Is It My Parents Fault That I Feel Bad?

Hi Elsa,

Greetings from Texas. Do you believe the root of our ingrained negative beliefs or positive beliefs about yourself can be traced back to childhood? Meaning if I am afraid of rejection now it is because of some consistent exposure to behaviors or lack of behaviors of adults closest to me that I formed this belief.

Most therapy is guided by this principle. That we repeat self defeating behaviors based on beliefs that originate in our formative years. Until of course they become clear and we have the resources to make changes. This could be a start to embarking on that journey?

Is negative conditioning shown by adverse aspects to the moon?


Hi, Questioning.  What a great topic! I’ll take your questions one at a time.

Do you believe the root of our ingrained negative beliefs or positive beliefs about yourself can be traced back to childhood? Meaning if I am afraid of rejection now it is because of some consistent exposure to behaviors or lack of behaviors of adults closest to me that I formed this belief.

I don’t think it’s that simple.  People have their own makeup. They also have free will. To believe this is to give parents way too much credit. It suggests that parents can make or break their children. For this theory to be true, it would have to be true, always.  It’s not.

My parents loathed me. Yet here I am, well and widely known to like myself just fine! Maybe even a little too much!

It’s just as common a person has parents who constantly tell them they are fantastic…yet they feel horrible and they have no self esteem.  Explain this using that theory. I don’t think you can.

Is negative conditioning shown by adverse aspects to the moon?

This might be true but I’m not sure how helpful it is to think this way. I grew up with negative conditioning. My moon is well aspected and I’m pretty much happy, all the time.

I’m more inclined to think the aspects to the moon reveal how a person feels, regardless of their upbringing. If I am inclined to feel good, it’s going to take some kind of effort to make me feel bad.

In this way, I think astrology trumps psychology.  You can’t look at a chart and know whether a person will make the best or the worst of what they have to work with. But what they have to work with is revealed.  Which brings me back to where I started: we’re all individuals, who have free will.

Our parents are also individuals who have free will.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Readers, please weigh in!

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41 thoughts on “Is It My Parents Fault That I Feel Bad?”

  1. If I had to base on my own experience I’d answer affirmatively to pretty much every question. My Moon is basically butchered, and I had to struggle with negative conditioning and bad parenting (I would also take planets in the 4th House into account, by the way).
    However I also think it’s important to look at the Chart as a whole. For instance, again basing on my personal facts because they’re the ones I know best, I have a rather complex Chart with a Cardinal Grand Cross and a lot of Chiron + Moon. Others might have more “compressed” Charts with less tension. Maybe seeing the overall makeover of a Chart can give a hint as to how easily does the person process all the conditioning endured through childhood.

  2. Elsa, I love your perspective on this! It was and is astrology that makes everything click for me as far as understanding myself and others. No amount of counseling gets to the nitty gritty motivations that drive us from within like knowledge of our nature. Some very prominent psychologists concur!

  3. I whole heartily agree with Elsa on this. I think also there is this karmic circle of events, perhaps introduced to an individual through the parental units that in owns on free will must advertently overcome. Its almost like ones guiding light. Like, see this, this is what will deem you. Rise above and you’ll meet your true self.

  4. I would like to believe that any adverse aspects show us the way out of or beyond self defeating behaviors. My thinking is along the lines of jeez this or that hurts, why am I doing this or that. Banging my head into the wall until I’ve had enough of it.

    The only similar or at least I similar to this thing I’ve read is that low self esteem can have to do with sun semisquare venus. ???

    And if mom happens to be the one to deliver the message to the recipient, then kill the messenger. The thing is as a kid, a person is stuck in the repetitive relationship because the child is dependent on the parent so I suppose it could become ingrained. But you know, you turn 6 (in my day) and you go into a bigger world of education and spend time away from the home and that’s opportunity to begin to see different worlds and ways of being. blah blah blah.

  5. Oh and small towns can be different, more limited by cultural norms. Look to the weirdos, that’s what I did. Or maybe I was the weirdo. 😀

  6. Oh yeah, I was the weirdo. Like my siblings complained, you stand up to mom and dad and they still love you. It’s not fair. But what they did not know is that is was not easy either. Like I said yesterday, pluto square saturn. Wait a minute bucko, I don’t think so. I’ve had to become more graceful at declining so’s I don’t start wars.

  7. hi Elsa,i totaly agree with you.after all it’s our own chart-:).but sometimes if we have issues to solve about our own position about family we may grow up in a family that trigger us, so that we’d be more conscious about!!! i have saturn retrograde conjuct moon in 10th house opposite a capi sun and a versus mercury in 4th house and the whole is part of a t-square from uranus in the 1st!!! i always had family issues but it would be too easy to accuse my parents for. my brother grew up in the same family and he never felt the same oppression i did. i definetely think that is a real personal trip!!! my parents just made short of reminding me in every occasion lol!!! kisses from France

  8. Feeling bad is in the astrology and might be fed by the conditioning. The astrology is why you feel the way you do. In my case, the villain of my chart causing similar feelings to yours is my neptune square the midheaven. I now have to find a way to overcome this placement in a positive way. It is my purpose in life to do so I suppose. I believe it is there for a reason but it has been hard to deal with this. I think that in the end I will win the fight.

  9. I love everyone’s perspectives. I’ve been thinking about this lately- about how I always blamed my parents, especially my mom for my issues. It took me until now, at 31 years old to accept responsibility for myself. And now I appreciate my mom and I never thought Id actually say that and mean it. No one is perfect and everything can be forgiven.

    1. Interesting Mermaid, How did you get to this place? I am slowly sliding into my 30’s and do realize some of the identification with what they did or didnt do is not adequate or healthy for me as an adult. I have made progress lately and I am proud of the changes I have been able to make but I see that there is quite a bit more to handle.

      1. It was a long process actually, mostly spiritual I think. I have Venus and mars in Aries in the 9th house. I think I started with acknowledging the oneness of all things and looking closely at the mirrors around me. When I saw this I knew I couldn’t blame anyone but myself. I knew that forgiveness would be the only way to move past my issues in order to live in my truth and be who I’m meant to be. Everytime I would start to blame, I would pychoanalyze myself relentlessly. The step that really changed the way I viewed her was actually talking to her and being honest… I stopped being defensive because I dont need to be. I realized I’m not a child and I have no reason to be defensive. I realized my mom is way more wise than I ever gave her credit for and that she is probably the one and only person who will never give up on me and even though I might not like or agree with what she says she really has my best intrest at heart, even if it is biased toward her own reality of truth. I realized the more I talked to her as an adult, without the defensivelness of a child, the more she respected me and vice versa. So it was taking the practical step to actually speak up for myself and be extremely honest. I told her everything about my marital affair and her reaction was so non judgemental and so different from what I had expected, from that point forward I knew I could tell her anything.

        1. I realize that everyone has a different situation from mine and some scars are harder to heal than others, some relationships can’t be repaired, etc… I still believe forgiveness is possible even for the most horrendous tresspasses. While I do take small pride in finally jumping through this hoop, considering I used to be at the lowest point in my life when Saturn was in scorpio, I try not to let myself elevate myself to the point of self-righteousness (eww)- I just hope my little bit of experience gives someone, anyone reading it a glimmer of hope. I Honestly have a very verrryyy long way to go. In all honesty, even though I have finally jumped through this one hurdle, I have many more in front of me. I am still not living my truth. Hopefully with the help from God and Saturn in Sag ;), I can truely learn the meaning of humility. I cannot WAIT for the future! Good luck to everyone.

  10. I have saturn in scorpio conjunct pluto in libra on my Ic and they oppose venus. I didn’t feel loved on so many levels. Plus i have neptune on my south node square my sun/moon conjunction in pisces in the 8th house. My parents divorce devastated me. I blamed projected all kinds of evil. But now I see things for what they are- I see that without these experiences i wouldn’t be motivated to build the kind of love I want and need. The kind of family I want. And without the experiences, Id never appreciate how strong I am for building these things from nothing.

  11. I never felt that I was welcome to this world and childhood was so hard to survive – I was just being crushed, silenced. Moon conjunct Saturn conjunct South Node square Neptune. Had to calm down my parent to avoid agression. Being the angel for this family.

  12. I agree with Elsa. The way I interpret the Moon is that it represents the mother or maternal female energy/figure in my life. Saturn is the father. My chart has the Moon in Pisces, always accurately described by Elsa or Satori – love of music, romantic, prone to white lies, etc. But, one of the aspects it makes, is an opposition to Mars conjunct Pluto, both in Virgo, on either side of my IC.

    Ironically, my mother has the same Moon (in Pisces) but at a later degree. And, with other aspects taken into consideration, she definitely exhibited the energy from that opposition more than my father did. She was very critical of me growing up. And, still, to this day continues to be. She’s also a Sun in Virgo. That sign tends to be “picky” with a tendency to let you know it, to put it nicely.

    But, where would we be without Virgo’s on the planet? Who would do the accounting? And number crunching? And banking? :).

    Now the only aspect my Saturn in Capricorn makes, is a trine to Venus in Taurus. And, my dad, who had a Moon in Libra, but was also a Capricorn Sun, was very supportive and loving to me while I was growing up.

    So, it was good parent, bad parent. I took this out in therapy for years, and was diagnosed with having that duality internalized within me. And, it’s true, I do. Some days I feel I can conquer the world, and others, I feel like the bad child that my mother saw me as, and still does.

    I’ll end with this though, my cousins who had strict and non-strict parents, who steadfastly remained the same for their entire lives, came out very differently from one another. And it carried on into their marriages and families. The confident ones became super successful, in spite of the parent’s strictness. And, the other ones, in the same family, turned into alcoholics and divorcee’s and had problem children. It seems like if the charts of the children and the parent’s mesh, great. If not, it’s hard to watch.

    This subject fascinates me to no end. But I read a lot of books on esoterics, and the belief is that we pick our parents. And, that’s why there exists favorite children and not so favorite children within the same family unit. You’re working out heavy duty karma with your parents and your siblings, partners, children.

    And, just from the charts that I’ve seen, aspects to the Moon and to Saturn determine a lot of how the relationship with the mother and father turns out to be.

    Awesome topic!

  13. Interesting. My parents were strict, alcohilic father, I’m the scapegoat, in fight with my mom at 15 she told me she wished she had aborted me. I still don’t blame them for my issues. You get to be a certain age and it’s your issue to fix. However, my childhood was not horrific like many, so I cannot assume it should be so easy for everyone. My first house Virgo moon hits nearly everything in my chart (along with Pluto and Uranus).

    Virgo moon, yes, I did feel my mother was very critical growing up (my view). My Saturn is opposite my AC in Pisces. My father was often gone a lot, working, sports or drinking, so I see absence.

    Still, my issues are MINE to deal with. 🙂

    1. Hi allie120, just curious do you have a 12th house Sun?Just curious because I do and I also have a Virgo Moon (conj. PLuto ) and my mother was also very critical (but equally loving, also my opionion) and a father who was emotionally absent as I grew older and I couldn’t sit on his knee anymore and also a heaving drinker. Interestingly, now that mom has passed, he and I are needing to spend a lot of time together, but he still does not ask me anything about myself. He is a Pisces. He will say things out of the blue though that make me go “eh? He was paying attention to that?” when I thought he was just totally detaching or in his own world. One thing I am learning though Pisces is very dualistic indeed. He is SO sweet and then can say the meanest things about people. Anyway, your are right, the issues are just ours to deal with 🙂

      1. I’m a 5H sun in Aquarius. I have read in some places (and Gio’s comment above reminded me) about the moon being how you viewed your mother (whether she actually was that way or not). Maybe it has to do with your needs. I feel better and need someone who might help me without being so flippantly critical and that’s how I saw her. She wasn’t bad, just not what I was hearing from her the way I needed to hear it. She also controlled all the info and communications in the family because of my dad. My dad and I actually had good, deep talks when he was present. When he got sober he would lament and lament about not being there when we were growing up. But I said that was past and this is now so let’s move ahead.

        It’s interesting because I guess a 12H sun would make you question your SELF and the prominent people in your life growing up did not make you feel that way. It sounds like your dad is picking up lots and lots of things the way Pisces do, sort of like osmosis of feelings from everyone else. It could be overwhelming. I’m glad you’re getting to know him!

  14. Neptune in Capricorn conjunct the 4th house cusp.

    I don’t know what the hell to do with my life. But it does trine my Sun in Virgo in 12th house and Pluto in Scorpio helps as well. I was described once as ‘someone who like to mend broken wings’. I don’t want to tout my horn, but I do like to help people get on their way.
    But I’d like to thank my parents for all the nurturing and close family I have, yet no direction as to what the hell to do, or what or who I am!!!

    1. I do not necessarily know who I am or what to do either. I oftentimes feel lost at sea but I have learned a lot lately from saturn in scorpio about who I am not. I think knowing who you are not is just as good as who you are in an obscure kind of way. It sounds to me as though you have healing and facilitating qualities in your makeup. That is a good thing.

    2. Hey you guys, performing a function in life is important. It’s harder to pinpoint cuz it doesn’t photograph in no selfie. Don’t underestimate what you do. Being unnameable, I think it’s okay. But man oh man do we have to dig further into our charts to find it.

  15. I absolutely agree, the natal chart shows what we work with.
    For example, my Moon is in Aquarius, my mom is a Capricorn and she raised me how she knew best. Therefore, I always say my mom is my business partner, maybe a bit of a friend too, but she is my most trust-worthy business partner, that’s how we work. My sister has a Leo Moon and she was pissed all her life mom did not pay enough attention to her – this is how they didn’t work.
    At one point I pressured mom into adjusting herself a little bit in order to accommodate my sister’s attention need but my sister’s problem was only put on hold for a brief moment, after which it came back – so even if you do get what you want, the problem still persists. No matter what her parents do, she still blames them for everything that’s wrong.

  16. Wow, so well put.
    Describing difference between what you’re given and what you do with it, a very good analysis and Elsa a great working example!
    I’ve only recently been thinking about my parents’ influence on my way of thinking/feeling about myself. The many contributions on this site give me a wider perspective. It seems a lot of people here have had really abusive chilhoods, I am amazed at the intensity and proportions! I feel like I was raised at Disneyland, compared to this.
    For my part didn’t have a horrible childhood at all, but one of Elsa’s posts about shadow parents really had a lightbulb effect.
    My moon in 4th is opposite Sun, Saturn abd Pluto. My mother was somewhat absent when I was little (I’ve always considered this to be a good thing!), and materialized when I turned 13. Boy, that was not a comfortable thing. (And she was Virgo – agree with Gio – can be quite criticising…) But she also had Pluto opp Moon, so that explains some. I now believe this was not comfortable for her either. I don’t blame her for anything, just tryin to understand. I’d like to find peace about this “non-relationship”. It does leave an empty spot, but I hadn’t realized it.
    Thanks for astrology (and astrologers and people who share their knowledge), it helps.

  17. Yes, I think Moon aspects have a lot to with how other people treat you and how your own family treats you. I have Moon opposite Saturn, so it seems like I have to go around my elbow to get to my thumb with many things. My ex-husband used to tell me that I had a harder time at life than most people and neither one of us understood why (at the time). My SIL recently told me that I’m very hard on myself. It just seems like other people have an easier life than mine, but I’m not sure if that’s just my way of seeing things. I also have Moon square Venus and Midheaven. Also, my father died from carbon monoxide when I was 2 or 3, but thankfully my GM took my mom, older brother and me into her country home and we lived there until I was about 8. That was truly the best part of my life and whatever bad happens, I remember how loving my childhood was (I have Pisces IC in 4H, too).

  18. Hi Elsa,

    Interesting subject. I think any natal aspect between the moon and the 3 transpersonal planets, even positive ones, will affect the moon person negatively, especially reg the relationship to her mother. Adverse natal aspects to IC might be a serious burden, too. Best reg Eva

  19. I must totally agree this is a most interesting topic. I agree with Elsa that because we have free will it is totally up to each individual to make of themselves what they can. That said I also believe that the human mind is very capable of far more than most people allow it to become (free will again). A great many people buy into the conditioning they are brought up with witch is allowing others to make your choices for you until those are the choices you make and think they are your own (brainwashing) which negates the free will.

  20. I think my father is a very good example of this in a way. I’m not sure of his birthday or even year. We think its either 1962 or 1963. And we are sure its in July and he has atleast the sun in cancer. Regardless he have either Mars conjunct Pluto or Mars square Pluto. And he has been abused really hard as a kid until he run away at the age of 17. His father, (my grandfather) was a sadist and a horrible beater. He would tie my father down and beat him either with his hands or with a belt etc, whenever my father had “missbehaved”.

    So shouldn’t my father be a sadist as an adult? A beater? No he has never beaten me nor my 3 brothers ever! Well ok once, he did flick my arm with a very small tree branch when I was 8 and had run away on a picnic day to a horse pen because I really loved (and still love animals). He was scared I would walk into the horses and that I would be kicked by them. So he was scared and upset when they couldn’t find me.

    Later on when we came home he hugged me and started to cry because he hurt me. it wasn’t bad but anyway, he was very regretful. Other then that he has never been abusive. He has other bad traits on the other hand, for ex he is not much emotionally avaible. And when he gets angry or disappointed he will use the silent treatment (cancer sun and maybe a stellium).

    Once when I was a teenager, we didn’t talk for a whole year! It was because of me too, I was too pride, and he too, so.

    So yes, it’s up to the person how to behave with what they have, free will.

    And I have Pluto oppo Sun. Some say it can mean one have an abusive father. In my case, I have a father that himself was systematically abused.

    1. Most definitely, your experiences in past lives can shape your attitude toward things in this life…I have seen this in regressions.

      1. anonymoushermit

        Whether past lives are true, or not. I was thinking in the lines of, if they are true, that like maybe in a past life, or lives, you were betrayed, so you wouldn’t be as open and warm to people as you were in that particular past life.

  21. Some people have more impressionable make-ups and are more easily influenced by their parents and general environment than others. But blaming parents is not useful. You have to figure out how to get past your “past” and move on….regardless.

    1. anonymoushermit

      I agree on not blaming the parents. But some situations are severe. Like molestation, physical abuse, and bullying.

      I get getting help and taking care of things, but some parents are truly heinous. I’m not saying a person should go around talking about their parents 24/7, but some things affect children, even until they’re 60 years old.

  22. There are levels, and there are levels. Some forms of parental abuse may be overt and dramatic, while others may be more insidious and subtle. I agree with Elsa that the way a particular individual absorbs and responds to whatever circumstances they are dealt has as much to do with their own personal makeup (i.e., their chart) as anything their parents might inflict on them, whether intentionally or inadvertently. Perhaps the greatest damage is done when early patterns of behavior developed in childhood as defensive reactions to the abuse remain unconscious, and therefore continue to be played out in later life without the individual’s awareness of what is driving the defensive behavior or emotional reaction. The process may be painful, but if the original wound can be brought to consciousness, examined and recognized for what it is, it often can be released and healed, bringing forgiveness of the parents, and of the self.

  23. My Pisces Moon conjunct Chiron is opposed by Uranus/Mercury/Pluto in Virgo. Moon/Chiron trine Scorpio 4th house Neptune. Leo Sun opposed Saturn.

    I was raised in a chronic state of shame and violence. My dad was drunk when he was home, beat my mom to a pulp and got into fights at bars. Drove around with a baseball bat in his car and left me in the car to go inside the strip club “To say hello to the ladies”. I was very young, somewhere between 5 and 8. My mom was severely addicted to a dangerous prescribed narcotic muscle relaxant and she was literally in a semi comatose state much of the time as she did not work. My older sister and I had zero guidance and we were constantly abused by boys and men who could tell a mile away that nobody was going to protect us. My dad regarded us with a sense of shame, he always shamed us and ridiculed us. I honestly do not recall ever being held up to be admired or felt proud of. This was compounded by mothers mom, my elderly grandmother who I can only best describe as a “Rageaholic”. She was stone cold sober but she was just chronically angry and she would just berate the hell out of us. She too always instilled the shame, she would shame me about my dad and she would shame me about how much better my cousins were and what a terrible child I was. It was surreal and it was real.

    I am 55 and I battle my shame every single damned day. I raised a son on my own, I raised him the exact opposite of how I was raised and guess what, he is a complete success story. I let him make his own choices and I told him that I trusted him. He is completely comfortable with yelling at me, I just wait quietly for him to calm down and I try not to take it personally. I think my son feels he can tell me anything or ask me anything if he needs help. Sometimes I balk at the help, it usually involves something expensive and my income is limited. He always reminds me of how much he has accomplished and how much he does all by himself, that brings me around and I somehow find a way to help him out. I am just grateful that he knows how to navigate in the world so much better than I do, and how grateful I am that I did not pass along the horrible dysfunction I had been raised with into his life. Seeing my son grow up is a constant reminder of how f’ed up my own upbringing was and how crucial it is for parents to love their child unconditionally.

  24. I think you overcome and discard negative messages from your parents as you go through life and have some achievements…Your chart may well show this progression, at least mine does.

  25. All I really have to say is yes, astrology is a good route of study to cure the yucks. I had to go through my stuff to appreciate what I came in to. I realized it was all part of becoming who I am. It’s like the chironic wounding thing, once I got over what wasn’t, oh poor me, I realized that it was integral to being where I am now. And believe it or not, I am thankful about that.

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