ASTROLOGY APPLIED TO FAMILY DYNAMICS
Astrology holds different meaning for different folks. Some think it’s total cuckoo-voodoo-wacky-quacky-witchy-hooey nonsense. For some, it is a deeply spiritual practice, and for others it’s about reading horoscopes in the newspaper for fun. I’m somewhere in the middle of the spiritual and the for-fun. I enjoy learning about my chart as a hobby and I do identify with the characteristics of my astrological sun sign, Pisces, but I don’t use it to dictate my life choices. I don’t personally view it either as a religious practice or as being in conflict with religion. For me, the cosmic interpretation of my life moved from interesting to useful when I started applying it to my relationships. My friends and I would flippantly look up the love compatibility between two astrological signs after going on a date with someone new, speculating on how certain traits might complement each other while others might clash. I had jokingly sworn off ever dating an Aries again, after dating several of them had not gone well. Funnily enough, my current long-term partner and father of my children is an Aries. His moon sign is Pisces, so maybe that’s why it works… who knows? He doesn’t take astrology seriously at all – classic Aries, am I right? – so it was greatly amusing when, on one occasion early in our relationship, we were having a disagreement and struggling to understand one another. He recalled something I had read to him about his sign’s characteristics, and I was immediately able to understand his needs in that moment on a new level. Aries’ have a hard time backing down when they feel attacked, and when I granted him some breathing room the conflict was swiftly resolved. Ever since then, I have a greater appreciation for how astrology can be used to enhance understanding of someone else, which is core to any strong relationship.
If you have a propensity to indulge the divination arts, it can be a fun and interesting tool for that time when a new personality – your child – enters your life. For example, find an astrologer or astrology book that outlines not just the individual zodiac signs, but the interaction between signs based on family roles. In my case, I looked at Pisces mother with a Scorpio child and Aries father with a Scorpio child, Pisces mother with Aries child and Aries father with Aries child. Additionally, I looked at the interaction between siblings – a Scorpio first child and an Aries second child. Each relationship has its own compatibility reading. It will touch on the strong points of that dynamic, as well as the opportunities for that relationship. It will vary from astrologer to astrologer and it shouldn’t be taken as the be-all-end-all. Think of it more like this: If just one characteristic seems to resonate with your child’s nature, try applying the corresponding advice. In my own family dynamics, I found that one of my strengths as a mother to a Scorpio is that I can teach him to connect with his emotions, rather than try to hide them, which may be his tendency. With our Aries daughter, the Aries father can help teach her to regulate her impulsivity, if they relate on that point. It’s about identifying how you are alike and building off of that. It’s about identifying how you are not alike and adjusting your parenting as needed. It’s taking a step back and remembering what works for you might not work for them. It’s about relationally understanding the people you live with – your family. If you don’t identify with the analysis, then there’s no need to act on the recommendations. Just cherry pick what works; that’s the beauty of it! If the outcome is a more harmonious family dynamic where the individuals are thriving, it does not matter how you got there.
Every person – adult or child – has unique characteristics, needs, strengths, interests, thresholds, tendencies, perspectives and communication styles. It is a fallacy to believe that others think, process and respond the same way you do. One of the most profound realizations you can come to as a parent, is that your child is not a miniature version of you, nor are they yours to design. They are their own person, and it is observable from a young age how inborn each personality is. Think of plants; how some thrive in full sun, while others need part shade. Some do better in the company of others, and some need more space. Some produce fruit or flowers immediately, and some are late bloomers. To help your child flourish, consider their individual needs and aim to reduce conditions that could hold them back.
There are other modes of personality typing such as Myers-Briggs, Enneagram and Human Design that are worth exploring if they pique your interest. You can also use communication techniques that focus on listening and non-reacting to help avoid projecting your own patterns on others. Make your own observations about your child’s behaviour and make use of parenting books or parenting coaches to help you best serve the needs of your child if that feels like the right action. Whether or not any of these are proven or scientifically founded is irrelevant. The way you apply it to your life and the benefit you reap is what matters. If you are using any tool to better understand, relate to, and honour your family members, that is never a bad thing.