Spoiled Children of Divorce


Banning the “D” Word

Okay this is too much.  I thought that New Yorkers were intelligent.   I thought they liked to talk about stuff.  I thought that it was only the Man-Childs and Baby-Womans of the California Dreamin’ crowd who couldn’t put up with the feelings of real live children.

But, no Edna, the New York City Schools have decided to join the herd.  For religious reasons.

CNN reports that the public school systems in New York are planning on banning the word “Divorce” from all school tests.

For one, as any Child of Divorce knows, talking about one’s parents’ divorce is simply not done.  People can’t handle the info.  Shrinks especially. Except when discussing how those kids are so spoiled, they get everything they want, you know, because of the guilt.

For two, and this is because of “For one”, the word Divorce probably doesn’t exist on the tests in the first place because Children of Divorce probably didn’t graduate from College and so did not write the tests.

The kids now have my express permission to write “The Death of my Parents’ Marriage” in stead of Divorce as answers on all of their written tests.  When the teacher wants to discuss your suicidal feelings please write “The Death of my Parents’ Marriage destroyed my desire to live because I now know that the Love that they profess for me is a shallow and transitory thing and could change on a dime if I screw up in any way.  I may even have to pay alimony if I complain.”

Maybe Divorce is more Scorpio than Uranian.  You put it in that clump along with other House 8 social secrets that nobody can talk about.  Namely:  Sex, Death and Taxes.  Rather:  Daddy’s Girlfriends’ Big Boobs; Mommy’s Alcoholism, Depression and Early Death from Destructive Lifestyle choices;  Tax Deduction #1 and Tax Deduction #2; the School Administrators’ deep and darkest desires to silence all feelings except their own. And the biggest of all:  “Power Trips.”

Not only is “Divorce” the big elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about, but, so are the kids.  They’re just kids.  They’ll get over it.  Don’t let them ever, ever talk about it, at least.

The words on the list of 50 banned words are said to be “Loaded.”  Loaded, as in guns?  Read the article and be prepared to drop your jaw wide open in disbelief.  Here’s the paragraph which explains why “Divorce” can’t be allowed.

Halloween may suggest paganism; divorce may conjure up uneasy feelings for children in the midst of a divorce within their family. One phrase that may surprise many, the term “Rock ‘n’ Roll” was on the “avoid” list.



Bad Children of Divorce – Anders Behring Breivik

On July 22 Norway was attacked by one of its own citizens, a 32-year old man named Anders Behring Breivik. Sad to say, that Anders Behring Breivik is a Child of Divorce.

Breivik’s parents divorced when he was 1 year old (source: Wikipedia). According to my Astrological Study this means that Breivik would have been influenced by and perhaps stuck in the energy of his first Solar Return. In his case this is particularly so because the other two planetary returns that occur around this time, Mercury and Venus, happened early in Breivik’s life, before his first Birthday. The Sun represents the Ego, Creativity, Children, Drama, Wanting to be in the limelight and in a leadership role. There is a 33 year cycle related to Solar Return charts in which the Sun returns to the native’s original house in his birth chart. I don’t have a birth time for Breivik so can’t say which house that would be but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the 12th House because this guy is going to start out his new Solar Return cycle in jail.

I wrote about a similar set-up of planetary cycles in celebrity charts of actors Marilyn Monroe and Andy Griffith. I talked about how, among the many differences between these two people, it is remarkable that they both became famous actors. Sun is related to wanting to be in the limelight. When Mercury and Venus both complete their first returns before the solar Return a child is blessed with early understandings of what both of those planets represent. I’ve talked about this a lot in the earlier posts. In short form, Mercury possibly represents communications and brain development of fine motor skills. Venus represents attachments to objects and people and development of memory and self worth through those attachments. The difference between how Marilyn Monroe and Andy Griffith handled their fame is, I subjecture, that Monroe suffered through her parents’ divorce during those years. Griffith also had a very difficult childhood and literally slept in a chest of drawers with relatives, but his parents stayed together and eventually provided him with a stable childhood. So, one can perhaps wonder if a child going through such fast transits in the first year is perhaps not more aware than other babies of what is going on. Mercury is directly related to the the nervous system and anxiety and Venus is related, as I said, to feeling loveable and feeling that one can love others.

Breivik has about 6 half or step siblings (check). I don’t have information about his biological parents’ remarriages/relationships but that will perhaps come out in time.

It appears that Breivik’s relationships with both parents are exceptional. He lived with his Mother up until a few months ago. Perhaps that’s not abnormal in Norway but in the U.S. it’s weird.

Breivik’s Father has had nothing to do with him since he moved to France in 1995 when Breivik was 16 years old. One can perhaps assume that the relationship with Breivik’s Mother became extremely dependent because his relationship with his Father involved the extreme rejection which is common among Children of Divorce. In Astrology, the 10th House, Saturn and Capricorn rule the Father and how one handles authoritarian figures. When an individual does not receive Paternal Attention, whether from a parent or someone else, one can possibly take out one’s anger on the Government which holds the parallel role in society that the traditional Fatherly role holds within the family.

Breivik is an Aquarius Sun and Aquarius is the sign most known for rebellion against these traditional roles. Aquarius has a natural sense of society as a whole and often doesn’t have easy access to expression of simple feelings of the earlier signs. Often, but not always of course, they are the kids who pass through the divorce without seeming to have any needs. I’ve discussed how I think that Aquarius is the sign probably most connected with Divorce. And Children of Divorce might be ruled by the sign of Virgo as Virgo is practical and service oriented and opposite Pisces, the ruler of Orphans, the sign which most kids of divorce get lumped in with (erroneously).

Without a birth time we can’t place the position of Breivik’s natal Moon (either in Leo or Virgo), but the noontime chart shows a conjunction with natal Saturn Retrograde in Virgo. Moon shows the family influence and the Mother so this is an important element. Either way, Breivik would have been born just after a Full Moon. If he has a Leo Sun this emphasizes his need to be in the spotlight and to lead in some way. If the Moon is in Virgo and in conjunction with Saturn Rx in Virgo, this combination with the Aquarius Sun shows emotional coldness. It also shows that the traditional parental roles were mixed up and not clearly viewed as separate influences. Unfortunately, I’ve sort of stopped work on my research of charts of famous Children of divorce because of computer hacking and theft of a lot of my papers and depression which came after all that happened. I do remember that the one signature which stood out for planetary placements in the charts that I looked at was the absence of Saturn in Virgo children from Divorce who become famous. All the other planetary placements by sign were represented in the 135 or so charts that I looked at except Saturn in Virgo. The insecurities of this placement seemed to really stand out as a signature for lack of self esteem. This would be especially difficult in a child who is stuck in a Sun aspect which needs to stand out in some way in order to shine. This is especially important to look at right now as Saturn just passed through that sign and many young children have it in their charts.

Progressed Moon generally has its first return at Age 27-28 and transiting Saturn has its first return at around Age 28-29.

The Progressed Lunar Return can be best used as a time of internal reflection in which one focuses on one’s emotional needs as a basis for going forth in life as an adult. One can feel like a loser or feel picked on in this phase, especially if life so far has been full of setbacks and unsafe relationships. The Moon relates to the Mother and the home life. After the individual goes through this internal phase, he then completes a cyclic phase which expresses to the external social world through the Saturn Return.

Breivik’s Father, an economist of some sort, says that he wishes his son had committed suicide because of what he had done. Thanks Dad. (I guess he’s describing the bottom line here on an investment he rejected long ago.)

It would be great if the Father had instead said “I wish that I had been a decent Father for my son so that this wouldn’t have happened,” but, of course, we’re all dreaming when we wish for comments like those to come out of the mouths of narcissistic parents. How many kids’ hearts could at least find peace if only their parents would admit that they had not provided the proper childhood? Maybe just one, well-timed, sincere assessment, clearly stated “I’m sorry and I want to try harder in the future.” Instead, the Father here, in my view, has affirmed that he is a total a-hole and will remain so until the day he dies.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Meanwhile, in an interview with Swedish tabloid Expressen, the suspect’s father said he was ashamed and disgusted by his son’s acts and wished he had committed suicide.

“I don’t feel like his father,” said former diplomat Jens David Breivik from his secluded home in southern France. “How could he just stand there and kill so many innocent people and just seem to think that what he did was OK? He should have taken his own life too. That’s what he should have done.”

Breivik said he first learned the news of his son’s attacks from media websites. “I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was totally paralyzing and I couldn’t really understand it.”

“I will have to live with this shame for the rest of my life. People will always link me with him,” he said.

Jens David Breivik said he had severed all contact with his son in 1995 when the latter was 16.

It’s very clear to me what the problem with Dad is here, but I know that many parents and people from intact families will remain flummoxed for years to come. The Father’s attitude couldn’t be more of a negative Saturnian comment, at any rate. Judgement, Blame, Coldness, Harsh Lessons, Conditional Love, Intolerance, Guilt. At least the Father is now eternally released from having to mention his first born son in his will and I suspect that’s all that counts to this guy.

Apparently, son Anders Breivik sees himself as having defended the country. His motive was to kill the Prime Minister of Norway and the youths who are learning to follow his liberal doctrines which include embracing immigration of Muslims into Norwegian society.

I believe that Norway was having a National Holiday on July 22, so the Prime Minister was working from home instead of coming into the office. So he survived the bombing of his offices and the surrounding areas. Breivik then attacked a political youth camp for kids who belong to the Prime Minister’s party. I’m too American to think that kids could learn to be liberal politicians at a youth camp, I’m just more into Arts and Crafts and the word “camp” brings up negative imagery especially when related to Politics and Religion. But I certainly don’t want to be seen as taking sides with Breivik. And, I also think that Summer Camp is a great way for kids from Divorce to get away from their parents.

I’ve discussed in previous posts how the men who started the “Minutemen” group on the Southwest Borders of the United States grew up in divorce and that I figured that this is somehow an expression of wanting to fix what was broken in childhood. It would make sense if Children of Divorce are much more likely to want to defend their country than kids from stable, intact homes. It is extremely difficult to listen to the chronic complaining and neediness of the immigrants when one’s own life if pretty difficult, especially with the new immigrants who are not particularly talented or special or in need of help.

Hope to look at the early planetary cycles in Breivik’s chart at the time of his parents’ divorce to see if it somehow plays out in his later life. Venus was moving very fast during his first year. Rejection would hurt a Venusian more than anyone except maybe a Lunar type. And a baby is pretty much nothing but a bunch of lunar types until the end of his first year when he completes the Solar, Mercurial and Venusian cycles. It is interesting that Brevick’s Father rejected him when he was 16 years old as that is a Sun-Venus cycle in some people’s charts. It is also half the age that Anders is now. Venus rules the signs of Taurus and Libra. In the sign of Taurus is rules Money, Voice, and Self Worth. In Libra it rules Marriage, one on one partnerships, Open Enemies, and need for Balance and Harmony.

Sun-Mercury-Mars in Aquarius squaring Uranus in Scorpio and trining Pluto in Libra and sextiling Neptune in Sagittarius
Neptune in Sagittarius squaring Virgo/Pisces NN’s
Venus in Capricorn trining Saturn in Virgo, maybe Moon in Virgo
Jupiter unaspected 1 Leo (to major planets), Lead Planet in Locomotive Chart Shape
Grand Earth Trine: Venus in Capricorn trine Saturn/MOon? in Virgo trine Chiron (Dick Cheney is Aquarius with Grand Earth Trine)



Whose Borders Are the Minutemen Defending?

Ew, this is looking bad.  This is a difficult little post to write up. It looks like the Minutemen community has been assembled by Children of Divorce.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Because, of course, we don’t have statistics.  Makes sense.  As adults we try to fix what we didn’t have as a child.  And Children of Divorce don’t have borders.

Shawna Ford is a former Minuteman member who has just been sentenced to Death Row in Arizona for the murders of a Father and his Daughter in their home in Texas.  Forde’s bio states that she was booted from the original Minutemen group for being mentally unstable and formed her own group.

Is Shawna Ford from Divorce?  Well, yeah, hate to say it.  Ford had one bad childhood.  It’s described in the Daily Beast.

Ford was the 7th of 9 children who were from 5 different Fathers.  I guess that it’s sort of difficult to know whether you are officially from Divorce, in that case.  The school shrink would have tested Ford for ADHD before he/she would have counseled her on how to cope with that type of background.  Ford’s Mother abandonned her to a relative when Ford was 10 months old.  (Astro stuff:  natal Venus 30 Libra, she would have already have had her first Venus Return, n.Venus c. South Node in Libra, that explains the loveability issues along with narcissistic personality disorder, Mother gave her away because M’s b-f- didn’t like her).  (The newspapers are announcing that she is officially a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, you have to read on to find out why).

There were Foster Homes and then at Age 5 Ford was placed in a permanent home.  Or, at least, I think that’s what happened.  Ford has been in trouble in pretty much all places where trouble can exist.  Guess it’s a bit difficult to see the illegal aliens hogging up all the social services when you yourself could use some help.

So I looked up the original founders of the Minutemen.  The media writes them up as being completely insane.  http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-05-24-minuteman-goals_x.htm?csp=34.

Chris Simcox, a former kindergarten school teacher is a Child of Divorce.  It’s always amazing how the media never discusses divorce from a children’s point of view except when wanting to turn the public against the person who is being written about.  Like this article from USAToday. If the media were to persecute every immigrant who leads the exact same life that Simcox has led, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.  But, they don’t.  Anyway, Simcox is from Divorce.  He has been married 3 times himself and apparently is going through a journalism followed 3d divorce in which he threatens to kill everyone around him.  He has one child with his 2d wife, but has lost custody.  Guy has a bad dependency on guns, that’s for sure.  I wonder if his parents divorced when he was going through his Mars Return.

Simcox formed the Minutemen with James Gilchrist on Oct. 1, 2004.  They became a big hit really fast and it seems to have gone to their heads.  This is probably one statistical study that some Latina psych major will bite her teeth into:  What percentage of the Minutemen are Children of Divorce? Sorry, it just seems that Latinas do the Psych major thing a little too much, guess it reminds them of Lifetime TV.

If your parents didn’t make you feel secure, probably you will have complexes about how the Government doesn’t do anything about your security either.  Either way, Children of Divorce are probably more likely to act like vigilantes.  I mean, if you grow up in a blended home, you’re pretty much used to this type of tension already, aren’t you?  You are on your own.  You know you are replaceable.  You can’t complain the way the immigrants do.  You can’t even mention the big D in your Wikipedia entry, for Christ’s sake.

Other founder of the Minutemen, is James Gilchrist.  This guy is hopelessly conservative.  Wikipedia doesn’t mention what happened to Gilchrist’s Mother.  He’s still protecting her no doubt.  His greatest quote online, though, says it all.  “I have struck the mother lode of patriotism.”

Wikipedia says that Gilchrist lived in Kansas and Texas with his Father and older twin brothers.  And Gilchrist moved out at Age 17 to get away from his Father and Step-Mother.

Yo, doggy, it does look like the U.S. Borders are being protected by vigilante Children of Divorce.  Since I do agree with the basic idea that something needed to be done to control the huge influx of immigrants, I can’t say that the original intent was bad.  I’m very much against the guns.  So I’m adding to both Bad and Exemplary Children of Divorce categories.



Bad Children of Divorce – Mickey Rooney’s Stepson

Actor Mickey Rooney has filed a restraining order against his Stepson who has been abusing the 90-year old Actor.  Article reports that the Stepson, Chris Aber, has been verbally abusive, has meddled in Rooney’s finances, and has forced Rooney to work when he didn’t want to.  Without knowing anything about the relationship it’s difficult to understand what is happening.  I can see how an abusive stepchild would take advantage of a rich step-parent for financial gain.  I can also see how a elderly step-parent would accuse a child, step- or no, of taking advantage of him.   The lawyers may also be the culprits in this case.  Who can say?  I suspect that the step- relationships would be the first to suffer in elder abuse situations because blood is thicker than water. On the other hand, I know from personal experience that Step-Children really like to go after the step-parents’ money.  Since they don’t have strong familial connections, they sort of think they ought to be paid for the emotional anguish of not belonging (or something like that, ask my ex-step-sister and step-brother, if you want an answer to how they can live with themselves).

According to Wikipedia, Rooney has 9 children from 8 marriages.  He has been married to his current wife for 30 years.



Another Escape Artist – Colton Harris-Moore

In a previous post I wrote about Child of D Frank Abagnale, Jr. who was featured in a Leonardo di Caprio movie (and in his own book) Catch Me If You Can.  It looks like another escape artist/criminal child has now been caught.  Colton Harris-Moore of Washington State was caught in Bermuda after running from the law for 2 years.  Clayton escaped from a half way house in April, 2008 and has been evading the police ever since, surviving mostly by stealing.

I had to look if he was, like Abagnale, Jr. a traumatized child of divorce.  It seems that he has a large fan base.  Have to admit, after reading what I can find about his childhood I’m a fan as well (well, not of the crimes).

According to Wikipedia, Colton Harris-Moore was born Mar. 22, 1991 on Camano Island, Washington.  His Father walked out when Clayton was 2 years old.  Clayton’s last memory was of his Father trying to strangle him. 2 years represents the first Mars Return.  And Mars represents violence.  And this is an example, of course, of a Mars Return child in extreme stress. Clayton’s Mother remarried but Clayton’s step-father died when Clayton was 7.  This would have been around the time of his first Lunar square.  There is a possibility that Mars and Moon are in conjunction with each other in Clayton’s chart.  This is an aspect showing great emotional volatility.  But, if both planets are in the sign of Gemini this also shows Clayton’s extreme cleverness in escaping from capture.

How this connects with astrology of Clayton’s chart is amazing.  Clayton’s natal Mars is probably highly afflicted.  It is squaring his natal Sun and possibly in conjunction with his natal Moon.  Both of these contacts can show a person with some impulse control and anger issues on their own without the stress.  They internalize the conflicts that the parents have with each other.  The prominence of this aspect in Clayton’s chart is amplified because Mars and possibly the Moon are both out-of-bounds.  This means that their influence is extra strong.  This configuration is also connected with the Aries points because the Sun at least is placed there.  This explains Colton’s fame as planets on the Aries Points bring a person into the public eye through those planets.  Transiting Pluto is squaring this natal aspect and Pluto also brings Fame (and capture).

Colton’s natal Mars is at 25 Gemini.  He had his Return before his 2d birthday.  When he was turning 2 Mars was going through a long retrograde in the sign of Cancer which indicates a lot of emotional stress at home.  He was probably under the influence of his first progressed Lunar Square at age 7 when his step-father passed away which could exaggerate the tension of Mars-Moon-Sun even more.

Natal Saturn is at 5 Aquarius opposing natal Jupiter at 4 Leo.  Clayton has a good understanding of how people relate to each other on a political level.  He is also a risk taker.

Abagnale, Jr. turned his life around.  I hope that Clayton can figure out how to do the same.

Once again I don’t feel good about putting him under the Bad Child of Divorce category.



Bad Children of Divorce – Rielle Hunter

Rielle Hunter, or the woman who currently goes by the name of, is a real piece of work.  Sad to say, she is also a Child of Divorce.

I’m not saying that this woman’s behavior is in any way typical of a Child of Divorce.  In most cases, I think that this mentality isn’t normal for Children of Divorce and perhaps this is because the divorce came too late in Rielle’s childhood.  Her parents divorced when she was 17 and was recently traumatized by her Father’s awful antics.  Rielle’s Father was a Lawyer who specialized in Insurance.  Her parents bred horses in Florida and her Father became involved in a Fraud scheme in which horses were electrocuted to collect the insurance.  At around the time of the divorce, Rielle was a rider and one of her Father’s buds killed her horse. One sees the shattering of her personality all over her life history.  Wikipedia lists about 5 or 6 names which she has gone by in her life.  I’ve discussed before a few times how there seems to be a pattern where Children of Divorce seem to change their names (for whatever reason, I’m assuming that loss of family = need to break free through disposal of name associated with, but haven’t got a clue).

Can’t tell if Rielle went to college.  If she did, her tenure was short.  Probably wouldn’t have been able to concentrate very well I imagine.  She did move to New York and became a leader influence on the Generation X crowd.  She did drugs.  She had lots of sex.  Her wildness impressed lots of writers and she became sort of a Muse for a couple of different famous writers.  Her boyfriend, writer Jay McInerney,  created a fictional character based on her in a novel called Story of My Life which is said to describe how her behavior is linked to her Father’s treatment of her.  Another writer, Bret Easton Ellis, included a character based on her in his books American Psycho and Glamorama.

Wikipedia lists about six or seven names that she has gone by in her 42 or 43 years of life.

Rielle was married to a lawyer at some point.  She has worked as an actress and a video producer.  And that’s how she met Presidential Candidate John Edwards and became pregnant with his child while he was campaigning for President in 2007.  Right around this time Edwards had discovered that his wife Elizabeth’s Breast Cancer had metastasized and was considered untreatable.

Rielle gave an interview a few months ago to a tabloid and her attitude about her relationship with Edwards was appalling.  Even with the knowledge that his wife Elizabeth was suffering from late stage Breast Cancer, Hunter claimed that she had nothing to do with the break up of their marriage.  This is that weird little statement that I grew up with having to hear.  I called it the Blame Game.  My Step-Mother didn’t break up my parents’ marriage.  It was already waiting for someone like her to come along.

Of course, only a certain type of person can play the blame game.  People with a conscience won’t.  But Divorce is not about getting along with other people.  It’s about get away from them.  Isn’t it interesting how that often that creates a War Zone?

With his estranged wife Elizabeth, John Edwards has had 4 children.  The oldest son died prematurely in a car accident, a very sorrowful experience. The Edwards’ oldest daughter, Cate, is 28 years old and has an established life outside of the home.  The two youngest still live at home, Emma Claire and Jack.

Edwards now has a 2 year old daughter, Frances, with Rielle Hunter, who apparently has turned into her Father.

So, I guess this brings up a couple of questions for me.  First of all, how difficult is it to separate from bad experiences that have happened to you in childhood?  And what are the effects of a divorce on a 17 year old?  I suspect that the general idea is that the kid is already grown and the parenting completely stops.  If anything, the child becomes a substitute spouse who takes on a lot of the household duties and listens to all the problems. A lot of times it seems that everyone lives in the same house together but just goes about their business with the understanding that everyone is in too much pain.

There are no Planetary Return transits for most people (except the Sun-Venus conjunction kids) between the ages of about 14 and 18.9 years old.  It’s as if we are allowed to float on our own for an extended period of time to see how we can deal with life.  At Age 17 we will have completed a Saturn opposition to our natal Saturn.  Saturn represents the Father in the chart, and how we deal with our reputation and our public standing and career status.  Saturn is authoritarian and on an emotional level is cold and can be ruthless and selfish.  Oppositions show literally “opposition” and balance and separation.  We are pulling away from our families in order to build our own personalities.  It takes a certain level of ruthlessness in order to do that.  Saturn rules Boundaries and Barriers and deep Fears and Insecurities.  We use it to say “No” to people and anyone who has trouble saying “No” to people knows how difficult that is for most people to do.  There’s a wisdom in using that power for good.  When it’s used easily and without feeling it becomes a very negative personality trait that can’t interact well with others.  Blame and Guilt are also associated with Saturn.  Saturn is related to the Maturation process and timing.  It represents caution, it understands that slow and steady wins the race.  But, older kids will often have to shift almost instantly from innocence of childhood and of being protected to understanding that their parents can be evil as they observe from their standpoint of being almost adult.  They will have a long memory at this point of what it’s like to be part of a family (for good or bad).

It’s interesting to see how a deep trauma that is experienced at this age can manifest later in life.  Rielle had her Horse taken away from her in return for her Father’s bad behavior.  Once she moved to New York and started imploding in her social life her parents were probably too self involved with their own problems to deal with her.   One can only imagine what her parents’ divorce must have been like.  Now she has turned around and destroyed Elizabeth Edwards’ and her childrens’ lives.



If Your Parents Divorced When You Were Between Ages 1 and 2

During a Baby’s first Year the very basic core of his personality is influenced almost solely through the influence of the Sun and the Moon.  With regards to Planetary Returns the only one he will have for at least the first 9-10 months will be the Lunar Return.  That means that he has to “adjust the settings” on his basic needs and emotional levels in life before moving on.  I’ve talked about how the Sun and the Moon are the basic elements of a birth chart because they are thought to describe the basis of each individual along with the Ascendant.  The Ascendant describes the time of day when the baby was born and whatever sign and planetary influences it has are said to describe his physical body, his personality and the actual moment of his birth.

Around the time of the First Birthday there are 3 Planetary Returns: Sun, Mercury and Venus.  Baby identifies with his Ego through the Sun.  The Solar Return literally marks the First Birthday.  Celebrations are ruled by the Sun, as is Play, the idea of Fun and Children themselves.

Mercury and Venus Returns occur either right before or right after the Solar Return.  These two planets spin around inside the Earth’s orbit.  They also stay within close range of the Sun’s orbit.  Mercury is never a sign away (1 Month before or after) from the Sun.  Venus is never farther than two signs (or two months) away either before or after.

Around the the time of the first Mercury Return a Baby begins to explore the world with his hands, takes his first steps and says his first words.  Around the time of the first Venus Return he begins to relate to the sensual world and people around him through one on one contact by the time of his first Venus Return.

The Sun rules the sign of Leo which corresponds to the middle of Summer in the calendar year.  It rules the 5th House of the Horoscope.  Mercury and Venus both rule two signs and two houses.  Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo and the 3d and 6th houses.  Venus rules Taurus and Libra and the 2d and 7th Houses.

What’s important to realize about these rulerships is that, together with Mars which rules the 1st house and has its Return usually right before the 2d Birthday, these planets rule the entire lower half of the Astrological Wheel.  The lower half of the Astrology chart rules the night time and is thought to psychologically show the introverted half of an individual.  The six signs above the Horizon show how a person relates to people as part of a whole of society.  The comparison with observations made by Child Development researchers is simply amazing.  They say that a child’s basic sense of himself completes a major phase of development by the age of 2 years old.

Astrologer Noel Tyl has developed some interesting theories about how people who identify strongly with the lower half of the chart struggle in their development to separate from their early years and parental role models.  Certainly they might struggle more with divorce than others who have strong emphasis on the Upper half of the Astrology Chart because as I’ve said I think that Divorce is a product of a society that strongly identifies with Extroverts.

I’m giving very short descriptions of what the planets represent here.  For more information please refer to the books which I recommended earlier on.  I’ll bring up other ideas as I go along, hopefully they will make sense.

Both signs that Mercury rules are concerned with mental processes.  As Ruler of the Sign Gemini Mercury rules Communications, Local Travel, and Siblings.  Through the Gemini rulerships, Mercury rules the hands and the hands are directly related to the thinking processes.  The hands take up about half of a brain’s wires.  It would be interesting to know if babies react more strongly to words they hear around this time.  This is important for later intellectual activities as so often adults draw on the stories that are told to them during childhood.  Mercury has a Return yearly (very irregular orbit, though).  All the spoken warring that occurs during a divorce would probably have an extra influence of some type on a baby.  There’s no way of really knowing since there’s almost no chance a baby will remember what he hears from this time.  I have a couple of very strong memories from when I was around 1 1/2 and because of that I do know that babies can be very aware of what’s going on.  Mercury is very observant and aware.  He also suffers from anxiety and will be extremely sensitive to overly critical behavior.  He may learn to survive by learning how to stay in the background.  He will probably enjoy staying very busy and overstimulated.  Mercury, is, literally, mercurial.

By coincidence Motor Skill Development in babies corresponds with a couple of  matching Planetary Returns.  The Mercury Return corresponds with a plateau of development in Fine Motor Skills which control the hands and thinking processes.    I think scientists have stated a time period that would occur about a month or two before the first possible Mercury Return which would be at 11 months.  By coincidence as well, the Gross Motor skills, body movement which would correspond with Mars, are thought to reach a plateau of development around the same time as the first Mars Return, at age 2.

Baby’s first words are generally descriptions of nouns of things that are directly in front of him.  Mommy’s a noun.  So is Daddy.  Which noun has just left the room? the house? the life?  That’s a bit more complex thought process than the kids from the intact families have to learn.  In curious Mercury’s case it is probably too much information.

Gemini and the 3d House in Astrology is very curious and observant and will want to know a lot about his immediate environment.  Gemini is the ultimate multi-tasker.  He can pack a suitcase, watch TV, play nintendo, and scream at his younger brother all at the same time and at a much younger age than his siblings can too, I might add. The facility he might show in this regard might be too well received in a divorced family and so he might be encouraged to stay at this level of development.  Multi-tasking is not very healthy existence overall.  Just check out the amount of employees who work in law firms who develop high blood pressure.

The Yale Child Center has actually mapped the way that children in general who are just beginning to walk will explore a room.  Early on they begin with this scattered Gemini type of energy.  They seem to be all over the place running from place to place in a room at a young age.  Then as they develop they prefer to focus on one interesting thing in the room and spend more time with it. In a double household situation, the scattered energy might be so well-received for its flexibility that the child never really learns to settle down and concentrate.  He simply packs more and more little suitcases to the delight of his parents who happily shuffle him back and forth without a thought.

Gemini through its curiosity and scattered-ness is also the sign which begins to make connections.  At the time of the Mercury Return a baby is beginning to make Aural and Visual connections within his environment.  One might wonder if these children as adults are able to maintain a youthful side in their brains because of so much stimulation at this age.

Mercury shows a Baby’s first mental observations of his environment, but the observations will be seen through either a scattered Gemini lens or detail-oriented Virgo lens.  The Long Range vision will begin to develop with the first Jupiter and Saturn Return aspects around Age 3 or 4, Jupiter will have a Return at around Age 11 and Saturn at around Age 29 so one can see how slowly the development takes place.  The Outer Planet Returns which often are thought to show extreme long range vision don’t even occur in most people’s lifetimes.

Mercury is actually considered a lower form of Uranian energy and because of that I think that Mercury is probably one of the planets that a child will try to understand Divorce with.  As I’ve said, Uranus is one of the main planets connected with the idea of Divorce as it rules society as an experiment and a group level. Uranus also rules Hopes and Wishes and breakdown of all traditional societal role models.  I wonder if children born at this time are somewhat ignored as their energy will blend in with the whole Divorce trauma.  That will be great for the parents and the rest of the family at the time, but as adults these grown children may wonder why they have so much trouble concentrating or focusing on anything.  They may struggle with the idea of commitment.

The whole picture of the Uranian Divorce is centered around the idea of Rebellion, Free Love and Free Will and is pretty far out of range  for a child’s experience.  It might not, who’s to say?  Some children are born with a lot of Uranus influence in their charts.  A Divorce might be exactly what they expect from life.  For most children it won’t be though.  Divorce represents the end of a relationship. Uranus represents the 2d to last sign of development on the Astrological Wheel.  And the baby is just a baby.  I don’t know how this fact gets passed up but it does.  He is still probably too dependent on others for his root survival, has literally just developed his first idea of “Intention” around 8 or 9 months.  His world is completely based on learning to scream for food when he is hungry and learning to make others happy through laughter.  He will only just learn about the idea of “prohibitions” around the age of 18 months.  How could he possibly understand how to fight against a prohibition or a rule or a societal requirement or a court ordered divorce paper or a religious doctrine if he hasn’t even learned about them yet?

If a Baby were to somehow strongly identify with Mercury energy he might use his mental faculties to deal with the stress of divorce, he might become a perpetual problem solver, but he might also be completely disconnected from his feeling side.  He might also suffer from anxieties or bad habits which he doesn’t understand the beginnings of since he will have no memory of the divorce.  He would be extra alert to what is going on in his surroundings, which could manifest through stress and trauma as hyper-vigilance.  He would worry a whole lot about just about everything.  He might suffer from exposure to verbal or mental cruelty that comes with divorce and might struggle to free himself from those characteristics later on either in himself or in others.  He might feel that he is always a witness, never a doer, and that he stands on the sidelines of life.  He might suffer from being too scattered or versatile through the Gemini influence but would be a great multi-tasker.  He might be too glib.  He might suffer from being too analytical or critical through the Virgo influence but would be very useful for working with details and for getting a job done perfectly.  He would be very flexible in dealing with problems.

As Ruler of Virgo Mercury rules Analytical Abilities, Daily Habits, Health, Hygiene and Job.

Mercury’s Virgo influence is also mental but in an analytical way.  Virgo sort of takes all the information that Gemini has gathered and begins to try to synthesize it.  Virgo is detail oriented and critical and perfectionist.  Virgo can be obsessed with the parts.  Virgo represents Daily Life and Ritual, Public Health, Jobs, Hygiene, Habits. Virgo can suffer from perfectionism, coldness, practicality, compulsiveness, overly critical natures, a whole of worrying.  Virgo is the sign that feels embarrassed about everything.  They actually feel embarassed for others. Both Gemini and Virgo rule the nervous system and short attention spans.  Whereas Gemini tends to get distracted and may not stick with any project, Virgo can finish projects.

Virgo also rules the stomach area and digestion.  So problems in these areas might develop.

All characteristics can either work for or against a person, of course.  If a child has a particular planet strongly emphasized in his chart this will just make it more so.  He may have superhuman powers to succeed through this planets strength.  But, if the planet doesn’t blend well with the natal chart the person may act through its influence, because that’s how he sort of froze within his “family”.  I suspect that Divorcing parents and maybe even siblings, will remember each other as “The one who was easy-going” through the divorce and will continue to see the child in this way.  This influence may not express what a child actually is (as stated in the birth chart) and if he doesn’t understand his own nature there will be conflicts later on in life trying to understand what he would actually prefer.

So, now about Venus.

Venus also rules two different signs of the Zodiac like Mercury, both having to do with how we relate.

As Ruler of the sign of Taurus, Venus rules our money and possessions, and also, interestingly, our self worth. A person who identifies strongly with the Taurus side of Venus would identify with the sensual world.  He might have a strong or beautiful voice, might be very stubborn.  If stressed he might struggle to find self worth through possessions or money.  It would be interesting to know if a large percentage of the Bankers who blindly brokered the recent bad mortgages came from “Venus Divorces.”  There is an interesting Sun-Venus Cycle which occurs for people who are born with those two planets in conjunction.  It sort of sticks them in to an 8 year cycle.  I’ll talk about that later.

Taurus rules Money but it also Self-Esteem and Ability to Earn a Living.  A baby could suffer serious damage to future survival skills at this point if exposed to manipulations over money in childhood not to mention exposure to poverty and destitution.  He will quickly learn the lessons about how valuable money and wealth are in society as a large, but perhaps to the exclusion of how valuable he is as an individual as well as valuing others.  Taurus, is indeed, learning about values.

As Ruler of the sign of Libra, Venus shows our one on one relationships, Marriage, Open Enemies, and also how we harmonize with others. As ruler of marriage, of course, Venus is going to be extra aware of how Mom and Dad are relating to each other and how he must relate to each of them in order to make everyone feel at ease.  This turns into struggles with relationships later on in life.

Both Taurus and Libra are linked to the Arts and developing a sense of Beauty and/or Harmony in the world.  Taurus is an earthy influence and Libra is a mental influence.  Venus in both signs are connected with Adoration and sense of Beauty so a child’s first awareness of the Arts is probably developing at this time.  Taurus will appreciate sound and touch.  This sign rules the throat and singing.  Maybe someone should compose some Nursery Rhymes for Divorcing Babies at this age.  Battle Hymn of the Custody Fight, that type of thing.  Lullaby for When Mommy’s Crying.  Lullaby for the Abandoned.

The Libra Venus has a strong bond with Mars because they rule the opposite ends of the same Pole. Mars by himself has close to no understanding of relationships, but he must always struggle because of that because Venus is on the other side.  Venus herself must struggle to take on Mars’ ability to just “do” without worrying about what the other guy thinks.  This is often referred to as the “relationship pole”, or Ascendant/Descendant on the Astrology Wheel.

Just as the Sun and the Moon represent the Male and Female aspect of ourselves as handed down to us through our parents, Venus and Mars represent the Male and Female aspect of ourselves as they relate to our own major relationships in life.   So, a baby is perhaps mastering his first sense of the Male and Female relationship or “Yin/Yang” during this first year between the time of the first Venus Return  (10 months to 14 months) and the Mars Return at around 23 months).  It’s actually interesting that both sides of this “Relationship” pole represent masculine signs of Aries and Libra, something which I’ve never actually heard explained.  It’s also interesting that the Yin energy is mastered before the Yang energy  (It does this as well with the Moon and the Sun).

Either way, Venus in Astrology generally represents Women in our lives, Money, Diplomacy, Justice, Marriage, and the Arts.  A person who strongly identifies with this planet would somehow be very concerned about relationships with others, might work extra hard to be beautiful and loving, and might not feel as if always able to get what he/she wants on his/her own. These people probably will represent themselves through others to an extreme degree and they can become uncomfortable over this as adults.  They might be very charming and socially skilled because they understand what others want.  They might struggle to learn how to say “no” and to disagree with others.  They may have an extreme fear of being alone and will go through a lot of relationships in life themselves.  They will be more disturbed by rude and obnoxious behaviors in others as well.  On the other hand, they may express the tension from this by going to the other extreme, usually through passive aggressive types of behaviors, or through escapism, laziness, and vanity.

It’s interesting to observe how the Sun, Mercury and Venus are placed in relation to each other in the natal chart and also to observe when they have their 1st Returns in relation as well.  This is the main technique I’m using for this age group as it would be impossible to understand how their Returns might manifest later in life.  They have a Return once a year.  Venus might skip a year here and there.  I suspect that Children who go through a divorce between the ages of 1 and 2 strongly identify with how these 3 planets exist in their charts.  If the first Venus Return occurs after the other two then it might play a stronger role with the Mars Return which happens usually around the second birthday since Venus and Mars play such a strong role in relation to each other.

As rulers of Taurus and Gemini both Mercury and Venus may be most strongly involved in our very early development.    I wonder if these two signs might have stronger influence in a person who experiences these planetary returns before their first Birthday.  Either way, they will go through their first squares and oppositions to the natal chart during this year.

In the Yale Child Center books there is a description of a Taurus type of development in babies that seems related to the Gemini type of development. That is, early attachment to objects in our surroundings around 8 months or so (Taurus), might actually lead to early thinking skills (Gemini).  Taurus rules the sense of Touch.  It along with the Lunar influence would explain why babies first explore everything with their mouths. Mercury would rule the ability to grab and hold objects.  By remembering and familiarizing ourselves with objects we become familiar with our environment and develop our sense of memory. We begin to develop our ability to talk and to think.  Gemini is very curious.  Taurus determines what we are most curious about because it decides what satisfies us the most.

I’m going to add something I’ve just found out which seems to fit right in with understanding how Taurus fits into the development of a child.  Last week-end I picked up a biography about Edwin Land, the man who invented Polarized Lens.  The book is called Insisting on the Impossible:  The Life of Edwin Land, Inventor of Instant Photography. Land is quoted as explaining how Children view the world and his explanation corresponds exactly with what is explained about the Taurus to Gemini phase of development. While reading his words I was hoping and praying that he would be a Taurus!  Bingo!

Here’s the quote, it describes beautifully how it probably feels to a baby who is just going through his first Mercury and Venus Returns. What a drag to be going through a break-up in one’s family at the same time.  Land’s parents didn’t divorce.  But his chart shows that he was the embodiment of this energy.  He had a conjunction of Sun to Venus in his chart.  And his natal Mercury was in Gemini.  This means that both Mercury and Venus were strongly placed in their own signs of Taurus and Gemini.  He was a wunderkind and learned photography on his own.  One can see the struggle between the need for Taurus attachment and the scattered and curious perceptions of Gemini:

“The world around the child is shifting and fleeting and unreliable and hazardous.  It cannot be retained; it is constantly slipping away.  To a child, a photograph gives a permanent thing that is both outside himself and part of himself. He gets a new kind of security from every picture he takes.  I remember the first picture that I developed as a child.  It was a picture of our French poodle.  the dog really was unavailable to me.  He was always running away;  there were things he had to do at night as he roamed through the countryside.  Then there was a picture I took of him.  There I had him.  He couldn’t get away.

— p. 21  Insisting on the Impossible:  The Life of Edwin Land Inventor of Instant Photography, by Victor K. McElheny.)

Moving on, I’ll now talk about the other Mercury and Venus rulerships. Sorry for the long windedness.  As rulers of the signs Virgo and Libra, Mercury and Venus together rule the side of the chart that are farthest away from the 1st house which rules our physical body.  This is the side of the chart relies heavily on our relationships with “The Other”.   Libra in particular is the baby’s first sense of having to balance out one’s needs for others.  The Mercury Return as ruler of Virgo would shows baby’s first attempts to be discerning in his thinking processess.  I sort of think they may be related very strongly to being a Child of Divorce as Virgo and Libra seem to be the consummate Witnesses. As rulers of the right side of the chart these signs have a great viewpoint about what is below and what is above, but often they feel out of control and feel that they can’t act on their own in life.

A child who develops the influence of these planets can grow up to be excellent Marketers.  They can size people up and know what they want.  They will have natural Salesmanship skills as they will partner with just about anybody easily.  This is more true for Libra than it is for Virgo.

I wonder if babies who go through a parents’ split before the first Birthday development more of the Taurus/Gemini characteristics while babies who go through a parents’ split after the first Birthday development more of the Virgo/Libra characteristics.  That’s just a theory at this point since I have close to no examples to use to look it up.

As an example, I can point to Marilyn Monroe as a person who had both her Mercury and Venus return before her 1st Birthday and who is a great example of what can go both right and wrong.  Marilyn’s Mother was divorced from the man on Marilyns’ birth certificate between Marilyn’s 1st and 2d Birthday.  Monroe’s chart shows that she had had both her Mercury and Venus Returns before her first Birthday.  That means that she completed a stage of development both mentally and sensual/relationship-wise before her ego was fully developed.  Ego is what gives a person confidence.  It’s very stressful to develop the other two before one has a complete picture of one’s ability to shine in the world.  But, the child will somehow be very special in some way because the way she uses her Ego and Ability to Shine will be done with this extra bit of intelligence later on.

Mercury and Venus already show up strongly in Marilyn’s chart. Her natal Mercury was conjunct n.Sun in an island configuration which means that this duo doesn’t relate or blend easily with the other energies in her chart.  Venus is also stuck in one of these islands as well and it’s in conjunction with Chiron.  Chiron shows someone who can help others but can’t help himself, he’s called the Wounded Teacher/Healer.  I’d like to say that Marilyn’s early tragic death somehow enlightened society about our superficiality, celebrity worship, and roles of women as bimbos, but it looks as if no amount of teachers will be able to communicate that lesson.

Such strong emphasis of these planets in the natal chart along with the fact that they were transiting very quickly during Monroe’s first year show something exceptional in her make-up.  Obviously Marilyn had great beauty.  It’s interesting to think about Edwin Land’s quote about photography and to realize what a love affair Monroe had with the camera herself.  She had other Mercury-Venus qualities such as an incredible ability to market herself as such, and a great understanding of what others want to see.  Unfortunately, with the Sun so overshadowed in her development and stressed out no doubt by what she was experiencing in her family life, she struggled to see herself which is something one would expect in this situation. Marilyn had Leo Rising so the Sun literally ruled her entire chart.  This explains even more how strong the influence of these 3 planets were for her.

Through a Mercury/Venus lens, Marilyn would have been very aware of what the neighbors were gossiping about her situation growing up.  She would have worked very hard to fit in and to not show how upsetting it was for her.  Obviously this worked to her benefit because it brought her great success.  These planets can master what exists on the surface, they can see things brewing under that surface, they can see what others from above want.  She would have had great gifts for maneuvering through the Hollywood politics.  But there could be a sense that things are not what they seem and that life has no core.   Hence the drug addictions to help with coping.

And in Marilyn’s actual story more is revealed about Paternity.  Things really weren’t what they seemed.  Marilyn’s Birth Certificate Father was probably not her real Father.  Her Mother had married that man but general consensus is that she became pregnant while having an affair with a different married man, a studio executive.

Finally, we make it to the Sun.  A Baby’s second year begins with a great Celebration on his First Birthday.  This is called the First Solar Return. The Sun is the Center of the Solar System and a Baby at this point in life needs to feel that he is the center of the Solar System. He needs this just to make the courageous jumps in growth that he is facing at this age.   He’s not doing this intentionally.  He’s just doing it, to the exhaustive sighs of his doting parents.  But he needs encouragement and praise at this time.  The Sun represents Freedom and lack of self-consciousness.

I’d imagine that a baby whose parents have a huge fight on his birthday would feel the reverberations from their actions immediately as the Sun rules the sign of Leo which represents Lion energy.  The final blowout might be over a toy, a Leo type of gift.  There’s a story by Raymond Carver, I think I’ve mentioned it on this blog before, it shows the sort of “War of the Roses” type of Divorce theme that would stick with a baby who was experiencing parents’ divorce at this time.  I wonder how that might settle into a child’s subconscious.  A little traumatized Lion might grow up to be all about Show and Drama will probably continue making a Spectacle far into adulthood if traumatized by others at this age.  Or he might constantly feel that he is over-passed for getting attention.  Either way, I recommend acting classes for anyone who identifies with the Solar influence just to get a fix of the limelight.  The person might grow up working in some way with light, as in photography, of course, or with lasers, or with medicine.   Leo is related to having great teaching skills and I imagine that some really great teachers would come out of suffering trauma at this age.  Anybody who is strongly influenced by the Sun is a great Romantic and a Lover.  Lots of enthusiasm and leadership skills.

I’ve discussed the influence of the Sun in the two previous posts “Many Happy Returns” and yesterday’s “Sun and Moon.”  I am now talking about the Sun as he returns to its natal spot.  He will have completed a rotation throughout the baby’s entire chart and will have made every aspect to his natal planets and house positions that it can.  A part of the baby has been set into place with the Sun’s light and creative energy.

The Sun rules the sign of Leo and the 5th House of the Astrological Wheel.  It is a Fire Planet so it is warm, masculine, enthusiastic and idealistic.  This is the sign of royalty and pageantry.  It will show the point in an individual’s chart which represents his ego, his conscious, his creativity, his confidence and his courage to create.

Sun rules Children, Play, Fun and also Risk Taking.  People with strong Solar energy want to be the center of attention.  There is also a great deal of Wisdom connected with the Sun which represents Brightness and Light.  Think of the Greek and Egyptian Civilizations which honored their Sun Gods.  This energy is meant to give a child enough confidence to go out into the world and to take risks later on in life.

I suspect that a baby who struggles in some way around his first Birthday will react to trauma with a little extra sense of authority and entitlement.  Leo is also a very enthusiastic and fun sign and is known for its generosity.  When these people suffer they may suffer from being stuck in sort of a “Fun Zone” of excitement or they may fall into an utter pit of despair.   In their own relationships they may not be able to be receptive to what others want because of a tendency to be self-centered.

This, of course, could be a natural problem within a Divorce situation for anyone.  Most Children of Divorce tend to be cast off into the shadows, into the roles of “Witness,” “Companion” “Caretaker.”    They need to be very flexible people who go along with whatever is occurring in their families.  The Sun wants his moment.  He wants to lead.  And he wants everyone to be happy.  A child whose ego needs are neglected at this very early age might become dominant in a negative way in order to get attention.  He/she might become arrogant or bossy or conceited or too self-assured.  In Intact Families this might be construed as a silly, well-earned phase for having learned to take first steps or to begin to talk.  The parents would accept it as a phase.  The child learns about generosity in this way which is Leo.

In a step-family it could be a real problem, a real clash of egos.  A child who needs to repeat a single word or who is constantly throwing a toy just to get a reaction could be considered an obnoxious brat by a step-parent.   The parents are in the middle of their own romance, the spotlight isn’t on the child, and they may not think much about the child’s first steps and not be fully engaged when he’s saying his first words.  Leo is the natural ruler of children and childhood because it has a natural sense of playfulness and fun and is not self conscious.  But, in a divorce which encourages submission and going with the flow, the Confidence at this age might perhaps be recognized as arrogance which needs to be disciplined.  The Sun will survive by putting up a mask to the world under which a lot of insecurities will fester.  His need to get attention will bother everyone around him.

It’s important to note that these inner planetary cycles will repeat a lot during childhood.  We get a chance to repeat and hopefully refine the ways we use them within our lives.  Each time one of these planets completes a cycle we are completing yet another cycle of mastery over its influence on us.  We hopefully become wiser.  But, with trauma, we also have to recognize that we could be weakened.  If there are subconscious reminders we might have inexplicable reactions and behaviors and feel pain that doesn’t make sense.   The Cycles could instead, be used as a time for recognition and release if problems exist, just as anniversaries are celebrated for people who need to either celebrate or grieve.

I don’t have many examples of people whose parents divorced when they were one and definitely don’t have specific dates of any of these separations so I can’t say exactly which Planetary Return was most in effect.  I’ve been experimenting with a couple of possible ways of observing the planets to try to understand how they may play out.  So, I’m going to play some guessing games with examples.  It’s interesting to just back track over these first major transits in a child’s life to see how he was possibly viewing the world.

The Writer Edgar Allen Poe is the best example of what I suspect would be a Sun-Mercury Return baby. Edgar Allen Poe’s Father left when Poe was one year old.  Poe’s natal Sun and Mercury are conjunct to the degree at 29 Capricorn.  Since Mercury rules Writing that works out pretty well for my theory that kids can often succeed at careers that are represented by the planetary return they are during the divorce but Poe’s childhood continued to fall apart after his father left. Capricorn is the sign which rules Fathers and Hard Lessons in Life through Authority.

Poe’s Solar Return occurred on his first Birthday, of course, which was January 19.  His Mercury Return occurred about a week before that on Jan. 12 so it happened slightly before the Solar Return.  It makes sense that a writer would have his Mercury Return before his Solar Return because he would develop his communication style before his Sun style.  Poe’s Venus Return occurred a couple of months later on Mar. 4 in the sign of Pisces.  That can be interpreted in a number of ways, anything from his great artistic talents to his aimless wandering around, to the sense of sorrow and loss that he may have looked for in women and his problems with drinking.

Poe’s early life was extremely difficult and he suffered double losses.  His Mother died when he was two.  She actually died a month before his 3d birthday on Dec. 8, 1811.  This would indicate trauma affecting the Mars Return energy which makes sense since Poe’s natal Mars is very prominently placed in his chart (in Fall, unaspected, H12, singleton in Air).  Poe was taken in by a family who suffered financial reversals and who never adopted him so never really accepted him.  As Mars is related to the terrible Two’s I sort of wonder if Poe was forever written off as a difficult baby because he was in the middle of his Mars phase.  Either way, it seems that Poe’s ability to relate back to the original trauma of his Father’s abandonment might actually have helped him through life by establishing the writer’s Mercury influence.  He identified with this early Sun-Mercury energy and managed to survive as a writer in spite of a lot of other problems.  Gemini’s are multi-taskers, so maybe they can thrive at careers while passing out from booze better than the rest of us.

Wikipedia reports that Poe was a bit of a liar, very irresponsible, drank heavily, married a much younger cousin who died and then died young.  One can see that the influence of all that youthful identification which led to early burnout.

Singer Bjork is a positive example of what I suspect might be a Venus Return type.  Her parents divorced “before she was 2 years old.”  This means that she is probably a Venus Return example, maybe Mars Return.  Doesn’t matter because she has both in Capricorn in her natal chart.  A Venus Return is great considering Bjork is a Singer and Musician.  Venus rules the voice.  She has both Venus and Mars in the sign of Capricorn and as I said, I suspect that Venus and Mars generally work in tandem with each other in people’s lives.  Most people agree that Venus and Mars, which rules human one-on-one relationships, are easiest to observe as never ending balancing acts.

I’ve already mentioned Blond Bombshell Marilyn Monroe.

Sorry to add this but another difficult but interesting case is that of  Laci Peterson who  became famous after disappearing while 8 months pregnant went through her parents’ divorce during her first year.  Laci seemed like a very stable and very charming woman which shows  strong Venus influence as her natal Sun in Taurus describes.  But 4 months after she went missing, she and her unborn child Connor were found dead and her husband has been convicted for their murder.

It would be really interesting if her parents had split up while Laci was having her first Venus Return.   Venus is prominent in Laci’s chart because it rules the sign in which her Sun is placed. For that reason and also for the fact that Venus was out of bounds on the day Laci was born (at 25 degrees, 31 minutes).   Laci’s first Venus Return was at 25 Gemini and would have had its Return around June 15, 1976 when it was exactly in conjunction with the Sun.  That’s a great signature for a female to have her first Birthday because it shows great charm and beauty.  But, remember that one of my main points in this study is to assume that a child, even maybe a baby who can’t remember anything, is somehow stuck at the point of trauma of the divorce.  If Lacy’s parents broke up shortly after this date, Laci would have been stuck in this part of her development perhaps.  It makes sense as she grew up able to be an extremely beautiful woman who prospered through her hospitality and teaching skills.  Perhaps her beauty and talents were too perfect and were overly threatening to her husband.  Perhaps she was playing so much the role of the Wife (Venus) that she couldn’t sense, could even mask from other her husband’s, duplicitous nature.

Venus literally rules marriage and this became Laci’s downfall.   Laci was murdered by her Husband during very difficult transits to her natal Venus. The transiting Saturn-Pluto opposition was hanging over natal Venus in Gemini.  Lots of people have Venus at this spot in their charts and they weren’t murdered while this transit was passing over it, but Venus wouldn’t have such a sore history in most charts because of prominence in birth chart and actual trauma experience.  Most children going through Venus transits are smiling, laughing and playing pat-a-cake.  Transiting Saturn was at 26 Gemini opposing Pluto 19 Sagittarius on the day that Laci went missing.  When these two work together in a negative way they can show brutality and ruthlessness through extreme need for control.  Laci’s progressed chart loops into this spot as well.   To make matters worse, her progressed Mercury was also at this point at 24 Gemini.  Progressed Mercury was also Retrograde.

As I said, the symbolic side of Venus is very strong here, it rules Marriage and Women and Love.  Laci was murdered by her husband who was having an affair.  As far as looking at all three returns for this time, I’ll point out that at the time of her first Birthday, Laci had already just had her Mercury Return and her Venus Return came slightly more than a month after her first Birthday.  So this is definitely the Return that she would have been most influenced by in her first year when her parents split.

Another example to look at would be the chart for Tess Damm.  Tess is in jail now for the murder of her Mother who Tess along with her boyfriend murdered.  The kids stuffed the Mother’s body into the car and then partied for a month before the neighbors noticed something was weird and reported them.  Tess had a typical difficult Child of Divorce story.  Her Mother was an abusive alcoholic and her Father has abandoned her.  It sounds like he went through years of being troubled as well.  Tess’ parents split when she was one year old.  I’m pointing to her chart because Tess’ first Mercury Return in Leo was extra long due to a Retrograde.  Her first phase of development having to do with basic thinking could possibly have been stuck in a Leo phase of over confidence, arrogance, and drama.  Mercury is, literally, a Mercurial planet.  Either way,  I think it’s important to pay special attention to Planetary Returns that are extended through Retrogrades if there is early trauma events associated with them.

Stephanie Staal’s book The Love They Lost includes an example of how a person whose parents divorced when she was one remembers life which is great because it contains an actual description of how she perceives her life:  (from page 89):  “I was always the new kid in class, and I felt like I had to very quickly impress people and make friends because we would probably be leaving in a few months.”  This reflects the fast moving nature of these planets.  The fleeting impressions which led Edwin Land to develop instant photography.

A child will experience rapid returns of these planets throughout childhood and for the rest of her life.  This description does remind  me of the skills that a child from this group will naturally possess.  Mercury and Venus working together represent anything having to do with Marketing and Selling, especially in combination with the Sun.  These people can read people and have a seemingly sense of other what other people want. And they can probably create much beauty in the world through the creative senses of all three planets, Sun, Mercury and Venus.

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