Suicide Blonde: Bre’s Story

 

All the times that I’ve criedbredepress
All this wasted, it’s all inside
And I feel all this pain
Stuffed it down
It’s back again
And I lie
Here in bed
All alone
I can’t mend
But I feel
Tomorrow will be okay.

Staind, Outside

Geminians are a curious breed. Not especially known for their stick-to-itiveness, they are the butterflies of the zodiac, flitting from flower to flower as a brighter, seemingly more appealing one catches their eye. Rinse; repeat.  Famous (infamous?) for their chatty natures, the Twins – which, not coincidentally, is the sign of communication – will yak your ears off if given the opportunity. Few things are more appealing to a Gemini than to express themselves or share ideas, and they will utilize any means to do so: talking, texting, email, writing (do people even write anything anymore?), Facebook, Twitter…you name it. Their thoughts often race through their minds at such a frenetic pace that even the native will struggle to keep up, nevermind the rest of us, who can barely get a word in edgewise, if we’re lucky.

As an Aries Sun with an air-weighted natal chart, I have four planets in Gemini and must plead guilty to being under the influence of this talkative sign (as well as thank and sheepishly apologize to those who put up with it.) And would you look at me: in typical Twins fashion, there I go, darting off-topic. This isn’t about me, it’s about a Gemini soul I had the pleasure and privilege to call “friend.”

Bre was a Facebook friend with whom I first became acquainted in early 2012 via several

breianna

Bre

mutual storm-chasing friends. Now, I realize that many people don’t count Facebook friends as “real” friends, but I vehemently disagree: had it not been for Facebook, I never would have even known three of my now-closest friends even existed, and it’s highly improbable I would have reconnected with another one. I truly cannot imagine how different my life would be today without any one of them being a part of it. But – yet again – I digress…

An immensely talented photographer, Bre had a passion for capturing the beauty of the world around her. Like me, she had a fondness for animals and nature (she loved wolves, in particular) and, also like me, a lifelong fascination with and love for severe weather, all of which she intertwined into her hobby. And she exceled at it. When she captured a single flower on camera, it was so lifelike that you felt as if you could actually reach out and touch its delicate petals or breathe in its intoxicating perfume. Her work was art in every sense of the word. It showed what she was passionate about, through her eyes. Additionally, she looked forward to going on hunting trips with her father, and found some measure of inner peace by camping, solo, under the stars near a lake. She always returned rejuvenated, with a renewed sense of purpose.

After approximately a year of being online friends and chatting from time to time via Facebook messenger, Bre decided to deactivate her account for an undetermined period of time in order to get back in touch with herself (she would do this somewhat regularly in the years to follow.) At that time, we exchanged phone numbers and kept in touch by way of semi-regular texts and far-less-frequent phone calls (even loquacious Gemini doesn’t like to talk on the phone much these days.) We developed a fairly close friendship, sharing our backgrounds and life experiences. On the surface, it would appear we had little in common: she, a 30-something bachelorette with no children; me, ten years her senior, thrice married with grown children and grandchildren. But despite these differences, we discovered we had a surprising number of things in common, including a shared history of depression and anxiety, suicidal ideations, and estrangement from our mothers. Turns out, our mothers also had quite a bit in common, as they are both narcissistic, toxic she-devils whom we removed from our lives for our own emotional well-being. Bre felt as if a black cloud had lifted when she ceased contact with her mother, and I related to that sentiment.

However, there was one significant difference between Bre and I. I had conquered my

breiannacamping

One of Bre’s camping spots

demons and managed to overcome my depressive tendencies and desire for death. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about my friend. On Valentine’s Day 2016, she posted a cryptic status update on Facebook, deactivated her account, and essentially disappeared for nearly two months. Her phone was disconnected, so my attempts to reach her were unsuccessful. Leaving me to assume the worst, I reluctantly did online searches for an obituary, simultaneously needing to know yet dreading what I might find. I was relieved to not have found one, but wondering what had happened to her nagged at me constantly.

In mid-April 2016, to the relief of many, myself included, Bre finally resurfaced on Facebook. As it happens, she had survived a Valentine’s Day attempt at suicide by overdose and had been receiving intensive treatment. Her spirits were higher than I could ever remember them being, and she became devoted to helping others who struggled with major depressive disorder and suicidal thoughts, in particular. She created a private Facebook group, calling it “Heathens Helping Heathens.” It was a virtual sanctuary where non-religious members could share their frightening feelings without fear of judgment or ridicule. She was extremely vocal about her own experiences, and shared them in an effort to let others who might be feeling the same way know that someone understood their pain, and that there truly was hope in their darkest hours.

Bre suffered from BPD – Borderline Personality Disorder – and she didn’t hesitate to talk about it with anyone who asked (or even those who didn’t – in true Gemini form.) She wanted to educate others on BPD, as well as provide an explanation of her own at-times confusing behavior to those who cared about her. She displayed textbook characteristics of BPD, including emotional instability, impulsiveness, and – perhaps most visibly – a propensity for pushing others away in an effort to prevent them from abandoning her first. Her romantic relationships were historically unstable, in large part because of this. Granted, there was the real asshole here and there, which exacerbated her condition. But in the spring of 2016, she had finally found love with a man who not only loved her and accepted her for who she was, but also with the patience and willingness to stick by her. She treasured him, and often told me how happy she was, that she was so lucky and thankful to have him. Even so, this relationship was no different in the sense that it too was marked by erratic changes in her mood, which were inexplicable to the casual observer. Sometimes they would appear out of nowhere, seemingly unprovoked. She would become despondent, sometimes even furious, and withdraw from the world, refusing to answer her phone or respond to text messages, leaving him to grapple with the fear that she had once again attempted to end her life.

On Father’s Day in June 2016, her boyfriend contacted me, concerned about Bre’s welfare. He nervously described how she had sent him a text the previous evening, which sounded as though it could have possibly been a suicide note, with statements such as “I will never be happy” and “I was stupid to think this could work.” He didn’t live nearby and had been unable to reach her since. I hadn’t heard from her either so after multiple failed attempts to contact her myself, I called her local police department and asked them to do a welfare check on her. They did, and I received a call from them confirming that they had made contact with her and she was safe. About the same time, I received a text message from Bre, apologizing for scaring me and reassuring me that I “did the right thing.” (She had always stressed to others that if you even suspect someone might be in imminent danger of harming themselves, to “fuck what they think; let them be pissed off” and to contact the authorities.)

I never thought it would come to this
And I want you to know
Everyone’s got to face down the demons
Maybe today we can put the past away
I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend
You could cut ties with all the lies that you’ve been living in
And if you do not want to see me again
I would understand.

Third-Eye Blind, Jumper

In the meantime, I had developed a solid friendship with her boyfriend. When Bre was in the throes of her severe mood swings, often breaking off their relationship (the “I’m rejecting you before you can reject me” strategy which is commonplace among BPD sufferers), he would confide in me about how it affected him, and I would listen and attempt to reassure him. I did the same with her, and I always kept each conversation confidential, never running and telling the other what was said.  I was Switzerland; I never once “sided” with either of them, but I always made a point to listen and empathize. Still, after one particularly nasty blowup, her boyfriend made a Facebook status about them having broken up once again. Bre hadn’t told me about it this time, so I was surprised to hear about it. I made an innocent comment about how I was sorry to hear it and that I was here for him if he needed to vent. Evidently, another friend of Bre’s saw my comment and told Bre about it. I went to message Bre to ask her if she was okay and see if she needed to talk about what had happened. That’s when I discovered she had blocked me, never having given me the chance to tell her the same thing I had told him: that I was sorry and I was there for her.

I never heard from Bre again.

breiannasunset

A Wisconsin sunset thru Bre’s eyes

Thereafter, she and her boyfriend did reconcile and break up at least one more time. Because he and I had maintained a friendship, I often asked him to keep me posted on how she was doing. I told him I still loved her, missed her terribly, and wished her no ill will. I only regretted that she had never given me the opportunity to talk to her, instead choosing to reject me without warning or explanation. I hoped that one day, she would see things differently, and suspected she might, given her history of changeability (courtesy of an already-flighty Gemini Sun, amplified by BPD.)

Thursday evening, September 8, 2016: I was heading home from a trip to Arizona I had taken with some close friends. We had stopped for a snack in Tucumcari, New Mexico and as I stood outside, walking around and stretching my legs, I checked in on Facebook. The blood drained from my face when I read the first post in my newsfeed. A mutual friend of Bre’s and mine had posted that Bre had passed away.

I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I didn’t want to believe it. I thought she had been doing better? I hoped she was just pulling some kind of twisted, attention-seeking stunt, perhaps to see who would care if she died. Or maybe it was a misunderstanding? My fingers were shaking as I quickly sent a message to her boyfriend. “What happened????” I pleaded. He responded that he was still in shock and didn’t want to go into detail just yet, but that she had been found dead earlier that day and it appeared to be a suicide. I remember being infuriated with Bre. “What the fuck?” I shouted, looking all around as if I thought I would see her, or that she would hear me.

The rest of the drive home was almost completely silent as I tried to wrap my mind around the news: Bre was really gone.

As awful as all that was, a few days later it became even more heartbreaking. I learned that Bre had died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound…on August 29th. She lay in her apartment for the next ten days, undiscovered, until neighbors alerted authorities that her car hadn’t moved in some time and her trash hadn’t been taken out.

As is typical with a suicide, there are so many unanswered questions that linger in the minds of the survivors. In Bre’s case, we often wonder how long she had intended to do it, and in the manner that she did. Although she did leave a note, no indication of any of that was mentioned. However, she did blame her mother for it coming to this, and request that she not be allowed to attend her funeral. Aside from that, there were no answers. They likely never will be.

One thing that can’t be denied is that Bre wanted to die. She didn’t reach out beforehand. Sure, in hindsight, there were subtle hints at what was to come, but they were so vague that no reasonable person would have concluded that she was planning to end her life. We do know that she borrowed money from her father just before her death, telling him it was to pay her past-due rent but instead, used it to purchase the gun which she would then turn on herself. We don’t know, but suspect, that she was heavily intoxicated when she did it. We don’t know, but suspect, she had known she was going to do it for up to four weeks beforehand, based on particular events and, in hindsight, a few statements she made which, at the time, seemed innocuous.

Her boyfriend repeatedly admonishes himself to this day, going over the shoulda-coulda-wouldas, wondering how he didn’t pick up on any clues. However, at the time, no one could have possibly known they were clues. For example, the day prior to her death, Bre stated in a text message that she was to enter inpatient treatment the following day, and that reassured him that “it’s almost over.” He replied that he loved her and would be there, waiting for her when she came home. Any rational person would not have interpreted that statement to be anything but benign.

Sometimes, there’s nothing we can do, or could have done, to prevent it.
Sometimes, a person doesn’t reach out because they don’t want to be saved.

depressionBre battled her demons for most of her 34 years on this earth. In the end, she succumbed to them. This lovely, talented, young, vibrant Gemini had so much more to offer the world, but she obviously disagreed. However, there is no doubt that she would want her story told…even if it saves one person. BPD can be managed. Although Bre thrived in the early days of her recovery, for whatever reason(s) she slipped and it overtook her. It wasn’t necessarily inevitable, but I believe once she reached a certain point – and we’ll never know when or what that was – it became probable.

I am currently in the process of conducting an in-depth interview with Bre’s boyfriend, with whom I have grown close, as an accompaniment to this story which I will publish in the near future. In our lengthy discussion, he opens up about his experience being in a relationship with someone who suffers from BPD as well as being a survivor of suicide, in order to pick up the torch which Bre left behind, and with the hope that if just one person is helped by her story, her death will not have been in vain.

Stay tuned.

Someone tried to tell me something
Don’t let the world get you down
Nothing will do me in before I do myself
So save it for your own and the ones you can help.

Soundgarden, Blow up the Outside World

Aries: The Nighttime, Daytime, Multitasking, Take-Charge, Do-It-All Zodiac Sign

“Hi, my name is Jen M…”hellojen
My Aries brethren, in welcoming unison: “Hi, Jen.”
“…and I’m an Aries.”

Enter a deep sigh of relief. After all, acknowledging one has a problem is half the proverbial battle.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve said it to death: none of us are pure Sun signs. (Yes, that includes you.) We have Ascendants and Moons and planets — oh my! — all of which serve to modify our Sun in various ways, depending upon the respective zodiac signs by which each of those are ruled, their aspects to one another in the natal chart, and so on. But as my trusty Aquarian tree amigo likes to remind me, the Sun always shines, and for today at least, we’re gonna take a closer look at a Sun sign, save the effects of any other factors in the chart.

Why start with Aries? My reasons are twofold. Yes, I admit it: one reason is because I happen to have been born a Ram. But my second reason for beginning with Aries is because it also happens to be the first sign of the zodiac, so my bias is justified (as I keep telling myself. No worries, Bull folk: you’re second in line, so I’ll pick on y’all next. You’re welcome.)

ariestraitsFirst, let’s start with the basics of the sign of the Ram. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that if you know anything whatsoever about astrology, particularly Sun signs, you’re at least somewhat familiar with the traits of an Aries. If you are married to, friends with, in a relationship with, work with, gave birth to, were created by, or are an Aries, you undoubtedly have enough knowledge on this subject to write your own article (or horror story, as the case may be.) But I digress…

Aries is a fire sign. This statement should be self-explanatory, but just in case it’s got you scratching your head, asking, “what in fresh hell does that even mean?!”, allow me to briefly explain. There are four elements in astrology (fire, earth, air, and water), and each element holds sway over three signs. Each element brings with it its own qualities which it imparts into the Sun sign it governs. In the case of Aries’ ruler, fire, we see traits such as sudden bursts of energy, a quick temper (that, fortunately, subsides equally quickly), passion, and flashes of inspiration.

Aries is also a cardinal sign. There are three qualities associated with the zodiac signs: cardinal, mutable, and fixed. Each of these govern four signs, and Aries falls under the cardinal quality. This imparts additional traits including assertiveness and a stick-to-itiveness which means they’ll dig their heels in and persevere until they achieve their goals…and don’t even think about telling them they can’t do it. They will be more than happy to prove you wrong.

Some of the more common qualities associated with the sign of Aries include (but oh good lord, are certainly not limited to) the following:

  • impatience (oh, don’t I know it…)
  • jealousy — not necessarily as a result of low self-esteem, but more from a desire to be the center of attention
  • competitiveness…and I mean really, really competitive: Aries must be the best in everything they do
  • spontaneity and nearly-instantaneous decision-making
  • leadership; a need to be their own boss
  • extreme stubbornness and determination
  • complete, unshakable loyalty to friends and family
  • adventurous in the bedroom (you’ve been warned…)
  • a love of the outdoors and/or sports
  • generosity, sometimes to a fault (hint: just shut up and let Aries pick up the check. We want to.)
  • a tendency to get in a hurry and/or take unnecessary risks (drive too fast, jump out of perfectly good airplanes, etc.)skydiving
  • taking on many responsibilities at once
  • and way too many more to list here…

No, not every trait will apply across the board to every Aries on Earth (due to modifications of our Sun qualities by other aforementioned chart factors.) But stubborn Ram that I am, I assure you, these qualities will be present, to one degree or another, in just about every Aries with whom you cross paths.

Because I am an Aries (did I already mention that?), I’ll use my own personality traits as an example here (and try my damndest not to mention the modifying effects of my Pisces Ascendant and Aquarius Moon on my Aries Sun.) So here goes. If you are a fellow Ram or have one in your life, see if you can relate to some of my experiences. If so, I’d love it if you would share them in the comments section.(After all, we have to stick together!)

  • spongebob multitaskAt this time in my life, I am attending school (both online and on-campus) in pursuit of a degree in surgical technology and nursing by spring 2017. In addition to maintaining an A average, I answer astrological questions which my clients, as well as fellow astrologers, email to me, create and interpret natal charts for new clients, create flip-flops which are made-to-order (for more info/pics, shoot me an email at BornUnderABlondeSign@gmail.com), am a registered mystery shopper, produce video presentations for birthdays, anniversaries, memorial services, births, and just about any occasion imaginable (for info, please email me at the above address; to view some of my creations, visit my YouTube channel, to which there is a link at the top of this page), work as a publicist and editor for acclaimed up-and-coming author A.L. LaFleur and her amazing series of books which, of course, I highly recommend (you can follow her on Twitter and add her on Google+ as well, and be sure to check out her books on Amazon). All of this in addition to homework, daily workouts at Planet Fitness (for nearly two years now), traveling to Kansas on a semi-regular basis to help my lovely (if a bit disorganized) Libra mother-in-law and visit my awesome Sadge son and his amazing Leo fiancee, annual trips to West Virginia to visit my deceased ex-Cancer hubs’s family, and last but certainly not least, heading out to Arizona two to three times a year to visit my beautiful Scorpio daughter and her husband and family, including my nearly-8 year-old incredible Libra grandson and my
    My precious lil Pisces & Libra grandbabies

    My precious lil Pisces & Libra grandbabies

    relatively new, 7 month-old, perfectly gorgeous Pisces granddaughter. Whew! And I haven’t even mentioned gardening, spending time with my Cancer-Gemini cusp hubs, cooking, the daily household grind, and if you think for one second I’m going to miss an episode of anything involving Gordon Ramsay, you’re out of your mind. So yeah. Lotsa irons in the proverbial fire and endless multitasking for this Ram. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I thrive under pressure.

  • I have a terrible time letting anyone pick up a check when we are out on the town, be it a lunch date or in the club inhaling margaritas. However, because my video production “company” isn’t called Struggling Student Productions because it’s a catchy name, I’ve been able to relax a little bit with that lately…knowing that there will come a day when I will be able — and more than happy — to overspend on anyone who paid my way. My Aries pride will simply have it no other way.
  • lightningThere are few things I enjoy more than being outdoors (except for winter!) I love opening the windows on the first bright, warm spring day and letting the scents of budding life waft through my home, enjoying and chasing the severe storms/tornadoes which are a fact of life in my neck of the woods in the springtime. During the summer, my perfect day is spent poolside (or lakeside, feeling the indescribable bliss of the sun’s warmth on my skin in contrast to the cool water. And in autumn, I’m mesmerized by thefallleaves palette of nature’s earthy colors on the falling leaves, cool evenings snuggled up in a hoodie with a beer around a bonfire, and watching as my Sooners (almost) invariably annihilate whichever team in their conference against which they’re playing. BOOMER SOONER!boomersooner
  • My bucket list includes jumping out of that aforementioned perfectly good airplane, and the rumors are true: I have a lead foot. Damn Aries impatience…

Need I go on? Probably not.

But with all its foibles, the benefits of being born a Ram are pretty damn sweet. We’re tenacious, protective of those we love, the life of any party, and when one of us enters a room, you know it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.aries

In fact, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Some famous Aries include…

  • Lady Gaga

    Lady Gaga

    Lady Gaga

  • Emma Watson
  • Robert Downey, Jr.

    Robert Downey, Jr.

    Robert Downey, Jr.

  • Kourtney Kardashian
  • Peyton Manning
  • Jennifer Garner
  • Jim Parsons

    Jim Parsons

    Jim Parsons

  • Quentin Tarantino
  • Pharrell Williams
  • Akon
  • Mike Henry
  • David Letterman

 

When Mercury Attacks!

MercuryRetrogradeCommunication breakdown
It’s always the same…
Having a nervous breakdown
Drive me insane…

Led Zeppelin, Communication Breakdown

As I headed home from school one afternoon earlier this week, which is about a 15-mile trek on the interstate, it wasn’t yet rush hour so traffic was flowing smoothly…at first. Gradually, I found myself having to reduce my speed, eventually coming to a stop behind a massive sea of brake lights. I’d get to travel about 20 feet at maybe 5mph, then have to stop again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Repeat several times. Finally, I got to a vantage point where, if I squinted, I could see the cause of the holdup: about a quarter of a mile ahead in the median, I spied a fire engine, lights flashing, along with two highway patrol cruisers, lit up like Christmas. As I got closer, I noticed an SUV and a black sedan, also in the median, clearly having been involved in an accident that – thankfully — didn’t appear to have been too horrific. There was nothing actually blocking any of the lanes on the interstate; in fact, the entire fiasco was closer to the other side of the median. It became obvious that the holdup was thanks to lookie-loos who couldn’t resist slowing down, craning their necks to get a glimpse of the drama. As I drove past the accident scene, the speed of everyone on the interstate increased at least tenfold. Okay, cool. That’s over.

As I drove on, less than a mile down the interstate, what’s this? Another sea of brake lights ahead of me? Seriously?! Aargh…now what?

CartoonCrashThis time, on the right shoulder of the highway, there was a highway patrolman chatting with the drivers of two vehicles, one of which had evidently rear-ended the other (perhaps as the second guy was distracted as he was being a contortionist in order to see the previous accident? But I digress…) No injuries to speak of, not too much of a slowdown…okay, then…moving on.

Over the next four miles, I came upon yet two more accidents. Neither appeared to have been very serious, but they were enough to be at least a minor inconvenience for the rest of us, collectively slowing everyone down as we headed toward our respective destinations. Admittedly, I was glad I hadn’t been involved in any of those collisions, but it was frustrating nevertheless.

The following day, as I headed back on the same route toward school, I encountered not one, not two, but three separate Wiggumvehicles pulled over along a two-mile stretch of interstate. I have a lead foot, so at this point I breathed a better-them-than-me sigh of relief and resolved to keep an eye on my speed.

When I arrived at school and walked into the lab, it’s lights out and nobody home. I set my laptop and book bag on the table and headed out to see where everyone was. Turned out, my instructor had been involved in a minor fender-bender in the parking lot with a Civil War veteran who had come barreling through the parking lot at breakneck speed.

And all of the above was in a 24-hour period.

They are examples of what can happen…when Mercury attacks!

MeanMercury

This guy is gonna inconvenience us three times a year.

When Mercury is in retrograde, which occurs three times a year (and it is currently in retrograde from May 19th thru June 11th), we experience more than the usual issues in areas of our lives which are governed by Mercury: communication breaks down (think unusually bad cell service, texts/email not going through, calls going unreturned, misunderstandings, issues with the internet, misdirected snail-mail, etc.) and short trips (those not requiring an overnight stay) are more prone to trouble: fender-benders, full-on crashes, car trouble, running out of gas, you name it: if it involves a vehicle – particularly an automobile – it’s vulnerable to problems during a Mercury retrograde period — especially if Mercury or Saturn is in your Third House, like me (yay me, Saturn in Third!) Plans fall apart. Contracts can be iffy.

ComputerCrashYet, I assure you that despite these tri-annual annoyances, there are little common-sense things you can and should do to ensure you arrive on the other end of the Mercury retrograde with your sanity – and your life – intact. Actually, I hope these are things you’re doing all the time. Things like…

• Making sure you have plenty of gas. If there’s any question whatsoever that you might not have enough fuel to get to your destination, do not go until you fill ‘er up.
• Allowing additional travel time when heading to work, school, or appointments – anywhere you need to be at a certain time.
• Wearing your seatbelt. Even though you are wise to the havoc which Mercury can unleash upon the Earth (give yourself a pat on the back for me, Dear Follower), the idiot driver next to you might be clueless/not care/not believe in astrology/other/all of the above.Mercury Delays
• Watch how you drive (speed, signaling, lane-changing, etc.); you’re more likely to be pulled over and ticketed during this time.
• Is your car’s maintenance up-to-date? If not, you might want to look into taking care of any potential vehicle-crippling issues (preferably prior to a Mercury retrograde.)

MiscommunicationCartoon

Also…
• If at all possible, avoid entering into contracts during a Mercury retrograde.
• Communicate clearly to avoid hurt feelings over misunderstandings.
• Avoid making any major decisions during a Mercury retrograde.
• Plan ahead before the retrograde. Be prepared.
• Try not to blame everything negative that happens solely on the fact that Mercury is retrograde. For example, if you’re texting and driving, you’re more likely to cause an accident any time.

That said, a Mercury retrograde actually does have its benefits. One of these benefits is a particularly heightened sixth

2015 Mercury Retrograde Dates

2015 Mercury Retrograde Dates

sense (so pay attention to that intuition!) and take plenty of time to slow down and reflect. And around late August – early September, start preparing and brace yourself: Mercury will be retrograde for the third — and final — time in 2015 on September 17th thru October 9th.

Do It For Dani: A Gentle Soul Who Left Too Soon…

Danielle Marie Long October 8, 1984 - May 26, 2014

Danielle Marie Long
October 8, 1984 – May 26, 2014

So take the photographs and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time…
Tattoos and memories and dead skin on trial
For what it’s worth it was worth all the while…
It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life. ~ Green Day, Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

July 2003: We didn’t like each other too much, to say the least.
Not terribly unusual, though: after I all, I was the estranged wife; she, the new (younger) girlfriend.

That’s when I first met Danielle, my estranged Cancer hubby’s first new girlfriend after our separation. And, being an Aries who needs to be Numero Uno with everyone (I know, totally unrealistic), I was not a happy camper.

Nevermind the fact that I was in a new relationship with my current Gemini/Cancer cusp man — the happiest relationship I had known in my life! Nevermind that he treated me like a princess; better than anyone before ever had.

No. All of the above was irrelevant. I had grown accustomed to my estranged Crab calling me umpteen times a day, tearfully begging me to give us “one more chance.” To let him come home. He cried, he pleaded, he told me he would do anything if we could just work things out. He promised to change, that “it’ll be different this time, you’ll see!” And it was the hardest thing in the world for me to have to repeatedly, yet gently, turn him down, only for him to plead with me all the more. I thought it would kill me. I sobbed as I apologized to him and explained that it was just too late. I also encouraged him to get out and meet someone new, reassuring him that he’d likely find someone so perfect for him that he would wonder how he had lived without her all this time.

Well, as they say, be careful what you wish for…

Dani

Dani

After four solid months of these pitiful, daily depressing pleas for a reconciliation, one morning in April 2003 my Crab called to announce he was about to head to work but just had one quick question for me: were we, or were we not going to work things out; was I going to take him back? I sighed and told him I was sorry, and although I would always love him, I had moved on. His voice didn’t break a bit as he accepted my response and informed me that was all he needed to know and would talk to me later.

Little did I know the reason behind that question.

He had met someone new.

Danielle — or Dani, as many knew her — was an 18 year-old coworker who had caught the attention of my ex-Crab; twelve years younger than me, eight years younger than him. Not only was I crushed that he had met someone new (which I had naively encouraged him to do in order to move on, silly me!), I felt old, ugly, and decrepit — she was twelve years younger than me! I didn’t want or need to know anything else about her: I didn’t like her. Not even a little bit. All I knew was her name, her age, and where she worked…and I hated her with every fiber of my being. We had it out via Yahoo! IM and email more than once. I wanted her to die. Literally. I wanted to kill myself and take her with me. I was beyond infuriated, filled with rage and hurt. After all, he was my husband (estranged or not) and regardless of the fact that I had moved on and was happier than ever before, he shouldn’t be healing: he should be pining over me for the remainder of his days! How dare he find happiness with someone other than me! Ridiculous, I know. A total double standard, I know. And I knew it then. I also didn’t care. I wanted to move on and be happy but I didn’t want my ex-Cancer to do the same!

But as the months passed and summer turned to autumn, the anger began to fade and Dani & I spent a lot of time on the phone talking over our differences, each making a genuine effort to empathize with the other. We acknowledged both of our roles in our ongoing dispute, identified ways to avoid problems, cleared the air, and agreed to be friends.

Dani & my young Taurus son, summer 2006, on a rollercoaster at Kennywood

Dani & my young Taurus son, summer 2006, on a rollercoaster at Kennywood

For the most part, from that day forward, Dani and I rarely had an issue. There were a few bumps in the road that cropped up from time to time, but for the most part it was a smooth ride, particularly as the years passed. My three children spent summers in West Virginia with my former Cancer hubby and Dani, a gentle Libra for whom conflict was truly uncomfortable. My Scorpio teenage daughter in particular became very close to her “stepmother” (which we referred to Dani as, although she and my ex-Crab never actually married), spending lots of time with her and because of only a seven year age difference between them, Dani was almost like a big sister to her as they shared secrets and hung out, scrapbooking, becoming fast friends. Over time as I came to know her better, I began to see in Dani the beautiful soul which had drawn my former husband to fall in love with her…and I told her so.

In late November 2004, Dani gave birth to a beautiful Sagittarius daughter, giving my progeny a new baby stepsister. And they adored the feisty little Archer as they continued spending summers in West Virginia with them, at least until 2008 when, sadly, the relationship between my former hubby and Dani came to an end.

My Taurus son with his lil Sadge stepsister, summer 2007

My Taurus son with his lil Sadge stepsister, summer 2007

My Sadge son with his Sadge stepsister, summer 2007

My Sadge son with his Sadge stepsister, summer 2007

My boys and Dani at Kennywood, summer 2006

My boys and Dani at Kennywood, summer 2006

Fast-forward, 2010: Dani married a new man and although everyone was moving on, including my ex-husband, my kiddos stayed in touch with her and with their stepsister as well, watching the ornery little Sadge grow like a weed via Facebook and occasional pictures Dani would send to the kids in a “thinking of you” card. Even Dani and I were Facebook friends, and I was truly glad for her and the new life she had begun. She was glowing in her wedding pictures; she radiated happiness. As Facebook “friends,” I “liked” and commented on the pictures she frequently posted of her new little family. She, in turn, regularly “liked” and commented on my photos and status updates. One time in particular, while I don’t recall the nature of the status I had posted, I remember vividly what Dani commented; not verbatim, but something to the effect of, “Jen, you told me something years ago that I never forgot: that every single person we cross paths with in this lifetime, no matter how brief,  is for a reason; maybe they have something to teach us or we have something to teach them, or both. I’ve never forgotten that and it’s changed the way I look at things.” I remembered having told her that at least five years prior, and it meant a lot to me that what I said had made a positive difference in her life.

Fast-forward again, October 2011: I lived in Hot Springs, Arkansas and was single. My former Crab hubby and I decided to attempt a reconciliation, nearly nine years after separating, and he relocated from West Virginia down to Arkansas and moved in with my teen Taurus son and me. Sensing a conflict of interest — nothing more — I went into my Facebook account and quietly unfriended Dani. I knew she and my newly-reunited Cancer husband were not on the best of terms, and I only wanted to be Switzerland, not caught in the middle of any disputes involving their then 7 year-old Sadge daughter.

Late January 2012: Realizing our reconciliation was ultimately not doable, my Crab returned to West Virginia on good terms. We remained close friends, and with the exception of one falling out soon after our separation, during which time we didn’t communicate for about three months, we talked and texted often. By this time, I had moved back to Oklahoma and my ex-Cancer expressed his desire to also move back to Oklahoma, as it represented a seven-year period of his life during which he had been truly happy. But his father had recently passed away, his sister was battling a severe chronic autoimmune disease, and he felt he couldn’t leave his stepmother to deal with it on her own, which kept him from following through with his wish to return to Oklahoma.

January 1, 2013: My former Cancer husband was killed in a single vehicle accident less than one mile from home, leaving behind a grief-stricken 8 year-old

My Cancer ex-hubby with his daughter, shortly before his untimely death...

My Cancer ex-hubby with his daughter, shortly before his untimely death…

daughter and Dani — to whom I could absolutely relate, as my three children’s father had passed away from cancer almost 12 years earlier to the day. I told Dani, “I wish I couldn’t say that I truly know how you feel…but I do.” (That was the second time I had experienced such a death.)

Spring 2013: Some very disturbing information came to light, and her seemingly idyllic life was turned upside down once again, prompting a devastated Dani to quickly divorced her husband of nearly three years. I couldn’t begin to imagine the emotional hell she was living, especially in addition to still grieving the loss of her 8 year-old daughter’s father only a few months earlier. I wanted to reach out to her, but wasn’t quite sure how to do it…I never did.

February 2014: Dani, who had found love again — even stating “I’m so glad I didn’t give up on love!” — was now pregnant with her second child and, as she put it, “ecstatic.” Her Facebook posts were once again full of joy and hope, as she was engaged to the father of her child, a man with whom she was deeply in love, looking forward to giving birth to another child in August, and proudly boasting about her soon-to-be stepson’s and her now-9 year-old daughter’s achievements in school, proclaiming “you always make Momma proud!” She stated on one occasion that she knew she wasn’t perfect, and she had been through a lot of trials and tribulations in her life, but overall she was “proud of the woman [she’d] grown to be.” Life was beautiful again, full of promise.

Dani & her fiance Mike, proud parents to be...

Dani & her fiance Mike, proud parents to be…

Then one day early in her second trimester, Dani collapsed.

Dani & her fiance, Mike

Dani & her fiance, Mike

She was subsequently diagnosed with advanced cardiac liposarcoma. A cancer so exceedingly rare that the Mayo Clinic sees, on average, one case per year. Let me repeat that: ONE case per YEAR. Dani underwent open-heart surgery to remove the tumor but the surgeons were unable to completely remove it. The prognosis was grim. If she underwent treatment immediately, she could survive from five months up to perhaps a year. But this would have required her to terminate her pregnancy, as her baby was not yet at a viable age in its development, and the recommended treatment Dani desperately needed would most certainly kill the developing fetus.

Instead, Dani opted to continue her pregnancy as long as possible so that her unborn child might survive, and she would begin treatment after giving birth.

Heart cancer survival rate is nearly 8.3 % in the early stages and in the medium and advanced stages it is nearly about 3% and 0.9 % respectively. When the patient reaches the third and the fourth stage, it becomes extremely difficult as the tumor has already damaged the surrounding areas and other parts of the body. If it is detected before the tumour reaches the spinal cord and the brain then heart cancer survival rate is around11 to 14%. Once the other parts of the body including the brain and the spinal cord are affected, the chances of survival from this tumor are less and hence the survival rate may be zero. ~ “What Is The Survival Rate For Heart Cancer?” http://www.cancer8.com

Tiny Noella Justine, the unborn child whom Dani was determined survive...even if she herself did not...

Tiny Noella Justine, the unborn child whom Dani was determined survive…even if she herself did not…

Sunday, May 18, 2014: With her condition rapidly deteriorating, Dani’s doctors made the decision to deliver the 28-week fetus, a 3 pound little girl she had already named Noella Justine. Thankfully, although Noella survived and is thriving, although she won’t be able to leave the NICU until around the time of her original August due date, Dani began to fade. She was placed on life support, occasionally breathing somewhat on her own, although sadly taking a general downward turn. She was not conscious, and had not yet held or seen her tiny baby girl…though at one point, little Noella was brought to her mother, lain across her chest, and her tiny hand reached up and touched her mother’s face. Whether or not Dani was conscious of this is unclear…

Sunday, May 25, 2014: As the cancer continued ravaging Dani’s weakened body, she began experiencing multiple organ failure. The decision was made to remove her from life support later that evening…and in an update I was told she was “breathing on her own and fighting.” I was racing northeast, desperately trying to get there, pleading with the Universe for a miracle; or at least to let me get to see her just one last time so that I could not only thank her for making such a positive impact in the lives of my three children, who still referred to her as their stepmother, but to also let her know that while I might have taught her something at one time, I had learned more about strength, grace, and perseverance in the wake of tragedy from her than she could possibly imagine.

Monday, May 26, 2014, Memorial Day, 4:30am EDT: Danielle Marie Long, age 29, passed peacefully into eternity, surrounded by family, friends, and her 9 year-old daughter…who had now tragically lost both of her parents in less than a year and a half.

I arrived in town at 9:30am EDT, where I literally ran from my truck down the driveway and up the sidewalk to the front door, tears streaming down my face, and into the arms of my late Cancer ex-husband’s sobbing stepmother.

Mother & daughter in happier times...

Mother & daughter in happier times…

When my mom was really sick just before she died, we asked her if she was ready to go to Heaven and be with Jesus. She [nodded her head yes.] And then she died. ~ as told to me by Dani’s 9 year-old daughter

During my week-long stay in Weirton with my late ex-husband’s family, I was blessed to be able to spend a great deal of time with my ex-Crab & Dani’s 9 year-old Sadge daughter. She became quite attached to me during my stay, and vice versa. I feel we actually helped each other. I never brought up anything about her mom, but when she initiated a conversation about Dani, I gave her my undivided attention: listening, commenting when appropriate, empathizing. And when she changed the topic, I followed her lead. This precious little fourth grader has experienced in the first nine years of life what many adults never experience in an entire lifetime.

My mom couldn’t talk but when I said ‘I love you,’ she started to cry. ~ Dani’s 9 year-old daughter

This precocious little Archer and I played games for hours: Simpsons’ Clue, Sorry!, Go Fish, War. She would say, “Jen, come here, I wanna tell you a secret!” and when I would bend down to her level, she cupped her little hands around my ear and whispered things such as “Y-O-U A-R-E T-H-E B-E-S-T,” “I ‘heart’ you,” “Will you stay up with me all night and play games?” and “Will you cuddle with me?” My heart melted, and of course I indulged her every request. When my 8 year-old fiery Leo niece, her cousin, came to stay the night with us, we even played “school.” I enjoyed and cherished every minute I got to spend with those little girls. It was therapeutic for all of us, in my opinion. I was fortunate enough to be able to somehow, albeit in a small way, repay Dani — as well as my late ex-husband — for being there for my three kids for so many years, and Dani’s daughter, aware that I “used to be married to her dad before he met her mom,” perhaps viewed me as a parental figure that wasn’t an aunt, uncle, or grandparent…and she seemed to desperately crave that. She cried her eyes out Saturday night when she knew I had to leave the next morning, and asked if she could cuddle with me and sleep with me, which she did. She was possessive of me as well: when my sister in-law or mother in-law expressed a desire to spend some time with me talking, this little girl angrily accused them of being “Jen hogs!” and demanded that they “stop hogging Jen!”

The girlies havin' a whipped cream fight after eating their ice cream sundaes

The girlies havin’ a whipped cream fight after eating their ice cream sundaes

Hanging with the girlies at a local frozen yogurt shop...

Hanging with the girlies at a local frozen yogurt shop…

The Aries author and a precious 9 year-old Sadge being silly, finding comfort in one another...

The Aries author and a precious 9 year-old Sadge being silly, finding comfort in one another…

At one point, I called my Scorpio daughter and Taurus son in Arizona so that she could talk to her “sissy” and one of her brothers, which she was thrilled about. When her Leo cousin asked who she was talking to, this little Archer proudly smiled and told her, “My brother and sissy!” It seemed to give her a sense of normalcy; a connection to a time when things were as they should be; when both of her parents were alive and well.

It did the same for me as well.

At this point, I would love to move up to West Virginia not only to be closer to the girlies, but to the rest of the family as well. My current Gemini-Cancer cusp man isn’t against it; but the Gemini in him (sigh…) means he must take the time to analyze every possible aspect of such a move, where my spontaneous, let’s-do-it-right-now! Aries nature would already be there were it up to me alone. I feel a duty, a call, a need and a desire to be around for Dani and my ex-husband’s daughter. I truly believe she found comfort in being around me and that she needs me…because she told me she did.

And strange as it might seem, I feel like I need her just as much.

The bracelet which hasn't left my wrist since it was given to me...

The bracelet which hasn’t left my wrist since it was given to me…

T-shirt from a benefit held for Dani before her death, which I wear with pride, honored to have known such a beautiful soul in my lifetime...

T-shirt from a benefit held for Dani before her death, which I wear with pride, honored to have known such a beautiful soul in my lifetime…

The Twelfth House: Your Own Worst Enemy

sabotageIt’s no surprise to me, I am my own worst enemy
Cuz every now and then I kick the living shit outta me…
The smoke alarm is going off and there’s a cigarette still burnin’…
Please tell me why my car is in the front yard and I’m…
Sleepin’ with my clothes on;
Came in through the window last night and you’re
Gone…gone. ~ Lit, My Own Worst Enemy

Ah yes. Welcome to the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing, where you sabotage yourself and are the creator of your own downfall. Sounds pleasant, yes? Just wait, it gets better. The Twelfth House also governs secret enemies (yup, including the seemingly-kindly elderly neighbor lady who always smiles and waves hello, although she is the mysterious person who repeatedly calls the city to complain when your grass is 1/4 inch taller than she thinks it should be), things we hide from others as well as ourselves, difficulties in general, the subconscious, sorrow, suffering (perceived or actual), and places of restriction. The word restriction can refer to feelings of being, for example, emotionally confined but it also applies to more literal places of confinement, including but not limited to prisons, hospitals, jails, asylums, orphanages — if it’s a place where your freedom is limited, it’s covered by the Twelfth House.

As you have probably either already heard or now suspect, House number Twelve has a terrible reputation. Dane Rudhyar, who is considered to be the father of modern astrology, once stated that “there are no ‘bad’ houses.” But this matters not to clients who freak out wanting to know what brand of doom is inevitably going to befall them because Pluto is in their Twelfth House. And while it’s true that this House doesn’t govern a lot of the happier areas of life, these more unpleasant subjects are, in fact, parts of everyone’s life…and some House has to rule them. And so, here we are!

One of my favorite astrologers, the awesome Bob Marks, has stated that most of the folks he’s seen who have several planets in the Twelfth House are sensitive, caring people (typical of the sign of Pisces, this House’s natural ruler) who tend to put up with way too much bullshit from others. He goes on to say the rest of the people with many planets in this House are, and I quote, “serial killers and mass murderers.” (God, I idolize that man, who has been a huge influence in my own astrological studies and work…but I digress.)

This is the House where any bad karmic debts owed will be collected. We all have them. Every single one of us. And this is the House where we will paykarma the piper. The House where our anxieties, illnesses, losses, grief, and frustrations lie. Pisces is the depressive, dreamy sign which is the Twelfth’s House natural ruler; thus, Neptune and its rose-colored glasses of denial is the natural planetary ruler of this House. The House where the martyrs and the rescuers reside.

Woohoo! you cheer as you do a happy dance of relief around the room (stop it already, you look ridiculous.) You’ve just nervously scanned your natal chart and found that your Twelfth House is completely devoid of any planets, asteroids, or nodes. Therefore, one could reasonably conclude that you’ll breeze through life nearly worry-free, dealing with sunshine-filled days, not an enemy in the world, healthy as a horse, and good karma just falling right out of the sky and into your lucky little lap…right?

Wrong. (Broken record time.) There are ten planets and twelve Houses in a natal chart. It is obviously impossible to have a planet in every House, meaning everyone (yes, including you) will have at least two completely empty Houses…and most people will have more than two empties. It might seem that you caught a break that the Twelfth House happens to be one of your vacant Houses…but it just seems that way. Empty Houses are still interpreted in a natal chart, they are just interpreted in a few different ways.

One way we would look at an empty Twelfth House is to first determine its natural ruling sign (Pisces) and planet (Neptune.) We would examine the qualities of Pisces and the personal influences of Neptune which will reveal how you deal with the life areas covered by the Twelfth House. Another way to interpret an empty Twelfth is to look at the sign/planet by which it is ruled in your natal chart. Let’s say, for example, that it’s Scorpio/Pluto (and let’s also hope that actually isn’t the case.) We would then take a gander at the characteristics of the sign of Scorpio and the influence Pluto has on an individual in the life areas ruled by the Twelfth House. Either or both of these methods can give some interesting insight to your Life in the Twelfth House.

Occasionally, a House is vacant simply because it governs areas of life that are at least in order to such a degree that they don’t warrant a large chunk of your day-to-day attention. In that case…um, yeah…you can consider yourself one (fairly) lucky son of a bitch. So how do you know which of these scenarios applies to your empty Twelfth House? Easy: get yourself a personalized, detailed natal chart which will cover why, in your case, you might have gotten a little lucky (or not.) Check out prices for various charts on the right-hand side of this article and pay using the convenience and security of PayPal, email me at BornUnderABlondeSign@gmail.com, or simply post your inquiries in the comments section. You can also visit (and don’t forget to “like”) Born Under a Blonde Sign’s official Facebook page (also to the right of this article) and post any questions or comments there as well.

Moving on…for those of us who are cursed with have planets in the Twelfth House, let’s take a closer look at the meaning of each of the planets when placed in this House and the personal influences they have on our lives.

niteowlsThe Sun in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
Normally, wherever the Sun is placed in the natal chart is where we shine or need to shine. In the case of the Sun in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing, the Sun is somewhat obscured by the clouds of dreary Neptune. This results in a native who needs their space and solitude to reflect in seclusion so that they are able to summon their inner strength. This one might actually avoid the spotlight or if they’re forced into a visible position, they might pretend to be someone they’re not. Are you a night owl? There is a fascinating trend among those with this Sun placement to be third-shift employees (especially in places of restriction) or simply be more productive in the overnight hours. A Sun-in-Twelfth often has trouble relating to others and feels alone and uncomfortable in a crowd. The native is compassionate and helping others is one way to part those clouds and let some rays of the Sun shine into this otherwise melancholic House. My Cancer-Gemini cusp love has this Sun placement and as I’ve previously stated, he will bend over backwards to do anything he can to help anyone who needs his assistance: a stranded motorist, a friend with nothing for lunch, you name it: if he’s got it and you need it, it’s yours; if he can do it and you need it done, he’ll do it. And he never complains about it. Ever. Although his schedule requires him to be at work at the ungodly hour of 8am, my man is a bonafide night owl. If it were up to him, he’d stay up til 4 or 5am, sleep til 1-2pm, piddlefart around for an hour or so, and stroll into work around 3 or 4pm. And oh, how the man requires his “me-time.” He will retreat to his man cave (we live in an apartment, so that’d be the bathroom), sometimes for 2 or 3 hours at a time, emerging only for a cold beer from time to time. He despises the spotlight and has a job behind the scenes, though not in a place of restriction (he works in a body shop.) The solar Twelfth House individual tends to be rather critical of themselves and wonders why no one understands them. Generally speaking, the Sun, which governs the ego, is uncomfortable in the Twelfth House as its light seems to be somewhat perpetually blotted out, leaving the Sun-in-Twelfth person feeling insecure, as if they don’t really fit in anywhere. The lesson here is to ease up on yourself. Simply knowing this is the case is beneficial because it allows you to recognize why you feel the way you do, giving you the home-court advantage in overcoming the limitations the Twelfth House tries to impose upon you. You go!

The Moon in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
Ohohoho, does this one have Moon-imposed mood swings! But when the Moon is in the Twelfth House, the native will usually try to conceal that fact. The Moon-in-Twelfth person frequently doesn’t understand their own feelings, despite the fact that they are otherwise incredibly perceptive. Their emotions often overcome — and overtake — them, and many times the native can’t quite define what they are feeling and isn’t even sure why they feel the way they do and have difficulty pinpointing what their own emotional needs are. Although empathetic and sympathetic toward others, their own inner confusion sometimes leaves them emotionally unavailable to help. There are many times when the native must withdraw from the world for a period of time to try and figure themselves out in a peaceful environment, even if its within their own home. If at all possible, they will avoid contact with others during this time of reflection and rejuvenation. The Moon here gives a native with sensitive feelings which are easily hurt. Their energy levels ebb and flow depending on their mood, as does their ability to deal with certain situations. Personal satisfaction is found doing anonymous random acts of kindness behind-the-scenes. This one definitely has an interest in all things metaphysical or supernatural, and most likely has a keen psychic ability. If the Moon is favorably aspected here, the native will find success in occupations out of the public eye, perhaps in places of seclusion or restriction (hospitals, prisons, or even working from home.) This lunar position also increases the likelihood of a secret love affair; if the Moon is positively aspected it will be able to remain a secret. However, if the Moon is negatively aspected it often indicates that any illicit affair in which the native might be involved will be revealed, leading to a great deal of trouble and moodswingsheartache (duh), as well as a tendency to attract two-faced, backstabbing “friends.” That’s right, I have this Moon placement (so does my lovely Libra former stepmother in-law.) Furthermore, my Moon forms a square (challenging) aspect with Mercury. This is where I sheepishly admit to having once had an affair when married to my now-deceased Sadge first husband, with my also-now-deceased Cancer ex-husband. Mercury is talkative, and when in a negative aspect with the Moon, it becomes super-chatty when anxious or nervous…which ultimately led to my own self-undoing and my affair being revealed. I have attracted my fair share of so-called friends and acquaintances whom I believed truly liked me, and whom I even liked, only to discover their true colors by what they spoke about me to others (yeah, but I didn’t like them anymore after that.) I wish I could blame the exposure of my affair on one of those friends in sheep’s clothing, but nope…it was my own self-undoing at work. While I don’t consider myself psychic, I do have pretty nifty intuitive abilities which rarely steer me wrong (when I pay attention to them, that is.) Additionally, I thrive on random acts of kindness, and I don’t require accolades for them. It truly nourishes my soul to do for and help others in any way I can. I’m not just saying that; it’s who I am. And yeah, my moods practically swing around on chandeliers…but with age, I’ve become more adept at hiding this…I think (I hope.)

Mercury in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
Mercury is usually a very active, chatty planet. But in the Twelfth House, when it comes to secrets, the native won’t blab your deepest, darkest confessions. Whatever you tell them goes into the vault and stays there, period. If you have a friend with this Mercury placement, confide your little heart out with no worries and hang onto this friend forever. Sometimes the Twelfth House Mercurian has difficulty developing confidence in their abilities of clearly expressing themselves, so they aren’t always ready to talk about their feelings…not because they don’t want to, but because they aren’t sure they know how. This leads to them feeling misunderstood, guilty, or even leaving them prone to shady situations and/or people who don’t have the native’s best interests at heart. Mercury-in-Twelfth sometimes thinks too much, overanalyzing their feelings, which makes it difficult for them to trust their intuition as all this overthinking causes difficulty distinguishing between intuition and fear. The native is drawn to symbols and imagery, and grasps ideas best when presented visually or emotionally. This one is intrigued by all things involving psychology and the workings of the mind, and they are naturally compassionate, more than willing to self-sacrifice to serve others or help anyone in need. There is an ongoing inner search for spiritual truth and enlightenment. The native is an artistic, poetic person; a humanitarian, a caregiver who would be successful in careers utilizing those qualities, such as nursing or counseling. My Scorpio daughter has this Mercury placement. It’s absolutely true: she’s a wonderful confidante, she’ll do anything in her power to help anyone. She’s the person who gives her spare change to the guy holding a sign on the exit ramp (and she doesn’t care what he’s gonna buy with it because “what if he really is hungry?”) She’s the one who takes in the person with nowhere to go, feeding them and giving them a place to sleep. She is definitely attracted to symbolism and this is evidenced by her numerous tattoos; not just random wtf-ever body art, but meaningful and spiritual sayings and symbols. She volunteers in her church’s child care on weekends, and her career aspiration? To become a nurse. And she would be wonderful in that capacity.

affairVenus in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
When the planet of love, beauty, and pleasure is in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing, the effect on the life of the native is one of romance. Their partner, when in a relationship, is the native’s world. As a result, this one is hurt in love rather easily and because of difficulty establishing boundaries between their needs and the needs of their partner, as well as their devotion being mistaken for weakness, they are prime to be taken advantage of as well as being/feeling used. A Twelfth House Venusian is drawn to partners with unusual backgrounds or eccentric personalities, as well as relationships that are secret, challenging, or unorthodox in some way. At the same time, the native is often hesitant to openly express their feelings or affection because of a fear of their love not being reciprocated. They are also likely to fall in love with someone who is married or otherwise unavailable and/or to have an affair while married themselves at some point. The Venus-in-Twelfth often feels like they have to sacrifice something for a partner; to give up someone, something, or even some part of who they are in order to be loved and accepted. In addition to a Sun placement in this House, my Cancer-Gemini cusp man also has this Venus placement. As arrogant and boastful as this might sound, I can assure you that I am, in fact, his world. How do I know that? Because he tells me…all the time. He is unbelievably devoted to me and to our relationship, and while I absolutely do not and would never take advantage of this unwavering devotion (a fact to which he will readily attest), it’s easy to see how, with the wrong woman (*cough* his cheating, lying, junkie whore ex-wife *cough*), it could happen (and with her, it did.) Which brings me to my next point: our relationship itself is unorthodox. How so, you ask? The way we met. In September 1993 at the age of 21, I was visiting a longtime friend one afternoon at her apartment when her new live-in boyfriend, whom I had not yet met, came home from work to grab some lunch. She introduced us and because he was there to eat, we didn’t really interact. But as the years passed, I became friends with him as well, they eventually married and had a daughter (both events at which I was an attendee), and long story short, we both found ourselves divorced and available with a decade-long (albeit secret) mutual attraction, both physical and intellectual, and in January 2003 we officially became a couple. Excluding what we refer to as the Great Hiatus of 2011, we have been together almost 11 years. I should note here that while we never even discussed with each other — in fact, we hid — our mutual feelings over all those years, let alone ever had an affair, we definitely had a connection and feelings for one another which we probably shouldn’t have…as we were both married and unavailable. He even confessed to having wished on many occasions that he had met me first rather than his wife/my friend…and I then revealed to him I too had wished that very same thing, way too many times.

Mars in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
Mars is the planet of aggression and assertiveness. Because we hide things in the Twelfth House, the native with this Mars placement will tend to hide or repress their anger. But they can’t do it forever and from time to time, it’s going to explode in one way or another. The native can even be fearful of asserting themselves. The influence of the Twelfth House saps the energy from the person with this Mars placement, often resulting in low self-esteem and a general feeling of weakness or defeat, particularly in childhood. They tend to be pleasant and agreeable, bristling at the idea of conflict or uncomfortable confrontation, regardless of how badly you treat them. But again, this can only go on for so long before the suppressed Martian energy erupts like a volcano and heaven help the unfortunate soul who triggers it. Even when the native has calmed down, don’t expect an apology, regardless of what they did in their tirade. If you were the one who provoked it, it was probably a long time coming and to the Twelfth-House-Martian, that doesn’t justify an apology. Here again, along with the Sun and Venus, my adoring Cancer-Gemini cusp man has Mars in the Twelfth House. Incidentally, with three planets in the Twelfth House, I should probably point out that my man is not a serial killer or mass murderer; he is one of the “most folks” to which astrologer Bob Marks referred when discussing people with many planets in the Twelfth House: my love is sensitive, caring, and definitely puts up with way more bullshit from people (yeah, including from me) than he should. He had a difficult childhood which involved some physical and mental abuse, about which I won’t go into detail; however, he definitely felt emotionally beaten; just mentally depleted. As a result, he cannot stand the notion of conflict and he will put up with a lot…until he just can’t take it anymore and he finally does blow his top. However, it’s never in the form of a violent assault and battery on the one who finally poked the bear one too many times. When he’s had enough — and it takes a lot to get him to that point — it’s mostly incredibly loud, telling you in no uncertain terms exactly what he thinks about you and/or what you’ve done to get him to that point, and lots of shouting, which is jaw-dropping in itself because it’s so atypical of his usual everyday gentle persona. And don’t hold your breath waiting for him to humbly apologize for his verbal tantrum once he’s cooled off. It won’t happen.

Jupiter in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
If you had to have a planet in the Twelfth House, lucky Jupiter is the one you would want it to be. When placed in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing, Jupiter is your veritable Superman, swooping in just in time to save you from whatever dubious debacle you’ve found yourself in. Good fortune comes to the native through spiritual work or the arts. This one finds inspiration using meditation, self-introspection, and seclusion. Whatever Twelfth House Jupiter’s idea of a worthwhile cause is, at some point in their lifetime they will likely make a great personal sacrifice to champion for it. It could be related to something in healing or medicine, philosophy, or spiritual or occult issues. Jupiter’s lucky influence tends to protect a native from physical harm as well, particularly from enemies. There might be some close calls and near-misses but these folks have a fascinating tendency to really catch a break when it comes to bodily injury: it’s often much less serious than it could have been. My older son, a 6’4″ Sadge in his mid-twenties, has this Jupiter placement. I hesitate to even mention any of his close calls with physical injury or harm lest I jinx his good fortune, but it’s true…even going all the way back to his time in the womb, the boy is lucky to have survived his C-section birth (as was I, who developed severe complications in late pregnancy.) He was once involved in a rollover Jeep accident as a shotgun-riding passenger — the only one wearing his seat belt (atta boy!) — and although he was hanging upside down from his seat belt after the crash, he escaped without a single scratch. (Thankfully, the others were not seriously injured, by the way.) And it does seem that he has quite a bit of last-minute luck in sticky situations where someone or something, just by chance, comes along to rescue him.

Saturn in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
If you had to have a planet in the Twelfth House, planetary schoolyard bully Saturn is the one you would not want it to be. (Sorry.) This is the planet alonethat throws up obstacles and limitations wherever it’s placed in the natal chart, and in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing, although we have a native who is quite dependable and can always be counted upon to be there for others, they don’t always have someone they can count upon to be there for them. Depression is often associated with this Saturn placement, and not just regular depression. When this one gets depressed, everything they have ever been depressed about in their lives seems to rise to the surface, sometimes to the point where it is so debilitating that the native can barely function in daily life. They often have long-standing feelings of guilt coming from somewhere they can’t even identify. The native frequently has bouts of intense anxiety and feelings of vulnerability, possibly from repressed emotions or situations dating back to their childhood. The Saturn-in-Twelfth tends to feel overwhelmed by life with a lack of control of their emotions. I highly recommend someone with this placement who strongly relates to this interpretation to seek the services of a professional counselor or a trusted friend in whom they can confide. This can help uncover the reason for the feelings of guilt and old issues resurfacing, which can then be dealt with and lead to a more peaceful, happier life with much less anxiety and fear.

Uranus in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
The native with this Uranus placement longs to change the world and has an intense need for personal freedom, but the restrictive nature of the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing results in a suppression of these desires. Instead, they could manifest in different ways such as the Uranus-in-Twelfth living vicariously through others; encouraging them to do the very things that they themselves want to do but shy away from. The native will continue searching for new and better ways to advance the world, but won’t necessarily act on them. This is because although the Uranian influence normally embraces change and forward-thinking, this is blunted by its placement in the Twelfth House. They are drawn to people with similar ideals, who are creative and value their own personal freedom as much as the native does. Though they are often eccentric geniuses, they tend to keep these qualities hidden because it feels safer for them to do so. They are attracted to the bizarre and will be attracted to study subjects that others find strange.

Wasted away again in Margaritaville…guilt
Searchin’ for my lost shaker of salt
Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame, but I know…
It’s my own damn fault. ~ Jimmy Buffett, Margaritaville

Neptune in Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
Neptune (a.k.a. my lifelong archnemesis) is the natural ruler of the Twelfth House so when its placement in the natal chart is in this House, it is in its dominion; in other words, it’s right at home. Does this increase Neptune’s influence over the life areas governed by the Twelfth House in this case? You bet your ass it does. The native with this placement has remarkable intuition and has impressive inner strength which they are able to summon at will, despite their mild-mannered nature. The Neptune-in-Twelfth is exceptionally compassionate to the plight of others and desperately wants to fight for the underdog, but the suppressive nature of the Twelfth House makes it difficult for the native to take action, resulting in feelings of depression and guilt. I’ve mentioned a hundred times (or close to it) how Neptune has us wearing rose-colored glasses, seeing and hearing only what we want to see and hear. That being the case, escapism behavior is very common with this Neptune placement, as Neptune rules drugs and alcohol so the likelihood of substance abuse and/or addiction is greatly increased here. Remember, the Twelfth House rules places of restriction as well and this combination could result in a Twelfth House Neptune individual finding themselves in a rehab facility — or worse, in prison for crimes related to drugs or alcohol, including DUIs, public arrestintoxication, possession, or even drug dealing. If you have this Neptune placement, this is valuable information I’ve given you, so please use it! You have the unique advantage of knowing, because of your natal chart, that the odds are not on your side so if you would like to avoid incarceration and/or rehabilitation facilities, be mindful of your drinking habits, never drink and drive (that applies to everyone, but especially to the native with this placement), and think twice before delving into the world of drugs, whether illicit street drugs or legal prescription medications such as opiates or benzodiazepines. The planets are not in your favor here. My Sadge sister in-law and best friend of 30 years had this Neptune placement. She was a raging alcoholic who regularly combined opiates and benzos with her booze. Not only did she find herself hospitalized for alcohol poisoning more than once and involuntarily locked up in rehab more times than I can count, she also wound up behind bars for alcohol-related offenses on at least ten occasions. On February 13, 2012 her body finally succumbed to her addiction and drug abuse at the age of 41, at which time she found herself in an urn…which is probably the most restrictive place of all.

Pluto in the Twelfth House of Self-Undoing
The all-or-nothing planet of extremes, Pluto is another one that can predispose a native with this placement to depression and addiction. Wherever it is found in the natal chart, Pluto does not know moderation. Emotions are repressed here, and grudges are held. Remember that holding on to a grudge or hate for someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Your hard feelings have zero effect on their daily life. On yours, however, it’s like carrying a backpack filled with unnecessary heaviness like anger and resentment. The lesson here is to put the backpack down, leave it, and walk away. It might sound difficult or even impossible, but you truly are only poisoning yourself by holding on to old demons. Once you conquer your own issues, you will be amazed at how much weight will be lifted from your shoulders and you will also be able to help others do the same. The Twelfth House Pluto individual is especially intrigued by anything hidden, mysterious, or taboo. The native seeks to uncover who they really are, and they find dream interpretation exceptionally fascinating and helpful in this process. Pluto-in-Twelfth probably has exceptional intuition or psychic ability with complex subconscious energies contributing to this. Death is no stranger to the native, and they probably will experience or have experienced quite a few more than usual losses of loved ones during their lifetime.

The Eleventh House: Your Wildest Dreams

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Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions
I keep my visions to myself
It’s only me who wants to wrap around your dreams and
Have you any dreams you’d like to sell?

Dreams of loneliness like a heartbeat, drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering
What you had and what you lost
And what you had, oh what you lost… ~ Fleetwood Mac, Dreams

As we delve into the life areas covered by the final astrological Houses, we find ourselves in the Eleventh House, commonly known as the House of Hopes, Wishes, and Friends. But it also governs how the native handles being in groups of people outside the home such as clubs or professional associations, as well as your goals and personal aspirations.

The Eleventh House reveals how our thoughts manifest in our lives. It also governs friendships and the support we give and receive in those relationships. Remember: the Fifth House, which is directly opposite the Eleventh House, concerns immediate pleasures and creativity that comes from within. Therefore, the Eleventh House takes a more outwardly look at long-term goals and collaborative creativity within a group.

Just for fun, let’s assume that you’re looking at your natal chart, eager to discover these facets of yourself and lo and behold, your Eleventh House of nofriendsHopes, Wishes, and Friends is completely empty, containing no planets, asteroids, or nodes whatsoever. That can’t be good, right? So what does this indicate on a personal level?

I’m so sorry to tell you this, dear reader/follower. But what this means is that evidently, you have no hopes, wishes, or friends.

I kid, of course. As I’ve repeated to death in the previous ten Houses and will do so once more in the upcoming Twelfth (and final) House, there are ten planets (counting the Sun and Moon) and Twelve Houses. Now, it’s not rocket science to figure out that it’s mathematically impossible for there to be a planet, asteroid, or node in every single House in any natal chart. Everyone (this includes you…and me) will have at least two empty Houses, and most of us will have more than two empties.

In the case of an Eleventh House with little more than the occasional cricket chirping or tumbleweed blowing by, we would interpret this in a few different ways. First, let’s ask ourselves, which sign is the natural ruler of the Eleventh House? That would be the sign of Aquarius, which is also — not coincidentally — the eleventh sign of the zodiac. What are the traits of the Water Bearer? We would examine those, in addition to Uranus — Aquarius’s ruling planet — to gain some insight into how you handle the life areas governed by the Eleventh House.

Secondly, we would determine the ruler of your natal chart’s Eleventh House. Let’s say it’s Libra. We would then take a look at the characteristics of the Scales and its ruling planet, Venus, to glean even more information on the ways in which you deal with your hopes, wishes, and friendships.

friendsIt’s also entirely possible that your Eleventh House is vacant either because the life areas covered here are simply not your primary focus — and that’s okay! — or it could be that your hopes, wishes, and friendships are already so well established, ordered, and functional that a large amount of your attention is simply not needed in these areas. If this is you, I extend to you my heartiest congratulations along with both of my middle fingers.

But for the rest of us who do have planets floating around in the Eleventh House, let’s see how the effects of each manifest in our lives.

The Sun in the Eleventh House of Hopes, Wishes, and Friendsdiversity
Well, hello there Mr./Ms. Popularity! Wherever the Sun is in our chart is where we shine or feel the need to shine. In the Eleventh House, we have a native who makes friends wherever they go, attracting them and keeping them, often for a lifetime. This one is everybody’s friend. The Sun-in-Eleventh tends to become quickly attached to newfound chums, forming those aforementioned multiple friendships with lightning speed. But if they discover no common ground with someone, they’ll break that bond in an instant. Easily adaptable, the Eleventh House Sun can fit in anywhere, seeing everyone as equals and making an honest effort to avoid bias toward anyone. The native’s goals are set sky-high and opportunities are sought after rather than waited for. Oddly enough, this one doesn’t care much about their social status; in other words, this is the high school student who will embrace the friendships of cheerleaders, athletes, or spoiled rich kids…and outcasts, delinquents, or the proverbial underdog. Diversity and tolerance is a huge deal for this one. Curiously, unless there are negative Sun aspects in the natal chart, the native is usually quite compatible with those who have Leo Sun signs or a lot of Leo in their natal charts (Leo is ruled by the Sun.) On the downside (yeah, there actually is one), spreading oneself too thin among a large number of friends and acquaintances can cause the native to appear impersonal, in turn intimidating or discouraging others who would like to be closer to the native or get to know them better. My Scorpio daughter has this Sun placement. She has more friends than I can keep track of, and she forms friendships seemingly effortlessly. She gets that from her natal chart, not from her mother.

comfortfriendThe Moon in the Eleventh House of Hopes, Wishes, and Friends
The sensitive Moon in the House of Friendship gives a native with a strong emotional need for belonging and support from a network of friends and acquaintances. This one is more than willing to offer that same support in return as well. Like the effect of the Moon on the tides, the Moon-in-Eleventh’s social life ebbs and flows, and feelings for others wax and wane which, needless to say, can cause some serious relationship problems. The native has a heart of gold with many dreams, but their goals tend to change as frequently as their moods, resulting in difficulty attaining their desires. The Eleventh House Moon person tends to be friends with their own family members and feels a strong bond with those who share similar ideals. It’s important for the native to remember to relate to others outside their own family. This one is wonderfully intuitive and charming in their interactions with others, but they are also prone to attracting friends who are depressive or moody, as well as undesirable or unreliable friends, resulting in the native’s unintentional involvement in some kind of trouble or scandal. One of my sons has this Moon placement. He is definitely closer to his family members than non-relative friends, and he has attracted some friends of questionable character in his day; one of which got him wrapped up in a shoplifting incident (the friend was the guilty party, my son was honestly unaware of what had happened.) Luckily, my son was not prosecuted as surveillance cameras proved he didn’t know what his shady friend was up to. His goals also change with unprecedented frequency: he’s interested in forensics, then he’s talking about video game design. He has a strong need to belong but being an Aspie, finds that difficult at times. The only real, best friend he ever had with whom he truly bonded and to whom he was able to fully relate, tragically committed suicide in September 2013 which, in my book, qualifies as a depressive friend.

Mercury in the Eleventh House of Hopes, Wishes, and Friends
Intellectual Mercury in this House results in an individual who is adaptable to a wide variety of people. Extremely social, Mercury-in-Eleventh has an talkativeinsatiable curiosity about others, community issues, trends, cultures, you name it. This one needs friends who have something to contribute intellectually. Forward-thinking, the native is drawn to those who bring fresh ideas to the table, as well as writers, talkative folks, and those who enjoy traveling a lot. Personal goals and plans will probably change or fluctuate often, and there is a tendency to attract dishonest friends. This one is likely involved in at least one or two clubs, groups, or societies and is clever about coming up with original ideas to see their goals to fruition. However, they can also be impractical and rather cynical. The lesson here? Skepticism is healthy and encouraged. Cynicism is refusing to acknowledge the facts or the evidence in front of your face. Yeah. Don’t do that. My adoring Cancer-Gemini cusp man has this Mercury placement. He’s incredibly intellectual, talkative, and ridiculously clever when it comes to problem solving, always ready with a why-didn’t-I-think-of-that idea which never in a million years would have entered my own blonde head. No doubt he’s attracted more than his fair share of shady, con-artist (now former) friends and has only one or two true, real friends. He’s also an enigma: while he’s quite open-minded in many ways, he’s also moderately cynical, which drives. me. insane. Worse, he’s cynical about the fact that he is cynical (“I’m not cynical!” he’ll vehemently protest, even when presented with irrefutable evidence to the contrary. Aaaaah…)

Venus in the Eleventh House of Hopes, Wishes, and Friends
When the planet of love and pleasure is in the Eleventh House of Friendship, there must be friendship in order to develop a romantic relationship with someone. An Eleventh House Venusian looks for unusual or unique qualities in their friends; this is what sustains their interest in the relationship. The native tends to jump into friendships impulsively without always considering the implications or the character of the person involved. The Eleventh House governs groups and group activities while Venus rules love, and a love interest will likely be met through a group or activity, and many natives will eventually marry this person. The Venus-in-Eleventh often benefits financially through their friends and group associations as well. This one knows how to be tactful, but far too often confuses friendship with love. This Venus placement promotes self-indulgence, particularly in food. The same son with the Moon in the Eleventh House also has Venus in the Eleventh House. He definitely jumps into friendships without thinking and one of his greatest pleasures is good food, particularly rich desserts.

Mars in the Eleventh House of Hopes, Wishes, and Friends
Aggressive Mars in the Eleventh House of Friendship frequently indicates a native who has more than the normal number of arguments or disagreements with their comrades who, by the way, are typically quite active and assertive themselves. The native’s goals are well-defined and aggressively sought after. The Eleventh House Martian often has a lot of acquaintances but few close friends, which suits the native just fine. A born leader, this one doesn’t care to answer to authority in a group but quickly discovers that team cooperation will lead to quicker success in life.

What do I do when my love is away;helpfriend
Does it worry you to be alone?
How do I feel by the end of the day;
Are you sad because you’re on your own?

No, I get by with a little help from my friends…
Mmm, get by with a little help from my friends…
Mmm, gonna try with a little help from my friends. ~ The Beatles, With a Little Help from My Friends

Jupiter in the Eleventh House of Hopes, Wishes, and Friends
Lucky Jupiter in the Eleventh House of Friendship often attracts helpful, influential, or otherwise beneficial friends to the native. The Jupiter-in-Eleventh prizes their personal freedom and have a great deal of tolerance. Open-minded and progressive, this one genuinely wants to help the world at large become a better place. There is one caveat to this otherwise awesome Jupiter placement, however: the native often finds themselves so incredibly lucky in situations which just seem to somehow work themselves out — be it goals, wishes, dreams — that they come to depend on that luck, therefore putting forth little if any actual effort into making these things happen, assuming their hopes and dreams will magically come to them. And they often do! But guess what: there are times when that doesn’t happen. The lesson here? Yeah, you are naturally lucky in friendships, dreams, and everything else governed by the Eleventh House. But do not allow yourself to sit idly by, assuming things will just work out as they always seem to do without any effort on your part. Guess who has this Jupiter placement? (*raises hand*) That’s right. And it’s so true. I have a knack for attracting friends who can — and do — benefit me in some way. This is not to imply that I consciously seek out friends on such a shallow level. It just happens: I meet a new friend or acquaintance, we get to talking, and whaddya know — they have some kind of influence or connection which helps me in my career, or they introduce me to something else that benefits me in some way. The list is endless and it happens all the time.  And I’m the first to admit that, when in a sticky situation, I am the worst at taking little action and just knowing it’ll work itself out; after all, doesn’t it always? Well, no, not really. Oftentimes, absolutely! But not every time. Yeah, I’ve really gotta work on that…

Saturn in the Eleventh House of Hopes, Wishes, and Friends
There’s a saying that goes, “Saturn delays but does not deny.” If you have this Saturn placement, here’s what I want you to do. Get some Post-It notes, postitsjot down that gem of wisdom on about 200 of ’em, and stick them all over your house. Plaster them on your car’s rearview mirror and dashboard. Write it in Sharpie on the palm of your hand. Tattoo it on your forehead backwards so you can read it every time you look in the mirror. Why? Because when the schoolyard bully of planets is in your Eleventh House of Hopes and Wishes, you are going to have to work your ass off to earn everything of which you dream and for which you hope and wish. Attaining goals is not going to come easily to this one. The native will struggle, often feeling as if they are just treading water, getting nowhere, but I implore you: keep going. Why? Because Saturn delays but does not deny! (Weren’t you listening? Pay attention!) The Eleventh House Saturnian will reach their aspirations but Saturn is a bully who throws out obstacles and delays, so it will take them longer than most people to get there…but get there they will. When they do reach the top, the rewards of their efforts will be astounding and well worth it. Guaranteed. As far as friendships are concerned, the Saturn-in-Eleventh native often seeks friends who are several years older than they are, and they probably hung around more with older friends during their childhood. The native probably doesn’t have a lot of friends, but this isn’t a bad thing. It’s a result of being a bit more discriminating when choosing with whom they prefer to associate.

Uranus in the Eleventh House of Hopes, Wishes, and Friends
Eccentric, unusual Uranus in the Eleventh House of Friendships will result in a native who embraces being different and despises others who conform just to fit in, looking down upon them as being sellouts, for lack of a better term. Uranus-in-Eleventh definitely appears to be an erratic, aloof loner in group situations which can cause others to question whether or not the native can be taken seriously or depended upon. But over time they’ll realize the native is honest and open, which will be appreciated. The Eleventh House Uranian connects particularly well with those who share their offbeat, yet forward-thinking ideals, often resulting in lifelong friendships. However, friends and associations will often change as the native’s own goals do. Bottom line? Uranus, which rules the sign of Aquarius, values friendships more than just about any other sign of the zodiac and when in the Eleventh House, we have a native who is extremely devoted to their amigos through thick and thin.

neptune11Neptune in the Eleventh House of Hopes, Wishes, and Friends
Anddddd it’s back. Neptune, the dreamy, see-and-hear-only-what-you-wanna-see-and-hear planet still dons its trademark rose-colored glasses in the Eleventh House. Among other things, this can lead to a native who is easily taken advantage of by so-called friends, which is a damn shame because this person is incredibly accepting, flexible, and idealistic when it comes to friendships, always pulling for the underdog or the disadvantaged. Often, they are a rescuer — taking on the problems of friends as their own, wanting to fix all that is wrong in the lives of their buddies. A Neptune-in-Eleventh just doesn’t/can’t/won’t believe that a “friend” could ever have malicious intent. At least, they don’t want to believe it. As dreamy as Neptune is, it can be difficult for the native to get in touch with their deepest desires, as Neptune also imparts confusion wherever it is placed, and this results in the native not really knowing what would make them happiest. They tend to attract unusual, eccentric, sensitive friends but the boundary is somewhat blurry when it comes to how much of themselves the native should be able or willing to give. It’s very common for the Eleventh House Neptune individual to feel used because they do give of themselves so freely. The native has extremely high ideals, very pie-in-the-sky ambitions, and they are often disappointed or discouraged when they fail to meet these lofty, unrealistic goals. The lesson here? Aim high…but not so high that what you dream of is unattainable. Be realistic about what is doable.

Pluto in the Eleventh House of Hopes, Wishes, and Friends
Intense Pluto isn’t a big fan of being part of a group. If and when they do participate, it’s likely for their own personal growth or healing, or possibly centered around social change. But in a group setting, the Eleventh House Pluto will not sit silently while others run the show, particularly if they feel they have a better idea or way of doing things. The native has a powerful presence and if Pluto is afflicted in the natal chart, others can actually feed off of this power, like psychic vampires, if you will, leaving the native feeling drained and powerless. Power issues arise in friendships when Pluto-in-Eleventh might feel as though they are being urged to make some sort of change when they really don’t want to. But inevitably, circumstances will arise which force this to happen. Pluto is the all-or-nothing planet of extremes with no happy medium. The native might not have many friends but the ones they do have will be for a lifetime. That said, if a friendship goes south, it goes all the way south (remember: no in-between with this one) and it can switch from love to hate in the blink of an eye…and stay that way. Because Pluto imparts formidable energy and power when striving to reach goals, the native will probably attain whatever it is they set out to accomplish. This is where the phrase “be careful what you wish for because you just might get it” comes in handy.

The Tenth House: Just A Job To Do

Welcome to the Tenth House! In the horoscope wheel, this House is positioned opposite the Fourth House, which you might recall governs home and 10thhousefamily. As its opposite, the Tenth House of Career and Public Standing rules issues occurring away from the domicile: work and career, your reputation, and social status. It reveals how highly regarded you are (or aren’t) by the community, your image, recognition in the form of honors or lifetime achievements, as well as your approach to responsibility. Additionally, while the Sixth House discusses the kind of work you do and the flow of your income, the Tenth House deals more with your life’s work and the legacy you leave behind as a result.

The cusp of the Tenth House is known in astrology as the Midheaven. The Midheaven reveals your public persona along with how you manage your inner authority. Because it’s ruled by earthy, dependable Capricorn, the Tenth House also covers materialism and what you achieve through your own hard work and toil. Furthermore, if you are an expert in a particular area, the Tenth House is going to tell us which area that is, as well as vocations for which you are well-suited. It is important to note that any aspects of the Midheaven should be paid particularly close attention to, as they are the strongest indicators of which career field is the best fit for the native as well as which vocations will bring the greatest success. (Look for an upcoming in-depth article on aspects in the not-too-distant future for more information; alternatively, you can request your personal natal chart by emailing BornUnderABlondeSign@gmail.com or by inquiring right here on the website; the extensive natal chart contains in-depth explanations of all of the aspects in your natal chart.)

authorityBecause this House governs authority figures, many astrologers associate it with an authoritarian such as the father/father figure, while others (myself included) are of the opinion that it is more associated with whichever parent/parental figure was the primary authoritarian. The Tenth House governs other persons of authority including judges, law enforcement officers, and even your boss. Also included would be a mentor or other person you admire or strive to emulate. Regardless of who it is, this person is a significant influence in your life, teaching you the lessons the Tenth House requires us to master. (Think about it: when a judge sentences you to fifteen years in prison for your fourteenth DUI, does that not — hopefully — impart a lesson? There ya go.)

A Ph.D. from Harvard isn’t necessary to figure out that with ten planets (including the Sun and Moon) and twelve Houses in a natal chart, everyone is going to have a minimum of two completely empty Houses — meaning one containing absolutely no planets, asteroids, or nodes — and more often than not, there will be more than two empties. So what if one of your vacant Houses is the Tenth House? Are you destined for chronic unemployment and the apparent collective decision of every employer within a 500-mile radius to deny you a job opportunity? Or perhaps even more disturbing, when the time comes for you to depart this lifetime, will there be no legacy left behind?

Don’t fret, dear reader/follower. An empty House can still be interpreted using a few different methods. One way is to consider the qualities of the sign which naturally rules the Tenth House, which is Capricorn. This will reveal, at least to some degree, how you approach the issues ruled by the Tenth House. We would also consider the sign which rules this House in your natal chart. For example, let’s say that Pisces is the sign which rules the Tenth House in your natal chart. By examining the Piscean tendencies and characteristics, a great deal of insight can be gained into how you handle these particular life areas. Alternatively, perhaps the areas governed by the Tenth House are already so well-ordered in your life and in need of no extra attention, you lucky bastard, you.

So let’s take a look at the interpretations of each planet’s placement in the Tenth House of Career and Public Standing and determine the ways in which they affect you on a personal level.

Tom "Sun-in-Tenth" Hanks

Tom “Sun-in-Tenth” Hanks

The Sun in the Tenth House of Career and Public Standing
I’ve said this a thousand times (well, not really) but it bears repeating: wherever the Sun appears in the natal chart shows where we need to shine and be noticed; the area(s) in which our egos are most invested. A Sun-in-Tenth person is strongly driven to succeed…which most of them will, but a pattern with this one is for the peak of this success not to be achieved until mid-life or even later. The native might experience turbulence on the homefront due to a tendency to prioritize career and ambition over more personal issues such as relationships or family life. This one has the potential to be an influential leader, though they tend to come across as an arrogant dictator. The Tenth House Sun craves public recognition, bristles at the idea of taking orders, and need to be in charge. Although the Sun is unusual in the sense that it doesn’t point in any specific career direction, the native enjoys being in the public eye and are likely to find success with any career in that area. Regardless of the position they’re in, the Tenth House Sun will be satisfied as long as they can call the shots and be praised and recognized for their contributions and hard work.

careernurturerThe Moon in the Tenth House of Career and Public Standing
The Moon-in-Tenth native won’t have much of a personal life. Career frequently involves dealing with the public, as do social activities. There is an interesting pattern with a Tenth House Moon to suddenly change career directions in mid-life (remember, the Moon, like the tides, has the personal effect of a desire for change, as well as an ebb and flow in the life areas where the Moon is placed in the natal chart.) Associations with women or female family members often lead to career situations which result in financial success, though there is a strange tendency for a native with this lunar placement to become embroiled in a public scandal. This one knows exactly what the public demands and strives to deliver. Some concerns with a Moon-in-Tenth include indecisiveness when it comes to selecting a profession, resulting in somewhat frequent career changes, a propensity to allow emotions to cloud their career decision-making and/or having knee-jerk emotional reactions to situations in the workplace. If the native can recognize these tendencies, they will appear more professional, increasing their success and credibility with business associates. Because the Moon is a nurturing planet, a Tenth House Moon is frequently drawn to careers involving the care of others: nursing or other healthcare professions, child care, teaching, counseling, etc. Their emotions are often focused more on career and ambition than home or family concerns which can lead to discord. Although others, particularly family members — especially mom or a mother figure — will often try to dissuade the native from pursuing the career which their heart truly desires, the sensitive lunar Tenth House native needs to stand strong and stick to what they want; otherwise, career happiness and satisfaction will never be attained.

Mercury in the Tenth House of Career and Public Standing
Restless, communicative Mercury in the Tenth House gives a native for whom it’s not unusual to hold down more than one job at a time or have multiple irons in the fire. Mercury-in-Tenth has a knack for languages and this can be useful in any profession they choose to undertake. There is an air of authority with this one and they have a flair for communicating well and negotiating with supervisors or others in positions of authority. This one thrives in a job that keeps them on the go, traveling or what have you, as long as they aren’t chained to a desk or sitting still all day long. Easily bored, the Tenth House Mercurian requires frequent new challenges or changes of scenery to remain interested and stimulated. Easily adaptable to new and different types of people and possessing a witty communicative style which others find appealing, this one has an uncanny knack for success in writing or careers in journalism.

Venus in the Tenth House of Career and Public Standing
A Tenth House Venusian loves to receive public accolades, strives to achieve high social status, and often makes a successful career out of a hobby. They must receive credit for whatever they do, although they prefer being part of a team rather than working solo. This one can be misunderstood as being uppity or pretentious due to a tendency to associate more with the higher-ups of society, such as their company’s CEO or prominent people in the community, although this doesn’t usually indicate they are as snooty as they appear, although these connections do frequently financially benefit the native by opening doors and advancement opportunities. A Venus-in-Tenth is often attracted to romantic partners who are established and accomplished in their career, and usually this is someone who is somewhat older than the native. A marriage in this situation will probably bring career benefits to the native. Venus is the planet of love, pleasure, and beauty and this one is drawn to careers involving any of these, such as interior decorating, fashion, makeup artistry, or other similar professions. Interestingly, some natives gravitate toward careers which somehow serve or help other females — gynecology, obstetrics, rape crisis counseling, assisting battered women, or championing various female causes. This is a charming individual who is popular with the public, but also subject to public scandal or even downfall brought about by — surprise, surprise! — a woman.

marstenthMars in the Tenth House of Career and Public Standing
The Tenth House Martian has exception executive ability and more than likely will dominate others in their profession. They have uncanny initiative and determination, are in it to win it, and have a strong desire to attain public recognition for their efforts; however, because they can be viewed as ruthless, they aren’t always held in the highest public esteem, regardless of the level of success they achieve. The native’s intense competitive streak will stop at nothing to move perceived obstacles out of their way…and yeah, this means they aren’t above stepping on toes and leapfrogging over the backs of others in their quest to be top dog. But even with all this perseverance, even the Mars-in-Tenth isn’t infallible and there are times when their lofty goals do not come to fruition, which can result in an extremely cranky native as, more than nearly any other individual in the zodiac, they hate to lose and when they do, they don’t know how else to react except with anger, frustration, and an abundance of self-pity and incessant bitching.

Jupiter in the Tenth House of Career and Public Standingluckymoney
Jupiter is the planet of luck and abundance, and when its placement is in the Tenth House, the native is usually seen as being unusually lucky in career endeavors…and they are. Problem is, the Jupiter-in-Tenth can rely too much on that luck, becoming a bit reckless, and push the envelope just a tick too far at times, which can easily come back to bite the native right in the ass. Simply having an awareness of this tendency can be invaluable to the Tenth House Jupiter person. In any event, regardless of their chosen profession, success is usually easily attained and goals are seemingly effortlessly achieved. This is a sociable, confident, charismatic and persuasive individual who is popular with the public and will likely be recognized at some point in their lifetime with an honor. Social status is of utmost importance to this one, they prize their personal freedom, and often benefit from the influence of their many, many friends and associates.

jobstuckSaturn in the Tenth House of Career and Public Standing
As I mentioned earlier, the Sixth House governs work but the Tenth House rules the type of work in which you find the most personal satisfaction. Saturn loves to place obstacles and limitations in our paths wherever it is placed in the natal chart, and in the Tenth House this usually manifests as success that is eventually achieved, but not until later in life and when the native does finally make it, there will almost be a feeling of disappointment or loneliness, as though what they’ve strived so hard to attain isn’t quite what it was cracked up to be. But the Saturn-in-Tenth has the patience, stamina, and perseverance to keep plodding along to ensure they do eventually get there. They often approach their career goals in an organized, step-by-step approach with an admirable amount of self-discipline which many other folks lack. That said, the native has a selfish streak and will generally put their own needs before those of others, leaving them vulnerable to disgrace in the eyes of the public. There is a tendency to take on too many responsibilities at once and their stubborn streak causes them to resist delegating some of these tasks to others. Dear Native: It’s not a sign of weakness to dole out some of this work to others, who are more than willing to lend you a hand…on the contrary, it demonstrates that you recognize your limitations, which in turn gains you credibility. Slow down there, partner! It’ll get done. Promise. My now-deceased Sadge first ex-husband had this Saturn placement. He plodded along in the same position with the same company from 1989 until his cancer diagnosis forced him to take disability in 2000, and he didn’t stay in that position because he loved it so much: he was content, it was what he knew. “Later in life” in his case meant late twenties/early thirties and by that time, he was still making only four dollars an hour more than when his career began. But in those 11 years, the total number of days of work he missed could be counted on one hand and I assure you, they were for legitimate illnesses. He had an unbelievable level of self-discipline when it came to his job and his duties, doing his work the right way the first time, every time.

Uranus in the Tenth House of Career and Public Standing
Uranus is infamous for being unorthodox and unpredictable, and when it’s in the Tenth House, this translates to sudden or unconventional changes in career. But it’s this same uniqueness that brings the native success: they have a way of seeing things which many other people would never even think of. Their minds are constantly spinning up new and unusual ideas, thinking so far outside the proverbial box that the box isn’t even visible anymore. However, the Uranus-in-Tenth detests having to deal with people in authority, as they need the freedom to do things their way. They have no desire to work their way up anyone else’s corporate ladder. For this reason, many Tenth House Uranian natives will make the leap to becoming their own boss, and you can bet your ass that whatever business they enter into, it’ll be something truly original, perhaps even shocking, unlike any other business. Because Uranus is a forward-thinking, innovative planet, success with an internet business is probable and likely profitable.

Neptune in the Tenth House of Career and Public Standing
Imaginative planet Neptune, although I badmouth the hell out of it on a regular basis, gives a native with impressive creative talent. This could involve kingwriting or anything artistic, possibly a somewhat unconventional profession, and because Neptune is also the planet of illusion (*cough* rose-colored glasses *cough*), professional success might be attained using a pseudonym (example: for those who didn’t already know, Stephen King has also written under the name Richard Bachman.) The Neptune-in-Tenth native is intuitive, spiritual (though not necessarily religious per se), and idealistic…all of which can serve them well in their chosen field. One caveat to this Neptune placement (heh, like there’s only one) is a tendency for the individual to attempt to take on too many projects simultaneously, resulting in a native who is running around in circles, certain they are losing their minds. My now-deceased former Cancer husband had this Neptune placement. More than once he was working two jobs, literally leaving one and heading straight to the second without even stopping at home beforehand. Furthermore, while working those two jobs, he could often be found perusing the classifieds, searching for other jobs. His work was never anything necessarily unusual or unconventional, but he was definitely idealistic and one of the most intuitive people I’ve ever met. Additionally, there was a call center position he once held in which he was required to use a pseudonym.

Pluto in the Tenth House of Career and Public Standing
Pluto’s intensity manifests itself in the native’s career with this placement. The native definitely stands out among their peers, pursuing goals with unprecedented drive and determination. Pluto seeks to uncover the hidden, so a Pluto-in-Tenth person excels in any position in which research is involved. The native is naturally mechanically inclined and this will absolutely be noted in dealings with the public. Tenth House Pluto’s father/father figure might have worked in a healing or research profession, and there are likely some unresolved, deep-seated issues with that parental figure that will need to be dealt with. Because Pluto is an all-or-nothing planet of extremes, the native tends to invoke love-hate reactions in their professional or public life. This one has an incredibly intense personality and is quite persuasive, a bonafide perfectionist with no qualms about shaking up tradition and doing things in a new way that makes more sense.

The Ninth House – The More You Know

9thhousePhilosophy. In-depth study and higher education. Distant journeys; long-distance travels. Spirituality.  These are the life areas which are governed by the Ninth House, commonly known as the House of Mental Exploration. This is the House which reveals the ways in which we expand our horizons, quench our thirst for knowledge, and seek adventure and meaning in our lives.

Remember how the Third House dealt with the unconscious mind, communication, and short trips (ones not requiring an overnight stay)? Well, as its opposite on the horoscope wheel, the Ninth House covers the areas of life which are in direct contrast to those of the Third House. In the Ninth House, we’ll be taking a closer look at the inner workings of the rationalizations of our conscious minds, what intrigues us and makes us tick, in addition to long-distance travel (trips requiring an overnight stay, including journeys abroad.) Languages are ruled by the Ninth House, as are people of different cultures whom you might meet — and learn from — during your lifetime, along with foreign business dealings. Are you an author, or perhaps an aspiring writer (as I am?) You’ll want to pay particular attention to the Ninth House, as it governs literary pursuits and publishing.

Some astrologers associate the Ninth House with our destiny because it has been said that “signs” and synchronicities tend to destinymanifest in this House, which serve as signals that we are indeed on the path which the Universe has intended for us. In any event, this is a fascinating House which provides us with a great deal of valuable insight into the ways in which we, as eternal souls traveling around in these temporary Earthly bodies, are able to find meaning throughout this journey we call Life.

But hold on a second; what’s this you say? Your Ninth House is a veritable ghost town, completely devoid of any planets, nodes, or asteroids. This must indicate you are destined to spend your spiritually-empty lifetime wandering the Earth, never finding any purpose or meaning to your existence; or worse, your uneducated mind, rather than expanding and learning, will eventually shrivel up like a prune as you live out your unenlightened days in a tiny abode in an even tinier town, as a close-minded recluse…right? Wrong. As I have explained in each previous House article, there are twelve Houses and ten planets (including the Sun and Moon.) Even the aforementioned uneducated, closed-minded recluse in their itty-bitty corner of their teensy-weensy town can deduce that everyone will have at least two completely empty Houses; in fact, most folks will have more than two. So what does it mean if your Ninth House is the equivalent of a vacant lot? Well, for one thing, it might indicate that the areas of life governed by this House are simply not your primary life focus…and there’s nothing wrong with that. It could also mean that these particular things are already so well-ordered that you have no need to focus on them (which must be nice.)

An empty House can be interpreted in a few different ways. The first method is to look at the sign which is the natural ruler of the House and in the case of the Ninth House, its natural ruler is Sagittarius. We would look at the qualities of the Archer and it often reveals how you approach the life areas which the Ninth House governs. The other method of interpreting a vacant House is to look at its ruling sign based on the individual’s natal chart. Let’s say your Ninth House is empty, but in your chart it is ruled by Aries. As with the previous example, we would examine the characteristics of the Ram and it would provide insight into the ways you deal with the various Ninth House life areas.

But for those of us with planets in the Ninth House, let’s take a gander at the ways in which each of their placements affect our lives on a personal level.

The Sun in the Ninth House of Mental Exploration
I like you already, Ninth House Sun person. You are someone who says what you mean and you stick by your word. This one is always looking to expand their horizons and is quite idealistic, which isn’t a bad thing at all, although it can work against them at times, causing a proverbial pie-in-the-sky outlook. Your ego is invested in your knowledge and you love, love, love to share what you know with anyone within earshot. While this enthusiasm is admirable, there’s a fine line between enlightening others and appearing to be a self-righteous know-it-all, so bear that in mind. The (fictitious) person who comes to mind when I think of someone with these qualities is The Big Bang Theory‘s Sheldon Cooper, theoretical physicist and eccentric genius, portrayed beautifully by the brilliant Jim Parsons. Sheldon knows exactly how intelligent he is, and makes no secret about it, always spouting off random factoids, which are usually met with annoyed eye-rolls by his friends and colleagues. A Sun-in-Ninth individual has an extensive thirst for learning, much of which is gained from people of different cultures or by visiting foreign countries. This one has a knack for foreign languages (Sheldon teaches himself Swedish, Finnish, and Mandarin — though not fluently — although being extremely well-versed in Klingon) and many of these folks will achieve more than one academic degree (just like Sheldon, who holds a B.S., M.S., M.A., Ph.D., and Sc.D.)

longingThe Moon in the Ninth House of Mental Exploration
There’s an old saying that goes, “wherever you go, there you are.” As tired of a cliche as it is, it’s 100 percent true. And this is a key lesson for a Ninth House Moon to master. They have a tendency to think that if only they were somewhere else they’d be happier, with a frequent longing to travel or relocate. The problem is, however, if moving or traveling truly made them happier, the desire would disappear once they made that change. But guess what: it doesn’t. It might work for a minute, but soon enough that wanderlust comes back and they realize they are the same restless, dissatisfied soul, only in different surroundings. They always seem to believe the grass is greener on the other side, but if they ever hope to achieve true contentment and happiness, they will need to water their own grass and focus on improving themselves on the inside, which is where our happiness ultimately originates. Repeat after me: there is no person, place, situation, or object on Earth that can “make” anyone happy (this includes you.) Happiness comes from within. That said, to maintain their sanity, the native should absolutely make an effort to indulge their desire to travel from time to time, enjoying a change of scenery and adventure, while simultaneously bearing in mind that they already have a home to return to. Oftentimes, a Moon-in-Ninth traveled extensively in their youth (army brat?) which gives them the enviable ability to relate to and understand people from many different cultures.

Mercury in the Ninth House of Mental Exploration
Mercury is a communicative planet and when its placement is in the House of Mental Exploration, we have a native with an insatiable appetite for knowledge. They are naturally curious, and they will frequently study a variety of subjects that interest them, not because they have to but because they genuinely want to. This one is extremely adaptable to different situations and able to quickly establish rapport with new people. The Ninth House Mercurian person is intellectually gifted and able to solve problems both quickly and effectively. They enjoy sharing philosophies and opinions with others and are truly interested in what people have to say. The native might find themselves traveling long distances in mid-life for business or health reasons. A Mercury-in-Ninth loves few things more than to inspire others, and they find it extremely rewarding when seeing someone’s life change/improve as a result of something they taught or shared with the person. However, this one can be meddlesome, often offering advice when it is neither requested nor desired. A good thing for the Ninth House Mercurian to learn to do, when tempted to offer unsolicited advice, is to instead ask the person, “would you like my advice/opinion or would you like me to just listen?” Another tendency is for the native to not practice what they preach, and/or the advice they offer is advice they themselves don’t follow. This one is also prone to making promises too quickly, which they unfortunately are unable to follow through on later.

Venus in the Ninth House of Mental Exploration
The Ninth House Venusian is frequently attracted to, or attracts, people from different cultures. This is because they are warm and able to easily adapt to folks from various backgrounds. Many natives with this Venus placement will marry abroad or marry someone from another country. A woman I once knew had this Venus placement. She was a born and bred Okie who met a man who hailed from London and happened to be working in the United States for British Airways. After a year-long courtship, she moved with him to his native Great Britain and they were married. Twenty-two years later and still happily married, she sounds as much like a Brit as her British husband and to hear that accent of hers, you would never guess she was born and raised in southern Oklahoma and once sounded as much like an Okie as I do. The Venus-in-Ninth native is not particularly needy or clingy, and they require a certain amount of freedom in a relationship or marriage so they can continue to grow as an individual and expand their horizons. Any attempt by a partner to restrict this will eventually result in the end of the relationship. At the same time, the native craves an enthusiastic partner who is as adventurous as they are and wants to explore the world around them along with them. A downside to this Venus placement is one that is similar to the Moon-in-Ninth feeling of the grass being greener on the other side, dreaming of the unattainable, which can hinder the native’s enjoyment and appreciation for what they do have. Water your own grass and focus on the wonderful things you already have in your life!  Many Ninth House Venusians receive a public honor at some time in their life.

Mars in the Ninth House of Mental Exploration
This one is highly independent, open-minded, and loves few things more than the challenge of an intelligent debate. And while they are open-minded, they do tend to dismiss too quickly the opinions of others, causing the native to appear cynical or self-righteous, particularly due to their propensity toward bluntness and being too honest. While some folks admire and are attracted to this trait, others are turned off by it.  Willing to go to great lengths to fight for a cause, the Ninth House Martian has a tendency to become fanatical in their beliefs. The native with this Mars placement loves traveling and new adventures, and also welcomes change. They are energetic and playful, especially in the bedroom. An interesting Mars-in-Ninth trait is a distinctive laugh; many times it’s like a hearty or throaty chuckle, a contagious type of laugh which causes others to laugh just by hearing it. On that note, the native does have a wicked sense of humor and is drawn to people who make them laugh as well. This one is quite enthusiastic about life, with a half-full glass of optimism and a witty remark or comeback always at the ready. When the native pursues higher education, they will almost certainly succeed financially or attain some sort of honor because of it.

Jupiter in the Ninth House of Mental Exploration
Planet of luck, expansion, and abundance, Jupiter is in its dominion in the Ninth House of Mental Exploration, as it rules the sign of Sagittarius, which is the natural ruler of this House. Sagittarius is the sign of the philosopher, and the native with this Jupiter placement is naturally philosophical, constantly seeking to gain wisdom and knowledge. This one truly enjoys learning as well as teaching what they’ve learned. They value the freedom to express themselves openly and are brutally honest at times. However, they are often an inspiration to others with their desire to continually learn, travel, and experience adventure. A Jupiter-in-Ninth frequently benefits from travel and higher education, both of which can lead to financial prosperity. In particular, success is often attained via people of foreign birth and/or foreign countries, especially in the fields of publishing, education, journalism, or sports. The native has a flair for foreign languages and an uncanny ability to express their thoughts clearly and concisely, which makes for an excellent writer or journalist.

Saturn in the Ninth House of Mental Exploration
Saturn, although it’s what I like to refer to as the schoolyard bully of planets, constantly placing obstacles and limitations in our educationpaths, is actually a practical planet. When its placement is in the Ninth House of Mental Exploration, it’s actually not all bad as we have a native who is not prone to spontaneous flights of fancy and is rather logical in their thinking. They seriously ponder questions of philosophy and spirituality. On the other hand, this one is also somewhat closed-minded, sometimes even cynical and overly conservative…and those aren’t good things. Now, practicality is an awesome character trait to have, so kudos to you, Saturn-in-Ninth; however, keep in mind that without new ideas, our world would literally cease to advance in every imaginable way, so moderation is key here. While this one does have a desire to learn more, they are often way too quick to reject the same new ideas which could open up a world of exciting possibilities, either because they are threatened by change or they fear it. These are the “old school” people with the motto “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The Ninth House Saturnian might have experienced obstacles to receiving an education, be it because they dropped out of high school for one reason or another, or perhaps they couldn’t afford a college education. This is often part of the reason for the native’s resistance to the new and improved. I’m not implying that these folks are uneducated or stupid; I am simply saying that if their access to an education was limited in some way, for whatever reason, they are a bit more closed-off to learning as a result than they otherwise might have been. Connections with older people of foreign birth often prove beneficial to the Saturn-in-Ninth person. My younger son, a Taurus cusp, has this Saturn placement. It pains me to say that he has definitely had obstacles in receiving an education. First off, he has Asperger Syndrome (AS), with which he wasn’t diagnosed until he was a nearly-16 year-old high school sophomore; his education in the years leading up to that point had educators labeling him as a “behavioral problem” with a “learning disability” who was “uninterested in learning,” and each year brought yet another IEP which set goals for both his grades and behavior. It wasn’t until his diagnosis that we discovered not only did he not have a learning disability, he had an IQ of 156 (you heard me) and his “behavior” was due to undiagnosed, ergo untreated, AS. Because of this, my son was robbed of a proper education, which should have included programs such as occupational therapy in his curriculum, and I am still bitter about this. But that is a whole ‘nother article, another time…

Uranus in the Ninth House of Mental Exploration
Weirdo planet Uranus in the Ninth House of Mental Exploration gives an individual who is drawn to unusual areas of study and unorthodox views. Long trips seem to come up suddenly or spontaneously, as Uranus is not known for planning anything. This one is one of the more open-minded people in the zodiac, always up for new adventures and ideas and seeking ways to expand their minds: the more, the better. A few of their passions include reading — they love higher thinking and learning as much as they possibly can — as well as coming up with new, inventive philosophies or ideas that are bound to be seen as radical or strange by more conservative folks who, by the way, make the Uranus-in-Ninth native almost feel claustrophobic. By nature, a person with this Uranus placement will test the boundaries of society and be rebellious simply for the sake of being different. This one is uninterested in the conventional or traditional; they pride themselves on being unlike anyone you’ve ever before known. One of my closest friends has this Uranus placement. She’s an Aquarius, which is ruled by Uranus, so she is basically doubly unusual and a bit eccentric as a Ninth House Uranian. She is one of the most open-minded people I’ve ever met, is constantly seeking to expand her mind and gain new knowledge, and describes herself as “woo-woo” in her belief systems. Conservative individuals definitely cause her to feel uncomfortable; in fact, she once stated to me, and I quote verbatim, “when I’m around someone I don’t know, I’m ill at ease until I hear them curse…then I’m okay because I know they’re cool and I can relax.” And she is absolutely, without question, unlike anyone I’ve ever before known.

Neptune in the Ninth House of Mental Exploration
If you’ve read any of my other articles, you know that Neptune and I have issues with one another. Neptune is the planet of illusion and rules the sign of Pisces, which is my Ascendant…but I digress. Anywho, Neptune’s effect wherever it is placed in the natal chart is to place rose-colored glasses over the eyes of the native, seeing and hearing only what one wishes to see or hear. In other words: D-E-N-I-A-L. When Neptune is in the Ninth House of Mental Exploration, we have a native who believes anything is possible and has unshakable faith that the unattainable will be attained. And what’s so wrong with that, you ask? A fair question, to which I answer that while it’s not all bad and certainly this “optimism” — for lack of a better word — can lead to wonderful things manifesting in the life of the individual, it can also lead to them believing things to be one way when the fact is, they simply are not. They will deny the truth even when concrete evidence is plunked down right in front of their face, which inevitably leads to the day when Neptune-in-Ninth can no longer deny the facts and that’s when they spiral into the deep depression to which they are already predisposed. Avoidance of reality is generally not mentally healthy. The native relies too much on things magically happening on their own “someday,” and their faith is of the blind variety; many times, they aren’t even sure whey they believe in what they do. This makes them easy prey for cults and controversial religious groups. On another note, the Ninth House Neptune individual is incredibly sensitive and sympathetic to stories of hard luck and the plight of others, even to the point of taking on the problems of others as their own to solve. The lesson for this compassionate, generous soul is that while it’s wonderful to genuinely want to help others, they need to learn to take their emotions out of the equation so they can offer assistance without draining their own spirit in the process. This one makes an excellent therapist, teacher, or counselor. I have this Neptune placement. While I’m not a professional counselor, I am inevitably the one whom friends call upon when they need to vent or need help with a personal issue…and I’m happy to help. I also admit to absorbing their problems as if they were my own, the wheels in my head constantly spinning, trying to think of solutions that might actually help them. I also own several metaphorical pairs of rose-colored glasses, and I can honestly say that about 99.9 percent of this entire interpretation is accurate for me. But to continue, these natives are also extremely persuasive and able to creatively win others to their cause, which can lead to success in the field of sales or marketing. When seeking higher education, the Neptune-in-Ninth is often confused about they want to do and because they often become lost in their own daydreams, with their heads seemingly in the clouds, it’s hard for them to muster the discipline required to effectively study and earn the diploma or degree they seek. Of particular note, the native is prone to obstacles or difficulties when traveling abroad.

arguePluto in the NInth House of Mental Exploration
Wherever Pluto is placed in the natal chart, it imparts intensity, obsession, and an extreme, all-or-nothing outlook. In the Ninth House of Mental Exploration, Pluto’s influence on the native with this placement gives a strong urge to uncover the hidden, to discover the truth. Because they are usually firmly attached to their beliefs, debates can quickly turn into heated arguments, and a Ninth House Pluto will never enter into such a debate unless they are absolutely certain they have proven facts to support their viewpoints. Creatively persuasive and intelligent, the Pluto-in-Ninth person is fixed in their opinions, suspicious, and is seemingly constantly probing for what lies beneath. Don’t even try to pull the wool over the eyes of this one. They will see right through you and I promise you, you’ll never hear the end of it. While they can be obsessive about trying to convert others to their point of view, they truly do have a desire to change things for the better. This one abhors hypocrisy and blind followers of any belief; ignorance is a cardinal sin for the Pluto-in-Ninth. The native probably has some quite unusual experiences during their lifetime due to their intense craving for adventure. They are genuinely interested in learning as much as possible about different cultures, philosophies, and religions, any or all of which can lead to intense, life-altering experiences. This one has some unorthodox, original ideas and points of view which make them ideal lecturers, speakers, or teachers.

The Official Venus In Retrograde Survival Guide: Do’s, Don’ts, and FAQs

It’s coming. And I’m here to help you prepare for it!

On Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 4:52pm ET, Venus will enter what we call stationary retrograde. It will remain in retrograde until Friday, January 31, 2014 at 3:52pm ET when it goes back into stationary direct, eventually leaving the retrograde zone altogether on Tuesday, March 4, 2013 at 11:29am ET.

venusretrograde2013

So, would someone please explain exactly what the friggity frack all this means?!

Why, I’d be happy to. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the upcoming Venus retrograde, with answers in easy-to-understand layman’s terms, without any bullshit astrology jargon. You’re welcome.

What does retrograde mean?
The word retrograde is an adjective meaning “directed or moving backward.”

If Venus is retrograde, does that mean it is literally moving in reverse?
No. When Venus (or any planet, for that matter) is in retrograde, it only appears to be moving backward. All planets orbit the Sun at a continuous speed, never slowing down or reversing.

Then how is Venus able to be retrograde?
When a planet such as Venus is said to be retrograde, it is simply an illusion from our vantage point here on Earth. Because the Earth is also orbiting the Sun, but at a different speed than the other planets, every so often it creates the illusion of Venus moving backward, or retrograde, in the sky. So although Venus looks like it is moving backward, it’s just an illusion.

How often does Venus become retrograde?
Venus is retrograde for roughly 40 days, give or take a few days, every 18-20 months.

What sign is Venus going to be in while it’s in retrograde this time?
When Venus becomes retrograde on December 21, 2013 it will be in the sign of Capricorn and will remain there until February 1, 2014 when it enters the sign of Aquarius.

What kinds of effects can happen on a personal level when a planet is retrograde?
Generally speaking, when a planet is retrograde, as it appears to move backward it brings us the opportunity to reflect back upon and complete unfinished business; which kind of unfinished business depends upon the specific planet in retrograde. Alternatively, certain things may suddenly seem less urgent and we might feel like putting those things off for a while.

What kinds of effects can I expect to see in my life when Venus is retrograde?
In the case of Venus, which governs love, beauty, money, and material possessions, these issues might be relegated to the back burner for the duration of the retrograde, meaning we might not feel a need to focus on those areas during that time. In many cases, the areas of life ruled by Venus simply seem less important during a retrograde. Sometimes, our loving feelings may seem as if they’ve been muted for a time. It’s not that we no longer have feelings of love for our partner or spouse or anyone else, it’s just that those feelings might not take precedence during the retrograde.

In some cases, unresolved former relationships or issues with former lovers might unexpectedly crop back up, signifying a need for closure. Venus in retrograde is an ideal time to finally tie up those nagging loose ends so that any unfinished business can be completed, or even perhaps so that the former loved one can be let go. Other times, it can suggest clearing the air so that it can be determined whether or not there is still love between you and your former partner. This doesn’t always indicate a reconciliation will occur, but you never know…

In a present relationship, Venus in retrograde tends to awaken old issues which might have previously been a bone of contention between the two of you. Now is the perfect time for both of you to get your feelings out in the open and settle things for good. Venus in retrograde gives us a chance to work through unresolved relationship issues, drop them once and for all, and start over with a clean slate, allowing us to grow in our love.

Is there anything I should do or avoid doing while Venus is retrograde?
Great question! Here are some helpful suggestions for a smooth Venus retrograde:
gavelDO…
⦁ Try to postpone any court dates involving monetary settlements until after 1/31/2014; otherwise, things could move along much more slowly
⦁ Postpone any visits to the plastic surgeon until after 1/31/2014 (for same reasons below regarding new clothes and new hairstyles)
⦁ Buy flea market or auction items where you know the actual value of the items but the seller might not, this is a great time for bargains

DON’T!
badhaircut⦁ Buy new clothes. You’ll be dissatisfied with most of what you purchase because your idea of beauty/style is somewhat skewed during Venus retrograde
⦁ Experiment with new hairstyles or hair colors: trust me on this. Because your sense of beauty is a little off-kilter during Venus retrograde, you will probably regret any changes you make
⦁ Make major relationship decisions during the Venus retrograde (i.e.; don’t end or begin a relationship, don’t get engaged or married)…this is a time for reflection, not action
⦁ Issue any ultimatums to a current partner during this time (incidentally, ultimatums are rarely a good, or even effective idea…)
⦁ Overindulge in food and drink! Venus rules pleasure, and when retrograde, it can make it all too easy to fall into bad eating habits…which will only serve to lower your self-esteem
⦁ Start a business or make new investments
⦁ Make any major purchases or go on a spending spree
⦁ Sign any contracts
⦁ Contact an ex or former friend, simply for the sake of nostalgia or hopes of rekindling a relationship

After January 31, 2014, when will Venus be retrograde again?
Venus will be retrograde again on July 25, 2015 through September 6, 2015.

Have questions that weren’t answered here? Post in the comments section below or shoot me an email at BornUnderABlondeSign@gmail.com.

For a personalized astrological reading detailing how the Venus retrograde will affect you specifically, email BornUnderABlondeSign@gmail.com for more info.

The Eighth House: Get Born Again

painfulendingsnewbeginningsSo gather up your jackets, move it to the exits
I hope you have found a friend…
Closing time
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. ~ Semisonic, Closing Time

Over our journey through the previous seven astrological Houses, I’d say, and hopefully you’d agree, that we’ve enjoyed an informative, relatively lighthearted safari as we’ve navigated the jungles of a vast array of life areas: money, ego, relationships, travel, communication, home, and family, just to name a few. Next we will explore the Eighth House. The House which makes many folks uneasy. It stirs our deepest fears and governs segments of our lives that most of us would rather not confront.

If you ever had a Tarot card reading and had the Death card placed in front of you, if you were unfamiliar with Tarot, your8th heart might have skipped a beat as you drew in a quick breath, praying the reader wasn’t about to deliver a death sentence to you or a loved one. Well, not unlike the poor, misunderstood Death card in the Tarot deck, the Eighth House of astrology is often referred to as the House of Death, understandably resulting in a negative, if not downright scary light being cast upon it. The first thing I’d like to point out here — and pay attention grasshoppers, because this is important — is that in the Eighth House, just like the Death card in a Tarot reading, the term “death” isn’t necessarily meant in the literal sense. Am I implying that whenever the word “death” is mentioned in the Eighth House that it’s never meant literally? Of course not. Sometimes it does allude to actual physical death. But just as often, “death” is a metaphor which refers to endings and/or new beginnings and/or changes. Although we touched on sex (but mostly romance) in the Fifth House, here in the Eighth House we’ll be taking a closer look at sex and sexual tastes/preferences, and even fetishes. The natural ruler of the Eighth House is the passionate, intense sign of Scorpio; therefore, this House also governs sex, death, and rebirth — which, again, are both literal and metaphorical life cycles.

Other areas of life covered in House Eight are what are known as shared resources. This includes inheritances, taxes, settlements, and other people’s money in general; i.e., credit cards, charge accounts, mortgages, loans from a bank or even from your best friend, as well as financial support received from another person such as alimony. Spiritual and emotional support are also areas governed by the Eighth House.

So let’s say you’re perusing your natal chart and there’s nary a planet, node, nor asteroid to be found in your lonesome, completely vacant Eighth House. Good GOD! Does this mean your life will lack passion, sex, change, new beginnings, or — wait for it — that you will live forever, never to experience death?

Great questions! Here are my answers to each of them, in no particular order: no, nope, nuh-uh, and not a chance. As previously mentioned (seven times, to be exact), there are twelve Houses and ten planets (including the Sun and the Moon) in a natal chart and as any six year-old can tell you, it is mathematically impossible for a planet to occupy every House. There will always be at least two empty Houses in a natal chart, and more often than not there will be more than two. If your Eighth House is vacant, it can be interpreted in a few different ways. First, we would take into account the traditional qualities of Scorpio, which is the natural ruler of the Eighth House. Additionally, we would examine the ruler of your natal chart’s Eighth House and use the characteristics of that sign, in addition to those of natural ruler Scorpio, to determine how you approach the issues governed by the Eighth House and in what ways these things affect your life on a personal level.

Furthermore, an empty Eighth House could mean nothing more than your life’s focus doesn’t revolve around the life areas here; perhaps you’re not overly concerned with the issues governed by the Eighth House. This isn’t to imply that these things mean nothing to you, it could be that you simply have other priorities. Or better yet, it can suggest that your Eighth House life areas are so naturally well-ordered that very little effort is required on your part to keep things running smoothly (you lucky bastard; what’s that like?)

But moving on: for those of us with planets in the House of Sex, Death, and Rebirth, let’s examine how the effects of each of these planetary placements would be expected to manifest in the life of the native.

improvementThe Sun in the Eighth House
A Sun in Eighth native feels an intense urge to experience more, more, more…particularly about themselves. Remember, the Sun is our ego and wherever the Sun is in the natal chart is where we want to shine. This individual is constantly seeking ways to make self-improvements, to change for the better. This could be in the form of a physical makeover but because of the native’s tendency to reject the superficial, it’s more likely the makeover would be one of a spiritual or emotional nature. You’ll find these folks browsing the self-improvement section at Barnes & Noble. They are especially interested in what society considers taboo; they want to uncover truth in these areas and are likely intrigued by the occult or metaphysics. The Eighth House Sun person is particularly intrigued by philosophical questions and theories about life and death…and life after death. This strong interest in spirituality could manifest as a result of a close, personal loss due to a death or it could be that the native simply finds this area of study interesting. It should be noted here that negative aspects in the natal chart of the individual with this Sun placement often result in premature, violent, or otherwise sudden death. This is not written in stone, it is simply something to take under advisement, rendering the aforementioned events 100 percent avoidable. That said, fame is often achieved posthumously, even if only briefly, possibly due to the cause of death itself which could be attributed to something which would make news headlines (plane crash, automobile accident, homicide, etc.) The solar Eighth House individual stands strong in a crisis and handles themselves well under pressure. Sexually speaking, this fiery individual likes their sex the same way: hot, intense, passionate. There is a curious pattern of Sun in Eighth folks losing a father/father figure relatively early in life; this could be due to his literal death or perhaps abandonment, either physically or emotionally (for example, he might have been alive and in the vicinity, maybe even in the home, but even though he was there, he wasn’t there. Make sense?) Another interesting trend is that Eighth House Sun natives seem to attract friends/love interests with Scorpio Sun signs. A good career for a solar Eighth House person is anything that involves managing other people’s money: accounting, banking, etc.

The Moon in the Eighth House
The Eight House governs sexual energy and change, while the Moon holds reign over, well, change as well. This can result in a native who is sexually restless and either constantly seeks new sexual challenges and/or changes sexual partners frequently. This is an unfortunate effect of the Moon which often gives an emotionally insecure native. In matters of sex, this one likes a lot of cuddling and nurturing, while simultaneously having an innate need to nurture a partner. The Eighth House Moon individual truly wants to connect deeply with another human being but the changeable lunar influence can be an obstacle here. If the native can recognize this, it’s entirely possible to push through it and obtain the intimacy they desire. Overly jealous and possessive, a Moon in Eighth person can send a partner/potential partner racing for the escape hatch faster than you can say “where the hell have you been?!” This individual is somewhat of a paradox: they desperately desire closeness with a partner, yet they are mistrustful of anyone who displays an interest in getting close to them. If the Moon in Eighth native can nip this tendency, they are intensely loyal, loving, devoted partners. While they want to accumulate their own material assets, they have an emotional need to control other people’s money. This one is also the type who races to the mall to embark on a monumental shopping spree during periods of melancholy. On that note, inheritances for these natives tend to come from the mother or maternal side of the family, though like the tides, finances tend to ebb and flow.

Mercury in the Eighth House
Mercury is the planet of communication and in the Eighth House of sex, here we have an individual who requires a talkative partner. Shrinking violets and quiet types need not apply, for an Eighth House Mercurian, whose mind and mouth both run about a mile a minute, is curious, spontaneous, and up for conversational marathons. Chatty Mercury in the House of sex also hints at a native who enjoys some naughty, sexy banter before — and during — a sexual rendezvous, as they are primarily aroused in the mind. If you’re witty, talkative, and up for some mid-sexual interlude play-by-play commentary, Mercury in Eighth wants you! Outside the bedroom, the native has a studious, inquisitive mind which serves them well in the areas of finance, medicine, or any field requiring intense study or research. They are masters at analyzing others, particularly any hidden motivations. The Eighth House Mercurian is authoritative and persuasive in their manner of speaking which benefits them well in almost any endeavor. Don’t even think about lying to this one, however; they’ll see right through you and they make uncanny detectives and investigators. They are highly intuitive and it’s not unusual for a Mercury in Eighth individual to have psychic or even mediumship abilities (also known as after-death communication, or ADC.) Because of a highly active mind that never seems to shut off, the native has a tendency to overanalyze and will sometimes become suspicious or paranoid even in situations in which these behaviors are not warranted.

Venus in the Eighth House
Charming Venus in the Eighth House of sex is drawn to charming partners. This one wants to be romanced, to enjoy dinners by candlelight, to have sex in luxurious surroundings, and for the love of all things sacred, please show a modicum of class and keep the vulgarity to a minimum. This one loves all the beautiful things money can buy…that is, all the beautiful things your money can buy, so get your checkbook ready because you’re gonna be dropping a LOT of money on this one. You should also be aware that an Eighth House Venusian doesn’t take sexual trysts lightly; there is an intensity to their physical interactions with a partner. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing — unless you’re looking for a one-nighter; this one ain’t goin’ for that — however, be advised that Venus in Eighth is bored by the mundane and if things become dull, it’s not beneath them to create drama for the sake of excitement. And drama isn’t a lot of fun…particularly the manufactured variety. The thing is, this one has a fear of allowing themselves to be vulnerable in love, and their fear of betrayal can result in a jealous, possessive native. If you manage to gain the trust of an Eighth House Venusian, once they are assured that you would never abuse that trust you will be richly rewarded with complete and total loyalty and devotion…with one caveat: they will expect (read: demand) the same from you. If you are aware of this going in and you’re good with that, you won’t be disappointed. The native here is attracted to the taboo, the things we’re not supposed to even think about, let alone talk about: the forbidden, the hidden. You’ve probably noticed that most Eighth House placements mention a native who is drawn to the taboo, and you’re right. But the key difference with a Venus in Eighth native is although they’re tantalized by taboo things, they are more likely to feel guilty for these thoughts, maybe even silently admonishing themselves (“Stop it; you shouldn’t think such things!”) or even blushing when having risque thoughts. In any event, the fact remains: the more off-limits something is, the greater the Venus in Eighth individual’s desire for it.

Mars in the Eighth House
Think about this for a minute: the planet of action in the House of sex. Hmm. This combo gives a native who has no qualms debtwhatsoever about making a move on the object of their sexual desire. Between the sheets, they have energy to spare…with one exception. According to astrologer Bob Marks, if the native’s Mars placement is in Gemini in the Eighth House, he or she will likely be the quintessential two-pump chump, if you will. If your sexual partner’s Mars is in Gemini in the Eighth House, my advice to you is to finagle things so that you get yours first! (You’re welcome.) On an unrelated note, because the Eighth House also governs other people’s money (as previously mentioned, credit cards, charge accounts, etc), when we add the Martian impulsivity to that, we have a native with a propensity toward overspending and shopping sprees they can’t afford, racking up massive debt on credit cards they won’t be able to pay off until circa 2045, resulting in a less-than-stellar credit rating and causing a great deal of tension between the native and their partner. A trend here is for the Eighth House Martian to become involved in a dispute over an inheritance. There is an unfortunate pattern with this Mars placement of early sexual trauma, perhaps in childhood, which the native struggles into adulthood to overcome. Frequently, true and lasting passion with a partner isn’t found until later in life than most, but it is definitely well worth the wait. The feeling in the native tends to be something along the lines of, I always thought I’d had good sex before, but this is the best sex of my life! A lesson for the native here, possibly resulting from earlier sexual trauma, is to learn to trust their sexual partner and to realize not everyone is out to betray them.

1nighterJupiter in the Eighth House
A Jupiter in Eighth native has a formidable knack for ferreting out information and uncovering the underlying cause of any problem, instinctively knowing how to solve it. This one loves mysteries and figuring out solutions to sticky situations. An Eighth House Jupiter individual…how do I put this…well, they enjoy sex, and a LOT of it (Jupiter is the planet of abundance) and they often take sexual liaisons somewhat lightly (read: they’re fine with one-nighters, so if you’re the type who forms quick emotional attachments and ready to propose after one roll in the hay, you’re better off not even going there with this one in the first place.) Multiple partners ain’t no thang for the free-loving Jupiter in Eighth; in fact, they are often attracted to sexual partners from different backgrounds or ethnicities, possibly folks hailing from another country. The native is a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do individual who doesn’t exactly practice what they preach, meaning they’ll warn you how risky unsafe sex with multiple partners is and shake their finger at you, demanding that you “don’t do that!”…as they head out to the local “no-tell motel” for an evening of indiscriminate sex with a couple they met online an hour ago who may or may not be bringing a goat and/or a midget with them. Jupiter is also the planet of luck and as long as the gold and platinum credit cards keep turning up in the mailbox, the native will continue to overextend their credit line (Jupiter’s abundance influence) which can obviously cause many a headache down the road. The good news here is that with Jupiter’s influence of luck and abundance, an Eighth House Jupiter individual often experiences a natural, peaceful death at a ripe old age.

Saturn in the Eighth House
Planetary schoolyard bully Saturn loves to place obstacles and delays in our path, and where in our lives those obstacles tend to manifest depends upon Saturn’s placement in the natal chart. When the planet of obstacles and limitations is planted in the Eighth House of death, legacies, sex, changes, other people’s money, and new beginnings, we will typically have a native who doesn’t benefit from any area governed by the Eighth House until later in life, usually age 40 or later, and even then it’s largely a result of the native’s own efforts, hard work and toil. Although the native can be somewhat anal about their finances because of all the difficulties and delays they’ve dealt with throughout their life, they manage other people’s money beautifully, even better than their own. The native’s credit score is usually relatively low, compounding their dilemma (damn you, Saturn!) This placement of Saturn is associated with longevity, surprisingly enough, which is wonderful news for the Eighth House Saturnian. The Saturn in Eighth approach to sex is controlled and anything but spontaneous; it’s practically scripted. Oooh, sexy!

Uranus in the Eighth House
Eccentric and downright strange Uranus in the House of sex, death, rebirth, change, and other people’s money results in a native with the unorthodox approach to sex you would probably expect: they don’t want to have the same sexual experience over and over, they want to experiment, and may God have mercy on your mundane soul if you dare suggest sex on top of the refrigerator two nights in a row. The Eighth House Uranian is a paradoxical oddball: while they reject socially accepted sexual practices simply for the sake of rebellion, they replace them with their own draconian and no doubt far-out set of unbreakable sexual laws requiring strict adherence. One of my closest friends (formerly a friend-with-benefits, now completely platonic) has this Uranus placement. He explained from the get-go that he had very stringent rules when it came to sex, and our encounters would be no different: we would only engage in sex at night, in bed, before going to sleep. Morning or daytime sex — any spontaneous sex for that matter — was out of the question. Furthermore, only certain positions (two) were acceptable. Third, although we were never in a traditional committed relationship, we were roommates and we agreed that as long as we were in the aforementioned FWB/roommate arrangement, we would not engage in sexual congress with anyone else (how’s that for an “it’s complicated” Facebook relationship status?) Now in his defense, he laid out these stipulations in full disclosure prior to our first sexual experience. (In hindsight, I’m a little surprised he didn’t draw up and then have me sign a Sheldon Cooper-esque “Friends With Benefits/Roommate Agreement”…but I digress.) Moving on to an unrelated topic, a Uranus in Eighth native is advised to practice extreme caution around electricity or machinery. Yeah, I know, that’s ridiculously generic advice that is applicable to everyone. But the thing is, for some reason there is a strange yet clear pattern of accidents, injuries, and even fatalities involving Eighth House Uranians and electricity/machinery. This is why I urge the native to pay particular attention to safety precautions if and when they must work on or around these things. This Uranus placement lends a remarkable gift for healing with the hands, such as with Reiki or even massage therapy. If the native isn’t already involved in anything like this, it’s well worth considering. Natives of this placement will often admit to struggles with suicidal ideations; though more frequently in their early years, it sometimes persists throughout their lifetime.

Neptune in the Eighth House
Dreamy Neptune in the Eighth House gives a native who is incredibly intuitive, experiencing frequent episodes of deja vu and prophetic dreams which they love to analyze. They are on a seemingly endless search for spiritual meaning and they often ponder questions of life, death, and beyond. This individual has an embarrassingly low tolerance for alcohol: two beers and they’re all yours. A Neptune in Eighth has a deep desire to connect on a soul level with a sexual partner. Neptune is the planet of imagination and in the House of sex, the native has an abundance of sexual fantasies and enjoys role-playing. Because Neptune sees what it wants to see (remember those rose-colored glasses), STDs are a concern here because of indiscriminate perceptions of sexual partners. The native tends to see a partner as they wish they were rather than as they actually are. The Eighth House Neptune individual frequently gives more pleasure in the bedroom than they receive…but they are totally fine with this. They need to please…they want to please. Outside of the bedroom, the native is incredibly generous and they live by the motto “what’s mine is yours.” The problem, however, is they tend to forget the other half of that motto, which should be “…and what’s yours is mine,” leading them to be easily taken advantage of or being deceived. The rose-colored glasses come into play when it comes to finances as well (“I have checks; therefore, I have money!”) and this can obviously cause much difficulty, and it’s usually not until mid-life or later when the native finally develops the willpower/ability to see the situation for what it is and manage their finances responsibly. If you are the partner of someone with this placement, the safest bet is for you to handle the finances. Alternatively, an Eighth House Neptune person is particularly prone to being defrauded by people they trust, so extra vigilance and care is required when allowing others to handle their financial affairs. An inheritance is likely but there will probably be delays or difficulties in actually collecting it, possibly due to a contesting of a will or a family feud. Neptune is the planet of illusion, and the death of someone with this placement often occurs under mysterious circumstances (this isn’t to imply any foul play; however, a cause of death might not be immediately obvious.) Drugs or alcohol, which Neptune rules, are common culprits in these deaths. Even if not directly responsible for the death, these substances are frequently found in the decedent’s system postmortem.

Pluto in the Eighth House
Pluto is an incredibly intense, all-or-nothing planet of extremes and it is right at home (or in it’s dominion) in the Eighth House, fetishwhich it naturally rules. With this placement, the native tends to experience an above average number of unusual events. Naturally drawn to the occult, all things taboo, hidden, or dark, the Pluto in Eighth individual has an uncanny knack for seeing right through people and getting straight to their underlying motivations or hidden agendas. These natives are naturally gifted healers and they make excellent hypnotists, therapists, crisis counselors, investigators, detectives, and psychologists. This person will ask questions that will make others’ jaws drop…and the answers they receive will be the truth; it’s as though people sense the native will know if they are lying (they’re not wrong.) Eighth House Pluto folks are intrigued by the darker side of life as well as mysteries. They crave deep, passionate intimacy yet are simultaneously fearful of it. Sexual relationships are often complicated and unconventional, with a frequent taste for submission and domination as well as control. As the planet of obsessions, Pluto’s influence can give an individual who is obsessed with sex (sorry, no, this is not necessarily a good thing!) When Pluto is in the Eighth House, the native can count on a lifetime of power struggles, especially in regard to finances. Pluto is the natural ruler of the Eighth House, so death and rebirth (read: change) is a constant theme in the life of the native.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changeschange
Turn and face the strain
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t wanna be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strain
Ch-ch-changes
Just gonna hafta be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time. ~ David Bowie, Changes