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Janet Street-Porter: The image of the mother in the birth chart

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The Moon in Aquarius is a mother who does not quite belong to the child, but who is socially oriented and belongs to the world or to society in some sense. The Moon on the Uranus-Ascendant midpoint highlights this further. This is an aloof and remote mother, who is not instinctively attuned to the child’s emotional or physical needs. The mother is more in tune with the child’s intellectual development and social connections, and whilst the lack of close emotional bonding and affinity can be experienced as uncaring, disinterest, or absent-mindedness, the upside of the pattern is that the child learns to stand alone rather than depend on anyone. In psychology it is referred to as the ‘freedom-closeness dilemma’, where a person wants to forge close relationships with people but at the same time rejects them as cloying, stifling, sentimental, and needy. Thus the person is seen as distant and difficult to reach emotionally.

Habituated to feeling like an outsider, there is a difficulty with inclusiveness and belonging. Like Groucho Marx said about not wanting to join any club that would have him as a member, there can be a struggle between fitting in and rebelling, wanting to be loved and valued yet always drawn to non-conformism and thus foregoing conventional popularity, and seeking instead the point where unorthodoxy is appreciated and rewarded. Whilst this pattern will run throughout adult life, it does in fact stem from the childhood relationship to the mother.

The image of the mother - and therefore of women in general - is one of eccentricity, difference, ‘outsiderness’, perhaps a slightly mad genius. On an emotional level though it is moodiness and lack of dependability. It is just not possible to know what mood the mother is going to be in from one minute to the next, or even whether or not she will be there when the child gets home from school. On emotional and physical levels, the mother is not available on a reliable basis for the child, and thus an instability of feelings can be passed on to the child. The benefit of this is that there is a stimulation of the emotional nature and also of the mind, such that the child is able to take multiple perspectives on any issue, and to be able to relate to all sorts of characters and people in adult life. There is also a built-in independent spirit.

This astrological configuration is often correlated with having the common touch, because these people can find something in common with anyone and have a facility of emotional connection that others lack, because they are not stuck in one particular channel of relations or one narrow perspective of people (Princess Diana and Tony Blair are two other famous examples). The child learns that in order to survive it is necessary to have its finger on the pulse of the family, and this then translates into adulthood as a capacity to be in tune with groups of people and their reactions, needs, and habits.

The Moon directly opposite a Saturn-Pluto conjunction darkens the picture somewhat. This is an image of the mother as a force to be reckoned with, an emotional tyrant, a terrorist-at-home. The mother is seen as a potentially explosive volcano of stored emotions and intense feeling. The feelings in mother and child run deep, consisting of pent up anger and frustration of the will, memories of betrayal, and shared grief. The theme of loss characterises this relationship, where the mother communicated to the child a sense of powerlessness through losing something valuable, important, and personally connected. Safety, security, vulnerability, distrust and suspicion - perhaps even paranoia - then become the habitual emotional tone of the early childhood environment. There is a sense that the home is not a sanctuary, but a repressive war zone or a stifling and poisoned atmosphere. Jealousy between mother and child exists, potentially spoiling the relationship and creating a love-hate dynamic. Things would build up over time until major outbursts took place, like a pressure cooker that eventually blows off steam.

Applying astrology to political life Hutton Inquiry, Tony Blair, Iraq, Israel, European Union, USA, War on Terror, Uranus in Pisces & Neptune in Aquarius, & more

Applying astrology to business life Euro Currency, NHS, BBC, USA economy, Ofcom, Concorde, Directory Enquiries, W Edwards Deming, European Central Bank, & more

Applying astrology to people's lives Health, emotional intelligence, zodiac elements, understanding change, Beyoncé, Madonna's image and brand, & more

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