You Are an Adult

by Amanda Painter, with Eric Francis

If you’re in the U.S., you’re likely gearing up for the Thanksgiving holiday later this week. For some, this means gathering with family (which may be enjoyable or tense, depending on the family); for others, it’s an opportunity to create new traditions with ‘family of choice’. But even if you do not celebrate this holiday, the astrology this week carries the same basic message.

Setting the stage — or the dinner table, to use another metaphor — the Sun leaves Scorpio for Sagittarius on Tuesday at 10:05 pm EST (3:05 UTC Wednesday).


Along the Fore River; photo by Amanda Painter.

Although this may shift the overall tone of consciousness toward the lighter side, I would not expect all of the intensity of recent news trends to weaken.

In fact, in terms of the tidal wave of accusations and admissions regarding sexual transgressions, solar Sagittarius might actually represent a collective ability to focus the issue. That remains to be seen, but might be worth watching for — or, better yet, participating in actively.

If you tend to gather with relatives of widely varied generations and political leanings, this week’s astrology may speak especially clearly to you. Here’s the setup: late in Sagittarius Saturn is approaching a conjunction to the Galactic Core (exact Saturday) and centaur planet Pholus. Mercury is approaching Saturn (exact Nov. 28) and the GC and Pholus. Also clustered there is a hypothetical point called Cupido.

Cupido has to do with people coming together in groups of all sorts, from marriages to families to corporations and whole societies. Think tribal; and the original tribe is the family.

With Mercury approaching Saturn, we get an illustration of a parent-child dynamic. In other words, even though you may be an adult, you’ll want to notice when your interactions with others cause you to revert to childhood behaviors of the kind you had with your parents. It might happen with your actual parents; but it could also crop up with anyone who’s a perceived authority figure.

We tend to carry holograms of our parents with us, and project them onto others. Holiday gatherings are especially ripe for this kind of energetic or psychological dynamic: they tap into lots of memories and traditions, both cherished and traumatic; they often come with specific, almost archetypal roles that people are asked to fill; there may be a variety of age groups gathered together; and so on.

While you might also find yourself unconsciously slipping into a parental stance with someone, it would seem that reverting to your inner child is often the more problematic, because it is the more disempowering role to be in. If you can’t seem to stop yourself from reacting in certain ways, especially in ways that feel emotionally disproportionate to the situation at hand or disempowering, this is the first dynamic to check.

Mercury represents the child in this astrological setup, and Saturn represents the authority figures, older people and structures. Yet this Mercury-Saturn conjunction is happening with two very important holiday guests: the Galactic Core and Pholus.

As much of a heavyweight as Saturn is, the Galactic Core is much, much larger — and has greater influence. However, the influence of the GC is less obvious to us.


Along the Fore River; photo by Amanda Painter.

It’s more like Saturn is disguised by this other influence, which includes the subversiveness of Pholus. Saturn, very late in its sign, is therefore at a very special release point; it is not ‘normal Saturn’, not the usual contained structure we’re familiar with.

In fact, you might think of it like this: If Saturn could normally be symbolized by a vase, then the Galactic Core would be the water inside, and Pholus would be cracks in the vase. Pholus, which often signifies alcohol or the small cause with the big effect, also represents breaches and ruptures. While Saturn tries to contain, Pholus opens up the container.

It would seem that the cracks in this container are currently held together with water-soluble glue. And what did we say the water was? Right: the Galactic Core. The massive, ineffable center of our galaxy; our cosmic homing signal; an astrological representation of all that ‘spiritual material’.

This means not only do you have the option — and the power — to remember that you are an adult when you encounter relatives and ancestors (or their surrogates) who might treat you like a child, but that the whole parental “shtick” is fragile. If you tap on it lightly, it might burst. Stick to your truth and don’t be intimidated.

Think you can do that? Sure, you always have the option to go hang out with the dog or the kids if parental-types piss you off (numbing yourself with booze, however, might be especially problematic, given the presence of Pholus; at the very least, leave things like driving and carving the turkey to someone sober). But this year, why not stay fully present and challenge them?

The times do seem to be changing. What moves in to fill the space that’s opening needs to be chosen consciously. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun in the meantime. After all, with all this activity in Sagittarius, we might finally discover that the universe does, in fact, have a sense of humor. You’re allowed to use yours, too.

5 thoughts on “You Are an Adult

  1. Sue Edwards

    Wonderful and well times article Amanda and Eric. Thank You again! You have added to my cornucopia of things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

    It might help to remind ourselves that if we know how to relate to our inner child as an inner adult, then we’re empowered to relate to other people’s inner child as an adult, too. For me, I’m a nurturing parent.

    I’ve already had one dinner for those going out of state on Thanksgiving day and will cook another on the day itself timed for those who need to work on that day. I don’t know how many people I will end up nurturing.

    My ex in-laws are Pentecostals, with my ex and myself as outlaws of the family. We don’t socialize because their social circle only includes people in their church but we are recognized as family, So we’re tolerated. After coming at me once with judgment, fire and brimstone, word quickly spread to not talk about religion with me.

    What we did was provide an open door to their closed minds and most especially, to the minds of their children. Some of my nephews and nieces (millennials) do not get along with their parents and prefer to remain estranged. So they come to my house and bring any of their friends.

    I’ll also be pet sitting for those flying out of town. There will be 4 dogs and 7 cats in my house and all get along in Harmony. We will all play Well, together.

  2. beleclaire

    Thank you both for this great article.
    May I add a little to the words on Pholus – one I keep an eye on as he is trine my Sun and conjunct North Node. I think you are selling him a little short by saying he signifies alcohol.
    He was the keeper of the sacred wine/spirit sealed in containers for safeguarding over several generations, good work for a centaur orbiting between Saturn and Neptune.
    I have found many insights into my family karma, the family spirit you might say, working with Pholus transits

    1. Amanda Painter Post author

      beleclaire — for sure, I was using a kind of shorthand for a dynamic with Pholus that Eric has noticed regarding the predominantly unhealthy relationship our culture has to alcohol. Thank you for bringing to the forefront that Pholus’ status as a centaur planet does in fact link it to healing — specifically, to healing familial karma. It’s an excellent reminder that we can use Pholus this way if we’re attuned to it, and that this holiday might be a prime time to give it a try.

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