Astrological Applications for Ameliorating Animosity
how I use astrology to improve my communication & resolve conflict
Whether or not you believe in astrology, there’s definitely something to be said for the utility of its central concept: that people are different, and that’s okay! It’s easy for us to assume that everyone thinks, feels, and processes information the same way we do, which leads to lots of conflict and hurt feelings. If we think everyone interprets our behavior the same way we intend it to be interpreted, or if we expect everyone else to be able to predict our feelings and reactions, we can find ourselves in deep conflict without a way out.
In addition to astrology, there are plenty of other systems and vocabularies for these distinctions between people, like Love Languages and the MBTI. At their core, all these systems do is give us a way to understand and talk about the differences between people, and how those differences function in relationships.
My Mercury is in Gemini, meaning I have a strong desire to analyze myself and figure out what makes me tick. I also like to apply this skill to other people, working to find ways to see through their eyes rather than projecting my own perspectives onto them. Astrology helps me out with this by providing a fun, symbolic way to talk about breakdowns in communication or feelings that aren’t shared.
Here are two examples of how my astrological understanding of myself has led to healthier relationships and better communication:
Example One: The Overalls
When I was in high school, I belonged to the theatre club as part of the props and costumes department. Gemini dominates my star chart, and a job like this really appealed to my Gemini energy. The work was never the same from day to day, and I could jump around between detailed painting projects, sweaty mechanical teardown, and trips to the thrift store for the perfect addition to a character’s costume.
All my time spent in thrift stores gave me plenty of opportunities to grab cool stuff for myself, which was perfect for a Gemini - we tend to be fashion magpies, collectors who cultivate an eclectic personal style. One day, another girl at my school - let’s call her Jaycee - approached me about a denim jacket that I’d covered in stitched-on glass beads. Jaycee told me that she liked doing embroidery, but her mom never let her sew up her own clothes.
She asked if I’d be willing to keep an eye out, during my thrift store trips, for things she could embroider. Eventually, we were having such a good time that we went into business together, selling embroidered sneakers. My job was to keep an eye out for any shoes made of canvas or similar fabric (think Vans slip ons or classic Chuck Taylors) and bring them back to Jaycee, who would cover them in brightly threaded flowers and other patterns. We’d started a new trend, and they sold like hotcakes at school.
One day, I was at a secondhand store with the other theatre kids, and I saw a pair of white denim overalls that I thought would be perfect for Jaycee to embroider. There was so much more room for her to work, and I expected her to be thrilled with the opportunity to turn these plain overalls into her magnum opus.
What aspect of my sign was at play here? Well, certainly my Gemini tendencies to be a bit scatterbrained, since I was supposed to be looking for shoes. Also, my Mars is in Pisces, which makes me an idealist and a dreamer. I could immediately see all the awesome potential in the overalls, picturing how many cool things Jaycee could do with them.
I grabbed the overalls, along with anything else we’d found during our excursion, and gave them to Jaycee the next day at school. Rather than get excited about them, though, Jaycee seemed confused and even a bit irritated with me. She stuffed them in her backpack with a mumbled “thanks” and hurried off to her next class.
When I saw Jaycee again later, I asked her if she had thought about what she was going to do with the overalls. She was snappy with me, and didn’t really want to talk about them. I couldn’t understand what was wrong!
Well, when I got home and thought about it a bit more, I realized that perhaps Jaycee didn’t see the overalls the same way I did. After all, she was a bit younger than me, and she had a very different background than I did. Maybe my intention - to give her something cool to work on as a personal project - had gotten misinterpreted along the way.
As it turns out, Jaycee’s sun sign is Capricorn, which is associated with workaholic tendencies and strong ambition for success. She also has her Jupiter in Leo, making her generous and a bit of a people pleaser.
Can you see the breakdown? I had seen the overalls as a fun, creative opportunity, while Jaycee saw them as an obligation. Rather than a pair of shoes that she could complete in an evening, the overalls represented hours and hours of work. Jaycee thought I was trying to push her to take on more work, to escalate the output of our little business without consulting her.
Of course, I hadn’t intended them that way at all! My Gemini self wasn’t trying to make a demand or put pressure on Jaycee. I saw its possibilities, not realizing that to Jaycee’s Capricorn nature, those possibilities translated to extra work.
We had a conversation that evening over MSN Messenger (remember that?) where I apologized and explained that I had only wanted to give her the option of a larger canvas for her creativity. I didn’t expect that she’d turn around something we could sell, and she certainly could decline to do anything with the overalls if she didn’t want to!
Fortunately, the conflict was easily resolved. Jaycee’s Saturn is also in Capricorn, meaning that she doesn’t get overly emotional about things, so even though she was upset with me, she was able to listen calmly as I explained myself and apologized for the misunderstanding. I promised not to buy anything she hadn’t explicitly asked me for without texting her ahead of time, and she thanked me for thinking of her and trusting in her creativity. She ended up using the overalls to try out a few new techniques for embroidering landscapes, especially multicolored sunsets, and wore them to our school’s annual high school later that year.
Example Two: The Camping Trip
Being a Gemini, it’s hard for me to stick with any one thing for long, so theatre became a thing of the past once I started college. Instead, I joined a camping club where the members spent nearly every weekend out in nature, pitching tents and hiking around. We participated in local conservation efforts and even volunteered with at risk youth to take them on educational nature walks.
The leader of the club was a guy we’ll call Anton. Anton’s sun sign is Virgo, meaning he’s organized and disciplined. This was great for a club leader, because a lot of the club’s work involved filling out paperwork for various grants and other funding that allowed us to buy camping gear and pay for campground fees. Virgos like to stay on top of every little detail, which is helpful for wilderness survival, but can cause conflicts with more freewheeling types like myself.
Every trip, a different person would volunteer to handle all of the food. Usually, this meant doing things like researching the campground’s cooking facilities ahead of time and taking down information about which club members were coming and what dietary restrictions they had. Then, it required establishing a budget, making a shopping list, and ensuring that everything was packed and ready in the club’s cooler on the day of departure.
When it came time for me to have a turn as the Emperor of Eating (the club had silly names for every role, like the Trail Tzar and Preparation Prince), my Capricorn Saturn kicked in. This aspect of my star chart means that I like to have power, but I sometimes get uncomfortable about being in charge of other people - a tricky combination, especially when you consider that my Uranus is in Sagittarius and my Mars is in Pisces. All this together means that I like to focus on trying different ways of doing things and exploring new possibilities.
I looked up the campground and saw that there was a small, local grocery store only 15 minutes away from the area we’d be camping. Rather than buy everything ahead of time and pack the cooler from the chain supermarket near our college campus, like we usually did, I decided to try something new. I wanted to divide that week’s food budget evenly between the members, then set everyone loose in the local store to get their own food.
A few days before the trip, Anton asked me if he could see the food plan I’d made, including the grocery list broken down by price. I proudly told him that I’d come up with a new method that I wanted to try out, and explained my plan to him.
Anton was not happy with this at all. Not only is Virgo his sun sign, but it’s also his Mercury sign, meaning he can be nitpicky and even pessimistic, focusing on everything that can go wrong and pointing out flaws and potential failures. He argued with me, explaining that less experienced club members might accidentally purchase things that wouldn’t be possible to cook at a campsite, or that people might overspend and damage the club’s budget. He was worried that some people would just buy snack food while others would get meals, making things awkward around the campfire later that night.
Frustrated, I pushed back, but Anton just kept criticizing my idea and insisting that I do it his way. Eventually, I noticed that a lot of his complaints had to do with what other people thought. He didn’t want the club to look bad or the leadership to seem unprepared. It was important to Anton that he never had to go before the budgetary board and tell them that a trip had cost more than he anticipated, and he wanted all the club members to feel that he was on top of things and capable of planning a smooth, comfortable camping trip.
Anton’s moon sign, I learned, is in Aquarius - and not only that, it’s in his first house. This makes him hyper aware of his image and concerned about how he comes off to other people. It wasn’t just that his Virgo nature made him nervous about not having all the details ahead of time, it was also his Aquarius moon making him worry about looking irresponsible or unprepared.
Well, that was solvable enough! I suggested that he take a larger share of the budget, and purchase some “just in case” supplies that he could hand out if people were hungry or unhappy with what they’d bought. Plus, I offered to make sure that everyone knew the grocery stop was my idea that you’d tentatively allowed me to try out, ensuring that if it backfired, no one would blame him.
It all worked out in the end! Most people liked the idea of supporting local businesses in the areas we visited, and members were able to manage their own dietary needs. When one freshman realized he’d bought instant ramen but didn’t have any way to boil water, Anton got to jump into action as the responsible, well prepared Virgo that he is, sharing his camping kettle and giving the kid some extra granola bars to tide him over.
What If You Don’t Know Someone’s Sign?
When I tell people these stories as an example of how I use astrology to smooth conflict and solve problems in my personal life, they often ask me how I know all the little details of a person’s star chart. The answer is partly that I’m a huge astrology nerd, so once I get close with someone as a friend or collaborator, I usually end up offering to do their chart for them. I use a cool online tool called Co-Star, but there are lots of apps, books, and websites out there.
But what if you’re stuck in conflict with someone and you don’t know their signs? That’s okay! The most important thing is to know your sign, and how it influences you in your communication, emotions, and relationships. If you can take a step back and recognize that what you’re feeling and saying and doing isn’t necessarily the objective truth or the only way to see things, you’re already way ahead of the game.
You don’t need to understand another person’s star sign to recognize that they’re different from you. Rather than getting frustrated that they aren’t seeing things the way you do, try asking yourself how they might be seeing things. Start from what you know about yourself, then ask yourself whether you’re stuck in your own patterns or perspectives, and how you can get out of them to see a different side of things.
Maybe you’re feeling betrayed by a partner canceling plans on you because they needed to get work done. Are you in an emotional place, taking things personally? You may feel like your partner is telling you that their work is more important than you. But, since you know everyone is different and has a unique constellation of signs, consider that they may be coming from a more logical perspective. Maybe they analyzed the situation and determined that the consequences of not getting their work done are just too high.
Or, maybe they’re also considering it from an emotional point of view too, but a different one, where they don’t want to bring their stressed-out energy into their time with you, and want to respect your time together by making sure they’re relaxed enough to enjoy it. The key here is to realize that the message you interpreted - that you’re not important to them - is probably not the message they meant to send!
The cool thing about astrology is that it gives you more vocabulary to talk about how you’re experiencing and interpreting things. Since the secret to healthy relationships and conflict resolution is always communication, you can use what you know about your star sign to open that door. If you know that part of your star chart means you can be sensitive, or that you worry about abandonment, you already have the tools and language to let your partner know what’s going on with you!
Whether you have a detailed star chart like me, or are just interested in horoscopes and sun signs, astrology is a great way to remind yourself that your way of being in the world is just one of many. Looking to the stars can help us see other perspectives more clearly, which makes for happier communities down here on earth.