What You’re Asking: Thieves, Moonlight, and Those With Elf Proclivities

'Cupid the Honey Thief' by Albrecht Durer 1514 {{PD-Art}}
‘Cupid the Honey Thief’ by Albrecht Durer 1514 {{PD-Art}}

‘What You’re Asking’ is gleaned from Search Terms that lead readers to this blog and to Julie Demboski’s Astrology.

the unhappy Venus quincunx Chiron

My immediate thought was that this was someone very Self-aware, pinpointing a cross-chart (between the charts of two individuals) connection that she suspected was the explanation of her ennui (for I believed this must be a woman asking, with her Venus in the equation to a man’s Chiron)–and if so, I think she’s right. Venus stands for a woman’s sense of herself in an ideal form, and when this is in harsh contact to one or more placements in a partner’s chart, it can be hard for the woman to feel loved. supported, or even approved of. In the case of a woman’s Venus quincunx a man’s Chiron, his own primal wound may insist her sense of herself as a woman adjust to his sensitivities–she may be required to treat him as if he is the more tender or delicate of the pair, or as if his sensibilities are far greater than hers, which is likely contrary to her image of herself within a heterosexual relationship, since a greater softness and receptivity is usual for the anima dominant partner. (I believe the same sort of division of the energies occurs in same-sex relationships as well–remember, we’re talking energy, not genitals!)

On the other hand, her Venus could insist he put his wounds aside to honor some aspect of her role as a woman, or her financial or relationship expectations–again, not a happy interaction for either party. And if the Venus belongs to a man, and the Chiron to a woman, we may see a conflict between wounds on her part and his anima or his attitudes toward finances, relationships, or beauty. In this case it might manifest as a man who worships beauty who pairs with a woman who has a wound involving her looks; or, we could see a woman who never has ‘enough’ married to someone who does not want to spend assets the way she does.

If this aspect is within an individual’s chart, one’s own deep wounding may interfere with expression of one’s role as a woman (for a woman), with one’s anima and so in one’s relationships to women, and/ or possibly in sexual behaviors (for a man), with the possibility of dissonance in the concepts of Love, money, or both for either sex. This is a wound that is uncomfortable with Venusian concepts and requires them to change, to accommodate the injury, while it also suggests that one’s sense of Love, relationships, and assets/ money requires the wound to accommodate it–not an easy formula to work out.

Mars in Aquarius and anger

This is a very interesting topic, as those with Mars in Aquarius have the tendency to believe they don’t get mad, that they can handle aggression and ego urges through the intellect, and that the ego is highly inventive and original–and they are likely somewhat mistaken on all counts. Having such a basic physical and ‘I am’ urge in a sign that prides itself on its mental prowess can create a lot of confusion, and can make for some highly contradictory behavior, until the individual understands that she or he has a call to blend action with thought, to synchronize them for harmonious expression. Until this is clear, the urges often work at cross-purposes, prompting aggression dressed up as reasoned choice and a highly competitive ego that seeks to one-up others as a matter of being that’s not specific to any particular contest.Once successfully integrated Mars in Aquarius can make an excellent activist, may in any walk of life personify the ‘well-educated general’, and can be an intellectual leader who doesn’t dwell in the Ivory Tower but takes new and avant-garde ideas into the streets.

path of earth retrograde from Venus

I know that it takes time to learn basic astrological meanings and principles; I’m not faulting the individual on that, but it’s impossible to ask a cogent question without a true understanding of what you’re asking about. I expect someone seeking a specific answer to grasp the concept behind what they’re asking–otherwise the whole search makes no sense. Maybe it’s the phrase “retrograde from”, as this signifies (if we accept the syntax) that Earth is moving away from Venus–and of course, astrology is from our point of view here on Earth (though Heliocentric concepts place the observation point on the Sun, looking out from there–but that’s a whole other thing), so as we see it, Venus moves relative to us–Earth is never retrograde to an Earthling! Did this person want to know where and how Earth would travel if we were seeing it from Venus? I doubt it, but it’s possible. In the end, I really wasn’t sure what this person wanted to know; this search phrase only serves to emphasize how carefully we must state our astro questions–and that to ask about something without understanding what you’re saying amounts to nonsense, as well as guarantees the answer won’t have meaning, either.

Sagittarius fantasy art

Since Sagittarius is the sign of large animals, the first thing I thought of was My Little Pony dancing on a rainbow, or maybe a flying elephant, a la Dumbo. Certainly the person who conceived of Pegasus, the winged horse of myth, must’ve been a Sag–or maybe there’s no animal involved at all, maybe it would apply to long distance means of transportation (ocean liners, trains), religious icons or academic heroes (like Sagittarius Moon-Pisces Sun Albert Einstein), pronouncements that ‘get the word out’, perhaps in bubble-gum colors and Yellow Submarine graphics. Something like the movie ‘Avatar’, creation of Sagittarius Mars-probable Pisces Moon James Cameron, might fit the bill. Or were they looking for what fantasies would appeal to a Sag? Now I’m thinking a teacher-pupil scenario, or holy being and acolyte, or some fantasy of excess, in honor of ruler Jupiter. Hmmm.

moonlight effects on humans

If we are to believe what we are told about werewolves . . . that’s not really my area, so I’ll leave that to the experts. And of course there’s the idea that moonlight can affect us at a biological level, especially in terms of ovulation and human cycles, biorhythms . . . but again, not my field. Non-astrologically we can talk about romance, and maybe mystery. So what can we say astrologically about the effect of moonlight on humans? Perhaps that the phase of the Moon at birth suggests things about the emotional attitude and the approach to life, the way we process intuition and feeling. There’s also the idea of human response to whatever Moon phase is in effect day-to-day. Since the Moon symbolizes the movement of affairs forward, the passage of time and development of situations, it almost has the nature of a clock, one that affects mood and responsiveness, which certainly shows in the way the Void of Course Moon monkeys with new starts, commitment (essentially wiping it out), and predictability of outcomes (typically, not what is expected), and some mention the pull of the Full Moon as the time when things (and by that I mean people!) go crazy, as observed by emergency room personnel, and others, and . . . we’re back to werewolves.

astrology identity theft

This was a new and fascinating idea to me–can we ‘steal’ an identity, perhaps by giving out false birth info? I’ve certainly thought it of celebrities at times–Lance Armstrong is the perfect example of someone who has kept specific birth info locked down tight–and considering what he’s going through now, I can see why–and I’ve long observed that those who find astrology a powerful tool and who want, in some way, to hide will often be very unclear about birth data, especially the time (which is the easiest thing to ‘not know’). I know someone from China who gave me a down-to-the-minute birth time, but in doing her chart I discovered this was exactly two minutes into a new Chinese New Year–and had to wonder if the time had been fudged to avoid being born in what was considered by her culture of origin a less auspicious year. The ultimate astrology identity theft might just be finding the data of someone you admire (or whose life, luck, or attitude you want) and calling it your own–but thieves be warned, it always ‘seems’ wonky to the astrologer, as there are usually glaring inconsistencies among the chart, reported experience, and observed behavior–and in the end, it doesn’t give you the other person’s vibe–instead it just brings out the ‘sneaky factor’ in your own.

significant elf proclivities

This could mean a lot of things–are we talking Santa’s elves, or those tall graceful beings from ‘Lord of the Rings’? Was the person searching this phrase wondering about someone else, a friend who wears green all the time, builds toys, and whose favorite flavor is peppermint–and is this some kind of problem, an ‘elf problem’? It seems to me elf proclivities fall into two categories: the above green-wearing, cheerful, productive kind, and the gentle, intelligent, ‘we’re in charge here’, good-looking kind (LOTR)–so, your choice.

My blog is here

“A Conjunction Between Oppositions”

Dear Julie

First and foremost I want to thank you for such marvellous and vividly written astroblogs as they offer so sourceful and in-depth material for us interested to learn astrology. Keep up the good work!

Also excuse me my broken english since it`s not my mother language so I do hope addressing my synastry question is understandable.

I just found out that I`m sharing a synastry pattern that you might want to use as a case-study for your other readers. By this I mean the moon-uranus-opposition of my natal chart falling straight at natal venus opposition pluto of one particular male. So it´s this conjunction between oppositions I`d like to learn more if possible, from astrological point of view. (Also my natal chiron and asc-desc-axis is involved in this which might have some impacts here.)

Unfortunately he doesn`t know the exact time of his birth, but he thinks it`s after eight a.m (that would make him rising Pisces which sort of sounds right for his appearance, neptunian visual art career and such)

Myself I`ve tried to translate this double-aspect as something to do with emotions (which of course with moon opp.uranus is an issue itself) that could be very intense and sort of love-hate-like. The situation in real life is just peachy for the moment being as we get together occasionally, but I sense some changes are on their way..

So I`d be very grateful if you could share some insights of this conjunction between oppositions, what could it indicate? What might be the pitfalls here or are they just deeper levels of attachment yet unknown?

Best wishes and starlights



Dear Hedge,

What a lovely phrase you’ve coined: “a conjunction between oppositions”! Poetic, it perfectly describes the synastric influence, complicated and divinely simplistic, all at once, of oppositions within individual charts that in overlay create conjunctions with another’s chart, and as we know, conjunctions in synastry are by far the strongest factors in describing relationship.

With you, we see a natal opposition between the Moon in Aries and Uranus in Libra; your friend enjoys an opposition between Venus and Pluto, with the former conjunct your Moon, and the latter conjunct your Uranus. So far so good. But the picture isn’t quite this simple; his Mercury, Vesta, Moon, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus all hook into this configuration by degree range, while in your chart the only contact the opp/conj makes is to the Ascendant/ Descendant axis. Then there is the fact that you have Chiron conjunct the Moon, bringing it into the mix, and your friend has Ceres conjunct his Pluto–all these add dimension to what started out as a relatively straightforward connection. So many energies involved suggests a lot of energies stimulated by the relationship, so that, even if this isn’t a long term or serious relationship, it still brings forward a great deal of energy interaction in the process. But what does this mean?

The Moon/ Venus connection in Aries brings good feeling into the interaction, and likely sympathy and tenderness, as well. This is typically one of the most positive contacts, though we must note that the Venus belongs to the man, suggesting that your emotional picture is in line with his vision of an ‘ideal woman’–and in Aries this implies that an independent nature is probably the ideal on both sides. The contact of Uranus (yours) and Pluto (his) brings together two transpersonal energies, which means the effect is not as intimate, though it does stimulate your romantic interest (Uranus rules your 5th) and his interest in the welfare and resources of others (this includes you) as Pluto rules his 8th.

Chiron conjunct your Moon, though, brings in the primal wound and the Chirotic gift, and links these firmly to the emotional nature and the intuition. This is both a potentially gifted and vulnerable placement, depending for positive manifestation on your ability to separate emotions from everything else–and since this lies on your Descendant, brings a special challenge: are you able to own your own emotional state, or do you succumb to the temptation to project your own feelings onto others? The answer to this will go a long way toward telling you how successfully you’ll use this energy complex, and how much it will affect all your relationships, not just this one.

Your friend has Ceres conjunct Pluto in Libra–right away we are clued in to the way this may echo through his relationships with the duo located in the sign of partners and marriage. This represents a meeting between the lord of the Underworld and his mother-in-law–who just happens to be in charge of all nature, the seasons, and all that is above ground. These two strong gods met to negotiate what started as a kidnapping (though I think that may simply be the cover story for what could have been a willing elopement) of Ceres’ daughter Persephone/ Proserpina by Pluto/ Hades. Persephone herself wasn’t strong enough to hammer out a deal with a major god, so her mother had to step in–and this may signal a built-in internal conflict stirred by all relationships for this individual ( emphasized even more as it falls in his 7th). A Ceres/ Pluto combination may mean the individual is highly skilled at negotiating the darkness and at deploying his own power and destructive energies; he may be very aware of negative or dark impulses and may exaggerate their import for him. He also may be personally amazingly resilient, able to breath new life into ashes, and could hold a strong connection to life and death energies. 

With this Ceres/ Pluto combo touching your Ascendant and Uranus, your personality and most unique character traits leap forward to stimulate this combination in your friend, so that a relationship to you may feel to him as vital, stimulating, even life and death important. Add to this the Moon/ Chiron contact to Venus, and the thought is that care must be taken here–the actions and decisions of the other person can take on exaggerated importance, considering that emotions and hurt, and the all-important feeling of the interaction, are front and center all the time.

The biggest difficulties may come from stressors outside the relationship; when a conflict situation arises in either individual’s life, it could seriously affect the interaction, and the temptation for both persons may be to funnel the tension toward the partner–this will feel natural, but would be potentially quite damaging to the relationship.

Your English, by the way, is quite good; the few little bumps in it don’t really matter, as they’re minor, and you still communicate very well–and that’s the point of language, isn’t it?

Thank you for your kind praise, and many thanks for the “starlights”–no one’s every ‘sent’ me those, before!

Best wishes to your and your friend,


Variations on a Theme of Self-Sabotage, Act 4

Hi Julie, My relationship quandry…my husband has just been diagnosed with diabetes and I do not want to deal with it. What is the matter with me? He seems happy to always have to be at the doctor’s or taking more medications and I become very rude to him when he starts discussing it. I feel he can best help himself by eating right and trying to get away from all those prescriptions. He is now up to a dozen a day. Am I being completely cold in this relationship? Should I try harder? Thank you.

Hi T,

First, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for you to balk at taking on your husband’s health burdens, and it seems specifically that you may feel this way because he appears to glory in the ritual, routine, and attention that comes with a chronic health condition. There are two things to look at here: why does your husband seem to need this particular kind of attention so much? and, what underlies your reaction to his situation?

When we look at your husband’s chart, we see recent transits that likely brought this health condition forward (T Saturn conjunct natal Mercury, ruler of the 6th of health), and we also see that he has been under quite a bit of stress emotionally (T Pluto recently contacted natal Chiron, and is now square his Moon). His natal Moon is in Aries, a position that naturally calls for him to be the center of attention on the emotional front, and a Pluto transit to first Chiron, unearthing hurt at a primal level, then the Moon, bringing an intense effect that may have felt to him like obliteration, could have triggered (or at least, greatly exacerbated) the natal emotional requirement to put ‘Me First.’

Your uncharacteristically unempathetic response shows in recent transits to your own chart, transits that likely have left you feeling much less of a need to engage deeply with others if that engagement was draining to you in some way, especially emotionally. Transiting Saturn has been over your Vesta, suppressing your feeling of commitment to the home front and the sexual partner, and perhaps lessening the idea that one must uphold those sacred institutions (like marriage) that you are normally a strong supporter of; and transiting Neptune is conjunct Juno in the 5th, obscuring from your view your natural means of empowerment, one venue of which is through the romantic relationship. So, the coolness you’re feeling right now is not surprising, nor does it indicate a cold heart or indifference–it’s just the way the wind’s blowing for you, currently.  And, with ruler of the 7th posited in the 2nd natally, the state of your significant other feels like it relates directly to your Self-worth and Self-image–so an ill partner may read as something to get away from, rather than coddle, support, or indulge.

And it does feel like indulgence to you that your husband is engaged in–and here’s where we must lay it all out. His behavior is undoubtedly too involved in relishing his own illness, but this seems to be an indication of his Moon’s needs, and right now, this illness which has shaken him to his core (whether this shows or not) needs to be acknowledged as a ‘Big Thing.’ Irritating as it may be, he truly needs to put all his energy and attention into dealing with this illness, as at present the illness defines him emotionally–and if the illness gets taken care of, then he’s taken care of, nurtured, loved, too.

For you, though your reaction is totally understandable and one with which many will sympathize, if you love your husband, you need to take a step back and get a slightly more objective view of things. You seem to be reacting out of your own need to separate your sense of yourself from your partner, and this is certainly fine, but ultimately Self- and relationship-sabotaging, as love and relationship require that we see and acknowledge the needs of our partner, and right now he needs you. The Moon rules his 7th, so every emotional assault he suffers tends to make him turn to you for support. There is also the matter of you judging him; though the amount of attention he needs may seem over-the-top to you, variation in need must be recognized (of course, there’s the matter of, if you’d known when you got together how needy he was, you may not have gotten together–but don’t we always have knowledge of the depths of our partners all along, whether we admit it or not? And so we must see that we choose them both because of and in spite of their qualities).

I think if you give your husband’s emotional needs all the ‘Me First’ attention and support they require, you will find within your husband, not the emotional black hole I believe you anticipate, but instead a renewed confidence and Self-assurance that was probably a big draw for you initially in the relationship in the first place. Approaching his needs with a non-judgmental attitude and a willingness to fill the bucket indefinitely will, conversely, shorten the time during which you must deal with his exaggerated need, so, though it may be contra-intuitive for you, I would suggest you give him the ego and emotional support he needs, especially because, we should note, Mars is a prominent part of the equation, and he may feel that his manhood is threatened along with his health–your job is to let him know it’s not.

My best to you both,


Variations on a Theme of Self-Sabotage, in Four Acts


Dear Julie, Most of the men i have been involved ended up hurting me both financially and emotionally, i have been divorced once, engaged a few times and now i just don’t know if i should give up on men.I recently met a guy. He says all the right things but i don’t know if i can trust him and i am also still in touch with a few of my ex-boyfriends.
I need help as i feel emotionally drained from all my love troubles, thank you! Z–

Hello Z–,

I admit, I feel a sense of fatigue and drain just reading your brief description of your love troubles! And that says to me that there’s something Self-defeating going on here, and the natal chart bears this out. Your lovely Libra Moon is at 00 exactly conjunct the Vertex and less than 2 degrees from the DSC in the 6th. Your Moon is also conjunct Ceres in late Virgo, trine your Gemini Sun (which is conjunct the great magnifier, Jupiter), quincunx Chiron, sextile Vesta, and hooked to the ASC and MC by hard aspect. This is a description of the emotional state, the feeling Beingness, as a magnet, one that uses the unconscious (Moon) as the primary facilitator of relationship (Libra); this means that the expectations for relationship are set up below consciousness, and then you attract/ react to those who fit the unconscious expectation–and that is one of being wounded (quincunx to Chiron), of fatedness to the emotional state (exact conjunction to Vertex), and perhaps an anticipated scenario of being left repeatedly (conjunction to Ceres, who experienced the cyclic loss of the one she was closest to–and as she had no mate, this was her daughter–easy to make this sense of loss about a partner). Chiron, though conjunct much else of note, is also conjunct Sedna (though Sedna doesn’t touch these other energies), and this suggests that, as Sedna is our ‘blind spot,’ you may not be capable of recognizing the primal wound within the Self, and this may make it difficult to see how your own hurt plays a part. The sextile of Moon to Vesta makes the emotional state one that you may be reluctant to question, perhaps looking outside yourself for the reason (men are no good, romance doesn’t work out for anyone, sex is my downfall. etc) but it really seems to be about setting up life circumstances (and choosing potential mates) with the belief that they are not to be trusted, that they will, sooner or later, leave. And the cluster of South Node, Venus, Mars, Chiron conjunct in the 1st suggests you may have internalized a sense of experience (SN) plus woman/ man (Venus/ Mars) equals hurt (Chiron); carrying this in the 1st of Self makes it a strong perception/ assumption. But, there is an answer.

Your 1st House does possess very potent energies, and with the Aries cusp, what we see is that Self-possession, being unequivocally your own person, making decisions, acting in your own best interests, is really the way to go. With Libra on the 7th you may fall into an ‘I’m just at the mercy of my partner’ mentality, and with Pluto in the 7th you may be prone to hand others all the power–and that’s where you must change things. Owning the considerable power that you possess, accepting and using it as your right, is what’s called for here. Once you claim power as your due (and this is personal, rather than worldly, power) a natural byproduct is the acceptance of responsibility for all parts of your life–and when you take this attitude, then everything, including partnership, is something you have the power to control, and guide by your own choices. It seems that up to now you’ve let others call the shots, and in being passive, even to the point of letting the subconscious expectations choose potential mates, you’ve attracted men who are not what you, a potentially strong and empowered woman, need. I hope you’ll consider embracing a sense of authority and assertiveness; it will change your life.

Thank you, Z–


Acts Two, Three, and Four posted shortly– 

Want versus Need in the Natal Chart

It’s really important to distinguish between what we want and what we need; often, we see them as one and the same or, much worse, confuse the two, or just plain misunderstand, thinking that what we need is only a desire, and denying it to ourselves out of misplaced frugality. We all have both wants and needs, and they’re shown principally by the Moon (needs) and Venus (wants) in the natal chart.

Noting that Venus has been tagged as representing wants, you may protest with, ‘But don’t we all need love?’ And you’d be right, of course we all need love, it’s just that the love we need must be delivered in the form of the Moon–the love we talk about with Venus carries other baggage: lust, jealousy, envy, greed, carnality, and the trappings of romance and courtship–all are forms of ‘Venus love,’ and not truly love at all, but desire. Love that is pure and untouched by these concepts is Amor, while Venus love that is other-directed and objectified is Eros. It remains to the Moon to show us true need, and the form of love that will nurture, comfort, and fulfill emotionally.

Does this mean we shouldn’t call Venus the planet of Love anymore? No, it just means that when we speak of Venus as representing love, we must hold in mind the awareness that the love Venus represents is that which is typically found in relationship, shown by its rulership of Libra (with the singular exception of the Moon as it carries the maternal love). Venus can also show something about love of the Self (as indicated by Taurus and natural rulership of the 2nd of Self-worth and assets/ talents)–and yet, again, this suggests an outward component to the love, as this focuses on our perceptions of ourselves via the physical, the abilities, and the possessions, including our relationship to the personal finances. Because we live in a material world (sorry, Madonna) there exists a material level at which we will inevitably assess ourselves–and so we take this into account when thinking of Venus, as well.

Neither the Moon nor Venus promises fulfillment of the spirit, though the functions of each can lead to this (the propensity largely indicated in the natal chart by a relationship of either to Neptune, Chiron, the Sun, and sometimes Jupiter). Spiritual love and ideals are the province of Neptune and the Sun (this latter as it represents the Soul itself), but again, these are not separate so much as facets of the concept of love we all carry.

So when we seek love, talk about love, speak of needing to find another to assuage our loneliness, to give our love to, in my estimation we really need to be looking, not at our Venus, but at our Moon, first. This idea was encapsulated in the pop psychology axiom, ‘You can’t love another until you love yourself,’ and indeed, if we have not found the emotional fulfillment demanded by our Moon, we are, in a psychic sense, unable to look away from our own needs, and thus unable to really see and commune with another.

What about desire? After all, we’re in a way programmed to go after what we desire and there’s nothing wrong with that, except that we go after our desires with the expectation that having them fulfilled will fulfill us, when our desires are more about possession than about completion. Our Moon needs, however, are about completion, in the sense that our psyches cannot function as a healthy whole without the sense of having been nurtured, and emotionally ‘filled up’–and we are back to the idea that we cannot give away what we don’t possess–in this case, the sense of completeness, comfort, and nurture that make up the essence of the love we think of sharing with another person.

See my book on The Astrology of Intimate Relationship for how to read a natal chart, and to compare natal charts, for relationship success and potential compatibility, here http://dogandsunflower.wordpress.com