I'm a computer programmer for an insurance company in New Jersey. It's not a flashy position, but I make a great salary, have good perks, and unlike many programmers, I don't have to work late or on weekends.
At the age of 28, I'd say I'm doing pretty well. I own my own home (well, actually the bank owns it, but I'm paying the mortgage). I've traveled around the world with friends, I'm told I have a great personality and a wild sense of humor, and, even if it is immodest for me to say so, I look pretty good. I have an athletic figure that's still firm thanks to visits to the gym three times a week, and people tell me I look a bit like Winona Ryder.
So I've got good friends, I've traveled the world, I make great money, and I look good. And sometimes I think I'm the most unhappy and most unlucky woman on Earth.
The longest I've had any relationship last has been about four months. That includes my boyfriends in high school and college. That includes guys I've met at conferences and at the gym. Every one of them turned out to have something wrong with them. They started out as wonderful, intelligent men, but in a short time they changed. How could I be so unlucky as to pick such losers?
I was unlucky.
I was unhappy.
I was alone.
One night as I lay curled up in bed—alone, again—I started to think about my situation. I was a good person. My friends liked me. I had enough money of my own so I didn't have to be "high maintenance." Why was I ending up with losers time after time? And then I had a personal revelation that rocked my world. It was a simple question that I asked myself:
What's wrong with me?
I sat up, startled. I don't know why, but I started to think in terms of my car (it's my pride and joy, a Jeep Grand Cherokee). If it didn't work right no matter what brand or octane of fuel I put into it, should I blame the fuel? I don't think so. The fault was with the car. I made up my mind right then that rather than start looking for someone else and dealing with his problems, I needed to discover what my real issues were. Perhaps it was I who was, for some unknown reason, sabotaging relationships. I just didn't know where to look to find an answer.
Two days later it was the weekend. I went to a bookstore to get some books on programming, and continued to walk around the store. On a table at the end of a row I saw a book entitled Astrology and Relationships by David Pond. On the back cover it says the book, "...addresses the complexities of real relationships by revealing the essential nature, needs, strengths, and challenges of every combination. Then it takes the unique step of offering exercises that will help you manifest the true potential that exists between each of the signs."
As a scientifically-minded computer programmer, you might think that I would scoff at astrology. In fact, I pay no attention to the forecasts that appear in newspapers. I knew that real astrology involved far more than just the day you were born. But why would I believe it?
I know that if I use a wrong line of code it could spoil a program I'm writing and require many hours of "debugging." I also know that something I write at the beginning of the program can effect something near the end of the program. Everything in a computer program interrelates with other parts of that program.
I have a feeling that we may interrelate with the greater universe. For me that might just be a rationalization, but the important question for me is not how astrology works, but does it work? I had never really investigated astrology, but for some reason, I thought it was time. I needed help with my life and relationships, and if astrology helps, I'll use it!
Just one problem. I needed a horoscope chart in order to use the book. Luckily, there is an offer for a free natal chart included in the book. They didn't even ask for postage (like many other "free" offers require). I got the book and sent off for the chart. I chose not to read the book until I got the chart. Every day, when I arrived home from work, I anxiously checked my mail for the chart. Finally, it arrived. I was ready for a change and I hoped that Astrology and Relationships would help me understand myself better so that I could finally find love.
WHAT I DISCOVERED
Have you ever looked at an astrology chart? If, like me, you don't know anything about astrology, they can seem fairly cryptic and daunting. But then I realized that is was all a code—and a simple code at that. The circle with a dot in it represented the Sun and the symbol that looked like the horns of a ram represented the sign Aries. My chart shows that at birth the Sun was in Aries. In fact, it was at 24 minutes, 48 seconds (whatever that means). But now that I could read the chart, I could use the book. I found out that I didn't even need to worry about the exact numbers, I just needed to know the locations of my planets. This was starting to get easier.
One of the things I discovered is that professional astrologers might study every page of a thick book such as this, but people such as myself, a non-astrologer, needn't do so. Although the book appears huge to a non-astrologer such as myself, I could safely ignore most of it and simply look up the parts that apply to me. Suddenly, this enormous book came down to a smaller size that I could easily use.
I made a list of the important items from my chart and the book. Here is what I wrote:
1) Sun in Aries
Qualities: I desire excitement, intensity, different experiences. I want to stay independent while caring about the needs of others.
What to do: Cultivate listening skills.
2) Moon in Taurus
Qualities: I am genuine when acknowledging my needs. I am stable, but I have challenges with adapting.
What to do: When faced with a situation where I have to adapt (and I resist change) I need to be aware of when it would be better to adapt than resist.
3) Mercury in Aries
Qualities: I'm bright, enthusiastic, and impulsive. I enjoy challenging conversation, but have a short attention span and speak on impulse.
What to do: Learn to respond rather than react to the ideas of others. This, the author says, is "inspirational instead of irritating." (p.90)
4) Venus in Gemini
Qualities: I'm versatile, friendly, independent, flirtatious, and like open-minded relationships.
What to do: Because I like new things, I can be seen as fickle or superficial. I need to develop empathy for the emotional needs of others.
5) Mars in Gemini
Qualities: I'm intellectual but passionate and can get bored with routine.
What to do: I have to focus on self-discipline to avoid being distracted from commitments.
6) Jupiter in Capricorn
Qualities: I am focused on worldly success and relationships that fit in with that are more likely to work.
What to do: Look for a person who demonstrates his beliefs in his life.
7) Saturn in Gemini
Qualities: I need to be cautious of being too dogmatic. I can be a great speaker but am annoyed by know-it-alls and gossips.
What to do: Stay open-minded and communicative.
10) Pluto in Libra
Qualities: I like beauty. I like cooperation rather than competition.
What to do: Avoid excessive intellectualism yet take a stand.
I found a repeating message in all of this information. The book indicates that I am outgoing and can be direct and well liked, but I have to be careful about what I say and listen before I put my foot in my mouth. I decided to put this information to use.
PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE
That night I had a date with a man I'll call "Tom," whom I met at the gym. I tried listening and not saying anything before responding. I have to say this: Tom is sharp. He noticed right away that I was struggling. He asked me what was wrong.
I looked at him for a long time. Then I just out and told him that my relationships have not worked out well and I recently received some advice that I should listen to people and mull over what they say rather than just react without thinking. His face broke into a big smile. "Sounds like you got some good advice," he said. "In all honesty, I knew that you could have that challenge before I asked you out."
"Well, if you promise you won't laugh at me..." I nodded. "Remember when we first met at the gym? I asked for your birth date. I thought you were attractive and intelligent, but I wanted to see what the stars indicated I would need to do in order to get along with you."
"You checked us out with astrology?" He nodded. I started to laugh. "Hey! You said you wouldn't laugh." I immediately felt I could totally open up to him and told him how I had been lonely and tried to discover what I was doing wrong. I also told him about my use of Astrology and Relationships. Now it was his turn to look atme.
"I'll make you a deal," he said. "I promise I won't run away or attack you as you work on your listening skills if you promise to keep working on them." We toasted to our new alliance.
Over the next few weeks, Tom helped me a great deal. At first, making changes in the way I approached people was difficult. But what I started to do was listen without saying anything, waiting a few moments, and only then responding. That little waiting period let me avoid making social faux pas. It's getting easier and easier to do.
I've continued to see Tom. He's been teaching me some more about astrology, which I find to be challenging, informative, and fun. He's also revealed that he has problems dealing with pride. There's nothing wrong with being proud of what you do, but he can become so focused that at times he feels he has to outdo everybody at everything. He can become overly competitive, filled with blind ambition, and defensive when challenged. That, I learned, is his Sun in Leo. I told him I would help him with this.
So we've been helping each other. Actually, we've been doing a lot more than helping each other. We seem to have fun in everything we do together. If he says something I don't agree with, and if I say, "That's stupid," he gives me what we call, the look. Then we laugh and I apologize and tell him, "What I meant to say is that I disagree because of this or that." But I seem to be messing up less and less and I like Tom more and more.
We've been together for almost six months, now. Every day seems to get better and better. Because of the information I discovered about myself in Astrology and Relationships and my decision to act on the advice in the book, I am now in the longest relationship I have ever had.And I love it.
Tom has been teasing me by not revealing all of his birth data. Finally, he gave me a copy of his horoscope chart a few weeks ago. I'm going through Astrology & Relationships so I can better understand him and how I can help meet his needs.
I never thought I'd be saying this, but if you are looking for ways to improve relationships, I would like to suggest that you investigate astrology. I don't know how it works or why it works, but I do know that it identified my problems and the author of Astrology and Relationships gave me advice on what to do. It worked for me and it may work for you.
And for the first time in a long time I am really happy.