Astrology at Work: Abandonment Issues in a Horoscope

A good percentage of my clients have suffered abandonment as children (perhaps not surprising, considering my strongly placed Neptune and Pisces Ascendant.)  The effect of abandonment is insidious, but is rarely discussed in psychological or self help literature, let alone astrology books.

Childhood Scenarios of Abandonment

In her excellent book “The Journey from Abandonment to Healing”, author-therapist Susan Anderson lists several scenarios in which a child experiences the feeling of being abandoned (excerpt from page91-92):

  • Illness of one of your parents
  • Death of a close family member, one you counted on for attention and emotional support
  • Loss of a beloved grandparent
  • Parents preoccupied with fighting, bickering, or their divorce
  • An earthquake in your family structure – your father or mother moving out
  • Older sibling leaving home – one who had been your champion, role model, or supporter
  • Workaholism in one or both parents
  • Alcoholism in the family system
  • Chaotic family – sometimes when you most needed them, one or both of your parents weren’t available
  • Moving – breaking social ties, being new kid on the block over and over
  • Parents dealing with prolonged conflict or grief; they emotionally withdrew from you
  • Depression, mental illness in the family
  • Birth of other siblings, relegating you to an emotional back burner
  • Death or illness of a sibling, which absorbed your parents’ full attention
  • Parents whose behavior is defined as self centered, narcissistic, or insensitive

Astrologically, each of these scenarios will have a correlating measurement, both natally and through transit or Solar arc.

Legacy of Abandonment Wound

The psychological effects of abandonment during childhood vary – and some children are more resilient than others (usually owing to the help of a remediating, supporting figure coming to the rescue of the child’s self concept.)  In general, repeated experience of abandonment will be internalized as beliefs that sound something like: “I’m not worthy of love/I’m unlovable/There is something wrong with me/I cause other people to reject or leave me.”

As adults we usually get over these beliefs to one extent or other, but these old feelings may resurface when we’re faced with fresh rejection or abandonment.

Some of us repeat the pattern of abandonment in our adult relationships through choosing emotionally unavailable partners.  It’s as if we’re unconsciously hoping to cure the original wound through playing out the same scenario again and again, hoping for an alternate outcome.

Abandonment and Anxiety Toward New Life Experience

Study suggests that survivors of childhood abandonment tend to respond to new situations in life with worry and anxiety rather than excitement– thus they tend to be hesitant to try new activities or seek out new relationships.

Possible Horoscope Signatures of Abandonment

Astrologically, the planet Neptune and the 12th house have been linked with abandonment issues.   When Neptune is in hard aspect with the natal Moon, Venus, Saturn or the Angles (Ascendant or Midheaven) or with key midpoints such as the Sun/Moon midpoint, there could be a seed of insecurity from feeling abandoned and rejected as a child.

Similarly, when the 12th house ruler is strongly placed in a natal chart, or the inner planet is located in the natal 12th house, there could be a legacy of childhood abandonment, subtly undermining the present relationships.

Working with Abandonment Issues

Abandonment wound is characterized by a sense of emotional hunger.  When feeling such hunger, you may find that your craving for instant gratification increases, in the form of food, drink, sex or any other behaviors that serve to temporary shut off the pain.

Perhaps Neptunians’ susceptibility for escapist, addictive behaviors originate from not being able to bear the pain of abandonment they suffered.

Like any other Neptunian disorder, abandonment issues need to be healed through emotional and spiritual work (there may even be a support group
for abandonment survivors in your city.)   Most of us benefit from having others that can support us in the healing process.

Many of the healing methods focus on being in the moment (another facet of Neptunian experience), and being present to our own pain in a compassionate way.  Others focus on using our power of visualization in a positive way (another Neptunian activity), through reawakening the old, broken dreams and taking positive actions to pursue them.

It takes true courage to work through the insidious effect of severe abandonment trauma, but we become more empowered by choosing to do the healing work, and learning to celebrate our individuality rather than perpetually mourning over the separation.

Did you experience abandonment as a child, and if so, how do you think it affects your attitude today toward relationships?  Does your horoscope reflect it?  Please feel free to share your thoughts through emails or comments.

About Hiroki Niizato

Hiroki Niizato is a professional consulting astrologer in Florida, serving clients in US and abroad. He has been a practitioner of Eastern meditation path since 1997, and has been practicing astrology professionally since 2001. Hiroki is a highest honor graduate of the demanding Master’s Degree Certification Course in Astrology by Noel Tyl.

You can contact Hiroki via email at: Hiroki@hniizato.com or Phone: 727-470-4056 to ask a question or schedule a consultation.

Comments

  1. Sara VIctoria says:

    Good post – thanks. For sure 12th house & Neptune indicated wounding can reflect abandonment – I'd add these in connection w/the nodal signature as an interesting template to consider w/this in mind. Also reflects on the legacy in larger terms than this one, discreet incarnation..

  2. Hiroki Niizato says:

    Thanks Sara,

    Good point. In humanistic astrology, Nodal axis involvement suggests a strong, often problematic, connection with the mother. So we could definitely expect this symbolism to tie in with the abandonment issue.

    Much appreciated,
    Hiroki

  3. Anonymous says:

    Mars on ascendent in Leo square Neptune in the 4th house in Scorpio. Constant moving due to military upbringing. I am 50 and have yet to truly marry. Which is sad – I have Jupiter in Aquarius conjunct my descendent. I have been involved in the last two years with someone who is unavailable.

    Kathryn

  4. Hiroki Niizato says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience and corroborating the Neptune emphasis.

  5. indian astrology says:

    A new window of thought has opened nice article

  6. Sandro69 says:

    My wife has Jupiter and Neptune sets together in the 12th house in Sagittarius and oposition with Saturn in the 6th house . Sagittarius is her Asc too. Sun in Libra in the 11th house.

    When she was twelve years old, she went to live with a aunt, and left her parents, sisters and brothers. It was a form of abandonment, because she didn't want leave, but her mother insisted e her father didn't do nothing to prevent it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    hello – I really am digging and liking your blog very much :-)

    I have been abandoned by my father before I was born, I only saw him for the first time when I was 9 yrs old- we never were close and it is obvious because we did not live together.

    from your post- I would vouch for;
    - trying to replay the issue and hoping for a different outcome – that happened to me, or rather maybe I did that sometime back

    -Neptune and Moon- YES
    I have Moon in 12th house and it is in a wide square (11 degree) with Neptune in 3rd.

    additional note:
    with Virgo rising, gemini is MC- so Mercury is ruler of the chart, and Neptune is ruler of 7th house. Mercury and Neptune are very tightly conjunct in 3rd house. … I wonder if that is the reason I think a lot about the meaning of such incidents of what I do and why, or maybe it is a life saver.. :) .. atleast I try to find some rational answer to such questions.


    abandonment issue linger deeper and longer, and act like a thorn in side. I tend to attach to men who have a disciplined side- thinking back, ONE time when I loved my BF the most is when I see him dealing with clients and his managers and he was sitting on his highback chair and giving orders and solving problems of his managers. I was sitting quietly on side and I knew I am loved and I am protected. .. strange feeling to describe.

    Sag-gal

  8. Jeanne B says:

    I thought this post was very interesting. My father -who was my nurturing parent- died accidentally when I was 13. I could see how this was reflected in my natal chart – Sun at 28°33′ Gemini quincunx Saturn at 28°33′ Capricorn (how’s that for precise!), with Saturn ruling the 12 house and in the 12th house, retrograde.
    What I didn’t know was that my Venus-Scorpio opposition came and emphasized this sense of abandonment.
    And yes, my mother turned to drink after my father died, yes she remarried so we moved abroad – more separations – and then as I grew up I had to face all of my own issues around addiction and chronic loneliness.
    Then again, I’ve come to understand that this feeling of being separate is also very much part of the issues of being a Gemini (the twin searching for its missing half).

    • Hiroki Niizato says:

      Dear Jeanne,
      Thank you for sharing your experience with your father. The measurements you shared are quite telling – I’d be interested to know what degree your Ascendant is at (checking Solar Arc from Saturn to Ascendant.)

  9. Jeanne B says:

    Correction to my previous post: I meant my Venus în Taurus opposite Neptune in Scorpio…

  10. Hiroki,
    I really enjoy reading your posts and articles, they are so informative !! I am a beginner in learning and understanding astrology, can you please provide me with some basic information on how to look for abandonment in my natal chart? I was adopted at birth, when I was 17 (one month prior to my high school graduation) my parents literally “dropped me off and enrolled me” in a “scared straight” drug rehab program 900 miles away from my home., where I stayed for a year and a half. I drank, like typical teenagers do ( I didn’t and have never used any other substances) and my parents decided that this was the only solution. 4 years ago, my now ex-husband, left our home, he needed a “few days of space,” he never returned. I would appreciate it if you could help me understand the abandonment issues.
    Thank you,
    Dede

    • Hi Dede,

      In a natal chart we can look at Neptune or Pisces emphasis to consider abandonment issues. If the natal chart suggests abandonment issues, sometimes strong Neptune transit or Solar Arc could reawaken the abandonment issue even in adult life – looks like this may be a part of what happened for you. My view is that addiction of any kind is a coping mechanism to avoid the primal pain/fear of abandonment. Naturally, it’s much healthier and more empowering to feel the pain and heal from it.

  11. Just found your website. Thank you for addressing abandonment issues. I have Neptune in my first house, conjunct Saturn close to ASC, square MC and opposed my retrograde Venus and sun. My 12H ruler, Mercury is midpoint Sun and Moon. When I was four months old, my whole family, Dad, Mom, 3 sisters moved from Indiana to Georgia. There were eight more moves by the time I was a sophomore in high school. I felt the absence of both parents at one time or another for extended times, for several reasons which I won’t go into now. Anywho, I am still alive and still struggle with abandonment issues too often. I’ve recovered enough to know I want to be successful, get published, sell my art. Yet struggle with low self confidence and with relationships. I’ve been using positive affirmations, and have seen a difference, but still struggle with recurrent passivity, which tends to sabotage any goals I do strive for. At times, I feel extremely ambitious and motivated. Could being overly ambitious just be another way of escaping painful memories? I am trying hard to balance the different parts of me, and make something of myself, but I seem to be going nowhere.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience. You’ve articulated the issue quite well – I think you can see how healing work in this area would positively impact your vocational expression.

  12. Hiroki,

    I’m really enjoying reading your blog!

    Reading this aticle about Abandonment makes me realize that this is an issue I need to deal with in my life. We moved around alot when I was growing up (Uranus in the 4th). I was also the oldest, so parental concern was always for my younger brothers and sisters. My Neptune is the midpoint for my Sun/Moon. It also rules my 12th. It also squares that Uranus in the 4th, so I understand the connection with unsettled early home life.

    My track record with romantic relationships is terrible, and I pretty much have given up on them ever working out. This has given me food for thought to perhaps reconsider. Thanks!

    JIM

  13. Stephane says:

    Hiroki, I discovered your blog today and I can already say this is becoming my favorite, not only for the quality of the posts but because I can feel a true motivation to help your readers to disentangle their aspects and better their lives. Thank you…

    I (Sun-Moon SAG, ASC CAP) jcan definitely relate to issues of abandonment (Neptune in Sag XII) and isolation (sextile Saturn conjunct MC, chart ruler and final depositor). When I was a teenager I remember having a word to describe the feeling of my family and that was ‘dissolution’ (Neptune ruler of III in PISC). Father left when I was 11 and was continuously “escaping” from my attempts to have a relation with him, brother left when I was 4 and sister when I was 8. I was spending much of my childhood with an emotionally absent mum, in a big vacant house, with a lot of abandoned rooms and was fond of going in the attic in search of past memories and objects which would help me to make sense of the fragments of my ephemeral inheritance. A lot of the suffering that I then endured was connected with the intangibility of my roots and family history, as if every member had been lobotomised and had just forgotten it, leaving me with silences and confusion. That was definitely not OK for my Mercury in SCO… :-) which pushed me to delve into my XII to find past treasuries of occultism and other related hidden sciences as a teenager and restore a deep faith in spiritual paths. It seems indeed that it is only by connecting more deeply with my pain with unconditional love that this vacuous existential suffering dissolves into a blessing and a feeling that the universe is my family.

    Stephane

    • Hi Stephane,

      Thank you for sharing your experience and the kind comments about the blog. That’s a lot of 12th house there, which certainly shares the Neptunian flavor of dissolving the old self and rebuilding a new one.

  14. Thank you, Hiroki. Very enlightening for a 12th house moon conjunct my North Node in Taurus with opposition of Neptune in Scorpio. Oh, and Neptune is also trine my Saturn and Chiron conjunction in Pisces….My father stopped contact when I was 6, and my mother was what she called “nervous”, and took a lot of valium. A substitute for all of the alcohol the rest of her family consumed at astronomical rates. I was her only child, she never married or even had many boyfriends. I was forced into adulthood before I could even realize what childhood was; cleaning house, doing laundry and rubbing my mom’s back when she came home from work to heat up my TV dinner. Abandonment issues indeed.

    I’m hoping with all of the activity in Scorpio lately and Chiron going direct in Pisces will help me process and heal from a lot of past issues so that I can move on. Thanks again.

  15. Hello..

    I was wondering why there is no mention of Chiron, Chiron contacts to Lights, angles and nodes tend to bring with them experiences of abandonment too.

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