Career and Vocation
for Barack Obama, born on 4 August 1961
Text by Liz Greene, Copyright © Astrodienst AG 2008
ETVE 6212.502-18, 17-June-2008

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. How You See the World

Share your ideals with others in a team effort

III. Your Aptitudes and Strengths

A poet's vision needs work that touches the heart The need to communicate the imaginative world The talent of the storyteller Receptivity to beauty The daimon of creative vision outweighs material needs

Additional aptitudes and strengths Don't fence yourself in Keep the doors open for new projects and challenges

IV. Know Your Limits

Acknowledge the importance of the outer world Self-expression meets with inner blocks Learning to tolerate criticism Accepting the imperfect

V. Working with Others

Shared vision matters more than conversation

VI. What Success Really Means to You

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Finding a True Vocation

When we are children, people say to us, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" At that age, we usually have dreams. We know that we want to reach the Moon, or learn to fly the fastest aircraft in the world, or save endangered animal species, or make some brilliant scientific discovery that will transform human lives. We are not yet old enough to worry about job markets and balancing budgets and supporting ourselves and our families. We have only our dreams and the secret certainty that we are unique and have a very special thing to do in life. Even if our parents have different dreams for us, we know the difference between their dreams and our own. When we are children, we are still capable of hearing the voice of the soul.

As we grow older, the questions change. People say to us, "You had better start thinking about what you want to do with your life. How will you make a living?" There is no longer time for dreaming; we must now "face reality" and think about how to survive in the big, bad old world. The inner sense of specialness fades before the numbing evidence of high unemployment figures, stiff competition for every job application, and economic swings and downturns which make us feel we are fortunate to get any kind of work at all. And if we find ourselves discontented in that work, or we lose our jobs, we feel demeaned, devalued, and unable to trust our deepest dreams and aspirations, because there might not be any other work. And even if there were, we have probably long since lost that inner connection which could tell us what makes our heart sing and restores the sense of having a very special thing to do in life.

This astrological report is about your vocation. It is meant to help you get a sense of what you might be good at and what might be good for you, so that your working life has a meaning as well as a pay cheque. If you are looking for a direction, astrology could help you to find it; if you already have one, astrology could help you confirm and perhaps enhance it. The English word "vocation" comes from a Latin root which means "to call". Having a calling implies something higher or deeper - an inner Self or soul which knows what we are really here for. Today we use the word "vocation" mainly in relation to those who feel a religious calling. The challenges and problems of the changing world, with its rapid and unsettling advances in technology and its shifting political and economic currents, have frightened us and turned our minds away from the inner importance of what we do in life. Yet so many people feel directionless or are unhappy in their work, even if they are well paid for it. Few of us possess the luxury of inherited wealth; most of us must make our own way in the world. Work, no less than relationship, lies at the core of our lives and occupies most of our waking hours. Yet we may be unable to think from the centre outward - to focus first on who we are and what inspires us, and then seek vehicles for this in the outer world. Instead, we think from the outside in, focusing on what others, or our own hidden insecurities, tell us is possible. We are not brought up to know and trust ourselves and our abilities, but rather, to know only the limits of external reality. And then we hammer ourselves into shape to fit them.

Because every birth horoscope is unique, astrology teaches us that each individual has a unique nature and a unique set of abilities. While a horoscope cannot tell us which company will offer us a job, or how much we can expect to be paid, it can help us to understand that, if we wish to feel our lives matter, we need to express in the outer world at least some of who we are in the inner one. No job is perfect; we must all compromise. What matters is that what we do connects us to something special inside, something that makes us feel worthwhile and impels us to offer our best to life. The insights of astrology are not literal and specific. They are symbolic and psychological, and tell us about spheres of life which inspire us, needs which nourish our souls, and personal limits which mark the boundaries of what we are capable of achieving in one lifetime. We cannot become other than what we are, and no human being contains all possibilities. We are all good at different things. The right mix of realism and faith in ourselves can ensure that we feel our passage through life has been worth the effort.

To make the best use of the astrological insights offered by this report, it is important to remember three things. First, a sound understanding of one's needs, potentials, and limits is far more important than the facts and figures presented to us by the outer world. It is not that facts and figures do not matter. But even if there is only one job available and four hundred applicants seeking it, we possess more power than we realise to create our own reality. If that job is truly right for us, and we are prepared to do the necessary preparation and training, we will achieve it - somewhere, some time, somehow. Second, we must not be afraid to try. Trying and failing and trying again are far better than not trying at all, for we can learn from our failures even more than we learn from our success. Understanding why we might unconsciously court failure or fail to seize opportunities may also be important. Many people are dogged not by lack of ability, but by a deep unconscious conviction that they do not deserve to be fulfilled. Understanding ourselves more deeply can help us to distinguish between real limits and unnecessary self-sabotage. Third, a birth chart cannot, of its own volition, create our opportunities for us, any more than a road map can make us take a journey. A birth horoscope can show us a direction and encourage us to make manifest our highest values and most cherished dreams. But each individual must make the decision to set off down the road. If we refuse through fear or cynicism, and remain sitting on the doorstep yearning for what might have been, we cannot blame either astrology or the world for our discontent.

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Chapter II

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How You See the World

Each of us sees the world differently, and feels strong and competent in some areas and uncertain or ill-equipped in others. No person is perfectly adapted to every sphere of life. Finding the right direction may depend partly on your knowing how you evaluate and adapt to life, and finding an outer situation which matches your fundamental outlook. Of course it is not as simple as just looking for a place where you can exercise what you believe to be your strengths and avoid what you perceive as your weaknesses. Sometimes, working to develop sides of your personality where you feel unsure can generate the greatest feeling of accomplishment. But it does help if your perspective on life is in harmony with what you do, and you can therefore feel confident and able to meet the challenges which your work offers. It can also make a difference if you are able to remain loyal to your values and needs, rather than accepting a situation where you believe neither in what you are doing nor in the people you work with.

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Share your ideals with others in a team effort

You care deeply about people and their welfare. Although you may not enjoy too intense an emotional climate around you in the workplace, you need to feel you are furthering human evolution in some way, either through the promulgation of knowledge or the improvement of society. You may be a political animal, deeply committed to a particular vision of how the world could and should be. Involvement in social or humanitarian concerns could prove very rewarding, even if such an involvement is not financially remunerative. If you are required to work at something which does not inspire your ideals, you are likely to find yourself working on behalf of your colleagues, addressing issues of unfairness or inequality in your place of work. You cannot avoid your need to improve the world around you according to your strongly felt ideals. Therefore, it might be best if you pursue work which allows you to make a substantial contribution - in political or social work, in science, in psychology or alternative healing, or in some area of the arts where you can promulgate your message. You have a reformer's spirit which cannot be stifled by "reality" as others define it.

You have a very special ability to understand the dynamics of the group. On the personal level, this makes you a sociable and tolerant person who can relate to many different kinds of people. On the professional level, it reflects a rare gift for meeting people on their own ground, with the concomitant ability to speak a common language and understand varying sets of needs and demands. This is the real gift of the politician, although sadly, few politicians possess it. It is more often found in other spheres, where individuals with disparate personalities need to work together and someone is required who can help them to understand each other. You might excel at leading groups or acting as intermediary or diplomat. You might also be excellent at running committees and organising others' programmes. You have a clear and logical mind which is not easily distracted by surface problems. This could reflect a gift in research and experimental technology. Perhaps most importantly, you love truth, and love to offer others what you believe to be the truth. You have a democratic spirit and a genuine love of order and harmony. Although you may sometimes fail to recognise human emotional limits, you are not impractical, and can accept situations where the ideal might not be possible. If you believe you have a message for others, then work to develop the talents through which you can offer it well and successfully.

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Chapter III

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Your aptitudes and strengths

An honest and realistic understanding of your fundamental strengths can help you to orientate yourself in the world and put your energy into areas where you can hope to shine and achieve at least many of your most cherished goals. Recognising basic issues such as the capacity and desire to handle responsibility, or the need for stability and security, or the craving for constant new challenges, can affect your decisions and help you to avoid wasting your abilities in spheres where you are not likely to be happy or at home. This does NOT mean that, if this report seems contradictory to what you are presently doing, you should abruptly throw aside everything you have built so far. If, for example, new challenges and a degree of independence are important for you in your work according to your astrological profile, you should not immediately abandon a steady job and charge off into the blue pursuing an unrealistic dream. Further training may be necessary, and your domestic responsibilities must also be considered in relation to what is possible at any given time in your life. But a personality which fundamentally requires an independent creative platform from which to work means that you might need to consider new possibilities within the framework of your present circumstances, or work on a long-term plan through which you can gradually achieve the autonomy you need. The secret of real success - the kind which is rooted in an inner feeling of a worthwhile life - is to first accept who you are, believe in it, and stop trying to model yourself on somebody else. Then aim to shape your outer life in as many ways as are realistically possible in order to provide the right working vehicle for your true nature and values.

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A poet's vision needs work that touches the heart

You could never happily devote yourself to any work purely for financial gain, for your deepest loyalties are given to an inner vision. You need to seek a vocational path which allows you to express that vision. This might cover a wide range of possibilities - from living the artist's life, with all its special difficulties and challenges, to working in those areas where artistic gifts are combined with more market-orientated work such as advertising or web design. Which end of this range might best suit you depends a great deal on how powerful and uncompromising the vision is which drives you. But whether you work in the world or apart from it, the core of your working life needs to be the poet's vision which inspires you and which, for you, is the true reality. Your heart and imagination must be touched, and you need to know that you are connected with a higher, deeper, more meaningful level of existence. That does not preclude material success; but such success should be the by-product rather than the primary source of your efforts. Your real field of work is the imagination; and whether you express it in obviously creative ways such as writing, painting, or theatre, or in the helping professions through depth psychotherapy and dream-work, you would never be able to bear for long a field of endeavour where your imagination is not engaged.

It may also be helpful to remember that an artist's temperament and motivation are not necessarily accompanied by actual skill in draughtsmanship or fiction-writing, or actual talent at playing a musical instrument. If you do possess a genuine talent for working with images, music, or words, then it is important for you to develop that talent with as much intensity and effort as possible, so that you can carve out a professional path which allows you to express the imaginative wealth within you. But if you do not possess the literal manual or verbal gifts, this does not diminish the importance of your creative imagination and the necessity to include it in your work. A business or consultancy can be a creative product rather than a pragmatic construction; a school or training group can equally be the result of imaginative inspiration; and there are many other spheres which might not be conventionally defined as artistic work but which are, on the most profound level, the children of the inner creative world. Try not to allow the usual definitions of creative work to undermine your faith in yourself. You possess the ability to recognise and interpret the symbolic dimension of life, and to perceive external reality as the embodiment or reflection of profound inner patterns and images. This mode of perception is a special gift, although it may have sometimes felt more like a handicap if you grew up within a conventional educational framework. But it is a great asset, not a psychological aberration or indication of some kind of social "maladjustment". Material security is as relevant to you as it is to anyone, but you need to choose your vocation from the inside out, as it were, and not from the outside in. In other words, your work needs to be firmly rooted in what makes your heart and soul sing, not in how large the salary cheque is. Art school, music school, or drama school might provide you with suitable training if you are unsure of your skills, even if you do not wish to produce "pure" art. A quality education, plus extensive reading, might help you to gain confidence in the use of language. Whatever you need to do to hone and refine your abilities, don't abandon your loyalty to that inner realm which you know to be the true underpinning of life.

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The need to communicate the imaginative world

You tend to suffer from a kind of "divine discontent", whatever work you do, because you have a powerful connection with subtler levels of reality that are not usually acknowledged in ordinary life. Your sense of being part of a larger unity is very deep and insistent, even if you have not formulated the sense of connection that you feel. This may have caused you problems in the past, because if you have tried to pursue the ordinary cut- and-thrust business of making it in the world, you may have been baffled by your lack of commitment and your tendency to retreat into a fantasy-world of your own. Yet you are neither lazy nor uncommitted. It is just that your focus needs to be on the inner world rather than the outer. You need a creative vehicle through which you can communicate the world of the imagination and convey the feelings and images which flow so freely within you. It is important that you have such a vehicle even if you cannot yet make this a part of your everyday working life. But ideally you should aim for some sphere of the arts, or some area of humanitarian or healing work, where you know you are participating in a greater human unity and can experience the fulfilment that comes from identifying with and giving expression to the emotional longings and dreams of the larger collective.

There is a devotional quality in your nature that needs to be included in your work. You long to feel that, in however humble or indirect a fashion, you are serving something deeper or higher. You would rapidly become depressed and unhappy if you have to work in a sphere where you are unable to make such a commitment. The arts, of course, can offer a place for your need to devote yourself to a mystery; and hybrid spheres such as art therapy, music therapy, and certain kinds of imaginative teaching and healing might also provide a vehicle for your strong desire to be "taken out of" yourself. Spiritual ideals may provide the backbone for your everyday work efforts, although these may not necessarily be understood by you in conventionally religious language. But you have a deep craving to lose yourself in giving yourself to something greater. This is why the arts are so suitable, especially if you are able to work with others in an environment such as an orchestra, a band, or a theatre or film company. The experience of merging with a group which is dedicated to the same expression you are could be the most rewarding thing you could do with your talents and energy. Rather than drifting, try to train whatever creative skills you might possess. You may not be suited to the "pure" artist's life, but you need to participate in some area, however peripheral, which can allow you to enter, express, and immerse yourself in the imaginative world.

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The talent of the storyteller

External events are not random occurrences to you, but rather, like beads on a string, parts of an ongoing story. Your perception of life is subtle and linked with an imaginative interpretation of events and people as characters in a grand drama; and this storytelling talent could equip you to work as a creative writer. It might also prove immensely valuable if you work with others, for you perceive their experiences as interconnecting parts of a story, and can glimpse meaning in whatever they go through. You have a feeling for the symbolic level of life, and rarely take anything just as it is. There are always nuances, hidden implications, and subtle undercurrents which are as visible to you as concrete objects are to other people. Your fine imagination might prove a problem if you are required to deal with facts all day; you would probably be unhappy working as an accountant or bookkeeper. But it is an enormous asset if you do any sort of creative work. In the sciences, too, this kind of intuition is invaluable if you work in any experimental field, or in an area such as physics or computer science, where intuitive models are required rather than fixed and inalterable facts and formulae. If you are not of a literally artistic bent, you might find that you have an exceptional gift in spheres such as higher mathematics and other fields of creative science.

What is most important about this special aptitude is your particular mode of perception. Nothing stands alone in your inner and outer field of vision; everything is interconnected in subtle ways, and everything is part of a larger unity. This kind of intuitive thinking, rather than mechanical skills, is the true vision of the artist; and even if you do not possess the requisite mechanical skills to paint beautiful pictures or play an instrument well, you are a natural storyteller with a naturally holistic vision of life. You need to work in a sphere where this gift is welcomed and utilised. Because you often think in pictures rather than conceptually, you may have had your share of problems at school in early life. But academic thinking has never been your strong point. If you did well at school, it was probably due to your intuitive grasp of the whole picture and your ability to visualise and memorise. If you are considering further education, make sure you pursue subjects which encourage this way of thinking, for you can easily feel undermined if you are required to prove your competence through conventional examinations. Your intuitive insights into human behaviour could serve you well in either the arts or the helping professions; and it could also be extended, if you are so inclined, to more extraverted spheres such as marketing research. You might also make an excellent detective, although it is likely that the context of such work on the literal level would fail to inspire your imagination. You might do better writing a novel dealing with such subjects, or a film script or a play. Take your storytelling gift seriously. You need a work outlet through which it can be expressed and rewarded.

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Receptivity to beauty

You are a dyed-in-the-wool romantic, with a vision of love which emerges straight from the world's great poetry and drama. The mundane dimension of relationship is not likely to enthuse you greatly, for you fear the death of your romantic vision at the hands of the trivia of everyday life. This propensity for mythologising love may cause certain problems in your personal life, unless you can tap some of its power and magic to channel into your work. Thus it is important that you can find a sphere of work where you can express your heartfelt vision in creative form. This is not "sublimation" of personal needs and drives, but a transformation of personal experience into forms which are larger than your personal life and allow you to feel you are part of a greater unity. What you seek in love is also what you seek for your life's meaning; and this is something beyond inter-personal exchange. It is, fundamentally, a mystical vision, although you might not call it by that name. The work you do needs to provide a vehicle through which you can feel connected to the greater life of the cosmos, and this places an emphasis on developing creative or imaginative vehicles through which you can express yourself. Although anything you produce is likely to always fall short of your vision of perfection, nevertheless even the compromise which is inevitable in creative work would go a long way to provide substance for your dreams and a sense that you are contributing a little of your vision of perfection to the ordinary everyday world.

Poetry, music, drama, and fiction are some of the possible channels through which you can embody your dreams. You tend to see the people you are close to as more than mere mortals, and those who touch you deeply are catalysts for the invocation of your inner vision. Your life's experience is the perfect fodder for the creative mills of your imagination, because what is personal to you is also applicable to many people because of your ability to tap a universal level of human feeling and longing. Even if you cannot find a way to generate sufficient financial rewards from such work, and must do something else to buy the bread and meat, it is essential that you have time to pursue your creative work. Even better, you might seek work within an organisation or institution which fosters one of the creative fields - or, best of all, you might try to get your creative work acknowledged and make your inner vocation your outer work as well. You need to be very realistic about the degree of talent you possess, and also brutally objective about the marketability of that talent. Sometimes even considerable gifts are out of step with the times, and might not be recognised - not because they are insufficient, but because popular taste is running in a different direction. It is possible that you might make a success in the arts, but it is equally possible that you might not. For the sake of your soul, this does not really matter, as long as you cherish the inner vision and find time and space in your life to give it form. Material success would be a bonus, and not the goal toward which you need to aim.

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The daimon of creative vision outweighs material needs

More than most people, you need a true vocation rather than a job. And your vocation needs to be rooted in your creative vision. The Greek philosopher Socrates described the inner impetus of his destiny as his "daimon", and for you to feel fulfilled in work you need to know that you are moving in accord with your own "daimon", your own inner sense of destiny. There is a deeply devotional quality in you that needs to be expressed through a specific sphere of work; but its real nature is a need to serve some deeper inner reality. You are too intense to feel comfortable devoting your energies and efforts to a company or institution that deals in banalities. Whether or not you think in spiritual terms, your heart and soul need to be engaged in work which serves something numinous - in however humble a capacity in the outer world's terms. The artist and the priest have always served similar functions, for both work to build bridges between the inner world and the outer. Even if your work is not "artistic" in the usual sense, it needs to be creative and serve the inner world. An inspired chef, publisher, web designer, or educator can do this as authentically as an inspired painter or composer. Everything depends on where your loyalty is really given. Try to focus on what inspires you from within, and seek to understand its nature as best you can. This could help you to formulate what you need to express to the outer world; and it will be your best guide in terms of which sphere of endeavour is most suitable for your considerable imaginative gifts.

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Additional aptitudes and strengths

Although these are your main strength, there are other qualities which you can build on as you consider the best ways to utilise your energy and talents. These may not be as dominant in your nature, but they are important nevertheless and need to be considered in any assessment of your work situation. An astrological chart, from the perspective of vocation, presents us with an essential character pattern; and the "ideal" sphere of work is one in which as many of one's essential character qualities as possible can be given an avenue of expression. There is no perfect job for anyone, just as there is no perfect world. But these important characteristics need room in your life, somewhere, somehow, to be honoured and offered some vehicle through which it can live.

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Don't fence yourself in

You have a side of your nature which is restless, imaginative, and in need of constant new possibilities. This could make any work sometimes seem like a kind of provisional "try-on" which is a prelude to "the real thing". You may sometimes feel as though you are waiting for the time when your real potential can be unleashed. If this side of you is ignored, it will make its presence known through unconscious sabotage, and you may start projects which are left unfinished. Your ability to generate an endless stream of new ideas makes you an original thinker and innovator. Restrictive routines may, after a time, leave you feeling depressed and unhappy. Your boredom threshold can sometimes be a little low, and you may need to sink your teeth into projects that don't take huge amounts of time to finish, or that continue to provide creative stimulation. The fields of advertising and design, travel and creative writing, media and new technology, are all spheres where you could indulge your questing spirit; work with human potential, whether in business or in the helping professions, could also provide you with the inspiration you seek. You are not likely to spend thirty years compiling the definitive dictionary; but you might be able to write a play, a film script, a short novel, or an article or essay for a newspaper or a magazine. You have a youthful spirit which will probably keep you working long past the traditional retirement age; but it is not likely that what you do at sixty-five will be what you did at twenty. Aim for independence in your working life, or a position where you are given plenty of freedom. Don't fence yourself in.

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Keep the doors open for new projects and challenges

You are perfectly capable of commitment and hard work. But you need to recognise and honour your essential restlessness and craving for new challenges and projects which stimulate your mind and imagination. This is an essential requirement if you are to find a true vocation rather than a frustrating job which pays the mortgage but stifles your spirit. You may have to work extra hard to cultivate enough discipline to get you through the times when perspiration rather than inspiration is the only way to complete what you have begun. But if you are willing to accept this fact of life, you should not betray your questing spirit or your wish to find a broader meaning in life and in the work you do. You have a fine creative imagination and a lively and hungry mind, and both need to be utilised in your work. Playing with and expressing new ideas are more important to you than steady work which pays well but makes you feel as though your soul has been given an anaesthetic. Your work needs to be creative, or at the least, involved with creative people; and you need to have a broader, deeper or higher philosophy or world-view which forms the backdrop for your everyday efforts. What you do must mean something in the grand scheme of things. Delusions of grandeur would not be very helpful, but a firm belief in your imaginative and intellectual gifts is essential. Be prepared to go through the hard flog of a good training and education, and you will be able to find the wings to fly.

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Chapter IV

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Know Your Limits

Recognising your innate limitations can help you to focus your energy in the right direction and get the maximum fulfilment from your work. All human beings have limitations, and these need to be seen, not as "faults" or "failings", but as the inevitable result of having strengths in other areas. No individual has everything. Being able to understand those areas where essential character qualities might restrict your capacity to engage in or enjoy a particular kind of work, is part of the building of self-understanding and self-confidence. Sometimes we have to try and then fail before we are able to recognise that we are undeveloped, unsuited, or simply uninterested in a particular sphere of life. Pressure from family and peer group may push us into attempting to become what we are not, and much time and energy may be wasted in attempting to fulfil someone else's expectations when we know we are not comfortable in that particular kind of work. It is important to recognise that limits do not signify any irrevocable flaw in character. Working hard on an area of limitation may, in fact, produce great confidence born out of hard effort, and sometimes real talent may be discovered beneath the surface of what appears to be a block or difficulty. It is up to you to discern whether a character limitation needs to be worked on, or compassionately accepted, or both.

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Acknowledge the importance of the outer world

Your chief limitation in terms of your work arises from your greatest strength: your intense loyalty to an inner vision which you are impelled to express to the outside world. In order to feel fulfilled, you need to be creative, and you need to put into form those truths, images and dreams which reflect your deepest values. You could never be happy selling your soul in order to make a living; and even though you might be able to find creative vehicles in spheres which allow some compromise between your vision of reality and the needs of the collective, nevertheless the compromise must be minimal and not threaten what you hold as Truth. The difficulty arises from how you understand that word "compromise", for self-expression always requires the use of language - verbal, pictorial, auditory, symbolic - and you have to be willing to be fluent in more than your own special language in order to be understood. It is the content rather than the precise form which must not be compromised; yet you sometimes feel as though any concession to the "Great They" is a sacrifice of your inner integrity. As a result, you may often meet with bafflement or even outright rejection from those who cannot understand you, and this can make you feel isolated and hurt. And it could make it hard for you to find the right balance between your creative work and the material stability, however minimal, which you, in common with other humans, need. The outer world is not the enemy; it is made up of individual humans like yourself, many of whom are not able to perceive the inner world as you do, but who might be open and receptive to what you have to offer provided they can grasp it. Try to acknowledge the importance of others in your personal equation, for the desire to express your gifts requires someone other than yourself to receive them. True creative expression is not a narcissistic process, but one which links people through a vision which is common to all, although perhaps articulated only by a few. Relax and give the world a chance.

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Self-expression meets with inner blocks

You have a powerful and irresistible drive to express your inner world. Yet you may often experience a feeling of being blocked, and this could undermine your confidence and stand in the way of the kind of creative work which would fulfil you. The blocks may also seem to come from the world outside - people who appear to misunderstand you, or undervalue your ideas, or reject the form in which you express yourself. There is a complex mechanism within you which you need to understand if you are to turn this sense of being blocked into a positive motivation. Your inner standards are extremely high, and you expect a clarity and perfection from yourself which probably no human is able to meet - except perhaps those people of genius who have produced the world's great works of art. You may well be one of these - a birth chart does not designate whether or not one is a genius, only the direction in which one's abilities lie - but even if you are, you may still expect too much of yourself. Behind these impossible expectations lie deep fears of rejection, a sense of isolation, and a fear that whatever you try to communicate will fail to come across to the world outside. The standards you set may sometimes be a form of self-sabotage - if you expect failure, you will make sure that you fail in your own eyes first before you even begin, so that you are spared the pain of offering your work to others and then failing in their eyes. It is a complex mechanism, and rather than indicating a "character flaw", reflects your deep need to offer the truth of your inner vision in as precise and authentic a form as possible. Try to bear your anxiety in a more honest way, so that you are able to take the risk of offering the kind of creative work which most deeply reflects your soul. And if you need to compromise to some extent in order to be understood, try not to interpret this as a reflection of either the world's stupidity or a self-betrayal. It may be neither - it may simply be the price of translating the ineffable into form.

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Learning to tolerate criticism

You have tremendous pride, and this is a positive quality in your working life because it helps you to maintain your inner integrity and your loyalty to your creative vision. Your need to be acknowledged as the individual you are preserves you from the kinds of compromises which so many people make in their lives, and the pride you take in your own authenticity ensures that your standards are maintained and that you always aspire toward excellence. However, this same pride can also cause many problems. You tend to take professional criticism highly personally, as though a comment about a piece of work somehow reflects a rejection of your fundamental identity. This is, in part, because there is a piece of your soul in every creative project you embark on, and it is impossible to be entirely objective because you put so much of your real self into what you do. But you may need to learn to distance yourself from your work, at least a little, so that a perfectly legitimate observation that something could be done better or made more accessible does not make you feel resentful and humiliated. You want the world to see and recognise you as a creative individual, and to see and recognise your work as a valid expression of that individuality. Your propensity for self- mythologising ensures that you perceive yourself as special. Yet you need to be able to tolerate others' failure to recognise your specialness without feeling rancour and without retreating behind a defence of superiority. Learn to differentiate between the essence of what you create and the techniques through which it is expressed; you may need to always endeavour to improve the latter and accept others' advice on how to do it, while preserving the integrity of the former.

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Accepting the imperfect

You have a deep sensitivity to a realm of beauty that is deeper or higher than the material world; and you want more than anything to be able to express this through a suitable creative medium. Whether you work in one of the "pure" arts or in more commercial fields such as design, you are open to many subtle levels of life which others do not perceive, and you long to be able to create things which serve as a bridge between this world and those other levels to which you are so attuned. This may need to form the core of your vocation and your creative work. But you will need to learn to tolerate imperfection if you are to successfully translate your vision into form. No purpose will be served by reworking a painting or a novel or a piece of music for forty years, always trying to achieve some impossible standad which ensures that no one else will ever see what you have produced. You need not only to accept the gap between vision and reality, but also to let go of your work when it is good enough - for "good enough" may be the thing you need most to learn to recognise about your work. You will probably never be entirely happy about compromising your vision, and you will always long for something which is unobtainable in this mundane world. But you can make a rewarding and worthwhile contribution to any field in which you work, provided you are able to value what you create on a human rather than a divine scale. You may need to consider the possibility that impossible standards could be a means of avoiding the real test of offering your talents in the marketplace. If you never release a work for others' judgement, you never have to face the anxiety and pain of rejection or criticism. It is important for you to keep your integrity in whatever work you do, especially any artistic project on which you are engaged. But it is also important for you to allow things to be born in the mundane world, where they may seem less than perfect but where they have a chance to be appreciated and to nourish your confidence to do even better next time.

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Chapter V

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Working with Others

One of the most important factors to consider in terms of your direction in life is how you work with others. Everyone has his or her own style of relating in the working environment; everyone has different needs and requirements; everyone needs a different degree of privacy or teamwork; and everyone interacts differently with peers and with authority figures. There is no "normal" way of being with others, but it is important that you understand just what you do need, so that you can maximise your abilities in the best possible way. Many specific issues concerned with your interaction with others at work have been covered in earlier sections; the following paragraph is more a summary of fundamental needs which might be helpful to keep in mind.

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Shared vision matters more than conversation

You are not an especially gregarious person when it comes to casual acquaintances, and a working environment full of people with whom you cannot share your ideas and visions is not likely to satisfy you. You need a few colleagues or friends with whom you can discuss creative work, without feeling that you have to be sociable throughout the working day. The ordinary chit-chat of office life is likely to feel banal and invasive to you, and you would probably do best avoiding it if you can. You are also not especially amenable to others' suggestions until you have worked on a creative idea sufficiently to not feel vulnerable, and you can be extremely sensitive to thoughtless criticism or casual remarks about work you take seriously. You probably find it hard to adapt your thoughts to others' wishes, and would therefore not get on especially well in a hierarchical structure where you need to follow someone else's authority. You like to do things your way and in your own time. You are perfectly capable of friendliness, generosity and interest in others; but your creative vision must come first, and interference to your concentration by too many demands by others can leave you feeling angry, resentful, and frustrated. All this adds up to a need to work on your own or with a few carefully chosen colleagues, with plenty of privacy and time to work things through yourself.

However, you are also human, and your powerful need to express yourself requires someone out there who is willing to receive what you are offering. Although you are not likely to fit into a work structure where you are surrounded by people all the time, you also cannot exist in a vacuum, and if you work on your own it will be necessary for you to deal with others when the time comes to publish, exhibit, or demonstrate your creative efforts. It is important that you recognise your need for an audience of some kind, even if you sometimes feel disdainful of those who do not understand the inner world as you do. This is particularly the case if you wish to earn a living through your creative skills, for you need to communicate and cannot expect others to understand you if you do not make some effort to speak their language. Try not to carry a chip on your shoulder about being misunderstood. If this occurs, it could be that you are contributing to the difficulty by your reluctance to share what matters most to you in forms which are accessible to others. The same applies to your direct dealings with others. Try to let them get to know your thoughts and ideas, rather than assuming from the outset that they will not understand. There will always be people who can make no sense of another person's inner vision; but equally, there will always people who can grasp enough for you to feel you have communicated. And you need the support, encouragement, and faith of those who believe in you and your creative vision. Nurture such contacts carefully and well, for they can make all the difference in terms of both your success and your sense of individual fulfilment.

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Chapter VI

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What Success Really Means to You

When people speak of "success", they generally mean a position of importance in the world's eyes, or a job that yields lots of money and all the material pleasures and comforts that implies. But success, in terms of the deeper issue of vocation, is a highly individual thing that means different things to different people. Success in this more profound sense is linked with an individual's capacity to express in the outer world the values and ideals which matter most in the inner world. Seen in this way, success may not involve money or position at all; for it depends on a quality of inner loyalty and integrity, and reflects the real essence of individuality rather than a common consensus based on superficial social or material concerns.

Success, for you, must reflect the efforts you make to bring order to your inner and outer world. Although material reality is important to you, you are not motivated by monetary gain or status or a "top" position in the world. Deep down, you are a craftsman, whether you work with material substance or the stuff of the human psyche or body. To integrate, polish, refine, craft, and make whole and healed are the tasks toward which your spirit impels you, and your work needs to allow you to do these things in order to feel you are living a meaningful life. Being useful is fundamental to any real sense of success, and you need to know that your life is fulfilling a useful purpose or serving the higher realities in which you believe. More than many people, you are capable of loving work for work's sake, for it helps you to feel connected to the deeper rhythms of daily life and the larger pattern in which you instinctively know your own life is embedded. Integrity is also extremely important to you, on the most profound level: you need to serve your inner ideal rather than accommodate the external world simply for security or material gain.

A certain fear of emotional vulnerability could lead you to focus too much on the mundane details of your work, at the expense of your working relationships and your ability to be open to more intuitive and imaginative approaches. Worries about rejection, hurt, or exclusion could create too many defences which could narrow your vision and block real creative work in favour of what is safe and reliable. However, this anxiety could also serve a highly positive purpose, provided you do not become too mistrustful or defended against your own feelings. Your sensitivity to emotional hurt could make you truly compassionate toward others, guiding you into work which involves the healing of damage and pain; and your vulnerability could lead you to explore deeper levels of human nature, impelling you to understand much more about why human beings suffer and how they can be helped.

You need to work to make bridges, heal what has been spoiled, integrate what has fallen into disunity, and bring to its most efficient and healthy functioning whatever has been contaminated, ignored, or allowed to fall into disrepair. You might do this with objects, with buildings, with the physical body, with the psyche, or with nature or the plant and animal kingdoms. A true vocation, for you, must allow you to bring to your immediate world a little of the order and harmony which you know to be the underpinning of all existence.

Astrological Data used for Career and Vocation
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
Chiron Pisces 5°19'01 in house 1 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
Moon Square Chiron 1°57
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
Venus Trine Chiron 3°31
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
Neptune Trine Chiron 3°16
Pluto Conjunction Moon's Node 9°05
Pluto Opposition Chiron 1°39
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).