As a Plutonian with Pluto exactly squaring my Midheaven and a 10th House Sun, I have a love/hate relationship with authority and officialdom.
I want to Be Somebody in capital letters -- actually, make that Somebodies, as I wear more than one hat careerwise (as one might expect from a Gemini Midheaven). Yet all the self-promoting I must do in order to ascend a rung or two higher on that never-ending (for a 10th House Sun, anyway) ladder of Something in capital letters, as I lack an agent or pilot fish of any kind to do it for me, gives me a serious stomachache -- even as my heavily aspected Mercury (widely conjunct Sun and tightly conjunct Mars in Cancer, square Jupiter in Libra, and exactly trine Neptune in Scorpio), plus an ultrasociable 1st House Uranus in Libra, readily engage in this song-and-dance.
Basically, I'm an introvert masking as an extrovert (except in the workplace; I do not blast Pandora toward the end of the day or hang out in the kitchen area unless I'm boiling water for my late-afternoon cup of tea). It does not trouble me in the slightest to enter a room full of strangers, whether it's a party or a meeting or some combination of the two (as it was at last night's NCGR panel discussion), because I survived middle school and sleepover camp in the time before adults began to at least pretend to care about the harm that bullying can do to young'uns. Nor does it bother me to be the Stranger in the Midst because I am fully aware that at social functions, most people put on their public persona -- their joker mask, their king-of-the-hill zoot suit, their small-talk tutu -- and that meeting people under such circumstances is not the same as really knowing them (though it's a perfectly valid point from which to begin plumbing their depths).
That said, I was aware yesterday that on the approaching Full Moon across my Ascendant/Descendant, it was likely that I was going to be highly visible, even with the Moon still transiting my 12th House -- hardly a Fly on the Wall at NCGR. I was also on high fashion alert with Venus in Aquarius squaring my Saturn in Taurus, which translated into a bohemian long Indian-print skirt (Aquarius), but my entire outfit was black (Saturn), and I decided to forgo my specs, as contact lenses would allow for better eye contact. I believe it was also this square that triggered my becoming an NCGR member last night, though the Full Moon had a lot to do with this decision it as well.
It was a freakishly warm day in New York City (76 degrees according to an online weather source), and the room in which the panel discussion was held was in a building just a few blocks from my office. Unfortunately the room itself was quite overheated, but in a way this was a good thing, since it killed my appetite (I did not wind up having a light supper till after I got home at 10:something). I'd estimate there were around 30 to 40 people there. Some other people besides myself were becoming members that night, too. It seemed like a real community, with plenty of friendly greetings going on before the panel discussion began.
The panel discussion itself was very interesting; four astrologers from four different generations held forth on various astrological topics, three of which were based on studying the notes from focus groups conducted back in the 1980s by a highly esteemed, recently deceased astrologer and NCGR member Patricia Morimundo. Each astrologer spoke for 15 minutes, and then the floor was opened for a Q&A.
In particular, I was moved by Shirley Soffer's discussion about the focus group concerning the affect of the Saturn in Scorpio transit (the focus group happened in 1985, with Saturn in the last degree of Scorpio) on people with natal Sun/Saturn or Moon/Saturn hard aspects. I myself have a wide but approaching Moon/Saturn opposition, and I remember who I was c. 1984-85, during the time that Saturn went over my Moon and opposed my Saturn -- a solitary, snubbed, scared, skinny teenager who was convinced, as I put it so Plutoniously in my diary, that I would die an unknown virgin. As the designated "problem" in the family (when truth be told, we all should've been in family therapy), I was sent to a psychologist -- against my wishes, of course -- and of course, by the end of the school year, just as I'd begun really opening up to this gentle, compassionate woman (who was around my parents' age), my parents pulled the plug. In their opinion, I had not been fixed or even shown any signs of improvement. I am sure they were threatened that I could tell my troubles (which included them) to a therapist, when I had such difficulty confiding in them, which was because they either overreacted by blaming me, or underreacted by refusing to take whatever it was seriously.
And yet. While all this fresh Saturnian hell was going on, there was a constant loop of reading and writing, of museum-going and drawing, and achievement. In 1984 I won the Litarary Magazine prize at the middle school graduation ceremonies, and the following spring, two months before I was yanked out of therapy, I was profiled in the local pennysaver for having been the editor in chief of the same literary magazine, which had just been judged by the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) as "Excellent," surpassing thousands of lit mags at the high school level. I was even hired by the pennysaver as their weekly high school correspondent, which meant I was paid $10 a week to cover such hot topics as the high school's booming business department, the annual student-teacher debate, and Spring Fling. When my editor relocated to Zimbabwe that summer, he let his replacement know of my existence. But my heart was not in journalism, and I did not need that ten-dollar carrot enough to continue cranking out articles about the student government and SADD. This decision may not sound Saturnian, since Saturn is about obligation and duty, yet this planet also has a way of paring everything down to the essential. I did not need ten extra bucks a week, so I said the hell with it and went back to my other need: writing short stories and poems, which I could only work on outside the classroom (my "day job" at that time).
It is also worth mentioning that after Saturn went over my Moon and opposed my Saturn, it trined my Sun, Mars, and Mercury -- and passed over my Neptune. I remember that by the end of this transit, although I was very upset that I'd lost my therapist whom I'd come to trust ( Saturn conjunct Neptune), I also had a clearer sense of my goals (Saturn) and because my parents thought that studying was more important than having a part-time job, I was able to stay true to my visions (Neptune) and integrity (Saturn). Oh, and I also got braces (Saturn) "upstairs" due to impacted incisors (the ones next door the front teeth) that came in late (Saturn) and looking like fangs (I dunno...Pluto?) after the dentist extracted the immovable baby ones (on the Saturn/Pluto conjunction).
The other astrologer on the panel I found exceptionally interesting was Tracy Allen, who shared her findings from a focus group Patricia Morimndo ran back in 1989, which dealt with people sharing the the effects of transiting Neptune in Capricorn in hard aspect to their Sun, Moon, or Ascendant. Ms. Allen also gave her own insights into the Neptune in Scorpio generation. In the first case, I remembered that it was back when Neptune was in Capricorn and opposing my Sun that I delved into such Neptunian realms as astrology, lucid dreaming, and various mind-altering substances. I also met scores of Pisceans, mostly male -- though with that sign on my 7th House, it's hardly surprising.
During the Q&A, I spoke up after the first two people had asked their questions and made various comments and no one else seemed interested in contributing. I decided to concentrate only on the topics raised by Shirley and Tracy, as I did not want to speak endlessly and having to speak into a microphone near the front of the room (the mic, which was not a cordless model, did not reach all the way back to where I was seated) made me pretty self-conscious.
Fortunately, once the talk was over and everyone moved toward the back of the room for refreshments, I was able to speak with one of the other astrologers, who actually recognized me from an astrology Meetup I'd gone to years ago (he still runs it, and seems a nice guy, but the Meetup itself just didn't do it for me). I also met Stephen Fleming, the editor of Ingress, who was very friendly and encouraging; he introduced me to a few other people, and I introduced myself to a few other people, and I gave out some of my business cards. By the time 9 p.m. rolled around and the room needed to be cleared, I was ready for some fresh air (though my appetite was still suppressed from the heat). And the beautiful, bright Full Moon accompanied me on my short walk to the subway.