the First Saturn Square- Astrology and Young Children
article addresses the issue of interpreting the charts of young
children - primarily those of the under five's - or in astrological
terms before they reach their first Saturn square.
is likely that work done for a young child will be prepared for
someone other than the subject - possibly the parent of a first
born child who has little experience of children or for someone
outside the family as the chart is intended as a gift. Commonly
a written analysis will be required which can be referred to, as
the child gets older. It is likely to be referred to for a long
time and often will be the only astrological analysis offered, at
least until the child reaches adulthood. There is a temptation in
these circumstances to describe the child in glowing terms to be
part of the celebration of birth that needs to be avoided. It may
be the only chance we have to prepare a chart on a completely blank
slate. If contact is retained with the parents it is possible for
us to see the child grow into the chart and how it manifests.
for astrologers, preparing the chart of a young child - specifically
the under 7 who hasn't yet reached their first Saturn square - can
be a real joy. Even casual observation can show the child living
out their chart in such a way that we wonder whether they wrote
the textbook. Over there you have the fifth house Saturn child wondering
how to join in his classmate's games. Turn around and you see the
third house Pluto beating his sister over the head with building
blocks. You can put them in front of you playing a game with other
children and that's the Taurus Moon over there, who's eating everything;
that's the Virgo ascendant wiping the table with a cloth because
they left a spot on it; that's Leo who everyone is following - you
can see them, it's easy astrology. But because it's easy you can
get fooled. It's also easy to make mistakes.
great fun for astrologers. But what parents usually want when they
ask for the chart of a very young child are simple basic answers
to simple basic questions. They want to know if the child is ever
going to sleep for more than four hours at a time, they want to
know if they're ever going to eat a decent meal, they want to know
if they're going to stop slapping their younger brothers and sisters.
may want to delve into the deeper recesses of the parent-child relationship.
Mother wants to know how to get the little monster to sleep at nights.
Talking about development of artistic and musical ability later
in life can be fascinating but often unhelpful at an early stage.
this age group we aren't so much concerned with the bigger things
in life as we might be for an adult. Some astrologers aren't happy
doing young children's' charts as they don't like to work at this
sort of basic level. This can be very much textbook astrology -
with no frills or room for manoeuvre. They young child lives out
the ascendant, they live out their sun sign.
difference before the first Saturn square
using the cut-off point as the first Saturn square. Obviously slightly
prior to this we get the first Jupiter opposition. The Jupiter opposition
heralds the change that you'll get with the Saturn square - - the
big expansion ready to be constricted. The process is beginning.
This is why I've been looking at under 5's rather than under 7's.
I've been looking atbefore the Jupiter opposition as well. The real
differences begin at that age.
squares its natal position at about the age of 7. At this time the
progressed Moon is making a square to its natal position and Uranus
a semi sextile to its natal position. We would expect a lot of changes
around the ages of 6 or 7 with all this going on. People often speak
of these changes in vague terms but often don't realise how specific
and obvious the changes are. Most of them are due to one reason
- what is that?
biggest difference between children and adults is that children
do not have the sense of time that adults have. They start to develop
that sense of time at the first Saturn square. The adult has time
control and is the one who knows how long anything is going to continue
for. A young child doesn't know how long something is going to last.
They don't understand tomorrow and yesterday. They don't understand
are also physical things that happen around this time. Milk teeth
start to fall out and adult teeth come through; you develop handedness;
up to the ages of six or seven you have no sense of left or right
handedness. During the first years of life you shift from one hand
to the other. There is a pattern with different age groups as to
whether you're left or right handed. And this has nothing to do
with whether you end up being left or right handed. Or you may develop
freckles - young children aren't born with freckles.
are many psychological changes and they're almost all to do with
a sense of time.
the early months of life elements of Saturn cannot be present in
the way that we tend to think of them as this would mean that boundaries
between the mother and child were established and the child is not
yet ready to tolerate an awareness of separation from its life support
system. Saturn boundaries begin to arise when the mother does not
do what the child wants. Rather than a switch between lunar and
Saturnian mothering roles, it is an integration of both types of
experience and a gradual shift in the first few years of life away
from the Moon and towards Saturn.
boundaries between reality and unreality are blurred. Anything and
everything can be real or unreal. Young children live in a dream
like world where the boundary between unreal and real is indistinct.
Under the age of seven children find it difficult to understand
reality, as we know it as their concept of time, position and place
of people and individuals is still developing. Younger children
become easily confused about what is true or false, what is good
or bad. Young children's memory works on images. Up until the age
of 3 or 4 when Saturn semi squares its natal position, a child has
an eidetic memory, remembering things as images rather than verbally.
most adults have verbal memory although there are exceptions. In
general after the Saturn semi square you start to develop a verbal
memory. You can tell people what you remember. A child can see what
they remember but can't always verbalise it. That has nothing to
do with their language skills.
definition isn't fixed until about three years old when most children
can tell you what gender they are. A child is the gender that you
tell them they are. You can tell a boy that he's a girl, a girl
that she's a boy and they will happily believe you. Why shouldn't
they? It doesn't matter if you point out the physical differences
they believe what they're told. It's probably best if I tell you
not to try this at home though, we don't want to go around upsetting
people. Gender identity becomes fixed between the ages of 5 and
7 and after that time cannot be changed.
authorities accept that a child cannot be depressed. To be depressed
you need a sense of time. Sadness is learned from copying the reactions
of adults and is often only a fleeting emotion when exhibited. To
be truly depressed you need a sense of hopelessness, to believe
that things won't get better, you see things getting worse, and
this is only possible with a sense of time.
in the young child is similar: to be able to understand grief it
is necessary to appreciate the uniqueness of the individual realising
that they cannot be replaced and again to have a sense of time.
If someone close to the young child dies they cannot appreciate
that they are not going to see that person again as they have no
true sense of time. They know it rationally, they can tell you that
but the feeling is different to rationalising. Everything happens
now. Understanding of grief is rare in children under seven.
of the big changes that occur around the time of the first Saturn
Square are to do with this sense of time. It is at the first stressful
Saturn square that the young child becomes capable of experiencing
the type of emotions associated with Saturn.
of the young child's special relationship with time, fleeting influences
from planetary cycles can have a deep and lasting effect. In general
most of us take little notice of Mercury returns, occasionally get
hopeful on a Venus return and avoid our enemies on a Mars return.
A young child can be seen to be going through a specific stage of
development aligned with the planetary cycles and what may seem
a minor transit to us as adults can be of major importance in the
development of the young child
toddlers and infants live in the same physical world as we do but
their mind works differently because their psychological worlds
are very different. During the stage between the first Saturn square
and the first Saturn opposition - between the ages of 7 to 14 we
have a different group of children again, and then from the opposition
to the next square. Each of these Saturn cycles show a different
area of development. We are all well practised at pointing out whether
people have grown into themselves according to whether they've had
their first Saturn return or not before getting to that stage are
other points of development. Some of what I say will apply to the
7/14 age group.
term cognitive development describes the changes that occur in thinking,
perception and memory as we grow. Despite differences in the way
children are treated, general patterns of development can be observed.
Behaviour is not at the mercy of the child's environment. Children
go through certain stages in a certain order but not necessarily
all at the same time. Unless there is a physical problem each child
learns to walk. If they learn to crawl they will crawl before they
walk. Some children don't crawl which is something I'd like to take
a look at later. A child will sit, crawl and then walk; they won't
do it in a random order. But while one child may learn to walk at
the age of 8 months another may be 18 months. There is a very broad
band as to what is considered normal. I think that the reason why
we have such a broad band is because of the triggers within their
chart. With walking, crawling jumping and so on we're talking about
the Mars cycle. We look at Mercury cycles to see speech and dexterity;
Venus seems to be the biggest indicator for separation issues rather
than bonding. Venus returns often herald strong separation issues
with the mother. With an adults chart we may be thinking of beginning
a new love affair. All bright and jolly but for a child is a break,
child's intellectual development takes place through the development
of what one psychologist Jean Piaget calls schemata, which are the
internal representation of a series of physical or mental actions.
In other words the child establishes their own sets of rules about
how the world works. They operate those rules and live within them
until something challenges those rules and then they have to develop
a new set. And so they go through to the next stage. They always
have their own set of rules and they change with the planetary cycles.
They need these rules to understand how to interact with the environment
and other people. Once a set of rules is developed the child is
motivated to use and test them, it's the constant testing that leads
onto the next stage.
the world through an existing schema is known as assimilation. The
assimilation of things into existing schemata allows the child to
remember more information about the world although fitting things
into the existing frameworks makes the child act in a way which
adults consider odd. This is a very definite process. This is how
the world is - hang on a minute - that can't be quite right - something
doesn't fit - we'll redo these rules, make it fit. I've redone my
rules, I allow for this thing to happen and then I test it until
something else happens. This process goes on all the time.
a mismatch between schemata and feedback is experienced the child
is said to be in a state of disequilibrium and a new schema has
to be formed. This process is known as accommodation.
theory states that children pass through four broad stages that
correspond with successive age ranges. From infancy to about age
two, children go through what Piaget called the sensorimotor stage.
This is a time when children physically manipulate and sensorially
explore the environment. It is not a time when there are mental
thoughts about the world.
the preschool years, from age two until about six or seven (Piaget's
Pre-operational stage), children begin to have internal thoughts
about the external world, especially as they learn to use language.
The child learns to use words as symbols of objects. During this
pre-operational stage, children can represent their world in symbols,
but they cannot yet mentally manipulate language to classify or
logically explore the world. They are in a perceptual world (still
absorbing), not a conceptual world.
third (Piaget's operational) stage unfolds between the ages of seven
to eleven or twelve. These are the elementary school years during
which children begin to manipulate thoughts, just as they once manipulated
the physical environment. Students learn to classify objects, using
similarity and difference, and they begin to understand time, number,
and space with a degree of sophistication. Although children can
begin to reason logically at this early age, their thoughts are
still concrete. They cannot yet manipulate abstract ideas.
final stage is called the age of formal operations. This occurs
after the age of twelve, during the middle and high school years
(adolescence). During this time, children develop the adult abilities
to use hypotheses, to bring organizational systems into their thoughts,
and to understand and employ empathy.
the same time that all these cognitive stages are evolving, there
is a concomitant unfolding of neuromuscular abilities. The child
walks at the end of the sensorimotor period, just as language is
developing. During the preschool years the child learns to ascend
and descend steps using alternating feet. Around age three the blind
child learns to walk in a straight line, and at age four to walk
in a circle. The ability to do fine motor skills gradually develops
as the child moves through the elementary years.
transition from the first to the second phase, from the sensorimotor
to the preoperational period in Piagetian terms, occurs during the
months leading up to the second birthday, and this is precisely
the period when Mars conjoins its natal place, the first Mars Return.
The next major transition at 6-7 coincides with the opening square
transit of Saturn to its natal place. And the third transition,
at about 11 1/2 to 12 1/2, coincides with the first Jupiter Return.
it is obvious that the first major Saturn transit to the natal position
is linked with an awareness of death and grief and the ability to
be depressed. Father Time is a slow mover when we are young. Perception
of the speed of time varies as our life goes on. This is partially
due to a change in metabolic rate and partially to how memory works.
If we have lived one day, experiences are vivid and important as
100% of our life. By the time we reach 30 each day is 1/10,000th
of our life. And each successive day is a smaller proportion. Time
contracts and passes more quickly. This is one reason for the accepted
premise that childhood experiences have a lasting effect on our
of the child's special relationship with time, fleeting influences
from planetary patterns can have a deep and lasting effect. In general,
we take little notice of our Mercury returns, occasionally get hopeful
on a Venus return and avoid our enemies or try to direct out energies
on a mars return. However, a young child can be seen to be going
through a specific stage of development aligned with the planetary
cycles and what may seem a minor transit to us can have a deep and
lasting effect on them. Many astrologers note that a young child
expresses their lunar qualities strongly but take little notice
of the difference in effect from the rest of the inner planets.
Everything is felt for the now and the inner planet transits need
to be accommodated before they can assimilate outer planet transits.
planetary combination is a new experience to a child and well before
the age of reason at seven the child is experiencing a number of
planetary cycles that through our familiarity we tend to ignore.
The cycles of all the planets open us up to new experiences enabling
us to develop skills, a process which continues into adulthood.
Everything is in the now, the concept of past and future is difficult
to grasp and a fleeting influence of apparently minor important
can have a lasting effect on a young child.
children live out their charts to such an extent that you might
think that they have stolen your astrology textbooks. Before the
first Saturn square the young child will experience two Mars returns,
A Jupiter square and opposition as well as a number of Venus and
Mercury returns. Human beings are pre programmed to develop in a
certain way. However, all children do not achieve the same skills
at the same age. There is a wide range as to what is considered
normal. Planetary cycles as well as transiting aspects to planets
can help us to pinpoint when a child is likely to achieve the different
that make a major aspect to the ascendant are generally considered
to be related to the birth experience. For example, the involvement
of Mars can point towards surgical intervention, Neptune to a drug
aided delivery and Saturn to a lengthy labour. We tend to describe
the birth in terms of the mother rather than the child. It is the
child's perception of the birth that is important and a Mars involvement
may refer to a sense of violence, Neptune to other worldliness.
Mars is also traditionally the planet that rules childbirth so its
involvement with the ascendant need not indicate anything worrisome.
of inner planets
is worth reminding ourselves here of the cycles of the inner planets.
Mercury has an orbit of 88 days, Venus of 225 days and Mars of 687
days. Mercury is retrograde for 20% of the time, Venus for 7% of
the time and Mars for (% of the time. Retrograde motion may be one
reason why there is a large variance in ages in reaching a developmental
milestone is an achievement such as walking, crawling, jumping,
sitting which all children achieve and is used to judge the general;
development of the child. There is a wide range of ages for achieving
milestones. Walking may be achieved between 6 months and 2 years
of age and be considered normal though the average age for walking
is 13 months.
end of babyhood and beginning of toddler hood is at one year. This
is the time of the first solar return. First Venus return and first
Mercury return. Depending on retrograde motion these returns may
coincide or be staggered over a period. At this age most children
have some sort of mobility, speech has started to develop and they
may be comprehensible to outsiders. They are no longer babies.
the ages of seven through twelve are taken to be ruled by Mercury
and ages 13 through 18 by Venus and Mars, the first seven years
are dominated by the Moon. Until the age of seven, the Moon is the
prime indicator of what a child must receive in order to feel safe
and well-nurtured. If a child doesn't get what they need, which
is often indicated by difficult aspects to the Moon, they can miss
out on emotional resilience.
to Ptolemy, the Moon is an appropriate ruler for this age because
there is a flexibility in the body, quick growth, changeability
and the food of infancy is liquid, all things that are linked to
Moon is pre-verbal and unconscious. Imprints set here are very hard
to access and change. If for example, the Moon is conjunct Jupiter
this indicates that the individual takes a strong nurturing imprint.
That person will probably be very well nurtured, and may live in
a protected environment. They will carry this with them for the
rest of their lives and it will shape their destiny.
Moon represents a part of us that begins to develop in infancy,
in our mother's arms before we have any verbal capacity. At that
age, we do not understand who we are (the Sun) or how we fit into
the family (the Ascendant); we only know what we feel - hunger,
heat, cold, dampness, rage, fear, or need. The Moon is our sense
of comfort and safety, or the lack thereof. A child with a Moon-Saturn
aspect or Moon in Capricorn is often born to a mother with one or
more of the following characteristics: older, anxious, depressed,
and overwhelmed with responsibilities, strongly career-oriented.
A birth chart with a strong Saturn-Moon aspect symbolises a person
born into a cold, unemotional, restrictive environment. It may be
worth investigating whether babies that spend time in incubators
have strong Saturn-Moon aspects. Later in life, this condition often
coincides both with fears of intimacy in relationships and with
control over feelings and emotions.
Moon is passively receptive to outside influences. So the child
begins its life in a psychologically fluid state, taking its early
shape from the maternal mould. Although an individual with distinct
characteristics that will later become conscious, the infant experiences
helplessness and vulnerability, and is unable to act for itself
except in blind or dim responses. Throughout these first seven years,
the child registers the effects of its environment and in so doing
displays the acutely impressionable nature of the moon.
this early phase of life the child develops many personality habits,
powers of observation, becomes aware of and interested in their
surroundings, reaches out to touch and experience things through
the senses. Taste, touch and sight are the first senses developed.
A young baby will put everything to its mouth to examine it more
closely. Recognition by smell and hearing follows a little later.
During this time the reflexes are mainly of feeling and sensation.
As the hearings sense begins to co-ordinate with the thinking process
and the child begins to recognise people, sounds and the meaning
of words and compare things we move into the phase of Mercury.
Moon takes twenty eight days to go once around the Zodiac, spending
only two days in each sign. It governs those aspects of life that
change from day to day, the many faces of our everyday personality
that may seem consistent to ourselves but may seem to wax and wane
Moon symbolizes our most basic survival needs. It is our instinctive
response to situations and represents those feelings, moods and
internal physical rhythms that nature designed for our protection.
The sign of the Moon defines the type of environment and emotional
response we subconsciously know will provide security and protection.
Having no other way to express or protect themselves, infants resonate
to the sign of their Moon as a source of comfort and safety. The
Moon is the most important planet in an infant's chart, and describes
the type of emotional response that is needed from mom to feel comfortable,
safe, secure and loved.
the first weeks of an infant's life, as appropriate kinds and number
of sensations are exchanged between infant and mom, the infant feels
safe and secure enough to allow its innate emotional nature to emerge
from the unconscious.
and toddlerhood are now seen as the time when the core of an individual's
ability to think, feel and relate to others is being formed, and
when important protective factors such as intelligence, trust and
empathy can be lost. Possibly the most important information to
come out of this research is just how important the infant's first
experiences are to the individual's entire life.
Edmond Jones has suggested that the speed of the Moon at birth can
be sued as a guide towards how quickly the young child can learn.
If the Moon is moving above about 13 degrees and 10 minutes then
it is fast at assimilating information and using it. This is nothing
to do with intelligence. A slow moon - under 13 are slower at getting
information together and using it. A particularly fast Moon, over
about 14 and a half degrees this indicates a fast learner. When
you're looking at a chart of a very young baby this can be a useful
guideline. Because you can offer an instant analysis and watch how
the Moon speeds up and slows down in the first days of life. And
this can affect how they process information and se it.
the first weeks of a child's life looking at the transiting Moon
can be helpful. Small babies are known to be especially fretful
and sensitive during the three days around a full Moon especially
if they were born around the time of a full Moon. Additional sensitivity
can be noted when the Moon returns to the sign it was in at birth.
At this time the baby is likely to be emotionally expressive and
cling more to the mother. During the first weeks information can
be gleaned from the Moon perfecting the applying aspects we see
in the natal chart. Additional sensitivity can be noted, especially
in relation to illness, when the moon is in the same sign as at
birth for very young babies.
we're looking further ahead we need to look at the progressed Moon
cycle. Transiting Moons are only any good for the first weeks of
life if we're not to drown in piles of data. Nit pickers may want
to follow the transiting Moon around the chart for the first few
months as it probably still yields valid information.
takes about two and a half years for the Moon to move through each
sign by secondary progression. An about 27 to 29 years to traverse
the chart, allying it with the Saturn cycle.
other words about the same time as a Mars return. This also commonly
occurs when a younger sibling is born, although on occasion it indicates
the desire for a sibling coming to light. In the first two and a
half years of life aspects are received from every planet in the
chart by the progressed Moon. All applying aspects are perfected
and the Moon triggers every point in the chart. Adult responses
to the child's actions are being learnt. As the Moon moves at about
one degree per month all applying aspects will be perfected before
the child is one years old. In other words at the stage when a child
ceases to be a baby and becomes an infant. In looking at the charts
of young babies we have little to work with but the lunar cycle.
Small babies are known to be particularly fretful and sensitive
during the three days around a full Moon, especially if they were
born on a full Moon. Sensitivity is heightened in any event when
the Moon returns to its natal position. Emotional expression increases
and the baby clings more closely to the mother.
time at about two to two and a half is the terrible twos - tantrums,
end of the first lunar cycle, end of the first Mars cycle, anyone
who has experienced young children know what I'm talking about.
It does vary slightly with different children depending on the motion
of Mars. So it may be close or separate to the progressed Moon cycle.
Adult responses are beginning to be learned. A sense of what is
going to happen and what has happened starts to develop rather than
simply a sense of what is happening now. Time. In theory difficult
separating aspects and easy approaching aspects show calm infants.
And vice versa. Colic? A screaming baby without this combination
the screaming is caused by something else.
two and two and a half years of age the progressed Moon has changed
sign forming a semi-sextile to its natal position. Depending on
the change of sign the child withdraws or becomes more responsive.
Squares become trines and sextiles giving an ease in response in
those areas whilst tension can be found where none previously existed.
three and six the Moon enters the next sign forming aspects more
compatible with those found in the natal chart. The polarity returns
to that of the natal Moon. As a working aspect the sextile encourages
imitation of the prime carer. During the fifth year when this aspect
perfects, imitative behaviour becomes stronger. A child will not
only attempt to imitate the behaviour of a parent of the same sex
but also respond to the other parent in a way which is designed
to elicit similar responses to those a parent receives. A little
girl may try to do whatever mom does to make dad happy.
the ages of five and seven and a half the first square is formed.
This is another warning of the impending Saturn square and may coincide
with it. It coincides with the start of formal schooling for many
and represents the first serious attempt to disengage emotionally
from the mother. Depending on aspects made by the progressed Moon
while in the sign square its natal position, this process may begin
immediately or not occur until the time of the exact square at about
seven to eight and a half. Switching from receptive to active or
vice versa is as confusing for the child as it is to their adult
carers. Responses and the level of understanding reached depend
to a degree on how well the mother is coping with her emotional
the Moon can give us an awareness of the emotional development of
the child. But it is the cycles of the inner planets which give
developmental clues in other terms. As Mercury is retrograde 20
per cent of the time, Venus 7 and Mars 9 there is great variance
in the ages in which a child reaches a particular stage of development.
A milestone achievement such as walking, crawling and sitting, which
all able bodied children achieve, is used to judge the general development
of the child. There is a wide range of ages for achieving milestones.
For example walking can be achieved between 6 months and two years
of age with the child still being classed as having normal development
although the average age for walking is 13 months. This variation
of ages can be allied to the variations in planetary movement in
an individual's chart.
like to move on and look at some of the cycles at this stage. Every
minor transit holds importance for the young child, as it's a new
experience. Few people in this room are likely to get excited by
Mercury transiting their Sun. Been there, done that. But this could
be when a child utters their first word. In practical terms as well
we can't possibility track all the inner planet transits for an
adult. But we don't need to. We learn from experience and although
the Saturn return is classed as a major changing point before it
happens we have experienced Saturn aspecting it's natal position,
perhaps conjoining our sun or moon. We have a sense of what Saturn
transits mean for us. A young child has yet to have those experiences
and the very newness of inner planet transits gives them power.
I have found that it isn't the first try at a new skill, the first
word or step that ties in with the transits. But rather the first
competent effort. The first communication with someone outside the
immediate family circle, the first walk outside. Maybe the first
shoes. First achievements are different. This can be difficult to
Mercury is retrograde for a long time they are not going to have
a Mercury return or opposition at the same time as another child
may, they may have to wait until Mercury is direct to catch up with
some development points. If they are born with a retrograde planet
that again makes a difference.
are generally looking for aspects between the planet concerned and
the Moon and/or Sun - perhaps additionally the ascendant, as well
as aspects to the natal position of the planet. There is a wide
range of ages for achieving milestone skills and they will vary
depending on when retrograde motion happens.
all understand that Mercury governs speech, writing, communication
and the mental functions in general. The early years are when the
child learns the mechanics of communication, how to write, to speak,
to express their self as a mental being and not just as a collection
of clamorous desires. They discover that they can contradict the
voice of authority sometimes and assert their ideas so that others
will listen and pay attention. However, Mercury is not restricted
to language development, it is also the planet we look to for development
in dexterity and general learning skills. Additionally, hands and
feet grow before arms and legs.
some systems of astrology Mercury rules the period when a child
has just been born. While aware of separate existence, they are
still closely connected to the mother. The arising of a sense of
difference between child and mother is the basis for the concept
of division and the source of logical thought. Other schools of
thought ally Mercury with the ages of 7 to 14.
second stage is true childhood, lasting from four to fourteen. It
is associated with Mercury, the second fastest planet. Ptolemy explains
that this is the period when the child begins to articulate and
formulate intelligence, when learning takes place and the mind-character
can be moulded through instruction.
the Mercury phase the child begins rapidly learning and begins to
discover its own interests, talents and abilities. Thinking and
talking become developed. This stage remains until the onset of
puberty when the child enters the Venus phase.
association between Mercury and early learning is strong. Interestingly,
learning difficulties and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
(ADHD) have recently been associated with Mrecury toxins. For the
past several years, parents have become increasingly concerned about
their children's learning difficulties. Yet this was not a major
problem for children growing up in the 1700s or the early 1800s.
200 years, we have produced trillions of tons of chemicals utilizing
mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and aluminum to work in our industries.
example, thimerosal is a preservative that has been used as an additive
in vaccines [Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), diphtheria and
tetanus toxoids with acellular pertussis (DTaP), hepatitis B, influenza]
since the 1930's to prevent bacterial and fungal contamination.
Thimerosal contains mercury. Mercury can cause immune, sensory,
neurological, motor, and behavioral dysfunctions. Autism has also
been associated with Mercury toxins. The fetus is eight times more
sensitive to mercury than its mother prior to pregnancy. Human exposure
to mercury typically occurs when contaminated fish are eaten as
food. Children born of women exposed to relatively high levels of
methyl mercury during pregnancy have exhibited a variety of developmental
neurological abnormalities, including delayed onset of walking and
talking, cerebral palsy, and reduced neurological test scores.
takes about three months to circle the Sun but because it is so
close to the Sun it follows it around the Zodiac, moving backwards
and forwards around the Solar position on a three monthly cycle.
At its fastest it passes through a zodiacal sign in a fortnight
and covers affairs of this nature - our pattern of work, our weekly
routine, our immediate plans. In the course of a year Mercury marks
out the seasons.
Mercury cannot be more than 27 degrees from the Sun at any point,
the first Mercury return occurs about the age of one year - the
end of babyhood. The timing of Mercury making its first squares,
trines etc to its natal position are highly variable and it is difficult
to say that a certain combination results in a particular milestone
achievement. In practice Mercury aspects to the Sun and Moon supported
by an aspect to its own position provide timing. We need to be aware
more in the case of Mercury of the range for normal achievement
if we are to make any sensible predictions. The position of transiting
Mercury will obviously depend on retrograde motion. With some children
born with direct Mercury which does not go retrograde for some time
after birth the Mercury return will clearly herald a developmental
milestone. With others we may have to ay more attention to the first
squares and oppositions.
first Mercury return occurs at about one year of age, the beginning
of toddler hood and the stage t which most children develop clear
language. Therefore the Mercury return is associated with first
speech. As Mercury has traversed the chart it has conjoined every
point, gathering information as it goes. The aspects it makes immediately
before the return shows the ways in which this happens, for example
if it is triggered by Uranus the n there will be a flash of inspiration,
but Saturn a dogged determination and so on. Or with a Saturn contact
they may lose confidence in their abilities.
is easiest to see the Mercury cycle in terms of speech but it isn't
exclusively connected with that. Dexterity is also to be considered
as well as handedness. The cycle of developing handedness is highly
complicated and we don't have time to go through it here, it may
be interesting at some point to develop that idea further. The point
at which they settle on one hand or another logically ties into
a Mercury pattern. Babies begin life by using both hands and later
develop through a stage of using the right and left alternately.
By the age of four, a preference of hand will be noticeable and
by the age of eight or nine, dominance will have been established.
There are children who begin to reveal their preference early in
life, while others keep parents guessing into primary school. Most
show a propensity to use one hand for throwing, writing, and drawing
at about age three. Until then, changing hands is pretty much the
rule. However, a large minority of children continues to do this
until the age of six. In fact, up to 20 per cent of children remain
equally capable with either hand (ambidextrous) at least for some
closest Mercury pattern to the first Saturn square is the one associated
with handedness. It has been postulated that if Mercury is retrograde
at this time that leads to left-handedness, but this is not a theory
the retrograde motion of Mercury it isn't possible to draw up a
list of what should be expected when. But the milestone achievements
appear to align with Mercury making a major aspect to its natal
position at the same time as aspecting one of the luminaries. Thos
"bigger" more active achievements appear to involve the Sun rather
than Moon. The more subtle and gradual changes involve the Moon.
Although we are talking about Mercury at this point this pattern
holds true for the other planets, albeit with different milestone
4 weeks of age an infant is capable of distinguishing between sounds
and will make cooing noises to indicate pleasure.
three months non-verbal signals of communication can be noted, dexterity
improves enabling the child to hold onto an object and the child
shows signs of recognising the mother.
4 months pointing begins and the child is likely to laugh for the
is an association between Saturn/Mercury combinations and smiling
as early smiles have a relationship with fear, rather than with
enjoyment. Think of the smiles and laughter of a young baby who
is tossed in the air and caught, peek a boo games etc. There is
a sense of thank God I'm safe and can now laugh.
5 months the infant is capable of locating audible objects in the
5 ½ months a link between sound and gesture is made.
6 months there is a marked increase in the range of sounds made
6 months dexterity improves and a child can bring a held object
to its mouth and transfer it from one hand to the other
12 months one word utterances are made.
the case of Grace, aged two and a half when I examined her chart,
a Mercury tine to its natal position was significant in indicting
a house move. This occurred at the same time as Mars making an opposition
to its natal position and in a child of this age an emphasis on
two planetary cycles is often indicative of a major change.
the case of Grace aged two and a half when I examined her chart
a Mercury tine to its natal position was significant in indicting
a house move. This occurred at the same time as Mars making an opposition
to its natal position and in a child of this age an emphasis on
two planetary cycles is often indicative of a major change.
is the influence of love, art, culture, sympathy, social relationships,
evaluation. All emotions that have a sexual basis begin here, including
the love of beauty. Creative activities - poetry, acting, music,
dancing - come under Venus. It aims to unify. Venus represents a
stage when the child realises he or she has something to give and
gives freely. Movement is necessary so that the child does not give
too much. When development takes its natural course, Venus represents
the faculty of synthesis.
toxicity has also been associated with ADD, with or without hyperactivity.
The impact of copper toxicity seems to be much more severe in preadolescent
and adolescent girls than in boys. As girls reach puberty, the increase
in estrogen levels tends to exacerbate the effects of copper toxicity
because estrogen raises the level of copper in tissues (Pfeiffer,
1975). When this occurs, there is likely to be an increase in behavior
and emotional disorders: mood swings, depression and suicidal tendencies,
irritability and aggression, running away, promiscuity, and eating
disorders. Memory and concentration problems may also increase.
The eating of foods high in copper content is likely to exacerbate
these conditions. People with autism have peculiar nutritional profiles.
Natural approaches, including nutrition, for people with autism
may take up to a year to take effect before symptoms start to alleviate
at age fourteen is the third age (youth) which lasts for eight years
and is associated with Venus, the third fastest planet. Ptolemy
explains that this is the age when there is an impulse toward love,
sexual expression and a burning passion for ideals and all the blindness
that goes with it.
takes about eight months, 18 and 2/3 days in each sign. On this
timescale we see a curious relationship with the Moon with its 18
and 2/3 year eclipse cycle or Saros. Venus covers the rise and fall
of feelings, the span of desire. In the sky it is moon-like in that
it can be seen in the evening or morning, and it waxes and wanes.
In the way that the moon is the reactive feelings, externally stimulated,
Venus is those feelings that are internally generated over time.
Advertising campaigns usually run for about three weeks before their
impact can be assessed.
Venus can be difficult to plot in terms of timing events as it maintains
a distance from the Sun of 45 degrees and the timing of its first
major aspects to its natal position are highly variable. Venus cycles
seem to be primarily concerned with issues of separation, particularly
returns which commonly indicate some sort of separation from the
mother. Examples of Venus issues are:-
six months indiscriminate attachment ends
7 & 8 months fear of strangers begins and specific attachment begins
twelve months specific attachment ends and multiple attachment begins
at Sebastian's chart again Venus squared its natal position on 6
April 1994. This was when he rejected his dummy and refused external
comfort objects. On 20 June 1994 at his first opposition his mother
noted that he "showed signs of anxiety when seeing me across the
room. I.e. not holding him, panicked for the first time in a room
full of people who are not focussing their attention on him." On
the following Venus square she noted "loves playing peek-a-boo and
chases after me when I leave the room" By following the Venus cycle
we can see the child's relationship to the mother developing as
he learns that he is a separate entity and learns ways in which
to cope with this new experience.
is often a symptom of chronic iron deficiency. Other symptoms include
general weakness, listlessness, exhaustion, lack of appetite, and
headaches. Iron deficiency can cause irritability and attention
deficits Iron deficiency and it's most serious form, anemia are
usually a result of inadequate iron intake in a person's diet. If
we are not consuming enough iron in our daily diet or we are at
one of the critical stages noted below, we may become anemic. Fatigue,
lethargy, difficulty concentrating, shortened attention span, lack
of aerobic ability, dizziness, shortness of breath, pallor (conjunctivae,
nail beds, skin, gums). At different stages of life, everyone is
susceptible to anemia but there are some critical stages that are
very important and which everyone should be aware of.
ages six months to two years. Breastmilk contains an adequate supply
of iron for infants and many formulas are fortified with iron so
they do too. This age group is in an important stage of growth and
development - the brain is growing and learning, cognitive development
is occurring, motor skills and behavioral development is happening.
Iron deficiency has detrimental effects on all of these. It can
cause a loss of 9 IQ points, slows the brain functions, hurting
coordination and motor skills. Even mild anaemia in infants and
young children can impair intellectual development. Anaemia in children
under two years of age may cause problems with coordination and
balance, and the child may appear withdrawn and hesitant. This can
limit the child's ability to interact and may hinder intellectual
takes two years to traverse the Zodiac. It is the last of the inner
planets and as such sets the limits of our practical existence.
Mars covers our strategies for life, our perceivable building blocks.
Most educational courses are based around two years. Most martial
arts require two years to attain Black Belt. It is the cycle of
skill acquisition. One theory of learning is that understanding
lags learning by two years.
in aspect to Mars in a birth chart indicates one who becomes conditioned
to control and who holds back much of the time. A strong ye t difficult
Saturn-Mars contact could mean a frustrating toilet training experience
during the time of second circuit (Mars/Emotional-Territorial) imprint.
Toilet training is an important act of self-sufficiency, a proof
of autonomy. With Saturn stressfully connected to Mars one may find
a parent who puts pressure on the child, such as pressure to control
the bodily functions. This could backfire if the timing is wrong,
and the child may spend the rest of his or her life with control
problems, a fear of self-sufficiency and a lack of confidence. A
positive Saturn-Mars contact suggests the steady control of the
aggressive instinct, which is needed when life's great challenges
are to be met.
the point of muscular control and personal autonomy. This is the
stage where toddlers learn to do things for themselves. Toilet-training
requires muscle control.
month - jerky movement
months - sits erect when held lifts head
months - independent sitting moves around floor
months - can stand alone for a few seconds
months - clambers to feet, walks unsteadily
is the easiest planet to understand in terms of child development.
We are all aware of the "terrible two's" - the bursts of energy
and two-year-olds struggle to maintain supremacy by screaming and
refusing to cooperate or even negotiate. The toddler is furious.
He rules the world, he pulls the strings and the parents respond.
child is approximately two years old when Mars returns for the first
time to the sign and degree of the horoscope it occupied at the
an infant's Mars begins at birth with the impulsive action of the
infant and the supportive reaction of the primary caregiver. An
infant's actions are purely impulsive reactions to the sensations
and emotions he is experiencing. His desires do not exist as thoughts
or ideas, but rather as motor behavior. It is an infant's instinctive
motor behavior that gives evidence of his Mars.
months an infant's impulsive actions, fueled by their desires go
uncontested-fed when hungry, carried when tired of walking and easily
gets their parents' attention. In time, they become aware that it
is their actions that lead to the attainment of their desires.
to Eight Months - Transiting Mars has traveled 90 degrees from its
birth position At this stage the child is ready to start connecting
emotions to actions. The ability to sit upright frees their arms
and hands while changing their perspective. They begin to act on
their own behalf with increased freedom and dexterity by consciously
choosing and grasping any desired object that is within his limited
reach. The ability to independently and purposefully select and
play with one toy after another marks a turning point, and during
the second half of the first year voluntary mobility becomes an
to Fourteen Months: Transiting Mars opposition. The urge to become
independent and the negativism that accompanies it begins with walking.
The baby becomes a toddler - coinciding with the first Venus, Mercury
and solar returns. They become more aware of the fact that they
are separate individuals and have a will of their own.
to Twenty Months Mars second square. With increased mobility and
the freedom to act purposefully on his own behalf, the toddler has
developed courage, and with a new burst of energy begins to demand
recognition by asserting his personal authority.
to Twenty-Six Months Mars return. The toddler is full of Mars energy.
There is a need to establish that the parent is still in charge.
months an infant's impulsive actions, fuelled by his desires, have
rightly gone uncontested-he was fed when hungry, carried when tired
of walking and easily got his parents' attention. In time, an infant
begins to see this happen and becomes aware that it is his actions
that lead to the attainment of his desires. Healthy assertive development
requires that the two year old see himself as omnipotent.
will be variations depending on the sign placement of Mars and the
aspects it makes. The sign tells us how they reach out to gain experience
and the aspects, or angles between Mars and other planets in the
birth chart, reveal areas of the personality that will assist or
be obstacles to assertive development.
Mars goes retrograde about every two years and two months. This
can cause variation in the age that the different stages are experienced.
During a retrograde period assimilation of skills already gained
look at it another way - Mars squares its own position at about
5 ½ months at the approach of crawling skills. It opposes its natal
position at about 11 months, around the time that crawling begins,
makes a second square at about 16 ½ months and returns about 22
months. The beginning of the terrible twos. The onset of mobility
achievements walking, crawling, jumping ally with an aspect between
transiting Mars and natal Sun. These aspects do not appear to relate
to when the child first crawled or took their first steps but rather
to the first demonstration of competence. So the dates for walking
are when the child first walks outdoors, the first walk they are
taken on without cajoling and persuasion.
chart is an example.
5 ½ months he began to crawl - Mars square Sun trine Mars
11 months he began walking Mars opposition Sun (he actually took
his first steps about three months earlier)
14 months he gained competence in climbing - Mars opposition Sun
19 months he learned to jump - Mars opposition Sun
in the chars I have looked at a 12th house Mars is common for children
who do not crawl but have a stage where they seem to have little
interest immobility before beginning to walk. In one case where
the child did crawl she began to at an early stage but continued
to crawl for a longer period than average and no walking until the
age of nearly 17 months when Mars was trine her Sun and had returned
to its natal position. A 12th house mars shows restraint in gaining
early motor skills.
child began to crawl when Mars conjoined her Moon and squared her
Sun, walked when Mars trined her Sun and sextiled her Moon and jumped
when Mars squared its natal position. Grace crawled when Mars trined
the Moon and quincinxed its natal position, walked when Mars trined
the Sun and its natal apposition and jumped when Mars opposed the
Moon and squared its natal position.
transiting Mars aspects to the Sun - especially hard aspects - seem
to be associated with the onset of walking and Mars to the Moon
- especially soft aspects - associated with the onset of crawling.
Mars aspecting its own position of Uranus is a supporting indicator.
problem with all of the above is, of course, that although the patterns
I have described hold true for most charts I have looked at, they
don't allow space for individual differences. It is clearly ludicrous
to say that two babies born on the same date will, for example,
begin to walk at the same time. To make the difference we need to
take account of the house cusps and angles' involvement.
general terms there often appears to be a transiting aspect to one
of the angles when a developmental milestone is reached. Frequently,
I have noted an aspect to the 5th cusp when an angle is not involved.
other individual difference is, of course, the differing house placements
of the planets concerned. A transit occurring from an angular house
is more likely to mean the achievement of a milestone than one from
a cadent or succedent. We also need to take note of the house position
of the planet being transited. Again, an angular house involvement
will increase the likelihood of a milestone being achieved. Finally,
it is obviously important to consider the strength of the planets
involved in these transits. A weak Mercury by sign transiting its
own position and one of the luminaries is less likely to show achievement
than one that is in its own sign and direct. These criteria make
it easier to see when developmental milestones are achieved and
account for the differences that occur with children of the same
age with broadly similar charts but at a different stage of development.
I have not had the opportunity to study these differences at length
but apply these guidelines in the work that I do. As with all astrology,
each chart needs to be considered on its own merits.