Spoiled Children of Divorce

If Your Parents Divorced When You Were Between Age 2 and 3 – Baby With a Bat
June 2, 2010, 1:38 am
Filed under: Astrology stuff, Exemplary Children of Divorce, Uncategorized

Around the Age of 2 children experience the first Return of Mars to their natal Mars.  As Mars is called the “God of War” I think it’s amazing that children at this age enter a phase called “The Terrible Two’s.” At any rate, babies at this age are Good to Go.

(Down at the bottom I’ve actually looked at the chart of Ivan the Terrible to see if he went through an extreme trauma at Age 2 (just curious, that’s all).  Ivan’s became Emperor at Age 3, that’s probably a different set of astrological influences, but his natal chart does show the Mars influence.)

The Mars Return is the final Astrological Development phase of  “Babyhood” and the begins “Toddlerhood.”  It shows that a child has experienced a Return of all the planets which influence the houses below the horizon of the chart and have developed an experience of their “inner selves.”

It is interesting that the Mars Return comes last in the first set of Astrological Returns.  It seems that the impulsive Mars stuff would come before the Mental Mercury and Venus phases.  But, perhaps the Mars rage comes as a reaction to those phases.

This is the stage where a plateau is reached in the gross motor skills.  Baby is mobile.  Mommy and Daddy follow Baby who isn’t really leading, he’s just going for it.

Mars, as ruler of the first house, rules our physical appearance.  It’s really interesting how this stage of development corresponds so closely with the Mars Return.  Mars rules the Head on the body and often literally describes the behavior of running head first into things and acting before thinking.  (Remember how I said that the first Mercury Return Cycle also corresponds very closely with a plateau in development of fine motor skills which are described by Mercury rulership, i.e. use of hands, first words, etc.)

As ruler of the opposite end of the “relationship” pole with Venus, Mars is often considered in relation to that planet.  As I said, Venus tends to prefer to be in relationship with everything.  So one might always look to what comes before and what comes after Venus.

Where Mercury and Venus tend to work together as “Witness” types, Mars acts.  Mars is impulse and spark.  He’s a starter.  Whether he finishes what he starts is another question as Mars likes the chase and quickly loses interest in the win.  Children at this age are said to not have developed a competitive side yet.  So the chase here is simply for the thrill.  Mental Concentration seems to have developed an ability to focus, though.  Whereas the babies at the first Mercury Return phase tend to run willy nilly all over a room and Baby by the time of his Mars Return phase will tend to walk toward one or two points in a room and spend more time with them.

In Astrology Mars rules Aries which is the first sign of the Zodiac. It rules the natural first house of the Astrological Wheel.   As said in the post about the first year, the Ascendant is the point that describes the time of birth.  Mars is the first planet in our Solar System which exists outside of Earth’s orbit so there really is a sense here just through his physical placement of venturing out into the unknown.

Mars’ cycle is the most erratic of all the Planetary Return Cycles.  If one is thrilled by this type of excitement one might stick with the energy and become extra sassy as an adult.  One might suffer as well from impulse control or aggression or things that Mars struggles with.  Depends on how Mars is shown in the birth chart and how well the parents handle the situation.

Mars is the starter energy.  He comes first.  He initiates, but he does it openly, he’s not really an instigator type.  He doesn’t do this to hurt others necessarily, but he might regret some of his actions later on.  One probably wouldn’t associate evil premeditation with anti-social Mars behavior.  He simply acts before he thinks.  This might help an otherwise stodgy or fearful child, or it might run out of control in a naturally impulsive child. Unfortunately, sometimes Mars really doesn’t think.  Most parents plan for this ahead of time for this phase of development in their childrens’ life.  It would be interesting to know whether Divorcing parents are more upset by it or just relieved by the extra distraction and the idea that little “johnny” and “suzy” are off doing their own thing and not asking for much or thinking too hard.   Since Mars can act out with rage a child might really suffer from needing guidance at this time.

Mars is a positive masculine energy.  Mars sometimes literally symbolizes the first born son.  And there might be some of that attitude that sticks with these children no matter what their birth order.

One would expect these children to maintain a reckless side.  Daredevil Evel Knievel is an extreme example of this.  Knievel went through his parents’ divorce when he was two years old and spent the rest of his life taking on larger and larger dares.  He didn’t follow the mainstream idea of how to support his family.  In the end I think I remember reading that he had broken nearly every bone in his body.  It’s interesting to see how the Mars idea of Inflammation plays out in his life.  I’m actually finding that a person might take on physical problems of these planetary cycles later on in a way which seems to be a subconscious reaction.

Here we also find actresses who show the female side of Mars vibe to the world.  Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Jason Leigh both went through their parents’ divorce when they were two years old.  Both actresses exhibit a very edgy Martian quality in the characters that they play.  Sexy, Forthright, Daring. The strength, the independence.  Another actress belonging to this age group and who also played edgy Mars heroines was Brittany Murphy.  Murphy recently died a premature death and I will talk about her more when I talk about predictive techniques for understanding when the trauma could possibly reoccur.  Mars would indicate prematurity.  In a positive light, it can often indicate early success.  Here it has a tragic overtone.

Professional Comedians can really take advantage of Mars’ ability to improvise.  Plus, they will probably dive head first into a career at an early age which, as I say, often seems to be a Mars related experience.  Two great comedians whose parents divorced when they were 2 years old are George Carlin and Dave Chappelle.  Carlin became famous for being the first angry hippy on stage, the ultimate sign of youth and brilliant rage.  In reading his biography, it seems that Carlin’s Mother walked out on his alcoholic Father when Carlin was actually 2 months old.  The parents fought for the next two years and the divorce went through when Carlin was 2.  So, he’s probably belongs in the Lunar Return crowd.   That’s a great influence for a comedian as well.  Lunacy.  And one can even see the Sun, Mercury and Venus influences as well since he spent his life performing on stage (Sun) and used words (Mercury) very well.

Dave Chappelle began working as a Comedian at a very young age and became wildly successful and then backed off from the scene at a very early age.   His humor seems to make use of irony very well, in order to break new ground (Mars) in humor of race.  I’ve actually heard, however, that his anger, is sort of crippling his ability to perform.  He seems to have suffered an early burn out from working too hard too soon in life.  Mars is not necessarily ambitious but will put massive amounts of energy into a project.  He needs to understand that he may burn out or succumb to anger.  Of course, anger fuels the best comedy so this is a double edged sword.

Bicyclist Lance Armstrong also went through his parents’ divorce at Age 2.   He is a world champion and has won the Tour de France a record number of times.  Bicycling seems like a lone activity that would appeal to a Mars person.  Armstrong exhibits the speed and physicality that is naturally associated with Mars, although I’m not finding as many Athletes from this age group as I thought I would.  The head and brain are the vulnerable parts of the body associated with Mars.  Mars type people often suffer head injuries.  Lance Armstrong is also remarkable for the fact that he has beaten an early bout of Brain Cancer.

In Stephanie Staal’s book I was actually surprised to find that this is the age group which seems to feel the blame for the parents’ split.  The way I figure it is that the Mars Return comes after the Venus Return and so the year or so before the Mars Return is a Baby’s first developed awareness of how the balancing act these two play with each other.  Mars rules the idea of the Self and Venus rules the idea of the Other.  Mars, however, doesn’t lose himself in his relationships the way that Venus can tend to.  Venus might blame others more readily than blame herself because the energy is naturally focused on “The Other.”  Either way, one might see how a Baby watching his parents divorce might think he had something to do with the reason for the break-up.

I thought it a bit odd that the Venus Return actually comes before the Mars Return. However, The Yale Child Center Studies  say that children go through a very pleasant, sociable phase in between the 1st and 2d Birthdays which would show the Venus influence.  It’s almost as if the Mars Return energy at Age 2 is Baby’s first volatile reaction to seeing how others take advantage of too good a nature.

I’ve discussed the Marsian qualities of President Obama whose parents divorced when he was 2 years old.  He exemplifies what is best about this energy.  He not only became President at a very early age but he became the first African American President of the United States.  Within his famil(ies) he was the first born son.  Mars rules children, especially boys, and especially first borns.  He shows the Mars style Initiative which actually isn’t really all that strong in his natal chart.

Between the Ages 2 and 10 or 11, children enter a great period of Adventure and Play.   This is begins around the time of the first Mars Return and seems to end around the age of the Jupiter Return when they are said to naturally give up many of their childhood toys.  Both Mars and Jupiter are Fire planets and are closely related to sense of adventure.  The other fire planet, the Sun, of course, is the major ruler of play and play begins in the crib, of course.

At Age 2 children are said to prefer to play by themselves with their toys.  So I suppose that one might wonder if children who retain a traumatic reaction to divorce at this age would grow up to have special talents for sitting alone and working on projects for hours on end.  Children at this age still have a very limited vocabulary and I wonder if this is the main reason for non-socialized play.  Their language is relegated to commands, orders and other direct forms of speech. The Yale Child Center books say that children at this age will play while sitting next to other children, but they just play with their own toys, not with each other.

I sort of wonder if a new style of play begins as well that has to do with creating new worlds and relates to the squares of progressed Moon and Saturn that occur around the ages of 6-8.  As usual the ages are different for each child.  I’ll talk about these planetary influences when I get to those ages.  But the Moon rules Imagination and also nurturing and homelife.  It would create a need to create one’s own world.  Saturn rules Governments and Organizations and children at this age may be playing make-believe versions of worlds.  Saturn loves to manage and build.   In very simple terms, Squares are thought to bring Challenges to the natal aspect so these are important phases in growth and development.

It’s difficult to associate violent behavior in Children of  Divorce trauma with any particular age since all ages spawn some problems in this area.  But a child at Age 2 might possibly be even more vulnerable to observing parents going through any physical battles.  He may not be able to shake this trauma off or to be talked out of it. He may have to repress his own developmental phase in deferrence for the parents’ bad behaviors. The parents might forever associate him/her with “The Terrible Twos” because of what they were going through and may get stuck treating the child as a problem while not encouraging new phases.  I feel that Moon, Mercury and Venus tend to be more the passive Witness types and they may continue to be viewed through those planetary lenses later on as well.  It would take more research to say anything about this at this point.  Either way, Mars isn’t really the type to sit around worrying about victimization.

Hopefully there’s always the chance that the child would be so distracted by his own explorations and new found mobility that he might not notice the violence of a divorce as much as a Mercury, Moon or Venus type would.  A whole generation of skateboarders was born during my generation.  That’s a very Mars like reaction to divorce.  Their parents weren’t at home so they just went off with each other and practiced their solo, dare-devil sport.

Elizabeth Marquardt who was also 2 years old,  says she didn’t really think about the situation until she was around 7 years old when someone else pointed it out.  She understands that her parents were young and adaptable and that their relationship was perhaps a “mistake.”  All of these are descriptive of Mars:  Youth, Mistake, Impulse, Moving On.

In Stephanie Staal’s book The Love They Lost, there are some interesting comments written by kids whose parents divorced at this age.  “Divorce was never in my language.” says one male interviewee.

Other children describe how they developed a special bond with their parent and then lost their place in the pecking order when the parent remarried.  They feel demoted.  They literally will use the word “prioritizing” multiple times when describing the divorce, that’s a literal Mars word. Remember, Mars comes First.  As I said these kids often will feel that the divorce is their fault.  They immediately turn the divorce anger inward towards themselves as if they can’t reflect it.  Mars doesn’t understand the concept of the “Other” the way that Venus does.

It’s good to realize that many of these children who don’t have memories from before their parents’ split will hear about their parents’ relationship later on in life through 3d parties.  This is true for the earlier Return types as well.  These secrets will be revealed to them usually as hidden mistakes from the past.   As adults these children will constantly be looking back on the divorce with sudden, new revelations about what was really going on in their parents’ adult world.  This is very different from how older children will react to the divorce.

As far as using the Mars energy for trying to understand times in the future when problems might occur one would probably pay more attention to transits and progressions than to Cycles.  This goes for all these early Cycles simply because they happen so often.  The Sun, Mercury and Venus cycles recur yearly and the Mars Return happens approximately every other year.  I do know that Dave Chapelle’s progressed Mars was under great stress when he withdrew from his fame and career.

A person growing up under this influence might be advised to take extra care of him or herself during subsequent prominent Mars Returns later on in adult life. This would be a long Retrograde of Mars in their natal sign or stressful Progressions of Mars to the natal chart.

Mars is related to impulsive actions and can represent accidents.  Physically it can cause damage quickly as it rules the brain and inflammations.  Actress Brittany Murphy is an example of a tragic Mars Return.  Her Parents divorced when she was 2 years old so she may have held the trauma inside while she was just completing her first Mars Return.

In her natal chart, Murphy’s Mars was in the sign of Leo and was heavily afflicted by a square to her natal Sun and Moon in Scorpio.  This explains the edginess and fringe of life roles she played at such an early age.  Brittany died last December suddenly. This occurred during a Mars Return last December which lasted for almost 5 months due to a Mars Retrograde transit.  Its good to notice that Leo is the sign of the actress and Mars is the sign of youthfulness.  Brittany certainly used her natal Mars placement to rise early in life and to succeed.  However, she also seems to have burnt out early as well.  Mars and Leo are both fire ruled.  Brittany was struggling with various psychological issues and her career was in trouble.  This is certainly a difficult way to enter a challenging Planetary Return.

Mars in Leo can indicate problems with the heart as Leo rules the Heart.  Initial reports said that Murphy suffered a Heart Attack. It’s good to note that there are zillions of people out there with natal Mars in Leo who haven’t died of a heart attack this year.  There are many reasons why this could be.  Chance, of course, is the most likely answer but astrology offers a few more.  For one, they also probably do not have natal Mars as afflicted as Brittany’s.  Second, they are also not extremely successful people and so do not share Brittany’s life experiences.  Perhaps their parents did not go through a Divorce while they were going through their first Mars Return and they do not carry the memory of extreme trauma within their subconscious memory.   Mars in a female chart represents her husband.  Brittany’s husband has since died as well.  The reasons are not given yet as far as I know.  Either way, this is an unusual case but the planetary line-up is pretty amazing.

This is a little added thing for people who like Astrology:

I actually looked up the chart and some biographical information about “Ivan the Terrible” from Russia to see if he had suffered something big during his first Mars Return which would lead to his extended reputation as a guy riddled with “Terrible Two’s” issues.  I’m just curious in this way.  Turns out that Ivan the Terrible became King at Age 3 when his Father died so the Mars Return theory didn’t pan out.  But, he was going through a heavy Mars transit anyway.  And natally his Sun was conjunct natal Mars at 10-11 degrees Virgo and this was squaring natal Saturn at 13 Gemini.  People with this combination are often thought to be fairly cold hearted and cruel.  Ivan’s Father died when transiting Mars was conjunct natal Saturn and squaring natal Sun-Mars.  Not only that but Mars was in the middle of a long Retrograde period so Ivan was under a whole lot of stress which he obviously never phased out of.  As I said in the intro.  I’m basing my information by what most middle class white children from 1950s america went through and not based on how unruly royalty from 16th century Russia spend their growth spurts.  That square was doubly problematic for Ivan in his childhood.  It suffered a double whammy as his Mother died, possibly assassinated by poison when Ivan was 8 years old.  This means that he would have just finished his first Saturn opposition and the same Sun-Mars to Saturn square would have been involved once again.

Copyright 2010.  Spoiled Children of Divorce blog.  All Rights Reserved.  (Yes, that especially includes Step-Mothers, Step-Fathers, Step-Sisters, -Brothers, Lawyers, and Shrinks)

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