April 18, 2024

Counterbalancing Measures

Often in our analytical work, in our preparation for the client consultation, we see apparentlyconflicting measurements about specific developmental concerns and areas of life experience. What will be the way of resolution of a strong Mars facing off with a strong Saturn [actions and controls]? Saturn in developmental tension with Uranus [the clash between “old, conservative, traditional” and “new, liberal, avant garde”]? -There is no text book answer.

The working out of these developmental tensions is what creates personality and determines the level of life fulfillment at any given time. How the client has managed these pressures within parental influences, etc. will be important points within the consultation.

Let’s look at some subtler counterbalancing measurements with which we regularly deal.

A lady shows Saturn-Rx and Neptune-Rx conjunct in Libra at the 7th cusp (Saturn-Rx phenomenology, seeded deeply through Neptune and played out in relationships, possibly a difficulty with intimacy, etc.). But she also shows Venus=Sun/Moon (a great relational grace as a prime attribute).

[It really helps to make a quick sketch of this on paper; drawing it elicits involvement and understanding from your mind –rather than just reading the measurements in ‘detachment mode’.]

These two measurement glimpses seem to work against each other. This lady also shows a conspicuous orientation to the East, away from the difficulties at the 7th cusp.[Indicate that too. -Resolution: she is defensive because of calamitous early life circumstances (serious neglect; father alcoholism, divorce, etc.), one-on-one relationships are very difficult (at age 50, has never been married -and has remained home as caretaker for her 90-year old father). On the other hand, she is in business for herself, meets the public beautifully and easily, and is proud of her personal spiritual development, in spite of everything. Two levels, to experiential vectors, two areas are involved here: personal relationship difficulty and business relationship success, with the paternal influence being the pivot point.

[Think this through again; the idea is simply, but the manifestation potentials are many and rich. Look at the sketch. You don’t even need the other planets. Start to conceive a developmental scenario for this person.]

A very important point here is that, during the preparation for the analysis, the astrologer would have to seeboth measurements and begin a hypothesis about development along the lines outlined above. Overlooking one or the other of the measurement pictures would be inadequate preparation.

We know that, in the American culture, a difficult aspect with the significator of the 9th House suggests very reliably that the education was interrupted, and this has extraordinary ramifications for development in adult life. For example, a lady has Jupiter ruling the 9th and it is opposed by Neptune. But Jupiter is conjoined with Mercury; the conjunction is in Aries, rising, a powerful counter-significator for the ego-development importance of learning!

This means that there is an extremely important value placed upon education; it will prevail, BUT there is some anomaly about it, which -experience with many such cases will prove- which probably took place at age 18 or 19. This extremely articulate, linguistically poised lady did enter college but then very soon into her first year, she abruptly left: she had never had any preparation from her family or her peer group about the importance of college, what she should expect from the experience. She had no orientation to the experience; she bolted. Tr Saturn was square her Moon, ruler of the 4th [leaving college was equally a rebellion against one parent in particular]; then, immediately thereafter tr Uranus opposed her Ascendant, etc.

However: this lady later did return to college, became, in her words, the “perennial student”, got her degrees, and also studied deeply in spiritual matters.

We can see such counter-balancing measures most typically through strong tensions with the planet ruling the 9th while Sun-Jupiter, for example, or Jupiter-Mercury are in the 9th.

And there is difficulty with conflicting signals about the parental balance of influence: you may see Saturn-Rx trine the Sun or Moon. In that picture alone we have the Saturn-Rx phenomenology (expecting parental influence that is conspicuously out of balance or mis-presented). Yet the trine aspect suggests that somehow the relationship could well have run smoothly. Perhaps child and parent(s) stayed out of each other’s way, went through the motions of life-structuring, and just made it by (but not without hurts, mind you).

But what if Saturn or Saturn-Rx squares or opposes or conjoins the Sun, while Pluto opposes squares, or conjoins the Moon? The former is a father-syndrome and the latter is a mother-syndrome. Most often the developmental challenge manifested will be through an intrusive, dominating mother figure as default from a passive or absent father figure. Within the organism’s need for balanced development, the client involvement and evaluation with both parents will be key. Just ask your client the question, “Who ran the show?”

Counter-balancing measurements show up often in Midpoint Pictures also. For example: Saturn=Venus/Mars (inhibitions); Aries Point=Mars/Neptune (obvious charisma). It is difficult to reconcile this pair of pictures. The client in this case revealed this public, charismatic, leader persona, but, at the same time, an absolute discomfort with intimacy. Getting to the root of the discomfort and the routined behaviors that protected the identity from “giving and getting burned” was the objective of the consultation. Resolution here helped free up so much energy for further development, already led by the client’s charismatic personality flair.

MC=Sun/Asc (personal recognition, usually through job position or performance) must be reconciled with Saturn square Uranus, ruler of the 11th (anxiety about being loveable). If one doesn’t think he or she is good enough in life experience, how can the personal recognition be achieved?

What about the Moon in the 11th (the promise of a very broad and supportive friend network), say, in Aquarius (needing to be helpful to others in fresh, new ways, etc.) but with Pluto opposed that Moon (ruling the 4th), undermining it through maternal influence, put-down, devaluing, power struggle, etc.

There sometimes is no clear-cut answer in these analytical quandaries, but the confusion itself is exactly what your client is going through! Recognizing the developmental tug-of-war in conversation with your client acknowledges … even reinforces… your client enormously. Discussing it, using other chart guidelines, will work toward progress, to extrication from routined behaviors and mind-set, to freedom.