THE lady on the telephone spoke in husky, confidential tones as she inquired of my services. I told her I must have month, date, year, exact time, place of birth, and any brief comments or questions she'd like to send with her order.
When I saw the large manila envelope in my post office box, I said to myself, "Oh, no, another editor has rejected a manuscript. Wonder what's the reason this time?" However, examination revealed it was not bad, but good news -- of a sort. It was from Mrs. "Smith," the lady with the "confidential" tones.
Enclosed was full payment for both natal and progressed charts, fourteen typewritten pages detailing her life's history, several snapshots, some thirty questions, and birth data for practically everyone in her family -- including some inlaws! My initial impulse was to send the whole package back, but I reasoned she must really need help if she went to that much trouble.
On reading the many pages, I found her major problem was the strange behavior of her Aquarian husband. It seemed his first marriage ended in divorce because of his excessive drinking. After Mrs. "Smith's" first husband died of a sudden heart attack, she'd married "Bill" (ten years her junior) while he was in a sober cycle. A couple of years later, he again started drinking heavily; and, for the past year, had been staying overnight at his business, only coming home for meals. She complained that they were married in name only, but nonetheless that he was very kind and generous, giving her his paycheck each month with no questions.
Her chart proved her a "double" Libran (both Sun and Ascendant in Libra), with a Scorpio Moon. It was a nativity (horoscope) showing much stress -- five planets in opposition in a fixed-cross configuration. Aries ruled the seventh house of marriage; Mars therein had two oppositions, two squares, and one sextile to Pluto. Not a good chart for marriage except perhaps for sex (Pluto), and moderate (sextile) benefits financially. (Pluto ruled her second house of personal finances.)
Planets were scattered all around the circle; I knew she was inclined to waste energies, and that she probably lacked direction. Both Sun and Venus were in the "closet" (twelfth house), and combined with the Libra Ascendant, I knew coming to conclusions, making decisions and acting on them was not easy for her.
She arrived fifteen minutes early for her appointment (this "pressurized" type usually does) but had to wait until I completed a conference. At fifty-two, she was more attractive than the pictures she'd sent indicated. Short and petite. (Her Ascendant's ruler was in the twelfth house, limiting growth, and square the most elevated planet, Pluto, in the ninth house.)
She asked, "Do you mind if I smoke?"
I answered, "Sorry, but I do. However, we can take a short break every thirty minutes to change tapes. You may smoke then if you like."
Obviously she was a heavy smoker as she reeked of tobacco smoke and had a slight smoker's cough. She could hardly wait for the first and second "smoke breaks" but afterward became so interested in the reading she skipped the rest.
I confirmed she'd always had to accept more responsibility (six planets rising, four setting) than she wanted (four in masculine signs, six in feminine). Her chart favored career permanence (ruler of the tenth house in a fixed sign), and career as the best source for money (tenth house ruler in the second house near the Part of Fortune). Confirmed: Twenty-three years with the same company. In addition to the innate stresses (oppositions), indecisiveness ("double" Libra), and a reluctance to make changes (fixed cross), another major possible problem was the strong imbalance between the earth and water planetary placements -- one earth, five water -- same case in both the natal and progressed charts.
I commented, "Your heart nearly always rules your head; emotion overpowers reason. While this makes you a very nice person to know, it also makes you very vulnerable to those who would take perhaps unfair advantage of you emotionally.
"Hopefully you'll learn to use the following suggestions to protect yourself in future from 'buying' unwisely. When emotion is involved: (1) Count to ten before responding; (2) Sleep over decisions; (3) Literally 'think' on paper; (4) Act through a 'third party' (attorney, friend, letter, telephone); (5) Ask yourself, 'What's in it for me?' Number 5 is, I believe, the clue to resolving your marriage/divorce problem.
"Your husband's not likely to change enough to satisfy your somewhat 'smothering' type of emotional need. He's 'escaped' that by drinking and staying away. Don't worry, he'd no doubt find some other reason to drink.
"Since he puts no restrictions on you, you might find outside interests in keeping with your moral convictions. Ask yourself, 'What's in it for me?' Either divorce him or change your attitudes and expectations so you're shielded from being upset. Either way, it's more or less a matter of money. If his paycheck's worth the bother, stay married; if it isn't, go ahead and get a divorce as soon as possible."