The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 184, titled:
With Chris Brennan and guests Ashley Otero and Patrick Watson
Episode originally released on December 16, 2018
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Transcribed by Andrea Johnson
Transcription released July 6th, 2023
Copyright © 2023 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. This episode was recorded on Thursday, December 13, 2018, starting at 4:42 PM in Denver, Colorado, and this is the 184th episode of the show. In this episode I’m gonna be talking with Ashley Otero and Patrick Watson about what it’s like to be a parent and an astrologer. For more information about how to subscribe to the podcast and help support the production of future episodes by becoming a patron, please visit theastrologypodcast.com/subscribe. Hey, Ashley and Patrick. Welcome to the show.
ASHLEY OTERO: Hi, thanks for having us.
PATRICK WATSON: Thanks for having us.
CB: Yeah. So, Patrick, welcome back. And, Ashley, this is your first time on the podcast, right?
AO: Yes. Thank you for having me. It’s good to be here.
CB: Yeah, long-time listener, first-time caller.
CB: Right. Something like that. All right, so this was a topic that actually you brought up Ashley, ‘cause it’s something you’ve been thinking about and sort of working on a little bit lately due to some changes in your own life over the past few years, right?
AO: Uh, yeah. Yeah, I thought it would be interesting to have an episode or have a discussion about children and their charts in astrology since it’s pretty relevant, and I thought it would be fun to speak to other astrologers that have kids too. ‘Cause I feel like—maybe it’s just a feeling, but sometimes I feel like most of the astrologers don’t have kids or maybe their children are just older, and a lot of us younger astrologers don’t yet have kids or don’t have kids, so I thought it would be a fun discussion to have.
CB: Yeah. And you had your first child recently, right?
AO: Yeah, September 2017. So he’s a year-and-almost-three-months. He’ll be 15 months on the 16th.
CB: Okay. And, Patrick, of course, we’ve had you on the show at various crucial points when you were having your first and second child—third child. You have three children now. What are their ages?
PW: I have one who’s 7, I have one who is 4, and another who’s 3—and no more.
CB: No more.
PW: Yeah, yeah, that’s enough. Yeah, it’s kind of funny. The Astrology Podcast has always kind of been there at these crucial moments. So I’m a little freaked out actually and kind of wondering, “I’m on the show again. What’s going on?” But, yeah, this is a really interesting topic, and it’s funny how I keep coming back to the show on this topic in some ways. We talked about the election of my son’s birth and issues revolving around Saturn in the 5th house in the Saturn in Sagittarius episode. So, yeah, happy to be here and interested to talk with other astrologers on this topic. And I think it’s kind of cool because we have like a mother and a father representative. Yeah, so it’ll be interesting to see what we have to say.
CB: Yeah, I forgot about that. That was actually Episode 15 of The Astrology Podcast in February of 2014, which was titled, “The Ethics of Using Electional Astrology to Time a Birth,” where it was coming down to the line of whether you were gonna have to induce the birth. And there started being all these questions about whether you should, and picking your child’s birth chart and all this other stuff back then, right?
PW: Yeah, it was fun.
AO: I remember that episode. That episode really impacted me. And I remember having a huge argument with my partner about that episode—just about that whole concept. We had a pretty lengthy discussion or argument about it, butting heads about our differing opinions on this.
CB: About whether you should or whether you shouldn’t?
AO: Yeah, about if we were to have a child someday and if we found ourselves in similar circumstances. I was basically probing him to see if he would be okay with me electing a time if I had that option.
PW: So did you?
AO: I didn’t have to actually. Yeah, I progressed pretty quickly, and, yeah, he came pretty fast. So, luckily, I didn’t have to worry about that.
AO: But, yeah, years ago, we weren’t really coming to agreement on that. But I remember that episode. I liked it a lot. It had an impact on me.
CB: That’s funny. And that was the same situation with you at the end, Patrick. You had sort of thought about it a lot, but in the end it didn’t end up mattering because it ended up happening.
PW: Well, the one part we did have control over was the day. But the general hour—it got pushed back further than we had planned because of other emergency birth which were happening at the time. And so, he came right when he was supposed to, and there were other sort of implications of that that I think are really kind of interesting. So, partly, I did choose the time, and for my second child—my third child rather. Yeah, I had a bit of a hand in it, but ultimately the universe had the final say.
CB: Yeah, and you were there with an atomic clock timing it. Your second child has like 29° of Taurus rising. But you know for sure it’s 29°. It’s not 0° Gemini.
PW: Right. Yeah, I am absolutely positive that he is at 29° Taurus rising. And we found out at various points of our relationship, leading up to that point, featured 29 Taurus, so it was a weird foreshadowing of his arrival. But, yeah, I may or may not have been focusing on the time a lot—
CB: A little too much.
PW: While my wife is being cut open. It was a tense moment.
CB: Yeah. And you actually were talking about on Twitter recently how you noticed that different parts of your relationship with your wife—different crucial turning points—the astrological placement of those was weirdly tied in with 29° of Taurus.
PW: Uh, yeah. I mean, I didn’t want to get too off-topic; well, we’re on topic. Yeah, basically, my wife and I don’t have any placements at 29 Taurus, so I was really confused about why his Ascendant should be at this degree. There is nothing in our charts—no midpoints, no lots, nothing—at that degree of Taurus. But then I looked back through our relationship and we met when the Moon was at 29° of Scorpio, and we had our first kiss when Jupiter was at 29° of Taurus. And I know this—we conceived him on the night when the Sun itself was at 29° of Taurus. We just happened to know that just because of the way things turned out in the weeks leading up to finding out that we were pregnant. So, yeah, it was really strange but the chronology of our relationship sort of seemed to foreshadow this degree, and it ended up showing up as his rising degree. And then his sister has the Moon there too, so it sort of carried on with my third child.
CB: Right. I like that because that kind of foreshadows some of the discussion here today. ‘Cause it seems like a lot of it comes down to questions about choice and free will and fate and how much you should try to control things versus how much is outside of your control, or you should just leave up to chance or what have you.
PW: What I—
CB: Go ahead.
PW: Oh, I was gonna say what I’m really interested to find out is if other people have had this same kind of realization because it’s difficult to get this kind of information from celebrity charts; it’s really something you can only ask of an astrologer who’d understand its significance. So I was curious, Ashley, maybe you’ll have to kind of look back in your chronology and see if there are these connections with your child’s chart. But have you?
AO: It’s a good question. Yeah, as far as the conception—I’m pretty certain about the conception day. Well, it’s like a ‘two-day window-ish’, but I know that it was over the ocean. When I found out that I was pregnant, I was pretty sick and that’s how I found out. His due date was like exactly 9 months or 10 months from that conception date that I speculated it would be. But as far as degrees go, I actually haven’t really thought about that. Like I didn’t really look at that, but there are some interesting themes and seemingly interesting family ties between our charts. He’s a Virgo. So I’m an Aquarius, and my partner is a Libra. So he doesn’t share the same Sun sign or Moon sign or anything like that, but there are some interesting themes like where the nodes are placed next to planets.
So he’s got some nodal stuff. His Moon is near my Lot of Fortune. It’s like conjunct my Fortune, which is pretty interesting, I think. And we have this interesting dynamic between our charts of these Full Moons. So my Sun opposes his Moon, and his Sun opposes my Moon. And then looking at my partner’s chart as well, there’s some interesting things there. But there’s this carried-on Jupiter theme—and Jupiter’s pretty strong and pretty big in my chart—between my partner’s chart as well. He’s got that Jupiter in the 4th, so I think that’s interesting to see.
PW: Interesting, yeah. I mean, that’s almost a whole other topic, the astrology of family connections.
PW: The rabbit hole goes deep.
PW: It’s kind of funny you mentioned the Jupiter thing. My son has the same Jupiter as his grandmother, and she has a very special affection for him. He’s almost like her favorite. And so, I think it’s funny that they both have the same Jupiter placement by degree almost—
AO: Oh, wow.
PW: In Cancer.
CB: Yeah, and that was Episode 104 with Lynn Bell where we talked about her book, Planetary Threads, which is about the astrology of family dynamics. And she brought up that topic—or we talked about it a bit—about how sometimes you have chart placements that will repeat across generations, whereas other times a child will be born into the family that has something that the rest of the family doesn’t have that kind of balances it out, or adds some sort of counterbalance in some way.
PW: And you see that with the so-called ‘black sheep’ of the family. It’d be interesting to look at the chart of Sting or something, ‘cause he is this big musician, but he said he came from a family of non-musicians and he was completely seemingly unrelated in that sense. So it kind of makes you wonder if there would be an astrological correlation with that kind of thing.
CB: Right. I mean, one question is did you have trepidation coming up, knowing the chart ahead of time, or did you have a lot of questions? Ashley, when you were getting close to the due date, were you focused on what the birth chart would be? Were you, I don’t know, apprehensive at all? What were your feelings as you got closer to actually meeting your son?
AO: Yes, well, it was something I thought about pretty often, I mean, just being a practicing astrologer. I was pretty anxious anticipating which day he was gonna be born. I was definitely looking at where the Moon was gonna be on those days leading up to my due date. Originally, my due date was actually September 11. And then, I don’t know, I think I was 30-some weeks at one point, and my midwife told me, “Oh, no, you know what, actually your due date isn’t the 11th. It’s the 17th. So I was like, “Okay,” so it changed that. Before then I had been looking at the Moon’s transits, and looking and like, “Oh, it’d be really nice if he had like a Taurus Moon,” hoping that he has like a nice Moon of course because I’m thinking about his relationship with me, particularly because I have challenged Moon in my chart. And so, I really didn’t want him to have, so I definitely was anxious about that. I did want him to have a nice Moon and not have any contact with the malefics, or with the Sun as well. So I did think about that. Yeah, I was thinking about it a lot and always just wondering. And it’s not really something you can know, so it’s like hurry up and wait and see what you can see. And then I pretty much went into labor the day before—or two days before—my due date, and he was born the day before his due date.
CB: Wow. So it was pretty close to roughly the chart that you were able to anticipate 30 weeks on.
CB: Okay. I mean, that sort of leads into one of the questions that you asked when we were talking about this in preparation for this discussion, which is the question of once you have the chart whether it’s ethical, or whether you feel that it’s ethical to try to delineate that chart, or if there’s anything that’s unethical or risky about attempting to predict aspects of your child’s future. I think that was one of the underlying questions that you had in thinking about this discussion at first, right?
AO: Yeah, yeah. I’m curious as to what other astrologers feel. You’ve had quite a few episodes where this topic comes up briefly, and you’ll speak with other astrologers about their perspective on delineating or just consulting someone on their child’s chart and whether that is okay or not.
AO: And it seems like there doesn’t really seem to be a correct answer, but a lot of astrologers tend to say or seem to feel that it kind of depends. I think some astrologers feel like it’s something that they shouldn’t be even talking about or even looking at, and then some don’t really seem to care at all. I feel like I’m a little bit in the middle and I think it really depends. I think it depends on the parents’ reasons why they want to look at their child’s chart because I think there’s legit reasons for doing that. It’s like what kinds of temperament might they have? How might they do in school? How can you help them in those regards? Emotionally, what’s a good way for you to bond with them if you feel like there’s differences, or if you feel like there’s a barrier between you for some reason? So I think that there could be some good things. But of course if you’re trying to groom your child into being something that you want them to be that might not be of interest to them, or in their interest, then obviously it seems like there can be some kind of problem with that.
PW: Right. I agree with that. Although I think I might fall a little more on the side of—I’ll admit, I have no problem looking at my child’s chart. However, I think the line I guess that I draw is I think it’s okay to look at my child’s chart—I try not to take anything that I get from it to the point where I would exclude other possibilities for them. For example, I can see from my son’s chart—his Ascendant ruler is Venus in the 9th in Capricorn, conjunct Pluto, opposite Jupiter, and retrograde. So he has this really striking Ascendant ruler, and he’s this very adorable little boy. He’s obviously gonna be very handsome. And he’s such a ham, and he loves to perform for people. And so, this naturally gets me and my wife thinking, well, should we cultivate this in him? And I would only ever want to cultivate something that I really felt like I just saw as a person rather than as an astrologer. I feel like being a parent is ‘here’ and being an astrologer is below that somewhere. It has to be.
I mean, I’m not a perfect astrologer. I feel like I could potentially be a better parent than I could be an astrologer. When you’re a parent you are dealing with the child that you’re actually seeing. With astrology you’re dealing with some abstractions, I guess. It’s less visible, it’s less tangible. So I just feel like it’s okay to look at your child’s chart, just don’t do anything irreversible based on that. Only base your actions on what you are properly seeing and understanding and experiencing with your child as a parent rather than an astrologer.
CB: I’m trying to think of some potential drawbacks because there’s people that think that astrology is incredibly useful or could be incredibly useful in life in general as a tool or something to maximize your potential, and so you could see why they would then apply that to the charts of children. But then the drawback is sometimes there can be misapplications of astrology, and I’m trying to think of what some of the worst-case scenarios might be that could lead to or cause somebody to have trepidation about using astrology or applying it to their child’s life. What would be, theoretically, an inappropriate or problematic use of astrology?
AO: Well, something I had thought of is, for example, let’s say a parent takes their child’s chart to an astrologer, and they want to just inquire about what their child will be like. Let’s say they’re still an infant and they want to get an idea of what their child’s gonna grow up to be like; maybe some inherent things that they think they’re going to grow into regardless of how they’re nurtured, or maybe because of the way they’re nurtured. For example, let’s say the astrologer says, “Oh, it looks like there’s some emphasis on the 6th house. You might want to watch out for this child falling into some kind of depression later on in life.” I don’t want to say someone might think that it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy for them to say something like that. If you tell them, “Your child might get depression later on in life,” one, the parents are gonna just be so worried after that and are gonna be feeling terrible and like, “Oh, my gosh,” and analyzing every single thing that they do. Like, “What if I do this wrong? This is going to negatively affect my child.” So I think that that’s a pretty risky and dangerous thing.
You would think, “Who would say that?” But I’m sure there are a lot of astrologers that might say that not thinking that there are consequences to interpretations like that. Even if it’s true, even if it’s a possibility, it might not be something that should be interpreted or said because you can’t ever really know, and it could manifest in so many other ways besides, for example, depression or mental illness or something of that nature.
CB: Right. Yeah, usually where the discussion focuses is definitely on a client who’s a parent seeing an astrologer and whether it’s ethical for the astrologer to read a child’s chart from their parent without the child’s consent basically. Not just the consent issue, but also the potential for saying something that could negatively impact the parent in the way that they relate to the child in some way, like if they issued a bad prediction. Like if the astrologer said the child has a difficult planet in the 3rd house, so they could have trouble traveling someday, and so the parent then never lets the child get a driver’s license or something like that.
CB: Or they have a difficult planet in the 11th house and they say—go ahead.
PW: I’d just like to clarify what I had said earlier, reflecting on am I okay with reading my own child’s chart. When it comes to someone else’s child then I think you have to be just as judicious as you would be with the client, or in dealing with someone else’s child as an educator or a counselor or a doctor. I mean, I think in all those cases where you’re dealing with someone else’s child then you have to be really, really careful about the kinds of impressions that you give them.
CB: Right. You have a unique perspective on that.
PW: I wasn’t just saying, “Oh, yeah, I’ll read any kid’s chart.” No, I’ll read my own kid’s chart. I won’t do anything irreversible with them based on their chart. But, yeah, when it comes to other people’s kids, you gotta be, yeah, super careful.
CB: Yeah. And you have a unique perspective because you actually work with children—or you did as part of your day job.
PW: Yeah, I’m a teacher. I’m a teacher still. Yeah, so it’s a minefield. Probably one of my worst fears is getting some all-caps email from a disgruntled parent over something Johnny’s upset about that happened in my class. I mean, it doesn’t happen often, but it’s a fact of life. You’ve got to be really, really careful talking with other people’s children. There’s very sensitive issues there.
CB: Sure. But imagine a worst-case scenario of a client-astrologer situation and you say something negative about the kid’s chart. Say, they have difficult planets in the 11th house and you make some generic statement like they might have trouble with friendships at some point in their life, and then the parent as a result of that keeps them from forming friendships, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy where the parent is actually the agent of the problematic thing that the astrologer saw in the chart. That’s probably one of the things that astrologers worry about the most in terms of a client setting. But certainly I’m sure astrologers who are parents that’s a concern potentially as well perhaps—seeing something and then accidentally causing that to happen inadvertently by trying to avoid it or something.
PW: I mean, I’m trying to think of when I might have facilitated a self-fulfilling prophecy. But I gotta be honest, one, I don’t really have the time to focus on my kids’ charts as much. I am just in the daily administration of parenting them, so I don’t really parent by astrology. It must sound strange, like, “You’re an astrologer, and you’re a parent, and you don’t parent with astrology?” Not really. I mean, I’m aware of things. Obviously when bad things go down, I kind of look at the chart and transits, and like, “Oh, yeah, well, that’s activating all my Mars placements with my kids and that’s probably why that happened.” But I find it difficult to use it very proactively ‘cause life is just kind of barreling in on me the whole time. Everything’s going by too quickly to get a broader sense or perspective of what’s happening astrologically and how all these things are lining up. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this Ashley, but Full Moons, they never go to sleep, right? Like I have to stay up then too ‘cause they’re up.
AO: Yeah, I mean, he’s only been here for a year-and-change, so he doesn’t really sleep much at all anyways.
PW: Right. Fair enough. Maybe a little later on.
AO: Yeah, his Ascendant’s in Cancer—his Ascendant’s ruled by the Moon—so, yes, he definitely fluctuates with that; with the Full and New Moons, he definitely does.
CB: So that actually raises a point. Have you guys recorded or paid attention to different milestone moments astrologically in your child’s developmental phases and then noted the astrological correlations? Or is that something that you avoid doing or only do in retrospect because it would take you out of the moment?
AO: I certainly have. I’ve done it for a few milestones already. It’s not like something will happen, for example, when he first started crawling, or moments when he had said, “Mama,” for the first time. I would look at the time, and I would jot it down on my phone in the note section, but I don’t pull up a chart right then and there because I’m busy focusing on making sure he doesn’t hurt himself or something.
AO: I’m too busy parenting. Like Patrick said, things just are going so fast that you don’t have time to sit there and be like, “Okay, let me pull up this chart and look at this.” You don’t have time for that.
PW: What a luxury.
AO: Yeah. It’s fun to go back and look at it later, which I have. So I definitely record certain milestones when I’m thinking about it and I see something’s happening. I look at the time and I try and write it down so I can save it for memory and look back on it, but it’s not something that I definitely have time to sit there while it’s happening. I try to still be in the moment and paying attention to his ‘first’ or whatever is happening, so I can actually enjoy it while it’s happening that first time. But, yeah, it’s just looking at relevant transits and other times it seems like I don’t really get anything from this, like I don’t really see any relevant transit going on that’s relevant to that.
PW: I think I took down the time that they first walked, like more than a couple of seconds of wobbling. And I think I took down the time of the first really clear word, just ‘cause I thought that’s gonna be useful at some point, but I think I have the data stashed away somewhere. What I think is kind of funny about looking at the transits of kids is that you see the same types of scenarios, but just shrunk down to a kid-sized version. So a kid’s Mercury retrograde period is very different from an adult’s Mercury retrograde period, right? I noticed this especially with my Gemini daughter, with a Mercury-ruled Sun. She’s very clever and very crafty. She’s very—how do I say it without making it sound terrible? She’s very good at finding the loopholes in our rules and very good at executing a perfect strategy to get to the cookies when she’s not supposed to.
But a kid’s Mercury retrograde period is when we told them we were gonna go to the movies if they did these chores, and then we had to go back on it because the car broke down, then they’re real upset because we can’t go to the movie they wanted to see. I mean, for them, that is a frustrating Mercury retrograde, but it’s kind of shrunk down to kid-size. Oh, my gosh, this past Mercury retrograde especially—which actually happened in my 5th house—there were just so many stupid arguments and fights between the kids: “She took the remote,” or “He hit me.” I mean, yes, they fight all the time kind of, but, I mean, it was like especially aggravated during this Mercury retrograde in my 5th house, and in my wife’s 5th house, ‘cause we both have the same Ascendant. So it’s just kind of funny how if you think of an adult’s experience of a Mercury retrograde and kind of shrink it down to how a kid experiences it, it’s the same thing. So kind of a funny thing that I think astrology offers to the charts of kids is just bit-sized Mercury retrogrades.
AO: It’s funny that you say that—oh, I’m sorry, go ahead.
PW: Go ahead.
CB: I was just gonna say that all of those transits would be much longer ‘cause they’re taking up a much larger portion of the current overall life compared to somebody that’s an adult.
PW: And you think about that when you think about how impacting some of these early events are. I sometimes have wondered why earlier experiences are more impacting than later ones, and I think that’s a good way to look at it. The percentage of their life that Mercury’s been retrograde is rather big—
PW: ‘Cause they’re so young. So, yeah, it’s kind of funny looking at it that way.
CB: What were you gonna say, Ashley?
AO: I was just gonna add to Patrick’s point there that it was interesting, speaking of Mercury retrogrades, the one that we had earlier in the year—like the spring—I think it went back through Aries. I think it started in Taurus and went through Aries and was actually around the time that my son started crawling. When he began crawling, like a lot of babies, he began crawling backwards instead of forwards. And it was just so notable that it happened during Mercury retrograde and it was going back through Aries. And I was like, “Wow.” I remember recording that and being like, “This is so Mercury retrograde through Aries, an infant crawling backwards for the first time.”
CB: That’s great.
AO: Yeah, I thought that was pretty interesting.
CB: Yeah, I mean, that’s the thing I always missed out on; I’m the one in this group that doesn’t have any children. But the part that I feel like I missed out on is astrologers that are parents probably have the greatest empirical test of astrology—not test—but the ability to actually study somebody’s life from the very start. And even though you’re not doing it constantly, you’re still on some level in the back of your mind noticing little things like that, I’m sure. Or when different personality traits start to come out, I’m sure that’s something that you guys are noticing. That’s actually a good question: At what point do you start to notice some of those personality traits that might correlate with the birth chart?
PW: I think definitely as they’ve gotten older. I mean, babies, when they’re first born they’re just kind of cute blobs who just sleep, but eventually they start really kind of animating themselves. There’s a weird period of time where they don’t say anything. You know they understand things, but they don’t actually say anything until they are finally ready. It’s like there’s some sort of switch that happens and then suddenly they’re talking. So it’s kind of weird to see. For example, with my eldest daughter, she didn’t really talk very much. She would say like a few words here and there; she was maybe around 3 or so. But then we got cats and she suddenly started speaking to the cats and that just kind of completely set her off. I wish I had gotten the time for—well, actually I guess I could probably go back and find out when we got the cats because I remember that was really when her speaking developed.
But, yeah, what I was gonna say is I think they really start becoming their personalities as they go on. It’s not always immediately apparent. For example, my daughter, she has the Moon in Cancer rising, so she has the Moon ruling her Ascendant. This is the Gemini one—sorry, I lost my thing there. And she’s such a good big sister. She’s really grown into wanting to take care of and provide for the kids. I mean, oftentimes she’s doing things we don’t even necessarily want her to do. You know, she wants to make dinner for them; she wants to dress them. It’s almost like her younger sisters and brothers are her own children. She is very much like a mother to them to the point where we’re like, “Honey, don’t worry about it. We got it. We got it.” She’s very on top of it. But it’s just funny ‘cause we associate the Moon with being a very caring and domestic and nurturing kind of character and she’s sort of embodying that even at this early age. Maybe that’s typical of big sisters, but that was one thing that I kind of noticed.
PW: She’s devious as well though with the Sun in Gemini.
CB: Maybe some of those traits are starting to come out more as things progress, ‘cause that was one of the debates that came up recently. Somebody corrected me where I said there was debate about nature versus nurturing and how much is just there already when a person is born in terms of personality traits versus how much develops later as a result of environmental or other experiences that a person has. And somebody said that that’s not a debate anymore in psychology, that it’s generally just acknowledged that it’s both. But I’m sure there’s still questions about the extent to which one or the other is more important in some instances or less important. Are you noticing anything, Ashley, in terms of that at this stage, after a year?
AO: Yeah, so, like Patrick says, for quite a while they don’t speak, and he’s just now starting to say a few words, particularly ‘no’ because we tell him that pretty often. But even without speaking, from a very early age, I feel like he’s definitely had a lot of personality. And I don’t necessarily know or think that that’s—I don’t want to say common—but maybe that’s just because he’s my kid and I’m like, “Oh, he’s really like this,” and maybe all parents are like that. But since maybe even three- or four-months-old he’s been very exuberant, very much like a Leo Moon. Very expressive and screaming out of happiness and laughing and just lots of energy. And so, I feel in a sense like that’s definitely big personality. A lot of people have noted since he was younger, “Oh, he’s very alert, and he’s very social,” and so I question and I wonder sometimes is that part of his Leo Moon coming out? He’s very fiery and just, “Look at me, I’m so cute.” I don’t know what that’s about. But part of me does really feel that it is traits of his chart, his Moon, for example, coming out.
It’s interesting that you say that that’s not a debate anymore, nature versus nurture. I’m reading a book right now that is basically a really well-researched book on the topics of introversion versus extroversion. And the author speaks a lot about wondering is this something that people are born with, or is it something that just by nurture that we become a certain way. And some of the big researchers, like you said, at this point it’s really a matter of both. But I think that the point has been that we’re born with certain temperaments, and depending on how we are nurtured into them we can kind of go on either side of the spectrum. And I think that’s kind of a big thing that we can see inside the chart. Is this child prone to being someone that’s more introverted and quiet and thoughtful and serious-minded, or extroverted and big personality and just outgoing and those kinds of things? I think that’s something that’s interesting because even something as simple as introversion versus extroversion has a lot of characteristics tied to those qualities.
CB: Yeah, definitely.
PW: It’s funny though—oh, go ahead.
CB: Even as astrologers, we can see both because the basic premise of natal astrology takes into account or assumes that there are some things that are kind of in-built qualities or tendencies. But as we were talking a few months ago on the ‘twins’ episode, there’s two people that can be born with the same chart or very close to the same chart, but if they’re raised by different families that nurture those qualities in different ways or have different synastry that might either enhance or suppress some of those qualities in different ways then it’s gonna come out very differently even if you can see some base similarities.
PW: Yeah, I think something that astrology doesn’t necessarily take into account as much, or rather astrologers don’t really emphasize quite much is natal astrology sort of really leans into the idea of nature. But I think we tend to not also emphasize that these charts happen within a specific context—like you said—of synastric relationships with other family members, but also, in terms of chronology, transits. For example, I just thought of this as I’m looking at the swing out there—one of the transits I was kind of worried about for my son was Mars going retrograde over his Sun. And, yeah, like within a week of that transit, he had several really bad injuries, like he fell off the swing. And since he fell off the swing, he hasn’t quite been ready to play on it again; like he’s kind of found other things that he likes to play on. Also, he used to love when I would toss him into the air, and he hates that now. He doesn’t like to be held up high like that.
And just making the connection now, yeah, obviously he would be less likely to want to do the things he’s experienced as a consequence of when he fell off the swing that we have outside. And that’s something you couldn’t just get from his chart knowing he has the Sun in Aquarius. There’s several adjectives you could get from that, but I feel like the transit from Mars to his Aquarius Sun kind of brought out the more fearful or doubtful qualities of the ruler Saturn, and he only got that because of the danger that he experienced from the fall off the swing. And there were a couple of other things in that week too. He touched something that was too hot or something; I’ll have to go back and find the exact timing on that.
CB: Right. Yeah, that’s a really good point.
PW: But basically, yeah, it was a Mars transit to his Sun. It was injuries, falls, burns, that kind of thing; it was sort of what I feared. But I can’t stop him from playing. I don’t know when he’s gonna touch something that’s too hot. I mean, I can try to keep those things away from him, but kids are crazy; they do things; they go places. It’s difficult.
AO: They’re fast.
PW: At the risk of sounding like I’m just a totally negligent parent, this stuff is really hard. And this is not an excuse, but it’s difficult just keeping your kids safe and out of trouble.
CB: Yeah, I mean, that’s a really good point. So everybody has a birth chart, but then the planets keep moving after that point. And different transits are gonna hit everybody’s chart at different stages in the developmental process, whether they’re relatively inner planet transits (like Mercury retrograde, or even some of the Mars stuff we’re mentioning here) but also outer planet transits (like Saturn and everything else). And that’s gonna have a unique imprint in terms of either emphasizing or sometimes causing problems—not causing problems—but correlating with problems with different placements. So I guess I could see a worst-case scenario.
So you’re talking about having the realization—which you’ve sort of developed, which I think all astrologers develop on their own—about having to let go to a certain extent and just let the chips fall where they may, which is a place a lot of astrologers eventually get to just in terms of looking at their own lives and realizing that you simply can’t control or you can’t manipulate everything. But having to do that also when it comes to people in your life, like your children, I could see the opposite though. I could see somebody—if they were really focused on the astrology—becoming almost neurotic about it, trying to track every transit, and trying to stop every possible difficult thing from happening. And that might be falling into that category where astrology and parenting could maybe be problematic or not as helpful as maybe it could be.
PW: Parenting is hard enough without also adding on the potential worries astrology could give you. And I’m not saying you should never use astrology in your parenting at all. But, I mean, there’s a point at which there’s just not a whole lot more you can do as a parent or as a parent consulting astrology. Yeah, so, the point I’m at is there’s only so much you can do. Obviously try your best.
AO: Certainly. Parents that are also astrologers—there’s really not that much of a difference except that it’s kind of fun that we can see a chart, and it can be helpful in instances where maybe they’re older and they’re going through their first Saturn transit that’s significant. And so, maybe, for example, it’s going through their 12th, and maybe they’re not telling you something that they’re feeling bad about and this is why they’re behaving in this way. So this is how you might be able to approach them but not necessarily change anything. ‘Cause I’m also of the philosophy that we have control over some things, but when you look at the big picture and how many other factors are going on in reality, there’s a narrow lane that we’re actually able to control, and the rest is a lot of things going on at once that we can’t. So we kind of just do our best, right?
So whether you’re a parent that’s also an astrologer or not, it’s just that we have a little bit of extra tools and things so that we can kind of see maybe why something’s happening and how we want to respond to it when we can. Otherwise if it’s something that’s already happened then, “Oh, maybe that’s what was going on. That Mercury retrograde in my 5th—this is why my kids are being so annoying and won’t just stop fighting,” and those kinds of things. But, yeah, I agree, it’s hard enough as it is. Parenting is hard.
CB: Yeah. And just knowing the duration, I mean, even for adults, usually one of the most useful things is just knowing when a certain period will probably end. Like knowing the Mercury retrograde will be over in three weeks, or knowing that Saturn transit has like a two- or three-year shelf life before the most intense part is over or what have you, I could see how that would potentially be useful in a parenting context.
PW: No, definitely.
CB: All right, what were some of the other discussion topics that we wanted to touch on here?
AO: I thought this would be just interesting. Someone recently approached—well, not that recently. It’s maybe been a couple of months, I don’t remember. A month or two, or maybe a little more, someone asked me if I would write parenting or child horoscopes for their site. And I thought it was interesting, but I don’t really have the time to dedicate to that right. I ended up sending it to someone else to see if they wanted to do it. But I thought that that was interesting and it kind of made me wonder if you were to write horoscopes for—I guess you guys have written horoscopes; you guys do horoscopes as well. If you were to write horoscopes in that context, let’s say you’re writing it for the child, obviously the child is probably not gonna read it, the parent’s gonna read it; so you’re addressing the parent. So how exactly do you write that, especially on a day-to-day basis on these transits?
Like if there’s an 8th or a 12th house transit, for example, how do you put that in the context of parenting and address it for the child? I wonder how that would be done.
CB: Yeah, you’d have to re-contextualize all the house significations within a 5-year-old context. 8th house might be like learning how to share or something like that.
AO: That’s a good point.
CB: Your toys versus someone else’s toys.
PW: That’s almost what Valens, Vettius Valens does. He mentions in a few places in his books, “These planetary periods get distributed by this many days [or years or whatever], but for the charts of infants, do it by days and hours.” He just shrinks the planetary periods down. You gotta shrink the whole idea of the sky down into the experience of a child. But, I mean, how young would we be talking?
AO: I mean, I don’t know. But, yeah, that makes sense.
PW: Like 10? Like 5? There’s a huge difference.
AO: Yeah, I wasn’t told much else about the details of that, but I just thought that was interesting and I wondered about it after. Like I wouldn’t even know how to initiate that. Like what if they gave you an age range that was between 5 and 10? It sounds a bit challenging, and I’m not really up for the task of children’s horoscopes at this time in my life. Being a parent is enough.
CB: Yeah, that’s an interesting thought experiment of how you would construct that. And it just brings up the relative nature of astrology in general and the importance of understanding the context in which you’re doing the delineation because the context of the birth chart—or whatever chart you’re casting—really makes a difference, and this actually came up on Twitter recently. There’s actually a lot of young astrologers now that are using Twitter and are not connected with the astrological community, but they’ve started doing readings and consultations, and they’re using it as a micro-blogging platform and developing their own followings there and they’re starting to do consultations. And one of the things that’s interesting is that they’re doing what a lot of astrologers I know—and how I started out as well—which is they’re doing written delineations or written consultations at first.
A lot of newer astrologers feel more comfortable with that because they can collect their thoughts and write out the delineation, and there’s not as much pressure to perform like in a verbal consultation, but I’ve been trying to encourage a lot of them to make that transition. You need to make the transition towards doing consultations verbally because then you can have that immediate feedback, and you can have that dialogue with the client, which is actually really crucial. ‘Cause that helps you to establish the context of the chart and to better focus in on the things that are important and have that sort of exchange with them where they can also ask you follow-up questions to find out what’s important to them, so that you can focus on what they actually really want to talk about, and not just some other random part of their life that they’re not interested in at the moment. So that would be important I guess even if you were doing a delineation for a 5-year-old.
AO: Yeah, yeah, definitely.
PW: Right. Ashley, I have a question for you.
PW: I mean, I don’t know if we’re allowed to do that, but do you feel that your child is described by your 5th house ruler? And do you feel like you are describing placements in your child’s chart? I know he’s still really young.
AO: I wonder how he feels about that. And since he can’t talk, I can’t really ask him.
AO: But it’s an interesting thought, definitely. I’m curious about that as well. So my 5th house ruler is Saturn, and I have Saturn conjunct Uranus within 1°. I was born during the Saturn-Uranus conjunction in Sagittarius, and it’s in my 3rd house. So I have a pretty full 3rd house, and, interestingly enough, he also has a very full 3rd house. He has Sun, Mercury, Mars in the 3rd all in Virgo. So he was born during that Mercury-Mars conjunction by degree. So I feel it’s a little early for me to tell if he does fit that Saturn placement. To me, he doesn’t really seem super serious right now, not yet. But he is very inquisitive and he can be mischievous in that mercurial way, so not Saturnian.
AO: But I don’t know if anyone else sees this, but I do kind of find this interesting similarity—even though there’s no aspect there—between Aquarius and Virgo; one’s ruled by Saturn, one’s ruled by Mercury. But I do feel like there’s kind of this interesting thing where both of them have this attraction towards analyzing patterns and fitting things into maybe labels and figuring things out.
PW: Well, they’re both air trigons. Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter are the air trigons, so I can see that.
AO: Yeah, so I don’t necessarily. I can’t give you a clear answer as to whether I see him as that Saturn-Uranus, but I wouldn’t be surprised being that he was born with Aries in the 10th. And I know a lot of people attribute the 10th to the father. In my own chart, I kind of give it to both parents, but I think that’s a case-by-case basis really. But he does have Uranus in the 10th, and he has Mercury-Mars in the 3rd, so make of that what you will. Even though he’s not speaking actual words, he chatters a lot; there’s like a lot of gibberish. And I do kind of suspect that he’ll be kind of maybe eccentric or weird—not in a bad way—just kind of funny. So, yeah, maybe that gives it that Saturn-Uranus. As far as his chart, he has the Moon in Leo. His Moon doesn’t make any Ptolemaic aspects, so it doesn’t really have any kind of filter. So I’m curious how that’s gonna come out, and I’m hoping to kind of help him channel that into balancing caring for himself as well as others since he has that Ascendant ruled by the Moon.
When he was born with the Moon in Leo, I was like he could have easily been born with the Moon in Cancer in the 1st. And so, that was one of the things—once I finally got to see his chart after he was born—I was like, “Moon in Leo? That’s cool.” I was like, “So am I gonna be the ‘Moon in Leo’ mom? Is he gonna be seeing me as dramatic?” Which I think probably that’s true. Is he gonna see me as flamboyant and, I don’t know, very expressive. For me, I think that’s kind of interesting.
PW: The ‘astrologer’ mom.
AO: Maybe that kind of weird, funny mom. I guess the ‘hippie’ mom or something like that, even though, to me, I see myself as a very serious-minded, kind of serious person. But then in that sense I am very playful with him, and I try and bring out a very childlike attitude with him because he’s very high energy and he needs a lot of stimulation and entertainment. So perhaps, perhaps.
AO: Oh, I’m sorry.
PW: Oh, no, go ahead.
AO: I just noticed a transit. As far as seeing us as parents in their charts, I did notice in this last year—because he was having a Cancer profection—the Moon transits were especially important to him. And I noticed a lot of times when the Moon was transiting through Aries and going through the 10th that my partner actually tended to get injured during those days. Like a couple of times he sprained or injured his foot and his toe really badly and he couldn’t walk or carry my son, so I had to always, always carry him and put him to sleep. And one time he hurt his hand, and one time he hurt his back. So I thought that one was really interesting ‘cause it was like after it happened a couple of times, I was like, “I have to look at these transits; he just keeps injuring himself,” and every time it was like there was an important aspect with the Moon. And especially I noticed that it’s transits to Aries, which happens to be through his 10th house, and I thought that was an interesting thing to see.
CB: Yeah, that’s really interesting. I mean, that reminds me of children having a heavy Saturn transit through the 7th house. It’s not them having relationships or something, but it’s their experience or observations of what relationships are about if there’s something going on in the parents’ marriage; if the parents split up or something like that. And that’s sometimes a tricky thing that I have come across occasionally, when an astrologer sees something that might be tricky in a child’s chart that might be reflecting something about the parents, either in terms of their relationship with them, or the relationship between the parents with each other.
PW: Yeah. I mean, I have some examples that are kind of personal. But suffice it to say, I mean, I think that when transits are happening through the 7th house of a child’s chart, I think that it’s reflecting through the parents to some degree. Obviously a child doesn’t necessarily have their own relationships, but the topic of partnerships and connections or relationships, I think it has to do with, to some degree, how the parents’ relationship is going. I mean, there’s a lot of things that happen in a child’s life which are directly related to the decisions and events that are happening in the parents’ life. I don’t know, it’s almost like the cycles of planets mature. Venus transits, the first time around, those first eight years, those are gonna be very different kinds of Venus events than when you experience them the second time through, from 8 to 16; that’s gonna be the widening of your social circle. Then 16 to 24, those are probably gonna be more serious adult relationships and it sort of continues on with each pass of the cycle. Not every Venus transit is equal is what I’m trying to say.
Anyway, what was I gonna say? Oh, I was originally gonna respond to Ashley’s comments about how the parents are reflected in the child’s chart. What’s kind of interesting in the charts of my kids, the 4th house ruler for all of them is in the 10th house of their charts. So their parents are all in their 10th houses. So I’m trying to figure out exactly what that means since they all have the same house position for their 4th house ruler. It’s represented by different planets, but still in the 10th. One thing I’ve noticed with the ruler of my 5th, the ruler of my 5th is Jupiter in the 9th. And it’s the same thing for my wife. She has the ruler of her 5th in the 9th.
And what I think is interesting about that is I was born in England, my wife was born in Phoenix, my kids were born in a foreign land—coming to the United States. And then for my wife, her kids have English dual citizenship, so they could theoretically move to the UK as adults and as citizens. So there’s kind of an interesting connection there. I wonder if it will mean that our kids could potentially move away from us, since they potentially have that capability. But then also just the very fact that my kids don’t come from my own homeland. I went somewhere else and that’s where I had children—with Jupiter in the 9th—from the UK to the US. So I think that’s kind of an interesting way of how my 5th ruler has already kind of played out in my own story of my children.
CB: Yeah, I have an example like that I think I used in my book of a client who had the ruler of the 5th in the 9th. She had two children, and one of them grew up always wanting to live abroad. He wanted to live in Asia for some reason. And as soon as he turned 18, he moved abroad and he’s been living there for the rest of his adult life. And the other child grew up in a largely non-religious household, but then when she got older, she got really interested and involved in this specific sect of Christianity, and she ended up moving across the country to live in like a religious commune of some sort.
CB: So both children ended up manifesting different versions of 9th house significations basically and you could kind of see it in their mother’s chart.
AO: That’s cool.
AO: Yeah, that is interesting. Yeah, I remember just a few days after Lucas was born looking at his chart and making speculations about us as the parents, about our lives—just looking at his chart and not necessarily even the 4th house, but looking at his Moon and thinking the ruler of that was in the 3rd—I’m like, “Huh, am I going to homeschool him?” ‘cause I have a thing with wanting to be particularly involved in what he’s educated on and how he’s educated. And so, I was like, “Oh, I wonder if I actually will be homeschooling him,” and stuff like that. So it’s interesting to kind of be able to make choices or to think about what you will do down the road in your own life just looking at someone else’s chart, your child’s chart.
PW: Ashley, did you say that the ruler of your 5th was in the 3rd?
PW: So, I mean, the 3rd is like early education, right?
AO: Yeah, yeah.
PW: I mean, Saturn in the 3rd, it’s quite a lot of effort to do homeschooling. So that’s interesting that it’s already kind of popped up as a primary concern for you, the schooling and education.
AO: Yeah, it’s something that I’ve thought about—oh, sorry, go ahead.
PW: And you also mentioned that he had the Sun, Mercury, and Mars in the 3rd as well.
PW: I mean, I don’t want to do an on-the-spot interpretation of your child’s chart without seeing any other details, but even just from those details I would think that someone with the Sun, Mercury, and Mars in the 3rd might be a bit of a class clown potentially or a prankster of some sort. Maybe it would be difficult for them to be in a traditional classroom environment. And that might be the source of how you then have to put in a lot of effort in 3rd house activities related to your child in kind of taking the reins of educating your child yourself.
PW: I mean, I hope I’m not overstepping my bounds here.
AO: No, that’s okay. It’s interesting.
PW: A mid-podcast reading.
PW: But I think that’s kind of interesting that it sort of lines up that way already.
AO: Right. Yeah, there’s like that emphasis between both charts having a 3rd house emphasis. Which actually kind of leads me to another thing that I was hoping that we could discuss, which is talking about composite charts with our children, looking at composite charts between parents and children. Which is not something that I had really thought about too much until recently when I was researching things to consider for this episode when I was approaching Chris about it, and then I did end up casting a composite chart between myself and my son. So it’s interesting to see. I’m curious if you have any thoughts about that in general.
PW: Well, I actually must admit that I have not looked at any composite charts between myself and my kids. I don’t tend to use composites quite as much in my practice as I used to. I think they’re interesting as midpoint maps. We’re talking about midpoint composites, right?
PW: One thought I kind of have about that is that’s sort of showing one part of the story, like mother with the child. I wonder how you’d be able to combine three charts?
PW: ‘Cause you’re half of who they are and then the father is the other. So I wonder how one would combine three charts together? Maybe looking at the midpoint of the midpoints between the mother-child, father-child—
AO: Yeah, that’s a little bit of a head trip.
CB: I mean, I think somebody does do group composites. I think that’s an option on Astrodienst, so it may be a thing that some astrologers do. But it is an interesting question and that’s always been an interesting idea for me, and I think I interviewed John Townley just a year or two ago. And the idea that when two people come together, and they have some sort of relationship in their life, it’s like there is some third entity which is the composite chart or the relationship itself. And there’s something about your dynamic that’s different from either of your individual charts on their own, or even different from what your synastry is. There’s almost like some other third element and that is sort of represented by the composite chart in some sense. Yeah, I mean, that would be interesting to explore more deeply for an individual like a parent or in other types of family relationships.
PW: Ooh, I have a question. Oh, sorry, go ahead.
AO: I was just gonna say that I did think about that episode that you did with him when I had come across some material online talking about composite charts between parents and children. And then I thought about your episode, thinking about comparing how does one person benefit or not benefit, or what do they take away from that relationship, which is the entity of the two charts together that you’re comparing. Like comparing one chart with the other parent chart to the composite, and the child chart to the composite—what does each person take away from that? The subtleties and all of that gets tied into the relationship itself and the bond between parent and child. I thought that was interesting.
CB: Yeah. I mean, one of the big things that’s really fascinating are the instances where the child can have one perception of the parent that may or may not actually reflect what the parent’s actually like to an objective observer, or when a child has a certain experience of the parent as being overbearing or being some other quality specifically. It might be coming out more due to the synastry or due to maybe even the composite chart or something like that that’s really emphasizing whatever personality or traits the parent has being perceived much more intensely in a way that’s maybe not quite as they might seem to somebody else. And I like the idea of being able to explore that a little bit more through astrology, through things like synastry or the composite chart.
AO: Yeah, I think that could be really helpful for those that are actually licensed therapists, if they were also astrologers. I think that could be a very helpful tool to use.
CB: Right. ‘Cause then they could identify that your parent makes you feel this, and these are some of the feelings that you have that you may have a hard time processing, in terms of your relationship with them, and this causes problems, or what have you. But from this other perspective, your parent is maybe not necessarily that way to other people, or they might come off differently to other people.
PW: I was gonna ask, how do you approach the issue of having multiple children? ‘Cause there’s the derived method where you look at the third from the 5th, like the sibling of the child. And then I guess the 9th is the third from 7th, the next child, and so on. ‘Cause, I mean, I generally take the 5th house and its ruler to be kind of the primary significator for children in general, so not just specifically the first child. But there’s an interesting thought of potentially using derived houses to represent the different children. Although I guess it would repeat after having six children. What do you think? Do you guys have any thoughts on that?
CB: I haven’t dealt with that that much, but I know it’s an issue. I’ve run into instances where, to me, it’s been clear—like with that other 5th house example—that both children were just manifesting different aspects of the same house, and it was more just like there was the house for children and the ruler of that house was in the 9th, and then both of the native’s children happen to manifest different version of the same archetype. Very distinctly different, and yet still overarching—
PW: Thematically consistent.
CB: Yeah, thematically consistent ways.
PW: Yeah, and that’s the way I would look at it too, but I didn’t know if you had an opinion about the derived house method for different siblings
AO: I know that people do certainly use it. I don’t, and I haven’t really practiced that either. I think it’s interesting, and I’m a little curious because my dad, for example, has seven kids, so I’m curious as to how that would look if we were to use the derived houses. He also has Sagittarius in the 5th with Saturn there. So he’s got Jupiter ruling his 5th, and he definitely has a lot of kids.
PW: Don’t tell me that. Seven kids, oh, Jesus.
CB: Another thing related to that is in a lot of ancient authors, it wasn’t just the 5th house that was children, but also the 10th house was treated as having to do with children. The 10th house is the house of praxis or of occupation and what one does, or what one creates or produces, and the 10th house then was partially like one of the things that you end up accomplishing in your life, which is your children. So those two houses were treated as relating to children. And in some authors, like Ptolemy, that gets extended to also the 11th house and the 4th house. So he actually deals with—
PW: Right. The 4th, 5th, 10th, 11th.
CB: Yeah, as all relating to children. And I was never sure if that was because of derivative houses where he’s saying that the 5th and the 10th deal with children, and then the 4th and the 11th are like the 5th and the 10th relative to the 7th. So it’s like your partner—
PW: Your partner’s child as well.
CB: Right. Or if there was some other independent reason for those assignments. Like the fact that Jupiter has its ‘joys’ in the 11th, and Jupiter was associated with procreation and the begetting of children and stuff in Valens. Not really clear, but that’s worth exploring as well if somebody wanted to do more of a research topic on the houses that signify children and how to deal with the issue of multiple children in a person’s life.
PW: And there’s also a couple of lots of children—
AO: Oh, right.
PW: Which Valens talks about as well. So, yeah, I mean, I guess when I see all that I’m just kind of like, “You know what? I’m gonna stick with the 5th.” The 5th works. We know it works. I don’t know about the other ones necessarily, but we at least know the 5th does. And it works on the conceptual level of diurnal motion is bringing the fifth sign towards the IC. So it’s not your point of origin, but it eventually becomes part of your family that’s being brought forth towards your family. So that’s what kids are; they become part of your family. And it’s the sign after the 4th too, so it’s what follows being in your own home with your parents to eventually having your own family with your own kids. So it’s sort of that which follows your IC.
CB: The continuation of the family lineage.
AO: Yeah, so I suppose there are a lot of different ways that if astrologers did specialize, or if they did have a knack for doing charts with parents and children, there are a lot of different ways that they could look at those kinds of things which are useful. I haven’t really delineated for parents, and I’m a little iffy about who I would take on as a client for that if I did, just because it can be such a touchy topic and you want to be careful. But, yeah, I think I prefer to stick to the 5th as well. I like simplicity. I don’t want to overcomplicate things. That can also happen with asteroids and all kinds of things. One of the things that attracted me to traditional astrology is it’s simple and there’s good structure. It’s just, okay, follow this, and it makes sense. So 5th house as well.
PW: Right. Straightforward.
CB: Right. And speaking of traditional astrology, one of the questions that you had put in the outline was, “For more traditional- or Hellenistic-oriented astrologers, how do you feel about analyzing zodiacal releasing periods of your children’s charts?” which is particularly for career, which is unique. Zodiacal releasing is such a bizarre technique ‘cause it calculates all of the periods, and it breaks a person’s entire life up into chapters for like the first hundred years or 150 years; basically the foreseeable future of the person’s entire life into very specific, discrete chapters.
AO: I will say that I have done it.
CB: You have done it? Okay.
AO: Yeah, so I definitely looked just because I was curious. So he has Fortune in Virgo, and he has Spirit in Gemini. So he has them angular to each other, which is cool. And so, Mercury is just such a huge player in his chart: I mean, Fortune and Spirit, and the Mercury and Mars conjunction, the Sun, all in the 3rd. So I did look. Like we discussed earlier—and I agree with a lot of what Patrick said—I’m not going to push him to do a certain career or do something that I think, “Oh, you should do this. You’re really good at this.” I think that each person should make their decision for themselves. I will suggest if he asks questions, or if he’s curious—which I think he’ll be very curious—but I think he’ll probably be able to figure it out on his own as his own person. As an astrologer and being his mom, I was curious, like, “Hmm, I wonder what his zodiacal releasing periods look like.” So I imagined as I’m looking at them, “Oh, so the first 20 years of life is gonna be like this,” and started imagining scenarios and how he might develop into a person; probably someone very inclined towards academics perhaps or something like that, which wouldn’t be surprising given his parents’ backgrounds.
PW: I have definitely looked obviously. Yeah, I can’t resist, so I definitely looked. One thing to keep in mind is I think Valens says that for infants or for youth that you should look at Fortune rather than Spirit. Especially when they’re younger, they’re more ruled by circumstance, by the circumstances of their parents; they’re less independent. So the idea is that you use Fortune for both topics until they’ve sort of developed more of their own mind. I think he even says around 19 is when you should officially start using Spirit for analyzing the charts of young people. So, yeah, I looked at my son’s zodiacal releasing—I forget exactly what I saw with my daughters—but he does have a Fortune 10th period, but way later in life, like in his 60’s. So I’m not sure—it’s like long periods of obscurity and then this really, really big one somewhere in his 60’s. So it kind of makes me think of the kinds of things that people do that are really, really big when they are at that age. I mean, sometimes that’s when people are finally retired and kind of get to do what they want to do.
PW: So he might be freed up to kind of pursue his life’s work at that time and have big success. But look at the average age of a presidential candidate—that’s gonna be middle-aged to 60’s, so, I mean, that’s potentially another possibility. I think it’s sort of back to reading, yeah, his Fortune 10th. That’s definitely a much more visible period. So it’s kind of a curiosity. I’ll never see it. I won’t be alive at that point. It’s just so kind of odd to think that at that point he’d probably be a grandfather potentially. I mean, it doesn’t really impact anything on a day-to-day basis, but I guess I kind of know maybe he’s got some calling he’s gonna get to do like way later on down the line. So I just wonder what the point of knowing it is. But I know it—I know that that was on the docket for his releasing.
CB: Yeah, I think a recurring theme here that we keep coming back to is a lot of just silent knowing. And it’s not necessarily that you’re doing anything with that, or there’s not the necessity of needing to do something with it actively, but sometimes just part of being an astrologer and being a parent is just silent observation and knowing about certain things even if you’re not actively trying to manipulate or control things, or go out of your way to do something different than what you would otherwise.
AO: Yeah, definitely feels like a wise, old—even though we’re not really old yet—a wise, old person that looks into it, not with a crystal ball. I remember one time you did something, or you put something up with a crystal ball. To a lot of people, from the outside, it seems like astrologers are that. We have this crystal ball in front of us, and we’re just looking in and telling you about your future.
AO: Yeah, so it does feel like that. But, yeah, definitely, even as parents, how could we not want to know what happens to the little humans that we help create?
CB: Right. Yeah, I mean, I think it’s interesting. We’re gonna have to check back in periodically over the next 5, 10, 20 years just to see how things are going, and to see if you’ve had any new evolving insights as you’ve gotten further into this journey, as both parents and astrologers, if your views have changed at all, or if you’ve noticed anything different that’s surprised you or if it’s just continued to confirm where you’re at already at this point.
AO: Yeah. I’m sorry, I have one more question. And actually I didn’t know that this would be perfectly relevant, but it kind of is, because Patrick mentioned having stepchildren. So I was curious, do you also use the 5th house, do you do derivative houses, or do you look at Saturn when you’re looking at those kinds of things in their charts? I mean, have you even considered that? I’m sure you did.
PW: Yeah, it’s really interesting you bring that up because it was actually pretty early on in my astrological studies I read that—I forget exactly who. It was some traditional author who said that Saturn in the 5th can indicate that one is a father of others, which I thought was always kind of strange.
CB: That’s one of Valens’ significations of Saturn.
PW: Okay, yeah. So Saturn in the 5th is being a father of other’s children. What’s especially weird about that is I have Saturn in Sagittarius. When I was growing up, I was raised totally Catholic, and I had to choose a confirmation name. So I had to choose a saint to be the name that I would take for being confirmed as a Catholic. And so, I don’t know, I was looking through this book of saints, trying to figure out which one am I gonna be: Saint Barnabas, Saint Francis. Then I thought, “I don’t respect any of these.” The only one I actually like is Saint Joseph because he wasn’t Jesus’ real dad or anything, but he still was a dad to Jesus. So I thought, “That’s noble. I respect that.” So I just think it’s kind of strange that, yeah, just a few years later when I’m getting into astrology and rebelling against Catholicism that I read this thing about how having Saturn in the 5th means being a father to another person’s child.
And I didn’t really think much about it later on, but when I was about 24 I met my wife; she was not my wife at that point obviously. I had no idea what her life was like, all I knew was I was super in love. And I didn’t know that she had just gotten out of a divorce. I didn’t even know that she had a child. So it was really hard on her, and it was this big surprise. She has a child, her husband’s left, out of the picture and not in their lives. And I just kind of thought to myself, well, this is a thing that can happen sometimes. I’m really in love with this woman, and I’m not going to deny this feeling just because she has had a child. I thought that—not that this is the reason I did it—it reminded me of the fact that I had at one point held Saint Joseph in high esteem precisely because he’d been a stepparent of a sort, and I have Saturn in the 5th.
There’s been some complications with that. This is not an easy situation, necessarily, but this was very gratifying as well because she’s my first daughter. She’s my first child, and she’s my first experience at being a parent. Her Sun is exactly opposite my Saturn. So it’s interesting because obviously she’s connected to me through this difficult topic of being a stepparent literally with her Sun opposite my Saturn. But when we got married, when I got married to my current wife, Venus was at that degree. And I made a special vow on that day to be her father as I was marrying her mother. So Venus was on her Sun opposite my Saturn on that day, and that is I feel like the sweet little story of me being a stepdad. Now how actually I am as a stepdad is completely up for debate, but at least the road there was kind of described very well I think by Saturn in the 5th. The 5th ruler describes my children, but I think the planets in my 5th house—Saturn and Uranus—kind of describe the incidental circumstances of the topic of children in my life.
CB: Yeah, that’s brilliant. So it sounds like it’s still the 5th house, and it was indicated in your natal chart itself by having Saturn in the 5th.
CB: And that’s actually really brilliant that you noticed that transit. You have a night chart, so Venus would be the most positive planet for you in transits. And it opposed and aspected exactly that Saturn placement the day that you actually became officially a stepfather.
PW: I elected the wedding, but that was an unintended consequence of picking that date.
PW: I also thought the whole connection with the Saint Joseph stuff was really weird too because the ruler of my 5th obviously is Jupiter in the 9th. So it has all this sort of religious connotation, even though it’s not a religion I hold. I mean, I still respect Saint Joseph, I’m just not a Catholic.
CB: Yeah, totally. And then there’s one last one that I look forward to hearing more about from you guys in the future, which is just events happening in the parents’ lives that are reflected in the child’s chart. So the child having certain indications for their parents or certain transits of planets through the 4th house relating to parents and then events happening in your lives which someone correlates with that is another interesting feature of this whole astrology of parents and children that’s kind of mysterious.
AO: Yeah, I think that’ll be interesting to see as time goes on.
PW: I’ll try to keep better track.
CB: Better keep good notes. ‘Cause it’s not just us. It’s not you guys watching their charts, but there’s something weird where there’s a reverse thing going on as well where their charts are sometimes reflecting your life in this weird and very mysterious way.
CB: All right, well, I think that brings us to the end of this episode. We were gonna shoot for 90 minutes and we’re right there right now. Is there anything that we were supposed to touch on, or that we meant to that we didn’t get a chance to?
AO: I don’t think so. I think we pretty much covered it. Oh, there was a list if someone were interested or kind of curious as to why they might consult with astrology for their child’s chart. There’s a number of things that you could get from it. Should I quickly read off the little list of things?
CB: Sure. Yeah, if you wanted to, go ahead.
AO: Oh, okay. So the first is looking into their emotional nature and needs, and we talked a bit about that. The second was the parent-child dynamics, the perceptions of the mother and father; we talked about that as well. Intellectual and psychological profile. Their physical needs. Also, their health and their vitality, which you’d look at through the 1st house. The innate gifts, talents, and their creative outlets, and things that you might want to kind of encourage; maybe not push but encourage them to seek out. Some of the collective traits in their generation. So you might look at 11th house things like their friends or generational stuff that they might be involved in. Their learning tendencies; their personal learning tendencies and their ideal educational environment; we kind of talked about that a bit. And then their spiritual orientation and development and the best ways to nurture that. So, yeah, I really wanted to touch upon that. And that was actually referenced from another astrologer—and I forget the link. It’s like soulbridging-something. I’m sure you can include that, right, Chris?
CB: Yeah, it looks like it’s at soulbridging.com/parenting-consciously-astrology. And the article is titled, “Parenting Consciously with Astrology,” by Natasha Alter, on the website soulbridging.com.
AO: Yeah, she has some good information there, but I thought that list was actually really succinct. It was really good.
CB: Yeah. And I’d love to hear more from listeners as well. Hopefully people can post some comments in the comments section on the description page for this episode on theastrologypodcast.com, just in terms of some of the questions that we were talking about here. Where do you come down with the question of looking at your child’s chart versus not? Are you one of those astrologers that chooses not to, or chooses to, and what are your reasons for that? Do you have any good examples? It’s funny ‘cause both of you are younger people, so you’re still a little bit earlier in this journey. But I’ve actually met and been friends with a lot of older astrologers that have children and have had children that grew up and had entire lives and families of their own, and so I’m sure there’s a lot of interesting stories and observations that people like that could share, if they feel like sharing them in the comments section or other things related to this topic. So hopefully it can be the start of a broader discussion about this rather than obviously the endpoint of the discussion.
AO: Yeah, I think there’s a lot more to discuss, so hopefully that was an engaging conversation. I thought it was. It was interesting some of the things that we talked about and some of the stories that you shared, Patrick. I think it was cool to see that. So, definitely, it would be cool to keep the conversation going online.
PW: Yeah, it was nice to hear some of your comments about parenting and astrology. It was pretty cool. I don’t think I really talk to astrologers about parenting.
AO: Not often, right?
PW: Astrology’s not a family-friendly field necessarily. But, yeah, hopefully we’ll get some cool comments from other parent astrologers, and hopefully none from people who want to pretend that their furbabies are the same as having human children. I don’t know the astrology of furbabies is equivalent to—
AO: I definitely want to meet the other parent astrologers out there.
PW: We should start a parent astrologers group, a therapy group.
CB: And pet astrology is a whole other topic that I have not gotten to, but hopefully one of these days, on a future hard-hitting episode of The Astrology Podcast.
PW: Hey, maybe you could have a furbaby, Chris, and you could do a full astrological experiment.
CB: Yeah, an investigative report. I will get back to you on that.
PW: You need a puppy.
CB: Where can people find out more information? Patrick, what’s your website? What are you doing at this point? You got a new venture recently, right?
PW: Uh, yeah. So I’ve transitioned away from the ‘Big Fat Astro’ label to some degree, but you can find my work now at www.patrickwatsonastrology.com. I also have a website called www.weddingastrologer.com, which is for newly-engaged couples looking to elect their wedding dates. So you can find me at www.patrickwatsonastrology.com.
CB: Brilliant. And, Ashley, where can people find out more information about you?
AO: So you can find me, if Instagram is your thing, you can find me on Instagram. My handle is temple_healing_arts. I also have a website where I blog, and you can book me for consultations there. My website’s cosmicsoupbowl.com. So ‘cosmic’ and ‘soupbowl’ dot com, just all one. There’s no hyphens or anything. And you can also find me on Facebook. If Facebook is your thing, my Facebook handle for my page for astrology—it’s a mix of astrology because I’m also a mother; I blog about motherhood as well. So just search for ‘Ashley Otero, Writer and Astrologer’—or ‘Astrologer and Writer’. I’m sorry, I messed that up. It’s ‘Astrologer and Writer’. Yeah, I’ll send you the information for that if you want to link it there on your page.
CB: Brilliant. Yeah, I’ll put links to your websites in the description page for this episode on theastrologypodcast.com, so people can check them out there. And I meant to mention a really quick announcement. I recently tweaked it for iTunes and RSS feeds for podcast apps on phones. For the past eight years or however long I’ve been doing the podcast, it only shows the latest 50 episodes. But I actually finally figured out how to tweak it, so now it shows all 184 episodes. So now you can access all of the back catalog and go all the way back to Episode 15 or whatever the earliest episode Patrick was on and listen to the start of his whole journey into parenting and everything else from way back in 2012 when the podcast was started. And I think that’s it. So, yeah, thanks a lot guys for joining me today. Thanks everybody for listening to this episode of The Astrology Podcast, and we will see you again next time.
AO: Thanks. Bye.
PW: Thanks for having us. Bye.