Dear Madame Zolonga: I’m Between the Lions this Thanksgiving!

Dear Madame,

I’m stressed out and worried and seeking any advice you can give. This is the first year I’m hosting Thanksgiving and I’m at my wits’ end. My mother-in-law is a perfectionist and wants everything her way. In case you haven’t guessed it, she’s a Taurus. She’s stubborn as a bull. On top of it she brags that she has Leo rising. She’s a lot of fun, if you know what I mean.

Then we have my mother, who has a Leo Sun and feels that everything should be about her. Put these two in a room together and oh boy. They are one of the reasons we chose to elope.

Anyway, do you have any suggestions on how to manage these two?

Happy Turkey Day, hopefully.

— Preparing the Spotlight for the Leo Invasion

Dearest Prepper,

I have no idea what your Sun sign is, but if your situation is as you describe it, your Sun sign wouldn’t matter anyway: few mortals can manage the firepower of dueling Leos. It would be like trying to spot a fifth magnitude star between two suns simultaneously going supernova: the poor non-Leo person all but disappears in such situations.

Is there a particular reason you invited both mothers for this special occasion? Did your doctor recommend you increase your blood pressure? Are you secretly addicted drama? Were you hoping the heated presence of both mothers would serve as your second oven, keeping the mashed potatoes and bread rolls warm while you march to the orders of your MIL’s demands for the Williams-Sonoma Focaccia, Leek, and Wild Mushroom Stuffing recipe?

Or did you invite them both because do you feel guilty? Is it the elopement that’s brought out this inadvisable offer to bring the Leo Ladies together for Thanksgiving? Pax Leonis? Please. I’m not sure you’ll get it, but you can try.

The problem with these kinds of ‘make nice’ gestures is that we were pre-cast in roles we never auditioned for and the whole performance comes off stilted and hollow. For instance, your role as an eloper. They had expectations of playing the Royal Mother, and you didn’t deliver.

Should you feel guilty about this? Or more precisely, are you feeling shame for your sweet escape to matrimony? True remorse would imply you actually did something wrong. Shame would be a feeling they’ve imposed about your ‘guilt’, a way to ensure that you put them at the center of your decisions. Without more information about your elopement, I would only say take care what role you find yourself in; is this from a script you wrote, or is another’s hand at work?

Astrologically, there’s something at work here. Saturn (the hand of maturation, restriction and boundaries) has returned to resume his trip through a particular part of Leos’ charts that rules their children. This trip will last for a couple of years and during that time all Leos with children will undoubtedly experience changes within their relationships to their progeny.

Saturn is inimical to the Sun’s rays (imagine sitting in the shade against a cool wall that blocks the summer heat), and his presence in the Kid Zone will ‘block’ some of the Leo Sun’s usual influence, requiring both parent and child develop new expectations and allowances for one another. Saturn also reminds us of the passage of time and of loss. A greater maturity is required, and you and your spouse may be the ones your mothers perceive as the killjoy of their maternal aspirations. You are blocking their lights, see? Reminding them of a loss.

But they are not the only ones who are affected. You, too, will have to change; and by that I mean you will need to find new, more mature ways to relate to your parents. Saturn says, “get a backbone.” Saturn in the sign of Sagittarius (as it will be for the next two years) says, “Back up your beliefs. Stand up for your highest good.” Be the good Saturn and stand on your own two feet.

Speaking of, what’s your game plan? Thanksgiving Day this year does not promise conclusive reconciliation and harmonization. But you can parlay this day into a longer, possibly positive narrative arc if you come prepared with diplomatic motives.

They missed out on their big day in the sun as proud mothers of their little cubs: denying that loss may only result in more demanding behavior from them. Would it hurt you make that focaccia and wild mushroom stuffing — to splash out for the day with all the flowers and food, great wine, and good music you can afford? Show them you are ‘adulting’ and willing to mingle your own light with theirs. Sometimes a grudge is best mended by forgetting it ever existed. Shine your own light and let others shine theirs, too.

Wishing you no lumps in your ‘taters,

Madame Z


Dearest readers: With regret I must say this will be the last Dear Madame for a while. The mutability of the year has caught me as well and required I rearrange my commitments. Other work and the return of a large project from my past will consume most of my winter and spring as I prepare my way for my own Jupiter return next year. It has a been a delight and a pleasure to write for Planet Waves’ smart, savvy and astrologically astute readers, and I thank Eric for generously offering me this delightful space here. Many thanks to Amanda, too, for her ever-clever introductions to my pieces and her sharp editorial eye! Adieu, and again, thank you.

— Madame Z.

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6 thoughts on “Dear Madame Zolonga: I’m Between the Lions this Thanksgiving!

  1. cathryns

    Dear Madame Zalonga,
    I have loved reading your stuff and you will be sadly missed. I second the above comments. I do hope you will return at your convenience. Do you have another public writing outlet? Love, xxx and thanks, ces

  2. Geoff Marsh

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Madame Zologna. Your weekly wacky wit and wisdom has been a great treat. May your projects proceed well and I hope you enjoy a very beneficial Jupiter return. All best wishes, Geoff.

  3. Amanda Painter

    Madame Zolonga had trouble logging into the PW site this weekend, and so asked me to pass her heartfelt reply to all our readers:

    These words are all very kind and encouraging, thank you. Eric’s readers are so generous and smart. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to enrich your lives, give a chuckle, or just make someone smile in these crazy times. It’s been a pleasure to contribute to “the cause”.

    My non-astrological project will pull me away from writing as often about our celestial buddies in the coming year, but my blog can be found through my hub. And in the future you’ll see some of my work in a new print quarterly, Hexagon Astrology magazine. Again, thank you for your kind, kind words. As many of you are writers yourselves, you can appreciate how lovely it is to wake up and read them!

    Per aspera ad astra!
    xx, Madame Z 

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