Something about Mothers Day and the Moon…

Miss 16 & me...
Miss 16 & me…

Here in Australia, it’s Mothers Day. The second Sunday in May.

Astrologers will tell you that difficult aspects to the Moon, ie squares, oppositions and conjunctions with some of the more “difficult” planets, will mean you had (or have) a difficult relationship with your Mother. In many cases this may be true, but as with all things astrological, there are many more less literal readings of the situation.

Take my Moon for example. In Pisces in the 1st house (I wear my heart on my sleeve- when you see me, you see my Moon), my Moon has some difficult aspects to deal with:

  • Conjunct Chiron
  • Conjunct (out of sign, so I pretend it doesn’t exist) Saturn (less than 3 degrees)
  • Opposite Pluto
  • Opposite Uranus

According to astrologers I have encountered over the years, this tells me the following about my mother:

  • Conjunct Chiron- An astrologer once told me that this meant that my mother died or abandoned me when I was child. The truth is that my Mum is still extremely present (and, even more impressively, the same weight as the day she got married). The only abandonment I suffered was the usual separation and responsibilities as a result of being the eldest of four. Did I feel as though often there was no time or attention for me? Absolutely. Did I ever feel as though she abandoned me? Absolutely not.
  • Conjunct Saturn- apparently this one indicates a lonely, oppressive or otherwise burdened childhood. Nope. Sure we moved around a lot, sure I had responsibility, but trust me when you have younger brothers and sisters the problem is usually one of fantasising about being alone than actually getting the opportunity to be so. In many ways, my upbringing was so conservatively functional as to be unfashionably so. Besides, my Moon/Saturn conjunction is out of sign, so I’m preferring to ignore it…that’s my prerogative as an escapist triple Piscean.
  • Opposite Pluto- I was told (by the same astrologer as above) that this one means that I was rejected by Mother early in life- either real or imagined. I’m the eldest of four and, trust me, this much Pisces requires high emotional maintenance. Whatever.
  • Opposite Uranus- according to Stephen Arroyo in The Chart Interpretation Handbook “there is a gnawing desire to change over one’s identity in a radical way, and to rid oneself of all past encumbrances and conditioning…these people usually find it hard to be happy in the present since they are always powerfully aware of the impact of the past (the Moon) and the future (Uranus). Hmmmmmm- I can’t really argue with this one!

I’ve been told that I am in denial, that I really do have huge “iss-ues” that need addressing and that I brush under the carpet. Again, whatever. Perhaps, but I don’t think so. Sure I have had my “mother” issues- most women do at some point in time.  But, contrary to popular astrological wisdom, my Mum is not harsh, difficult, over bearing, oppressive, power hungry, unstable or absent. Instead, I had a relatively problem free childhood in a fully functional and stable family with two parents who both continue to have our security as their primary concern.

My Mum was (and is) a stay at home Mum who managed to bring us all up with remarkably few hang-ups…and we have all done pretty well for ourselves and have never gone without anything.

Yes, we have had problems in our relationship…because that is what it is, a relationship. I am extremely watery, extremely emotional, selfish in the way that New Moon and 1st house Suns often are, and have control issues. My Mum is all Air (Sun, Venus and Mercury in Aquarius) and Earth. She has no water, I have no air. We are two very different people with two very different sets of priorities and trigger points.

My Mum isn’t perfect, no one is…not even me;). In fact, the flawed female in this relationship is probably me.  I am the restless one, the emotionally unstable one, the one who has power issues, the one who is bored with business as usual, and the one constantly looking for more…or next.

Moon/Saturn is me. Although Mum doesn’t do emotional expression, nor do I easily.  I am the one who has the self confidence of a flea (if, indeed a flea has self confidence) and is defensive around feedback of all types. I am the one who is always going for “good enough”. I am the one who as a child saw criticism where she probably thought she was encouraging me to do better. And it worked- in the next exam I’d get those extra 4 marks…I’d chase the perfect score.

Moon/Pluto is also me. Sure my Mum has some pretty Plutonic stuff that went down when she was a kid, but I am the one who is almost compulsively drawn to rejection in order to avoid dependency and loss.

Moon/Uranus is me. My moods come fast and erratically. I am the kid who would stand there with her chin stuck out and her hands on her hips and declare her right to independence, her right to freedom of speech, her right to freedom of thought, her right to be right…and that of whatever my latest cause was.

I am proud of my Mum and I love my Mum- she has done an amazing job with 4 very different children. She is also the very best possible mother for someone like me. With the amount of Pisces and water that I have in my chart, the very likely potential would be for me to wind up broke and broken in a gutter somewhere, addicted to something (possibly anything), with a series of destructive relationships behind me.

If I had a Mum that had allowed me full rein and indulgence of my emotions and did not apply the boundaries that she did, and didn’t push me to perform academically in the way that she did, or ask me to take responsibility in the way that she did, I would be a very different version of myself. Thanks to my Mum and her strength, that is not the case.

The astrology may show me a perception of my relationship with my Mum, but it doesn’t show me the reality of it, the potential of it or the triumphs and challenges of it. To see that I would need to look at both charts from a viewpoint of relationship astrology…and that presents a very different and clearer picture. How else can I look at the Moon aspects in the charts of my brother and sisters and see four very different patterns for the same mother?

I look at my own daughter’s Moon aspects (an exact conjunction between the Moon and Neptune) and wonder what issues I will pass on to her. Her Moon sextiles her Sun- she has no difficult Moon aspects.

Her Aquarius Moon, Neptune and Uranus slot nicely into the friendship zone in my chart- and that (so far) is what we have. Her Mars, Mercury and Saturn conjunction in Aries is conjunct my Venus, in my 2nd house, her Jupiter is conjunct my Ascendant, and her Aries Sun is on my Saturn. She expands me, and also gives me structure.

My Sun and Ascendant fall on her IC, with my Moon in her 4th. My husband and I joke that we might need to move out of home.

Our relationship- that of my daughter and I- is different to the one my mother and I have…and that’s neither good or bad, it’s just different.

When I look at the relationship synastry between my daughter and my mother, I see a relationship that will be positive, supportive and one of true friendship. My daughter’s Aries Sun, Mercury and Mars are conjunct Mum’s Aries Moon. Her Moon is conjunct my Mum’s Sun. Mum’s Venus and Mercury is conjunct my daughters’ Venus. There is some really lovely synastry there.

Perhaps as astrologers, instead of jumping to conclusions about clients’ relationships with their Mother, we should take a more balanced approach. Sure Moon aspects (especially the challenging ones) tell us some pretty impressive information about our sub conscious and our feelings toward our families and our Mums, but judgements should not be made in isolation. Mother/child relationships are just that- relationships…each one different, each one important with those experiences touching us intensely in a truly formative way.

My Mum taught me a lot- the bit about never knitting a man a jumper until you are married to him (if you do, it is guaranteed the wedding won’t happen…which could be useful information if you also want to get rid of a man ;)) I found extremely useful, as was her very special chook meditation (don’t ask). I can only hope that my daughter treasures my pieces of wisdom as much- especially the one about no matter how late, drunk or tired you are, the make- up needs to come off, and how tequila is rarely a good idea.

Happy Mothers Day to all the Mums of bubs and furry bubs. Happy Mothers Day to Mums to be, to angel Mums and all those who are nurturing something or somebody. After all, that is what being a mother is really all about. Happy Mothers Day to my Mum, her Mum and my husbands’ Mum- you have all made our little family what it is and the three of us (four, if you include Kali the wonder spaniel) thank you.