Ana Isabel - Life Astrologer
Kindred Spirit Magazine

The following is an article which Ana contributed to the July/ Augus edition of Kindred Spirit Magazine.

It outlines her experiences of working with parents to help them better understand their children.

It featured as part of a series entitled Custodians of the light.

Working as an Astrologer, one of the things I most enjoy is doing charts for parents on behalf of their children. As I used to be a teacher, I relish the opportunity to work with the parent to help them to gain a better understanding of their child. I enjoy helping parents to guide their child towards developing their potential. This is done with insight and sensitivity to the child’s needs. It also has the benefit of helping the parent put aside any anxieties they might have about the child because together we can develop positive tools to sort out anything that might be worrying them.

One of the most common concerns for parents is that of how to support their child’s learning. To this end I start by determining the child’s learning style.

Working as an Astrologer and Special Needs teacher, the idea that we all have different learning styles and different intelligences is obvious to me. Whilst teaching, I always used Astrology to help me understand my students’ emotional needs and learning styles. Having access to the register provided me with all the birth details for my children and I made full use of it. In Astrology there are certain areas of a birth chart which give us clues as to how an individual’s mind works, what they notice, how they process information, how they are likely to learn and how they communicate. 

One of these indicators is the planet Mercury. The sign, or constellation that Mercury is in at birth, is the starting point for looking at the workings of an individual’s mind. Each of the twelve signs of the Zodiac has certain qualities pertaining to a particular element. Fire for instance is intense, about living in the moment and thrives on action. Mercury in fire signs, indicates a mind that learns best through action. These children are easily bored and need the opportunity to learn through experimenting and doing. Drama projects are always exciting. Another strategy which often works is to create games so that they could learn through play. In the event that more formal tasks had to be done, I to included frequent breaks involving stretching or some kind of physical activity. This helped them to focus and listen better than they would otherwise. It also helped keep discipline problems to a minimum as their restlessness was being recognised and preventative measures were taken.

Mercury in Air signs, posed its own challenges. These children are also quite restless and easily bored. Variety is absolutely vital. Games are good tools, as indeed they are with most children. However, what really helps them is the opportunity to talk through what they are learning with others. Some of them just need to talk out loud- even to themselves! It is as though for them, explaining their thought processes helps to ensure that the information is understood and then better remembered. These are the children who often need to read out loud. 

Mercury in Earth signs requires that everything is explained clearly, in detail, and in a linear way. These children may appear to learn more slowly but actually they just need a teacher who explains everything without missing any steps. They need to be able to see pictures, diagrams, illustrations. Abstract ideas need to be shown to work with demonstrations, examples. They then need to be able to try out what they are learning for themselves.

Finally, Mercury in Water signs is quite different yet again. These children can find ordering precise information difficult. They are impressionable and have great imaginations. Many are quiet, devoted daydreamers who might easily be overlooked or misunderstood. If their minds have wandered, it means that they have not made an emotional connection with the learning material. Their interest is stimulated through stories to illustrate what they are learning. Stories about people and problems which they might encounter will engage them and stimulate their imaginations encouraging them to participate. Thus teaching them to add or subtract will be more interesting if stories are woven around mathematical problems. Highly sensitive, these children are often shy and need a calm and nurturing learning environment. They respond well to music, both as a means of creating a calm atmosphere or an aid in helping memorise times tables. 

If you are wondering what sign your child’s Mercury is in, there is a simple rule to help you narrow down the possibilities. The first one is that as Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, it is never very far from it. Consequently it is very likely that Mercury is either in the same sign as the Sun, the sign just before it, or the sign just after. So for example, if your child is a Gemini, Mercury could either be in Gemini, Taurus, or Cancer. By reading about these signs, you may begin to get a feel for which sign your child’s Mercury is in.

However, these are only general guidelines. Astrology is a complex art because the individuals it mirrors are complex beings. Thus looking at the sign which Mercury is in, can only be a starting point. The way that other planets relate to Mercury is even more revealing. These show what a child’s view to learning might be, as well as possible barriers to learning. As a special needs teacher, working in a challenging part of London, I soon learned that most impediments to learning are not physical but psychological. More often than not, my job required that I identify the psychological or emotional block so that I could change the child’s attitude to learning. Once again Astrology was my most important tool. 

Blocks to Mercury from Saturn were often observed in children who were reluctant to speak and had developed very negative attitudes to learning. They saw themselves as not being clever. The reason for this poor view of themselves as learners often lay in the fact that they found it difficult to learn to read. One of the most important indicators of a child’s language development is how much time parents spend talking to them and also crucially, listening to them. Parents who read to their children on a regular basis from when they are very young, are helping their children develop an interest in reading without even trying. Whenever I saw children with this particular relationship between Mercury and Saturn, I was dealing with children who were deprived of this early stimulation. Consequently their speech development was slower than that of other children. Some had the additional handicap of coming from homes where the parents actively discouraged them from talking, either by not listening or by putting them down.

The child learned that what they thought or had to say was unimportant. In school they were eager to please, reluctant to make mistakes and so reluctant to take risks with their learning. In other words anything new always produced anxiety. They would learn something with great effort, be very pleased, but challenging them to build on that learning was always a difficult matter.

Blocks to Mercury from Uranus were very different indeed. These were children who often found it difficult to focus, were restless, and disorganised. Linear tasks like reading were especially difficult. Reading requires that symbols be recognised individually, then blended together. This takes patience and concentration at first. These are qualities which these children lacked. They learned best through experimenting, word labs, computer games, using techniques that focused on seeing words as a hole through shape, etc. They were always full of ideas but once again had a poor perception of themselves. They saw themselves as odd and unable to fit in or be part of a group because of their difficulty in learning in an inflexible system. 

These are just a couple of examples of the sorts of difficulties which I was able to better understand through examining Mercury in an individual’s birth chart. Finding the source of the problem was also helped by looking at the chart. When looking for the source, I mean the individuals or circumstances that were most likely to have fostered these attitudes in the child. To illustrate the point, I can share Janey’s story with you.

Janey had Mercury in the sign of Gemini. This is usually an indicator of a bright and chatty child. Janey was indeed both of those things. She was good at problem solving, loved stories and loved to talk – at least in an informal setting. There were other positive indicators which suggested that learning should be a pleasant and nurturing experience for her. Yet this was far from the truth. Closer inspection of the chart showed severe problems involving blocks from both Saturn and Pluto. 

Saturn was in a part of the chart which indicated that this child felt judged. Other parts of the chart indicating language and learning experiences suggested that her mother was likely to be unwittingly creating the problems. Indeed when I finally got the chance to watch mother and daughter, mother was always dismissive, interrupting the child whenever she spoke. She further undermined her child’s confidence by continually taking her to specialists, insisting that there was something wrong with her and that she must be dyslexic. The specialists always refuted her claims.

Pluto’s involvement in this learning part of the chart, suggested a profound trauma and disruption to Janey’s early life which may have contributed to disruptions to her learning.

Indeed this turned out to be the case, as she had a teenage sister whom she really looked up to but who was always at odds with her mother and ran away when Janey was a toddler. Janey became very quiet after this incident. 

My memories of Janey are of a very anxious child, desperate to please adults around her, terrified of making mistakes, sucking her thumb as late as the age of ten. My biggest task was to work with her mother to convince her to stop taking her child to specialists, as it was obvious that this was contributing to her child’s feeling that there was something wrong with her. I then had to encourage her to listen to her child without being dismissive. Janey’s reading did begin to improve and this did start to improve her confidence in herself.

This is probably one of the best examples of how I used Astrology to help a child develop a more positive attitude to her learning. Any good teacher would eventually have identified the source of Janey’s problem. Where I had an edge is that I was able to identify them instantly and begin to work on the solution much more quickly. This might seem like a minor point, but for children whose self esteem has been crushed and for whom learning is at a stand still, time is of the essence. 

When trying to help a child develop their potential, helping them to establish self belief is paramount. So along with understanding Mercury in their chart, I also focus on their potential talents and activities which they enjoy doing. To this end, I consider the Sun sign, the sign that Venus and Mars are in as well as what is happening in the 5th House of the chart. These are vital. Venus gives us information about what we are attracted and what we love.

Venus in Fire signs will relish the opportunity to take part in drama, dance, or sport.

Venus in Earth signs is very sensual and will often enjoy activities that are artistic or allow the child to get dirty- cooking and gardening being especially sensual.

Venus in Air signs loves to communicate. These children are likely to enjoy talking, so depending on the rest of the chart public speaking may appeal. Otherwise writing, or doing mock radio broadcasts, interviewing family and friends, are activities which they enjoy. Venus in water signs is very nurturing and creative. These children will enjoy feeling helpful and nurturing to others. Like Venus in earth signs, they will love activities which give them the opportunity to be creative. 

Whatever your child values and would like to do, may not always coincide with they actually choose to do. This is especially true if they are lacking in confidence. Considering the relationship between Venus and other planets is key to determining what might be helping or hindering your child in the development of their talents. Another planet which could provide clues as to what makes a child feel alive and confident is Mars. This is the planet of desire, it tells us what we want and how we go about getting it. It is linked with action. If you want to understand your child’s behaviour, this is a good place to start.

Mars in Earth signs needs to build. It needs concrete results. These children may love lego, cooking, or doing anything that has a product at the end of it. Allowing them to ‘build’ in whatever manner they choose helps them to develop confidence in themselves.

Mars in Air signs needs the opportunity to socialise. These children benefit from being a part of groups as this will give them the opportunity to meet new people.

Children with Mars in Fire signs benefit from belonging to a team. This will teach them about turn taking, and how to follow rules whilst still being able to take risks and compete. They need this as they find restriction and discipline difficult.

Mars in water signs has a very different challenge. These children benefit from experiences which help them to trust their feelings. Looking after others, taking part in creative projects, story telling, are all activities which will help them gain a sense of self respect. 

Astrology is based on centuries of observation and as such is wonderful tool. When I look at a child’s chart, I am drawing on centuries of wisdom, or in other words, case studies. I could also draw on examples which I have witnessed and which render the pattern clear to me. I can then work with the parent to help them to use this cosmic mirror in order to help their child develop their potential and lead a happy and healthy life. No wonder this is one of my favourite ways to use Astrology.

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