Almost everyone has a “story”. Relatively few of us though, realize there is actually a story behind the story. Our vast ancestral history can provide clues to who we really are, and why. My decision to study Astrology was all about searching for the meaning behind my story. This is a glimpse into the journey.
When my mother passed away a few years ago, I found myself in a state of total loss...a complete void. Not only the loss of my mother, but the loss of the life I had known for 50 years. It was the loss of what my idea of the future would be, but mostly, it was the absolute loss of the meaning in my life. My story had come to a crashing halt.
I was completely adrift and knew I was in a state of very deep grief. Intellectually I knew I had to do something to climb out of it, but emotionally I was stuck. I started looking for answers before I even fully understood the questions. Always the curious sort, I’m a true “Gemini Riser”, and that generally means I have way too many questions for most people to be comfortable with. Add Mercury in Scorpio, which manifests in a determination to dig deep until I find a satisfactory answer, but those answers of course, always lead to more questions. So, I became a voracious reader of many occult topics until I fell into the realm of Astrology.
Within a few months I was fortunate enough to have a reading with a gifted Astrologer which, in a way, ended up saving my life, or at least “my story”. At our first meeting, the only question I was asked is “How can I be of service to you?” While skeptical, I had nothing to lose so I dove in by stating the very real fact that I was having incredible difficulty dealing with the passing of my mother. The exact details of what he said are less important now, but what is hugely significant was the fact that I immediately felt validated and relieved. For the first time in two years, I realized there was nothing really wrong with me…other than a lack of perspective to see things clearly. It was explained to me that the relationship matrix between me and my mother was so powerful, there was no other way I could have felt. Deep grief was a “normal” reaction, though he confirmed there was a lot I needed to work out.
And so it began. My introduction to Astrology had served to pause what had felt like a continually deepening haze of helplessness, and hopelessness. I saw possibilities to learn significant things, and to regain my equilibrium. Through this experience I knew I could help myself, by working through my own processes, to find my way. It was increasingly evident that Astrology offered a way for me to delve into my story, and my ancestry, for clues as to what my life is really all about.
Philosophically, many of us have at least once asked: “Why am I here?”; “What is it that we are meant to do, with the time that we have?” Regrettably, too many of us move through our lives either wishing for something else, or just assume there is nothing more...and, not even venturing to consider the possibilities, or the bigger questions.
Think for a moment...
Have you ever wondered what makes you “tick”? Why certain things in life have been difficult, or challenging, and yet others have seemed inherently easy, or natural? What made some of your relationships work really well, and others fail miserably? Why, or even how, your parents got together? What was their story and what events (other than the obvious) brought you into the world? Who were your ancestors? What were they like? What are the stories of all the people whose lives have been woven into the fabric of who you are? The opportunity to know more about “why you are who you are” is, I think, the story behind your purpose in life.
With a life-long interest in the story of my family, I am fascinated by what we may be able to learn from our ancestors. Genealogy has been a casual interest of mine over the years, but my study of Astrology has rekindled and intensified that interest. Overlaying my family tree with four generations of natal charts has been enlightening to say the least.
Earlier this year I was very fortunate to attend a weekend workshop in London. “Astrology of the Family”, offered by the Faculty of Astrology and facilitated by the wonderful Cat Cox. To emphasize how serious I am about this research, I should share with you that I traveled from Canada to London for a weekend just to attend the workshop. I was not disappointed. The workshop served to confirm my belief that there is so much we can learn and benefit from in doing this kind of research.
Many of us have the birth data for our parents and grandparents, even if it’s only the date and place of birth. The Sun and Moon signs on their own reveal so much about the individual and, once you begin to notice patterns between the generations, a whole new world opens up. That weekend, as we worked through the material and our family charts I had two incredible revelations.
The first related to my parents immigration to Canada. This step seems to have been part of their “reason”, or unique role, in our lineage. Their incredibly brave action provided the opportunity for a much needed break in some long standing family patterns. These negative patterns clearly needed to be resolved having hampered, and even haunted, previous generations.
The second was a sudden and deep understanding of my maternal grandmother and her relationship with my mother. Many questions raised over the years were immediately put to rest. This part of my story I have entitled “Saturnian Strife”. A little background here may be appropriate. My Grandmother had a Capricorn Moon which, as it turns out, is within one degree of my Mother’s Capricorn Sun. And, my Mother’s Capricorn Sun is at the same degree as my own Capricorn Moon. Coincidence? Well, as Astrologers, we know better than that.
When the realization of this pattern struck me it was like a “click, click, click” in my mind as all the connections fell into place.
Family stories have held particular fascination for me throughout my life and I was very fortunate that both my parents readily shared so many of them. It was even luckier for me that I listened intently to those stories. Thus, I knew my mother had a sometimes challenging and complicated relationship with my grandmother. I came to understand that Mum viewed her as somewhat harsh and stern. She considered some decisions taken by her parents to be based on her mother’s uncompromising biases, and boundaries, resulting in some significantly negative family-based repercussions with long lasting effect. Unfortunately, at the age of 23, my mother emigrated to Canada with my father and, never seeing her own mother again, had no opportunity to modify her perspective in the years that followed.
I know first-hand that Capricorn Moons can operate with what I refer to as “managed emotions”. My own experience, living my Moon, allows me some insight into the woman my grandmother was. Not an emotionally demonstrative woman, as her Moon sign suggests, I’m certain this trait was reinforced by having raised seven children during the war years (WWII). Everything I know about my grandmother indicates she had a huge sense of responsibility to do her best to keep her family together and take care of them the best she knew how. Her husband (my grandfather) was a very loving man and, based on the stories I know of him, not surprisingly a Cancer Moon. He also had a very free spirit and, at times, when he’d had enough, he would rebel and go “walk about” with the gypsies. He always came back in fairly short order but I think his wanderer’s heart felt restricted by the Saturnian expression of his wife’s personality. Giving these stories an Astrological backdrop has allowed me to deduce that my grandmother’s perceived “harshness” was really only her trying to do the right things, within the boundaries of convention and her upbringing, to keep her family together. She was the anchor, the disciplinarian, who felt it was her responsibility to keep the family grounded.
Fast forward to the next generation and my mother’s Capricorn Sun. Her approach was slightly different with her Libran Moon. While we always knew she dearly loved her children, all three of us, she was also not often openly demonstrative. While that perhaps speaks more to a typical Moon trait, I do know that the goals and ambitions of her youth were stifled by her mother. She lived much of her life meeting the responsibilities expected of her as wife, mother, homemaker. She was well organized, always had things under control, rarely complained, and was very adept at anything she did. Mum was strict (not overly so), with clear rules, expectations and boundaries. At least that’s how she always seemed to me. I’m so grateful I had the benefit of sharing 50 years of rich history with Mum and now, with perspective and maturity, I certainly know there was so much more to her than that. She did take family responsibility very seriously and had very definite opinions that could not be swayed. She kept her feet firmly planted and was immovable at times. One of those views was about how parents, husbands, and children, should behave.
My father was quite a bit different than my mother’s father, but he also had a bit of the “nomad” within. Like my grandfather, he would also periodically disappear for a weekend or a week, when he felt he needed a break from the constraints of family life. I make no judgement in either case but I know it did make things difficult for my mother at times and created some challenges for our family over the years. With the benefit of “Astro Genealogy”, I can clearly see that my mother’s Saturnian approach was, at times, very reminiscent of her mother’s. The evidence? Mum was always the anchor for our family, our unfaltering rock.
I do so wish I had been able to share this revelation with my mother. She might have gained some peace in being able to resolve any lingering feelings of guilt and resentment about her mother or their relationship.
So what lessons can I learn from these two generations of Capricorn types? How can I move through the world in a more positive way or somehow evolve with my Capricorn Moon? Historically, I have been excellent at “managing my emotions” but this is something that has changed considerably with the passing of my mother. As my very first Astrological reading indicated, there was a lot of emotion pent up in the relationship matrix with my mother that was released upon her passing. I’ve learned an appropriate expression of emotion is not a weakness, it’s a release, and in some cases, a gift.
I have spent much of my life living with a great deal of self-imposed responsibility. Taking care of family, friends, work projects, colleagues, and bosses was my job, or so I believed....all before ever considering myself. In the case of family, I honestly have no regrets. I know in my heart that I most often “gave” out of love rather than a sense of duty. However, there were times when that self-imposed responsibility really did prevent me from making choices I wanted to make. With the passing of my mother, and now my father, that has changed for me. I have come to learn, and live, the practice of saying what I want to do while helping others come to terms with how they think my choices affect their lives. Looking back, I realize that in many cases my parents would not have held me back. I would have had their support with my decisions as I did with so many things. However, I was caught up in the “responsibility” of making the “right choices” based on how, or who, I thought I was expected to be. I created my own walls, my own boundaries and limited myself, just as my mother and grandmother had done.
A “pay it forward” benefit is that this particular family pattern can end with me...I’ve resolved the inherent challenges of this ancestral Capricorn thread. I have no children but I do have a Nephew and a Niece, and other extended family. I believe I have opened the door to being a guide and coach for them, and others, in helping to create an understanding of their stories.
Ultimately, it is important to understand that we are not responsible for how others feel or how they react to choices we make. But we can also choose to manage those situations from a place of love and caring, instead of expectation. Astrology provides us with a map of sorts, our Natal Chart. That map represents a journey that is ours to discover, with clues and suggestions on how best to navigate.
With the learning opportunities and tools now available for Genealogical and Astrological research, there is tremendous potential for each of us to discover our stories and bring forward the richness of our ancestry. Sharing this brief journey of a multi-generational Capricorn thread is really just the tip of my iceberg. I haven’t even mentioned my sister who is a Capricorn Rising, or my Aunt who is also a Capricorn Moon. This is the start. Just a tiny glimpse into one of countless generational threads and mysteries to solve...I’m LOVING this journey! What’s YOUR story?
An avid student of Astrology, Jayne lives in Ontario, Canada. She has been studying with the Faculty for the past three years and regularly participates in numerous and varied seminars and workshops. She is an avid reader of all things Astrology, and is actively researching her family’s Astro-Genealogy.
Jayne is an independent senior Management and Human Resource Consultant, and Certified Professional Coach specializing in Personal & Career Transition and Leadership Development. She has recently introduced Chart delineation as a valuable tool in her Coaching practice with some early anecdotal success.