Alex Trenoweth’s original and ground-breaking research into Astrology and Education earned her the title of “Best International Astrologer of the Year, 2015” from the Krishnamurti Institute of Astrology of Kolkata India. Her book, “Growing Pains” is an exciting development in astrology as it combines classroom teaching experience, sound research and the potential to have a positive impact on struggling adolescents, parents and teachers. In this article, an excerpt from her book, she describes how the incoming group of year 7 pupils (11 year olds) need to learn and how teachers can support them.
Of her work, Alex says: “I know that I am fortunate to have found my niche in astrology and to have something unique and of value to contribute to the astrological community.” She travels the globe lecturing at astrology conferences and teaching teachers how to use astrology in their practices.
For an article on how to support students who are new to secondary school this year, please visit this article on how to beat the transition dip.
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The following article is an extract from the book “Growing Pains” by Alex Trenoweth (2013). All rights reserved. Do not copy without permission.
Imagine that you are a perfectly content singleton who is not in any hurry to become shackled to one person for the rest of your life. You eat what and when you like, you watch the programmes you want on television and channel surf at will. You can be as messy as you like—or as neat as you like without worrying someone is going to come along and try to change your perfectly ordered world as deemed by your own good self. There’s a knock at your door and it’s your colleague from school.
“Sorry,” she says, “I was just passing by and I thought you might like Robert.”
From behind the hedges stands the man of your dreams. . .
The Jupiter in Libra child is usually fascinated with relationships of all sorts. They are the kind of kid who will tell you they are in a serious relationship when they are only 5 years old. They’ll be the one sobbing their heart out at break because their dreamboat had floated from the dock and is drifting towards another object of affection. They can recount the rows, punch ups and vicious exchange of words of any soap but reading just doesn’t make sense unless there is someone else they can share their knowledge with. By the time they are 6, they start to understand that certain letters “go with” another to forms groups of words. Put this way, reading appeals to them.
In the classroom, the normally well mannered pupil is deeply unhappy if s/he has to sit with someone they don’t like and will see no problem in acting as if that person has leprosy, the Black Plague or the galloping Ebola virus. They will wave their hands under their noses to disperse the smell, spray perfume/deodorant and generally behave as if they had never learned the most basic of human manners: tolerance. Seating them next to someone they like and you have a different problem entirely. Smart girls suddenly act as if their brains had leaked from the skulls and oozed between the floorboards. The grubbiest, sweatiest of boys starts to preen and flutter his eyelashes.
These pupils are social beasts and they really will learn better with strategic pairing. Left to work on their own and these pupils will start doodling the names of their future betrothed(s) in the margins complete with love hearts in a variety of pastel shades. Reward them every now and again by letting them choose who they work with but make sure you point out the differences in work output should they become distracted. These pupils will moon at each other for an entire lesson if you let them.
Secondary school offers Jupiter in Libra pupils a chance to see what else is on offer. Relationships again become a focus and whilst it is true all pupils, regardless of their Jupiter sign, enjoy a good row, these pupils will not settle until every detail is revealed. Don’t turn your back on them because when you check the floor after lesson and it will be littered with notes. This group tends to dislike competitive PE sports but thrives in the artistic subjects and Humanities.
School dances are inevitable and the hoo-ha over the event can seem extreme. There will be much fussing over who will go with whom and what will be worn that will go on for weeks. The actual event is likely to indulge their sweet tooth making their manic mating ritual behaviour from the sugar high top quality entertainment in itself. It’s worth volunteering to be a chaperone just to watch them strut. At the age of 15, these pupils begin settling down and taking their studies seriously. Boys will realise that an education is the key to a good job and increases the likelihood of marrying a pretty wife. Girls may need good female role models and guidance so they can explore their options rather than settling for something (or someone) that will not make them happy in the long run.
If you are a teacher with Jupiter in Libra, manners are of the utmost importance. You understand social eloquence is the key to happy life filled with joyous people who actually enjoy being together. Organising the staff Christmas party (or any other social event) gives you deep, personal satisfaction. If you teach in the Fine Arts, your concerts, art exhibitions and welcome-to-the-staff occasions will never be forgotten for their high brow feel and sense of belonging you bring to those attending. Of course, what you’re really hoping for is an invitation to the next wedding. . .
Fine tuning the role of Jupiter:
Venus in Aries: These learners like to work independently if there is an opportunity to share progress afterwards. There is often a strong need for social approval in these pupils. Teachers usually find these pupils find it difficult to make decisions because they so easily adapt to both sides of an argument—and these pupils don’t want to make themselves ugly by being angry. Parents can assist these pupils helping them set targets that appeal to their needs as opposed to making someone else happy.
Venus in Taurus: These learners take pride in their classroom so artistic displays usually grab their attention. They will show others around the classroom—often using a guiding hand—as if they are personally responsible for the beautiful surroundings. Teachers are usually successful if they use learning techniques that cater to kinaesthetic learning, especially activities such a nature walks or short hikes. Parents usually find that these children are interested in investments or activities that promote stability.
Venus in Gemini: These learners simply love to socialise and most of the conversation is about the next party. They are bright and keen learners but are not quiet for long. These are the kind of learners that plan the school prom when they should be studying for exams. Teachers usually discover a little begging helps. Parents know withholding their allowance until the results are in helps keep their focus.
Venus in Cancer: These learners love to prepare for their family’s future. Even from a young age, these pupils have a good understanding of relationships on all different levels. Teachers usually find they have a knack for history and topics that have a practical focus. Parents get the idea that from a fairly early age these children fear—and can often predict—changes in the family structure.
Venus in Leo: These children like to learn by being the centre of attention. Usually there is something striking about their hair or its bold style. If teachers can get them to put the styling gel away, they typically discover a zest for acting or drama based learning. There are often huge strides in learning—but only if everyone’s watching. Parents often realise they have a thespian on their hands from birth.
Venus in Virgo: These children like to learn by making clear choices about the people they work with. It can be very difficult to persuade them to work with someone they have taken a dislike to. Teachers, of course, try to mix up the class but these learners can be fairly rude if forced to socialise with someone who they see as uncouth. Parents have usually tolerated long litanies about the perfect social stature.
Venus in Libra: These learners like to learn by socialising with their polar opposites. Girls are fascinated with boys and vice versa. Although there is usually no problem with getting these pupils to mix, teachers are typically challenged to get them quiet. Parents start despairing about the dating game when these children are young.
Venus in Scorpio: These children like to learn by de-coding the mysteries of a lesson—which can often mean why they learning in the first place. They are often fascinated by danger or situations which may seem unsafe. These pupils understand power games on all sorts of different levels. Teachers can help them giving them the tools to understand themselves. Parents can help them by being upfront about the consequences of risk taking.
Venus in Sagittarius: These learners love anything that enhances the speed at which they can grow but they need to compare progress with others. They often have more than one full on project on the go and they often fantasise about some adventure or another. Or they convert to Buddhism one day only to take to Judaism the next. Teachers usually discover that will do anything to get them out of lessons so firm consequences for poor behaviour must be crystal clear—more so than for other pupils. Parents may find these children continually engage in horseplay and give up on any attempts to keep priceless antiques around.
Venus in Capricorn: These learners like to learn by exploring traditional roles in society. Their lips curl in distaste when discussing major advances in civilisation. Teachers typically find these pupils make clear progress step by step but will occasionally make the odd leap for the right reward (for example the opportunity to run for student council). Parents often think their child is a chip off the old block.
Venus in Aquarius: These learners like to learn by exploring the unusual or he downright strange. They are naturally rebellious and like to experiment. Teachers generally resort to giving them an instruction to do the exact opposite of what they’re supposed to do. Parents have become used to things exploding in the basement.
Venus in Pisces: these learners like to learn by submerging themselves in information. To anyone else, they look lost. To themselves, they are tuning in to their environment. Teachers usually find these pupils cannot use words to describe what they have learned but can express themselves through symbols or artistic means (music or poetry for example). Parents are usually worried about these children’s lack of ambition but come to understand the child himself understands what he is doing.
16 August 1958 Bay City MI
Jupiter in Libra, Venus in Leo
Saturn in Sagittarius, Jupiter in Libra
During 1963, Saturn was conjunct Madonna’s Chiron three times. Both Saturn and Chiron are associated with pain and loss, creating a veritable sore point in the native’s life. In this year, Madonna lost her beloved mother to breast cancer. In the months before her mother’s death, Madonna had noticed her mother’s personality had changed from the attentive homemaker she was, although she did not understand the reason. Her mother, unable to explain her dire medical condition, would often begin to cry when questioned by Madonna, at which point Madonna would respond by wrapping her arms around her mother tenderly. “I remember feeling stronger than she was,” Madonna recalled, “I was so little and yet I felt like she was the child.” 
Madonna later reflected more poignantly: “We were all wounded in one way or another by [her death], and then we spent the rest of our lives reacting to it or dealing with it or trying to turn into something else. The anguish of losing my mom left me with a certain kind of loneliness and an incredible longing for something. If I hadn’t had that emptiness, I wouldn’t have been so driven. Her death had a lot to do with me saying—after I got over my heartache—I’m going to be really strong if I can’t have my mother. I’m going to take care of myself.” It’s a beautifully reflective statement of Saturn conjunct Chiron.
Madonna was a straight A pupil and a cheerleader but she also had the reputation for being rebellious: she would do cartwheels and hang upside-down on monkey bars to show her underwear to the boys. Even at a young age, Madonna knew how to get the boys’ attention. Eventually, she persuaded her father to let her take ballet lessons and she won a dance scholarship to University Of Michigan.
In 1977, as Jupiter was conjunct her MC and opposed to her natal Saturn, she decided to move to New York to try her luck as a dancer. “It was the first time I’d ever taken a plane, the first time I’d ever gotten a taxi cab. I came here with $35 in my pocket. It was the bravest thing I’d ever done.” Later, as Jupiter was conjunct her natal Venus, she was sexually assaulted in an alleyway. Around this time, she had also posed in the nude—for very little money–and the photos would come back to haunt her.
By 1979, transit Saturn had made a series of conjunctions to her stellium of planets and ascendant in Virgo. Within a few months, transit Jupiter made the same connections by conjunction three times. During this time, she had met and fell in love with Dan Gilroy and became a part of the band “Breakfast Club.” By 1982, she had left the group and enlisted in the help of a different boyfriend, Jellybean Benetiz, to release her first album Madonna, released October 1982 as Saturn was exactly conjunct natal Jupiter.
By late 1983, transit Jupiter was conjunct her natal Saturn. In 1984, her Saturn was in opposition to her natal Mars in Taurus and she had successfully convinced young girls that fishnet stockings, capri trousers, rosaries, and see through, lacy tops were the height of fashion. Like a Virgin (so appropriate for someone with a stellium in Virgo!) released that year made her a global superstar on par with Michael Jackson. Her performance that year at the first MTV awards, where she appeared on stage atop a giant wedding cake, wearing a wedding dress and bridal veil, adorned with her characteristic “Boy Toy” belt buckle and rolling around on the floor in a mock display of sexual ecstasy, took place as Saturn made its last in a series of three conjunctions to her natal Mars in Taurus.
In 1985, as transit Jupiter was square her natal Mars, she appeared in her first film Desperately Seeking Susan and went on her first world tour with the Beastie Boys. Transit Jupiter also opposed her natal Venus and squared to her Mars when Playboy and Penthouse published photos of her taken earlier in her career. In August that year, she married Sean Penn and third album, released in 1986 as Jupiter made a series of oppositions to her stellium in Virgo, was inspired by him.
In 1997, Jupiter opposed itself and Madonna embarked on the Who’s That Girl Tour and by December, she had divorced Penn. In 1989, as Jupiter was in the middle of three conjunctions to her natal MC, Madonna made a commercial deal with Pepsi to promote its products. Madonna, who had always pushed her luck with her use of rosaries and other religious symbols, completely overstepped the mark by choosing this campaign to debut her single Like A Prayer. The symbols of stigmatas, burning crosses and Madonna’s fantasies of making love to a Black saint were a little too much and after condemnation from the Vatican, Pepsi canceled the sponsorship arrangement. Not all was lost, however, as she got to keep the $5 million retainer fee.
Between Jupiter’s conjunction to Venus in August 1990 and Saturn’s opposition to Venus in February 1991 (the final opposition was in February 1991), Madonna appeared in Dick Tracy, had a relationship with legendary lothario Warren Beatty (shortly after they split, he married the actress Annette Bening and had four children with her) and began her Blond Ambition Tour. Rolling Stone called it an “elaborately choreographed, sexually provocative extravaganza” The Pope told everyone to avoid it. (The laserdisc version of the tour would win her a Grammy in 1992). She also released In Bed With Madonna, a chronicle of her tour as Jupiter made a series of conjunctions to her stellium in Virgo. The other active transit during this time was Jupiter’s series of three conjunctions to natal Uranus in Leo that began in November 1990 and ended June 1991. It was the era of her press baiting antics.
As Saturn squared her natal Mars, Madonna began production of her book Sex, which featured adult themed photographs of her that some people called pornography as well as released her album Erotica. Perhaps it was because the book and the album coincided or maybe it was because the CD wrappers for the single resembled a condom packet or that her next tour (The Girlie Show World Tour) featured her as a dominatrix or that she appeared in the box office flop Body of Evidence or that she asked David Letterman to sniff her underwear, whatever it was, by the time of her Saturn’s opposition to her natal Sun in 1993, everyone reckoned they had seen enough of Madonna and her career was finished. Or so everyone thought.
By the time Saturn made oppositions to her stellium in Virgo and Jupiter squared her natal Sun in 1994, Madonna got the message. Her next album Bedtime Stories was far more subdued. By 1995, as Jupiter squared her stellium in Virgo, Madonna won the title part of Evita, a role for which she won several awards. In October 1996, she gave birth to her first child, Lourdes as both Saturn and Jupiter made minor aspects to her natal planets by transit.
The following year in 1997, as Jupiter made contacts by conjunction to her natal Chiron (the same planet Saturn had made conjunctions to when her mother died), Madonna converted from Catholicism to Kabbalah. During the release of the subsequent album Ray of Light, both Saturn and Jupiter again form heavy transits to her stellium in Virgo. The album is far more thoughtful and introspective and eventually won four Grammies and was honoured as one of Rolling Stones’ 500 greatest albums of all time.
Saturn’s conjunction to natal Mars in 1999, saw the release of “Beautiful Stranger” for the film The Spy Who Shagged Me, which won her another Grammy. In 2003, Jupiter made another series of conjunctions to her stellium in Virgo. This time, she open mouth kissed Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on live TV, thus resuming her press baiting antics, on astrological cue one complete Jupiter cycle later from her Erotica era as transit Jupiter was again on natal Uranus by conjunction.
Saturn’s opposition to her Chiron—the very combination active when Madonna’s mother died–from September 2006, was the beginning of her quest to adapt David, a Malawian child. The public reaction against this was strong. But who are we to deny a mother’s love to a sick child?
 Taraborrelli 2002, pp. 11–13
 Rettenmund 1995, p. 45
 Grunt, Gary (2006-05-23). “Madonna’s giant cross offensive”. BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/5006008.stm. Retrieved 2006-05-28.