by Boots Hart, CAP

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Family Pickles: the Astrology of Habituation

Did you wonder? After posting a story about incredible sadness and a relationship debacle which shattered arguably the most important relationship I’ve ever had (“Deep Night, No Dawn in Sight”), today I posted an astro-bio commentary on Jeffrey Dahmer.

More than a few people were probably grossed out. Part of this is just about what astrologers do – I have an astrologer friend I email back and forth with. He and I have spent the past couple of weeks discussing points erotic and galactic one-way doors in time and the human mind. And yes, I tried out some of our theories out using my data files, including one I call “criminals of infamy.” 

I’d gone in there meaning to pull up the chart of the Marquis de Sade, but my finger clicked on Dahmer. And what I saw was so illuminating and so sad…

...If you were offended, I apologize. But I also don’t think we can have beauty if we aren’t prepared to see the shadows which give light shape.

After all that, came down, my brother called. He had news: our mutual mother (we have different fathers) appears to have cancer. Metastasized cancer.

I scarcely knew what to say. My mother has been the shadow terror of my life. When I say in some past post that I’d written a memoir which amounts to Mommie
Dearest meets The Jaycee Dugard Story, that all started with her. The myth of Medusa seems to have some bright spots. Me and my mother? Not a one.

But I’ve never wished her ill. All I ever wanted was for her to let me go. To stop threatening with her need to possess me.

Anyway, when I hung up after talking to my brother, I looked up mother’s horoscope, a chart I've had for years but literally never looked at. 

So today, I looked. And what do my eyes see there? That the Moon in mother's chart is at exactly the same degree as the Moon in the chart of the woman who set up the shattering of my relationship with that dearly loved Protector friend of mine. 

The astrological/mental dotted line here seems drawn by a thought I had after the December 2009/January 2010 eclipses spelled the crunching of my world as then known. It took a couple of months for my brain to chill out, but finally I found myself thinking I bet if I had met my mother as an adult – (meaning when I was an adult) – I would have thought mother was rather like that woman. 

Now I can say - oh, how right I was! The astrological lesson is about how we get habituated to certain degrees...particularly those which relate to family charts (for good or ill). The people we meet early and become so deeply impressed by are literally 'written' in our charts. I can take a chart and describe not only your interaction with your parents, but their interaction with their parents. 

And when one person 'leaves' those degrees, often - unconsciously - we 'pull in' someone else to fill that psychic void. Thus do our patterns repeat until we learn better - until we understand the Self in our chart. 

As for the real life part of this, I'm working on it. I wish no one ill, or illness – not even the mother who dismembered my life before it barely started. 

By now I’ve lived so long with this cloud over my world that the whole idea it might go away...that seems totally, entirely odd. Strange...and stranger. 

Maybe some director will yell ‘cut!’ and I’ll find out it’s all pretend. (Not!) 

Maybe this is all about the last reel of an extremely long film unwinding to its end. (More likely.)

In any case, that's one solar and one lunar eclipse down, four more solars in a row yet to go before my life again settles into place. This is going to take more than coffee and a chocolate bar, I can tell. 

Sometimes the world is so bewildering!. As an astrologer you 'get it,' though that doesn't stop it from getting you. 



  1. The idea of becoming habituated to certain familial chart degrees is a fascinating one! It merits more examination, for sure.

    Good luck with the rest of the eclipses! Curiouser and curiouser!

  2. "The people we meet early and become so deeply impressed by are literally 'written' in our charts. I can take a chart and describe not only your interaction with your parents, but their interaction with their parents. "

    That's an arresting, thought-provoking statement. Which I say as someone with a somewhat skeptical frame of mind ...

    Part of me would want to know (because of certain unexplained, "shadow" areas of my family background that I am curious to know more about) , and part of me says : "back off and just leave it alone". ('curiosity killed the cat' , and all that jazz) .

  3. I totally understand why you would have both the skepticism and the trepidation, David. We so often want to hold onto what we think, or think we know...and when it comes to family - as you note - there are so often those 'ikky bits' (as an English friend once put it) which we just...would rather...oh yeah, SO not know at all!

    That's absolutely for each person to decide. Like I said - I had my mother's chart for years and never even looked at it.

    FYI, one of the reasons to work with astrologers who have gone through the rigors of certification testing and ethics education relates to just this - ethically there are things which the professional astrologer is forbidden to tell a client, such as the date of death.

    Yes, I know - another thing people don't know comes with the astrological territory. But if all of time/space can be expressed mathematically, ultimately there should be an equation for most everything, right? And let's face it - human beings have been working on astrology for a long, long, very long time (think ancient Babylon).

    It's interesting to me that we can listen to astrophysicists and doctors and think they know what they know but not think that the real honest to cookie astrologer can't do the work and come up with the answer.

    Of course part of the discussion is right there - the honest to cookie part. Because there is no 'passing the bar' or taking your medical exams in astrology (at the state or national level) there are oodles of people out there who really don't know their stuff. (heavy sigh...)

    But as for the basics, if you get together charts of family and close friends, I'm sure you'll find many a placement parallel - just look for similar numbers, even if they aren't in the same signs. Those 'parallels' represent patterns not only of human generations, but what we might well call 'familial traits.' This is not QUITE as specific as what I am referring to in the post but it's related.

    Honest - it works. Give it a try and let me know what you think. It's a good subject to pursue/expand on and probably something lots of people would like to know more about.

    Ergo, thanks to you, David. Be well.


  4. "Of course part of the discussion is right there - the honest to cookie part."

    Oh, don't mistake me: I'm inclined to put you in the honest to cookie category.

    Mmmmm.... I shouldn't have thrown around the "s" word (skeptical) .

    Let me start again ... more along the lines of : I just don't know how that would work ... I'd like to see what insights that would reveal (i.e. "I can take a chart and describe not only your interaction with your parents, but their interaction with their parents. ") but I don't know how. And of course the practical part of me that is cautioning: "man, do you really want to dredge that stuff up anyway ?"

    "Honest - it works. Give it a try and let me know what you think. "

    Well, I'm re-examining almost everything these days, so I'm of a mind to try the bottle that says "Drink Me" .

    I'm Dec. 31, 1962, 1:50 PM . I have one parent's birthday, but not time. My other parent was adopted , I have no idea of the date or time of birth . What next ?

  5. While I'm tempted to start with a discussion of cookies (sugar cookie if I'm either sweet or southern, butter cookie if I'm kissing up, molasses cookie if I think the subject is sticky, etc. etc) we won't go there.

    So consider that last bit unsaid.

    As to your question about your parents, in doing very 'basic' comparisons, I'm not sure you need a time. As for the adopted parent, depending on where they were born it's sometimes possible to write a Bureau of Statistics (live births, etc.) a hospital or even civic center where they were born and get date information if they understand you are looking for nothing but that.

    Failing same, just start with the horoscope of the parent whose data you have. We're not looking at them as a couple, but as individual people - comparing their chart to yours.

    As for the bottle which says "Drink Me," it's always a good idea to sip before we gulp to not drink of strange theories then drive everyone nuts directly after. And do be careful to jump down the RABBIT hole, not the RABID hole. Such mistakes can be costly.

    Lastly, say 'hi' to the Red Queen for me if you see her.


  6. David -

    Just a little astro-back-up for Boots' familial degrees comments. I share the same Saturn degree (13 Cap) as both my maternal aunt and grandmother. My mother's 19 Cap Saturn is exactly conjunct my father's Sun, both of which exactly oppose my 19 Cancer Mercury, and mom's Moon is exactly conjunct my 4 Leo Sun.

    Just sayin', it happens... :^)

  7. Well, I do seem to find myself habitually running in place, but not getting anywhere , which makes that an apt reference.

    So, you can see how your comment above, about how "we get habituated to certain degrees...particularly those which relate to family charts" caught my attention.

    Thanks for the insights.

    Kind thoughts,


  8. Good morning Sandman (does that sound odd or what?)...thanks for the input.

    The most "famously common" intra-family aspect I know of pertains to Jupiter - that a parent's Jupiter will aspect that of their child or importantly aspect a particular aspect of the child's chart (pro OR con)...which makes sense, since Jupiter symbolizes 'teachers' (among other things) and parents are the most basic of teachers to their children.

    Well, at least in MOST families (::rueful smile::)

    More to my initial point - and how you take it (granting that I know who you are and you've known me a lot of years and thus own your own personal Boots decoding ring) might be seen in the fact that though I am long (long) estranged from my mother, there is always one Virgo female in my life with a Sun which falls within a degree or two of hers.

    These 'imprints' are probably rife though we don't tend to notice them. After this connecting the motherly Moon to that of the She who so purposefully took a hatchet to my life I took some time to search my personal chart bases (friends, associates, etc.) and noticed a HUGE proportion of 'friend charts' with positions at/within orb of 19 Cancer - the degree of the upcoming solar eclipse.

    So apparently we glom together by a 'commonalty of vibe' beyond our families and apart from generational markers. We would expect lots of familiar charts to have a localized Pluto, Eris, Uranus (etc) what with these being slow-moving planets, but what I refer is a 19 Cancer Uranus in my chart which is everything from a specific and critical cusp point to the Mercury, Moon, IC or Ascendant in the charts of people I know well enough to consider them part of my 'circle.'

    So David, don't just confine yourself to family charts, though I think looking at the synastry of family charts (which this most certainly is) gives us an interesting place to work from in our own knowledge base about ourselves.

    That this isn't about just the easy or basic stuff also seems important; my 19 Cancer Uranus is sort of my 'Mad Hatter' point (continuing with the Wonderland influences...!). So what does it mean that we interlock with others - and they jibe with us - on such a basis?

    For the moment I'm going to go with the famous tea party assertion that even if you haven't had any tea, since you can't be having LESS tea, you must be having more tea.

    Apparently we need both to exercise and exorcise ourselves no matter what.

    With that, I'm off to get some coffee.