Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
Most parents long to provide their children with the best they can offer on every level. But what is "the best"? Less enlightened parents will see in the child a symbol of all the lost potentials of their own youth, and will envision not the future
toward which the child is best suited to aspire, but the future which they would have wished for themselves. More enlightened parents will understand the wisdom of Kahlil Gibran's words, recognising not only the magic of the child as a symbol of new
life, but also the profound gift of being caretaker for a developing soul with a unique individuality and a life journey which cannot be dictated in advance. Children have their own inherent blueprint for life, independent of external factors.
Within any family, two children given the same parents and the same social and economic background will express from the first days of life distinctly different personalities and distinctly different ways of responding to the outside world.
Children are not blank slates upon which the environment writes. If we wish to offer "the best" for our children, we need to discern first who they are, and how we can most effectively support them according first and foremost to the child's, not the
Much wise information on child-rearing can be obtained from friends, family members, doctors, child psychologists, and the vast body of literature available. But no general rules on parenting can sufficiently honour the unique personality which each
individual child possesses. It is here that astrology can make a profound and creative contribution to our understanding of our children and also to our understanding of the child we ourselves once were. The birth horoscope of a child is a map of
patterns and potentials which exist in that child from the moment of birth. When an adult explores his or her birth horoscope, many of these potentials have been "fleshed out" according to actual life experiences and the choices that person has made
over many years. Time, circumstances and relationships with others crystallise potentials into set behaviour patterns and attitudes. In a child, these potentials are so easily stifled by conflicting family demands, thwarted by inappropriate
circumstances, or simply ignored through lack of recognition. Encouragement of these potentials in childhood can help a child to develop greater confidence and hope for a future which is more authentically his or her own, so that greater happiness
and fulfillment are possible later in life.
Children also possess inner conflicts and insecurities, and it is healthy and natural for them, like adults, to sometimes feel afraid. But all human beings have their own individual ways of dealing with such fears, and some defense mechanisms may
not always be recognised for what they are. We may not understand the language of our children's fears because we do not suffer the same ones, and we may mock these anxieties or try to "cure" them in ways which are inappropriate for the child. The
birth horoscope not only reflects nascent abilities it also describes the ways in which any individual will try to protect himself or herself against life's uncertainties. Understanding the nature of a child's fears can be of enormous help in
encouraging an inner sense of security and resilience. Each child also has highly individual ways of expressing love, and possesses emotional needs which are not always the same as those of parents. One child may need very physically affectionate
demonstrations of love. Another child may be more cerebral, needing a love expressed through verbal communication and real interest in his or her thoughts and efforts to learn. Sometimes these differences can lead to painful misunderstandings
between parent and child each of whom may feel unloved simply because their ways of loving are so dissimilar. Insight into a child's unique emotional nature can help us to build bridges over these divides and relate to our children with greater
love and tolerance.
Children reflect back to us a profound insight into life's continuity and hope for the future. Rather than trying to be "perfect" parents or create "perfect" children, we could instead try to honour and support the child's right to be an individual.
A relationship can then develop which contains mutual respect and recognition, and which nurtures and heals rather than cramps, suffocates or undermines. The birth horoscope does not describe a child's "fate", nor can it provide us with any
predictions of what our children will or will not become in adult life this depends primarily upon their own future choices. Nor can a horoscope provide the means for an unconsciously ambitious parent to attempt to direct the child's destiny, for a
child's individual nature will sooner or later find some way to express itself in spite of if not because of upbringing. Instead, the horoscope faithfully reflects an inner cast of characters and an inner story which awaits time and choice for its
unfoldment. To explore the birth horoscope of a child is a humbling experience and a moving opportunity to participate in containing and honouring a new life.
II. THE PSYCHOLOGICAL TYPE
The rich array of individual abilities and potentials portrayed in Joanne K.'s birth horoscope is set against the background of an inherent temperament bias which may be partly hereditary but is also the reflection of a mysterious essence which
belongs to her alone. We might call this bias her psychological "type", for it is a typical or characteristic mode in which Joanne K. is likely to respond to the situations life brings her even in infancy. No child begins life whole or perfect,
and all children have certain natural areas of aptitude which will help them to deal with challenges, conflicts and problems as life unfolds. Like the muscles of the body, these inherently strong areas of Joanne K.'s personality become stronger the
more they are "worked" as she moves through childhood into adolescence.
Likewise, all children have certain innate areas of the personality which may be slower to respond and develop, and which may be a source of great anxiety during childhood. Joanne K.'s psychological type will not remain static and unchanging through
the whole of her life. There is something within all of us whether we call it the unconscious, the Self, or the soul which strives over a lifetime to integrate all those qualities which are innately weak, neglected or undervalued. This
mysterious "something" is already at work within Joanne K., helping her to develop her personality along the lines which are healthiest and most natural to her. At the major archetypal junctures of childhood this central core of her personality,
deeper and wiser even than the wisest parent, will draw Joanne K. into conflicts which enable her to develop the less adapted areas of her personality so that she can grow into a more complete person. Life does this for us all, sooner or later. But
one of the greatest joys of interacting with a child is the pleasure of encouraging a development pattern which we know can help that child's own inner self to achieve its goal of a unique but balanced personality which can cope with the great range
of experiences life offers.
A kind and civilised nature
Joanne K. possesses a clear, strong and objective mind, and is on her way toward developing into a person who will always favour reason over chaos and harmony over emotional turmoil. Mental acumen is apparent in her rapid grasp of concepts, her
obvious pleasure in communicating her ideas to others, and her emerging identification with ethical principles such as fairness. Joanne K. is an inherently civilised child whose nature requires courtesy, order, balance and clarity in all her
interactions with others, in particular parents and siblings. She also needs considerable mental stimulation, and even if there has previously been no proclivity toward intellectual or cultural pursuits within the family, it is worth making that
extra effort to meet her developing intellectual needs. Nothing is as disturbing to Joanne K. as a narrow-minded or noncommunicative family in an emotionally charged atmosphere. She is essentially a creature of the air, needing breathing space,
brightness and the sense that she is surrounded by friends. She is naturally quick and articulate, and has an innate capacity to assess, weigh and analyse diverse facts a gift which will stand her well at school and later in life. She is also
likely to be an unusually organised child, able to structure her time and capable of recognising the validity of others' feelings and needs whether or not these agree with her own. This results in a fair and essentially decent nature with a greater
degree of objectivity than many children possess. A natural mediator, Joanne K. can immediately recognise what she considers "unfair" in her own or others' behaviour or words and she will do what she can to restore equilibrium in her own small way,
even at the expense of her emotional needs. Blatant favouritism within the family, conditional love based on whether parents are pleased with her, and emotional manipulation through the imposition of guilt are extremely destructive to Joanne K.'s
confidence and ability to make the best of her developing gifts. She needs and deserves honesty, clarity and reasonableness from those around her, for she is innately ethical with a deep ingrained sense of right and wrong more highly developed than
that of many adults.
Coming to terms with emotional needs
Because Joanne K.'s natural bias is toward the world of the mind, she may have a great fear of the power and disruptiveness of her emotions. There is a deep vulnerability and emotional intensity in her which may often be in conflict with her desire
to preserve harmony, clarity and fairness both within herself and in the world outside. In contrast to her precociously sophisticated mind, her emotions tend to be very unruly and rather raw, but these emotions are likely to be increasingly concealed
beneath an amiable, reasonable nature and a strong desire to please those in authority. However, if this pleasant surface is penetrated by upsetting experiences, the intensity and subjectivity of her emotions will resemble those of a much younger
child. Because Joanne K. finds strong emotions her own and those of others somewhat threatening, she will try to avoid confrontation until it is absolutely necessary. Anger is particularly frightening, and parents may need to recognise that this
child is not a tough street fighter and cannot cope with noisy, aggressive family rows. This places her feelings in a kind of psychic pressure cooker, generating those "meek as a lamb or mad as a hornet" mood fluctuations which surprise everyone
around her and most of all herself. Fits of inexplicable irritability and withdrawal will not be uncommon, and she may also be prone to sudden feelings of great loneliness and isolation which she cannot communicate. There is also a delayed
reaction mechanism in Joanne K. she may feel hurt or angered but may not realise it, and will show the signs of her distress in indirect ways an hour or even a week later. This curious time interval between event and recognition of feelings is
likely to increase as she gets older. This may be confusing to parents who, pleased with their civilised and good-natured child, may overlook those distress signals (such as psychosomatic symptoms, loss of appetite, retreat into her room for hours on
end, or sudden reluctance to go to school) which are Joanne K.'s only real way of communicating feelings she finds overpowering and threatening. She will already be building up an inner code of "oughts" and "shoulds" based on her innately ethical
nature, which may grow more sophisticated as she develops but which form the fundamental backdrop to her perception of life. It is not a good idea to add too many more of these "oughts" and "shoulds" as a means of disciplining her, as she probably
already has more than enough. Joanne K. tends to burden herself with the obligation of being good, and therefore she does not need to have parental guilt instilled in her in addition. Rather, she needs as much help and encouragement as possible to
recognise and value her emotional needs, even if these needs conflict with those of other members of the family.
One of the best ways parents and family members can help Joanne K. to make better friends with her feelings is to give her sufficient time to explore those feelings, and sufficient respect to listen to them when she attempts to give voice to them
however silly, exaggerated or angry they may seem. Also, expressing more threatening emotions through a medium such as painting, clay or dance can be very helpful in encouraging Joanne K. to learn to trust her own inner world. She is terribly eager
to please and anxious to do the right thing and this could easily be taken advantage of by others. She needs to learn love and compassion for herself as she grows up. Because she will increasingly seek to analyse and understand her experiences,
both inner and outer, fair and nonjudgmental communication with parents about her feelings is very important to her well-being. Joanne K.'s many mental gifts make her a fascinating and unusual child, who will always attract the love and admiration of
others. These gifts need to be balanced by a sense of self-confidence and self-worth, so that she can learn to confront her own heart without fear.
A sound body and a clear mind
Joanne K.'s unusual mental abilities are combined with innate realism and a comfortable and healthy relationship with her body and with the material world. The challenges of homework, domestic chores, care of possessions, respect for family rules, and
management of an allowance are all likely to be learned and absorbed with a minimum of fuss and trouble. Because she tends to test each new idea or concept she learns against past experiences, she is likely to develop into a stable, calm and naturally
organised child slow to be convinced, careful and responsible, yet also eager to learn new things. Common sense rare enough even in many adults is here in abundance, and Joanne K. is not likely to waste energy daydreaming or starting projects
which she cannot finish. Sometimes parents or family members may be tempted to place greater responsibilities on her than is appropriate for a child, because she displays so much good sense and recognition of the limits and requirements of the
mundane world. If asked to perform a task such as looking after a pet or keeping her room clean, she will discharge the task with care and diligence. Also, her essentially helpful and balanced nature may make her eager to take on the responsibility
of looking after younger siblings, so that she can feel useful and needed.
However, it is wise to remember that Joanne K. is not simply a reasonable, well-behaved, precociously mature child. She has very powerful feelings which she often experiences as threatening, and sometimes her serene outer personality will crack open
to reveal strong and not always pleasant emotions beneath. She may also feel somewhat frightened by the inner world of the imagination, because she tends to derive her security from what she can see, hear, smell, taste and touch. Joanne K. has a
strong need to control her world as much as possible, which in one sense is a positive quality because she will strive for greater and greater self-sufficiency as she grows. But this need for control may also make her deny the value of her feelings
and fantasies because they seem uncontrollable, erupting out of nowhere and vanishing again. It is possible that she may strive to become a little too sensible and civilised too early, especially if she senses that this attitude will earn her love
and acceptance within the family. Encouraging Joanne K. to develop creative outlets for spontaneous self-expression hobbies and projects which she can do just for the fun of it rather than to win a prize at school can help her to feel more
comfortable with her rich but sometimes threatening inner world. Her dreams, hopes, anxieties and fantasies need to be taken seriously by parents and family members, so that she can learn to take them seriously herself. Although Joanne K. has great
strength of character and will always be a "survivor" throughout her life, in childhood she needs to begin to understand that "inner" is as real as "outer", and that fun and emotional spontaneity are as important as a clear mind and a responsible
attitude toward life. There are many creative gifts within her which, if supported and encouraged early in life, will blossom and take worthwhile shape later, giving her an enduring sense that life can be joyful and full of meaning.
III. THE CHARACTERS IN THE STORY
One of the most important insights gained by depth psychology is the revelation that people are essentially dual in nature some aspects of the personality are conscious and other aspects unconscious. This polarity is already present in childhood in
a nascent form. Although this developing dual self may be influenced, encouraged or opposed by environmental factors, nevertheless it belongs to the individual child and will, sooner or later, express itself in life. The interplay between the
conscious and unconscious sides of the personality is a complex dialogue between two important inner characters who sometimes agree, sometimes argue, and sometimes simply ignore each other's existence. These characters within the individual also
change their wardrobes and show different facets of behaviour and attitude at different stages of life. It is during childhood that the potential for a creative interchange between the conscious and unconscious aspects of the personality is most
accessible and most easily encouraged to develop in life-enhancing rather than divisive ways. The tension between the main characters in Joanne K.'s inner story is the source of energy which provides the impetus for growth, movement and the formation
of a healthy individuality. And there are other, less sharply defined characters within Joanne K. as well supporting players who sometimes harmonise and sometimes conflict with the main ones. These too contribute unique elements to a unique human
life. Where they are strongly marked in the horoscope, we have included a description of them as well.
A child with a dedicated spirit
Joanne K. is earthy, solid and sensible at heart, and well adapted to the world in which she finds herself. Yet as she grows up there is a spirit within her which will restlessly strive toward something beyond ordinary everyday life. During
childhood this inner spirit may reveal itself as a rare capacity for dedication to whomever or whatever she cares for whether this is a beloved parent, a sibling, a pet or a friend. Her ability to devote herself wholeheartedly to something outside
herself is unusual in one so young, and the ordinary self-centredness and subjectivity of childhood seem somehow lacking in the face of her strangely mature loyalty. Throughout her life she will need to feel that there is some purpose to her
existence beyond the gratification of her own needs, and in her early years this search for meaning is likely to be expressed through devotion and dedication. Once she reaches school age, she may demonstrate her qualities of spirit through the taking
up of causes the championing of the class scapegoat or the rights of other pupils unfairly treated by a teacher or headmaster. To Joanne K. love is only valid if expressed through active service on behalf of the loved one, and her instinctive
perception of goodness is synonymous with good actions and not just with good intentions. Despite her healthy appetites and appreciation of the good things of this world, her guiding spirit will always seek some reality beyond the physical one.
A conflict between inner and outer
Within Joanne K. there is a tug-of-war between her sensory perceptions and her imagination. Probably she will favour the former most of the time, for she is strongly sensual and has a deep appreciation not only of good food and beautiful things but
also of order, structure and a stable outer life. Thus she is likely to show a lot of common sense from quite a young age, and will be able to competently handle responsibilities and duties as well as enjoy everyday pleasures with gusto. Parents and
family members are not likely to identify her as a dreamer, especially since she will probably be very physically active and energetic. Yet she has a secret inner life which may sometimes make her restless, irritable and discontented without any
apparent reason. She may have unaccountable moods of deep melancholy, or phases when nothing can please her and whatever she wants is always what she hasn't got. During such periods she may be anything but sensible, and may be very difficult to deal
with because of her impatience and fractious temper.
Joanne K. needs a good deal of structure and order in her environment, and does not cope well with chaos, clutter or ambiguous statements and emotions. She can become very attached to particular objects and places and may show great distress if her
security is threatened by any sudden change in her habits and rituals. Yet when she is in one of her moods she is capable of generating a great deal of chaos all by herself, sabotaging whatever order parents and family members try to create and
generally pushing everybody to their limits. Try to help her recognise and identify the feelings and impulses that buffet her from within. Often she will be suffering from a surfeit of routine a routine which she herself may have demanded or even
created but which suddenly and unaccountably proves too constricting for her adventurous longings. Also, try not to load too much responsibility on her too early, even if she appears ready and willing to accept it. She has a tendency to overestimate
her capacity for patience and staying power, and to forget the restless spirit which constantly seeks new experiences. Joanne K.'s inner tug-of-war will eventually prove to be enormously creative. But she may need help in understanding that there
are two equally important but very different dimensions of her personality, and that the invisible world of fantasies and dreams is just as real as the physical one.
Longing for the dream-world
Joanne K.'s usually happy and contented face may sometimes express a lost and poignant look. Yet even when she is old enough to articulate her feelings, she is not likely to be able to explain her moods of deep sadness. It is almost as though she is
yearning to return to some other time, place or dimension which was once her home and which she has irrevocably lost. Physically active and well adapted, she nevertheless has a secret sense of the sorrow of the world, and is peculiarly attuned to
unhappiness in loved ones even if they are masking such feelings from themselves as well as from everyone else. Even at a very young age this deep sensitivity to the hidden feelings of others, combined with her extraordinary capacity for loyalty,
may attract her to helping others. There is a certain self-sacrificing tendency in Joanne K. which makes it hard for her to be spontaneously self-centred and confident about the supremacy of her own needs. It is most important that parents do not
inadvertently take advantage of her sensitivity and loyalty, for she can be easily exploited by those who need nourishing and unconsciously need her to parent them. Joanne K. needs help in believing in her own worth, and would benefit from
encouragement to ask for what she wants without worrying that it is "wrong" or "selfish" to put herself first sometimes. Because she is so attuned to the needs of others, she may not pay sufficient attention to her own needs. Thus she may find
herself increasingly suppressing her real feelings as she gets older because she is afraid of seeming unloving. She has an oversized conscience and a profound sense of responsibility to others, and therefore does not need further pressure from
parents or family members to put them first. Parents may be forgiven for sometimes thinking that Joanne K. is far more mature and adult than many children of her age. But it would be unforgivable to exploit that maturity before she has really had a
chance to be a child.
Faith in the future
Joanne K. is a small philosopher and from quite a young age may be heard proclaiming her interpretations of why things happen. The mysteries of life will always fascinate her. So will the possibilities of the future, which always appear to her
happy, positive and full of promise. She is not afraid of life, and has an innate sense of being "lucky" which really means that she assumes life will be kind and that there will always be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Sometimes it may
seem that she actively seeks difficult challenges, since they test her need to believe in a wise and benign force at work in life. If she can win the desired prize or achieve the desired goal in the face of obstacles and competition, then this is an
affirmation of her "luck". Joanne K. has a unique blend of realism and a visionary and far-ranging spirit which peers around the corner into the future in pursuit of a wonderful destiny. This combination allows her to meet challenges with optimism
and buoyancy. she can be surprisingly wise because her perspective of life is broad and tolerant. As she gets older she will probably love giving advice to younger siblings and friends although she may be bad at taking advice (particularly
parental) because she usually feels she knows better. She also has a restless and inquisitive mind which questions everything especially intellectual authority, whether religious, political or scientific. She may have some difficulty in adapting
to school rules, not because she is incapable of discipline but because she has a low boredom threshold and may find an unimaginative subject or teacher tiresome and dreary. She is eager to learn and expand her fund of knowledge about all sorts of
things, but needs to be inspired before she expresses her real potentials. Physically as well as mentally restless, she may be the first to try some daring feat, especially if other children display reluctance or timidity. Her lively, inquiring and
hopeful attitude will always make life and people interesting to her.
A rich intuitive gift
Joanne K. has a strongly intuitive nature and is finely tuned to all the unspoken and unexpressed feelings and conflicts within the environment. This does not apply only to the family. She is also liable to pick up the undercurrents in any group in
which she is involved, whether a play group or a club or class at school. In addition, her unusual intuitive gift is not limited to current emotional issues. She has a deep feeling of connection with the past, and issues within the family background
some of which may go back a long way are felt and sensed by her as though they were still real and present. In fact they still are, at an unconscious collective level, and it is to this level that Joanne K. is attuned. Such a gift offers both
difficulties and benefits, and parents and family members need to understand her virtually psychic nature so that she can be encouraged to work with her sensitivity creatively rather than feeling herself the victim of it.
She may sometimes feel confused and anxious, because she is experiencing confusion and anxiety around her and cannot separate her own feelings from those of the group of which she is a part. It is therefore important that family members make the
effort to be honest with themselves and with each other about their feelings toward each other. Repression of important emotional issues will create problems for Joanne K., since she intuits what everybody else is trying to avoid. Strong emotions
and impulses such as anger or the desire for greater freedom are far better aired so that she is not confused by seeing one thing and sensing another. Important issues from family history illness, for example, or the pain and struggle of immigrants
seeking to find a place for themselves also need to be openly discussed with her when she is old enough to understand. This is especially true of issues involving grandparents, which many parents prefer not to talk about if they feel embarrassment
or anger about their own parents' lives or behaviour. But Joanne K. will unfailingly sense what her parents are trying to hide or ignore. If she is encouraged to make a connection between what she is feeling and what has happened (even to people who
are no longer alive) it will help her to understand her unusual gift and experience it as a source of wisdom and inspiration rather than a source of fear. Family secrets can be extremely distressing to her because they are not secrets she feels
them even if she does not know what they mean. The unconscious psyche individual and collective is a living reality for this child, even if it is not for other family members. And because of her serious and devoted nature, she will feel
obligated to try to heal or help wherever she senses pain or distress. Parents should therefore make every effort to understand her inner world, rather than suppressing their own and convincing her that she is in some way strange or abnormal in her
all too accurate perceptions.
Coping with powerful emotional needs
Joanne K.'s powerful emotional needs may cause her conflict as she grows up because they challenge her devoted and loyal nature, attuned to being "good" in the deepest sense. She feels considerable aggression and possessiveness as well as a strong
desire to control and own what she loves. Yet at the same time she is sensitive to the feelings of those she cares for and instinctively moral and decent in her attitude toward other people. In early childhood this conflict may reveal itself through
dramatic swings in attitude. She may display extreme self-will at one moment and then in the next moment feel dreadfully anxious, guilty and fearful of being rejected by those around her. She may then try to overcompensate by being especially
devoted and dutiful, and wind up feeling frustrated and angry thus starting the cycle all over again. Even if no rejection is forthcoming after a bout of bad behaviour, Joanne K. carries within her her own sense of right and wrong and can be her
own worst judge without additional parental censuring. As she gets older Joanne K. may need help in reconciling her rather dominant nature with her innate desire to be helpful to others. It is important that parents and family members do not
overstate the evils of "selfishness". This term has no universal definition except in the eyes of the person wielding it as a weapon. To paraphrase the words of the American writer Ambrose Bierce, selfishness describes a situation where someone else
has the audacity to think he or she is more important than I am. If Joanne K. is bludgeoned too often with accusations of selfishness, she may ultimately resort to manipulative tactics to get her own way and preserve a feeling of autonomy without
realising she is doing so. Be honest with her and help her to value her great strength of will and passionate nature, for then she can find healthy ways of balancing these qualities with her loyalty and generosity of heart.
Intensity of heart and will
Because Joanne K. is possessive and wants to absolutely own anyone or anything she loves, she may find it hard to share the love of parents with other family members. She may be prone to resentful sulks and silences if she feels ignored, and may
resort to highly manipulative tactics to draw love and attention back to herself. This is not unusual for any young child, but Joanne K. is liable to feel great conflict about her possessive feelings. She may be afraid that too much emotional
intensity will drive others away, or that too strong an insistence on having her own way will result in them becoming angry. Thus there may be many complex feelings hidden under the surface which emerge only under great stress, when she feels really
threatened with separation from loved ones. If parents and family members find intensity of emotion disturbing or distasteful, they may covertly if not openly denigrate Joanne K.'s powerful emotional and instinctual needs. This could deeply
undermine her confidence, since she already carries her own fear that she is somehow bad because she feels so deeply and wants things so strongly. Therefore it is important that parents are able to face their own powerful emotions as much as possible
and learn to handle them with greater honesty and equanimity. They can then genuinely help Joanne K. to value and express her great intensity without the imposition of guilt and self-denigration. The most important area where these issues are likely
to surface is in the sphere of emotional possession of loved ones. She needs to feel that her loved ones are as absolutely loyal and true to her as she is toward them. She will not forget betrayal, deceit or callousness, even if totally inadvertent.
Equally, she will not forget kindness, loyalty and generosity. Although she may need to acquire more objectivity and humour about herself as she grows up, her intense feelings are part of her deep capacity for loyalty and commitment and should never
be toyed with or mocked.
Sensitivity to suffering
Joanne K. has an instinctive wisdom about human suffering and loneliness which many adults never acquire. She is not only sensitive to the feelings of others she also compassionate and genuinely wishes to help another's distress. This, combined
with the devotional qualities of her nature, may later in life lead her into work in one of the helping professions such as medicine or psychotherapy, since she experiences a natural desire to heal or make better anything she finds wrong or damaged.
Her need to care for others may be expressed toward siblings when they are ill or unhappy, and she may also display it at school toward children who are handicapped or scapegoated in some way. Joanne K. has a sense of deep empathy with all life's
lonely and outcast people, and may choose her friends among the underprivileged rather than among those who might seem more "suitable" to the family. She will also instinctively sense pain or sadness in her parents, even if this belongs to an earlier
period in their lives and has been hidden or suppressed. It would be a good idea if parents could be honest with her about their life experiences, especially if painful events have happened. Joanne K. can feel things even if they are not
articulated, and she will try to follow her instinctive healing inclinations even if no one has asked for her help directly. Try not to play "happy families" all the time. She knows perfectly well when people are performing and masking their
difficulties, and she will only end up carrying the entire burden of sadness for loved ones if they refuse to face their own issues. Also, she has an innate knowledge of the fact that life can be wonderful and equally often dreadfully unfair. Self-
pity is not a very helpful emotion to show her when her realism tells her there is no place for it. Joanne K. will mature into a wonderfully wise and compassionate individual. The more openness and honesty parents can offer about life's good and bad
sides, the better able she will be to integrate this knowledge and express her insights in creative and constructive ways.
Loyalty to an inner voice
Thus Joanne K. is fascinating and complex, containing within her two powerful extremes an intense emotional and instinctual nature and a highly active imaginative and spiritual life. In adulthood these two poles of her nature will probably find
their best expression through commitment to a vocation in which she can contribute something practical to life which also fulfills her deeply felt ideals. But during childhood she may find it very difficult to balance two such opposing elements,
since the ideals are not yet formed and she will need time to learn containment of her powerful instinctual needs. She needs structure and stability in her material environment yet at the same time requires room for her imagination and inquisitive
mind to explore both the inner and outer worlds. The more parents and family members can help Joanne K. to get to recognise her internal dichotomy and value both sides, the more confident she will feel in expressing both her earthiness and her innate
spirituality. The glue which binds her complex nature is her deep commitment to life and her profound capacity for love and loyalty precious qualities which should never be exploited but will always be appreciated and valued by those who are
fortunate enough to have her love.
The art of secret self-mythologising
Although Joanne K. needs to devote herself to others (and preferably in a practical way), nevertheless she is secretly very individualistic and self-expressive. She has a private fantasy world in which she is the main indeed, the only character
in the play, and other people are mere extensions of her own needs, existing solely for her gratification. This intensely egocentric quality is not, however, mere "selfishness", but reflects a sense of specialness which provides a very important
balance to her inclination toward self-sacrifice and the nourishing of others' needs. Her secret self-mythologising has a grand theatrical quality, and it is through these highly coloured fantasies that she comes in touch with the greater archetypal
forces at work in life. Consequently everything that takes place within her imaginary world is larger than life, and she always plays the heroic part. she is the child of royalty, or of divine parentage; she has a great and unique destiny which
makes her different from other children; she will not always be bound by the limits of everyday reality but will one day come into her own and be recognised. The overthrowing of harsh authority is likely to play a large part in her fantasy-world (as
the young hero or heroine overthrows the wicked tyrant in countless myths and fairy tales). Such fantasies compensate for the sense of restriction she sometimes feels at having to accommodate the outside world and the needs of other people. But
grandiose as all this may sound, she needs to learn to be a little more appreciative of herself and not so sensitive to what others need from her. This hidden side of her personality can protect her from exploitation because, properly integrated, it
will provide her with a solid conviction of her own worth. And the sense of uniqueness inherent in these daydreams is the raw stuff of a deep sense of personal destiny which will contribute the vital elements of meaning and purpose to her life as she
A surplus of self-will
Joanne K.'s devotional and deeply responsible nature is challenged from within by intense self-will. This will probably be obvious very early in her life. However, as she gets older it is likely that this assertive, competitive and even aggressive
side of her character will be suppressed in favour of her more order-loving and peaceable qualities. Secretly she hates being thwarted or coming second, especially when she has to share love, time and possessions with siblings or friends. She wants
to be first and best, but may stifle these aggressive feelings partly because she fears being unloved and partly because her own innate morality dictates that aggression is bad. Good people, in her estimation, always obey the rules and consider
others first. Joanne K. is not able to sustain such obedient behaviour for any length of time, and is capable of erupting like Krakatoa when parents least expect it. Her competitive spirit may lead to fights with siblings and troublemaking at
school. Rather than punishing her for what appears to be unbridled temper or self-centredness, parents may need to understand the nature of her internal confusion. She wants desperately to be a good person, and this invariably means acting in ways
which meet the approval of others. Yet her tendency to impose restrictions on herself can be excessive, and there will inevitably be a backlash in direct proportion to how rigourously she tries to stifle her own self-expression. If parents place too
much emphasis on unquestioning obedience and selflessness, then her eruptions are likely to be much worse, since this situation exacerbates her already overly developed conscience. Freud called this voice of conscience the superego, and Joanne K. has
rather too much of it. Achievements artistic, scholastic or athletic can be of enormous value because they allow her to compete and claim the approval she needs while at the same time fitting within a recognised framework of appropriate
behaviour. If she is encouraged to apply her self-assertive impulses to situations where she really can win, fairly and honourably, she will not grow up ashamed of this vital and positive dimension of her character.
The hidden need to be adored
Joanne K. sometimes retreats into a secret world where she is adored and idolised and receives nothing but love and praise from others. She wants badly to be special and loved in her own right, without having to earn the appreciation through doing
good things. She is therefore especially vulnerable to conditional love where affection and praise are offered in accordance with how well-behaved she is, but are withheld if she does not live up to parental expectations. Such emotional
manipulation can hurt Joanne K. deeply because she wants so badly to be unconditionally loved yet finds it very hard to recognise that she is lovable without offering some practical act of help or service to earn it. Loyalty and a capacity for deep
dedication to others does not preclude her enjoying the adulation which pleasing others might bring. But if love is used as payment for doing what others want, it will undermine her sense of what is right and wrong and will erode her inner feeling of
In her fantasies she longs to be a star, and she may also carry hidden aspirations that one day she will be someone terribly big and important in the world. While she may ultimately succeed in this for a sense of personal destiny is usually one of
the ingredients of great achievement she really longs to have this exalted status simply because she is wonderful, special and better than others, and not because she has done anything to earn it. There is a very delicate balance toward which
Joanne K. needs to work. She needs to express her creative abilities (with all the appreciation and personal power this brings) while at the same time knowing that she is a worthwhile and valuable person even if she is not doing extraordinary things.
Encourage her to appreciate herself as the individual she is, but at the same time help her to recognise that she is an ordinary mortal just like everybody else and therefore needs to put into life what she hopes to get out of it. If she is taught
that she is lovable only if she looks after others' needs, the self-aggrandising side of her personality will surface covertly, and all her motives will be coloured by her secret need to be powerful and important. Joanne K. is entitled to be special
and wonderful without always having to earn it. If she can be guided with wisdom and empathy, she will be able to integrate her need for self-expression with her equally powerful need to contribute to others' happiness.
The importance of self-importance
Thus there is a secret exhibitionist alive and well within Joanne K. who craves adoration, attention and a special and exalted position in life. She possesses an intense and passionate nature which may cause her quite a lot of conflict throughout
childhood, because she fears being selfish and bad and dreads the disapproval of those on whom she depends for her sense of security. But if she does not express her fiery and dramatic spirit, she may suffer from feelings of deep envy toward other
children, as well as feelings of inferiority and loss of confidence in herself. She may also express her resentment toward her self-imposed bondage through periodic eruptions of a very disruptive and disagreeable kind. She needs the occasional
chance to flaunt herself without disapproval or criticism from parents and family members. To achieve this she must be able, at least some of the time, to feel free of family expectations particularly of the unconscious variety and feel valued as
an ordinary, occasionally naughty child. She needs to be given generous praise and admiration without being made to feel guilty about wanting it. This will help her to meet the challenge of her highly complex nature, so that as she gets older and
moves toward adulthood she will be able to be more honest with herself and others, and will blend the equally energetic but very different sides of her nature in the most positive and life-enhancing ways.
Another important pair of characters
The characters described so far represent Joanne K.'s essential inner dialogue between the main conscious life-orientation and the hidden unconscious strengths which, if recognised and integrated, can round out the personality. Besides these figures,
there are other inner characters indicated in the birth chart which are likely to emerge as Joanne K. develops, and which are described briefly below.
A beauty-loving child
Refinement, grace and delicacy of soul are qualities which belong to the core of Joanne K.'s nature. A tranquil world is almost as necessary to her as food and affection. She recoils from anything base, coarse or brutish, whether on the physical or
the emotional level, and in early childhood may show her distress at prolonged exposure to this rougher side of life through constant crying or psychosomatic symptoms. She may find it hard to comprehend or accept uncivilised behaviour either in
others or in herself. Innately refined and gentle, she carries an inner image of harmony which she seeks to have confirmed by the world outside. When the world does not accord with this image, she may withdraw into her fantasies and attempt to avoid
situations and individuals who threaten to destroy her tranquillity. Thus she may have a hard time standing up to tougher, more aggressive siblings who do not observe the rules of fair play, and she is particularly sensitive to outbursts of physical
or emotional violence. Even if parents and family members are used to shouting matches or smashed plates and do not take their displays of anger seriously, she will never accustom herself to such behaviour, and it would be best if some effort were
made to curtail the worst excesses of bad temper in her presence. Harsh words said in the heat of the moment may not matter to an irritable parent, but they will matter to Joanne K. for a long, long time. She is not a fragile hothouse flower who
needs to be cosseted and protected from life. But she does need to know that somewhere preferably within the family peace, courtesy and civilisation can still be found, so that she can make her forays out into the world knowing that a place of
shelter and serenity awaits her at home.
A young aesthete
Thus Joanne K. was born with an inherent love of beauty and balance, and she will always feel happy and contented if she can find enough peace and harmony in her environment. Although sometimes light and apparently frivolous, she is not shallow, for
she possesses considerable intelligence and an instinctive understanding of other people's needs and differences. But she finds the deep, dark places of the emotional realm distinctly uncomfortable, and anything too primitive or intense frightens her
unless it is enclosed within a fairytale ambience and has a happy ending. She is blessedly free of any need to dominate others, and is capable of being extremely and genuinely kind to siblings and friends and sincerely courteous to strangers. Life
will one day challenge her to develop a greater understanding and acceptance of the cruder dimensions of human (and her own) nature, for she will not be able to dwell in a dream-world forever. But if parents and family members can appreciate and
respond to her deep need for harmony, her love of knowledge and craftsmanship and her refined tastes, they can help her to find the confidence to gradually accommodate those aspects of reality which she finds so threatening. Even if the pursuit of
culture and beauty is not a usual family pastime, try to provide as much aesthetic, artistic and intellectual stimulation for Joanne K. as possible while she is growing up. The more her deepest needs and values are acknowledged by her loved ones, the
happier and better integrated she will be.
Passions are hidden
Joanne K.'s innate refinement may make it difficult for her to handle her own strong passions as she grows up. Despite her need for harmony her emotions and appetites can be raw, potent and anything but civilised. It is hard enough for many adults
to fully integrate their more primitive instincts, and Joanne K. may need a good deal of understanding and support from parents as she tries to come to terms with this hidden side of her personality. In early childhood her emotions may erupt in a
perfectly ordinary way, but as her individuality forms she will begin to conceal and even disown her cruder feelings and needs. Yet such basic instincts are not only healthy and natural they can also offer her a necessary toughness and resilience
in the face of external pressure and exploitation. This secret side of Joanne K. is very physically vital too, and contains great reserves of energy and a healthy sensuality which can allow her to enjoy the good things of material life. If she can
learn to accommodate this earthier and more human aspect of herself, it will provide her with greater confidence and the ability to stand up for herself when facing conflict. She will also be able to display more honesty and authenticity in her
interaction with others. Parents and family members may, for their own reasons, prefer Joanne K. when she is exclusively gentle, accommodating and eager to please. But the rougher, tougher, more forthright side of her nature is very necessary for
her to develop into a balanced and confident individual.
Learning the value of the instincts
Thus Joanne K.'s civilised, peaceable and beauty-loving personality contrasts strongly with an intense, willful and competitive quality which may be increasingly hidden as she gets older. She fears that she will not be loved unless she is always
kind, thoughtful and diplomatic. Also, she has an innate ideal of goodness which makes her judge her own behaviour too harshly. Her courteous manner and fine mind make her a delight to be with, but parents and family members could easily begin to
take her conciliatory nature for granted. At school she is also likely to realise very quickly that cleverness combined with good behaviour will earn her more praise than rambunctious high spirits or displays of aggressiveness. She may therefore seek
to please teachers in ways which suppress her natural spontaneity and draw animosity from other children. Joanne K. needs to enjoy being a child more. Her innate refinement, refreshing and endearing, can sometimes make her precociously
discriminating and restrained, isolating her from her peers and undermining her capacity to be forthright and open. The hidden side of her personality is really a great strength, providing a much needed vitality, toughness and emotional depth which
can help her to keep her feet on the ground while her mind and imagination traverse those higher intellectual and imaginative spheres which are her natural abode.
IV. EMOTIONAL NEEDS AND
PATTERNS IN RELATIONSHIPS
The means by which we find happiness and nourishment through others become more complex, subtle and diverse as we progress from infancy to adulthood. But our fundamental emotional needs reflect our individual characters and in essence do not change.
Every child has particular ways in which he or she experiences and seeks emotional contact with others, and this may not always accord with other, more dominant personality traits.
Keep my world in order!
In keeping with her essentially realistic and well-grounded nature, Joanne K.'s deepest need in relation to others is the feeling that they can provide an order and structure which keeps the world together. Although she may sometimes be temperamental
and moody, such emotional displays reflect her anxiety in the face of change or disruption, and it is a calm and ordered manner which she most needs from others at such moments. Joanne K. tends to equate emotional security with the everyday glue that
holds life in place the same Cornflakes with the family at breakfast, the same walk around the park in the afternoon, the same ritual of feeding the cat in the evening. Calmness, familiarity and practical helpfulness are vital aspects of what she
needs from and tries to give to others. She wants to be certain that loved ones will be the same today as they were yesterday, and that if others get angry or behave in an unpredictable fashion they will be able to provide an explanation and life can
go back to what it was before the crisis. The importance of her deep need for ritual and routine in relationships should never be underestimated. She does not relate to others impulsively she grows to love and trust deeply through the passage of
time and the process of experiencing loved ones as reliable and consistent regardless of outer circumstances.
So great is Joanne K.'s need for stability and order in her emotional world that she may sometimes demand impossible guarantees that loved ones will always be there. She may become very anxious and insecure if constant affirmations of love are not
forthcoming. She also places enormous importance on physical gestures of love not only the showing of affection but also the giving of gifts and tokens because these constitute "proof" that she is loved. There is much uncertainty in her about
whether she "deserves" love, but her great shyness and fear of ridicule ensure that such doubts are likely to surface only as a "Thank you but I don't really need you" attitude which is meant to protect her deep feelings of vulnerability. Parents may
be fooled into thinking that she is more self-sufficient and emotionally independent than she actually is, and if she is feeling really unsure of herself she may coldly reject others' efforts to get close rather than risk being hurt. However, any
demonstration of genuine interest and appreciation means a great deal to her, and she never forgets an act of spontaneous kindness or a gesture of help offered without a price tag attached. Most importantly, Joanne K. experiences relationships as a
source of order and stability, and she therefore needs as much steadiness, reliability and honest communication as possible from parents, family members and friends. She may sometimes be overly serious about her feelings and a little touchy about
anything that sounds like criticism or teasing. But she has an innately kind and decent heart and genuinely enjoys being helpful to others. Malice and deliberate cruelty will always shock her as she has virtually none in her own nature, and love and
caring behaviour are synonymous in her mind. Shallow and changeful affections, love which is offered with implicit conditions, and effusive declarations of devotion which are not backed up by real practical support are all painful and deeply
threatening to her. She possesses the traditional virtues of loyalty and loving service in relation to others and deserves the same in return.
Special needs in relationship with parents
There are different needs in relation to mother and father not only based on the obvious fact of the sexual difference between parents, but also based on the child's own personality make-up and way of interacting with each parent as an individual.
Just as every child's character is unique and inherent, so too are that child's feelings and emotional requirements in relation to parents, siblings and friends. Gaining some understanding of these requirements can help family members provide at
least some of these fundamental needs, thereby offering an environment which to use the words of Winicott is "good enough" to allow the child to develop his or her relationships with greater inner security and trust.
Looking to father for creative inspiration
Joanne K.'s perception of her father is primarily a sensitive and poetic one an image of man as artist, visionary and mystic. Even if her father feels anything but artistic or mystical, Joanne K. attaches some sense of romantic mystery to him and a
good deal of idealism colours her love. Whereas some daughters want their fathers to be heroic and successful, she loves her father for all his human imperfections and is unusually responsive to any sadness or sense of failure in life which he might
carry. Joanne K. does not want or need a perfect father, but she needs enough emotional contact to discover who her father really is and how he feels about life. The sense of mystery which she feels about him is potentially a highly creative
experience, for it opens up her imagination and allows her to weave magical stories around him. Even if his life is externally prosaic and unexciting, Joanne K. secretly believes her father is really somebody else a frustrated artist or an
unacknowledged visionary. Such romantic dreams are very valuable. But they also need to be grounded through a solid emotional relationship which allows her to experience her father as a real and fallible person rather than a vanishing figure of
mystery and unobtainability for the absence of a solid emotional bond would inevitably affect her later expectations of the men in her life.
Joanne K. longs to share her father's inner world of dreams, and therefore the quality of the time father and daughter spend together is extremely important even if family conflicts or work pressures necessitate periodic separations. Parental
battles should never be used as a justification for interfering with the very vulnerable but very deep emotional bond between father and daughter, and it is most important that Joanne K.'s father endeavours to preserve the continuity of the emotional
bond even if external pressures or conflicts with other family members make this difficult to achieve. He may also discover much of his own unlived creativity through exploring the world of the imagination with his daughter listening to music
together, painting, reading stories, and sharing his own dreams and feelings. Joanne K.'s love of her father is intense and idealised. This idealisation needs to be balanced by plenty of ordinary human interaction. But Joanne K. also needs to be
able to journey through mysterious and magical inner landscapes with her father. Although there are inevitably experiences which no two people can wholly share, a willingness on the part of her father to explore the inner world of the imagination
with his daughter can help Joanne K. to develop greater confidence in her own creative potentials.
Looking to mother as a source of emotional power
Joanne K. has an image of her mother as a figure of great emotional depth and power. This image borders on the mythic, for the girl imagines mysterious hidden depths in her mother, and is fascinated and a little frightened by them. It does not
matter if her mother feels tired, stressed and anything but deep and powerful. Joanne K. perceives her not just as "mother" but as a mysterious and magical being, and the daughter will respond to her mother's emotional needs with a combination of
intense loyalty, awe and a touch of anxiety. On the most profound level Joanne K. wants her mother to be complex, subtle and unfathomable. The emotional world which the girl seeks to explore with her mother is not the superficial "Have a nice day,
darling" level of emotional exchange. Joanne K. is perceptive and knows that people are much more complicated than they seem. The greater emotional honesty there is between mother and daughter, and the more able Joanne K.'s mother is to express what
she really feels even if these feelings are very intense or not quite conventionally "acceptable" the more able Joanne K. will be to trust and value her own deeper feelings as she grows up. This can provide her with a sound and healthy emotional
base of self-knowledge, so that she can move out into life with genuine tolerance of and compassion for the whole spectrum of human emotion.
Joanne K. is deeply attuned to her mother's hidden emotional life, and may sense more about her mother than the mother herself is conscious of. Hiding dark family secrets can be very hurtful and undermining because Joanne K. knows when her mother is
deceiving her even if the deception is inadvertent. Suppressed resentment or anger in the mother will make itself known to the daughter as loudly as if she were hearing a radio broadcast, and could provoke considerable anxiety. Joanne K. is not
afraid of her mother's depths only of her silences and her refusal to express her feelings. The girl does not need a mother who is always nice, good and polite. She loves and admires her mother for her rich depth of feeling even if these
feelings are sometimes very raw. But because Joanne K. perceives her mother as a figure of great power, any form of emotional manipulation (such as brooding silences meant to punish the girl when she has done something wrong) can be unnecessarily
threatening. Joanne K. also perceives her mother as emotionally strong, not helpless and victimised, and may be deeply confused by a show of martyrdom which she knows to be false. This rare and special bond of profound emotional affinity could be a
source of great healing, understanding and compassion for both mother and daughter. For this reason the bond needs to be held in the light, not submerged in the shadows. Through it Joanne K. can discover that her own strong emotions and passions are
a rich and valuable part of her womanhood.
V. FEARS AND INSECURITIES
Every child, like every adult, experiences fear fear of objects and situations that belong to "real" life, and fear of inchoate things which loom in the night and seem absurd or strange in the bright light of day. Fear is a powerful motivator in
all human beings. It can work negatively, making us defensive and closed to life, and it can work positively, making us develop strengths and talents which begin as a means of self-protection and end as important assets of the personality. A child's
fears have not yet crystallised into those rigid defense mechanisms which cause so many adults to block off important dimensions of their natures. Responding to a child's panic with insight may save many years of the child become adult struggling
with an entrenched defensive pattern. Moreover, a child's fears can point toward profound archetypal issues which, dealt with in a spirit of understanding and compassion, reveal the wellsprings of nascent values, creative potential and individual
identity. Just as one man's meat is another's poison, one child's fears are another's playground. Yet every child experiences personal fears as real, objective and threatening whether they belong to the outer world or the inner. Calling such
fears silly is not only unhelpful it is downright destructive. To the child they are not silly at all and may reflect not only important personality issues but also unconscious conflicts in the family psyche which the adults are not in touch with
but which the child perceives all too clearly. Listening to a child's fears with an open mind and heart can, at a formative period of life, provide what every human being most needs a sense that his or her reality, full of unpredictability and
menace as well as beauty, joy and meaning, is taken seriously. Fear is always far less frightening when shared than when it is confronted alone.
The fear of being different
Although her focus is primarily on the needs and feelings of others, Joanne K. has a deep need to express her feelings, fantasies and visions. She has a fertile and colourful inner world, and her urge to encapsulate this world in forms which others
can see and understand is one of her most fundamental motivations. But as she gets older she may experience considerable conflict in her efforts to express herself, for she has an instinctive understanding of the dilemma which is likely to ensue.
Any direct expression of individuality sets a person apart from others, because it is a firm and irrevocable statement of personal identity. Joanne K. knows this deep in her heart and fears the criticism and envy of others. She also fears the
isolation of being different. The exposure of an individual's inner world is a fundamental human challenge, and fear of the consequences is often the reason why many people feel creatively "blocked". Joanne K. has a deep awareness that to be
creative is to be individual, and to be individual is to separate oneself from others. Even though she longs to express herself she may inexplicably lose interest and abandon a creative project, or claim that she "can't" do it. Or she may simply
follow the crowd, refusing to offer any unique contribution which might set her apart from family and peers.
As she gets older she may develop certain characteristic defences to assuage her fear of expressing herself. She may seek refuge in relationships with other, more confidently creative children in the hope that such a relationship will somehow allow
her a glimpse of the magical world without her having to take the risk of revealing herself. She may also find ways of expressing herself which show technical skill but lack any real emotional involvement and exposure. Her drawings may be pretty but
imitative and her stories or poems safely conventional as though she were determined to produce only things which earn her praise but involve no threat. She needs to be encouraged to show greater spontaneity in what she creates, for her fear of
criticism and rejection may frustrate any genuine expression of originality.
Joanne K. is also prone to confuse the success of her creative endeavours with her intrinsic lovability. She is deeply afraid of rejection and harbours many doubts about her worth. She may therefore try to use her talents as a means of buying the
love and appreciation of others. But this would leave her with even greater anxiety because she would feel obligated to keep performing all the time, terrified that if she stopped she would be unwanted and abandoned. Any criticism of her efforts
however valid and kindly offered may be interpreted as a profound personal rejection and she may react by withdrawing and refusing to try again. She is also deeply hurt by envious remarks, which she tends to interpret as a sign of others' dislike
rather than as an indirect form of validation. Parents may need to be especially conscious of any secret envy of their own toward Joanne K.. For although such feelings are perfectly natural, if unconscious they may be expressed as cutting criticism
or a hurtful lack of enthusiasm for her efforts.
The price of being an individual
Beneath Joanne K.'s very personal defence mechanisms lies the basic human dilemma of the individual's need to be an individual and the consequences of such striving. Self-expression is necessary for all human beings, and more so for Joanne K. than
for many others. No matter how intense her identification with others might be, life will only reveal its joy and meaning to her if she feels she has a unique contribution to make. Her fears are surprisingly realistic, and the primary one is fear of
the envy and consequent rejection of others. Envy is a peculiarly human emotion, and can sometimes be immensely creative because it helps us to be conscious of what we value and spurs us to strive harder for what we want. Envy from others is
also the inevitable consequence of daring to move beyond identification with the collective and offering some reflection of a unique inner spirit. Like a jealous parent, the collective may be enraged when its children leave home. Thus envy can also
be ugly and corrosive, expressed as spite and the desire to destroy the person who inspires it. Joanne K. has an instinctive awareness of the problem of envy. Every effort she makes toward independent and original expression raises the deep fear
that someone somewhere will make her pay for it.
Yet if she does not break through the barrier of her fear and find ways of expressing the vibrant life within her she herself may be sorely afflicted by feelings of envy toward those who have achieved the freedom of expression she seeks. For this
reason parents can be enormously helpful by taking a genuine and enthusiastic interest in any creative activities which attract her. Interest and enthusiasm, however, are not the same as pressure, and it would hurt and undermine Joanne K. deeply if
parents tried to fulfill their own unlived aspirations through her creative achievements. Nor is artistic excellence the object it does not matter if Joanne K. displays only an average talent in recognised creative spheres such as painting or
writing. It is her joy and excitement in the process of creating which are so vitally important, and the sense of self-discovery which can allay so much of her self-doubt. The mystery of creative expression is not confined within specifically
artistic spheres of life. The act of living is itself creative, if we can infuse it with something of our own unique being. It is this ability to pour her whole self into life which Joanne K. most needs to discover. If she can perceive the mirror
of her specialness and value in the eyes of parents who do not make their love conditional on outer accomplishment, she will find the confidence necessary to discover her own unique creative path.
VI. LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE
Every child has a unique fund of potentials which can best be encouraged through an individual educational approach. However, most children must "make do" with what is available to them through local schools. In Western countries education, in
accord with our present world-view, primarily consists of the acquisition of practical skills and specialised knowledge. Regardless of whether this particular approach is suited to every child, or even "right" in the broader philosophical or moral
sense, children must to a great extent adapt their own individual abilities to the prevailing trend. Some can achieve this easily, some do so only by denying their own natures, and others accomplish little because they simply cannot make themselves
into what they are not. Educational facilities may be found which place greater emphasis on a more holistic world-view, or on the imaginative and creative dimensions of a child's development. But the cost of such facilities may be beyond many
parents' reach. Nevertheless, so immense is the power of innate individuality that whatever limits may exist in the educational environment, any child given sufficient parental understanding and encouragement of natural aptitudes can find the
confidence to discover his or her appropriate path in life.
A holistic approach to knowledge
Joanne K.'s chief object of energy and commitment is other people, but the whole wide world is a place of interest and everything in it a subject worthy of study. As she grows up she may show a special interest in 'big' social or political issues, for
her mental interests seek broader and broader horizons. Her inquisitiveness and desire for a broad perspective of life are likely to make her an energetic and lively student at school, and her need to communicate her ideas to other people suits her to
classes which allow room for discussion and debate. Learning should be an extremely positive experience for her, with one possible drawback she may find many subjects and teachers too narrow in nature, and may find it hard to accept well-worn
ideas which are collectively acceptable but past their prime. Intuitive and imaginative in her thinking, she may become bored and restless if a subject or teacher is too narrow or limited in outlook. Areas of knowledge which involve a degree of
speculation and imaginative guessing may prove fascinating, but she may not always be willing to do the necessary hard work required. She needs constant mental challenges to get the best out of her restless and inquisitive mind, and if these are
unavailable in the classroom then extracurricular courses and hobbies may be essential to restore her curiosity and enthusiasm.
The highly receptive quality of Joanne K.'s mind ensures that her feeling of personal affinity with teachers will strongly affect her performance at school. A huge, amorphous educational establishment would not suit her, for her innate love of
learning is highly influenced by the quality of the individuals offering that learning. Therefore a smaller school where personal attention and interest can be offered would be preferable to one with high academic standards but where she vanishes
amidst the throng. Most importantly, the inclusive and progressive qualities of her mind need to be recognised and supported. She can work comfortably with logical concepts but needs room for speculative thinking. The wider the curriculum, and the
more flexible the individual teachers, the happier she is likely to be at school. Outside activities which encourage learning clubs, societies, additional classes may also prove helpful, and travel and exposure to other cultures and languages
would be an inspiration to her curiosity about life and people. Most helpful of all would be an active mental life within the family, where learning and the exploration of ideas are treated with as much respect as the more practical aspects of life.
Making a mark on the world
Although childhood is not a time when one thinks of life's transience, there is within Joanne K. a profound recognition of the passage of time and the importance of doing something meaningful with the resources at her disposal. As she moves into
adulthood she will be ambitious, because it is only through achieving importance or recognition for her skills that she can ultimately make a mark on the world and leave it better than she found it. This unquenchable spirit may often leave her
profoundly discontented, until she is at last able to find a vocation which allows her to express her own rather than others' values and make a useful contribution to the world around her. Her rich fund of imagination will always help her to inject
vitality, optimism and colour into even the most mundane and limited of circumstances, and as she moves into adulthood her need for challenge will impel her toward a meaningful vocation rather than simple worldly success. Because of this quest for
meaning and inspiration she may change direction several times as she matures, but it is through such changes that she will find the confidence to express her own values and vision through her chosen field of work. If there is any single thing about
Joanne K. which parents would benefit from recognising about Joanne K., it is that she will never be content to remain within the social, economic, educational or creative sphere in which she is brought up. She will always strive to improve upon what
has gone before. This discontent in no way reflects a failing on the part of the family or the environment. It is the product of her upwardly mobile spirit, which will always seek to rise to a place in the world from which she can accomplish real
and enduring changes. Because as an adult she will need to feel she has contributed something lasting in however small a degree she should always be encouraged to aim high. But she must aim for her own chosen goal (even if it changes regularly)
rather than one chosen for her by others. She will find confidence and fulfillment from the achievement of worthwhile objectives, and as she matures her eyes will be focussed not merely on her own ambitions but on the benefit of the larger world of
which she is a part.
- Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet