There's a large garden at the back of our old house. It has a vegetable patch the size of a tennis court, a playground, a big campfire site, a side building for storing wood, tools, bikes and children's toys. Surrounded by trees, hedges, and an old wall, our garden is a good habitat for salamanders, hedgehogs, birds and other creatures great and small. It could be idyllic.
I am a Sagittarian (fire) with a Gemini Ascendant (air), and my only planets in earth are Uranus and Pluto in Virgo. A garden to me is something wonderful - beautiful flowers, fresh vegetables, juicy fruit. And they all grow by themselves, just like that. Nature is really doing a great job. It provides us with space for meditating or lying in the sun, and it provokes wonderful thoughts. Sometimes, I even feel like cutting the grass. When I'm sitting on the garden bench, I can feel the charm and mystery that our garden radiates.
If it wasn't for - you know what I mean: If it wasn't for the apple core in the hammock, the scattered clothes-pegs all over the garden, the campfire ash in the bag where normally the clothes-pegs are, roller-blades lying around inviting someone to trip over and break a leg. The excavation in the vegetable patch ("... we were just trying to find a treasure ...") is not really to our liking either. And why is the whole house painted with chalk? Who has scattered old bread crumbs in the garage? Who has shovelled the sand from the sand box onto the path? Who has taken away the fence around the compost heap? And who on earth has cut the raspberry trellis with the secateurs?
Why can't our garden just be idyllic? The parents in the house should have a talk and see, how we can convey to our children that nature wants to be treated with a little bit more respect. Nature can be so exciting. My wife sows, plants, weeds, tells me about crop rotation, organic fertilisers, and other esoteric methods of gardening. Being an Aries with a Virgo Ascendant, she has a talent for looking after overgrown beds with a pioneering spirit, for patiently pulling out weeds, planting systematically and with fervour, and even reaping what she has sown. Fascinating! Our housemates Vivian and Rolf are also often seen in the garden. They do interesting experiments with natural selection processes: can cauliflower survive, if the weeds haven't been pulled out for months? Even our neighbour Hannes has had a go at gardening. Heroically, he planted sweetcorn, leeks, lettuces and cress, and then went for a three-month holiday. All this gives Annina a chance to activate her pioneering spirit every spring and free her overgrown bed from the accumulated weeds. Everyone in the house can fulfil their potential.
Our children fulfil their potential too. Our son Leo, for example, was born with the Sun in Virgo, an earth sign with a natural leaning towards everything that grows and bears fruit. Virgo selects: this is useful, that isn't. In that way, Virgos are really concerned about their environment. Leo, with a Scorpio Ascendant, is also a born existentialist: All or nothing! He takes everything into his hands to assess whether he needs it. If he does, he takes it with him and puts it somewhere safe along the way, if he doesn't, he throws it away. He can never go missing, all we need to do is follow the trace of rubbish.
Wilhelm, the 9-year-old son of our neighbour Barbara, is a Taurean, a really practical child. It's just that, with Neptune on the Descendant, life can be quite spooky sometimes. But being a Taurus, he has found a very earthy strategy to deal with this: if he shouts really loudly and throws things around all over the place, it might make an impression on the creatures from the invisible world. On his venture, he strides heroically through the garden and grasps a long stick which he uses to knock down unripe apples from the tree. He bets Leo that he can throw the apples at least as far as the wall of the house... Leo takes a few too, eats the nicest one, and throws the others. Earth children!
I'm sitting on the garden bench with apples flying through the air, longing for my idyll. As a fire and air type, why do I have to deal with these earthy things? I suggest to the kids: Let's make a campfire and have a barbecue. They think it's a great idea. Together we sit around the fire watching the flames. I think I can leave them for a minute and get the sausages in the house. I'll quickly check my e-mail and read the guestbook too.
Meanwhile, the children are shoveling the embers of the fire into the plastic bucket and ... this can't be true, but you can't ...!!!