Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Gambling Addiction


May 13, 2005 (with chart)


Dear Eric:


Greetings to you and thank you for this opportunity to ask about my addiction.


Since 1997, I have not been able to stop wasting money or time at the casino near my home. I have tried many diversions; a job out of town, hiding money, making a promise to go only once a month (if I make it that long I spend more than if I went weekly, and stay over 12 hours), etc. I have calculated I have lost around $140,000 since 1997. This makes me feel sick, lost, out of control, and I feel many times a day I have let myself down. My mind keeps me going back to the casino with all types of cunning thoughts about the thrill of winning or false thoughts that I can live on $15 a week so I can gamble away all my pay check. I no longer feel the thrill of winning; I feel scared because I put that money back into the casino before I leave, plus more. I spend money I don't have. I see I am in the grips of a progressive addiction. Gambling is daily on my mind no matter how much I am enjoying myself elsewhere. I can't wait to get back to the casino. I speed going down the road while I am actually screaming and crying trying to get myself to turn the car around and go home. But then my mind tells me something that entices me to once again sit in front of a slot machine. Sometimes I go from the casino to my day job without sleep. My emotional ground is not good. I have had this intense focus on magic, gambling, risk taking since I was a little girl. Is my destiny one of doom?


Please, what light on this addiction can you see for me? What and where is my door out of this hell?


With warm regards,




Dear Joanne,


I would agree that you have a problem -- and also say out loud that reading what you have written is the best evidence anyone can have that you are ready to deal with it, or that you are in fact already dealing with it. You can clearly speak your simple truth, and that is a very good sign.


In this forum, the best I can offer you are a few professional opinions. The first of these is that, though it may be difficult, I suggest you think of your gambling situation as a symptom and not the issue itself. The fact that it's so pervasive, that it is so dominating of your life, seems like evidence that this is the problem and not the surface layer -- but beneath the surface is the real subject matter, and if you address that subject matter, you will surely make progress. But just like your current state has developed over a long time, the solution will take some time and some patience.


I can see from your chart -- or make up a story, anyway -- about why gambling became your particular form of obsession, given other factors in your chart and in your life. For example, Uranus (creativity, spontaneous experiences) is retrograde in your 5th house of risks, gambling, and romance. This is opposite Jupiter in Sagittarius. I could see a real desire to take chances that are not too dangerous. You're also not apt to be too lucky of a gambler with that, which may be a real saving grace in the situation. Imagine if you won more often.


There are a lot of reasons in the culture as well, a culture we do not admit is as lonely as it is. If you had to fly to Vegas, it would be harder; now casinos are everywhere, and people do need to do things and engage themselves in social contexts. Casinos are appealing environments because they are safe, people are respectful, they are comfortable, and women are treated with respect. The men act like gentlemen or they are out on the seat of their pants. So they are real traps.


Like other addictions, gambling takes the place of what we really want from life: pleasures that nourish us, meaningful social contact, creative opportunities, work we love, deep relationships and satisfying sexual experiences. You know, the usual things most people struggle with not getting.


Once we peel back what is very much a fašade, that is, the form of the addiction, underneath it, there is in your chart all the usual material that people bring to their healing situations. One 'positive' thing that gambling does for you is distract you from this work.


There is, for example, a significant question in this lifetime about how you direct your productivity and take up responsibility (Saturn square the lunar nodes). This is no small aspect. Arguably, it tells the whole story of your chart by asking the question, which direction shall I take? And this is a question that you now have to answer, as one particular direction has led you nowhere you want to be.


There is something about your mother's influence on you, and the way you inherited her old stuff, which I would propose pushed you to be intense in a way that others could not seem to handle. This, in turn, may have created an alienating condition throughout your life. You seem to need a much more physical and emotional experience of affection that usually comes from mom (this is all described by Leo Moon square Scorpio Chiron).


And you are someone who needs authority. You need to really be in charge of something that you have to take care of. Remember that 'addiction' is from the same word root as 'dictator', 'dictate', 'contradict', and others -- the issue is control. And healthy ways to exercise control are by creating, by building, and by coexisting in respectful work experiences. In this regard, I would say that your time in the casino takes the place of a lot you could be doing professionally and creatively.


There are obviously other risks in life that would be much more interesting and satisfying. Yet herein lies the heart of what may be the gambling aspect of the problem -- you have become involved in something that takes everything and gives nothing. This is a metaphor, and you may find other examples of this in your life, and in your history.


Last, it's worth noting that gambling involves a particular form of energy known as money. So with this information, all your values about money come into the picture, going straight back to your grandparents. It is worth pointing out that slots are your game of choice. There is NO chance of beating the odds with this and it is not a game of skill like poker or roulette; it is a non-game, a machine, and there is no interaction; it is pure luck. Is there a comment about you, in your choice of game?


This all being said, there is the question of what to do about getting help. There are two ways you can go, really. One is to presume you have a gambling problem, per se, and get assistance from gambling organizations; I will provide a link. It would be good to read some about this subject and hear how others have gotten their lives back in order. Remember that this viewpoint takes the position that gambling itself is the problem, and studies gambling related behaviors as being disruptive. I am suggesting that there is also another way to look at it, which is that gambling is the result of something else.


The other path to help is to go to the level you're probably going to end up on, which is addressing your life holistically, through a long-term therapy process.


This path takes the premise that you are not so much trying to 'control an addiction' but rather understand yourself in a deeper way and let go of that particular problem, to make room for healing others. A therapist with a well-rounded background, with some spiritual grounding, and with some experience in body-centered work, could become a truly helpful person in your life. I suggest that productive work with a therapist be given at least two years to get the deeper results, but they will be two years that are well worth the energy, time and expense.


This article may be helpful.


This site may be helpful:

The National Council on Problem Gambling