Friday, April 21, 2017

Uranus in the 11th House

Since our Jupiter in the houses series is coming to an end (Jupiter in the 7th is coming next, I promise), I’m thinking about what I want the next series or two to be. I have feared running out of ideas before but then I realized that there is so much to astrology that I’ll still be doing this blog for a while. I like the feeling of always having a series going because it maintains my motivation for writing. And I was thinking of either doing a Uranus in the houses series or a series on planets in the 11th House. Feel free to comment and weigh in on which one you’d like to see more. I personally don’t care either way and like turning it into a vote, like I did with the Jupiter series.

Anyway, we’re going to talk about Uranus in the 11th House here. So, either way, my bases are covered. This happens to be my placement; one of the altered placements of my new chart. Like with my other new placements, it makes much more sense in terms of me and my life. The 11th House is a topsy-turvy house where anything goes. Our personal will is represented by this house’s opposite house, the 5th. Meanwhile, the 11th House represents a force of will that is much bigger than us. Whether it’s the will of the people or the will of the Universe itself, there is a collective, big-picture sensibility to the 11th House that demands that we relinquish our preconceived notions and align ourselves with “movements” that are quite beyond our control.

Having Uranus in the 11th House is a real trip because this is the natural ruling planet of the 11th House. Because of this, the person with this placement eventually has to realize that there is no such thing as preconceived notions in their life. Any and every time this person has a pre-set agenda, strives to be “in control” of things, tries too hard to make things happen, things will backfire. With this placement, you end up creating nothing but chaos in your life when you try to avoid the chaos and the randomness. It’s something that I’ve had to really learn: whenever I make plans, the Universe laughs. This is a common phrase and it’s an experience that is not exclusive to the 11th House Uranus individual. But, when you have this Uranus, you experience it on a much more powerful level than others, to a degree that may make you feel like you’re going nuts.

No one is immune to their ego getting in the way and many of us can have this perfect picture of how we think that things should be. It’s essentially a part of human nature. Because of this, with Uranus in the 11th, you may fall into the trap of thinking that you can be like everyone else, in this extent. You might make extensive plans regarding the future, you may put a lot of energy into hustling, getting recognition, or making a name for yourself. But, routinely, you will feel yourself hitting a wall. The thing is that it really doesn’t have anything to do with you. In fact, if you could have it your way, well, you would have things your way. There is a rebelliousness to the expression of the 11th House. The energy here can rebel against us and we may also rebel against it, thinking we know better. So, with unpredictable Uranus in the 11th, you may easily become defiant in the face of chaos and think, “No, I’m going to get this under control.” But, then, you just can’t. There is always something that happens that turns things upside down. 

Uranus tells us where we can be free on a mental level, engaging in unexpected or unusual patterns or events that keep us on our toes. And if the 11th House is where you’re supposed to expect the unexpected, then having Uranus here means that there is absolutely no limit to the weird stuff you can get into. You find your freedom by being detached from ideas of what’s “normal”: a normal life, occupation, personality, etc. You just have to accept that you can’t live that straight, narrow, or predictable path that other people find such safety in. Therefore, all expectations are thrown out the window and all bets are off, which can be kind of unnerving but also completely exciting.

Something is always going to happen to you that throws you off-kilter. I’ve learned to stop myself from thinking, “Ah, yes, now everything is stable.” Having that attitude is the exact moment when everything destabilizes and that security you thought you had is gone. But, at the same time, just when you think that everything is insane and you don’t know how you’ll get out of this mess, something incredible can happen, at the 11th hour (pun intended), that turns things around. It’s to a level that can be quite radical. You might regularly feel like the Universe has a twisted sense of humor and just enjoys fucking with your head. There are situations that happen to you that make you think that you just couldn’t write this or make this up.

It’s an interesting contrast from the 5th House, which is where our creative talents lie, the kind that can fuel you toward writing a story or doing a scene. In the 11th House, truth is stranger than fiction. The 11th House Uranus person has an existence that is full of all sorts of odd twists and turns. But, at the same time, this is really liberating. You will eventually realize that all you can do is fasten your seatbelt (or maybe not) and appreciate the ride. Yet, being frustrated, dramatic, self-pitying, or controlling about what’s happening to you won’t make it better. It just makes it worse and worse, escalating the insanity in your life.

So, if Uranus is where you find your freedom, Uranus in the 11th shows that you find your freedom through true detachment. It’s a level of detachment that few can pull off because they may be much more used to their self-serving, self-willed efforts making a major impact. But, you can often push and push toward results and see nothing bear fruit. This is when you need to trust the Universe and know that it wants you to succeed. By aligning your personal will with the Universe’s will, things will manifest for you much more easily. The 11th House has a connection to the Universe that is different than the 12th House’s. In the 12th House, it’s spiritual and existential. In the 11th, it’s a higher New Age wavelength. But, there is more of a rationale to it and it’s more carefree, with a take-things-as-they-come attitude that prevents you from feeling weighed down.

Because of this, Uranus in the 11th House produces the utmost of free spirits. This placement is like the ultimate freedom, giving you the license to just not care about much – at least, on a personal  level – and live with the wind in your hair. I have always felt like such a free spirit because this placement is my co-chart ruler. In the end, I do just want to go where the wind blows and not have to worry about much. This is also what makes 11th House Uranus people so inventive. We are used to life throwing every curveball it can at us and finding unique ways to deal with our circumstances. Because of this, we have a knack for seeing things differently than other people, who don’t have to deal with the level of randomness and unpredictability that we do. Whatever situation is in front of us, we can see multiple possibilities as far as how it could turn out. We can also easily grasp unorthodox ways of understanding ourselves or our lives, like astrology, numerology, or the Tarot. When all else fails, the birth chart or the deck of cards may have the answers you or others need.

It's this advanced perspective that makes those with Uranus in the 11th strange and offbeat. While everyone else is on this track, we are all the way on the other side on a very different track. This is just something we have to get used to. We cannot try to rob ourselves of our quirkiness or uniqueness. Whenever we do, it’s just going to come back to us, like a boomerang. The more you try to resist your eccentricities, your wild ideas, or your rebellious nature, the more you will stick out like a sore thumb. Even if you think are pulling off the normal act, you will inevitably say something or do something that surprises people, shocks people, or makes them give you the side-eye. So, it’s better for you to just give up any pretense of fitting in with everyone else. You can’t! You’re too original and individualistic for that. Just accept it.

This certainly makes you an interesting social presence. The 11th House tells us how we engage with our peer group and our social network. Since we have a dignified placement here, Uranus in the 11th can regularly be described as a social butterfly of the first order. Sometimes, this is very true and sometimes, it’s not as true. While this placement can produce some of the friendliest and most socially adept people, that same person prefers to keep these social ties at a distance. And the thing is that the friends that you make can also keep you at a distance. This isn’t because they don’t like you or aren’t your real friends. It’s just because your peers and acquaintances can generally sense how utterly independent you are and somehow feel that they can’t intrude on all of that personal space you create without your permission.

This is the contrary element of the 11th House at play. Uranus in the 11th House makes you really love socializing and really love being left to your own devices, alternately or sometimes simultaneously. You might complain about your friends not texting you or not inviting you to go out. But, the minute someone does text you, you think, “Ugh, what do you want?” You want to be very social but on your own terms. I love being involved in my social scene but I also love just flying solo and running into people while I’m out. Then, we can hang out for a while and go our separate ways. But, when we have to text each other and plan the outing and then stick by each other all night, it becomes such a thing. It weighs me down and Uranus in the 11th can’t be socially weighed down (and even if I try to do that, Uranus rebels and it never really works out anyway). 

So, yes, with this placement, you do have the potential to be a real social butterfly. The 11th House is so famously said to represent “groups” and with its association with friendship, many interpret it as your “friend group”, which I feel is off. Uranus in the 11th defies that anyway because having this position means that you don’t want to be stuck in a friend group. You want to bounce around from one buddy to the next, forming new connections along the way. Hanging out with the same two or three people all the time cuts off your oxygen. You can, therefore, exhibit a social freedom that few display, being that person who can rub elbows with virtually anyone. While others can be predictably spotted with the same people, no one knows just who you’re going to be seen with. You possess zero pretense or hesitation in this way. I love the feeling of mingling with a lot of different people and making new friends. Plus, it keeps me independent and gives me my space to do whatever.

The reason for this social freedom is that Uranus in the 11th House people truly understand levels of friendship, more than the next person. I always say that the 7th House is where you find your close friends and your best friends. The 11th House is just your casual friends you socialize with; your acquaintances and the people who run in the same circles as you. Since there are no heavy ties here, Uranus in the 11th makes you feel free enough to just hang out with whoever. You have a few drinks, dance, network, chill, whatever else, and then you move on to someone else. Because of this, there are very few people who you are attached to. Whatever is in your 7th would tell you how you deal with your best friends. But, even with them, they have to be willing to let you go off and spend enough time with other people, too. Still, given how socially scattered you are, you could cause some disappointment when one of your buddies realizes that he or she is kind of just a number to you. Worse yet, they may find themselves replaced if they become boring and someone else is more interesting. So, don’t be so detached that you drop people like hot potatoes.

Yet, you need to maintain that detachment because it gives you a big picture sense of what’s going on socially. Being involved in a “scene” is very important to you because you’re engaging with something bigger than yourself. Hopping from bar to bar can very much be an 11th House activity, even though people often like to associate the 5th House with partying. The 5th House is totally selfish fun that just involves and serves yourself. In the 11th House, we reach out to other people and become one of the crowd. It’s a group activity. This is why being at home a lot and rarely, if ever, going out will get very unfulfilling and stale to 11th House Uranus people, especially ones in their 20’s and 30’s. I realized a couple years ago, after a lifestyle like that, that I’m much happier going out on the weekends. It’s not really about the drinking, the dancing, the feeling of wildness. It’s just about branching out toward and being involved with other people, instead of being very self-involved and disengaged from other people, which is what staying in makes you.

It’s also about expressing that combination of individuality and group-consciousness by being an active member in a social circle; that person who stands out and knows everyone. This is not an ego-driven desire because this will actually be your way of making a difference on a large scale. When we speak about making a difference through the 11th, it’s not just by spreading awareness about climate change or fundraising for someone’s political campaign. It can be as simple as being really friendly, even when other people aren’t, and bringing an inclusive positive energy that makes sure everyone has a good time and feels welcome. Uranus in the 11th gives you the power to be that person in a social scene that can unify everyone, often introducing people who’d never speak otherwise, reaching your common goal (an 11th House term) of having fun together.

This powerful yearning for social involvement is what can keep you a free bird even when you’re expected to settle down. It can be hard for those with Uranus in the 11th to be married or have families because they feel such a greater obligation to larger, less personal interests. There can be a time where you stop hitting the bars or clubs as much. But, you can still be just as highly involved in Open Mic Nights, volunteer activities and organizations, neighborhood meetings, music festivals, online communities, and anything else that keeps you connected to groups of people with the same interests and who are looking for the same things. You will only truly feel free when you can stretch beyond the personal and the one-on-one, in this way, and invest a lot of energy in the transpersonal. In the end, these groups will need your talents, your ideas, and your unique attributes in a significant way.

Of course, this can also manifest in terms of politics and social activism. It seems, though, that 11th House Uranus people can either go to two extremes before they are really any use to these higher causes. They may either be obsessed with what’s going on in the world but in a self-righteous, armchair-politician way that makes them shove their opinions down others’ throats or they may try and avoid being politically aware altogether because they feel like it may bring them or other people down. In the end, a middle ground needs to be established. You need to be invested in current and world events without being too insistent on it, either. After all, this will cause your 11th House to rebel and you will inevitably not help anyone. Instead, you must adopt an intelligent, well-informed view of what’s happening in the world while also getting involved with groups of people, in a constructive way, that will make a difference.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Open Discussion: Your Toughest Transit(s)

I know that I’ve stated before that you can never really prepare for a transit. You just have to let it happen. Still, I only have several months left before my Saturn Return begins and I have felt like it is time to really face the issues that I’ve been dealing with for years – or my whole life, in some cases – and have never really worked through or gotten over. It’s not necessarily a preparation. It’s just me realizing that it won’t be long until my Saturn Return so I might as well deal with this stuff now because I’m going to have to, sooner or later. And if I wait, it will be much harder.

I guess I’m doing the best to take that upcoming transit in my own hands. It’s quite overwhelming working through all of your issues when you have Saturn in the 12th House, though. But, it’s also a true awakening. I’m having so many epiphanies about really existential and spiritual things now. It’s like diving into the ocean and trying to walk along the bottom, if you even reach it. I think this is happening now because Saturn is currently at 27 degrees Sagittarius and my Uranus is at 1 degree Capricorn. So, there is an out-of-sign conjunction happening between transiting Saturn and my natal Uranus, mirroring the Saturn conjunct Uranus aspect I have in my natal chart.

Because of that, I’m already feeling rumblings of my Saturn Return. I’m fully facing the realization that I’ll never have a so-called normal life or sense of security, thanks to the path I’ve taken, further emphasized by Uranus in my 11th. But, this is my purpose in life. More challenges seem to be popping up to remind me of this but I’m finding more strength and peace in this realization, as well. I’m just going through a lot of changes and I feel like I’m on the road to becoming who I’m really supposed to be. It’s something I think I’ll write about soon.  

Anyways, I figured it would be a good time to do another open discussion. This time, I’m just going to focus things more on you guys. I’m interested in what you believe your toughest transit has been. If you have more than one that stands out as really challenging, that’s fine, too. Why does it stand out and what did you go through at that time? You can decide how personal or not you want to get. But, I do think it’s great that many people feel the urge to share things on here. And maybe someone who is going through that same transit will be able to relate. 

I'm now closing the session for responses. Thanks to all those who joined in and shared. Even on the Internet, that's not always easy. Sorry if I didn't get to you but, as always, great discussion, everyone! 


Monday, April 17, 2017

Bates Motel: North Node in Capricorn and Emotional Instability

My favorite series right now is Bates Motel and it is airing its series finale next week, after five seasons, which I am feeling rather bittersweet about. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it (the first four seasons are on Netflix). It’s a modern-day prequel/retelling of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film ­Psycho and it stars Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga as Norman and Norma Bates, respectively, the iconic mother-son duo. It’s a tale of how Norma’s overprotectiveness and irrationality toward her mentally ill son eventually leads the teenager to grow into the demented serial killer from the film.

I was very curious earlier about the birth charts of Freddie and Vera, although I already am generally familiar with their charts. Neither of them have given birth times. Yet, I feel like Freddie might be a Libra Ascendant while Vera could be an Aquarius Rising. In any case, Freddie has the Sun in Aquarius with a Cancer Moon and Vera is my astro-twin with a Leo Sun and Scorpio Moon. But, what I found super-interesting about their charts is that they both have the North Node in Capricorn. Not only that but they both have planets conjunct the South Node in Cancer (Vera’s Saturn and Freddie’s Moon) and their North Nodes are conjunct by just one degree. 

That is a really powerful, fateful connection to have. It’s actually very rare to meet someone whose North Node is conjunct yours, especially to a near-exact degree. But, when you do, you learn a lot about yourself through them in the positive and the not-so-positive sense: the full potential that you are capable of and the true satisfaction that is waiting for you, if you just go after it, and also the cringeworthy moments and destructive patterns you can display when you are not your best self. I used to have a close friend who had the North Node in Aquarius at the exact same degree as me and he was actually pretty influential in reminding me to not be self-absorbed or desperate for praise and attention. Not because of any advice he gave or anything but because he was so egotistical, and it backfired on him so regularly, that it was a big warning sign to me.

But, it is a synastry aspect that must work somewhat differently in professional relationships than it does in personal friendships. Since we gain our natural skills from our South Node, I do think it’s very common to see people making a career out of their South Node. With the South Node in Cancer, acting is an excellent fit, thanks to the emotional expression involved. Bates Motel is highly emotionally charged, in particular. Freddie and Vera can easily feed off of each other’s effortless sensitivity and emotional availability in order to give the intense performances that they do.

The thing about this synastry connection is that, even though the person can be a mirror of your lower self, there can also be an amazing understanding between you two that you rarely find with anyone. From interviews and appearances, Freddie and Vera speak of hitting it off very well and becoming very close friends through the show. Farmiga once said, tellingly, that in playing characters like this, you’ll either really love or hate each other and they fall into the first category. Interestingly, there does seem to be a Cancer-like dynamic between them that makes them seem a bit crabby, defensive, or moody toward each other but in a very affectionate way, working off of each other’s emotional states as if they were actually family.

Yet, they are both focusing more on the Capricorn energies in this lifetime. Vera is 43, so she is significantly older than 25-year-old Freddie, making her probably more experienced in the North Node in Capricorn realm. It is more than likely than Freddie still has some epiphanies to make when it comes to living out that Capricorn North Node energy, since he isn’t in his late 20’s yet and still hasn’t gone through his first Saturn Return. Those with this North Node definitely need goals to achieve and ways to be reliable, effective, and respectable. This is often achieved through being career-oriented. So, working on Bates Motel is probably even more satisfying for the two of them because Capricorn North Node people usually need really great work to channel their emotions into. Acting is the perfect career for that.

Also, we have to consider just what this show is about. All of these themes of smother-mothering, emotional instability, a claustrophobic family environment that keeps pulling you back, etc. are all feeding into the shadow side of their Cancer South Node. Granted, most people with this placement won’t have a family situation that is as extreme as the Bates’. But, still, those with this North Node have a deep-seated familiarity with being part of a clan that, in some way, keeps you emotionally stunted or unable to deal with your feelings in the most mature of ways. Cancer South Node also means that the relationship with the mother is so profound, for better or for worse, and it’s something that makes such a mark on the individual that they struggle to escape the weight of Mother and her influence on them, just as Norman does.

Freddie has something extra to draw on because his Cancer Moon is conjunct the South Node. If he was born at night, as I suspect, the South Node is really close to the Moon. Having the Moon conjunct the South Node is really powerful because it makes one’s habitual responses and patterns so deeply ingrained. The person will very instinctively react like the sign the conjunction is in and often to their detriment because they can do so without thinking for a second and from a place of insecurity, fear, or defensiveness. Since his South Node is conjunct the Moon in Cancer, there can be even more insecurity, fear, and defensiveness that Freddie must strive to overcome in order to feel in command of his life and like a mature adult, a la Capricorn.

Norman Bates is the poster-child for the stunted mama’s boy and also one of the most famous “crazies” in pop culture history. So, Highmore is really drawing upon these Cancer archetypes in this role, which could be part of the why he is so fantastic in it (seriously, he needs an Emmy nomination this year, at least, if not a win, or I will feel personally victimized). If I’m right about him having Libra Rising, then he also most likely has a Cancer Midheaven, putting his Moon and his South Node in the 10th House. This symbolizes him being given a big, career-making role as a “lunatic” and having such a vulnerable, emotional screen presence, easily prone to tears. He also started out as a child actor and I’ve found that a huge number of former child stars/teen stars have planets in the 10th, making it their destiny to get a head-start on career and adulthood. If this is the case, then he has that reversed Nodal situation going on and is actually being challenged to direct his maturity and strength (Capricorn) toward his personal life (4th).

Now, Vera’s Saturn conjunct her South Node is also quite symbolic and archetypal. In the film, we really only know Norma as a creepy corpse and the shrewish, overbearing figure in Norman’s imagination and memory. But, in Bates Motel, we get to see what Norma was like when she was alive and she is much more dimensional, complex, and, therefore, human on the show. We see that she, predictably, comes from a very harsh, difficult family life, having received very little comfort as a child. This is strikingly represented in Vera’s chart by Saturn conjunct the South Node in Cancer. I can’t say what Farmiga’s own childhood was like and she hasn’t confessed to having an unhappy, harsh upbringing. But, it is amazing how actors can unconsciously and unintentionally draw on placements in their own chart in order to play a part and how these placements can make them such a natural, perfect fit for the character. 

Saturn on the South Node represents a past where there was a lot of hardship, pressure, and struggle. Since the conjunction is in Cancer, this can mean struggles to feel protected, comforted, or nurtured. However this has manifested in Vera’s actual life, she has been able to express this painful energy to play a woman who always had to take care of herself but, at the same time, struggled to do so. Because of this, she struggled to be the best mother she could be. In the series, Norma also has another older son named Dylan, who is continually the voice of reason, and it shows how she constantly tried to “grow up” by settling down in life very early. Yet, playing the part of wife and mother so prematurely only worsened her issues, instead of solved them.

Vera’s performance is as equally brilliant and complicated as Freddie’s (I really want them both to be nominated this year, as she’s only received a single Emmy nod for season one). Her Cancer Saturn on the South Node makes her a natural at portraying a woman who is weighed down by motherhood but also takes it so seriously, being as fiercely protective as she can be of her offspring. Vera is a mother of two herself in real life, which has to add to her portrayal. The interesting thing about her Nodes, which I see quite often, is that the ruler of her North Node is on the South Node. So, actually, she doesn’t have to stretch herself as much as the next person to live out her North Node. She already knows how to be self-sufficient, dedicated, and accountable for herself. The thing is knowing how to not let her emotions get the best of her because, when she masters this skill, she will achieve the sense of purpose that she has always tried to live by. Also, she must realize her purpose is more about her goals and less about making sure everyone feels okay.

There are also other energies at play in both of their charts that allow them to rise to the challenge of these characters. They both have a significant Pluto influence, which isn’t surprising at all. These parts are dark, complex, uncomfortable, sometimes downright disturbing. Actors who can play such characters with deep insight, total commitment, and a lack of fear about going to those dark places usually have some sort of Pluto influence. As I said before, Vera is a Scorpio Moon. Those with a Scorpio Moon instinctively know, often from experience, that a bond between mother and child can be as deeply loving, enriching, and intimate as it is totally complicated, suffocating, and even terrifying or threatening.

Freddie happens to have a few Pluto aspects, as he has Pluto sextile his Venus and square his Sun and Mercury. The square of Pluto in Scorpio to his Sun conjunct Mercury in Aquarius suggests that his brilliant, unique, broad-minded mentality gives him a profound insight into human nature that desperately needs to be expressed. If not, this awareness of the darkness could be consuming and bring him a lot of inner conflict. So, playing Norman is probably a great outlet for him in this sense, too. He does regularly speak about Norman, in interviews, like a nonjudgmental psychiatrist, expressing an intelligent, big-picture view of the human condition (Aquarius) that makes him understand the psychology of a twisted soul (Pluto).