Maureen Ambrose – T-Square Tribulations


Who ever said “Bless the Test” probably didn’t have an 8th
 house Sun apex Moon opposite Neptune T-square. Alana was born August 15, 1968, at 4:46 PM in Washington, D.C., giving her a 28 degree Sagittarius Ascendant. She has a 23 degree Leo Sun with a Taurus Moon, and her Mars, Sun, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter are in the 8th house. “Bless the Test.” Her Moon is 20 degrees in the 5th house and Neptune is at 23 degrees Scorpio in the 11th house. “Bless the Test.” Keep this T-square in mind. It will be significantly activated.

So let’s look at some of these “blessed” events in Alana’s life. After marrying her childhood sweetheart in her early 20s and getting a divorce at her Saturn return, Alana was pretty devastated. The split seemed to come out of nowhere. In high school, Bob was a popular, handsome athlete and Alana was enamored with him. How lucky she felt to be married to someone so special. Then all of a sudden marriage wasn’t for him anymore.

Before their problems surfaced, Alana and her husband had a group of friends they hung out with for about a year. Bob had dated a girl in school who was now dating a fellow who brought along his brother, Chris, into the group. That’s how Alana met Chris in 1989. He was lean, tall, with dark hair and green eyes; he was quite good looking by any standard. Chris always seemed relaxed and rather mellow—a real brooding-hero type. This seemed to spin an aura of mystery of sorts about Chris. I think this might have unconsciously reverberated with Alana’s 8th house Sun. Toward the end of 1990, Alana and her husband were having problems and they stopped meeting with the group. Alana never saw or heard from Chris again until she received a letter in the mail around September 26, 2000. He was in prison. Chris was on a work-release program in a nearby town. His sister had sent him some issues of the local newspaper. In the letter, Chris said he had seen where Bob had remarried. He wished that she would come to visit him. Alana didn’t pay much attention to the idea but two weeks before Thanksgiving she decided to make the trip.

What Alana saw when she first visited Chris in prison was a far cry of the fellow she met more than ten years before. His head was shaved. He was tattooed and wearing combat boots. It seemed that life had dealt him some pretty awful cards and he played that hand poorly. He had been arrested in 1992, for drugs and possession to distribute. Chris was later released but went back to jail in 1993, for a parole violation plus additional charges. Now he was being kept in jail longer than he was supposed to be held. Would she help him? During that visit, Alana looked at Chris and saw someone who deserved another chance. She got him an attorney and they fought and won an earlier release date. By this time, Alana had created a bond with Chris. She believed in him and believed they could make a new life together. For some clarity about Chris and his challenges, his data is November 20, 1968, Washington, DC, at 8:35 AM. He has a 12th house, 28 degree Scorpio Sun and 1 degree Sagittarius Moon. His Ascendant is 17 degrees Sagittarius with the ruler of his Ascendant, Jupiter, in the 9th house of “the law.” Combined with planets in the 12th house of things hidden and institutions (which can include prison) and with his history, his 9th house Pluto, Jupiter, Uranus and Mars—all joined—take on a darker significance. Mars in Libra is conjunct his S. Node and Midheaven.

At this point in life, Alana was hoping for a new beginning. She could help Chris and wanted a new beginning herself as well. August 28, 2001, was the date Chris was released from prison and he went to live with Alana at about 4:45 that afternoon.

Soon she learns first-hand about Chris’s talents. His trade is carpentry. He is the most adept and skilled person she had ever encountered when it came to tackling anything at all… electrical, masonry, you name it, he did with perfection. Even things he’d never done before, once he tried them for the first time, were as though he had been the master of them his whole life. Perhaps his 10th house cusp Mars conjunct S.Node reflects this. Yes, Chris was talented, intelligent, very creative and a phenomenal artist at what he did. However, there were signs early on that problems would visit them and Chris was not clear of his old habits.

Examining Alana’s chart for clues to how and why she might react to someone like Chris, we notice her 8th house Leo Sun. Perhaps we might say that she needs to express her personal potential through deep emotional interactions in a somewhat dramatic manner. Her 8th house is loaded with themes of intensity, transformative experiences and giving of her resources. Alana’s Sun squares her Scorpio Neptune in the 11th house. This square suggests she can be vulnerable around identity issues, confidence and self esteem. Here we have Neptune which dissolves barriers challenging the solar principle. What else in her chart might echo solar issues and identity? Her retrograde Saturn in Aries, the “I AM” principle, could point to an absent father or one whose power is somewhat diminished for some reason.

Something may have been lacking in her learning about empowerment. Additionally, Saturn in Aries brings with it a need to establish one’s own identity, power and authority. Being retrograde, there is a need to develop her internal structure before she can respond in an integrated, external manner. What kind of man would she tend to attract if she is not very conscious of her Sun square Neptune? Someone who can disappear, such as her first husband who said, “I don’t want to be married any more,” and he left. She could be confronted with men who have an escapist or dependency tendencies. Someone involved in drugs, alcohol, or perhaps a man with a debilitating illness could fill the bill. More positively, meeting someone who is on a spiritual path with humanitarian goals would enable her to fill the best potential of this aspect. For instance, if she volunteered (sacrificed) to give working time to Habitat for Humanity (11th house) and met a man involved in that organization her Sun-Neptune aspect could be better met. If she were to meet someone who relies on inspiration or research as part of his life’s work, that could be quite positive.

Before we move forward, we need to focus on the rest of Alana’s T-square. Sun square Moon suggests a deep split in her nature and it started with her parents. Inwardly what makes her feel safe and emotionally secure (Moon) is not compatible with her core self and identity needs (Sun). She likely needs intense experiences in life, but these threaten her security. She longs for deep emotional interaction (Sun) and to be “mothered” through romance (Moon). She longs for self-expression. With the Sun-Neptune square, Alana likely has a bit of the redeemer in her make-up. Her Moon opposing Neptune might have her caring for others rather than mothering herself.

Let’s take a look at Alana’s chart for that day in August when hope opened doors and possibilities beckoned. We find transit Uranus is in Alana’s 2nd house at 22 degrees Aquarius filling in the empty arm of her natal T-square. Sometimes we can make some fateful changes when Uranus opposes our Sun but this transit Uranus is like a thunderbolt as it also squares her Moon on one side and her Neptune on the other. Was she destined to have someone unconventional and unpredictable enter her life? Was she destined to do something erratic, impracticable and full of illusion? Was Alana impatient to have some new life experience, new living conditions? Transit Neptune happens to be at 6 degrees Aquarius opposing her natal Mars. She has desires that are unmet and idealism is being stimulated. Would she be vulnerable to exploitation? Expansive Jupiter in Cancer is in her 7th house of partnership. Another pair of transiting planets, Pluto and Saturn, are opposing each other and squaring her Ascendant ruler, Jupiter. How does one ignore such transits?

How about Chris who has had his luck change dramatically since he renewed his friendship with Alana? He has almost the same chart houses as Alana except his Ascendant is at 17 degrees Sagittarius. Transit Uranus which opposes Alana’s Sun and therefore fills her T-square is also conjoined Chris’s progressed Moon. Transit Saturn is about to enter Chris’s 7th house to seriously test his relationship skills. His natal Mars at 6 Libra receives a trine from transit Neptune. He is optimistic and enthusiastic. He has dreams about the future. Everything seems joyful but still it is Neptune and probably based on ideals and illusions. He must have been thinking, this is unreal—I can’t believe it. On that very day he moves in with Alana, transit Venus is trine his Sun and Moon and sextiling his Libra planets. A bigger story is being told in Chris’s progressions. Progressed Sun entered Capricorn the year before to square his natal Jupiter and Uranus ushering in a big, fortunate change; and, Chris’s progressed Saturn had turned direct about the time he decided to reconnect with Alana. However, it seems that the slow transit Neptune trine Mars has other easy ways working for Chris. Either it is easy for him to get drugs or he is deceiving himself about his dependency habit.

Soon, items start disappearing from Alana’s home. Chris is back on drugs and needing money. Alana and her mother work furiously to get Chris into rehab programs in order to get him clean and whole. While Chris is a talented tradesman and his employer loves having him there, Chris is unreliable. While he’s a hard worker who takes initiative and can run a crew, he never completes a full week of work because he goes out on a binge and he’d be gone for two weeks or more. He returns to work and they’re glad to have him. His employer helps him out, gives him raises, pays him advances and he ends up stealing from them.

Alana told me she did everything within her power to help Chris but he was an addict. She did not fully understand addiction. She worked hard on that relationship as Saturn was transiting her 7th house. She learned a lot about one kind of partner—the kind that can come from having a natal Sun square Neptune. Edmund Burke once said, “Difficulty is a severe instructor.”

Alana has transit Saturn one degree before her Sun squaring her Moon and Neptune. Reality has set in and was activating her T-square from another place— directly on her Sun. She had enough as transit Pluto conjoined her Ascendant and held a tight trine to her Sun and natal Saturn. The Moon just happened to be in Leo that day conjuncting Saturn. Transit Mars was at the top of her chart in the 10th house conjoined her progressed Venus and Mercury and opposing her 4th house Saturn. It was time to let go and be done with this experience. Alana had given Chris all she had— compassion, constructive aid, shelter and love. It wasn’t enough for Chris to reach out to life and overcome his addiction. Alana made a powerful and necessary decision. She needed Chris out of her life.

If we look at Chris’s chart, we can see that progressed Neptune has reached the one degree orb conjunction it will have with his natal Sun in the 12th house for the rest of his life. His progressed Sun was now conjoined natal Venus, but the square to Mars was signaling a crises period indicating a critical and dangerous time. Confrontations were likely with someone Venus represented. Venus rules his 10th house of reputation and this could be a time of trouble with law enforcement people. It’s a wonder he didn’t have an accident, maiming or surgery that year. Certainly his judgment was not good and he was making some poor decisions.

In the aftermath of all this, Alana questioned her life. Would she ever find a relationship that gave her all those things she thought she’d have by now—a happy marriage and family? I told her it was all a matter of time. She needed to have time to empower herself. Whatever has broken down was now gradually being rebuilt. We all have different lessons. Because of her N.Node and Saturn in Aries, hers were likely about identity. Empower yourself and you’ll empower your life. As transit Mars began its 2009 retrograde motion in Leo, I suggested it was time for her to get certain parts of her life up to speed. Her knowledge concerning relationships has been forged into a sharp instrument of judgment. Lessons learned well do not need to be repeated. 2010 should be a year of upward mobility for Alana as Saturn rises up to the top of her chart. Transit Pluto is in a reconstruction and empowerment phase as it transits her 1st house squaring her progressed Sun and trining her natal Mercury and Venus. Another development is Alana’s progressed Venus moving into Scorpio, June 2010. Love takes a new direction. Perhaps she will find the intense, significant relationship she’s been wanting. Don’t look for it, I suggested. Keep reaching out and connect with some new groups. Let it find you, but this time it’s with keener eyes and more savvy instincts. This time will be different. This time can be the best time because you have the power of Pluto on your side and some hard fought lessons learned and never to be repeated. Whether you agree or not, “Bless the Test.” You’ve made the grade and it’s time to graduate to a new place.

Before I close this tale, I want to share a little bit more information that illustrates Alana’s T-square. She was born with cancer—the disease, not the sign—and for the first few years needed lots of treatments. Her mother gave up a career in graphic design in order to care for her. Fortunately, Alana got rid of the cancer. Observe the 8th house Sun (life and death themes) tightly squaring Neptune which can be a debilitating energy. Her Venus ruled Moon (mother) in Taurus in the creative 5th house opposing Neptune which can indicate sacrifice on some level. Both her parents are Aquarians. This concludes my tale but there are more to be told.



Contact me at if you have an event that you are willing to share. Bye for now.

Ambrose is a C.A.P. ISAR and C.A. NCGR certified astrologer living in Florida. She has a consulting practice, teaches, writes and has lectured internationally. She is a contributing author of “How to Start, Maintain and Expand an Astrological Practice” published by the Organization for Professional Astrology.



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