Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Difficult Self-expression -- 5th House Struggle


October 22, 2004


Dear Eric:

Your answers are always elaborate and in depth, so I am curious what unique perspective you are going to bring to this question that I have often pondered myself. I am female. I have a tight (and difficult) conjunction of Sun, Mars and Pluto in Libra in my 5th house. I say it is difficult not only because astrology books say it is so, but because I have often sensed its influence behind things that have happened to me throughout my life. This aspect has its benefits, such as a very high (almost 'male' in nature, although I am heterosexual) sex drive, also a resilience in crisis moments. But it is also seriously blocking my self-expression. I have always had the image in my mind, of someone holding my head under water so I can't breathe. That person, of course, is my own self. I am not openly self-destructive, but have this uncanny habit of sabotaging myself at the most inopportune moments. I can also go from smiling and polite to explosive in one sec. How do I control and use the energies of this conjunction? P.S. My 5th house also 'carries' my Mercury-Uranus conjunction.


Best wishes

Wood Tiger



Dear Wood Tiger,

Aren't you happy you were born the year of the Wood Tiger, and not the Fire Tiger? I am very pleased, personally; this way, if I don't do a good job with this response, I'll live to tell the story! But Wood Tiger will get you through the day just fine; nobody can stop you, but you. On this note.


Self-sabotage is an interesting notion. I have seen it in existence; I've felt it in myself; we all have, I am sure. But I find it a truly curious notion, enough so to question on its face.


Let's start with a little gestalt therapy technique: WHO DID THIS TO YOU? Let's blame somebody. It's fun. It's easy. It's cheap. It's not very 'spiritual', but piss on that, for now. It can be very effective.


Self-destructive implies that your 'self' actually wants to 'destruct' you. I'm not buying it, cousin. Why would you want to destruct you, or your good works, or your hard-earned success? But what I am willing to consider is that, during childhood, you took on the intentions and conflict of certain people around you -- caregivers, they are called, because they are supposed to care about us -- who harbored a variety of mixed emotions, frustrations, and jealousy toward you, and the like. I'm going to guess that you internalized these and that, later in life, they appear as 'self-destructive tendencies'. [I did not invent this theory.]


If you don't remember if or when this happened, don't worry; if this happened, it likely did so before you could remember. Then once you were old enough to have experiences you could remember, they seemed perfectly normal because for as long as you could remember at the time, that's the way things were. But I can pretty much assure you of this: something was done to you, many things were, and people had really strange habits for how they treated you. And from that, I'm going to propose, you took on those ways of being and, essentially, got into the habit of making sure that things did not quite work out for you. Also, it sounds like you're dealing with some anger that was pushed into you as a kid.


Being 'self sabotaging' can be a people-pleasing habit. I'll give a verified example from my own life. When I was a young adult, my father was not so thrilled that I wanted to be a writer, despite my long-term desire and active interest. True, he was a media professor -- but that's different than being a media figure. So, in earnest, I graduated from college and got involved in the world of journalism. Before long, I had started my own publication and was getting my work into big newspapers and lots of recognition. But I didn't make money at it; that is, I could barely afford to live. My interpretation to this apparent self-destruct riddle? I was attempting to please both me and dad. I could please me by proving that my ideas were acceptable to society, including The New York Times; and I could please dad, by proving I could not be an actual success at it. I went bankrupt right after one of my greatest journalistic successes. Twisted, yes?


As for what you're struggling with. Do I think other people did this to you as an intentional act? In the first instance, I assume everything that happens on this planet is the result of intention. In the second instance, I assume it happens as a result of neglect, which contains a lot of intention. I would say, based on a careful look at your chart, that you have experienced both, going all the way back to childhood.


Remember that reading a chart is an interpretive act. I cannot speak for you. But I can look at the data you sent, use my training, and make up a story. So here is a story for you that is based on your chart.


Your Mars-Pluto conjunction that you mention in the 5th house (in Libra) does not give evidence of friendly treatment of a child. The 5th house can tell a lot about childhood (so do the 3rd, 4th and the Moon, the asteroid Child, and the planet Mercury). The 5th house mainly addresses the 'inner child' and what happens next when we get going with creativity, romance, recreation or play. Having this potent conjunction there certainly gives you drive. You are like a creative bombshell. But there is a lot of anger mixed up with this particular aspect of your creativity. And that anger came from somewhere; usually anger is flogged into people over time.


In the space I have, I want to look mainly at your Sun and Moon. They suggest that you likely grew up in a kind of severe alcoholic or substance-dependent environment (or its equivalent). It's possible that the drugs involved were not actually ethanol-containing beverages; it could be second-generation effects of alcoholics your parents experienced living in your grandparents' houses; it could have been Valium, pot, or whatever; but I smell strong alcohol vapors rising off your chart.


Let's look at the Moon. Your Moon is conjunct Neptune. That's a message. It's also on the north node, which makes it rather pronounced and gives it a sense that it's associated with your greater mission in life. Jupiter, in your 10th house of profession and one's highest goals, is square the Moon. This is in Pisces. It is also square Neptune. It would be hard to fit more Neptune, Jupiter and Pisces into this chart, unless you used a high pressure water pump.


Note that Jupiter is also square the lunar nodes. When something is square the lunar nodes, THAT is the ONE thing you need to do to make the growth process of the lunar nodes happen. That ONE thing, apparently, is be successful. But Jupiter is retrograde. The retrograde tells me that you kind of flipped off the success switch to make sure you would not threaten anyone around you as a kid. This is one good and dependable thing to check with a retrograde planet; whether the talent or gift the planet represented somehow threatened early caregivers, and was put on hold.


But if you ask me, Neptune is running this whole show. Because the Moon is involved in a conjunction with Neptune, a careful investigation of your mother is called for. I suggest you carefully catalog her attitudes toward all things Neptune: intoxicating substances, truth and deceit, her ideals, and particularly religion (as the scene is Sagittarius). I strongly suggest you figure out what kinds of prescription meds she was on when you were a kid, and before -- and why this was so. (I ask because the conjunction of Moon and Neptune is in the 6th house, implying a medical connection somewhere.)


[On a side note, if you write yourself a little essay called 'What My Life Was Like At Y2K' that will likely tell you something about the deeper nature of your Moon. There was a VERY important conjunction there during the fall of 1999 through early December 2000 that I think will be a truly valuable tool in your healing process, particularly around your mother.]


Now for the Sun. For this, we need to use some minor planets. Your Sun is the latest degree traditional planet in your chart. That is, of all the planets listed in a commercial chart, it has the highest number. If we look at extra planets, we make some important discoveries. Here is an ephemeris for you, courtesy of I have omitted your exact birth data from the display. 'Long' means 'longitude' or the position of the planet in relation to the Earth.



    Date    |   Pholus    |   Nessus    |   Nemesis   |    Hebe     |    Diana    |

            |             |             |             |             |             |

            |     LONG    |     LONG    |     LONG    |     LONG    |     LONG    |


XX Sep 1974 |  7 pi 42 Rx | 29 ge 58    | 27 vi 55    | 29 vi 55    | 16 sa 28    |



Asteroids and minor planets provide valuable clues and fill in the details. They can often tip the chart's hand, or bring it right into focus. The first two of these are a kind of planet called a centaur; the three following are traditional asteroids.


The first thing that gets my attention is that you have two extra planets closely conjunct your Sun. One is called Nemesis, and the other is called Hebe. To Nemesis, we could attach the keywords 'harsh divine justice'. God, however, is not harsh, nor is God's justice mean. But when the adults in our lives who act like gods (mom and dad, for example, who are always stand-ins for the gods) treat us unkindly, we can get the idea that God is mean. So, we are dealing with a human situation. Nemesis represents a belief that was put into you, through experience, probably by whoever is represented by the Sun in your chart (likely to be father, primarily). With Hebe in the equation, we have the abuser-victim-rescuer triangle showing up, common to households where there is unmitigated addiction (Hebe delivered the cup of wine to the gods and so is associated with codependency), and also common to lots of homes that are just normally dysfunctional.


Interesting scenario, yes? You might want to identify yourself at different times in that triangle, which is officially called the Cartman Triangle (no relationship to South Park, or none intended).


Now let's look at Nessus (the third centaur planet), which tells us the bottom line. Nessus is often the planet that reveals the abuse dynamics in a chart, be they psychological or physical (including sexual); and it makes a tight square to your Sun, Nemesis, and Hebe conjunction. This tells us a LOT about the conditions of your father's early life. And about yours. There is generally a connection.


Aspects to the Sun and Moon have a tendency to 'make us who we are' or define who we are so thoroughly there seems to be no getting past it. Combine this with the fact that your South Node is rising -- that tells me that it's not so easy for you to change who you are. The way you do change is through relationships (north node in the 7th house). Because Sagittarius is the sign of your north node, this takes us back to Jupiter (see above, Jupiter square the nodes). My interpretation: you can get caught in loops. You may tend to skip steps. Thus, you must take one step at a time, consciously, and be deeply mindful in every single relationship in your life, for each contains your salvation. Make a yoga of relating. Gradually, enlist people into the process of your healing and success. Turn people to friends when they could be enemies; there are some people who really support you and you need to borrow their strength and influence. And you will note that no matter what, there are some who will never support you, and you need to let them be. Let them stand aside and don't try to convince them of anything.


Two more planets.


Pholus, the second centaur, is in early Pisces. It is conjunct Jupiter and mixed up in the whole Neptune, Moon, node aspect structure I discussed above. Pholus, not surprisingly, is a critical to decoding addiction patterns that go back several generations. It is true that when you reach a point of success (that Jupiter in the 10th) 'stuff' comes out and out and out, Pholus style -- Pholus likes to release things and could just as easily unleash the charm, strength, power and success of Jupiter in Pisces. That point of 'making it' is the very point at which you must maintain a focus on your evolution; that is, attend to your growth and not merely on how well you're doing. Success is not a destination. It grants opportunity for greater awareness, change, growth and learning. And, Pisces style, working to help the world. So, stay close to your core purpose, and work with people around you on that purpose.


Last but not least. In fact, perhaps the one that sums it all up. Asteroid Diana is right on your 7th house cusp, right on the descendent -- your relationship angle. Relating to this, were you stalked as a child? Was there a stalking energy in your household? Who protected you, if so? Did anyone? And, do you still feel stalked today? I suggest you confront this issue directly. Until you do, you'll meet every person in your life as a potential stalker. And they are not.


PS, Mercury-Uranus in the 5th? This kind of brilliance, knowledge, intelligence and passion could be very threatening to scared, shut down people. But I suggest you fire it up and blow through the resistance; shine your light through the fog and get used to the fact that people can see you.