Psychological Horoscope

for Barack Obama, born on 4 August 1961
Text by Liz Greene, Copyright © Astrodienst AG 2010
EPHE 6212.502-17, 19.5.10

I. Introduction

II. Your Psychological Type

The gifts of objectivity and civilised behaviour Objectivity struggles with the power of emotional needs

III. Character and Shadow

The poet's vision of the soul at the heart of life The desire to transcend mundane reality opens the gate to the imaginal world A natural dramatist and storyteller A mystical vision of love causes problems in ordinary life The daemon of creative vision outweighs material needs

A hidden cynicism and materialism The fear of being boring The dilemma of accepting a banal and ordinary shadow

The vision of life as an endless set of possibilities A hidden side that favours traditional values Powerful emotional needs lie hidden in the shadow

IV. The Family Background

Family myths and psychological inheritance The image of the father in a man's chart An unreliable and inconstant figure The longing for a strong father An elusive and disappointing figure The need to father yourself

The image of the mother in a man's chart A figure of powerful emotional needs Unhappiness, frustration and resentment The hidden explosiveness of a trapped spirit Balancing independence and emotional needs

V. Relationship Patterns

The attractions of the rational partner Learning to respect practicality Domestic intimacy is not enough A need for depth and honesty in relationship Passion arises from challenge

VI. Paths toward Integration

Making peace with the rhythms of ordinary life Confronting the chaos of the inner world

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Once upon a time, in a less scientific age than ours, astrology was a respected study, based on ancient and empirically compiled principles and used by the learned for greater insight not only into the future, but into the soul. With the coming of the Age of Enlightenment, and the increase in man's knowledge of the material universe, it seemed for a time that studies such as astrology, in company with other symbolic maps of the cosmos, had become anachronisms - pieces of superstitious nonsense which reflected a more ignorant and gullible era. But surprisingly, astrology, despite its detractors, has refused to go the way of the flat earth, the conjuring of demons, and the turning of lead into gold. It is alive and well, growing in popularity, and once again meriting the respect of intelligent minds - for it has been brought into the modern era through our increasing knowledge of psychology and of the inner nature of man. Subjected to many centuries of suppression and ridicule, astrology has outproven and outlasted its opponents, and eloquently demonstrates that it has something of great value to offer the modern individual seeking self-understanding.

In this horoscope analysis we have endeavoured, using the insights of astrology and psychology combined with the tools of advanced computer technology, to offer you an astrological portrait which is uniquely and individually focussed and which aims at providing greater self-knowledge. This is not fortune-telling astrology, but rather, psychological astrology, developed to as deep and sophisticated a level as is possible within the perimeters of computer interpretation. No computer can perform the task of an experienced human astrologer. But we think you will find this analysis a surprisingly profound and subtle interpretation of the complex dynamics at work within you.

Shakespeare once wrote that all the world is a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In a sense, your birth horoscope is a metaphor for the individual play, complete with stage set, cast of characters, and story, which lies at the core of your life journey. It might be useful for you to remember the metaphor of the theatre as you read through the various sections of your astrological portrait, because it can help you to understand the real meaning of fate as it is reflected by astrology. Fate does not lie in your being subjected to random preordained events. It lies in the cast of characters which represent the deepest needs, conflicts and aspirations which lie within you. No person can be other than himself or herself; and every life experience, whether tiny and transient or major and transformative, reflects in some way the character of the individual.

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The rich array of individual attributes portrayed in your birth horoscope is set, as it is with everyone, against the backdrop of a certain temperament bias. We might call this bias your psychological "type", for it is a typical or characteristic way of responding to the situations life brings you. No one begins life whole or perfect, and all people have certain areas of strength - sophisticated and well-adapted inner characters - to help them deal with challenges, conflicts and problems. Likewise, all people have certain areas of weakness -inner characters who are underdeveloped, neglected and troublesome.

Your psychological type does not remain static and unchanging through the whole of your life. There is something within all of us - whether we call it the unconscious, the Self, or the soul -which strives toward balance and completeness, and which tries to integrate into our lives all those qualities or inner characters which have been neglected or undervalued. At certain important junctures in life, it is as though some central core, deeper and wiser than the conscious "I", draws us into conflicts which enable us to develop our weaker areas, so that we can become more complete as human beings. Thus you will find that, incorporated in the following paragraphs about your psychological type, are some suggestions about how you might facilitate this inner movement toward a more balanced perspective on life. Life does this for us, sooner or later. But sometimes it is more rewarding and less problematic if we cooperate with the process.

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The gifts of objectivity and civilised behaviour

You possess the gift of a clear, strong and objective mind, and you are a lover of truth and integrity in all your dealings. You will always favour reason over chaos, and principles over personal reactions. But there is considerable conflict within you - a dilemma between your rational, detached spirit and your intense and sometimes overpowering feeling. Another way of describing your nature might be to say that you tend to live in your head -because it seems safer, more civilised, and more "decent" - yet your heart often contradicts what your mind tells you you "ought" to feel, leaving you confused and vaguely guilty about "bad" or "selfish" reactions. Although you may not be an intellectual in the conventional sense of the word, you are naturally quick and articulate, and possess an impressive capacity to assess, weigh and analyse diverse facts and ideas objectively and fairly. This has probably earned you the reputation of being broad-minded, reflective, ethical and considerate of others' points of view. You are also an excellent planner and can transform chaos into order with the penetrating power of your mind. What you do not wish others to know about you, and what you often try to hide from yourself, is that your real feelings give you a completely different and much more subjective picture of life and of others -and these neglected feelings are often more genuinely perceptive than your usually reliable mind.

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Objectivity struggles with the power of emotional needs

You tend sometimes to overvalue the gifts of the mind, and as a result you may betray your own needs and lose contact not only with what is right for you personally, but with what is right for others as well. Because you look at the general pattern, you are liable to miss essential needs in yourself which may vary from one situation to another. Your emotional nature is powerful, raw, and extremely sensitive; and it may periodically throw you into depressed moods, fits of inexplicable irritability or anger, or feelings of loneliness and melancholy which you are unable to analyse or explain. And you may also overlook another dimension of the realm of the heart which you fear so much: those mystical feelings of longing for letting go and experiencing a more infinite cosmos of love and serenity. Personal love and mystical longing lie close together within you, and if you can find the courage to balance your powerful mental abilities with a greater openness to your own humanity, you will find that intimate relationship opens doors of a deeper and more profound kind - not just love of one person, but love of people and of life itself. You have built a carefully controlled, detached and tolerant personality, and are adept at understanding another's perspective. But this outer surface is very fragile, and you must expend a considerable amount of energy preserving such a front when your real feelings are bubbling away underneath. Your assessment of your emotional life may be a distorted and overly negative one, and perhaps the parental values in which you were brought up have contributed to your harsh judgement on anything within you which is less than perfect or ideal. You will in the long run be far happier and more fulfilled if you can allow others to see and experience your great emotional sensitivity and depth.

One of the most creative methods which you might use to make better friends with your feelings is the willingness to give more time and space for their expression through channels which you know to be safe - such as writing, painting images of moods or emotional states, working with clay, expressing feelings through music or dance. These very personal pursuits, done for your understanding alone and not for the benefit of an audience, can help you to learn more about yourself, and also help you to see that your feelings are as important and valid as your ideas. Try to say no when you mean no, for the tyranny of "oughts" and "shoulds" over your real needs can only lead to an accumulation of resentment and anger at having to be a civilised and reasonable person all the time. You need to learn love and compassion for yourself first of all, for otherwise your humanitarian and democratic ideals cannot be grounded in your actual life. Because you always seek to understand things from the broadest and clearest perspective possible, you possess the unique ability to find meaning and sense in your own personal dilemmas which are relevant to others and to the human condition in general - and thus have a great gift to offer others, if you can learn to confront your own heart without fear.

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One of the most important insights gained by depth psychology has been the revelation that people are dual in nature, and contain a basic polarity of a conscious and an unconscious self. There is the individual you are familiar with -the "I" that thinks, feels and acts in accustomed ways which you identify as yourself. And there is another, hidden individual -the shadow-side - which contains the less acceptable and less developed aspects of your personality, and which fights for a valued place in your life at the same time that it disrupts the complacency of your self-image. The interplay between the conscious and unconscious sides of you is a constantly shifting dance, changing at different stages of your life and altering according to the pressures and challenges which you encounter. The tension between the primary characters in your inner drama, described in the following paragraphs, is the source of energy which provides your life with movement, purpose, conflict and growth. There are other characters inside you too - supporting players who blend and conflict with the main ones to make you the unique individual you are. Where these are strongly marked in your horoscope, we have included a description of them as well. The story thus portrayed, with its complicated interaction of light and shadow, represents what is really meant by individual destiny.

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The poet's vision of the soul at the heart of life

Reality, the poet von Hoffmannsthal once wrote, is the greatest enchantment you have ever experienced. Your reality is certainly an enchanted domain, drawing its sustenance from an inner reservoir of images and dreams, and springing from a deep, non- rational conviction of some numinous power at work not only in your own creative efforts but in the whole of life. It is not that you are conventionally religious, nor even mystical in any usual sense; for the world of the imagination is too chaotic, passionate and sometimes dark for you to worship it in the humble posture of the spiritual devotee. But everything you experience outside yourself - people, places, situations - is ultimately subordinated to the inner vision you have of its meaning and its essence.

Life is only interesting to you if it contains the maximum resemblance to the mythic drama which you perceive within and which you strive, in your own way, to express. If words are your chosen medium, they are only lenses for you, meant to invoke deeper perceptions in the reader or listener; and you resent having to explain yourself and your strange vision too plainly to more literal souls who think an object is merely an object rather than a symbol, a doorway and a vessel. Because your allegiance to the imaginal world is so strong, your adherence to the conventional codes of living is sporadic; and many people are likely to think you a little peculiar or eccentric because what matters to you does not make sense to them and what is important to them is often simply boring and banal to you. On the deepest level you are wedded to some inner voice, and any partner in your life needs to understand and adapt to this if the relationship is going to work. Even those whom you love most you tend to turn into symbols which inspire and constellate your inner world of images and dreams. Or, put another way, the mundane world and the ordinary actions of ordinary people, become infused with something magical and meaningful, which provides constant fuel for your imagination.

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The desire to transcend mundane reality opens the gate to the imaginal world

Even if you walk about appearing to be clear-minded and responsible, only half of you - if that much - lives in this world. The other half is a denizen of an unknown and magical realm, for you pass through life as though you always had one foot out the door and were waiting to go home again. If you have never seen the film "ET", then you ought to do, for sometimes you give the impression that you have only accidentally landed here on earth, or are incarnate because of some unfathomable cosmic design which no doubt they will let you know about later; and everything you do in ordinary life has a kind of vague detachment about it, as though, like a good buddhist, you believed it all to be illusion anyway. You have a clear pipeline to a mysterious and numinous inner world, and if you have any sense at all you will take this gift very seriously and not try to pretend that you are really a reasonable, logical creature; for this pipeline is the source of your creativity and your potential fulfillment. You have a deep need to serve something greater than yourself, and you are not likely to find this something on earth, no matter how much you adore and idealise another person. It is the transpersonal realm to which you owe allegiance first, not a lover or a family; and if you get the order of priorities right then there is no reason why, despite your rather melancholy cast of mind and heart, you should not find happiness in your personal life as well as fulfillment through creative work.

It is probable that, in your childhood, one of your parents - most likely your father - was absent, physically or psychologically, or carried around him an aura of sadness and sacrifice. This has left a kind of orphaned feeling within you, which is not as negative as it sounds. Since you were psychologically unparented, you seek a deeper and more symbolic parent, and this leads you into the inner world of the imagination and the soul. The only problem with this profound connection to a mystical source is that you also need to be able to get on with mundane life, for it will keep intruding on you no matter how fathomless your vision and how great your inner devotion. You need to develop firm boundaries and a capacity to attend to the moment, for this will allow you to draw on your creative vision without exhausting yourself or finding that material problems accumulate to make your life a misery.

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A natural dramatist and storyteller

You have the mind of a natural storyteller, and at worst you tend to exaggerate and inject what you consider to be meaningful (although sometimes inaccurate) embellishments into anything you experience. At best, you have a unique capacity to express yourself in a vivid, colourful and imaginative way, and everything that you perceive becomes transparent like glass and full of the light of your symbolic inner world. Your concentration tends to be poor unless you are studying something that inspires you, such as literature or art or the depths of the psyche. It is probable that you had some early trouble at school because of your propensity to do what academic authorities call "daydreaming", but which is really your necessary withdrawal into the imaginal world for refreshment and regeneration.

You have a very visual memory, and can retain with great accuracy and for many years images and incidents which have impressed or inspired you; but you are likely to forget someone's name immediately after you have been introduced if the person bores you. Facts are not very important to you either, but rather, their implications and connections. You can drive a more pragmatic soul quite crazy because you seem to see things which are not there - purposeful coincidences, symbolic meanings, hidden patterns and intentions. But to your mind of course, these things are most emphatically there; it is just that one needs an intuitive sense to see them. Truth, in your hands, becomes plastic and elusive like water, but this does not mean you are in any way a liar. It is just that, for you, concrete events and objects are meant to be subordinate to meaning, rather than the other way around; and if the facts are insufficient to illustrate the meaning, then you will make up new ones. For it is the meaning in things which constitutes truth and which you strive to express.

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A mystical vision of love causes problems in ordinary life

Love, for you, has little to do with the actual everyday personality and physical attributes of the beloved, and much more to do with that numinous something which you perceive shining through him or her. You tend to idealise love, and the beloved, to the point where the other person becomes a kind of muse, a catalyst for creative inspiration; and sometimes this is so strong in you that the corporeal presence of your love-object gets in the way of your worship of the soul. You are highly sensitive to sadness and suffering, seeing it as the inevitable condition of those who are open to higher worlds but are trapped on the earth. Your image of love is tinged with a poignant, sorrowing quality which is not negative or destructive, but which idealises sacrifice. Giving up immediate satisfactions seems to open a gateway to a deeper and more universal quality of love, and you have much in common with the poets of courtly love in the Middle Ages who worshipped their beloved from afar.

Thus you are likely to either willingly make important sacrifices yourself in your personal relationships (through loving someone inaccessible, or married, or living far away), or you are likely to be attracted to those who have suffered in life and bear the marks with gentle dignity. There is a kind of "mater dolorosa" flavour to your loving, as though all human loving were ultimately tragic because people are mortal and time and age destroy what was once beautiful and full of promise. This poignancy and delicacy of feeling contributes considerable compassion, gentleness and beauty to your personality and to your creative work. You might, however, sometimes need to keep it from taking precedence all the time; for otherwise you run the risk of losing your sense of humour about life, ignoring the loving gestures of those around you who try to make you happy, and turning what might have been a healthy and fulfilling relationship into the last act of Camille.

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The daemon of creative vision outweighs material needs

Thus you have the soul of a prophet and a troubadour, even if you have never tried to express your personal vision, and even if your imagination and your creative talents have remained thus far untapped. It is very necessary for you to have some kind of creative medium, for your inner world is rich and boundless; and this world is ultimately far more important to you than any more conventional definition which society or loved ones might offer you on the subject of what life is really about. Money is nice, security desirable, and everyday pleasures appealing; but at heart you would forego all of these, or at least a good part of them, if you could find the right language, verbal or visual or physical, to honour the realm of the soul which is your true reality. The strange domain of myth and fairy tale is alive and well in you, and everything you encounter in life is elevated to the language of symbol - or, if you cannot turn a sow's ear into a silk purse, then it is not even worth considering. You may infuriate those around you with your casual dismissal of things they find important; but no one can question the sincerity of your vision, or the richness of your imagination, or your unmistakable vision of a life which is larger, deeper and more meaningful than life.

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A hidden cynicism and materialism

In contrast to your poetic vision of life, and the colour and drama which you habitually inject into it, there is another protagonist in your inner psychic drama. This figure comprises all those more mundane, earthbound and ordinary qualities which you have had to exclude from your lifestyle and your system of values in order to retain contact with your rich inner world. Although you tend to have a certain secret contempt for those unimaginative people who cannot soar into the transpersonal realm nor intuitively recognise the hidden significance underlying every experience, you too have a banal, ordinary and materialistic side. But this dimension of your personality is likely to be repressed, and unconsciously projected upon less gifted or far-seeing souls toward whom you can then feel superior and delightfully misunderstood. This other character lives in the shadow-world of the unconscious, and when you encounter it within yourself it is likely to make you feel embarrassed, inadequate and unsure of yourself. Yet you need a better relationship with this secret shadow-side of your personality - not only to help you cope with the limits of ordinary life, but also to keep you within human bounds, so that you do not inflate and fly away into identification with your inner mythic figures to the point where you lose contact with the people around you.

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The fear of being boring

There is a strange shutter which sometimes comes down between your mind and the rich world of the imagination which is your necessary food. You may experience this shutter as a creative block of some kind - a sudden loss of vision and inspiration - or it may express itself as a nagging feeling of inadequacy and inferiority which makes you doubt the worth of your creative efforts. The roots of this difficulty lie in the poor relationship which you have to ordinary life and ordinary people - as though the shadow-side of you, which is chiefly concerned with the everyday world of your immediate environment, gets fed up with being relegated to the basement of the psyche, and rises up in rebellion. In contrast to the confidence, even arrogance, with which you stride through mythic domains and commune with the divine creatures of your imagination, you are curiously clumsy with simple human communication, and find it hard sometimes to carry on a conversation if the subject does not touch upon the Meaningful and the Significant. Although you do a good job of masking these sudden lapses with a kind of infinite superiority - why should anyone waste time talking about meaningless banalities anyway? -it might be more truthful to say that you are frightened of ordinary dialogue and secretly fear that you will sound unintelligent and boring. You tend to be defensively dogmatic in your insistence that only your inner reality is relevant, and this leaves you feeling awkward in the time- honoured world of "How are you today?". You might be horrified to discover that when you do begin to talk about ordinary things, you become very ordinary indeed - even slow and unimaginative and pedantic.

This may sound harsh, even insulting; but it would be a pity if you used your considerable imagination and powers of expression as a defense against being just a person sometimes. If you could allow yourself to relax sometimes, and be foolishly mortal, you would find that there are many positive qualities contained in your shadow-side which you need to balance the richness of your poetic soul. Among these is a capacity to accept your human lot, which means, in turn, that your creative language can actually reach other people - those people for whom, presumably, it is meant. This earthy, slow and pedantic shadow-side, which expresses itself chiefly as a kind of sluggish concreteness of thinking, can also offer you the patience necessary to properly craft your creative outpourings, so that they are comprehensible and not merely esoteric and obscure. And there is a dry, ironic quality of humour in this apparently dull and unimaginative side of you which can do wonders to alleviate your occasional intellectual pomposity and can keep you realistic about just what you are really capable of achieving in marketable terms.

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The dilemma of accepting a banal and ordinary shadow

Thus your passionate, poetic soul is balanced by a hidden side of you which is much more staid, conventional, earthbound and slow. Irritating though you might find this side of yourself and this description of it, the shadow-dimension of your personality has a great deal to contribute to your life. It can offer you the realistic sense of limits which can prune your creative aspirations down to manageable and achievable size; it can allow you to be ordinary and human when your inspiration has temporarily left you, allowing you to enjoy your life and other people even when you are not in the grip of some inner vision or daemon; and it can preserve your sense of humour about yourself and about life. These qualities need to be integrated into your world and your values, for the psyche does not like excess. Too much identification with the creatures of your fantasies can result in blockage and depression overwhelming you and destroying the very thing that matters most to you - your service to an inner creative source which is your perpetual companion and daemon, sometimes a friend and sometimes an enemy because it does not permit you placid contentment, but always vital and an unexplainable mystery, whether you call it the soul, the unconscious, God, the Devil, art, or love.

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Another pair of important characters

The characters described so far represent in their fundamental antagonism the main theme of your inner story. Besides these figures, there is another pair of conflicting figures indicated in your birth chart which are likely to be recognisable in your life. These figures are briefly described in the following paragraphs.

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The vision of life as an endless set of possibilities

Whatever your actual age, there is something in you which will never grow old. Even if you carry considerable worldly responsibilities, you carry them lightly, always feeling as though somehow it isn't yet the real thing, but only a practise run. Thus you tend to live a kind of provisional life, never fully contented, never fully arrived. This quality of viewing life as a series of steps toward an unknown future tends to make you restless in the best and worst senses. You will never settle into stagnant complacency dreaming of the glories of your youth, for you carry your youth whithin you and will be receptive to change and new ideas all your life. But you also have a tendency to leave behind those projects and people with which you have become bored, and are therefore inclined to walk away before the fruits of your labours are realised; for the next pasture always seems greener. As the old proverb says, it is better to travel than to arrive - at least, better in your eyes.

You are a wanderer in the inner sense, for you digest experiences and then move on to seek new ones, looking and looking for something - and it is some thing, not some one as you might imagine - which heralds the call of destiny, the sign from above, the recognition that you have at last arrived. The probability is that you will never arrive, for your unique gift and your unique problem are the same: You prefer the journey. Although you have a hard time with self-discipline, commitment, responsibility and authority, you will never find life boring, for you see lessons and opportunities for growth and secret signs everywhere; and the happy thing about such perceptions is that, if you can learn the art of sticking with something long enough to finish it, you can produce relevant and exciting creative products which vindicate your deep sense of your own special destiny.

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A hidden side that favours traditional values

Besides your bright, restless and rebellious conscious personality, there is a hidden figure in your inner psychic drama which contains all those qualities which you have excluded from your values and your outer behaviour in order to retain the intellectual, emotional and physical freedom you crave. This shadow-side is considerably more conventional, conservative and traditional than you might like to admit; and if you consider honestly the sometimes disproportionately negative reactions that you display when confronted with such qualities in other people and in social institutions, you may glimpse within yourself a secret sympathy with these more old-fashioned values. The problem is that you strive to be a rebel, a forward-thinking and unique individualist; and you would have to make peace with a slightly less glossy, glamourous and stereotyped self-image if you are going to integrate your shadow. Yet you need this hidden side of yourself to feel real.

You fear displaying this side to others partly because its values are so different from yours; and partly because you are frightened of being rejected and thought boring and ordinary. Because of your unease in the face of real material challenges, you fly up into the realm of potentials, living in a kind of perennial "One day when I grow up..." dream-world. But much of this flight masks your fear of failure and incompetence in the eyes of the world. You are a gifted and far-seeing individual who can truly achieve something extraordinary. But you will need to accept some of the rules and limits of ordinary life, including your own needs; for life will not, in the end, exempt you. No matter how talented you are, and how special, you are subject to the same conflicts, fears and needs - particularly of security and belonging - as your fellows. When you are able to truly accept your own limits, you are likely to find much greater inner serenity.

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Powerful emotional needs lie hidden in the shadow

Another hidden dimension of your personality comes into play whenever you become deeply and intimately involved with another person; it contains all those qualities which you have excluded from your conscious values and behaviour so that you can preserve your feeling of freedom. Probably, because you tend to repress your own emotional needs, you meet them via your lovers and partners, who appear to you possessive, dependent, extremely sensitive to the least sign of rejection and indifference, and prone to using emotional blackmail to retain your constant attention. But these attributes in fact belong to your own shadow. You fear the depth and intensity of your feelings, because admission of them might leave you vulnerable to hurt and humiliation, and too much dependency might trap you so that your imagination and your high-flying spirit cannot breathe. Yet if you do not integrate this shadow, you will never be able to sustain the loving relationship you crave; and the easy replacements may not always be available to you as time goes by.

Because you fear dependency so much, you tend to project your own shadow-side onto your partners and lovers and even children and work colleagues; and when you imagine that any of these people are asking for too much from you, you tend to react with a coolness and evasiveness that are extremely hurtful. Worse, such a reaction tends to draw out of others that insecure possessiveness that you profess to despise; for if you constantly keep a person unsure of your love and support, he or she will almost always become frightened and demanding. Thus you force others to act out what you cannot face in yourself. Your needy shadow is not negative. It makes you human, and gives you a heart. There is no doubt of the power of your sparkling and creative spirit. But you are also made of flesh and blood, and need to let others see it occasionally. Not everyone is like your mother, and not everyone you love will use the knowledge against you to extract promises you cannot keep. No one can own your soul but you - a concept which you profess to understand, but which you may still need to really grasp by allowing someone close enough to try.

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Family myths and psychological inheritance

Although you are an individual, you have emerged from a family background. A family is like a living organism, and it includes certain hereditary characteristics which have passed down through the generations. It also contains a particular set of psychological dynamics, an emotional climate which provides the first soil in which your nascent individuality took root in childhood. Thus you contain certain inner patterns, myths and attitudes toward life which you have acquired from the psychological soil of your family background. In other words, to return to our metaphor of the theatre, the characters in your inner drama are unique; but they carry a family inheritance.

Astrology cannot tell us about physical heredity. But it can tell us a great deal about psychological heredity, which runs through families in the same way that red hair or blue eyes do. Psychological inheritance of deeply rooted attitudes often takes place on hidden, unconscious levels of which individual family members are unaware. Family myths move down the generations as surely as a distinctive facial structure does. An example of a family myth might be: "All the men in this family have been self-made and successful." Or, "All the women in this family have been disappointed by their men." Myths such as these do not need to be spoken, or even recognised, for they pass from one generation to the next via the unconscious, and they are communicated in a multitude of subtle, nonverbal ways. Thus the male child born into the family of "successful" men will inherit a particular set of expectations to which he will respond according to his own nature and his own inner characters. And the female child born into the family of "disappointed women" will inherit certain attitudes about relationships which will affect her later in life if she remains unaware of this inner script.

Because your family background is an integral part of your life story, it is reflected in your birth horoscope. Astrology can offer considerable helpful insight into this realm of life, for according to how conscious you are of the interplay between your own nature and your family inheritance, you will have more or less freedom of choice in life. Your parents themselves are also reflected in your horoscope, although they appear not as real three-dimensional people, but rather as images who embody a particular theme or set of attitudes. These parental images reflect how mother and father appear to you personally, how they operate as patterns within your own psyche, and how they support or conflict with the unfoldment of your own inner drama. The power of the family background should never be underestimated, for it is not the past. It is a living present within each of us. As the poet Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote: "Never believe fate is more than the condensation of childhood."

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The image of the father in a man's chart

Father is not only a real person. He is also the symbol of an inner pattern or perspective through which you relate to life. The image of your father portrayed in your birth horoscope therefore describes three things.
Firstly, it is a subjective picture of the qualities you experienced as most dominant in your relationship with your father - or whoever played the role of father in your early life.
Secondly, it is a symbol of what the masculine represents to you, for your father was the first man in your life and is therefore a powerful unconscious influence on how you express your own masculinity and how you relate to other men.
Thirdly, it is a picture of your own inner father-qualities: how you order and structure your life, how you envisage and pursue your goals, how you actualise your potentials in the world, how you express and direct your will, and how you formulate your ethical codes and ideals; and, lastly, how you father your own children.

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An unreliable and inconstant figure

The subjective image of your father portrayed in your birth horoscope is a fluid and changeable one. Perhaps your relationship with him, and your knowledge of him as a personality, were made difficult because of his emotional or physical absence. There is a quality of instability surrounding your early experience of your father, either because of physical circumstances or because he was a moody and inconstant sort of person who was not solid enough in your childhood to have provided a feeling of safety and stability. You were deeply attached to him, at an age where you no longer remember just how much you needed his physical presence; and on some level you identify your feelings of inner safety with him, and his acceptance or rejection of you weighs powerfully within you as an arbiter of your sense of security in life. You have inherited much of his nature, and there is a fluidity and inconstancy within you, although you also deeply need a home, roots and the stable commitment of family life; and your profound desire for security, which springs in part from what you lacked in childhood, is coupled with a moody changeability and diffidence that makes it difficult for you to achieve what you desire so much.

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The longing for a strong father

You may need to become more aware of how much your father meant to you, and how unstable your relationship with him was. For it is an inner father that you now require for your well-being. The typical or archetypal paternal qualities of self- reliance, self-discipline and capacity to accept responsibilities and limits need to be found within you, for no one outside will be able to provide them on the level you require. Your secret identification with your father may have led you to try to become like him and adapt his values in order to gain his love and support; and this means that you are not always true to your own nature and needs. When you can understand your relationship with your father better, and can accept your need to take up your own direction in life, then you will be able to balance your deep desire for security and roots with your own independent self-expression.

In addition to this dominant image, there is another figure portrayed by your birth horoscope which adds further complexity to your experience of your father.

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An elusive and disappointing figure

You did not experience a solid and supportive relationship with your father, for he was not really available - either because you felt his personality to be too aloof, withdrawn or weak for him to engage honestly with you, or because he was physically absent from your early life. In a sense you have had to sacrifice your relationship with him, and there remains in you a sadness and a longing for what you did not have, coupled with a strong tendency to idealise your father and justify his inaccessibility by blaming yourself. Thus there is likely to be considerable confusion within you, both about your real feelings about your father and about your own worth - for you tend in adult life to look secretly to others as the arbiters of your sense of self-value.

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The need to father yourself

Because your early experience of your father has been somehow vague and unreal for you, you have needed to work to develop the paternal qualities of ambition, will and determination within yourself. You perpetually struggle against a tendency to wait passively for someone or something - a father-surrogate - to come along and provide you with the impetus and strength to achieve your goals, but such father-surrogates have inevitably proven disappointing. But your experience of an absent father can offer many creative dimensions to your personality, particularly the opening of the life of the spirit and the imagination, for your longing to reclaim that which you have lost can eventually lead you into that transpersonal world which is the domain of the divine father - your own spiritual values. This, coupled with the more realistic qualities which you have had to struggle to develop, can give your life great depth and meaning, so that ultimately your early sacrifice can truly lead to something greater.

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The image of the mother in a man's chart

Mother, like father, is not only a person. She is the symbol of an essential principle in life, and of an inner dynamic or perspective through which we relate to life. The image of the mother portrayed in your birth horoscope therefore describes three things. Firstly, it is a subjective description of the qualities most dominant in your relationship with your mother. Many of these will be known to you, but some might be surprising, because they reflect not only her outer behaviour, but her inner life -that side of her which was unexpressed and therefore of great power in terms of its effects on you. Secondly, the mother-image in your horoscope is a portrait of what the feminine represents to you - how you experience women, and how you relate to the emotional and instinctual dimensions of your own personality. And thirdly, it is a picture of your own "maternal" qualities - for men possess mothering capacities too - your ability to nurture and care for yourself and others, your sense of safety and trust in life's essential kindness, and your ability to flow with time and circumstances and to know instinctively when to wait and accept with wisdom the situations which life brings.

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A figure of powerful emotional needs

The subjective image of your mother portrayed in your birth horoscope is a powerful and pervasive one. She was probably the dominant parent in terms of psychological influence in your childhood - even if she appeared the more submissive in outer behaviour. It is on the emotional level that your mother's power was rooted, and she had the capacity to influence the feeling atmosphere of your early life through moods and through what she did not, rather than she did, say and do. Whatever her behavioural inhibitions, she was probably at heart a passionate and emotionally demanding woman, capable of enormous loyalty and equally capable of enormous resentment if she was denied the emotional food she craved.

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Unhappiness, frustration and resentment

There is much in this mother-image which is extremely creative, for it represents a richness and depth of feeling, and a great capacity for endurance and self-sacrifice in the face of disappointment, which lie within you and which give you immense inner strength and courage. The problem is that your mother was probably deeply unhappy and unsatisfied in her emotional needs, and she carried great resentment and even depression or despair inside her. The more this was masked, the more profound its effect on you, for you may have within you an inexplicable but deep mistrust of life and of love - particularly love in a committed relationship.

You have a certain fear of being dominated or manipulated by the women in your life, for you tend to see your mother in them. Probably your mother's marriage was a disappointment to her, and this has communicated itself to you as an unconscious expectation of grief, sadness and disappointment in any important emotional transaction with another, either your own or your partner's. You will need to look with honesty and compassion at this darker dimension of your mother, for otherwise you run the risk of bringing this inherited bitterness into your own relationships. You are prone to feeling resentful and aggrieved sometimes without real justification, while at the same time you may yourself avoid deep commitment because of the fear that you will wind up like your mother or that you will be devoured by a partner in the way your mother unconsciously fed off the members of her family to give her own life meaning.

If you can understand that deep feelings do not necessarily result in pain and frustration, and that your mother on some level best known to herself chose to remain in a situation which made her unhappy, then you can learn to trust your own powerful emotional needs. Your feeling nature is a gift, not a curse, and it will not immediately drag you into unhappiness if you learn to depend on another; and if you can separate your own life experience from the powerful image of your mother you can begin to draw from the positive dimensions of this quality which you share with her -strength of heart, and profound compassion for the pain of others.

There is still another image portrayed by your birth horoscope, which in certain ways conflicts with the experience of your mother described previously.

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The hidden explosiveness of a trapped spirit

Your mother had a shadow-side which is quite different from the emotionally dependent and conventional person you may have consciously experienced in childhood. She also possessed a powerfully independent and original spirit, and in many ways was ahead of her time - for she probably needed a professional or creative outlet for her unusual ideas and her need for freedom from too many domestic ties. But it is likely that her values -springing from her own childhood - made it difficult for her to accept this side of herself, for expressing such an independent nature may have seemed to her selfish and bad. Thus she probably repressed it, and you have unconsciously inherited the tension, explosiveness, irritability and fear of being trapped which plagued her from within.

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Balancing independence and emotional needs

You may need to be more conscious of this dimension of your mother, for you too possess a strong will and an independent spirit, and you will need to express it in a creative balance with your own desire for security and relationship. The experience of this dynamic unconscious side of your mother has left you with a certain inner anxiety - which may translate itself in your adult life as a fear of sudden change and disruption. You also fear being trapped as she was, and you can take your independence to extremes. This is the legacy of the atmosphere of suppressed tension in your childhood. Try to face honestly the complexity of your mother's character, for if you can see her own internal split then you will understand your own better - and will therefore be in a much better position to express the creative dimension of this original, inventive and freedom-loving quality without violating your need of emotional commitment.

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Relationships are among the most mysterious, rewarding and frustrating of all human experiences. Both astrology and psychology teach us that nothing that occurs within a relationship is chance - neither its beginning, nor its fluctuations and conflicts, nor its ending. But astrology cannot say whether you are "fated" to have a good or a bad marriage, or whether you ought to be with a Cancer or a Sagittarius. Your birth horoscope describes what you are like inside, and therefore what kind of patterns, needs and compulsions you are likely to bring into your relationships with others. You cannot become somebody different, or send in your birth horoscope and request a new set of character. But you can be more or less conscious; and you always have the freedom to look at your own issues, to deal with needs which are your responsibility and not your partner's, and to respond to both joy and pain in creative ways.

The following paragraphs describe your attitudes, needs, and typical patterns in close relationships. This description is written about you in terms of your dealings with the woman in your life. However, if you are involved in a close relationship with someone of your own sex, you will find that the same attitudes, needs and patterns still apply. Whatever your sexual tastes, you are yourself - and it is your inner nature which ultimately dictates the course of your love-life.

Themes connected to relationship issues have already been mentioned in the previous chapters, where the basic archtypal figures dominating in your birth chart were described. Therefore some of the following description will repeat and broaden parts of what has been said already. Some might also contradict, and indicate an inner contradiction inherent in your attitude towards relationships.

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The attractions of the rational partner

You live so close to the immense and fecund depths of the unconscious that you can easily become inflated - which means that, accustomed to the treasures of the imagination, you can easily begin to feel that you are too special, unique and gifted to be bothered with more mundane concerns. You have learned to flow with your fantasies, and have therefore not developed the capacity for clear analysis and decision-making in the outer world. Because your nature is so strongly marked by poetry and romance, you are attracted to those women who can calmly and clearly order their own lives - and who, you secretly hope, will also order yours and save you the trouble.

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Learning to respect practicality

A relationship with a more rational and analytical temperament can be very creative for you. But you need to keep an eye on that inflation, because you can easily think yourself exempt from worldly matters and can therefore inadvertently start treating your partner as a cross between a housemaid, an accountant and a public relations officer who will keep the nasty outside world from intruding into your sacred domain. Try to learn to give equal value to your partner's abilities, for you need to let her teach you how to look with clarity and pragmatism at your mundane concerns, rather than expecting her to do it all for you. You would not survive long in a garret if someone did not keep an eye on the electricity bill, the children's schools, and the friends whom you forgot that you invited to dinner. All the better if you could balance your lifelong pursuit of the Holy Grail with the occasional foray into ordinary communication. Both worlds are real, valid, and necessary, and you need a partner who can share them both with you.

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Domestic intimacy is not enough

You have the gift of offering real friendship to those you love; and ultimately this may mean more to you and them, and endure longer, than more conventional or sentimental declarations of affection. You know how to let your woman exist as a separate individual independent of your need of her, which means that you are deeply tolerant - even when you are feeling angry or offended. Your partner's idiosyncrasies do not surprise you, for you know that it takes all kinds to make a world; and whether or not you are in an established relationship or marriage, you are not likely to limit your human contacts to one person alone. If you have a partner who is by nature more emotionally dependent or domestically focussed than you, this open and friendly quality can cause some problems; and you need to be very clear and honest with yourself about just what kind of relationship arrangements you need, for you are not a good liar and would be happiest not having to resort to deception. But it is not sexual promiscuity that drives you; rather, you are truly interested in people of both sexes and all social backgrounds, and if your work and your personal life can include enough interesting contacts to feed your need to be a citizen of the world, you can be happy in a stable and enduring relationship.

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A need for depth and honesty in relationship

You know things about love that you certainly didn't read in fairy tales, ladies' magazines or school primers. You have an instinctive appreciation of the fact that the human heart is complex and sometimes savage; and that, when one loves deeply, one can also hate the loved one because of the power she then wields. You are not afraid of experiencing emotions which others might consider unconventional, destructive or dark, although naturally you might not always choose to put these emotions in the shop window for your woman to see. Because of this gift of deep compassion for the darker aspects of love, you can be truly understanding and containing of your partner's complexity; and even when you have been deeply hurt or are very angry, you still retain a secret sympathy for the things which drove her into hurtful or destructive behaviour. In short, you are not naive, although you may demand a lot from your loved one; and you would rather have a difficult relationship that offers real confrontation and passion than a shallow companionship where you and your woman are on your best behaviour but never really touch each others' souls.

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Passion arises from challenge

You may be occasionally prone, as everyone is, to idealised fantasies of love; but you are not romantic enough to ignore your need for challenge, conflict and the occasional good fiery quarrel in your close relationships. Something in you is sexually sparked only when you meet a woman who can stand up to you and who will not allow you to dominate her; for although you respond to beauty and harmony, you respond to passion more, and one of the primary ingredients of passion is combat. Thus you are better off accommodating this need in your life, for if you try to keep love on too even, placid and pleasant a course for too long, you may find that the love remains but the desire disappears, only to reappear somewhere else. You need to express honestly and openly your fondness for trying to dominate your woman, for you are rather self-centred in matters of love and do not enjoy compromise; but you also need to accept the fact that if you have the right partner, she will fight back. Perhaps you should have one of those relationships in which frequent shouting, smashing of plates and slamming of doors can be heard by the amused neighbours. You might find that it instantly restores interest and attraction if they have begun to wane through time and familiarity.

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As you have seen from the preceding pages, your birth horoscope offers a detailed and in-depth portrait of many aspects of your life. It is also possible to step further back from the horoscope, and to use the faculties of a telescope rather than a microscope - so that an overview of the play comes into focus. The following provide also some suggestions of ways in which conscious effort might make it possible for you to achieve greater harmony between the different components within yourself, and to strengthen that centre of the personality which psychology calls the ego, the "I". Free will may not include the possibility of becoming somebody else. But it might include the ability to stand firmly at the centre of your horoscope and feel related to the different aspects of your psyche, rather than wandering about blindly, feeling impotent and victimised by conflicting cross-currents and impulses from within yourself and from the world outside. Two people may have certain astrological configurations which are similar, but one might be buffeted by his or her inner demons like a rudderless small boat tossed on a difficult sea; while the other individual remains somehow solid and real as a person and can therefore navigate the boat intelligently through the ocean's changing currents.

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Making peace with the rhythms of ordinary life

You will never find fulfillment by trying to escape the confines of ordinary life. Whatever your creative gifts, and however powerful your personality, your path toward inner contentment lies in making peace with the rituals and rhythms of the world of earth - including the use of time and the care of your body and mind. You need to learn what might be called the Art of the Small - the appreciation of each moment of each day, and the careful attention to detail which gives quality to each hour. Your body can be your greatest friend and guide, for the more you attune yourself to your own natural habits and rhythms, the more at peace you will be. Concerns such as a healthy diet, sufficient sleep, and the attentive reading of the body's warning signals are an important part of this attunement. So too are issues such as the love and care you give to ordinary tasks, however banal and quotidien they may seem. In short, your fulfillment can only come from a harmonious relationship to time, matter and the cyclical nature of all life, both great and small. Without this relationship nothing you achieve can fully satisfy you; for more than most people you need to base your accomplishments and your personal aspirations firmly on the earth of your daily life, and your service to those rhythms which are no less divine than more glamourous spiritual visions of reality.

However, such recognition of the importance of ordinary things may be difficult for you, because your true allegiance is given to an inner vision that attempts to transcend mundane life. This means that you may have to work quite hard to find an appropriate balance; for although your nature strives to leave the earth behind, your body is likely to call you back again - perhaps rather forcibly - if you identify too strongly with the mythic figures of your imagination and your spirit. Trying to ground yourself will not crush your vision, nor destroy your faith. It will only improve the vessel through which your vision pours - you yourself, as a real and ordinary person who can deal with limitation and disappointment as well as with beauty and magic.

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Confronting the chaos of the inner world

There is one area of life where any effort to gain insight into your own fears will result in greatly increased confidence and self-respect. You tend to draw very sharp boundaries between your rational consciousness and the chaos of your own depths; for you fear the sea of the collective unconscious which surrounds you and which threatens you with a dissolution of your own individuality. It is not just your personal feelings that you run from; it is the deeper level of human suffering, darkness and longing which frightens you, and to which your own feelings are a doorway. Yet you are fascinated by this oceanic realm, and it buffets you constantly - in the form of phobias, dreams, obsessions, psychosomatic symptoms, or other symbols of an autonomous life which has its own intelligence and which you cannot control. You need to face the challenge of the unconscious and explore its depths, through working on your feelings, your family past, and your dreams. For in confronting the difficult issue of the invisible and nonrational inner world, you will learn first how to swim in it and then how to work creatively with it. And a good swimmer never has to fear drowning, no matter how deep the water.

Thus one of your chief fears - of emotional hurt, rejection and humiliation - can become an indestructible base of self-knowledge on which you develop greater confidence in yourself and your worth as an ordinary person. For in confronting your emotional inhibitions and anxieties, you will heal areas of deep hurt and defensiveness within yourself; and this will give you much greater appreciation of your body, your everyday needs, and your value as an individual. And the psychological insights you gain may also eventually develop into a healing skill which can be of great service to others who have not yet found a way through their own emotional difficulties.

Astrological Data used for Psychological Horoscope
for Barack Obama (male)
birthdate: 4 Aug 1961 local time 7:24 pm
place: Honolulu, HI (US) U.T. 05+24
157w52, 21n18 sid. time 15:46:38

planet sign degree motion
Sun Leo 12°32'53 in house 6 direct
Moon Gemini 3°21'27 in house 4 direct
Mercury Leo 2°19'54 in house 6 direct
Venus Cancer 1°47'22 in house 5 direct
Mars Virgo 22°34'36 in house 7 direct
Jupiter Aquarius 0°51'31 in house 12 retrograde
Saturn Capricorn 25°19'51 in house 12 retrograde
Uranus Leo 25°16'15 in house 7 direct
Neptune Scorpio 8°36'21 in house 9 direct
Pluto Virgo 6°58'40 in house 7 direct
Moon's Node Leo 27°53'33 in house 7 retrograde

Ascendant Aquarius 18°02'41
2nd House Pisces 25°53'53
3rd House Taurus 0°17'21
Imum Coeli Taurus 28°53'07
5th House Gemini 23°58'28
6th House Cancer 19°01'00
Descendant Leo 18°02'41
8th House Virgo 25°53'53
9th House Scorpio 0°17'21
Medium Coeli Scorpio 28°53'07
11th House Sagittarius 23°58'28
12th House Capricorn 19°01'00

Sun Square Neptune 3°56
Moon Sextile Mercury 1°01
Moon Trine Jupiter 2°30
Moon Trine Saturn 8°02
Moon Square Uranus 8°04
Moon Square Pluto 3°37
Moon Square Moon's Node 5°27
Mercury Opposition Jupiter 1°27
Mercury Opposition Saturn 6°59
Mercury Square Neptune 6°16
Venus Square Mars 9°12
Venus Trine Neptune 6°49
Venus Sextile Pluto 5°11
Venus Sextile Moon's Node 3°53
Mars Trine Jupiter 8°17
Mars Trine Saturn 2°45
Jupiter Conjunction Saturn 5°32
Jupiter Square Neptune 7°44
Uranus Conjunction Moon's Node 2°37
Neptune Sextile Pluto 1°38
Pluto Conjunction Moon's Node 9°05
Sun Opposition Ascendant 5°29
Moon Opposition Medium Coeli 4°27
Uranus Opposition Ascendant 7°13
Moon's Node Opposition Ascendant 9°50
Numbers indicate orb (deviation from the exact aspect angle).