“Wherever you go, there you are…”
This simple, yet profound, quote by Jon Kabat- Zinn applies to pretty much all of our life circumstances, questions, and changes. It’s been said that most people approach life seeking to avoid pain and suffering and to amass whatever externals — money, fame, relationship — they believe will ensure happiness. Well, good luck to us all in that mission impossible! I have a feeling that fighting a few windmills may have better odds.
So, Alfie, what’s it all about? One of the things that I so love about astrology is the very helpful map it provides of the matrices representing an individual’s multi-faceted physical, emotional, and spiritual nature. For a skilled astrologer, delineating this mandala is the relatively easy part. How each being perceives, navigates their territory, and grows in awareness is their own profound undertaking of a lifetime – or longer. Even people with similar aspects and shared transits usually walk their paths, view and respond to their challenges, each through their own unique lens. For some, life-altering realizations come early on, with incremental changes interspersed with additional realizations thereafter. For others, shifts may occur, yet there are long periods during which remarkably similar scenarios seem to play over and over, “Groundhog Day” style, with growth, yet little resolution.
This latter category brings us to the Transit Tale of Louise and her admirable fortitude amidst a continuing saga of adversity. From our early sessions on, Louise voiced a litany of distresses and fears regarding her unhealthy finances, family drama, and problematic work interactions. To gain more insight into the nature of these circumstances and Louise’s perspective, let’s delve into her natal chart and some formative transits.
Born on September 06, 1952, at 12:50 pm in Dallas, Texas, Louise spent most of her early years in Houston. Initially, we can see a representative balance in all the elements and the quadruplicities, with Fire and Cardinal signs in the majority, for lots of action. The most highly elevated planet is the Virgo Sun in the ninth house, along with Transneptunian Apollon right on the Midheaven, emphasizing a propensity for teaching, writing, or some sort of governmental involvement. Add in the Sagittarius Mars on the Ascendant and we can probably bet on lots of travel, physically and mentally. Favorable solar aspects to Jupiter, Uranus, and Chiron certainly describe an individual of strong moral fiber, with a desire and ability to bring comfort and healing into the world. Sextiles between Venus and Mars, Mercury and Neptune, and Jupiter and Uranus often signify one who is genuinely charming and sensitively adept at finding unusual ways to support and help others. With all this talent and competency, we’d expect her work life to go smoothly. But aye, there’s more than one rub here!
First, there are those Sun/Mars and Mercury/Mars(out of sign) squares that can shoot fiery arrows in self-defense with a glance at the first hint of an attack. While our aspects are our own responsibility, it can help to look further back for possible rationales. This brings us to the Moon and her condition. We’ve got Luna in fiery, independent Aries in her natural home, the fourth house, yearning to be accepted as she is. It’s hard to miss the lunar Cardinal Tsquare broadcasting early experiences of loneliness, erratic interactions, and years of disappointment that eroded much of her own self-worth. To begin with, Louise’s mother, Carol, was an alcoholic whose descent into that bottomless pit sank deeper as time went by. Louise’s father, Bob, was described as raging, unavailable, and emotionally abusive. To exacerbate an already dreadful situation, Louise shudders as she describes her older sister as mean, condescending, and cruel.
Still, there have been those helpers and mentors through the years, mostly women, as noted by her supportive lunar aspects to Mercury, Pluto, and the Moon’s Nodes, who have appeared just at the right times. I would also add that Louise’s Mercury/Pluto/South Node conjunction has functioned both for and against her own interests. At times, in the square to Jupiter, her unconscious need to prove herself as right has sent out messages that elicited reactive challenges from those invested in their own power issues. On the positive side, the depth and strength inherent in this combination with Neptune has sustained her faith when all seemed hopeless, and led her to higher paths.
In October of 1955, at three years old, Louise was hospitalized and almost died from a throat problem that brought on a major infection. Transiting Saturn first opposed her sixth house Jupiter, then squared her lunar Nodes and Pluto. Her Mother had also been very ill prior to this, when her father announced that he took an offshore oil assignment and wouldn’t be there to help. Louise’s mother used to tell her, “that was the moment our marriage ended.” After that, Louise had repeated dreams that she killed someone and hid it and had to live with it for the rest of her life. With Jupiter conjoined and Neptune sextile to Louise’s Mercury, her Aunt Theresa came to help take the pressure off of everyone.
Until she was in school, Louise had severe speech problems. People had trouble understanding her, children made fun of her, and her mother just didn’t bother with her at all. Fortunately, in first grade, she met regularly with a speech therapist, who helped her considerably. Louise loved her and thought she was wonderful. Transiting Uranus was sextile to her Neptune and trine to her Moon. Jupiter also was sextile to her Venus during this time. In September of 1961, Texas fell prey to Carla, called the Hurricane of the Century. Louise’s mother was Director of Volunteers for the American Red Cross and she remained there, leaving the children home with their father. Louise remembers this as a very dramatic, scary time. Transiting Mercury conjoined her Saturn, transiting Mars conjoined her Neptune, transiting Pluto squared her ascendant, and transiting Uranus conjoined her Ascendant. Later, Louise learned that her mother, Carol, had been having an affair with a married judge who was a part of the disaster team.
It was the summer of 1967, and Louise’s parents finally divorced; during the transition, she went to stay with her Aunt Theresa for the summer. Neptune was square to her Pluto back and forth, while Jupiter aligned with her Venus, Mars, Saturn, Neptune, and Moon during her Dallas stay. When she came home, Neptune had returned to the Pluto square, her family home was gone, and they were moved into a small townhouse. Her mother’s lover decided not to leave his wife as he had promised, and from then on Carol plunged into deep, dark alcoholism and depression.
During the next two years, Louise ran away from home twice, but came back each time. She was very bright scholastically, so her school mandated that she see a social worker. In 1970, the social worker got Louise out of her home and into a small community college a year early. Louise says that it probably saved her life. Jupiter was sextile to her Sun and trine her Uranus. Years later, the social worker told her that she knew her mother was an alcoholic from the first visit, and that she had to get Louise out of the house and away from her.
After she completed her work at the community college, Louise enrolled at the University of Texas and earned a B.B.A. in Marketing and Accounting. She worked for a few years to keep herself financially afloat and, in 1987, with Venus on her Sun, and Jupiter and Chiron in favorable aspect to her Mercury, Louise enrolled in the University of Texas School of PublicHealth. Majoring in Community Health and Epidemiology, she earned an M.P.H, with a 4.0 GPA.
She continued with her education, and in 1995 earned a Ph.D. in Behavioral Science and Environmental Health/Epidemiology, also with a 4.0 GPA. Throughout her advanced degree schooling, Louise worked as a Research Scientist/Epidemiologist in collaboration with a number of prestigious hospitals as well as cancer and community health centers. It was during this time that Louise was finally able to experience herself as the brilliant and capable person she really was. She speaks of her schooling as her own claim to power. From 1994 through 1997, Louise was Founder and COO of a first-of-its-kind Public Health Institute that served a rapidly growing immigrant population in Texas.
Then, from 1997 on, her professional life took a turn that would have some unexpectedly rough territory for her innovative mind. Initially, this looked like the perfect organization for real public service. Jupiter was sextile to her Moon, square to her natal Jupiter, and then conjoined with her North Node when Louise entered the bureaucracy of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The projects that they endorsed certainly were worthy. Within six months, the euphoric bubble burst as Saturn opposed her Neptune, squared her Uranus, and conjoined her Moon, all a number of times in succession. Woe is me! — she was in for another dose of her tenth house trials and tribulations.
Louise moved from project to project and certainly met some wonderful humanitarians on her way. However, the interpersonal power struggles and frustrating red tape were reminiscent of her childhood speech problems when she felt that no one could hear and understand her. As difficult as these circumstances were, they did motivate her to get ongoing help from counseling, astrology, and various forms of bodywork and healing. She also approached some of these modalities both for her own growth and to train and incorporate them into her future work. Louise had a personal interest in innovative ways to treat mild traumatic brain injury, as she herself had some residual symptoms from an accident in October 2001. During that time the Sun had conjoined her Saturn, while Capricorn Mars had set off her Cardinal Cross.
One can imagine how excited Louise must have been at the prospect of working in Germany in a U.S. Army program for the treatment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in November 2009. Chiron and Jupiter squared her Jupiter, were in trine to her natal Neptune, and conjoined her North Node. Within weeks, Chiron and Jupiter moved into exact opposition to her natal Pluto, Saturn conjoined her Venus, and a month later Pluto squared natal Venus a number of times to come. In comparison, the U.S. Army Command made the CDC seem like Montessori School.
Although she loved the mountains and beauty of Germany, in late September of 2012, Louise took an opportunity to move back to the U.S. She was hired as a Health System Specialist for – wait – take a breath – The Veterans Administration! Her thought was “How bad could it be compared to where she was?”
For months, Retrograde Uranus hovered within a few degrees of an opposition to her tenth House Venus. In true Cardinal Cross form of the time, Pluto slowly inched from a square to her Venus toward the square of her Saturn. Perhaps this was her opportunity to work through any remaining father/authority issues and not take them personally. While she was already committed to the job, she was able to get feedback from networks outside of her office that her Supervisor had quite a reputation as a raging misogynist, confirming her sanity. One of her comments during a traumatic work time was “I feel like a little piggy with a wolf at the door!”
In January 2014, with the Sun, Mercury, Mars, Pluto, and Uranus (by proximity) all in close Cardinal Cross, matching her own, especially her Saturn, Louise arrived at her next position with the CDC in Kenya. After all, if she can ride it through, in a couple of years she can retire and concentrate on the real healing work she is drawn to. This time an issue arose with her firing her house maintenance man that came close to blowing up when he started rumors about her. However, instead of emotionally defending herself or retreating, she worked with a space of understanding the embarrassment this must have caused him, and created a more harmonious outcome. True, the country she is in can get volatile, and the organizational structure is limiting and geared toward saving face; yet, the energy is less erratic than the previous two positions she had. Or maybe Louise has found a deeper inner connection that provides an entry into her own Cardinal Cross breakthrough. Perhaps it is not the world that changes, but the filter through which we view life…
Barbara Hamilton, M.A., C.A.P., visionary writer, speaker, coach, and futurist/astrologer is a trusted advisor to many of the foremost authorities in the fields of business, medicine, government, spirituality, education, and entertainment. In a career spanning three decades, she assists individuals and organizations globally in defining their unique missions and blueprints in the context of an ever-changing larger picture.
In addition to an extensive background in business, psychology, and healing, Barbara is principal of Kaleidoscope International. She can be reached at: www.barbarahamilton.com, at [email protected], or call 561-394-6965.