Being in Love: Ladies, Are You An Annie Oakley or A Calamity Jane?

Calamity Jane 2For those unfamiliar with the North American West and its history, Calamity Jane (left) and Annie Oakley (below) are two women who left a mark on the Collective consciousness through their unusual talents and choices. At a time when women were typically relegated to roles either as an accessory (the upper classes) or of toil (the lower), these two carved places for themselves in male-dominated areas of accomplishment. Both were crack shots who largely made their living from their ability with firearms; both dressed unconventionally; both were celebrities in their own lifetimes–but that’s where the similarities end. The two were radically different in how they conducted themselves, and in their relationships–and this is what we must look at if we’re to sort those of us who are ‘Annies’ from those who are ‘Janes.’Annie Oakley 2

Now, there’s nothing wrong with being a ‘Jane’ or an ‘Annie’; this is more about assessing essential approaches to life and relationships that we may mistake as freeing when they’re actually undermining to our intentions. This is the real difference between the historical characters: Annie turned her unconventional inclinations into a long, productive, and impressive show business career that demanded discipline and persistence and may have required a bit of an emotional straightjacket; Jane let her inclinations and emotions overwhelm her, leading to outstanding instances of bravery and compassion (likely flowing from that spirit of independence and emotional exuberance), interspersed with excessive, debilitating drinking and confrontational anger (expressed through words, dress, and all manner of Self-sabotage). Astrologically it might initially appear to be a stark Saturn v. Uranus quandary in the natal chart, and this does fit for both these women, but I would also include a look at Chiron and Neptune, specifically, as they apply to hurt that may be acted out, and the factor of illusion as it served or ruined the reputation and injured or benefitted the individual (as well as the obvious factor of escape via substance abuse).

Annie Oakley (13 August 1860 no time known Darke County, Ohio) learned to shoot young, in order to supplement the family income by hunting and selling game, and she was so successful that she paid off her mother’s mortage by the time she was 15. Frank Butler, frontiersman, showman, and entrepreneur, was with a troupe of traveling marksmen who challenged the local talent as part of the show; Annie took the challenge, and beat him, hitting 25 out of 25, while Frank only hit 24. Annie is throughout her life described as small, serious, tidy, self-contained, calm, modest, and appealing–Frank fell in love immediately, and the two married and traveled, performing trick shooting with various groups, and finally with a circus, which lasted for a year. Then they joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, the top show of its kind, and traveled North America and Europe for 16 years. They had no children, but they did have a beloved dog, Dave, that allowed Annie to shoot an apple from his head as part of the act. During both the Spanish-American War and World War 1, Annie offered to recruit and train a unit of female marksmen–and both times the government declined the offer. The after-effects of several train and automobile accidents finally caught up with Annie, and she died in 1926, with Frank refusing to eat after her death; he died 18 days later.

Annie has a strong chart, one that may have prompted her to choose her course early and stick with it. She has a Leo Sun conjunct Saturn, perfect for a serious showperson in a line that requires strict control and discipline–certainly, she embodied this configuration. The Sun is opposed Chiron, suggesting that she may have chosen very early to reject the idea of herself as wounded, or a victim, even though her early life was tough in some respects. Chiron is sextile Pallas–healing through use and development of skills–and sesquiquadrate Vesta–perhaps showing some discomfort with the unusual home situation for the times (always traveling, no children) and the unconventional image she presented. Her Sun is also trine Pallas–she was the epitome of the competent, adept warrior–and quincunx retro Mars–accomodating the Self to a more masculine approach, adopting firearms–and this suggests she could’ve been intimidated by them at first–she wouldn’t be the only person to have become very competent in an effort to overcome a fear. Sun and Saturn are quincunx Neptune–implying she may have had to adjust her dreams and fantasies to the reality with which she was presented; and yet Neptune conjuncts Sedna, sesquiquadrates Mercury, and squares Juno, again echoing some discomfort with the image presented, with what she was communicating, and there is the notion that, in fact, rather than having to adjust her dreams, she didn’t even know what they were! Perhaps they were suppressed so thoroughly (Saturn–through a sense of duty and necessity) that they never even broke through to consciousness (Neptune).

All this says that Annie was an almost archetypal incarnation of Pallas (in Aries) and Saturn energies, and that she both rejected (the negative) and raised to a high skill level (the positive) her Chiron attributes; Neptune shows as a repository for all she didn’t connect to, and yet she may have also served as a screen upon which Collective fantasies of an ideal female of the frontier were projected. This is in sharp contrast to Jane, about whom we’ll talk in part two, which will also include a quiz that will help you decide if you’re a Jane or an Annie, and what this might mean for your love life.

Photos are historical and widely available on the net.

The Fixer-Upper: Boyfriend as Improvement Project

Let’s start by saying: this is never a good idea; seeing (or is it projecting?) the potential in a guy (or any partner–face it, looking for what someone could be knows no gender) is a set-up for disaster. When we see a mate as a fixer-upper, a Self-assigned improvement project, we should immediately realize a few things: that we do not respect this individual (no matter how much we protest that we do), that we don’t really like this individual (otherwise, why would we want to change them?) and that we are very likely avoidng recognizing and dealing with our own flaws and/ or issues by focusing on someone else. Not a pretty picture, but a very human one, understandable and forgivable.

What in the chart might indicate a propensity for this? It comes in many forms: a strong Neptune, for instance, may indicate a Rescuer, or someone who responds to the fantasy of the partner rather than to the real person, while a prominent Moon or Chiron may suggest we’re acting out of our own sense of woundedness in an attempt to ‘fix’ everything for everybody, and a str0ng Ceres or Juno in a woman’s chart could push her in the direction of mothering/smothering or seeking empowerment through a partnership, respectively.

Transits may also trigger these attitudes temporarily. Neptune, of course, could lead us down an unreal partnership path, while Saturn could demand that we get serious and build a life with someone–and we may just reach for the person at hand, hoping to slap on a coat of paint and get going. Uranus can give us a huge but impermanent case of oppositional defiant disorder–and the result can be that we throw over our typical behaviors in an attempt to prove our individuality, our uniqueness, or that we are free–and if we must prove we’re free, we likely really aren’t, while proving our uniqueness may involve discarding our true tastes and preferences. Pluto may prompt us to trash whatever we’re involved in, in order to either escape or transform the partner–and though Pluto may free us from a relationship we didn’t really want, it can push us to go too far, leaving a husk of a partner in our wake. Transits can be a minefield if we allow them to work at the unconscious level, and natal propensities call for the same level of awareness, the same willingness to recognize and express in a positive fashion.

When He’s In Love: How to Tell, How to React Pt. 3 Sag to Pisces

Sagittarius–Men born under the sign of the bachelor are anything but that; their naturally expansive nature and roving eye signals a lively, engaged spirit, not an unfaithful or singular one. In fact, the Sag man treats his woman almost as if she’s his new religion, demonstrating a deep and abiding commitment by taking his love’s beliefs very seriously, and by, in one way or another, bringing the world to her. He may ask you to travel with him, take a class together, or attend worship with him; he may want to educate you himself, and he’s often a storehouse of knowledge driven by his innate interest in the world and the way things work. Sag brings to the relationship a central idea of enthusiastic companionship, along with the expansive Jupiterian energy that can at first bring a big high (“The whole world’s our playground!”) but which can quickly become draining for those more home-oriented or less energetic; as well, when the game is always ‘on,’ as it is with Sag, the sheer bigness of everything about the relationship can become an enormous weight for the woman who likes a little time off, or prefers her experiences in more modest portions.

How to react–The Sagittarius man offers Big Love, alright–and the interaction can quickly become overwhelming, as the demands for time and energy add up. Too, he loves to share what he knows, and the guy with an answer for everything, no matter how cheerfully the information is delivered, can even get on a saint’s nerves. He may not fathom that you don’t have the continual, immense appetite for life that he has (at least for the gigantic line-up of gigantic experiences he offers), and he can easily mistake your need for down time with a rejection of him. One Sag-heavy guy I know (unaware of the perfect Sagittarius symbolism he was using) put it this way: “It’s like I go through the day shooting a bunch of arrows, and hey, if I hit something, great, I go with it!” This can be an exhausting approach for those who like to concentrate their energy and choose their target. The best response to Sag’s enthusiasm and desire to put ‘it ‘ out there is definitely to allow this man free rein–because the first thing that will make him bolt is the idea that he ‘can’t’–and at the same time set firm parameters for what you will and will not accept (for instance, you will consider spontaneous adventures, but not if they’re proposed at 2 AM). The thing you must offer your Sag man is knowledge of who you are–his spirit is ultimately one of accomodation, and he will, once he knows, begin to train his arrows to hit precisely what you want.

Capricorn–lets you know he loves you by being very very serious in interaction–sometimes so serious that you barely hear a word from him! Cappy’s admiration can devolve into him hovering nearby, just watching you, not wanting to intrude on the event that is you. This may or may not be accompanied by gifts of real property, business advice, stocks, or useful items, like hammers, lumber, and brooms. Often, though, this is the early behavior that is a prelude to Capricorn offering you stability, status, rules, and a legally binding contract. When he proposes (whatever he proposes) he means it, so even if your Cap gent has a lighthearted surface manner, take what he says as being absolutely sincere.

How to react–The Capricorn man wants, no, needs, for you to take him seriously; if you entertain even his least appealing suggestions with properly solemn consideration, he’ll be satisfied. Don’t laugh at him, ever, and find out what he cares about and treat it with respect–it’s the one thing he’ll always offer you, and it will be the one thing he’ll require from you–though typically he’d also like a firm, lifetime commitment and clear rules concerning personal conduct, if he can get them. Treat him with the gravity and care he wants, and you’ll find him evetually (once his need to be taken seriously is realized) able to exercise spontaneity and lighten up, which can be a gift for you both.

Aquarius–likes to live in his head, and if he falls for you, may try to live in yours, as well. He may show his interest by engaging you intellectually, perhaps strutting his academic creds or trying to impress you with his expertise as a group leader or with his place in the avant garde. He’s likely to make a point of expressing his independence as much as possible, and you may notice he must feel unique, no matter what; he’ll be the anarchist in a group of Republicans, the atheist in church, the nudist in Alaska. Not only can this be socially awkward for you as a couple, it can be highly irritating, and the irony of Aquarius’ need to rebel in some form in every circumstance is something he’s unlikely to recognize. He won’t see that compulsive indulgence in this in the relationship is the equivalent of essentially treating you like you are either an enemy or an authority figure, and the adolescent insistence on trumpeting his individuality and having his uniqueness recognized (and often as not this takes the form of the kind of slavish conformity that believes itself to be unique, found in fashions of all kinds) is enough to drive a permanent wedge in the most charged and exciting (also Uranian characteristics) of interactions.

How to react–The good news is Aquarius can always be reasoned with; the bad news is you may have to reason with your Aquarian guy, and he’s a master at mental manipulation and intellectual sleight-of-hand, and this can feel like you’re talking to an idea Houdini who slips in and out of facts like they’re trick handcuffs. If you love him, let him know how unique he is in your eyes; show him that radical behavior isn’t necessary to make him stand out in a crowd. And never let him pull the ‘superior intellect’ number on you–he’ll respect you for standing up to him, and for being able to meet him on an equal mental footing.

Pisces–the man heavy in Pisces/ Neptune energy will let you know he cares by doing the most creative and nurturing thing he can think of, likely using water in some way and giving you a sense of escape from the everyday. The Pisces man wants to commune with you, to have no boundaries, to unite in an ideal world–and this could be great, if healthy relationships didn’t require good boundaries and if harsh reality didn’t intrude on fantasy. He loves to get away from it all, and he wants to take you with him–and this can cause a real clash when you must be back at work by 8 AM. And if he wants to share a chemical or virtual escape, that comes with its own pitfalls, not to mention the fact that if you’re wrapped up in unreality, you’re not really spending time together with your loved one at all.

How to react–Pisces just wants togetherness–so maybe if you point out that being conscious and face-to-face is as together as two people can be, he just might agree. Don’t hesitate to share his fantasy, escape, or getaway, but make it clear that you expect to re-enter the real world with him, intact and with all your brain cells. Most Pisces just need to be soothed; and knowing that you are available and willing to indulge in a total merge once in a while ought to make him more than happy–no consciousness altering substances needed!

When He’s In Love: How to Tell, How to React Pt. 2 Leo to Scorpio

Leo–you can tell the Leo guy’s in love when he pulls you into his spotlight. Suddenly helping you shine (and the two of you shining together) is what it’s all about, and depending on your temperament, this may be a dream come true, a nightmare, or something in between. The exceptionally generous Leonine spirit can almost literally be like receiving a gift of life energy, but the attention and scrutiny while in that spotlight can be intense, whether you thrive under those circumstances or not. Leo equates attention with love, but for some with whom he tries to share, this can eventually end up feeling like you’re a bug struggling under the glare of a cruel child’s magnifying glass.

How to react–If you love the bright lights your Leo shines on you, then all’s well, but if you begin at some point to spend an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom (because it’s the only place you can be alone and unwatched), then something’s got to give. So much depends on your own tolerance for and desire for attention that it’s difficult to give even a barely adequate one-size-fits-all answer; the closest I can come is to say that what Leo really wants is to admire and be admired–so I guess the relationship becomes a proving ground testing whether each of you naturally has what the other can admire, find pride-by-association in, and respect.

Virgo–the Virgo man signals he’s into you by telling you, one way or another, that you’re perfect. This sounds wonderful, and often is, for a time, until you do something he doesn’t interpret as perfection; then you hear about just exactly how you could improve yourself–and that’s definitely a mood killer. Virgo is relentlessly focused on the details, on the critique meant to create a better end result, a better product, a better harvest, so he doesn’t see why you wouldn’t want to hear his assessment. It never occurs to him that what he perceives as flawed won’t necessarily seem in need of repair to you, and this is the heart of the problem: with all that attention to detail, the Virgo guy is still totally obtuse when it comes to big picture objectivity, as well as the fact that others naturally have another point of view.

How to react–Though bristling is your likely first reaction to the Self-improvement list your sweet Virgo presents to you, it might make sense to put it all into context. This is a man whose attraction to you allowed him to see you as the perfect woman, at least for a while, and now all he’s doing is trying to maintain his own belief in your perfection. Virgo is programmed to inspect, nitpick, assess, classify, and sift through data looking for what is out of order (or what might go wrong). Likely as not, Virgo’s suggestions to you are a signal flag he’s throwing up, in the hope that you’ll stop, turn your full attention to him, and reassure him that the woman he fell in love with hasn’t left the building. What he really wants, though he may couch it in perfectionistic or critical terms, is to be assured that the vision of love he carries is real, and that you are still unquestionably interested in him. Virgo is Earth, and suprisingly consistent in its need for predictability in life–favor him with reassurance that he’s still the one, add a modicum of interest in the minutiae of his existence (because it’s all in the details, for him), and he’ll relax and feel loved (and if you’ve got a lot of Sag or a prominent Jupiter, you might want to lovingly share with him how his perception of detail fits in the Big Picture–he’ll be delighted to be shown another use for his abilities).

Libra–ah, the romance we expect from a Libra! and we get it, no question; it’s a sweet togetherness that gives even the mundane tasks of life a euphoric kick. He’s always thinking of ‘us,’ and everything comes with a rose and a romantic pink glow. Problems come in two ways: if we are a more cut-to-the-chase kind of person, who thinks romance has a specific time and place, we may find each interaction being staged like the cover of a romance novel a little too much; or, we may be just fine with the emphasis on continual romance, but may chafe when our connection goes from the gentle holding of hands to being joined at the hip with our human ball-and-chain SO.

How to react–Libra clearly means well, but few of us can live with our gaze firmly fixed on some Victorian idea of the niceties of relationship without needing to look away now and again. Libra generally believes that the relentlessly romantic approach is what a woman wants and needs; you must understand that the Libra guy, even when he’s ultra-modern, has an unreal expectation of what a love relationship is. He may believe it will fulfill him, and that can put a big burden on you to fill in the missing pieces and even to play a role, the requirements of which you might not be privy to. When expectations and the need for everything to look romantic and pretty gets to be too much, you might want to remind yourself that this man lives for partnership, and he truly wants to shoulder half the load (and in fact he’ll carry more than his share, out of love and dedication)–for him, it’s an expression of his love for you. Then, no matter your feeling about his romantic approach, you might want to share some activity, something important to you that you can do together, or even something where you can ‘assign’ him a part–the vital point is the sharing, the inclusion of the Libra as you describe your goal, your plan, your interest, and ask him to participate. What he  wants is to be on your ‘team’–for him, that’s really all the romance he needs.

Scorpio–if his intense gaze doesn’t give away his interest, the way he figuratively drags you to a cave of one kind or another will certainly get the message across. Scorpio’s likely to be quiet, even calculating, in his approach; a conspiratorial aura to your interaction is a strong sign he’s into you. The stealth factor can play a big part in the relationship itself, as well; where Libra will trumpet partnership to the skies, Scorpio plays it all very close to the vest, so that the fact he sees the two of you as a couple might take you by surprise. This can come across like a mixed message, or can make you feel like he’s hiding your relationship, as if he’s ashamed or otherwise unwilling to be open about it. This can make for major crises of confidence and can lead to very bad feelings; other places in relationship with a Scorpio man that can, like the little girl with the curl, be very very good or very very bad, are the sex life, and in the keeping of secrets–the latter may be a compulsively manifested stumbling block on the road to real intimacy.

How to react–Confusion about your Scorpio guy’s real feelings and intentions is the most likely problem to arise. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to join Scorpio in his cave: allow him his need for secrecy (for it’s really a mannerism, more than a withholding, with this man); trust him, and you’ll never have to question his ardor or his loyalty–question him endlessly, and he feels the need to crawl into that cave and pull the opening in behind him. If you can accept that you won’t be privy to his every thought, can accept his intensity as genuine and his need for privacy as a true need (and so to be respected), then you can go the distance and enjoy a truly passionate relationship with this (often) mysterious man.

When He’s In Love: How to Tell, How to React Pt. 1

In relationship we’re always looking to determine the level of interest of our partner, whether we really think about it or not: we watch his reactions, search his eyes for a spark, wait for the smile or the touch that is beyond what he offers to anyone else. We want to feel special; that’s only natural, and right. Often, though, he just isn’t so easy to read; it seems that men have an extreme interest in obscuring, or even hiding completely, any signs of emotional involvement: he’ll cup your ass in public but be mortified if you want to hold hands around his friends, and the last thing he wants anyone else to hear is him saying, “I love you” into the phone. So, in honor of all those men who fear emotional vulnerability more than they fear public speaking or death (the two biggest fears of the general populace), we take a look at how he might be signaling you his love, in a manly semaphore that sometimes only he can understand. Read both his Sun sign and the sign in which the ruler of his Sun is placed (for example, for a Libra Sun you’d also read the sign in which you find his Venus). If the messages of late have been strangely mixed, or the contact is new and mostly (at this point) sexual, read his Mars sign, as well–this gives big clues as to how he sees himself, and might help you decipher some of his more perplexing behavior.

Error signal flags
Error signal flags

Aries–you may first realize he’s in love when he starts to boss you around. The Aries man likes to think of himself as in charge–and once he sees you as part of his life, he’ll just see it as natural that he should command you, too. He may do a lot for you, going so far as to take things right out of your hands and finishing the task for you. Annoying as this can be, you’ve got to see it for what it is, his message for you: if I love you, I do for you.

How to react–depending on temperament, you may want to explode with indignation and a speech about equality and respect, sulk, or cave to his aggressive role in your affairs–but the best response is a grateful one, even when it seems he’s way over into your personal space. ‘Thank you’ to the Aries man is like gold; he will, quite literally, even, move heaven and earth to earn your gratitude and appreciation. Praise is what he lives for, so be generous with it–then later you can gently suggest that he might want to let you open your own birthday gift, next time.

Taurus–he will bring you things, small, soothing things, things that appeal to the senses–there’s a loving appreciation of the way you feel, a concern for your material comfort, that’s the giveaway that the Bull is in love. Not one for words (unless his Mercury is in Gemini), the Taurus man will let the homemade soup, soft throw, smelly candles, hot chocolate, heating pad, perfume, ice pack, bunch of thyme, exotic cheese, mohair socks, organic brown eggs, one-of-a-kind jewelry, handthrown bowl, lady-size gardening implements, cake, basil, new house, or the bag of potting soil do the talking. Here the message is: If I love you, I’ll shower you with the things I find comforting.

How to react–if you are enchanted with a never ending supply of fragrant, earthy, mostly practical delights, all will be well–but if you find yourself at some point thinking, ‘Enough already with the ceramics classes and the composting!’ then you might long to tell him of your McNuggets craving, your desire to use disposable diapers, or your heretical enjoyment of all things plastic–and we just know that won’t go over well–in fact, he may take that as rejection of who he is. With the Taurus man, what he wants most is to share his material world, so if you love him, that’s what you need to do: return the favor. Nothing impresses this man like receiving the same sensory treats and attention to his comfort that he uses to express his love–and it may be the only ‘language’ he truly comprehends, so think of each small gift or caring gesture as a statement of affection, because that’s precisely how he’ll be seeing it.

Gemini–this guy comes in two flavors, the chatterer and the silent type, so you may not at first notice the change in the way he interacts with you–but you’ll know he’s in love when he wants to be alone, just the two of you, to talk and share ideas, especially things he’s kept quiet about til now. He also may enjoy showing you off socially, or ‘teaming up’ socially, and could insist on being included in whatever he sees as your network, while expecting you to be part of his. A select few will show their adoration by becoming completely tongue-tied, but even in those susceptible that won’t last long. He may insist on knowing your every thought, and monitoring your social calendar–and few women can take that for long without some sort of confrontation.

How to react— the onslaught of ‘thought energy’ is eventually bound to feel intrusive, and having to account for all your activities and contacts can make you feel he doesn’t trust you. In reality, he doesn’t recognize communication boundaries with those he loves, and truly doesn’t understand your objections: to him the flow of info is love.  Recognize that this isn’t going to change, and then resolve not to horde ideas or facts from your beau. Many of us are taught that one important way to draw boundaries (and retain power within a situation) is to withhold information–and if we’re going to be with Gemini, we need to let go of that, and realize that no one controls us just because they know where we’ll be at 4:30 next Thursday.

Cancer–a Cancer guy is a sensitive guy–and before he’s in love, his attention remains on his own feelings, but once he’s fallen for you, you become part of that feeling world. He becomes attuned, not to you, but to his own feeling state that has grown to include you, and this means that, though he’s totally close and loving in interation with you, he expects you to share his emotional reactions, perceptions, and conclusions to the letter–and this can be awkward if you’re not into co-dependence. The exceptional gentleness and compassion shown by the Cancer man can be very persuasive–you’ll know you’re loved, but inevitably there’ll come a point when you’ll wonder just how much ‘you’ there really is in your relationship.

How to react–Love with a Cancer man can be a total experience, like you’re enveloped in a perpetual wave of emotion–and if you have a strong streak of independence (unaspected Sun, strong Saturn or Uranus, lots of Aquarius, Capricorn, Aries, Scorpio, or Sagittarius) the constantly enmeshed feeling of the interaction can become overwhelming–where do you end and I begin? you may ask, and a Cancer man doesn’t necessarily want to answer, as part of the illusion of love for him is that there seem to be no boundaries between you. There’s also the possibility that the Cancer man so owns his Moon (as it is ruler of his Sun/ Soul) that there is no room for your Moon, and that means that, in a very real way, your emotional state may be unreal to this man. The best approach to possible confusion and even fusion of energies is to respond with real empathy and compassion to your man’s emotional state, but to make it very clear that there are some things a woman must carry for herself, including her own Moon energies. Gently show him that your emotions differ from his, own the nurturing qualities and functions you’re most aligned with, and keep the woman/Moon part of you prominent in the relationship–any guy as sensitive as the typical Cancer is will recognize that there are Moon energies especially attuned to the female, and will admire you for claiming them as yours.

More to come!

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For the Ladies: Let ‘Em In

Now ladies, I’d like to point something out, said so eloquently by Dr. Phil the other day (and paraphrased here): “Guys really do look for a way to ride in on their white horse and impress you.” My younger Self would’ve cringed at this, and argued strenuously: women and men should be equals, and themselves, I would’ve said. No one should have to put on a show to get someone’s attention, nor should a female look to a male for aid or rescue. But since then I’ve learned a thing or two.

Modern women are typically raised to be Self-sufficient and Self-reliant, and we can, by virtue of our own sense of responsibility and competence, push men away. Now, I’m not advocating behaving artificially, becoming a swooning flower the second you’re within proximity of a male; instead I’m saying that some of those things we’ve developed to help us cope with the world at large don’t necessarily serve us in allowing a relationship to develop. If we become conscious of these barriers, we’ll be able to apply them when they’re needed, and bring them down to allow intimacy.

Men (or anyone animus oriented) is programmed to pursue: the wooly  mammoth, the great job, the girl.  Part of this pursuit mentality is a need to be ‘the acter,’ rather than ‘the acted upon.’ That means that a man must continue this pursuit energy even after he’s made contact, and gotten your attention. It’s this energy that prompts a man, when you are simply sharing your worries, thoughts, or concerns, to immediately want to jump up and ‘fix’ the problem–you’re venting, and he’s heading directly for a solution that lets everyone sit back and relax, upset solved. Along with the need to act comes the need to feel effective in that action–and what makes a man feel more effective than when he can do something for the woman he loves, and be appreciated for it?

I don’t say this lightly, as I’ve actually seen men turn away from women who loved them completely but who were unable to show the kind of interdependence and vulnerability that those men needed to have in the relationship; and who did they turn to? Uniformly, they turned to women who knew that the greatest compliment is to be needed. Of course, we’re not talking about the relationship equivalent of babysitting, but an openness to and appreciation of what the man has to offer.

Astrologically we likely find these barriers as energies related to the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 7th, or 10th; if they’re in the 12th, they may be in the way, but will be much harder to deal with, and may permeate the life in ways we’re unaware of. 12th House energies will be so much part-and-parcel of who we (unwittingly) show others that a man who’s attracted will already be aware of these, so we’ll leave them out of the discussion.

First let’s look at the energies that can create problems. Saturn can have us building walls and putting up barriers 100_0155without reason, while Neptune may cause us to hide in a fog of confusion, dishonesty, or behind an illusion of who we are, and Pluto can make us compulsively destroy another’s ego or the relationship itself, while Uranus makes us rebel the moment something gets going. Of course, these must be configured in particular ways to act as described, most often when contacting a personal energy, and aspect type and signs will have a great deal to do with actual manifestation.

The 1st is probably the most crucial and most dynamic position for any of these; if one of them rules the Ascendant your ‘first meeting’ face may present a hard to delve behind persona to a potential mate. An energy placed here makes a statement, “I am ‘x'”–and unless we have ‘x’ under conscious control, we can keep even the most interested guy from approaching. In the 2nd the energy becomes about Self-image and Self-worth; we may be down on ourselves, or present this energy as a deep flaw that defines the sense of who we are. With the 5th we may see this a component of romance, and not realize that everyone else doesn’t see things that way, while with the 7th we may project the energy onto the mate, believing we don’t have that–and look at how I attract bad boys! we then marvel. Related to the 10th the barriers may be status or role/ profession related, or they may be part of the reputation, whether truly present in a one-on-one relationship or not.

If we become conscious of these energies, we can learn to make our responses fit our desires. For example, I have Uranus ruling my Ascendant, with Uranus in the 6th conjunct the Descendant; if I wasn’t leaving the guy, then he was leaving me. Once I finally realized that my tendency to behave as if my freedom was being stolen the second I entered into a relationship was sabotaging my happiness, I was able to rein it in, with the added bonus of letting my uniqueness shine without fear–when I learned to say, ‘I am what I am’ and love it, I attracted men who truly liked me, and I no longer felt the need to bolt once things became solid between us.

So, tell me, ladies, what’s your barrier? And how do you cope with it?