Originally published October 18, 2007
From the Desk of Samuel Reynolds, Astrology Career Institute
“Everybody lies” is one of the maxims of the acerbic character Dr. Gregory House, from the hit show “House” on Fox. Now, this isn’t a surprising comment from House, who as a son of Mercury, has supposedly the same “birthday” as the Gemini actor (Hugh Laurie, OBE) who plays him: June 11, 1959. What’s more it’s not a surprising idea as the OTHER fictional character on which “House” is based is “Holmes,” as in Sherlock Holmes. Holmes had similar beliefs and his author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was also a Gemini (May 22, 1859, Edinburgh, Scotland). This is not to say that Geminis are liars, at all. Lying isn’t just a question of truth. However, Gemini and Mercury as astrological symbols do highlight a theme of duality and a need to rectify two separate “entities,” like heart and mind or two different versions of the same story. It shows us how one aspect of reality as we see it may not be how it appears in another version of reality. This cuts at the heart of what House means…and his important implications for our work as astrologers.
One of the key reasons why House says “Everyone lies” is that people have a vested interest in looking good and just as much interest in NOT looking bad. However, he also says, “Symptoms never lie.” There’s a similar sense in what happens in an astrological consultation. I always say that there’s astrology, and then there’s biography. The two may not be the same thing. How things manifest in a chart may not be how they manifest in someone’s actual life. The chart documents a “promise” for the native, as in what are the latent potentials of character, behavior and correlative events that are likely and possible for a person. However, as astrologers, we’re looking at this promise through symbols, which expose us to shades of interpretation. There’s always room for error, but not as many errors as we might think.
So, if you’re a beginner in astrological analysis, it’s not unusual to be doing an astrological reading for someone and have her say that she can’t quite connect to what’s being said. The astrologer often feels as if he or she is doing something wrong. And there could be a good chance that he or she is. In fact, many new astrologers take such comments to heart and, unfortunately, get discouraged. However, many never consider that the client could be lying. I actually was surprised by this discovery as I matured in my practice. I always assumed that I was doing something wrong. Again, I don’t want to say that the astrologer is completely off the hook—she may not be, indeed, wrong. However, it’s good to keep in mind that your client may not always be as willing to pursue the truth about him or herself as you think.
For instance, I had a client this past summer who was looking to buy her first property (as a source of passive income) and wanted to know where to buy and when. At times, we had trouble communicating with each other because English was not her first language, though she speaks it fluently. It was actually jarring, at first, as I take pride in being able to communicate well with most people. But, for some reason, our pace and ways of speaking with each other clashed. However, I gave her the information she sought and she seemed happy. In a follow-up session, later in the month, she complained that the transit report I gave her didn’t match up with her experience AT ALL. She was actually quite upset about it. I told her that was unusual as most of my clients seem to love the transit report, so I asked her if we had the right birth time for her. We did. I also asked if she was taking the report too literally. For instance, when it talks about love or a break-up, she shouldn’t expect something literally to happen on that day. She said, “No, I just can’t relate to anything it says.” I finally asked if she wanted to continue with our follow up or have a refund. She said she wanted to continue with the session. I’m glad we did.
Here’s what I learned. She decided against buying any property, because AFTER reading some books on home buying, she realized that she couldn’t afford to purchase anything. She didn’t have enough savings or she doesn’t earn enough to purchase where she wanted to buy. I had assumed, very incorrectly, that she had already done some research on buying property before seeing me. But she hadn’t done anything. She just thought she could go out and buy it. Here’s the thing: she had transiting Neptune (the planet of deception, illusion, unrealistic expectations) going over her natal Moon (the planet of our emotions, sense of security and “home”). This aspect was in her transit report, but because it mentioned relationships, she didn’t really read deeper into the other possible meanings. (She is currently single.) However, this transit was square in both of our faces as manifesting. She was shrouded in illusion and confusion, which might have been why it was so hard for me initially to connect with her. Also, her unrealistic expectations were well matched in the transit of Neptune over her moon.
Before I learned what I learned, during the first half of our follow-up session, I actually was a bit disturbed that my transit report for this client wasn’t working. Actually, I was completely baffled. We had talked about her impending Neptune-Moon conjunction, but I guess it hadn’t sunk in. I re-iterated to her that she needed to embrace more the lessons of Saturn, which also was in aspect to her Moon by opposition.*** However, unfortunately, she seemed to have a greater vested interest in feeling sorry for herself than the truth.
Another time, at a local retail store, I was doing a mini-reading for a client who happened to have her sister shopping with her. In her chart, I saw multiple astrological signatures for a key aspect of her personality, but she didn’t seem to resonate too well with what I was saying. She actually seemed uncomfortable about it. Well, I was feeling pretty brazen, so I called her sister over. I asked my client if I could ask her sister if what I was saying was true. She agreed, and I explained what I was saying. Her sister replied, “Absolutely!” I thanked the sister and continued with my reading.
This can be one of the most challenging aspects of astrological work. We’d like to think that people have a definite interest in knowing the truth about themselves. Oddly enough, this isn’t always true. However, it’s important to realize that the “truth” in astrological analysis is two-fold: it’s technique in interpreting a chart and it’s the receptivity of the client to the truth. We know as astrologers that we can be prone to missing a clue or misinterpreting a symbol, but we don’t always acknowledge that clients are not as receptive to the truth as we think or like to hope.
That’s why it’s important to look at multiple factors before making a strong statement. However, if you see that there are repeats of the same signature, like a person is passive aggressive, then you can pursue that line of reasoning with a client. They will either agree or disagree, but it’s likely to be true. This is where either the chart is lying or they are. But once you know “everyone lies,” you’re more likely to seek the truth beyond just blaming yourself.
***If you’re interested in a good book on exploring and understanding transiting aspects, check out Rob Hand’s Planets in Transit: Life Cycles for Living.