P writes:

My 29 year old son developed mental illness that has become worse over the years. He had suffered a severe head injury at 21 years old and then started taking hallucinogenic drugs but he was starting to change and experience minor anger and anxiety before that, around 18 years old..

I did not understand and recognize it despite my husband being diagnosed with mental illness too. I have not seen nor spoken with my son for several years as he blames us for his plight. We do financially support him (apartment, spending money) as we are so worried and heartsick. Plus, I blame myself for not thinking and acting on this sooner and beat myself up for every mistake I made as a parent.

What is the cosmic reasoning for this and what should I do?

I’m so sorry you are going through this challenge with your son. Born in 1993, he was born under the conjunction of Uranus (radical innovation) and Neptune (transcendent mysticism). Uranus rules electricity and radical behavior and is sometimes associated with mental disorders if afflicted in the natal chart.  Neptune presides over experiences that take us beyond the mundane, into spiritual bliss or addiction, and is also associated with consciousness altering substances.  My own generation (1950s) with Uranus square Neptune also sought spiritual bliss through mind expanding drugs, not always with positive consequences.

These Uranus/Neptune kids are just different. They are sometimes geniuses, usually creative, and almost never ordinary. I’m seeing them now as clients, and they are each one so unique and so talented but they don’t fit into the paradigm of the past. They don’t fit into the schools, they don’t fit into any labels. I suspect this is driving a lot of the experimentation around gender and identity.

Your son has both the Sun and Moon in Venus-ruled Libra, and Venus rules his Taurus ascendant. Venus people crave peaceful surroundings and for everyone to get along, but Uranus in a challenging square to his Sun and Moon shows a likelihood of growing up in a family with a fair amount of discord.  Neptune squaring his Sun and Moon shows a challenge knowing himself and perhaps being misunderstood by others.

With Mars in intense Scorpio he has a powerful Will that may not have always been obvious because of the Venusian influence, and Mercury is also in Scorpio conjunct Pluto. This is a lot of Plutonic influence since the modern ruler of Scorpio IS Pluto. The combination of the soft and tender Venus with the intense and sometimes harsh Pluto can be a difficult one, especially for a young person and this may have had something to do with the emergence of anger and anxiety.

The Taurus ascendant in your son’s chart helps to ground him and that is a great asset. Separating from the family is sometimes necessary when a young person needs to find himself, and I suspect that this is what is happening here. In 2014-2020 transiting Pluto squared his Moon, conjoined his MC/IC axis (public life and home) and the

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Uranus/Neptune conjunction, followed by a square to his Sun and Jupiter. That is a tremendous amount of upheaval, most of it internalized. There was a little break in 2021 but then his Saturn return came along – this is a time when young people take steps to emerge fully into adulthood. His Saturn harmonizes in a trine to his Sun, so with Saturn trine his Sun he may have been more easily able to find that separation in order to be able to find himself.

The planets are always doing something, but the bulk of the intensity is behind him although he does have a Chiron square to his Moon and Sun coming up. It takes a lot of maturity to stop blaming our parents (I think I was about 50!) and I believe that it’s important for parents to listen when their children have complaints. You will see that so much of his trouble comes from his own personality as revealed in the natal chart, but when a child feels heard it becomes easier to begin to move past blame.

And for you, my dear P, you have also had a rough time of it with Pluto stomping all over your Cancer Moon and Capricorn Sun/Venus. And now Pluto is opposite your ascendant, beginning the work of transforming your sense of your own identity and how you balance your needs in relationships with others.

Ultimately my best advice is to remember that we are all humans and none of us are perfect, and avoid blaming yourself for mistakes of the past. When we understand that so much of our early patterning is echoed in the astrological chart we can begin to see the karma that we share and it becomes easier to work through constellations of family issues together.

If you have a question for me that involves your personal chart, you can submit it for consideration here. I will publish the questions that I think are most relevant to my readers on Fridays. 

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