How are you doing with your Self expression lately? For some folks, the Self expresses easily. These people are self-directed, clear, focused and on purpose, are confident enough to take up space, and make choices while recognizing that every choice doesn’t need to work out, that mistakes come with the territory. They have an ego, which in healthy doses, is good. Of course we all have a Self, but some of us.. we question our Self. We might waver a little more than a person who somewhere along the way (via nurture or nature) got the message “You have a right to exist” and “You deserve to ask for what you want”.

In astrology we all have a Self – it’s our Sun. Nothing in the birth chart works without the Sun. Nothing. Without successfully doing our Sun, doing our Venus sign or North Node is a moot point. It’s that important. The astrological glyph for the Self/Sun is a circle with a dot. The circle is a boundary, and we are in the center, the dot. In between Self and boundary, there’s space to spread out, to express our well-defined Self.  While our zodiac sign shows our values and the way we express our Self, it doesn’t answer how strong that circle boundary is. Aspects to our Sun either support our Self or lays out challenges to our self-development. Sometimes we have clear challenges.  A Jupiter trine is very different from a Neptune or Pluto square.

How strong is your Self? Psychologists might say a person has a “weak” or “strong” sense of Self. Astrology is a little more open-minded, and holistic. We can prescriptively understand what the Self needs. Maybe we need to integrate more self-assertion into our Self (Mars square Sun), or that we’re just fine in that department (Mars trine Sun). Maybe our sense of Self is open to influences (Neptune square) or we are late bloomers- a Self-in-progress (Sun conjunct Saturn). For as much as I love the nuances of astrology, about the way our gender, sexuality or culture oppresses our sense of Self astrology falls silent.

For instance, as a woman, I know my experience of my Self is very different from that of a man. As children, generally men are more likely to get the message, and have it reinforced over and over, that they are the center of the Universe, and that they can do anything. This is evidenced by the number of men in positions of power today (and those same men who can get away with things that women wouldn’t). You can also see this in the way (some) men become righteous & indignant when they are held accountable for any of their actions. I don’t want to make a list of grudges against men, because we all experience oppression but historically, women experience more, and more and more of my female clients are openly talking about things I can chalk up to sexism and oppression. One said, “I feel like when I’m standing next to my partner, I feel smaller than my actual size (reference: Frida and Diego, Frida’s comparatively tiny body and feet).” Another, “My male doctor told me to lose weight in a very arrogant and disrespectful way.”   These are experiences that strike at the very core of Self-hood, limiting and defining our Self-perception, what we think we can and cannot do, who we can and cannot be.

As a young adult, I experienced a number of life-changing events that were outside of my control. This, combined with the message from parents “there’s nothing we can do about it…” meant I experienced prolonged periods of self-disempowerment – at least until I figured it out on my own. Pluto and Mars square my Cancer Sun. This shaped, helped me become more resourceful, and as much as I choose to not let it define me, these early experiences of oppression also wounded me, and so sometimes they still creep in, limiting me. Subconsciously, Pluto whispers that I have no power in a situation, when in reality, I do.

I know this is a heady topic for a Leo New Moon, but how can we truly just “be our Self” if we’re not aware of the various ways our Self is checked? At this Leo New Moon, check in on the health of your Self. Do you express what you want, desire and need – or do you make other people guess? Do you have the “self-awareness” to know what your core values are, and do you act from those?  Are you being treated with respect by those around you – and if not, how can you have firmer boundaries? Say:  “I am the center of my Universe.” Do you believe it? If not, now is the time to support the most important person in your life: You.

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