Family Trouble: I Grew Up In A Religious Home, I Now Study Astrology

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Hi Elsa,

I am having trouble relating to my sisters. I talk to them all very superficially, but I feel I cannot be myself around them. We grew up in a religious home (evangelical Christians) but I am not religious. I curse like a trucker, I am pro-choice, I hang out with all kinds of wacky people, and I love my queer friends.

I get very depressed when I hang out with my sisters because I feel like there is something wrong with me – that I am cold, that I don’t tell them anything about myself, that I can’t BE MYSELF because obviously I do not tell them anything about my life. I left home at 16 because of a huge myriad of reasons, all leading to me wanting to feel free to be myself.

I feel as though I am a failure because I cannot be myself – or really be true to myself – when I talk to my sisters. I really feel like I hide who I am. And I feel lonely and isolated and wondering how I can learn to be myself around my sisters like I am with my friends. I feel like I am missing out on family.

The more I explore spirituality, the more depressed and isolated I feel: my sister came over for a night and I had to hide all of my astrology books because I couldn’t bear the theological argument. Even just the “I’m praying for you” crap that makes me feel like a complete and utter failure.

Sorry to be so dramatic. I just think that these people aren’t assholes or bad, so I want to get along with them. I feel like a phony. The last time I stood up for what I believed in there were serious repercussions which hurt for a long time.

Anyhoot. Thanks for any insight you may offer.

Isolated Sister

Dear Sister,

Your problem is terrifically complicated but also very simple. First the conundrum: Mercury rules “siblings” and yours is highly stressed. It’s involved in a T-square with Uranus and Saturn which plays about million ways. Like this:

Rebel (Uranus) against your siblings (Mercury)… and vice versa.
Oppressed / Restricted /Rejected (Saturn) by your sibs (Mercury)… and vice versa.

And I could go on and on. These things go ’round and ’round, bing, bang, bing like a pinball machine. And although there are positive ways for these energies to express, this is an advanced game, beyond the scope of what can be addressed on this blog. So leaving that be, I would advise you to focus first on something much simpler. The basic way you’re living that is, because this is what is causing most your symptoms anyway.

See, you’ve got a Capricorn Moon. And Capricorn cannot thrive until and unless they are living completely above board. You must live with integrity or else… well in the case of the Sun in Capricorn, life without integrity is a dismal failure. In the case of a Capricorn Moon, you are going to be depressed! So you get my drift. It is you responsible for your depression and you who can fix it.

And your Sagittarius rising echoes this theme. Sagittarians are all about what they believe. And who are you if you are concealing your “religion” (or lack of) courtesy your fear of being rejected (Capricorn) by your family (Moon)?

I vote that you express yourself. Live free and let the chips fall. Because I’m telling you, your relationship with your sibs is going to be taut regardless. But at least this way you’ll have integrity, and with your Sagittarius standing proud I bet your mood improves.

Good luck.


7 thoughts on “Family Trouble: I Grew Up In A Religious Home, I Now Study Astrology”

  1. Great advice a s always, Elsa. Seems like Isolated was taking full responsibility for her problem from the get-go. Being a Sadge Sun it is imperative to me to “Be true to thine ownself” and I agree that she will never find peace until this is accomplished.
    “The more I explore spirituality, the more depressed and isolated I feel: my sister came over for a night and I had to hide all of my astrology books because I couldn’t bear the theological argument. Even just the “I’m praying for you” crap that makes me feel like a complete and utter failure.”
    WOW! My sisters are so much like Isolateds. They were terribly embarrased when I brought my Astrology book to my Doctor Appointments to read while in the waiting room. They believed that people would shun me if they saw what I read! No….they were only projecting their fears onto others. I am totally at ease with who I am but they are so uncomfortable in their “skin” that they continually “shed” by projecting.
    This is where her sisters are. THEY are not comfortable with their lives!
    Isolated a failure? ( Audible snort).I think not! She is so totally cool that I am INSPIRED by her determination to live with honesty and integrity. (oh, people who keep saying that they are “praying” for you are usually the ones who need the prayers. I would just tell them that you are praying for them likewise!:)
    As for those sisters whom she believes may judge her for her lifestyle and friendships…..well, how “christian” is that to judge? I think Isolated needs to be PROUD of who she is and how she conducts her life…..WITH honesty. Just think about all the mind control and manipulation that goes on in Religion. Who’s life are you living if you are always following? Yours? Hers? His? They? Them? It’s?
    My advice would be to continue living the life of MY choice ….WITHOUT fear of condemnation even from those we think we need validation from. She would ultimately resent her sisters if she “played” by their rules anyway…. so a vicious cycle ensues.
    Good Luck to Isolated on her Spiritual Journey.

  2. Hello Isolated. You didn’t ask for my input, but I feel compeled to write something because your story is alot like mine. Elsa’s advice was great. You have alot of value for having been able to think for yourself growing up with people that taught you different things, that’s very hard to do. most people never learn to think for themselves. Eventually your sisters might see the Light in you and want to be like you, if only you beleive you are in the right path. My sisters and people around me either respect or are actually begining to become interested in astrology too.
    I come from evengelical background, and used to get the “i’m praying for you”. I think this is easier for me, because i like to shock people a litle, and because i’m used to not having a familly in the normal sense of the word – my friends are my familly. I think in this process, it was important that I was always very sure of what i was doing – when i was evangelical, i was at it 200%, when saturn transited my 4th house, i lost the hability to have faith, over night. and etc, it was very complicated and hurtfull, but i tried hard to respect people that still beleived in God that way, I always knew I was right, and not them, and I should be the one to show them love and tolerance if they couldn’t, and I did. And that’s all it takes for people to start wondering what you have they don’t, and start wanting to be more like you.
    I don’t understand how you can feel like a failure. My advice to you is to love yourself and shine, everything else will fall into place eventually. be sure to find peace within you, not outside. keep up the good work. 🙂

  3. Sister-I can related to your story. I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, and left the religion at 19. My three brothers, who I loved and thought I had good relationships with overall, came over one by one to see me and tell me if I didn’t get back in, they would no longer consider me their sister. They meant it. How’s that for being judged?

    That’s been 22 years ago now. I didn’t get back in, and by and large, my relationships with them never improved much from there. And if I had it to do over again…well, I wouldn’t change a goddamned thing. I am who I am and I live with integrity.

    For me, I think it was important that I did NOT accept their assessment of me as accurate. You are not a failure if you’re being who you really are! In fact, that’s the only way you can be anything but a failure is being true to yourself.

    You hang on to who you are, no matter what your sisters think. You can love them and not agree with them. Their hangups are theirs. Don’t make ‘me yours, too.

    In fact, next time somebody says they’re praying for me, I think I’ll just thank them, and ask if they can put in a good word for me in the next Lotto drawing. 🙂 Peace out.

  4. Wow Elsa, thanks for your words. Kind. And insightful. I actually couldn’t read the comments everyone else wrote the first time round as I was in tears.
    Boo hoo! I feel much better now. And when I came back to them I was really touched and uplifted but you all. I feel armed with some confidence in my little Sagittarius arrow! I have been in a lot of emotional upheaval lately. But there is a limit to how much a person can worry about things.
    What comforted me most about the comments you all left was that you understood the post-religious experience. It’s something that I don’t share with my friends (which is why I feel myself around them, I sadly have a Christian complex–like I am never good enough. But that’s my shizz).
    I had a bad spell last spring. I was making a delivery to a client and it was to a church. And I felt “the feeling.” No, not the God feeling! Just the feeling of being a part of something when watching the cleaner wipe the pews. Or the ladies in the office with their pots of coffee (they always seem to be ladies). And it was like a trigger. I just wept over the fact that I had no church. I felt lacking of a spiritual community. And I felt bereft.
    But I am making inroads, learning more of astrology and other fun stuff. I am also going through a Saturn return right now (I’m 29) with a natal 7th house Saturn, so everything feels like it’s in upheaval some days…
    And if I may endorse something here, Elsa, it’s a book called “Are you getting Enlightened or Losing your Mind?” by a psychiatrist with a beautiful spiritual perspective called Dennis Gersten, MD.
    I signed it out from my library. He calls it a spiritual program for mental fitness. It’s invaluable to me these days, especially as it has a specific consideration for post-organized religion spiritual people.
    It’s invaluable much like this site and much like the kindness shown to me and others on this site by Elsa and the rest of you!

    My little Sag arrow and I thank you!

  5. You should consider sharing some of it with your friends. it was my friends that helped keep me sane on the way out, frankly. and they don’t have to have the same experience to be able to empathize with you, support you, and care about you.

    peace out to you.

  6. I had a very similar situation growing up, and though it presented its difficulties, I’ve worked through this particular problem. I can’t really add much to the very thoughtful comments given above, and as Viviana says, you didn’t ask for my input.

    But I just have to mention something regarding that whole “We’ll pray for you” thing! Even when said by someone who has what they feel are the best intentions for you, this is really very passive aggressive. (Otherwise, there would be no need to SAY it to you; if they believe it will truly help you, they need only go ahead and simply DO it.)

    It’s a way for whomever disagrees with you to “win” any discussion, even if they think they “mean well”: “You don’t know what’s best for yourself, and anyway, what YOU want doesn’t matter: we’re going to ask God to change you whether you want us to or not, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” I like Goddess’ reply about putting in a word for the lotto!

    Best wishes to you, “Sister”!

  7. no wonder about Capricorn, they really do have the strongest integrity, I see it a lot in my Capricorn moon mother, and my Capricorn mother in law, also my grandmother. i really look up to them and am proud of their strength/integrity. they suffered through life but they always rise above.

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