My obsession with astrology began when I was a kid. My parents always bought the Sunday newspaper in order to collect the mass of coupons it contained. The rest of the paper was up for grabs, but I only ever checked out the comics and the horoscopes. I’d read them every week, even though their predictions of love, work, and money never applied to my elementary school life.
In middle school, my uncle’s girlfriend left an astrology book at my house after a visit, and that’s when my belief in what the stars could teach me really started. I read that book cover to cover several times. I used it to build characters for the short stories I wrote, and I applied the information in its pages to my family, friends, and even a brief crush. Astrology helped me feel like I had some small understanding of the world.
As I got older, I learned more about astrology thanks to everyday access to the internet. When I became more educated about the zodiac, I felt like I also learned more about myself. Astrology even helped me better understand my husband. He is a day dreaming Pisces Sun and an emotionally secretive Capricorn Moon. He would frequently drive my Taurus Sun, Gemini Moon crazy, but his behaviors that confused or frustrated me made more sense when I viewed them through the lens of his birth chart.
Since astrology has been so helpful for me, it’s not surprising that I apply it to my understanding of the three people I helped bring into this world.
When my first son was born early, it put him on the cusp of Leo season. I had already had my fill of fire signs thanks to my mom’s Aries Sun and the conflict it welcomed, but I was determined to understand this little lion. I looked towards his birth chart, which is a reflection of what the stars looked like when a person was born. The placement of these stars and planets are said to dictate elements of a person’s life: how they communicate, what motivates them, how they approach love, etc. are all thought to be spelled out by the birth chart’s astrological snapshot.
Each star sign represents some facet of your personality. Your Sun sign is overwhelmingly you—you probably relate to all or most of this sign’s characteristics. Your Moon sign is how you deal with emotions and make sense of your inner world. It can also be responsible for how you process your surroundings since it highly influences your Sun sign’s actions. Moon signs are the reason why two people born under the same Sun sign can be so different from each other.
My little guy is a Leo Sun and an Aries Moon. At 10 years old, he’s proud, bright, loyal, and very concerned about the concept of fairness. He resents feeling laughed at, and his moodiness can turn temperamental. He’s also very passionate and can talk forever about his interests if you let him (which is why I’ve learned so much about the mechanics of fidget spinners).
While parenting him, I have to remember that he wants to know the whys of the world. He is eager to do what’s right, but he needs to understand the why behind the rules before he can agree to follow them. Fairness as a general concept is important to him, but it’s usually his personal experience with fairness that matters most. Once he’s satisfied and feels respected, the happy, charismatic part of his Leo Sun can come out. And if all else fails, my Taurus Sun can out-stubborn his Aries Moon any day of the week.
For all the fire of my first born, my daughter was a welcome trip back to earth with her Virgo Sun. At 8 years old, she is already the child I foresee taking care of family matters when my husband and I are gone. Her Virgo Sun and Taurus Moon make her a helpful perfectionist. It’s almost impossible to push her into a decision. Once she makes one of her own, she is stubborn and dedicated. She’s sweetness itself, but when she feels wronged, she can be vicious.
Though our signs are different, this girl is so much like me. As I’m raising my daughter, I’m trying to give her what I feel I needed as a child. Being particular doesn’t always win you friends; I needed someone who understood that individualistic part of my personality as a kid, but I got disciplinarians at home instead. So I’m trying to be that friend to my daughter.
Like me, my daughter needs to feel seen. I make time for her. I acknowledge when she’s done something well just as often as I correct her. I don’t call out her idiosyncrasies for being weird or unnecessary. I give her options, but keep them limited to build her confidence without triggering her indecisiveness. I relinquish some of my control (and, girl, it’s tough to do) so that she can have some of her own.
My 6-year-old son is a hurricane personified. I’m pretty sure the word “wild” was invented to define my youngest child, a Sagittarius Sun, Scorpio Moon.
He may be a little boy, but this kid has been on the go since birth. He walked before he crawled, eager to keep up with his siblings while expressing his adventurous nature. Sometimes it’s hard to reign in, both emotionally and physically. His Scorpio Moon makes him intense, and those raw emotions can make for lots of drama. (And if you don’t think a 6-year-old can create drama, you’ve obviously never met one.)
Parenting my youngest son has been my biggest challenge. Do I reign him in? Do I stifle his emotions and redirect his curiosity? As his mother, I won’t quiet what makes him who he is, but I will try to rework how he responds to the world around him. While my kiddo may be rebellious by nature, he also has an enthusiasm for everything that catches his attention. Playing on that enthusiasm gets him to focus some of that chaotic energy into more productive areas. This kid lives on praise, so I put him in situations where I can celebrate him, rather than punish him. His adventurous nature extends to a love of learning—the level of focus this kid can muster is amazing. I find new interests that he can explore, which helps him stay out of trouble.
I may have my kids figured out individually, but parenting them as they interact with each other and the rest of the world will be a lifelong challenge—though I’ll keep returning to the stars for guidance. My oldest son will eventually learn that life isn’t as fair as his mom tried to make it. My daughter will have to learn that not everything can be perfectly controlled. My youngest son will have to learn to channel his intensity and passion in healthy ways.
Still, I’m confident that I’m raising happy kids who won’t have to recover from their childhoods. I can partly thank the stars for that.