Astrology, Nature, Nurture and Free Will

Dorothy asks on “Insanity Trumps Astrology”:

“Yeah but……if someone looks at the astrology chart to discover personality traits, is that not the whole nature/nurture argument? Someone with a difficult chart, who had a fairly nurturing environment, vs. someone who did not? Or are we saying that the astrology chart also determines more than just the personality, but everything else in that person’s life (parents, siblings, friends, economic background, education), etc? Someone with a mother who saw that their child needs therapy, intervention, vs. someone who got no such help?”

Dorothy – sometimes it’s not the parent. Some people who are horrible and/or under-perform have parents who are adequate, if not better than that. They still make the choices they make.

Others come from nothing or very poor conditions. They manage to be excellent people anyway. A chart shows what you’ve got to work with but ultimately people have free will.

I have been on my own since I was fifteen years old. I had to come up from homeless when there was no such thing as a “homeless shelter” or a free meal. I am far happier than most.

In contrast there are people out there who have had nothing but non-stop help for years and in some case they’ve had help for decades. They still do nothing with their lives.

The way I see it, a person is dealt their cards but how they play them is entirely up to them over time. There is not much you can do when you’re ten, but when you’re thirty (post the Saturn Return)? Assuming an able mind and body, I consider you completely responsible for the conditions of your life whatever they may be.

Again, astrology shows what you’ve got to work with, not what you’re going to do.

22 thoughts on “Astrology, Nature, Nurture and Free Will”

  1. Oohhh goody a blog!!! (clapping hands, lol). I agree with you most definitely about personal responsibility. I guess what I am asking are there those astrologers who say they can determine what one’s life circumstances were/are from their chart, or simply what their personality tendencies are? Or what choices they are likely to make/have made? Sorry if I am not making my question clear.

    1. Dorothy, I don’t think an astrologer can determine what one’s life *circumstances* are going to be. That’s akin to fortune telling. For instance, if one has a difficult natal signature involving Venus, like a grand square involving Chiron, Neptune and Saturn, we can certainly say that the native is going to *draw to him* circumstances that activate the grand square and he will have the choice (even though it won’t feel like it to him, most likely) to either feel disillusioned, rejected and wounded, or to try to develop a different perspective. However, it’s likely that until after the first Saturn return, people feel they are a victim of circumstance. In the case of small children up until late teen, I could agree with that, but after a certain time, you have to start making choices about how you’re going to react. But for an astrologer to say “here’s what is going to happen to you (circumstances) at ___ age, I really feel that’s in the realm of psychic stuff, or fortune-telling, and most astrologers I know don’t go around predicting certain events. OK, now that I’ve said THAT… I will tell you that I predicted that a certain circumstances would happen to my son (that either his mother or father would die), I was certain of this to the extent that I prepared a will and wrote letters to my children because I thought it was going to be me. Turns out, it was my ex (father of my son) who got ALS and died. But that was a total FLUKE. I would NEVER tell a client that someone was going to die. Or, for that matter, any kind of negative situation would “happen”. I would, however, tell them that there is energy that can be destructive, to be on watch, to make good choices, etc.

  2. I think charts can show certain tendencies and my research supports that. But I am talking about a combination of about 20 different variables and it is too complex to describe here. I am not even going to give any teasers because I’m afraid someone might say “oh I have that and that and that” does that mean I will be a troubled person. Not necessarily, but perhaps the odds are greater. My research supports that. ((I do not have a sample group which has studied unusually high functioning or unusual resilient or happy people.)) However, even if someones chart fits my model 100% (highly unlikely) that does not mean that every chart which fits the model to a T is going to produce a troubled person over a happy person (for example). Of course there is free will.

    I do think that most astrological readings talk about a lot more than personality tendencies, many many many people want readings which offer, for example, some of the stressors (or benefits) linked to the upcoming year (or whatever). Lots of people want that, some astrologers do it quite well. There is a place for it.

  3. For example – I was once watching a documentary about the middle-east, and how we all know, the women are not allowed to show their faces, or their bodies. And I thought about astrology, how one of those women was like me, Leo, Scorp Rising, Scorp Moon, or any number of strong astrological tendencies, and I wondered how in the hell do they suppress their personality, and accept walking behind some man, hiding themselves. So of course culture comes into play, and again, what is stronger, personality vs environment, or would there be something in her chart also showing an oppressive environment? Oh crap I hope I am making some sense here, hard to express it.

  4. “or would there be something in her chart also showing an oppressive environment?”

    You are assuming she feels oppressed when she may feel glee beneath that veil. She may love the living shit out her husband and be thinking of sex.

    In other words, what oppression??

    Then someone could be living here – freedom in all directions yet they feel oppressed..

  5. I haven’t had it particularly easy and was out of home at 14 – I believe in free will but also that we may learn from the type of environment, lifestyle and people that we are around. We can use what our strengths are or become victims – but whatever happens is just that – it’s happened and do we know anything different? Probably not…..

    I hope that makes sense?

  6. I have a cap moon which for me was expressed early with a controlling, withholding mother. my daughter has a cap moon so I try to be very conscious about how I nurture/control her. I like to think that while she may encounter the same energy in me that I’m am expressing it in a more fruitful way. I hope I am anyway.

  7. You guys that turned out to be a great article in TMA on research into what differentiates divorced couples from long term married couples.

    Moon to Sun or Sun to Moon – either an opposition or conjunction


    Mars to Venus or Venus to Mars – either an opposition or conjunction

    Couples who have both of these things are statistically significantly less likely to divorce.


  8. Hi Elsa – I’m always reading this blog – nearly everyday – when I can get a break from work….
    You read for me about a month ago – 37 yr old Aussie studying psychotherapy?
    By the way – I love your work!

  9. I love the nature vs nurture debate.

    I was out of my house briefly at 13 and for good at 15. I have a cap moon. I never got any parenting/guidance even about the most basic stuff – essentially went through the school of hard knocks & made every mistake therein giving credence to the saying ‘ even negative attn is still attn’. Amazing I didn’t wind up inreform school

    At 26 I just did a complete 180. I got a job in a place with achievers and guess what, I found out that I could out achieve anyone at almost anything just by sheer force of will and it was much more fun getting attn by being at the top of the heap than the bottom.

    No coincidence that my name here is MzScarlett (for Mz O’hara)’who dug potatoes with her hands, made clothing out of curtains and went on to out achieve and fool them all (except in love sadly). I guess you can say I clean up pretty good when I decided to.

    My parenting style was do 100 percent opposite of what was done to me. Result – very confident, secure, sometimes ‘clueless/entitled’ 21 y.o. kinda guy. We will see.

  10. “I try to be very conscious about how I nurture/control her”

    I think awareness and/or experience of how that feels for you is half the battle. On the same theme, my Dad once said that the greatest gift he gave me was my freedom – and all I wanted was protection and to feel safe!

  11. I couldn’t agree with this blog more. I am one of those who took longer than I should have to come into my own and I believe waiting for help is what hindered me. It just wasn’t coming. Wasted years and energy . But as I have always said we all grow and learn at our own paces and having moved so many times (22 different schools both foreign and domestic before the age of 17) can add, and did, a multitude of other issues that had to be resolved first. It’s just been since I have lived in the same place for more than 3 years that I have been able to figure things out and come to a good place of understanding myself. I take total responsibility for all my actions but it didn’t mean that I knew how to fix them. Now I see much more clearly.

  12. In some ways I’ve been too protected, but I started to make significant changes just before my Saturn Return.

    I’ve always told my mother, that I’ve been responsible for my own life since I was a teen – that nothing in my adult life is her fault.

  13. Eswentially, I believe people experience things differently according to natal charts.

    For example, I was in a youth home for over ten years from ages 16 to 18. It was a place with surveillance cameras, staff who delighted in humiliating us, arbitrary rules and arbitrary treatment. Just like any prison tv show really. Some kids felt they deserved it, some just didn’t give a shit and laughed it off, one particular person murdered a member of the staff. I felt seething bitterness and anger about the unfairness of it all. I hated everyone “on the outside” who had better lives and better circumstances. I hated how we were treated like a pack of animals and told we were always going to be pieces of shit no matter what we ty.

    However, I also grew into some power there. I was the only one out of over 30 kids who were allowed to attend the local high school. Eventually, I was always the first to be in the food line, and not one person was allowed to eat before me. I had a pack of “followers” who made sure no one would offend me. Even the staff treated me better than they treated other kids. I did what I had to do to survive and to get into that position. Proper prison tv show in hindsight, unfortunately it was my life then.

    So this is how I experienced it, some kids took it better and some worse. I have a stellium in Capricorn and Pluto was transiting my Sag Sun during those two years.

  14. From what I’ve seen, none of us are perfect. If we were, we wouldn’t need to be here on the planet. Since we are, we are here to grow, learn and learn from mistakes (ours and others), If everything was predetermined, there would be no need for us to go through live.

    I’ve held this view for many decades, so I don’t believe that it’s a “phase”! 😉

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    I believe in taking responsibility for your life decisions no matter how harsh a hand you were dealt as a child, but to say someone is “doing nothing with his/her life” is the observer’s opinion of what they consider nothing. When I look at former holier-than-thou friends who brag about being workaholics beyond the point of necessity, all I can think is: “You can keep your empire of dirt.” Not knocking the value of hard work, just the “Look at how much better I am than you because I stay late at the office even when I don’t have to” attitude.

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    The person I knew who did this complained endlessly about all the work dumped on her shoulders but the truth is she chased it. And I think it infuriated her that I refused to compete with her for the hardest worker medal so she expressed her anger with sanctimonious judgement. Buh-bye.

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