so called 'love.' Having been mothered by an invasive and controlling force, it will be natural and instinctive for them to mother their children in the same way. The idea of allowing their children the freedom to 'just be' will be foreign, unless some awareness is brought to bear on the situation. Indeed in a third generation we see in the chart of a grand daughter that Pluto square Moon aspect arising once again, will the manifestation of this repeat the family dynamic or will it be broken once and for all.
The Pluto/Moon connection challenges us to break free through emotional transformation from the overweening mother complex. As our mother is the first person who traditionally cares for us and provides all of our essential needs, it is a very special relationship and one that holds us in many forms of rapture, and is therefore a difficult one to leave. The Pluto/Moon mother, like the goddess Kali, can swallow us up if we cannot psychically liberate ourselves from her loving clutches, and this is often a major challenge for many.
These have just been two examples of many possible generational astrological syndromes that can permeate through families. We all have families, whether alive or dead, and our ancestors live on inside our bodies and heads, and it is I think, a highly useful exercise to get to know them. Astrology can help to turn frustration into love and forgiveness, and I highly recommend getting to know the horoscopes of your near and sometimes dear. Charts can be constructed free on certain sites on the Internet and you can, of course, also engage the services of a skilled professional astrologer. May you transform your family curse into a thousand blessings.
Appeared In WellBeing Astrology Guide.