December 21, 2020

Winter solstice, shortest day of the year, and this year it marks the convergence of both Jupiter and Saturn in the sky. They will look almost like one planet even though they are millions of miles a part. This is the first time they have been in this position in 800 years and in addition to being significant by themselves they are both entering into the house of Aquarius. Yes, I am interested in astrology now.

I have spent the better part of my adult life trying to figure myself and other people out. It never ceases to amaze me how different people can be and how diverse they can be. I started learning about the 4 quadrant typing system, DISC is the one that comes to mind but there are so many variations of this system and they go by many names. However, that is like saying it is a 2-story house or a ranch style. It doesn’t describe the size, neighborhood, color etc. It just gives you a framework to mentally understand a few of the dimensions. It is important the same way knowing if someone is an introvert or an extravert. It sheds light on otherwise confusing differences in people. I, however, need more.

I have looked at Myers-Briggs. I think it is very helpful from a career perspective because it goes into details about work style and communication. If you are an ISTJ (as I am) you will not likely go into sales. If you do, you will be supremely unhappy because it just isn’t “who you are”. With 16 different types in Myers-Briggs it helps to really dig a little deeper to pinpoint some more unique differences between people. However, it doesn’t really take into consideration upbringing and influences that life throws at you to help you become more balanced. The typical ISTJ is someone who lacks in the people skills department so they focus on facts and data. They make great accountants and scientists, which is why I went into finance where I can both analyze and be neck deep in data. However, my life influences have given me the ability to teach and counsel and be able to break down the steps into understandable sections to show other people how to do things. I thrive when I’m training others and being able to see them understand what I’m showing them. That is not necessarily common to ISTJ. There comes a point in these kinds of models where you can’t just type-cast a person based on a test or you may overlook some really important factors.

The Enneagram has been my favorite for several years due to the depth and breadth it offers. Not only are there 9 specific personality types but it shows how people will change when they are doing well or doing poorly. It also shows the different directions they may lean within their personality toward the one next to them on the wheel. I do find it very validating and the most compelling is the levels of health it dives into. A healthy Type 1, for example, is humanitarian and eager to “fix” the world on a selfless level. However, an unhealthy Type 1 is judgmental and negative to a pretty strong degree. People live on the spectrum each day but the Enneagram gives guidance to how a person may be drifting downward on the levels as to how to bring themselves back up. What works for a Type 1 will not work for a Type 3 to improve their levels. The key to the Enneagram is knowing which one you are. It is easy to mis-type yourself. People have a problem with not seeing themselves in reality. They may not like aspects of themselves so they project different behaviors so they feel better about who they are. If you mis-type yourself it is really pointless to use the Enneagram. As with the other two systems you really need the help of someone who really knows you to tell you if a type fits.

So, what about astrology? People read a lot about their horoscope and most people know the basics about their sun sign just because it is fairly common now. However, the sun sign is really misleading. I am a Sagittarius and for most of my life, that just didn’t fit me. Yes, I do like to travel but I’m a solid home-body who likes consistency. I do like my freedom, but it expresses itself in a very muted fashion. It is more of a freedom of the mind and choices rather than a physical freedom. It wasn’t until I discovered that the rising sign (ascendant) is what your personality really is that it made sense. I am a Virgo rising, which explains my attention to detail and my organization as well as my need to do everything the “right” way. The sun sign is your path to growth. As a Virgo I need to lighten up and embrace a fun-loving side to honor my Sagittarius nature. I see the struggle for both and know that is things like picking up and moving my family across the country (twice) that my Sagittarius-ness came out. My hopping on a plane and wandering around London by myself for 4 days (and loving it!) shows my gypsy side. My day to day presence is defined by the Virgo.

Astrology is so much more detailed, and confusing, so it is not for the faint of heart. Once you get a full natal chart and see the planets spread out and find out their locations all mean something entirely different for you than for other people your head might spin a bit. However, if you actually understand what they all mean, you find a lot of details that the other systems miss. You also are what you are. I know my birth date and time and that isn’t going to change. I cannot mis-type my astrology chart. One interesting thing to note is that you can not become your astrology chart. Depending on your traumas in life, and your willingness to let life shape you, you can end up on a path that is different than your chart. So, if your chart doesn’t resonate with you, it would be best to really look into what happened in your life that pushed you away from realizing your true potential – because the chart is a map to becoming the best you. And you always have a choice. However, if you choose not let life shape you there is no chance you are happy about it. There will always be a feeling that a piece of you is missing because you literally amputated your real self somewhere along the way. You can use the chart to understand where you do need to go and do your best to get back on track. You can find the missing pieces and repair the damage if you are intentional and dedicated.

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