I’m well into my fifties now, and it’s been 20 years since I had a living parent. But I’ll admit, there are still days that I miss being someone’s child. However much one is loved by a spouse, friends, or children, there’s something about having a loving parent that makes you feel you’ve always got a soft place to fall.
When I see friends my age coping with their ailing parents, though, part of me is relieved that I never had to watch my mother and father slowly falter, their memories disintegrating, their need for care exceeding their (or my) resources. It’s often said, and rightly so, that there is no worse fate for a parent than to outlive a child. But when I watch exhausted, worried adults in their fifties and sixties overwhelmed with care for aging parents, that doesn’t seem so great, either.
It’s a hard world, and some days it doesn’t feel like any of us really has a soft place to fall. And those who are the most capable, who have made good decisions and who always strive to do the right thing, are carrying some of the heaviest burdens. These are Saturn’s children, and if they occasionally grit their teeth and speak sharply, it’s not because they’re unfeeling, but because they’re doing what they must, against sizable odds.
A lot of truly horrid things have been written about those born with the Moon in Saturn-ruled Capricorn—that they are cold, unfeeling, or opportunistic. But what I’ve seen more often in practice is that this person did not receive a lot of tender nurturing. Some of the most responsible, self-reliant, and caring people I know were born with this Moon sign. But while they were often praised for outward accomplishments like good grades and a good job, they haven’t always received a lot of emotional support. In some cases, they didn’t really feel they got to be children.
The question posed by a Capricorn Full Moon is, how well are you succeeding—not just with taking care of business, but taking care of your heart?
This particular Capricorn Full Moon is in a tight conjunction with Pluto, with both opposed the Sun and Mars in Cancer. During the few weeks each year when Mars opposes Pluto, it is nearly impossible to get our way by employing physical might or sheer willpower. This aspect reminds us that only so much is within our control, however hard we work to change certain things or prevent others from happening.
Throw in the Full Moon and Sun connecting with this aspect, and most of us feel that we’re under a great deal of stress in some area of our lives. It might be problems with family, health, finances, employment – but everyone can probably point to some situation that feels out of their control and where they are receiving very little help.
These are tough times and tough planetary transits, and sometimes that makes us mean-spirited, impatient, and disdainful of weakness. But not always. Recently, I accompanied an elderly, ailing friend on an afternoon of errands. Everywhere we went, people went out of their way to be helpful to us by holding doors, giving up their place in line, or other small kindnesses.
Those who know me are used to hearing me declare (usually after an hour spent in traffic) that people are no damn good. But I’ve always suspected that if I were to keel over on the street, a half dozen people would immediately run over to see if I needed help. That’s just what happened recently when a light plane crashed on a Southern California freeway, and an onlooker rushed toward the flames to pull the passengers to safety.
It’s safe to assume that just about everyone you meet is carrying a heavier burden than they feel they can bear. We are tough with each other these days, because the world is tough, and so many of us are nobody’s children, with no soft place to turn to when we have failed or fallen. But we are still capable of astonishing kindness as well. We’re all trying to survive, and we’re scared we won’t, and that makes us hard. But we haven’t yet completely left behind the urge to break each other’s fall—and that makes us human.