Empty Nest

free birdI wound up with an empty nest this year. I did not expect it at all. What can I say? My son flew the coop.

Logically speaking, he’d have most likely moved onto his college campus in a year. It seems it should be easy for me to see such a thing, especially because I flew my coop as a teenager. It’s been harder than you might guess.

One thing I’ve come to understand, is that I like being a mother more than anything else. It’s the most gratifying thing in the world for me. I like little dogs well enough, but it’s just not the same. I like my work but it is not a flesh and blood child.

I’ve come to terms with this and recognize the need to do other things. I’m better able to empathize with my husband now. He liked being a soldier best.  But these days pass and you have to transform.

I wonder how long it takes. I’m thinking five years. I was a mother for twenty. You just don’t turn this stuff off like a light. Or at least I can’t.

What’s your thoughts on the empty nest? Where is your Moon?


32 thoughts on “Empty Nest”

  1. My son went out in the world at eighteen, and three years later my daughter graduated high school and went off to college. It was quite the transition. I believe it is normal for mother’s to feel at odds. Letting go, never easy.

  2. My moon is in Capricorn, I’m a deep longing mom. My son first left the nest during high school for several months. He came home on Sunday’s for waffles. I remember telling him on an Easter Sunday, “I’m not done … my list … it’s not finished.” We laughed about it. He has come and gone from the nest over and again coming and going from the many places we have lived over the past decade. His Moon in Gemini aspects nearly every planet in his chart. Home/Mom is important. We stay very connected, but different now he’s in his 40’s, married to a woman from a very distant country, and for awhile they are living in the country of my birth.

    I think the transition is different for every mother. I have wondered about this for you, and am so glad to see you putting here. I mother deeply, and know that it’s good/necessary for my son to fly the coop, testing his wings and his homing instincts.

    ((Elsa)) I’m with you. I love being my son’s mom:)

  3. Moon in Pisces, Aries Saturn in the 4th house. Raised my boys to be productive and independent…and they are that. But, 6 years of empty nest later and I still miss everything about raising my children.

  4. (((hugs))) I understand from where you are coming I have 2 natural children and 5 step children 4 of the step children I helped finish raising. I consider that if I’m in a relationship for longer than 3 years any children that come with that person are mine. That said all said children have grown up all but one has found at least one mate and married or is in a committed relationship. We now have 13 grand children. Some of these children have returned to the nest to regroup and fly again. Even bringing the grandchildren with them. I’m a hands off kind of grandmother I ask my children what the rules are for their children and I enforce them when they are at my house. I find that I enjoy the empty nest and when the children come back to visit I very much enjoy the time we have together and then when they leave I enjoy my time with my husband.

  5. The empty nest feeling is hallowing, but then come Grandchildren and the sweet bliss they bring is soothing salve for sure. Found out today my baby will be a Father this summer third Grand-baby for us and counting. Nothing in the world better than being a Nanna!

  6. My Moon is in Libra, 11th house. Both of my daughters moved from home this year. One of the moved to NYC and the other one is near home. I miss my daughter in NY so much. I loved being with my kids and now it has ended so abruptly. Empty nest is very painful but l have said nothing to anyone and keep that pain to myself. I am glad to be saying this now, having been asked and given the opportunity. I know it is time and l understand all is as it should be. I know they were never really mine simply on loan entrusted to my care. It is good that they stand on their own but l did not expect to feel such a tremendous loss. I am surprised by this really. I loved being a mother.

  7. I’m going to post my comment w/o reading the others,and I do not mean to be rude. For Elsa, yes, about being a mother: my son was very much grown, say, late 20’s. He stops in; I start cooking. I put a plate down in front of him and he says his usual from all the days of his life, “thanks, Mom”. I said, “Nothing feels better than to put a plate of food down in front of your kid.” He needs to know that; he needs to know how his mother feels and that it’s part of her purpose, and don’t you ever forget it, Little Mister! I don’t know where the planets were that day; we were just living our lives. Son is Aries, my Natal Moon is Aries. I’m Scorpio, my son has his Moon in Scorpio. It’s nice to have a kid in the family who is Aquarius Rising. And there is nothing like putting a plate of food on the table for your kid.

  8. Now I’m asking you, what do you look for in a chart for an Artist? I realized a few days ago that when I was very young, before Kindergarten, I drew everything I saw. I was told at University that I have a “good eye”, and I know I do, but I just don’t do as much with it as I should. All of you are more experienced in Astrology than I, so I’m asking what would you look for in a chart for an Artist? I had the good luck to have a Kindergarten teacher who was also an Artist, her husband a doctor at Wash U, and had very much praise from her. My husband encouraged me to pursue Art, but I set it aside and went into Nursing (R.N.) I very much loved it, even back in my Crayon Days, I loved the human body. Frank Netter is one of my favorite Artists (medical illustration, as well as da Vinci and Picasso. Cast some light on this, if you can; it’s not about me, it’s about them, and do I have what they have? Maybe I’m asking the right question in the wrong place. Are you an Artist, and if so, where in your chart does it say so? Where should I look in my chart? I already have it; I was born with it, but want I want to know where to find it in the chart.

    1. I’d equate TAURUS and LIBRA most closely to fine art, and likewise, the planet VENUS, which rules and co-rules both signs. I suspect SATURN to play an important role in the making of art, since it gives structure to things– Saturn rules bones, and fine art, like the human body, always has bones.

      So, off the top of my head: TAURUS, LIBRA, VENUS & SATURN

      Frank Netter: Sun, Venus, Moon, Mars in TAURUS sextile SATURN in Pisces
      Di Vinci: Sun, Venus in TAURUS; Saturn in LIBRA
      Piscasso: Sun in Scorpio opposite Saturn in TAURUS; VENUS in LIBRA

      In the 3 artists that you mention, that’s…
      SUN in TAURUS 2x, VENUS in TAURUS 2x, VENUS in LIBRA 1x,
      SATURN in TAURUS 1x, SATURN in LIBRA 1x, SUN conjunct VENUS 2x,
      SUN, VENUS sextile SATURN 1x, SUN opposite SATURN 1x

      Each artist has strong Taurus and/or Libra, and a prominent Venus and/or Saturn– a little water thrown in there, too. No doubt, Neptune/Pisces surely plays a role, too, as does any water sign. That said, it’s certainly worth mentioning is SCORPIO/PLUTO, too, because I think art can be intimidating to do, it requires a level of fearlessness, and it’s about transformation, digging deep — the artist transforms that which is within themselves into something new. And, of course, art may be mysterious (especially to the artist as it unravels!), raw, taboo, intense, unnerving, disturbing, meant to break down barriers or expose something. Picasso is a Scorpio with Moon opposite Pluto, Netter has Saturn square Pluto and Di Vinci is Sun square Pluto — I think that must have helped them all as they stood before a blank canvas.

      I hope that helps!

  9. This is coming up faster than I realized. My oldest is a sophomore in HS. After he graduates, the other two follow in rapid succession – not quite four years separates Mr. Cap and Baby Scorp.

    It’ll be a shock for sure, but I adjusted well to the shock of having three kids in just under four years!

  10. Do I ever feel your pain. My goal in life was to be a mother and I loved having my little bitties but now they are ever so much bigger than I am. I did my job right and they are very independent . I wish I could do it all over again and do it better the second time, of course! I console myself with that…I did a good job and I have “graduated”! They are all launched. But I get that feeling of “Now what?” I have to think that nothing else will come close to comparing to accomplishing my goal of being a good mother.

  11. Avatar
    Louise Hutchinson

    My heart goes out to u Elsa, I feel it won’t b long before my son Chiron spreads his wings. I have moon in Scorpio and it has just been him and me since he was 9 and the only man I allowed to take on a father role disappeared, we are very close and there is no other family, just us. But, as we know, when you love someone you set them free….time to expand my Stellium in Aquarius even more so! And time to end my celibacy of the last 9 years….I guess for all of us there will b more time to give to the things that matter to us even though we will always be the mum!

  12. How sad it is!
    Nothing sadder than my 2 darlings leaving, especially my last, who left the house echoing with her laughter. ): As MoonChild w Taurus Moon, Id say that was my best job, hardest job, most fun I ever had! Bar none…
    Be glad for your soldier!

  13. It’s weird that I’ve been thinking about this lately and you write something about it. But that happens a lot so I don’t know why I’m surprised. I guess the fact that my son is only 9 and I suddenly started to mentally prepare for his leaving:) A part of me relishes the thought of all that freedom and all that time to myself. It’s been difficult. But a part of me never wants him to leave. I think no matter what, we will always be close but there’s no doubt that growing up with me is probably pretty heavy for him. I’m excited to see him spread his wings and shine in the world. I Think I’ll be ok. There’s lots that I want to do. Lots of things I want to study. Lots of places I want to go. We both have scorpio moons.

  14. My 19 year old wants to move out. My 24 yr old won’t leave his room. I so want them gone to spread their wings – it’s too limiting in our house as is, and the lack of money makes things stuck.

  15. (((((((((((Elsa))))))))))))

    For me personally it was devastating because neither of them left to go to college. When my libra left we were still close and he came back home for another 2 years. We never were mad at each other. He is so balanced and sweet. He has a Pisces moon and cancer ….. He’s a nice person. And feels the feels like I do.

    When my Gemini left (@16) it was a knock down drag out. He left for freedom to his dad he hardly knew and destroyed his grade point average assuring a spot in a local junior college as apposed to a state university we had worked toward. It was devastating. He made bad decisions and partied. I was heart broken in every way you can be. The silence in my home was deafening.

    I stayed home with him until he was in school all day. Nursed. Did all the Mother Earth things you do when you know it’s your last shot at raising a human being. He was such a good baby. Stellar child and student, then…..he turned 16 and I didn’t recognize him.

    There was nothing I could do. I had to deal with it and I was emotionally destroyed. He will never understand what it did to both of us. It limited his options in life and caused me to avoid letting anyone get that close to me again. I feared I would die from a broken heart. He is a Gemini with a Leo asc and an aqua moon. He will never understand me emotionally. The thing that patched it up was him having Scorpio moon. I know my son loves me but not like his daughter does. She’s a healer.

    I adore both of my children but my oldest is a better person than the youngest if you are measuring it by matters of the heart.

    No other human on this earth has hurt me as deeply as my youngest son. Deep scars. I would still die for him and give him my last dollar. But….. There is a lot of unresolved pain attached to this relationship. I worked so hard to get it right and failed miserably. He is a good man and has apologized for it all. Still, the potential is there…. I know he could steamroll me again…. It won’t happen.

    It all happened over drinking and driving. I took the car. He decided to destroy me and destroyed himself.

    He was only 16. When he apologized years later I told him this….. If people didn’t forgive teenage behavior no one would be talking. It’s over and I love you. But, I will never forget it.

    My empty nest is filled with little girls. I am blessed in ways I’m not sure I deserve. One thing is for sure….. They usually come back home.

  16. Also ….. My Pisces husband held me up or I would have lost my mind. I loved being a mother. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I am thankful for my partner. Watching my child make one mistake after the next was the toughest road I’d ever walked down.

  17. I have 2 kids but they are still little so I look forward to having some freedom. Life is really overwhelming right now but hearing these empty nest stories makes me sad. I look at pics from just 2 years ago and I want to cry because i think how fast time is going. My mom has an empty nest but my sisters and I are over all the time so I’m sure she might not be feeling it as much as some of you. She probably secretly wishes I wasn’t over as much because I go with my rowdy boys. LOL

  18. Hugs to you, Elsa, and to all the mothers who have experienced empty nest. Nineteen years ago, I went from a full house to empty nest within a six month period. My son left for college, my husband decided he needed to go back to college in another State, my daughter moved 800 miles away to escape an abusive boyfriend. Then the piano started sinking through the floor and my nest got torn up to fix 250 square feet of foundation. For that year I lived alone with my piano in the hallway and my livingroom in the kitchen, I was anxious and depressed. But, then I started rediscovering parts of me that had been repressed during years of being the daily wife and mother. I loved those roles, but had lost some of my own self and it was very satisfying to find me again. Wishing you the best in your soul journey.
    I am Libra with 12H Libra moon, Scorpio rising.

  19. My heart aches for women out there, particularly horrible news stories lately involving children. Say a prayer for the mothers who are dealing with the grief of their overwhelming loss, that God be with them in their sorrow.

    Yes, after almost two years of being an empty nester I still experience guilt and longing. My now 20 yr. old son keeps telling me I have to let go. I take pride in doing for him what my own parents would not or could not do for me. I am grateful to be a source of financial help to my child and to have the ability to do so. Cancer ascendant, Pisces Moon conjunct Chiron. I just wish my child was not 5 hrs. drive away, I would really like to visit instead of call him.

  20. (((((Elsa)))))
    Hope you can get a handle on it.

    I’m worried about it, even with cappy moon, it’s my cancer stellium that I think is going to struggle. I’m very close to my girls & hopefully that tight bond we have will remain, even when it’s time for them to try their own wings. I’m already working to deal with myself, but it’s just been kind of my ‘whole’ identity for the last 15yrs. I’m working outside the house now, so there’s something for me (with kids, that I find fulfilling).
    I guess at the end of the day, I’m working to deal with this now, so that when the time comes, I can know that I gave my 200% and all my cardinal will be ready to move (just keep swimming).

  21. Maybe you can foster some children, Elsa? Or potentially adopt. If you long for more, then why not? Age is just a number. You and your husband have got a lot of love to give. I’m going through something similar. My son is transitioning from child to teenager. I feel your pain. (((Hugs)))

  22. My Saturn is conjunct his Ascendant and Jupiter..ugh I feel like a nag sometimes. But his planets are in my 5th house and his own moon in his 4th (I always like seeing that), his Mars conjunct my sun, so I feel like yes, we’re very attached, I’m his main parent, and I will never feel ready to let him go until he gets married to someone I hope can take care of him! I know that sounds retro and sexist but I can’t help it. He’s used to good food and caring. (I have a Pisces moon in the 6th) I do think I have a healthy fear of that situation where the guy never leaves his mother that it wouldn’t happen. But I enjoy his company so much, I truly do. He’s hilarious and we joke constantly. I am with the other moms here that see it as a difficult transition. I will always do what I can for him and that will never change. I have no idea how you deal with it really until you see he’s older, competent and has supportive relationships. Then maybe you breathe a little easier, I don’t know. Hugs, Elsa. (sigh)

  23. Drew and his wife asked me to come stay with them for a while. Not to do the childcare but because the feel a real need of my presence. So if its any consolation, over the years since he left the nest, there have been many lights at then end of the tunnel. This is the latest light! my moon is in Libra in the 8h

  24. Just had my Scorpio daughter leave the nest – last of 3 birds. It is gratifying to have raised 3 responsible, well-mannered offspring into the world, but I agree that I feel a little empty…

  25. WAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!

    It’s been 5 days. I’ve made a trip to deliver stuff today and also brought him an umbrella when I taught yesterday in the next building.

    I saw him walk back to his dorm with his heavy backpack and bag of stuff, kinda skinny and alone. I cried the ride home. He’s relaxed, jokes in texts but it’s very weird. I still just look around and don’t know where to start, still have boxes to unpack and it’s just not efficient the way I like things to be. Feel churned up.


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