I believe it is important to work with children’s charts. However, firm boundaries need to be made and only astrologers with the right training in child protection (including police clearence) should be working with the charts of children. For many reasons, astrologers should never compromise their consultancy practices by working with unspuervised children. However, understanding the cycles of child development in astrology is a useful tool for the toolkit of any astrologer. For a parent who is struggling with understanding their child (particularly their teenager), this tool is particularly useful and can be easily shared by an astrologer.
For those interested, I will soon be working with The International Academy of Astrology offering a high school astrology course (in two tiers) in the summer of 2022. Further information here.
Many thanks to the Organization for Professional Astrology for publishing this article as part of a series in their magazine, The Career Astrologer where you can also check out a review for my latest book, “Mirror Mirror”.
I probably don’t need to remind anyone that no one is perfect. If you’re a parent whose child is always in trouble (and everyone delights in telling you about it) or a teacher who just failed an observation then you know sometimes it all comes down to how to survive the day, the hour, the moment. And every single one of us has been there and let me openly admit that I do “stupid stuff” all the time. I try to make jokes about it to avoid admitting that I screwed up a lot as a parent and a teacher. But I’m also going to say that astrology can help us do better.
Understanding your Saturn is your key to keeping your head above troubled waters. I also have a handy tool for the cycles of Jupiter which is FREE for subscribers.
Your first step to being able to be in the position to “rescue” someone else is by understanding your limitations. Take a few minutes to remind yourself of your Saturn by sign, house and aspect. Think of the lessons you learned at the ages of 7, 14, 21 and how Saturn helped you “grad-uate” your Saturn return. If you’re lucky to be over the age of thirty, you have more material to work with.
“Here!” a parent shouted at me whilst thrusting a piece of paper into my hands. “Read my kid’s chart before he gets kicked out of school!” Do something, they tell me as if making their child my responsibility.
The majority of parents that come to me for an astrology consultation are first time parents of adolescents usually around the age of 13-14. It will become obvious why this is so as we go on.
If you’re going to work with children’s charts, you can’t let a parent believe you have a magic bullet. That child is not your responsibility and no matter how much a parent tries to involve me in sorting out their child, I am very clear about what I can and cannot do. I am not a magical wand. I cannot see the future and will not be involved in predicting professions, marriages, grandchildren, hereditary issues or anything else a parent wants to try to make me responsible for. I can’t tell if a child is gay or straight, pregnant, using drugs or breaking the law. I can be a sounding board and I can offer advice on how to improve communication between parent and child. But I am also going to make it clear that every single child in the world will eventually find a way to become independent from their parent. It’s called growing up and it can be painful for all involved.
No one comes to an astrologer because everything is wonderful and there is noth- ing to worry about. Working with parents is not an exception. However, the problem usually isn’t really the child. So parents who put a child’s chart into my hands or ask me to use astrology to identify their child’s problem are surprised to be told that I start with the parent.
Ideally, I’d like to see both parents if it’s possible to have them in the same room together to talk about their boundaries and attitudes towards their joint responsibility. Of course, I focus on Saturn. In fact, I base my entire astrology consultation with parents solely on their Saturn. That really is enough to handle—for me and for the parents.
Once we have a decent level of con- versation around responsibilities (it can sometimes take a few return trips), we can start to talk about the child’s difficulties. And I can say with confidence, without exception, that the problem will be that the parents feel they have lost control of their child. Their Saturn is telling them they have not done something right, they are hurting and feeling guilty because their child is no longer that cute bundle of childhood inno- cence. And if I told them what their child got up to when they weren’t hovering over them, I could cause some real upset.
Making mistakes by doing something we shouldn’t do is very much a process of growing up and rather than taking offense because a child would rather be with their friends or play on their phones than talk to their parents, it is important for a parent to realise that this separation is very much a natural process.
Adolescents are trying to work out who they are as opposed to who their parents want them to be. They struggle with this because they love their parents, they worry that they can’t manage in the ‘real world’ and they are also scared to let go of that life preserver (the parents). They need their parents (and teachers) to assure them that if they stop struggling, they will find that their feet can touch the bottom of the pool.
Understanding this process of separation can be enormously helpful to both parents and child and here’s where astrology comes into its own. Before I turn my attention
to the child, I talk to the adult in charge through their experiences. I can almost guarantee that the adult will have to be coaxed to talk about their own adolescence because their own parents had the same problem they are currently trying to work through. This gives me a wonderful way
of illustrating to the parent that being
a teenager isn’t easy. Once the parent understands the process, they are then empowered to help their own child.
In my opinion, nothing explains the cycles of development better than Jupiter and Saturn. Here is a summary which can be fine-tuned for individuals with an ephemeris:
3 years old: First transiting Jupiter square to its natal position (developmental milestones include confident walking, being able to be understood by someone other than primary caretakers and being potty trained).
6 years old: First transiting Jupiter oppo- sition to its natal position (developmental milestones include being able to control a pencil/crayons/paintbrush to create basic shapes).
7 years old: First transiting Saturn square to its natal position (developmental mile- stones include losing the milk teeth and asking questions about mortality). I know from the data I have gathered that there
is often a dip in academic performance at this age.
9 years old: Waning transiting Jupiter square to its natal position (developmental milestones include being able to distin- guish between fantasy and the real world).
11-12 years old: First transiting Jupiter return to its natal position (developmental milestones include going to a bigger school
and mixing with children from different backgrounds). I know from my database on pupil behaviour that children in this age group are more often in trouble for disrup- tive behaviour.
13 years old: First transiting Ptolemaic aspect from an outer planet (Uranus) to
its natal position (sextile) at the same time as transiting Jupiter is also sextile to its natal position. (Here is where things get a little wild for the parents and teachers) The developmental milestones include valuing peers more than authority figures and “gang mentality”.). I know from my database on pupil behaviour that children in this age group are more often in trouble for defiance.
14/15 years old: First transiting Saturn opposition to its natal position and another transiting Jupiter square (developmental milestones include orthodontics—Saturn rules the teeth—and mood swings). I know from my database on pupil behaviour that children in this age group are more often in trouble for not doing enough work.
18 years old: Transiting Jupiter opposi- tion to its natal position. And simply to add, just because a person reaches the age of 18, it doesn’t mean they instantly become an adult.
You will notice these are the hard tran- siting aspects. The hard aspects force us to take action, to make decisions or to cut losses. They usually mark a crisis that has
to be managed. Each crisis is like a building block, stacking one on another. And we all know how important the foundation is to the whole structure.
Jupiter and Saturn, again in my opinion, are enough to work with. And as Jupiter and Saturn are not personal planets, you as an astrologer don’t have to worry about invading anyone’s privacy. You are talking to a parent about how they perceive their own growth and through that, their child’s development so they can understand how they can support their child at the right times. If you think about it, this is exactly the benefit of using astrology: the right energy at the right time.
• When working with the charts of children, Saturn is your guiding light.
• Focus on the parents’ chart, particularly their Saturn, and help them understand their own development.
• Help parents to prioritise the important stages of development, particularly the Jupiter return, because it ‘coincides’ with the spectacular brain development during adolescence.