by Nancy Kahn

Copyright 1996 by Nancy Kahn, all rights reserved.
This article first appeared in the June 1996 issue of The New Times in Seattle, WA

I have been a psychological and spiritually oriented astrologer for over 20 years, and never cease to be in awe of the potential for diagnosis and healing contained in this form of astrology. As you know, astrology is an intuitive science — the basic symbols used may be interpreted in many different ways, with interpretations very much based on the life experience of that particular astrologer. One can use this symbolic map of self in many diverse applications.

I have always felt that as we move along in our journey to experience our own “Godhood” in deeper ways, that we are increasingly looking within ourselves, partially in an effort to identify and release limitations that are blocking us from the fullest expression of self that we are capable of experiencing. Psychological astrology is a very powerful tool for aiding this process of unfoldment, because it helps each individual to identify the exact patterns that keep them stuck, and gives valuable information on unblocking these patterns, patterns that have often been built up through many lifetimes.

Your astrological chart is like a symbolic map of your soul, revealing the strengths and weaknesses that you are choosing to work with in this lifetime, and the areas of life in which you are focusing your energies. This symbolic map indicates a great deal about your psychological make-up. It contains your most important life issues — relationships, finances, career, health, spiritual development, etc., and discloses much information about your early relationship with your parents, and the way in which that early relationship is presently influencing your response to the events of your life. Issues of abandonment, low self esteem, poverty consciousness, lack of trust, lack of fulfillment, co-dependence, addictions, etc., usually stem from those early relationships with our parents and the way we responded to their behavior.

The “Inner Child” usually holds the key to any deep wound that we still experience. The early conditioning by our parents, along with our impressions that we have brought in from past lifetimes, combine to produce imbalances that we are challenged to overcome.

Though the work of Sigmund Freud has, in recent years, come under much attack and is the subject of many jokes, Freud actually pioneered in identifying early developmental phases which each child must move through in order to acheive adult maturity. These phases are referred to as the Oral Phase (0 – 1 year), the Anal Phase (1 1/2 – 3 years of age), the Oedipal Phase (3 – 5 years), School Age (5 – 11 years), and Adolescence (12 – 21 years old). An in-depth presentation of these phases and the planets and aspects indicative of problems in any of these phases, is contained in my book, The Astrology of the Inner Family.

If we have been traumatized in any of these phases, we fail to achieve the maturation that we must have in order to move into adulthood with comfort and ease. In later life we may try, unconsciously, to get these early needs met, in ways that are inappropriate and detrimental to our adult happiness. For example, if you didn’t get the appropriate nursing, cuddling, and mirroring of your specialness that a baby needs in the Oral Phase, you may still be looking for a Mommy instead of a lover in adulthood. You may (unconsciously) seek to get the nurturing that you still need by consuming much too much food, still trying to get “fed” in ways that you needed as a baby. The heaviness caused by over-consumption may cause you to feel “heavy” and unattractive, thus damaging your self esteem and also your health. You may “judge” yourself for your lack of control, not realizing that the lack of control is an unconscious attempt to get your early needs met. The astrological chart indicates the exact phase where you may be stuck, and indicates what you need to do to heal the trauma that you experienced during that early phase of development.

Your astrological chart reveals a great deal about your early relationship with your parents, and how those early relationships have carried over into adulthood. If these relationships were difficult they lead to problems in our relationships, all of which mirror these difficulties that we experienced as a child. The good news is that we don’t have to stay “stuck” in the past, we can use the chart to identify the steps we need to take to overcome any trauma.

For example, when Jane first came to me as a client she was dressed in a very tailored suit, with plain, short hair and no make-up or jewelry. She mentioned problems in her marriage to an immature man who, though well educated, couldn’t keep a job, and was her friend much more than a husband or a lover. She was supporting both of them financially while he played, and felt frustrated about the “mothering” role that she was forced to play in their relationship.

Jane’s astrological chart [enclosed] revealed huge conflicts about being a woman, particularly a sexual or attractive woman. These conflicts were symbolized by stressful aspects to the planet Venus.

Jane’s mother had many negative judgments about her own sexuality, and gave Jane many strong non-verbal messages that a woman should not be sexual. Jane’s mother felt more comfortable in the role of “mom” (the Moon) rather than a romantic girlfriend role (Venus), and Jane followed in her footsteps, suppressing the more attractive and sexual side of her nature. These conflicts about her femininity and sexuality were revealed by the oppositions of Saturn and Neptune to Venus, as well as the Moon in a challenging aspect to Venus.

In addition, these aspects revealed that there were deep fears about trusting her feelings, a tendency to feel inadequate about being a woman, and judgments around being a sexual person. The opposition of Saturn to Venus and Neptune indicated that Jane tended to be very judgmental and hard on herself. Work always came before pleasure. In fact, pleasure (Venus) was judged quite negatively.

Jane and I used her astrological chart to define her soul’s purpose, her talents and abilities, and to identify the problem areas that were hindering her in her life. We then used two of the guided inner journeys contained in The Astrology of the Inner Family and my self-help guided imagery tapes to help heal her issues around being a woman. I helped her to created a “Loving Inner Mother”. This helped her to stop being so critical of herself, a pattern she had learned from her critical mother. It gave her the experience of what a loving mother was like, giving her a clearer idea of how to treat herself.

In another counseling session, I had Jane dialogue with her Inner Woman (or anima) by taking a guided inner journey “To the Goddess.” This enabled her to “talk” to the woman within, to find out more about what the repressed part of her feminine side needed for its wholeness and development. In this dialogue, Jane’s Inner Woman revealed that she would like Jane to wear her hair in a more feminine style, and to dress differently, including sexy lingerie!

After only a few weeks, a “miracle” occurred. Jane arrived for her appointment with soft curls, very feminine jewelry, and a sweater that showed off her attractive figure. She wore a bit of make-up, and looked like a very stylish and desirable woman! She explained that she now felt more comfortable with her femininity, and that she was ready for a fulfilling relationship with a man! Jane’s new attitudes and behavior indicated that, with the help of astrology, she had integrated the planet Venus (the sexual, creative aspect of being a woman) into her consciousness and into her life.

Soon after, she decided to divorce her childish husband, and went on to meet a very attractive man, a man with whom she could have a fulfilling sexual relationship, and one who was able to hold his own financially. After only a few weeks she had the confidence to know that it was safe to trust both her heart and her feelings. She had the confidence to believe that the changes her heart told her to make were the right changes.

As you can see, astrology is very useful for healing deep psychological and karmic issues. It helps to identify the issue and, in the hands of a skilled astrologer or therapist, it indicates the most effective path for soul healing. It helps you to see what patterns lie “behind” any issue — what is keeping it locked in place. This points the way for getting “unstuck” and releasing patterns that limit and bind us to self-destructive or non-productive patterns of behavior and thought. One can identify and begin to heal issues of self-esteem and self worth, guilt, co-dependence, excessive self-criticism, issues around power and victimization, abuse and anger, and much more. The chart guides the way to forgiveness, self love and empowerment.

For those of you who have stubborn, unresolved issues in your life, I urge you to look to your astrological chart for the keys to unblocking and healing these issues. You will find, as I have, that this symbolic map is unerring in pointing the way to healing deep issues of the soul.