Spoiled Children of Divorce


Many Happy Returns!!!
April 20, 2010, 11:54 pm
Filed under: Astrology stuff, Uncategorized

I’ve been working diligently on my “Astrological Research Project” which connects the idea that the Trauma of Divorce sort of locks a child’s personality and behavior into whatever age he is when his parents’ divorce.  I propose that it does this through the Planetary Return Cycles.  I want to make a small statement about what I’m doing now in the hopes that it will inspire me to finish writing the bigger version.

The basic idea behind my study is that by studying the Planetary Return Cycles that a child has just completed at the time of the Divorce one can determine how the child will react to the divorce and also how his development may possibly be stunted by traumatic reaction to this event. The result can be very positive.  A child learns many positive coping skills which are extremely useful later on in life.  Since trauma is the result of a bad event that a person has no control over in his life I assume that pretty much everything that happens to small children creates trauma.  Most children will receive nurturing after trauma and this helps to heal.  Children of Divorce are expected to “buck up” and “go with the flow.”  Adults for much too long have been living in denial about what children go through and helpless to find an answer.  I think the astrology explains it pretty clearly.  Divorce was the biggest trauma of my childhood and after repeated attempts I’ve faced nothing but denial from those in the “helping professions.”  Like most Children of Divorce who I know, I’ve never asked for empathy.

What I’ve noticed is that the Planetary Return Cycles follow each other in the same order that Children develop emotionally, psychologically, physically and probably spiritually.  There is a remarkable similarity between when the first Planetary Return Cycles occur in a child’s life and how he develops as a human being (as observed by Doctors, albeit Doctors who studied white, middle class children in the 1950s) as shown in the many books published by the Yale Center for Child Development which evolved out of the Gessell Center for Child Study.

I’m taking for granted that Divorce is a traumatic experience for any child who goes through it (not a popular idea, but close to the truth) and that Trauma causes a part of the soul to freeze or lock up at whatever phase of growth a person is at when it happens.  If this freezing is ignored the child will try to ignore that it exists.  Most children do this very successfully as adults.  Some, however, suddenly re-create traumas.  And I’m noticing that the timing for these recreations correspond often with the same planetary return cycles as the traumatic event in childhood.

I first noticed in certain friends that they (as adults) would look like they were reverting back to a time of trauma in childhood when doing certain things.  It likely could have been my imagination just making stories out of my friends’ strange little tics, of course.  Sometimes I could feel, or imagined that I could feel, that this was bringing them back to something major.  Sometimes it was silly stuff.  One friend who came from a large family would suddenly revert back to eating like a 3 year old when we would go out for ice cream.  She would hold the spoon with a fist and hold the bowl really close to her chest and scowl as if guarding it from her older brothers were grabbing the dessert away from her.  She was a Leo and usually she ate with a sort of pride, sitting in a noble posture and eating very slowly.  So I guess that’s why I was always struck by this other stuff.  On a personal level, I’ve always said that a huge part of my own personality development froze when my own parents divorced when I was 14.  Anyone who has read any portion of this blog knows that I can sound like an angry teenager.  Actually, I could pretty much pass for a glum 15 year old.

I’m also using the Planetary Return Cycles as descriptors for phases of development in children and not as specific transits that can be singled out on a specific date. Many Astrologers won’t accept that, I’m sure, although I don’t know why.

This technique can be used very simply through a basic understanding of the planets.  One simply finds which planet returns to his natal spot at the age which he was when his parents divorced (or other major trauma occurred).  Then one observes when that planet returns to the same spot.  Then one waits for one’s life to implode (only kidding).  It turns out that the process needs some familiarity with astrology in order to understand to fully use.  The more complex a reading that one can do of one’s own chart, or of others, the better the information.  Later I will list which planets seem to affect each age so each person can check theirs out.

A few months ago I pulled a book off a library shelf called The Yale Child Center Guide to Child Development.  While reading this book I found that the basic planetary return cycles correspond very closely to the stages of development as shown by the Planetary Return Cycles.  The authors of the study repeatedly remind the reader that these stages occur at ages that are individual and unique to each child.  Even that part corresponds with the irregular cycles which are slightly different each time they go around because of retrograde motion of the planets!

In Astrology, it is considered an Event when each planet returns to its natal spot.   A person can sort of set, or re-state his use of that planet in his life at that time.

In modern times the most well accepted Return is the Solar Return which is known as the yearly Birthday.  This is when the Sun has completed one whole rotation through the astrological wheel and will have aspected all other components of an individual’s chart.  Each planet does this according to its position in the solar system and the amount of time it takes to complete one of these cycles.

Babies literally experience a Return of all their Inner Planets by the time they are about 2 years old.   The Inner Planets show an individual’s personal make-up. These are Moon, Mercury, Sun, Venus, and Mars.  They are the planets that are closest to the Sun and which have the fastest transit.  A child will go through repeated Returns of these planets by the time he reaches adulthood.  By coincidence the Child Development specialists have noticed a completion of a big phase of development in children at the age of 2 as well.

It’s important to note that with planetary returns occur at slightly different times every time they happen.  Like human development, each planet will have a slightly particular time frame.  Some planets are more exact than others.  There is an 8 year cycle of the Sun and Venus which is considered most exact.

Also,  all the planets except the Sun and Moon (not really planets) experience a Retrograde Phenomenon which makes their orbits appear to stop and move backwards.  This is because they are revolving around the Sun, not the earth, and their orbits follow an elliptical shape. Our point of view from our spot on earth distorts how we can see them move.

Jupiter and Saturn are the two other big influences in a child’s growth experience as shown by Astrology.  They sort of show how we exist on a social level.  They describe how everyone born within a couple of years of our birth date acts as a group collective.  These planets will help a child to develop his basic interpersonal skills with his peers.

Jupiter passes through a sign roughly once a year.  Saturn passes through a sign roughly every 2 1/2 years.  Jupiter returns to his natal spot when a child is roughly around Age 11.  Saturn doesn’t return to his natal spot until a person is roughly 29 years old. But, because he is such a strong influence in a child’s maturation process (he rules the idea of maturity and also of the Father), I’m finding that the first square and first opposition he makes to his natal spot also describe well his development.  I also use Jupiter’s first square and opposition.  Squares show times of challenge and lessons to begin to learn.  Oppositions show times to learn about balance and harmony and relationships.

It is also possible to factor in the first trines (indicates times of ease and grace) of these planets.  Jupiter and Saturn actually do an interesting dance to balance each other out through these aspects.  Jupiter will trine itself during Saturn’s first Square.   I like to think that this makes the challenges a little less challenging, “Sugar makes the Medicine go down” as Mary Poppins likes to say.

It’s important to notice that people never complete Returns for all the planets in our Solar System in one lifetime. Perhaps this means that we never stop growing as spiritual beings.  This means that the Outermost planets,  Neptune and Pluto, which rule the great mysteries of life, can’t ever be fully experienced by the human mortal. Their cycles don’t complete for 164 and 248 years, respectively.  This could possibly explain why human nature continues to be such a mystery (to humans at any rate).

Uranus seems to rule all things of Modern Society.  It’s the planet that rules Hopes and Wishes and Friends who live together in Harmony.  People who make it to age 83 will complete a full cycle of Uranus.  The rest of us won’t.  By coincidence, this is considered a common life expectancy age in modern times. It’s interesting to examine how Uranus plays out in modern society in a couple of other ways.  It’s also interesting to look at other ages which are related to passage from childhood to adulthood.

Uranus also rules anything having to do with electricity and so the nervous system of the body.  It rules unexpected and shocking events.  So, it is a major ruler of traumatic experiences in life along with Pluto, the ruler of crises.  On a positive level it is said to bring about enlightenment in people.  By providing these situations which are completely out of control a person can develop an elevated awareness of how to survive and thrive in the world through a spirit which is non-judgmental and open to new experiences as long as one has built up a solid structure of support.  Uranus rules Aquarius which is the 11th sign of the zodiac.  This is second to last on the wheel of development and depends on having built up a solid structure of wisdom through the previous ten signs.  If one is mainly working on a different section of the astrological wheel, then the Uranian energy might be considered quite a disruptive and destructive influence.  All the signs flow from one to the other in which parts of our lives they can rule.  They function holistically together in an interdependent web and can’t function properly one without the other.    It’s important to realize that Divorce provides people with a much broader and more humanitarian experience of human relationships.  We don’t have to be trapped into a marriage that proves to be a ball and chain.  But, we also have to realize that when the Aquarius energy fails it begins a big fall in humanity’s development.  Aquarius can fail through embracing that which is too weird, by not providing warmth and caring in preference for a “bigger idea.”  It does rule Step-Families as they are weird conglomerations of people thrown together in community living environments.  Most people who live within a step-family environment will tell you that this is not the most emotionally secure environment.  Some enjoy it and gain a lot from it, however.

Aquarius is followed by the sign of Pisces which rules great empathy for suffering, but that’s because it rules emotional suffering and loss of hope.  Pisces also rules Orphans.  As I’ve said before, there aren’t as yet genuine astrologer rulerships for Children of Divorce.  Astrologers often lump them in with the Pisces Orphans.  I don’t agree and tend to think of them as represented by the sign of Virgo.  I wrote a previous post about why I think that.  The big divorce explosion happened first to the group of kids born while there was a conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in Virgo in the mid-60s.  Virgo is a mental, passive sign related to being perfectionistic, practical, functioning on a day to day scale related to constant scheduling.  Virgo is the sign that attends to details.  Children of Divorce have twice as many details to understand in their lives as they have both parents.  Pisces doesn’t have parents.  It would make sense that its polar opposite on the axis of the chart related to Martyrdom and Sacrifice would have two or more sets of parents.  It’s the same vibe, but in an opposite situation to that of Orphans.

Children of many cultures of times past (and perhaps present) used to reach maturity around Age 13 or 14 (time of progressed Moon and Saturn opposition).  They would go out and work and start having children, both signatures of Moon and Saturn.

Many children are now said to enter adulthood when they are 18.  This corresponds roughly to the Nodal Return Cycle which is related to the Moon.  This occurs a couple of months before Age 19.  Nodes are related to how we must balance our failings with our leanings in order to achieve balance in life, they can also show how we must work with our destiny.  Both the Saturn transit and the Nodal Transit ages of maturation are related to Karma and rules of how to live.

In modern society a key age for entering adulthood corresponds with the first Uranus square which occurs at age 21. This is the average age that a child graduates from college and goes out into the world.

Uranus sort of sends out a message that anything goes.  Everything is acceptable as long as it doesn’t hurt others.  Uranus is rebellious and doesn’t like rules, though. But it doesn’t bother to set out clear definitions of what “hurting others” means.  He’s not real detail oriented and sort of just lets things happen.  Interesting that Uranus, planet of innovation and experimentation, is also the key ruler of Divorce so one can see the influence within the modern family and life.  Interesting also, however, on the tragic side, is that Children of Divorce have such high drop out rates from college and never fully benefit from the first Uranian square that describes entrance into modern adulthood.

Of course, one can realize that a 2-year old child who is only just finishing his first Mars Return is far from understanding the lessons that his parents are going through in a divorce as indicated by the outer planets, Uranus and Pluto and probably Neptune, the major rulers of Divorce.  Mars rules War and fighting so one can suspect that a child will hook into negative aspects of watching parents fight during a divorce.  But that might actually not be the case. According to the child researchers a 2 year old child has a vocabulary of about 50 words, he likes to play with his toys, and he has just mastered enough motor skills to be able to ram that hot rod of a body into everything that gets in its way as it explores absolutely every corner of the house.  Mars acts and then thinks later.  This is the type of energy a child needs in order to keep getting up after falling down.  I have found incidentally, that this age seems most likely to blame himself for parents’ divorce.

Mars rules the first sign of the Zodiac.  Often children from this group will do something first in their field.  President Obama is an example as his parents divorced when he was 2 years old.  He has now become the first African American President in the United States.  He also became President because of other Marsian characteristics.  He is youthful.  He rushed in before some thought he was ready.  He is also the first born son in his family.  Mars rules young children, especially boys, and especially first borns.  Mars represents the creative spark that starts new ventures.

So back to the little 2-year old and what kinds of planetary return experiences he will have to draw on in order to understand his parents’ divorce.  He will be celebrating his second Solar Return, i.e. his second Birthday.  He will perhaps have anticipated this one because he learned his first lessons about Celebration and being the center of attention on his own special day at his first Birthday.

He will have completed two returns of Mercury which relates to fine motor coordination, first steps and first words, and using his hands to get what he wants.  Mercury represents the intellectual thinking skills such as communication, logic, analysis, interpretation.

Almost all of 2-year old’s  entire first year will have been related to mastering his Lunar nature through monthly Lunar Returns in which he will have slowly developed emotional attachments to his parents and to his home life and to screaming bloody murder when he feels hungry or needs a diaper changed.  When the Moon squares his natal Mars, he may throw a tantrum.  When the Moon opposes his natal Saturn he may suffer a feeling of rejection or feel overly oppressed by too much discipline.

So, I’ll give a couple of examples of how I’ve found the Return Cycles to manifest.   The examples are of bad reactions to the trauma.  I have many positive examples to show but am trying to reinforce the idea that Divorce traumatized the kids.  Trauma doesn’t destroy most people.  Either they are very resilient, or they have a lot of support in their lives to help them through it.  When you step on a plant, it might completely smash and die.  Or it might bend and continue to grow.  Or its stem breaks and it sends out off shoots.  Or someone will prop it up and it will heal. Different plants grow better in some climates and soils than in others.  People can react to situations in the same wide variety of ways.  If one understands the influence of how a strong reaction to a certain energy has played out in his life and growth as a human being, he may understand that he has been given extra gifts and lessons to work with.  He may also just benefit from understanding why he may be stuck in a certain behavior pattern which is destructive.

First example:

A few years ago a Dean at a school in California killed herself by jumping off a building.  From an astrological viewpoint, I was amazed by her timing. She was highly successful and was approaching her fourth Jupiter Return which is generally considered a lucky time.  It’s a time to reap profits in life.  In general you expect a person under a Jupiter influence to be feeling rather positive, easy-going and optimistic.  There’s a flip side to all the planets, however, if they are placed in the natal chart in some sort of compromising way.  Jupiter expects too much often, overdoes and expands whatever it touches and can be very idealistic and unrealistic.  In General, though, Jupiter is considered a signature for good luck if one has worked hard and is deserving.  And this College Dean had definitely worked hard all her life.  She had been a great role model for women going into professions anywhere and a forerunner of leaders in both her profession of Engineering and in Academia.

The newspapers included the Dean’s biography which reported that her parents had divorced when she was 11 or 12.  I knew that this was also a Jupiter Return.  So I really began to wonder if there were a connection.  Was she returning subconsciously to past traumas she felt at the earlier age?  Obviously, she had been a good child, an over achiever who appeared better than fine to the outside world.  But had she suppressed her own feelings and suddenly when she hit a spot where her own life was mirroring her parents’ problems, was struck by a double whammy of emotions?  Too much?  That’s Jupiter.  Returns are probably a bit like deja-vu experiences as it is.

This woman was going through similar problems which she would have observed in her parents’ divorce.  Reports came out that her own long-term relationship with her Lover of many years was on the skids and was causing problems with her reputation at the school through abuse of finances. The students of the college, which are generally considered very activist, were literally attacking her in her campus home.  Relationship, home, money?  The trauma is amazingly similar to what a child would observe in divorce.  The fact that her natal Jupiter was in Scorpio could indicate that all by itself.  Scorpio is the sign that rules money dealings with other people, power plays, sexuality, and death.

Jupiter is also afflicted in the natal chart which could indicate troubles during a return. But, consider how many people were probably born on her same birth date.  Tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands.  They didn’t commit suicide during their 4th Jupiter Return.  Most of them probably didn’t go through a major life trauma during their first Jupiter Return, though.  That would be the key.  This is proving to be a very interesting technique for determining when a person will re-enact, or recycle, through childhood trauma in ways that are generally considered to be “out of the blue behaviors.”

This example also shows how the Jupiter influence worked in a positive way in the College Dean’s life.  She grew up to be successful in all things described by Jupiter.  She was a teacher in Higher Education.  She was an Independent, Out-spoken female who succeeded in a “Man’s Profession.”  She was good at math:  Jupiter rules Abstract Thought.

I decided to devote more time to this study after finding Bruce Scofield’s book on Planetary Cycles and Child Development called  Circuitry of the Self:  Astrology and the Developmental Model.  Scofield shows how certain phases of Child Development as observed by various psychotherapists correspond to the planetary phases.  I’ve found that I prefer the stages of development as observed by the Doctors at Yale Child Study Center better (they were originally called the Gessell Institute).  They broke the studies down to describe child development year by year.  With a basic understanding of Astrology one can actually see how, although 2 years follow the actual Jupiter Return, the Yale Child Study Center researcher observed sort of a positive Jupiter influence during the first year (I believe it was Age 11 and then a more tired, less obvious version of Jupiter influence during the 2d year.  In a couple of cases they even say that there won’t be much difference between the two years.

As there is a great maturation phase around the ages of 7 and 8 when the first Saturn square of the Return cycle occurs there is great discussion of this phase by psychologists.  Bruce Scofield’s book does a great job with this.  Saturn Return Cycle squares  of childhood can be a time of maturation for a child.  Physically they mature in appearance.  They lose their baby teeth and grow in a full lower jaw so they lose their “little kid” looks.  Teeth and bones are ruled by Saturn.  Progressed Moon and transiting Saturn oppose their natal positions around the ages of 13-14.  This is a key separation point psychologically for a child from his family.  He needs to have that background structure in order to begin to break away.  One interesting point I’ve noticed is that during this phase often there is a big shift between which parent he is closest to.  Often at the Opposition point the Mother becomes more independent and the child suffers from feelings of rejection which evolve into deep insecurities in relationships.  Either way, since Moon and Saturn rule the areas related to traditional family and home, I suspect that children who are at these ages during their parents divorce suffer very strong long-term effects.

Saturn Returns are made even more strong by the fact that they are preceeded  about 6 months by a similiar square aspect by the secondary progressed Moon Cycle.  Both Moon and Saturn rule the parents and the family in the natal chart.   They represent how a child learns about conditional and unconditional love from his parents and later through standing the communit.   I can show a couple of examples of how this works.  The first example is of Joseph Stack.  Stack is not actually a Child of Divorce, but he is a Child of Every Other Disaster a Child Could Possibly Go Through.  I’m using his example here to show that this Planetary Return cycle stuff can be related to all children who suffer a trauma.

Stack is the computer engineer/musician guy who drove his plane into an IRS Building in Texas on February 18 of this year (2010).  Much has been made of how Stack was a homeland terrorist who didn’t think he should have to pay taxes and of how he hated the Government because the Government is afraid that others who don’t want to pay taxes will follow suit.  I was surprised that a recent special about the event which was broadcast on CNN didn’t really discuss Stack’s traumatic childhood as a motivating force that is probably fairly rare for most people.   It would have been good to realize that nobody likes to pay taxes, but almost nobody goes to the extent that Stack did, simply because they aren’t motivated by the same level of trauma  that Stack had to work through. I suppose the media is afraid of copycat behaviors, but it would have been good for people to realize that they probably can’t compete with this guy’s awful childhood.

Stack was born in 1956.  I don’t have a reliable birth date for him. The one I have found on the Internet is Aug. 31, 1956, place is maybe Colorado.  When looking at that date one can’t really find much in the astrology chart that sees Stack as anything but a pretty easy going laid back guy.  (Again, I don’t know if this is the correct date).  Looking at Stack’s progressed chart one can see all kinds of trauma.  His progressed chart can be read very literally as a “Suicide Bomber” type who wants revenge.  It’s interesting that his childhood trauma happened at the time of his first progressed Lunar Return.  That would sort of show that he split off and identified more with his Secondary progressed chart than with his transiting chart.

Stack was 53 years old and, like everyone else born in his year, was approaching his second Progressed Lunar Return.  (His first Progressed Lunar Return would have occurred around Age 26-27.)  But, Stack’s Father died when Stack was 6 years old.  This is around the time of the first square of his progressed Lunar Return.  The trouble didn’t end at that point.  Stack’s Mother couldn’t handle the trauma.  She moved the kids across the country. Then she fell apart.  (I guess I should state here that the key rulerships for the Moon are Mother, Home, Basic Needs, Emotional Bonding.)  The Mother decided to put her two oldest boys in an orphanage. This was Stack and his brother.  Months later the Mother killed herself.  Stack and his brother were kept in the orphanage as “lifers.”  Their younger siblings were taken in by family members.

The amount of emotional hell that this man went through during his first Progressed Lunar Square-Saturn transit Square is unbelievable.  He suffered the loss of both parents and any sense of home life.  His Mother suicided at some point between his Progressed Lunar Return Square (in Cancer) and his first Saturn Square (to natal position).  He turned around and committed Suicide as well in a very Public act (Moon) against the Government (Saturn) about 6 months to a year before his Second Progressed Lunar Return.

I’ll include another example, with well documented birth date, of a Cancer Moon person who suffered parental divorce at his first Progressed Lunar Return square, This was Rock Musician Kurt Cobain.  His Mother reported that right from the start he couldn’t adjust to the divorce.  Cancer has a strong need for home security.  This is good for a parent to understand, of course, but it is also good for the child to understand.   He died of a drug overdose during his first full Lunar Return at Age 27.

Don’t get too worried if this applies to you as a Cancer Moon person.  Just realize that all that food that you need to be fed is related to emotions that you weren’t allowed to feel — and the whole purpose of having your Moon Sign is to feel every damn little thing on earth.

Sources will be supplied in another post.  I keep losing data so am going to post this thing.

Copyright 2010.  Spoiled Children of Divorce blog.  All Rights Reserved.

edited, April 22, 2010


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Toothless, you know I absolutely love your work in this area. I find it utterly fascinating and enlightening. I wish I understood more about astrology but you were able to explain your points so clearly that even with my limited knowledge, I was able to understand quite well what you were trying to convey. The examples were excellent.

This type of work could really help us children of divorce understand ourselves better and see why we sometimes go loopy. I’ve heard it termed as developmental grieving, I’ve even considered reemergence of post traumatic stress, but this take sounds completely plausible as well.

Thanks for a great read!

Comment by Carolyn (The Grown Up Child)

Hi Carolyn, thanks for the pep talk. You must have just forced your way through. I kept adding stuff to this yesterday. Just can’t get it right. This blog program doesn’t allow you to pull stuff off once published.

But, anyway, thanks for your comments. The astrology really does seem to work a whole lot of time. The technique is so simple, I just get it out.

Comment by toothless

I’ve had posts like that too where I’ve edited and edited and still don’t like how they read. But like me, you are probably harder on yourself than is necessary because this post was fine. I actually read it right after you originally posted it, while I was on vacation and I really enjoyed reading it.

Comment by Carolyn (The Grown Up Child)




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