©2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
Apparently, I missed the conference where astrologers voted to drop sex and money from the horoscope. By popular acclaim, the 2nd house is no longer about money, it’s about values or self-esteem, and the 8th is now about transformation. At least, that’s the impression I’m getting as I read recent articles, listen to astrologers speaking, and field readers’ questions in this series.
Yes, the 2nd house DOES show what we value most, and therefore how we spend our discretionary income. Our set of values also gives some clues about what we are and aren’t willing to do to earn money.
However, in 40 years of doing chart consultations, I have yet to have a client complain of tossing and turning all night worrying about their values. In today’s difficult economy, a great many are experiencing fear and suffering over finances. They can find it invaluable to explore what their 2nd house shows about their finances and their money-management patterns.
The 2nd House and False Self-Esteem vs. True Self-Worth
I find myself at a loss to understand why self-esteem would be attributed to the 2nd. To me, the only way the 2nd house tells you about your self-esteem is if your self-esteem is dependent on how much money you have. It’s true that vast numbers of people today gain a false self-worth from their net worth, but that’s very different than truly feeling good about yourself.
True self-esteem is a function of the Sun, along with self-worth, self-confidence, and other self words. The house the Sun is placed in and the matters governed by that house are clues to the things that make up our sense of self.
Our competence and success or lack thereof in addressing the matters of that house has a huge effect on our self-esteem. In the 6th house, we base it on the quality of our work; in the 7th, it comes from our partnerships; and on. The picture is further modified by the Sun’s sign, and aspects.
“It’s Not Nice to Talk about Money!”
So why do astrologers persist in focusing on values in the 2nd, rather than talking about money and on transformation rather than sexuality in the 8th?
A major reason may be that it’s not considered polite to delve into other people’s income or sexual practices–certainly not in a social situation or with people you don’t know well. Most of us would be rather uncomfortable with bringing these topics up at a dinner party.
However, an astrology reading doesn’t follow the same rules as ordinary social interactions, where these topics are taboo. Clients are coming to you for help, and many of them suffer from financial problems that cause a great deal of stress, worry and deprivation. Such clients can benefit greatly from taking an honest look at the ways they deal with their finances.
The thing is this: since it’s hard for people to talk about their money troubles socially, the opportunity to talk those issues through in the privacy, confidentiality, and (hopefully) non-judgementality of the consultation room is priceless. They can look at their money management patterns honestly and from a detached viewpoint and think about what needs to change. Why would you deprive them of that chance by skirting the issue of finances because you’re not comfortable with it?
Astrologers who can’t look at money in the chart aren’t going to be effective at helping the multitudes of people who are having terrible financial problems during this recession or whatever they’re calling it these days. That, in a nutshell, is why this series is unfolding on Skywriter right now.
How Addressing Money Issues Helps You Serve the Client Better
To be truly helpful, we need to become at ease in talking about money and asking clients specifics about their ways of managing it. The 2nd house can give important insights into the psychological blockages that lead to unwise attitudes and practices in handling money.
Many gifted and deserving people are acclaimed for their work and still have a money neurosis that keeps them from enjoying the fruits of their labor, so they live marginally. We also need to be comfortable asking about debts, if the 8th house is highlighted natally or by transit, or if Pluto or Scorpio planets appear in the 2nd.
(Practice until it feels okay to bring it up. You can do it tactfully: “Your chart looks like debts might be a problem. How are you doing in that area?”)
Millions of people are caught in the debt trap that developed while Pluto was in over-expansive Sagittarius, and so you might suspect that a client is one of them if one of the slow-moving planets has been in the 8th house for a number of years.
I’m not saying we should do this with every client, but certainly the ones who list finances and career among their current concerns—or those whose 2nd/8th axis is getting transits from the Cardinal t-square or the Neptune-Chiron conjunction.
If this type of discussion is awkward for you–or maybe even sets off your own anxiety about debt–then read up on credit problems and solutions and and then practice talking about it until you’re at ease. It doesn’t make you more spiritual to avoid talking with your clients about money—it just makes you less effective.
For instance, statistics consistently show that money problems are the most common cause of marital disagreements. Yet, many clients will say they want to talk about their relationship problems, but few admit that money is causing a strain on that relationship. Thus, when a client raises relationship concerns, do you think to look at the 2nd and 8th houses for answers? You won’t look or be comfortable discussing this facet of marital strife if money is one of your blind spots.
Do Your own Money Management Patterns Get in the Way?
I think that another reason so many astrologers prefer to talk about the 2nd as self-esteem or values and rarely mention money is because so many of us have trouble managing money ourselves, and so we’re at a loss in dealing with our client’s money difficulties in a helpful way.
I’m not talking about counseling people on their investments—financial astrology is a specialty it’s prudent to leave to people with solid expertise in that area. But even if the stock market remains a mystery, knowing our way around the farmers’ market is a skill that pays off.
If we haven’t a clue about how to manage our own money, learning sounder ways of doing that will make our own lives less stressful and give us tools to use in coaching our clients. We can watch the shows about people with shopping addictions. We can read books and articles about money and listen to people like Suze Orman on television.
Can you do that without zoning out? It took me until I was 60 to start learning money management, and then only because my survival depended on getting grounded during a very difficult Saturn transit to my 2nd house. (Update: read more about the serious consequences of astrologers’ difficulties in addressing their own financial issues here: Living Off the Books—an 8th House Quicksand .)
Understanding How your own 2nd House Colors the Picture
A great many of us who practice astrology or healing have the outer planets in the 2nd or 8th and thus relate to the psychological patterns we’ve discussed in earlier articles about Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in the 2nd and how they contribute to money problems.
A fresh look at your own chart will help you understand any discomfort you might have in broaching this topic. It is important to understand your own 2nd house difficulties, because if you don’t, not only will it get in the way of a successful practice, it also gets in the way of objectivity about clients’ financial difficulties. And they will ask!
Worse, YOU WILL TEND TO PROJECT YOUR OWN ATTITUDES AND JUDGEMENTS ABOUT MONEY ONTO THE CLIENT’S SITUATION.
Suppose you have Uranus or Aquarius planets in the 2nd, while your client has Moon in Taurus in the 2nd. You’re bound to have some disapproval of their value system, an attitude that can bleed through into the session. Inside you may be saying, “These Taurus people are just money grubbers. Why aren’t they enlightened like me?” You doubtlessly wouldn’t say that aloud, yet what you do say will have the undertone of disapproval, unless you’ve developed an exceptional capacity for self-awareness and self-discipline.
Having Uranus or an Aquarius planet in the 2nd is one position that indicates being able to earn money at astrology. On the other hand, both the social consciousness and the rebelliousness that Uranus represents can get in the way of having this work that you love become a solid and reliable source of income.
With this position, you might tell yourself, “I’m too enlightened to charge money like all you materialists, I’m just on earth to enhance people’s consciousness.” It is important not to be a knee-jerk rebel in a way that keeps you from earning a living and meeting your own and the client’s needs.
How the Outer Planets Affect our own Ability to Earn a Living
Those of us in the helping fields in general—and astrology in particular—suffer from undervaluing their work and undercharging. Astrologers who hide behind “values” because they find it hard to talk to clients about their financial issues are often the same ones who have difficulty in telling clients what they charge.
Many go for 10 years without raising their fees because they suffer from guilt about charging for their work. They gain valuable experience as astrologers, yet still charge what they did when they were just starting out. More astrologers are uncomfortable with that than are comfortable.
Your way of handling the outer planets when they are in the 2nd can affect your ability to earn a living as an astrologer or healer. For instance, when Neptune or Pisces placements are in the 2nd, the question of balancing spirituality with survival arises.
The practitioner may play the role of Rescuer and may be especially vulnerable to enmeshment in clients’ money issues, because of feeling others’ anxiety or pain psychically. They could be chronically taken advantage of or feel put upon because they have to do menial jobs to make a living that get in the way of their dream of being a professional astrologer.
Ask yourself these questions:
Am I uncomfortable talking to clients about money?
Am I being paid what I’m worth for my work?
What does my 2nd house reveal about my own money patterns?
Readers who are astrologers, do you relate to the issues in this article? How comfortable are you with dealing with your clients’ money issues? And when was the last time you raised your fees? Talk to us about it in the comment section!
Articles in the Astrology and Personal Finances series:
- Readers Ask: Q & A about the 2nd House
- The 2nd House and Money Management Patterns
- Your 2nd House—A Clue to Extra Income
- The Unsuspected Role of the 8th House in Fiscal Fitness
- Uranus in the 2nd—Freedom & Individuality, vs. Financial Stability
- Saturn and Uranus Transits to the 2nd/8th House Axis
- Neptune in the 2nd—Money, Boundaries, & Codependency
- Neptune Transits to the 2nd-8th Axis—Time to Get Real about Money
- Money and Pluto in the 2nd House—The Haves vs. the Have Nots
- Thought Forms–How They Add to Money Blocks
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