pisces, aquarius, libra.

When I tell people I struggle with anxiety, they don’t always believe me.

“But you’re so outgoing!” is a common response. “Yeah, but, it’s probably not as bad for you as it is for other people,” is less common, but definitely more hurtful. “I’m stressed too,” is a familiar retort, and though I appreciate the camaraderie, when I’m having an anxiety episode, it doesn’t matter how relatable my issues are–I feel them as isolating and my own.

Since January, I have belonged to a small women’s group focused on positive life change (you should go here to learn more about the program). Through movement, discussion, and knowledge, I have understood more about myself than ever before.

One of the most fascinating things we’ve discussed recently are our natal charts. I can already feel the eyes rolling as some people read that–I totally recognize the stigma and misgivings folks have about astrology and its application for sensible people. I hear you, really I do–but this stuff is pretty great. A little intense–because we like to view ourselves as these creatures who choose our own paths, we make our own destiny, yada yada yada. The fact that the stars may have a lot of our beliefs, reactions, and feelings predispositioned is kind of intimidating. For me, however, it has brought some peace. Let me explain.

So, first things first–your sun sign. This is typically what you see most often when you read your horoscope. Your sun sign can be shared with lots of different people who share a birthdate in the same range. Many people will be unsurprised to learn that I am a Pisces. In a lot of ways, I’m a true Pisces. I’m sensitive, wishful, and eternally optimistic. I find peace in the arts and don’t like conflict. Your sun sign represents your ego, or soul purpose–what you are bringing into the world. Pretty cool, pretty basic. Let’s move forward.

Your moon sign represents your emotions and the unconscious parts of our personality–often it is our internal dialogue and how we perceive ourselves. My moon sign is in Aquarius, which made a lot of sense once I realized what that meant. To quote the natal chart:

Very freedom-oriented, you must always be able to do what you wish, no matter what. You become stubborn and recalcitrant when others try to force you into a mold. You are a true democrat — you are not a follower, but you enjoy being with those who are like-minded. You appreciate emotional self-control — you practice it yourself and you look for it in others. You solve problems, including emotional ones, with your brains and intellect, not your feelings. Try to be tolerant of those who have powerful and obvious emotional responses.

Um, hello–that is me in a nutshell, y’all. And that is why I sometimes don’t understand why folks don’t “believe” or understand that my anxiety. When I think of how I calculate responses to conflict, this is my process. When I heard that, I was practically exclaiming “WHY DON’T PEOPLE GET THIS ABOUT ME?!!?”. Then, I learned about our rising sign.

Your rising sign—also known as your ascendant—represents the way others see you, your general impression on people, and your spontaneous reactions. Which means that even if your moon sign is your inner-self, it’s not necessarily the sign anyone else sees. My rising sign is Libra, which makes even more sense why my anxiety comes as such as a surprise to people. To yet again quote the chart:

Very attractive and popular, your charm helps you to get your own way and prevents others from getting angry with you. “Peace and harmony at all costs” is your battle cry. You always try to ameliorate or to cosmetically hide any physical ugliness or any angry feelings between people. Flashy, but not gaudy, you prefer to dress elegantly. You generally have good taste in music, art and literature. Beware of the tendency to compromise yourself in your attempt to be agreeable at all times. A bit of a social butterfly, at times you can be vain and lazy. For the most part, however, you are gracious and affectionate, and your refined and aristocratic demeanor serves as a role model to others.

Hearing this after learning about my moon sign actually cracked me up. No WONDER I feel so conflicted about how I talk to myself versus how I interact with others! No WONDER people don’t understand my anxiety.

So, some of you may have read through all this–and for that, you are a gem and I love you (sun in Pisces, rising in Libra remember? I’m mushy and want you to feel valued). You may be thinking “This is all so generic, it could explain anyone” and maybe there’s some truth in that. To me though, there’s healing. There’s understanding not only of myself, but of how others interpret me and my behaviors. There’s relief in that I’m not totally out of my mind when I feel misunderstood, and that I’m not being over-dramatic when I feel anxious. I really learned a lot from this part of my program, and I hope it inspires you to learn more about yourself. If it did, check out Astrolabe and have your birthdate, birth place, and time of birth handy.

So, maybe being an outgoing, bubbly gal that continues to struggle with anxiety isn’t all bad. Maybe it isn’t totally unexplainable. And maybe there’s a little bit of peace in the explanation after all.

For real though, you should check out the program I’ve been doing for almost 8 weeks. You will learn an incredible amount about yourself, challenge your beliefs, and ultimately grow as a person. Learn more at christinegarvin.com/metamorphisis

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