Tag Archives: abusive mother astrology

(Self) Abuse and Healing During our Saturn Return

Today I want to analyze the natal chart of the actress Jennette McCurdy who recently came out with a heart-wrenching memoir titled “I’m glad my mother died.” The book journeys through the horrific abuse by her own mother, the pitfalls of Hollywood childhood fame, and her own addiction to disordered eating in the form of anorexia and later bulimia. Jenette’s voice is humorous yet mature, self-deprecating and yet wise. As I often do, I looked at her natal chart and found what I suspected would be there- Saturn square Moon. However, MANY people have this aspect alone; not all are Jennette McCurdy or have ill and abusive mothers or stardom fame. Her story is unique and specific to her and it can be seen on a deeper level within her chart. What stands out to me is that her published memoir coincides with her 30th birthday (Saturn Return) and her ability to fully mature and learn her Saturn lessons and use them to help others who have been through similar traumatic experiences.

The natal Moon represents the mother and nurture through food and emotional bonding while Saturn represents restriction and limitation. Jennette has Saturn square her Taurus Moon-Mars conjunction. Moon in Taurus is by definition is all about nurture via emotional security but it also represents eating and food as an expression of nurture. Taurus is a very embodied sign and it feels emotional pain through the body. In general, people who have challenging aspects between their Moon and Saturn tend to feel unnurtured by their caregivers. Moon-Saturn squares are indicators of eating disorders only if the rest of the natal chart indicates this tendency. Jenette’s Saturn not only squares her Moon-Mars conjunction but is conjunct her ascendant which represents the physical body and early life conditioning. She was born with restrictions on her physical needs and lack of nurture from the mother. In addition, there was a lot of aggression and anger from her mother as represented by the Moon-Mars conjunction symbolic of her mother’s personality. Taurus rules the throat and when you have an explosive Moon-Mars, you have a mother that is shouting and speaking angry things because she is fearful about not having enough material things or security. This in turn, creates an inner angry voice within the child’s psyche – a voice that is angry at the mother but soon turns into terrible guilt via the Saturn square to the Moon. Saturn makes the child feel they need to become better in order to earn love and kind words. It is they who need to restrict their emotional needs (and their food) to earn love. The inner parent becomes just as toxic as the real parent. But you don’t get an eating disorder from this alone because there are two more elements that result in that: namely, addiction and control.

I want to point out that Jenette is a successful person who doesn’t have to struggle financially but that very success was paid by the heavy price of having a childhood. People with hard Saturn-Moon aspects often have to grow up to fast and they don’t have the option to just play and have fun. They learn heavy lessons when they are young and often also spend their childhood working or supporting a parent in some way. On the flip side, Saturn means that once they reach adulthood, they can reclaim their individuality and gain a sense of freedom. They learn how to be more light-hearted and how to have fun. Jenette often speaks about having to find out who she is as an individual who not defined by her mother or by her acting career. This makes a lot of sense because individuality is represented by the sign of Aquarius ruled by Uranus which is located in her 11th house opposite her Sun-Venus in the 5th house of childhood. The house opposing your area of struggle is often where healing happens and where you should strive towards – she can heal her Saturn pain by reclaiming her individual freedom and right to belong to herself. The 11th house also can indicate fame and connecting with others via popular media and so she can also heal by telling her story to people and becoming an authority figure in the area of her pain. Jenette’s Sun-Venus in Cancer in the 5th house in opposition to Neptune/Uranus in Capricorn. This means that by sharing her childhood story on a collective level she can find a feeling of belonging and spiritual meaning to all that has happened. It also makes her tremendously empathic, sensitive and creative- but prone to an idealization of female figures (represented by the feminine Venus in Cancer).

“I was conditioned to believe any boundary I wanted was a betrayal of her, so I stayed silent. Cooperative.” 
― Jennette McCurdy

In general, when we have Neptune/Uranus in opposition to the Sun the person has a hard time knowing who they are and often other people define their identity. It is great for people who need to be other people for a living, namely actors but very tough when you are someone who is trying to break free from that pattern of having a blurry sense of Self. It doesn’t help that people with this type of Neptunian Sun tend to be very agreeable and kind and can just go with the flow until it becomes unbearable. Neptune symbolizes sacrifice, martyrdom and false illusions. In Jennette’s case the true Self was sacrificed as well as the feminine and naturally curvy nature of Venus in Cancer which becomes sacrificed for the sake of the mob (11th house/media/Hollywood).
The sign of Cancer is ‘the baby’ or the little child, while the Sun represents her public identity and the Self. Therefore, her Sun-Venus conjunction in Cancer in opposition to Neptune/Uranus shows that her entire identity was formed on remaining a little child that is entertaining the masses.
In addition to the challenges between the Moon-Mars and Saturn AND the Sun-Venus challenges via Neptune/Uranus, Jenette also has Pluto opposing her Moon, which shows the controlling and restricting behaviors towards her own needs for nurture and food due to her controlling mother. Moon-Pluto also indicates a very deep attachment and bond to the mother which is what made it so difficult to ‘betray’ her (Pluto is very loyal, especially when pained).
That said, her entire chart also shows resilience and her strong Mercury and Jupiter show that her true talents are in areas she has only started to explore as an adult.

Jenette’s Mercury in Leo is conjunct her 6th house and it show how she can heal her Sun or sense of Self. For one, having a playful and humorous way to look at herself is very healing- she can’t take herself too seriously if she wants to be healthy. For another, finding ways to communicate in public about her experiences makes her feel seen and proud (Leo). In fact, it is very important she says positive things about herself and takes pride in her healing journey. The more she laughs at herself in public, the more she can feel better about who she is. She can let go of shame and embarrassment the more she talks about her problems to the public (Mercury trine Midheaven). This is not always true for everyone because some people only get worse the more, they share their inner problems with the public (Britney Spears has such indicators, for example).
Meanwhile, her Jupiter in Virgo suggests she will learn a lot about physical health and healing and eventually teach others about that. Jupiter is in the 7th house (A Venus-ruled house), which can also help her self-esteem and confidence about her appearance. I think she was born to write and teach about emotional health and self-nurture.

There is a lot more to be said about her chart (and secrets she may not share just yet) but what we can learn from her is that hard Saturn aspects show pain and trauma but also how we can become so much better and stronger the older we become- and that a Saturn return can be a blessing for those of us who need to heal and free ourselves from restrictive parenting and trauma.