THIS WEEK'S ASTROLOGICAL ATMOSPHERE is dominated by a "wow" of a Full Moon on Saturday morning. The busy activity of the planets during this lunationthe Sun, the Moon, and six others involved in squares (90-degree angles)reminds me of a large family with lots of kids crammed into a house, each fighting for attention and bathroom time, with their peculiarities grating on each other but ultimately enhancing their understanding of difference. So it seemed natural to invoke TV's too-many-kids-not-enough-time classic Eight is Enough (1977-1981) as an extended metaphor to illustrate the different energies in effect this week.
For those of you unfamiliar with Eight is Enough, the heartwarming hour-long comedy-drama followed the lives of the Bradford familydad Tom, stepmom Abby and their eight childrenas the kids struggled through teenage rebellion, early-twenties aimlessness, and young-adulthood career and marital issues. In each episode, as might be expected, two or three principal storylines unfolded, eventually leading to precious and parable-like family-values conclusions. Maintaining this spirit, I have imagined a few new storylines for the Eight is Enough clan, using the Bradfords to dramatize the astrological tensions of this week's Full Moon. These scenarios are my fantasies and not drawn from the series' original narratives. To any diehard fans, I apologize if my plots dictate Bradford behavior that is inconsistent with their characters' personalities. (But honestly, I always found that the siblingsespecially daughters Elizabeth, Susan, Joanie and Nancykind of blended together anyway.)
Let's start with David and Mary, the two oldest Bradford children who, as elder male and female, will represent the Full Moon's Sun-Moon opposition. David (played by the Virgo Sun) has a pretty good idea of how each of his siblings could improve the chaotic situations of their lives. If they got less carried away in moments and paid more attention to maintaining consistent patterns of behavior, David reasons, they wouldn't feel constantly lost all the time. He has quietly observed them all make their own special brand of mistakes and has advice stored up for them, if they bother to ask for it. Mary (Pisces Moon), meanwhile, is ultra-compassionate and understands why her siblings wander from situation to situation, getting wrapped up in myriad dramas. Each moment can offer spiritual growth and enlightenment, Mary knows, if they'd allow themselves to be sensitive enough to pick up the signs and humble enough to follow them. (It's a method that's helped her along through medical school.) Yes, sometimes her siblings give up too much of themselvesbut in exchange for a deepened experience of life's beauty and magic. She encourages them to foster more faith and less self-criticism.
David's and Mary's brothers and sisters, who sought advice from both their elder siblings, want to know: Who's right? It takes wise authoritarian words from dad Tom (disciplinarian Saturn, who squares both Sun and Moon) to settle the score. And, of course, the answer is both, and neither. Dad, through his experience and maturity, realizes that each piece of advice is incomplete on its own. David's perfectionist attitude wrongly assumes that every bit of chaos in his siblings' lives can be solved by fixing details and instituting rigid routines. Mary's advocacy of pure reliance on spirit and compassion, to the detriment of real earthly concerns, encourages her siblings to indiscriminately dole our their energies to whatever and whomever comes their way, virtually guaranteeing that sometimes they will be left drained or de-centered. Dad points out the need for a balance between (1) striving for continued improvement and (2) remaining open to unexpected gifts from the unknown. (His message is then illustrated by fantasy sequences showing the unintended negative results of the younger Bradfords following either David's or Mary's advice to the extreme.)
Next, we move on to Nancy and Joanie who, like typical TV sisters, are fighting over a new guy. Nancy (Jupiter in Leo) doesn't worry for a second about the competition. The pretty-and-popular blonde naturally assumes that, with her fun-loving, charismatic personality and charming good lucks, this guy (and any guy, really) will want to date her. She just acts herself and expects the rest to come. Joanie (Neptune in Aquarius, opposing Jupiter) has her own offbeat sense of humor, humility and intelligence. Untraditional, yes, but people are drawn to her witty insights and egalitarian nature. She may be a little less cockily sure of herself, but she is confident that her sister's bloated ego sometimes blinds her to how other people (like certain guys) feel.
Enter Susan (Venus in Scorpio, squaring both Jupiter & Neptune). She's just wandering through the house, nonchalant yet aware that her sisters are in the living room, competitively wooing a beau. As Susan pops her head in and cracks a comment, the guy is immediately drawn to her. He senses something in Susan simmering beneath the surface. She is neither self-obsessed and dramatic like Nancy, nor reactionary and bizarre like Joanie. Instead, she holds mysteries that this handsome man, always up for a challenge, wants to explore more deeply. The guy stands up from the couch and, nervously stammering a bit, asks Susan out on date, much to the shock of her sisters. She gladly accepts. Everyone knows this is the way it was meant to work out, even if it's a difficult pill for some to swallow.
Finally, there's Elizabeth and Tommy (collectively representing Mars in Virgo squaring Pluto in Sagittarius). The two high-schoolers are co-chairs of the Homecoming Dance decorations committee. Individually, they've each thought out their ideas for the theme to full detailed completion, without having consulted the other. Tommy envisions a Rock 'n' Roll fantasy dance, with a full band of mannequins dressed up in rocker gear and huge guitars made from balloons. Elizabeth plans a Fairy-Tale Prince & Princess ball, including a grand crepe-paper castle and a fire-breathing dragon. These two teenagers are both so strong-willed, neither is willing to go along with the other's idea. Grudgingly, they decide not to compromise and start decorating opposite ends of the gym, convinced the other will give in once he or she sees how it will look.
Suffice it to say, this is not the best way to channel their energies. As the decorating starts, Tommy and Elizabeth try to remain focused on their own projects but can't help peering over their shoulders at the other's work. Their frustration, and dislike for each other's decorations, builds until it finally erupts into a crepe-paper and balloon fight, violent in a way that only sibling wars are. After a few minutes of combat, Tommy and Elizabeth realize that both their decorations are ruined. Left with severe time constraints and a lot of damaged crap, they are compelled (out of fear of embarrassment) to join forces and make the most of it. Later, in retrospect, they are impressed with their amazing power to transform, as they pull off a very successful dance with the oddball theme of Rock 'n' Roll Takes Over the Kingdom. (Only on TV.)
Hopefully, this episode of Eight is Enough provides some fodder with which you can get a semi-grip on the dynamic and productive conflicts accompanying this week's Full Moon. And for those of you wondering about a couple of missing characters in this week's episode, bowl-cut midget Nicholas (played by Mercury retrograde) was hanging in the background, making cute little-kid remarks that don't really make any sense and thus were omitted. And Abby (the Uranus figure) had a somewhat quiet role this week, though her presence perpetually inspires Tom to be a more progressive parent than he otherwise might be.
Tune in next week!