Without stirring abroad one can know the whole world;
without looking out the window one can see the way of
heaven. The further one goes, the less one knows.
In the last post, I wrote primarily about the personality style of the introvert. This gentle temperament relates to those soft-spoken ones of us who tend toward a lifestyle that incorporates more time spent in quiet and solitude, for reading and reflection, for meditation and meaningful activities like walking and gardening. The chosen rhythm of daily life is generally done at a slower pace and with greater mindfulness of the sacred, present moment.
To set the stage and reiterate, introversion and extroversion are specific ways of being and engaging with the world. One is more reserved, the other is outgoing. Neither predominant way of being is better than the other; they are simply different. A person is never purely one type or another, because the human personality is exceedingly complex. This complexity of traits is a legacy from our unique familial context and derives from some combination of the early influences of “nature” and “nurture.” As we grow and mature, our individual life experiences add their molding influences to make us even more distinct.
Carl Jung, who first divided temperament into the “attitudes” of introversion and extroversion, believed each person tends to experience the world from one or other of these primary viewpoints—an inward-directed focus or an outward-directed emphasis. Extroverts refuel via incessant action and “people” activities, whereas the introvert thrives by being alone to think, read, imagine, feel, and create. One tends to talk, the other to listen. But Jung counseled, “there is no such thing as a pure extrovert or pure introvert. Such a man would be in the lunatic asylum.”
After a brief review in the following short section, let’s look at six well-known personalities who exemplify the introverted and extroverted lifestyles. As you will read, there are a few major astrological factors that give keys to whether a person might express themselves more typically in an introverted or extroverted fashion. A cursory look at the astrological factors in each natal birth chart may give some clues. The enormously popular and commercially successful British rock band, the Beatles, who came to world acclaim in the 1960’s, exemplify the two temperaments: George and Ringo as the introverts and John and Paul the extroverts. Two United States Presidents are another dramatic contrast between the reserved, retiring introvert—George W. Bush—and the charismatic, sociable, spotlighted Bill Clinton.
What happens to a person is characteristic of him.
He represents a pattern and all the pieces fit. One by one,
as his life proceeds, they fall into place according
to some pre-destined design.
A Brief Review of Astrological Correlates to the Introverted Type
In a general sense, there are a number of astrological correlates to the introverted nature—the style that favors environments with a minimum of stimulation. A rather obvious similarity is to the elements of Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) and Earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn), which are the receptive, more withdrawing, reflective energies. Cancer, as one of the Cardinal signs, is associated with “outgoing-ness” but this quality is apt to be under the surface in this protective, maternal sign. Capricorn, in keeping with its “Cardinality,” is meant to express in an outward, worldlier way. These two elements comprise the (six) Feminine signs, denoting a responsive and intuitional approach, as well as symbolizing a sensitive, cautious, and indirect but deliberate manner. A rich emotional and interior life keeps their essential energy self-contained. Feminine signs are inclined to tap the Source of life by allowing and flowing—known as yin in the Taoist tradition.
It’s not surprising, therefore, that the houses (4th, 8th, and 12th) associated with the tender element of Water correspond with the reticence of introversion. These mysterious areas of the chart point to the subtle, private, hidden, withdrawn, intra-physic side of life. In fact, one of the meanings of “quiet” is “done in private”—the real and symbolic ways of tithing in secret. These houses refer particularly to the subjectivity of human experience and those secluded places and relationships that tend to be intimately enclosed and protected. Thus, the Water houses are places of greatest impressionability.
These three sectors invite us to spend time in solitude and deep introspection. Here, in the silence, we encounter our true self with its intuitive guidance and inspirational messages. Life’s interconnectedness and spiritual consciousness are only accessed in the stillness of voluntary retreat and receptivity—in these houses of depth and liberation. The treasures of eternal value are found within, not in the stressed-out hustle and bustle of an over-driven, over-scheduled existence. Consequently, these Watery domains of life are not ones wherein personal confirmation is usually sought outwardly through energies expressed in external activities or avenues.
Yet another grouping of houses, those termed “Cadent” houses (3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th), match up with the cerebral inclinations of introversion. These houses are the least expressive places in the chart in terms of public exposure and recognition, signifying the inner world of thought wherein ideas and energies of the mind are formulated and dispersed. They relate to the studious, reflective, or educational aspects of life that describe an inclination toward being less noticed and outwardly active. The quiet strength of the Cadent areas of the chart have been mistaken for weakness when viewed from the materialist or extroverted (cultural) point of view, similar to the bias against the retiring, bookish nature of the introvert. Even on the physiological level, an introvert is compelled to withdraw from highly stimulating environments, in order to avert the need to engage in such things as small talk and thus concentrate on more personally suitable, on-thing-at-a-time endeavors like writing. Although the larger-than-life, mega-star type of personality on the world stage would not grow out of the cadency zones, the “man of contemplation” is as necessary as the “man of action.” Sadly, studies document a preference by many parents for their extroverted children over their demure ones who are introverted.1
The planetary phenomenon of “retrograde motion” and that of the Moon’s void-of-course periods share parallels with the life journey of the introvert. At cyclical intervals, when the planets (except the Sun and Moon) appear to move backwards, we too need “to step backward ” and draw inward (rather than forward and outward) to rest, re-center, and renew, to allow ourselves some well-deserved down time—literally and symbolically. These phases imply a judicious hiatus to retreat for introspective reflection, review, and re-visioning. Meant to invoke calm fortitude, retrograde cycles and the Moon’s void periods (when the Moon makes her last major aspect before entering the next sign) represent a highly purposeful re-aligning in the natural flow and ebb of energy.
The challenge is that humankind has long been addicted
to constant movement. It is how we have come to
believe we are validated and worthy in both an
internal and external manner.
The Iconic Beatles as examples of Introverted and Extroverted Types
The extroverts, John and Paul, sit in front; the introverts,
Ringo and George, stand in the back.
From the public personas of the “Fab four” Beatles, the showier, attention-grabbing John and Paul seemed to get more headlines than the quieter, background pair of George and Ringo. This can be seen, in a general way, in the makeup of their birth charts. Each chart is not singularly one “pure” type or the other, but rather has some balancing factors as well. Although the following, brief overview does not tell the whole story of each natal chart, it does illustrate the above astrological correlates:
George Harrison was born with the Sun in Pisces and the Moon in Scorpio, along with Venus in Pisces (the sign of its exaltation and also the significant ruler of the chart) and Jupiter in Cancer (the sign of its exaltation). Only Mars in Capricorn (the sign of its exaltation) resides in an Earth sign. The Scorpio Moon is closely conjunct the Libra Ascendant at 29°, thus powerfully placed and a key to his introverted, private nature. Four planets are located in Water houses: Mercury and the Sun in the 4th house and Saturn conjunct Uranus (both in Gemini) reside in the 8th house, the natural house of Scorpio. Jupiter (the modern co-ruler of the Pisces Sun) and Pluto are both retrograde, thus more inwardly directed, and fall in the Cadent 9th house.
I’m really quite simple. I don’t want to be in the business
full-time, because I’m a gardener. I plant flowers and
watch them grow. I don’t go out to clubs and partying.
I stay at home and watch the river flow.
The natal chart of Ringo Starr, born with the Sun in Cancer, has a Pisces Ascendant, with the co-rulers in Earth signs: Jupiter in Taurus and Neptune in Virgo. Both Saturn and Uranus are also in Taurus. A retrograde Venus and the Sun are in the 4th house, with the Sun near the 5th house cusp. All of the planets, except the North Node of the Moon, are located below the horizon; hence it suggests a personal and private orientation, where he would be focused on his “interior” world in order to be more closely in touch with who he is and his own personal growth. Astrologer Boots Hart describes this as a “behind-the-scenes (or under our skin!) emphasis,” which tends to be “personally experiential.” It’s important to note that Ringo also has a powerful component of his chart in the extroverted Fire sign of Leo, the performer, which assuredly helped to propel him outward on his quest for personal recognition and stardom during his post-Beatles’ years.
John Lennon’s natal chart includes a strong component in Earth signs, with Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus in Taurus (all three being retrograde) and Venus and Neptune in Virgo. The sign of the Midheaven is earthy Capricorn. There are no planets located in any of the Water houses (4th, 8th, and 12th). The extroverted component of John’s chart shows the Sun, Mars, and North Node in the Cardinal Air sign of Libra, while the Moon is in friendly Aquarius. The Ascendant is forceful Aries, a sign that is known for its “me first” attitude and an aversion to a sedentary life. With its assertive, outgoing, and self-willed nature, the ruler of the chart is masculine Mars. Clearly illustrating him as a “man of action” in his outlook, Lennon once wrote, “There are no problems, only solutions.” The cannot-be-denied Taurus trio of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus are located in the powerful 1st house of the self, the house of one’s outer identity, so these planetary energies are very strong factors in his direct and spontaneous personality.
Considered the most significant house of the twelve sectors, the 1st house is an exteriorizing Angular house—the beginning of the chart. It is the nascent personality of destiny in the making! John was truly a force to be reckoned with, and his self-oriented energy would tend to precede him! Residing in the 5th house of creative self-expression, Pluto is placed in the fiery, dramatic sign of Leo, the one whose need is to stand out for his special qualities and to seek the center of attention. John later wrote, after the Beatles had broken up, “I started the band. I disbanded it. It’s as simple as that.” The elements of Fire and Air comprise the six Masculine or yang signs, also known as the positive, self-expressive polarity. These correspond with a vibrant, spontaneous nature that is extroverted—outgoing and people-oriented, in contrast to the six Feminine signs.
Described by the Guinness World Records as the “most successful composer and recording artist of all time,” Paul McCartney, dubbed the “cute Beatle,” was born with the Sun, Mercury, Saturn, Uranus all in restless Gemini and the Moon, Mars, and Pluto in Leo. Freedom-loving, big-hearted Sagittarius is the sign of the Midheaven (the 10th house cusp). This is a formidable amount of Air and Fire that must manifest into the outer world through the channel of an imaginative, compassionate Pisces Ascendant. An exalted Jupiter in sensitive Cancer and Neptune in practical Virgo, as well as Venus in stabilizing Taurus, help to emotionalize and ground the energies of the chart, accounting in part for the prodigious output over the course of McCartney’s still thriving career.
The individual makeup of these four charts shows the tendency toward a greater degree of introversion for George and Ringo, whereas John and Paul would naturally gravitate toward and thrive in a leadership role, as well as the limelight of a highly public profile. That said, these four men are global icons who were swept into fame in the flood of “Beatlemania,” as famous as any individual on the planet!
United States Presidential examples of an Extrovert and Introvert
Every individual has a place to fill in the world
and is important in some respect,
whether he chooses to be so or not.
Two recent United States Presidents are interesting examples of the extroversion-introversion continuum. Again, each chart is not singularly one “pure” type or the other, but rather has some balancing factors as well. Both men served two terms. Upon leaving office, one had an impressively high rating; the other a low favorable rating. In the CNN/ORC International poll taken in June 2012 on the ratings of our living presidents, one topped the list at 66 percent; the other had a favorable rating below 50 percent (the only living president under that marker).2 From outward appearances, one could be described as a diplomatic, charming, consummate extrovert; the other as a low-key, reserved, private introvert. They are the 42nd and 43rd Presidents—Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
A radar screen is an apt metaphor for the innate styles of these two men. Clinton shows up worldwide all over the “outer” radar screen, like the popular celebrity he’s become, promoting greater awareness for international issues, such as global warming and the alleviation of poverty, or boosting the electability of a political candidate. Since 2000, he’s earned the coveted title of “The Big Dog” or “Big Dog.”3 He’s been a frequent, highly paid speaker on the lucrative lecture circuit. Clinton’s book, “My Life,” enjoyed a great fanfare in 2004.
In contrast, Bush lives below the radar, mostly undetected, in relative obscurity, giving the occasional motivational speech or appearing at a funeral or dedication now and again. His 2010 memoirs were barely noticed. Journalist Kevin Drum asked this poignant question and concluded: “Has any president in the last century disappeared so completely and so quickly from the national consciousness [as George Bush]? I don’t think so.” Drum notes that George and Laura reside in Dallas “and…that’s about it. For all practical purposes, he’s disappeared.” After wondering last August what Bush was doing, Drum decided it was “nothing.”4
Here’s a quick summation of Bill Clinton’s natal chart. It shows a single planet in the element of Earth, that of an exalted Moon in Taurus. The Moon resides in the 8th house, the lone planet in a Water house. The only point in the chart that is Water is the Cancer Midheaven, ruled by the sensual and determined Taurus Moon. Predominantly weighted toward the masculine elements of Fire and Air, the Sun, Mercury, Saturn, and Pluto are placed in the intensely individualistic sign of Leo, sitting in the upper reaches of the chart in the prominent 10th and 11th houses. All planets, except the impressive cluster in the 1st house, are located above the horizon. This planetary visibility depicts Clinton as a person who would tend to be more extroverted in terms of an orientation toward social and collective endeavors and thus would seek broad experience in the outer world. For the most part, his personal significance and fulfillment would be derived from outer achievements gained in the public, community, political, and humanitarian arenas.
Several planets hover at the congenial Libra Ascendant, which create a potent grouping in this (goal-oriented) Cardinal sign. The influential contingent in airy Libra placed in the 1st house—also the most commanding angular house—is comprised of a Mars/Neptune (exact) conjunction atop the Ascendant, along with the most fortunate Venus and Jupiter amplifying his likeability and magnetic presence. As the pivotal ruler of the chart and in the sign it naturally rules, Venus in Libra is very strong and placed in the 1st house, which slants it toward high self-motivation and self-interest, perhaps glamour seeking.
Clinton’s chart (as well as Bush’s chart) indicates a self-generating individual, capable of openly engaging with life with considerable gusto, partly due to the Sun and Venus dignified in their own signs. Expansive Jupiter links beautifully with Uranus and the North Node of the Moon, both in gregarious Gemini, in the philosophical 9th house, an aspect that heightens Clinton’s intellectual brilliance, innovative spirit, and charisma. It accounts for the high-voltage energy he exudes, as well as his “philanthropic worldview.” The Gemini, Leo, and Libra planets all form a positive network of interaction, such that Clinton’s prodigious energy flows easily and freely. Moreover, there are no retrograde planets in his chart, actually quite a rarity, which underscores his inherent extroverted and highly charged personality that is focused in the exterior world.
Often asked to serve as a diplomatic envoy, he remains a very sought-after, busy man who thrives not only in the limelight but also as the head of the prestigious William J. Clinton Foundation.5 It’s not surprising that, when he left office, his approval rating of 68 percent “matched those of Ronald Reagan and Franklin D. Roosevelt as the highest ratings for departing presidents in the modern era.” Additionally, in a Gallup poll conducted in February 2007, news correspondents gave Clinton 13 percent of the overall vote, which gave him the esteemed rank of the fourth greatest president in U.S. history.6
Turning now to the natal chart of George W. Bush, he has a surprisingly similar chart in some ways to that of Bill Clinton’s. Bush’s chart is also predominantly composed of planets in the Fire and Air signs, with a minimal, but significant, compliment in Water and Earth signs. This implies he would also lean decidedly toward a highly extroverted nature—with a couple of key caveats that bring his reserved, very private side much more to the fore.
Bush also has the same emphasized signs of Leo, Libra, and Gemini. The Ascendant is lively Leo, along with Mercury, Venus, and Pluto all sitting in that extremely powerful, angular 1st house of personal identity and self-awareness. Fiery Aries is the sign on the professional Midheaven—the daring sign of individuation and singularity. His Moon, Jupiter, and Neptune are in Libra in the communicative 3rd house, and, like Clinton, his Uranus and the North Node of the Moon are in Gemini, but in the 11th house, which points to the way a person fits into his society and the contribution made to something greater than his self—one’s social conscience. Moreover, there are no retrograde planets in his chart (the same as Clinton’s chart), yet another indicator that Bush’s nature would gravitate toward extroversion.
All of his planets are positioned on the left side (termed the eastern hemisphere) and “bundled” together within one third of the chart. This sort of bundled “pattern” means Bush would likely approach life in a way that is specifically related to “self-development,” with a focus on developing a strong sense of him self, as well as being independent, very capable of organizing the affairs of his own life. He would be neither inherently relationship-oriented nor necessarily sensitive to the “actual reality of other human beings.” With Leo rising, he tends to come across as highly individual and as a strong-willed personality, perhaps why he has been described with his characteristic “swagger.” His chart confirms his well-known personal desire to be a world historical figure. In fact, Bush described his presidency: “Eight years was awesome and I was famous and I was powerful.”
Mars in Taurus, the ruler of the Midheaven, is the only planet in an Earth sign. The key to unlocking some of the mysteries of Bush’s temperament and why he keeps so much to himself center largely around the homebody Cancer Sun and Saturn located in the Watery 12th house of withdrawal. In relative seclusion, a twelfth house Sun person can better attend to their inner life, something they are evolutionarily meant to do. Fitting for a 12th house Sun, Lao Tzu counseled that, “there is no need to run outside for better seeing … rather abide at the center [the Sun] of your being.”
However, this “weakened” (12th) house placement gives the possibility for a greater than normal amount of any of the following: self-doubt, self-defeating patterns, frustration, blind spots, fear, mistrust, a sense of loneliness and isolation, and for a subdued or repressed nature that may feel “unseen” or “invisible.” With Leo rising, the Sun (the essential self) is the crucial ruler of the chart; it resides in this most obscure, shadowy house of the chart. Thus, his Solar identity could have easily felt overlooked and perhaps discounted (he was called a “lightweight”), despite the craving for attention and recognition—to be a person in his own right as he came out of what he called his “wandering years” to create a legacy like his prominent father had.
Further inhibiting his natural expression, the protective Cancer Sun links in a straining square (90° angle of stress) to the Libran Moon, Jupiter, and Neptune, while restrictive Saturn is also widely square the trio, dampening the free flow of his emotional life and heightening his hypersensitivity and insecurities. Living his life out of the public’s eye in a deeply private, guarded way would alleviate his innate vulnerability to openly asserting and expressing himself, because being in front of an audience may be an exceedingly discomforting stretch. In keeping with this reserved nature, after seven months as head of the country, Bush had spent forty-four percent of his presidency off the job, either on rest/recreation or travel!7
By the time Bush left his “larger than life” position after eight years, “he left a surprisingly thin legacy … and curious lack of any intellectual legacy,” according to journalist Kevin Drum.8 Yet, there are plenty of highly successful and famous individuals, such as India’s beloved Mohandas K. (Mahatma) Gandhi, who, like Bush, also have the Sun in the 12th house of their chart, another of whom was Bush’s notable political alley, Tony Blair. These three men, in their own countries, affected the whole world.
In Simple Terms
The symbol Teresa of Ávila used for gradually earned spiritual transcendence was the “interior castle.” Every castle has both exterior and interior regions. These perspectives of the same castle symbolize different levels of life: the outwardly driven and the inwardly focused, which illustrate the two developmental styles of extroversion and introversion. The extrovert is busy partying in the exterior castle, talking, networking, and dancing the night away. The introvert sits meditating in the quiet interior castle, where there are no distractions, exploring the many inner rooms of the psyche—those shadowed and eerie places, as well as the brightly lit, inviting ones, where silence and tranquility permeate the atmosphere.
It could be said that one seeks the ephemeral treasures of the earthly realm, whereas the other is content with lasting wealth made of spiritual gold. Ultimately, life on this limited three-dimensional level rusts and fades away. Every incarnation on the spiral toward illuminated consciousness, whether lived with an extroverted or introverted inclination, is purposeful and invaluable. The cumulative learning of all our many lifetimes will, for each of us, eventually lead to a sainted life experience wherein we too shall be like that of Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Padre Pio, or Master Jesus. For now, let us be the best of who we truly are and thus most fully give our exquisite gift.
• What Value A Gold Nugget?
• Greatness Within
• Believe and Conquer
• Differing Gifts
• Be True
• Ad Infinitum Ourselves
• How Would You Be Remembered?
• Energy Signal
• Silence Is Power
1. Donna Cunningham mentions these studies in the series she is currently doing on her Sky Writer blog (link in “Astrological Community”) about the privacy-seeking nature of the 12th house, with a whole collection of excellent articles. On February 5, she posted “12th House People as Introverts: the Power of Solitude.”
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Clinton and http://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Clinton,_Bill
Kevin Drum, Aug. 24
Kevin Drum, Aug. 24
Text © by Zane Maser, 2013. All photos from Wikimedia Commons. All rights reserved worldwide.
My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband.