Dear Madame Zolonga: Can you see a liar in a chart?

Dear Madame,

I’m sure you’ve gotten this question before, but since the Ashley Madison site was hacked, I’ve been dying to know: can you look at a birth chart and just KNOW that person is likely to commit adultery? I guess the real question is, can you tell if someone’s a liar?

— NOT on “THE list”

Dear Non-listed Querant,

Here’s an old trick I picked up from a gypsy when I was a wee girl. It’s a sure ‘tell’ if you want to know if someone’s a liar or capable of lying.

What you do is this. First, you sit them across from you and let them get comfortable in the seat. Be calm, be friendly but not overly friendly. You don’t want to tip your hand. Make light conversation. No need to pull out the voodoo or the woo-woo; you don’t want them to feel the slightest bit anxious.

Next you ask them to breathe deeply and then exhale. Ask them to do this three times (or ‘thrice’ if you’re feeling fancy). Then ask them to lay the arm of their preferred hand on the table and close their eyes. Explain that you will not poke or prick the arm, but the client will feel a gentle touch of your hands.

Now, with your own preferred hand, turn the arm so that the inside wrist is face-up or to the side. Calmly lay two fingers across the inside of their wrist, near the largest vein you can see.

Does your client have a pulse? Then you have a liar or a potential liar.

Works every time. Guaranteed.

(Certain yogis or holy people are capable of meditating themselves into a state where their pulse cannot be detected. They’re easily exempted from this test because, you know, who’s gonna sign up for an adultery service when they’re too busy keeping basic, internal homeostasis?)

Trust the old gypsies and me: anyone is capable of lying, and by extension we are all liars. But we recognize degrees, right? There are the whoppers: living a double life as an international spy while posing as a Bunko-obsessed, Friday ‘date night’ loving insurance salesman, for instance. And then there are the quotidian lies, the little social lubrications, like camouflage, we use in our daily lives to make our way through a sometimes hostile, often indifferent world. But even camouflage (as any duck will tell you) is deception with intention.

So, to astrology. First, anyone can lie. Second, you cannot look at a fellow human’s chart and know for sure how spiritually or ethically ‘evolved’ they are.

But you can spot potential problems or challenging qualities. When it comes to deception and self-deception, a transit of planet Neptune is unparalleled in its capacity to transform the most sober Stoic into a veritable Lord Byron of poetic excess.

Naughty Neptune’s work in a natal chart is similarly challenging. Neptune’s effect is like a ‘blur’ brush in Photoshop: all the little distinctions disappear, along with the imperfections. It glamorizes and softens every edge. You’ve got something going in that part of your life, but damned if you can see exactly what you’re looking at because it’s been Photoshopped, sometimes past recognition.

Remember that our charts reflect not only ourselves and our potential, but also the conditions, assumptions, and cultural/family patterns we inherited. Astrological charts look backward and forward in time. The blur works both ways.

When we see Neptune we might be looking at how we are deceived or deceive others, as well as how we perceive we were potentially lied to in the past. Where did we get ‘Photoshopped’ in our own upbringing? Was it a gentle blurry softening, or a total rubout? Hard aspects (the square, opposition) especially emphasize the effort brought to bear on the matter and heighten the potential of prevarication. As we are lied to, so are we likely to develop an unconscious habit of lying to others in return.

How can we trust what we can’t see clearly? Right. And so it goes.

Once we ‘wise up’ to now-obvious deceptions, we respond. Typically we respond with mistrust. Lacking trust in that area of our lives, we build protective barriers. ‘We won’t get fooled again’ is the motto and the justification. No one’s gonna make me a sitting duck! Damage control is what some call it, and in a public figure or person of influence both the control and the damage can make or break whole generations.

But harm is not the only possibility with Neptune. We find other paths — therapy, astrology, art, education. We can make choices.

So if you’re looking for a liar, you can find one in any chart. Really. There’s nothing special to it. Neptune’s always somewhere; we can’t pull him out of the chart. What’s really interesting is our work to build compassion and coherence in our lives alongside the blurry bits.

With a pulse,

Madame Zolonga

17 thoughts on “Dear Madame Zolonga: Can you see a liar in a chart?

  1. Amanda Painter

    I’ve spent a lot of time contemplating the Neptune oppositions in my partner’s chart; thank you for the reminder to check out the Neptune square in my own chart a little more carefully!

    I like the reminder that we have the power to make CHOICES around the areas where Neptune is active in our chart/life. Any tips on how to discern how clearly we’re seeing or acting in those areas?

  2. Madame Zolonga

    Go find a boulder (preferably granite) and hug it.

    I’m only half joking.

    The only known “cure” for Neptune is Saturn. Get grounded. Produce real things. Tangible things. Find an “elder” who’s actually wise. Get accountable. Set goals. Show up when you say you’re gonna be there. Deny indulgence. Count calories. Look for physical evidence. Track what’s actually happened vs. what you think is happening on the astral plane or in other non-localized locales. Etc.

    What ideas do you have?

    1. Amanda Painter

      Ahhh, yes — thank you. Focusing on the tangible (a la Saturn) — including through action as well as what demonstrably “is” — makes much more sense than trying to “think” one’s way out of the “what is real?” question.

      If that sentence makes any actual sense… 🙂

      As someone with a Taurus Sun, I’m also drawn to the idea of listening to the body: it’s harder to convince yourself that getting tipsy is fun if you wake up feeling like crap the next morning. Likewise, if you’re actually paying attention to the sense of tightness in your solar plexus or heart area, it becomes clearer that the person you’re dealing with might not actually be as “loving” or “spiritual” as you’d like to believe.

      Though I’m also aware that my second example is more subtle, and perhaps prone to misinterpretation.

      1. Madame Zolonga

        Good point.

        Yes, if you’re getting indigestion, it’s easy to blame the soup when it might, in fact, be the company at your dinner table. Check the manners of those around you. Are their actions as fine as their words?

        The body should be the first check against a misused Neptune. Like a hangover is a sure sign you’ve had to much to drink. Unfortunately most of us have bodies too busy combating the effects of the environment, food, and other Neptunian influences (like medications), that we don’t feel the problematic expressions of Neptune until they’re damagingly obvious.

        We may have also been trained from an early age to mistrust our own senses. We may have been gaslighted against our own intuition.

        But yes, if properly functioning, the body has an excellent embedded warning system against deceit or ill intentions. Ignoring it can lead to complications, right?

        1. Amanda Painter

          Exactly, Madame Z. And this:

          “We may have also been trained from an early age to mistrust our own senses. We may have been gaslighted against our own intuition.”

          Is right on the money. I think anyone to whom this has happened to any degree knows that it can be a slow road to regaining that sensitivity to and trust in the physical/intuitive internal warning system.

          Same with how our bodies are so busy battling other stressors. Even things like not enough sleep or too much computer time, I suspect, make it harder to recognized a problematic Neptune expression.

          1. pam

            Does mistrusting the body perhaps have the same cure as Neptune? ie use it. In as many situations as possible to find as many different limits and lines and lift offs so that you form your own bank of knowledge, even if lightly held in case what you know isn’t big enough or precise enough. Or just take on a big physical challenge like Cheryl Strayed?

            And perhaps learn to listen to other bodies and so your own. Kinesiology is very helpful bodywork I’ve found, and the practitioners who also practice 3 in 1 kinesiology very good indeed! A kinesiologist listens to pulses in the body, as do craniosacral osteopaths, magnetisers, acupuncturists etc

            Or take up some repetitive bodywork like pottery or gardening…

  3. Geoff Marsh

    Oh dear, Amanda, you did say in a previous post that “your second example is more subtle, and perhaps prone to misinterpretation” and obviously I misinterpreted, for which I sincerely apologise. I had assumed that your current partner wasn’t as loving and spiritual as you’d like to believe, and ever the one to jump on a pun couldn’t resist the idea of a boulder to cry on! Please forgive.

    Am I okay? Well, I have just come through my second cancer op in two years. Skin, this time, and not from the sun but via the ancient past-time of tree hugging. If any reader is planning to go out into green spaces and commune at close quarters with trees, can I seriously advise them to avoid the yew. They exude a poison called taxine against which there is no known antidote when ingested. Even skin contact can cause ulceration and in medieval times this was known as “the wound that doth not heal.” Fortunately, today, they can be treated like skin cancer and removed with skill and a scalpel. The surgeon did an excellent job and I now have to wait until the end of October to see whether she managed to remove every last infected cell. Mad as it may sound, I am looking forward to talking to some ancient trees again soon. I will, of course, be opening a channel within myself, and it’s much like praying except that you do it through the church of a tree which has stood in the same place perhaps for hundreds of years. I’ve always found it amazing what can come through.

    So, you see, I’m not only overloaded in air and Aquarius but a complete nutter into the bargain, and the concept of OK doesn’t even begin to apply. My apologies once again.

    1. pam

      Geoff, urine might help your skin too (the book I had was by Coen van der Kroon; Eau de Vie in english I think and Elixir de Vie in french). You just can’t ingest your own urine if you are taking pharmaceuticals of any sort (because it is very dangerous), or a smoker. (In my case African sun, sunbeds in english wintersi, now 50. I put urine in my bath always, and use it neat on any skin that looks odd. Tincture mère of ginseng with liberal amounts of manuka essential oil in it too, but that is my own ‘feeling’ and not anything I’ve read (except that ginseng actively combats cancer). Chickpeas (Susun Weed’s Breast cancer? Breast Health! has lots of general cancer stuff))

      Now who’s the nutter!


      1. Geoff Marsh

        Many thanks for the tips, Pam. Fortunately my lesion, which was about two millilitres to the left of my third eye, has healed well, and I’m hoping that there are no cancerous cells left behind.

        To counteract the inevitable scarring after the operation I have been using Nelson’s Calendula, an extract of marigold, which seems to have worked well in reducing the visibility of the wound. I can certainly recommend it as a fairly inexpensive remedy for all kinds of occasional skin problems such as cuts, grazes and rough patches, etc.

        I must re-iterate my advice against placing your forehead, or any part of your body perhaps, against the trunk of a yew. Some ancient specimens in one local nature reserve near me have been roped off recently, although I’m not sure whether that’s to prevent contact poisoning or to stop people from climbing into their branches and damaging them.

        Here’s a photo of the tree in question in my case. It’s a splendid specimen which some think may be 1,500 years old which means it was planted in the local cemetary soon after the Romans left Britain.

  4. Lizzy

    I remember you writing about that tree here, years ago, Geoff – because I was struck by your description at the time, and felt so nostalgic for the England i left behind many years ago. Fingers crossed that it’s all totally cleared now.

  5. Geoff Marsh

    Cheers, Lizzy. Yes, my tree-communing symptoms were reactivated during the period when Elisa was a regular correspondent here. It’s awesome to think that this yew (or yews, since it is likely there are two trees twined) was probably planted around 600 A.D. in honour of St Augustine becoming the first Archbishop of Canterbury. It’s a witness to most of Britain’s recorded history.

    As for the cancer, I think I detected a new lump on Friday just below the previous site. The surgeon did warn me that she might not have removed all the rogue tissue. In any event it’s no big deal, just another minor op under local.

    I do hope your familial situation continues to improve, Lizzy. I’m not sure which is worse, constantly being compliant against complaint or living in an environment where nothing of any personal significance is ever discussed for fear of causing shock. We all have our crosses to teddy bear.


  6. Lizzy

    What an amazing tree, Geoff! I’m so glad that just another small op is involved. Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m afraid it’s all still a bit raw for me to write about it at the moment – just got back home yesterday evening. But it was a successful (albeit tiring and often emotionally painful) visit.

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