It should be simple really. We are born completely defenseless and totally dependant on a woman, who dedicates herself more or less completely to our well being, and without whom we would not survive. For the mother we are probably the most precious thing to have ever happened, and she would not hesitate to give her life for us. We hang on to the mother, and are desperate when she disappears from sight. We rule with our screams of displeasure, and demand to have top priority, which 99% of the time we get. We are fed, bathed, smiled at and pampered with gifts – the center of a hive of activity like a queen bee.

Perhaps it is the psychologists who spoiled the picture. For instead of eternal gratefulness, we have managed to identify the mother and father as precisely those people who have thoroughly messed up our lives. Eminem expresses the zeitgeist of the times – albeit in extreme form – with his dismissal of both his parents.

See chart: Eminem, 17th October 1972, Kansas City, Missouri. Time unknown

His Sun and Moon configure with the Saturn/Uranus trine of the time to make a grand trine which was obviously anything but harmonious. Uranus has an agenda with Saturn, and it is not intended to be a traditional parental scene. Eminem – or rather Marshall Mathers (the two “m”s) – was brought up in a mobile home, and expresses it thus:
“I was a baby, maybe I was just a couple of months,
my faggot father must have had his panties up in a bunch,
cause he split,
I wonder if he even kissed me goodbye,
no I don’t on second thought, I just fuckin’ wished he would die…”
So no father at home, then. Which seems to have made Marshall a little angry, with his Mars at the midpoint of and conjoining Uranus/Pluto in Libra. His Sun also conjoins Uranus and is square the Nodes, which might account for the sudden disappearance of the father, who was just 20 when Eminem was born.

His mother obviously struggled to eek out an existence, travelling from trailer park to trailer park. Eminem wants you to see it from his point of view:
“put yourself in my position,
just try to envision witnessin’ your Mama poppin’ prescription pills in the kitchen,
bitchin’ that someone’s always goin’ through her purse and shits missin’,
going through public housing systems, victim of Munchausen’s syndrome…”
Great lyrics, fantastic rhythm – love the song, which is “Cleaning out my closet” from “The Eminem Show” CD. His mother actually sued him for $12 million because he portrayed her as an unstable drug user. She was awarded just $25,000. He probably was a little miffed because of the court case, but it is not like he did not have the money. No stranger to court cases he actually won custody of his daughter from mother Kim, and she now lives with him. Hope he does a good job.

Psychology gets stranded on an uncomfortable premise: that we are formed by nurture rather than nature. In other words the formative influences of the environment after birth – particularly the parents – create the framework of our character. Other psychological views take into account the period of pregnancy. On a scientific level genetics are enrolled as an explanation of family trends and disposition prior to conception, but not behavior. This puts our parents in the firing line.

Astrology of course does not see things like that at all, but recent trends in psychological astrology have tended to enable a transfer of responsibility to the parents rather than the child. It is very disempowering for the person who does this, and can result in misplaced attempts to confront parents with all the things that they did wrong, as if this would change anything. I recall once attending a Buddhist event, where the religious teacher had to deal with a question from a woman in the audience about how she should forgive her mother. First of all the teacher couldn’t understand the question, and it had to be translated several times for him. He finally got it, and chuckled uncontrollably. He pointed out that the need to forgive the mother never occurred in Tibet, where she is the symbol of a beneficent world, love and compassion, and used as such in meditation.

A more empowering view is the idea of attraction, when the disincarnate soul is drawn to the future parents as they have sex, suddenly getting captured into a physical body to begin again the endless cycle of death and rebirth. The bond with the future parents constitutes an irresistible attraction because of many lifetimes of interaction with them, where the roles, according to Buddhism, are often reversed. The soul has already at this point gravitated to what will be the perfect environment for both future development and growth and the settling of old issues. Take note, Marshall.

Armed with this information, the individuals can no longer see themselves as victims of circumstances, but as major protagonists who have a proactive role in shaping their fate. Here lies the key to empowerment, and also the answer to the forgiveness question, which is neither appropriate nor helpful.

Relations with the mother and father are to a large extent related to the Moon and Sun in the horoscope and the major aspects to them. These heavenly bodies represent the filters through which we view our parents, and through which are parents are forced to interact with us. There are two different areas of this interaction, and we are responsible for both. Firstly we may literally have parents that do not treat us well, (though they have given us precious life); here the responsibility is connected with actions in previous existences. Secondly we can make it impossible for parents to interact with us in any other way than our filter dictates. Both cases give access to therapeutic interventions, which may resolve some existential, emotional and identity problems.

Take a child with a Moon/Saturn aspect. The story is often that the mother appeared not to give unconditional love and security. The child grows up early, maybe even feels that it has to take responsibility for the mother in an unhealthy role reversal. There is a deep and unfulfilled hunger for emotional succor. But what is the mother’s story? Perhaps she had to work all hours to support her child and simply did not have any emotional resources left. Perhaps she did try to hug and cuddle the child, but from day one the child mysteriously rebuffed advances. Perhaps early health issues created a situation where the child simply could not be comforted, and this affected the whole future bond. Perhaps the mother was too young to be responsible, or too old to be an enthusiastic mother. Perhaps no one could get through the inherited emotional armor the child brought into this life.

The aspects of Eminem’s Moon to Uranus on one side – trailer park boy – and Saturn on the other actually perfectly reflect the struggle to provide a home in a gypsy-like existence. Moreover, without this upbringing Marshall Mathers would never have been able to reach out to the collective and speak to them:
“I never would have dreamed in a million years I’d see,
so many motherfuckin people who feel like me.
Who share the same views and the same exact beliefs
it’s like a fucking army marchin in back of me.”
Which brings the possibility of a reframe that puts the whole experience of childhood in a different light. Would Eminem have preferred to have been brought up in suburbia and never have reached so many people? This is a question that can be put to everyone with a difficult Saturn aspect – what have they gained through the struggle that they would not be without today?

Every difficult aspect to the Sun and Moon has a disempowering story regarding the parents, and an empowering one. If you take the Sun in Libra conjoining Uranus and squaring the nodal axis in Cancer/Capricorn, this may show a young father – a teenager in this case – fathering a child and suddenly disappearing. No role model here, just a childhood with father figures who come and go as the mother turns her attention to different men. With no male hero to identify with, Marshall Mathers developed an extreme individuality, and he touched the latent extremism in the world’s youth with his wicked rhymes (Mercury in Scorpio). Having a father figure to guide and discipline him would simply not have equipped him for a destiny in which he excoriates all father figures – not least major American politicians and their wives.

Dealing with a client who has a problem with a parent, it works to take a deeper look at the habit of blame, and to replace it with the attitude of personal responsibility. Blame leads nowhere helpful. There is no dignity in it. A woman with a Sun/Pluto aspect may find that the father was remote, or dictatorial, or hidden behind the mask of a newspaper. This person can back up the experience with anecdotes, memories and anything else that will enroll the listener in a view that depicts the father as perpetrator and the person as victim.

Here is another view of this aspect: the father had to work nights in the first year of the childhood. When he tried to relate to the Sun/Pluto child, it was the child who had already performed the emotional amputation, groomed by lifetimes of experiences of trauma and loss of male role models. The residual pain – the abyss in the heart – was activated by the early disappearance of the new father. The only known survival mechanism was pretending the father did not exist. The father wants closeness – even behind the pages of the newspaper – but it is denied. Later in life the young woman is equally unforgiving of men who appear to reject her, overreacts and drops potential male partners before they can hurt her.

In actual fact the woman herself is the architect of her fate, and herein lies a message of hope. Things that are done can be undone. The motivating energy for the survival mechanism of amputation lies in a core of anxiety within. The person must get into touch with this core energy, if behavioral patterns are to be changed.

Psychotherapy can be very cathartic in resolving these issues – indeed there are hardly any other tools to this job. It is natural to go through a process of projection and blame in relation to parents. And some parents have really harmed their children, for example through physical or psychological violence or sexual abuse. No catharsis will be achieved without reliving in full intensity the emotional pain suffered as a child, and this necessitates remembering the anger, hatred or pain. But once these emotions have been burned in the crucible of consciousness, then it serves no further purpose to project the negative emotions any longer.

There are universal spiritual values that go beyond psychotherapeutic tools. Whilst it is tempting to see the experience with the parent as the prime cause of subsequent behavior, the core energy existed before the parental abuse, and was only triggered by it. The individual carries the imprint of the events within at birth, and it is clearly visible in the horoscope.

A therapeutic intervention that takes this into account would use the remembered experience with the parent as the tool for accessing the deeper energy of the astrological pattern that primed the child to have the experience.

For example, a client with a Moon/Pluto square might have experienced a complete alienation from the mother. Tracing this alienation to its apparent source, the client will perhaps recall occasions when the mother froze her out as a form of punishment – acting as if the young child was invisible. The resultant emotional state would have been one of loneliness and dislocation, a sense of non-existence, a feeling of being deprived of the means of survival from the very person who was supposed to ensure ones survival. Only by revisiting this state can some kind of catharsis be achieved that can change grown-up behavioral patterns, and psychotherapy is needed to do this.

However the root energy will be felt in the body – this is the core Moon/Pluto energy which is neither good nor bad in its essence, and it existed at birth before the mother exhibited damaging behavior. The client can be guided into this body experience; perhaps it is felt as a vacuum in the stomach or solar plexus area, or as a knot or pressure. This root physical experience is what gets triggered by events in the outer world, but in childhood and today. By identifying the trigger it is possible to reprogram reactions to it, and thereby get more empowering results in life.

Today society is storing up plenty of material for future generations of children to react to, as work trends involve both parents in the market place from the early hours of the morning, leaving the bringing up of children to state institutions. Guilty parents make up by showering gifts on their neglected children, who are left to the TV and computer screen to form their views of society. It seems almost as if society and the media are supplanting parents as the primary formative influences. We will probably still blame the parents though, until we grow up, earn money, buy all those desirable items, and have children of our own.

Adrian Ross Duncan 18th October, 2006