In classic astrology the 2nd house represents material security. A human being would become self-aware (the 1st house), and then proceeds to buy a cow (2nd house & Taurus symbol). In old times the cow offered a continuous source of protein from its milk, which probably made the difference between health and starvation.
Today we’re way beyond starvation in many countries – chances are that everyone reading this blog will never have to worry about food, clothing or shelter as long as we live. Yet so many people suffer from a sense of insecurity or anxiety about themselves and their purpose in life. This raised the awareness that 2nd house also represented the concept of “self worth” in modern society.
Building Self Worth
Dr. Nathaniel Branden, who has written extensively on the subject of self esteem*, says there are six basic practices that build self worth:
1) Living Consciously: Mindful awareness and desire to learn and grow.
2) Self-Acceptance: We acknowledge what we think, say or do without denial or condemnation.
3) Self-Responsibility: Giving up blame, and focusing on doing what needs to be done.
4) Self-Assertiveness: Being authentic in front of others; willing to stand up for ourselves or our ideas.
5) Living Purposefully: Identifying and working toward short and long-term goals. Being organized for that purpose.
6) Personal Integrity: What we think, say and do are congruent. We honor our commitments to ourselves and others.
Each of these can be a major growth area for many of us. It’s interesting that all of the 6 practices involve our personal will, and none of them could be accomplished without a conscious choice. So it seems that we don’t mindlessly stumble onto increased self worth, nor can we hope that a favorable transit will boost our self esteem by itself.
Respecting Reality: Role of Mercury and Saturn
Astrologically, Saturn and Mercury seem to be the key psychic factors in facilitating these practices, since all of these practices have to do with respecting, and working with, reality. We don’t run from uncomfortable facts – reality is not something to be avoided, but is something to be embraced with full awareness.
Respecting Reality II: Examining Neptune in Your Horoscope
We could imagine how Neptune could complicate things through denial, suppression and fantasy. It may be useful to examine whether we tend to avoid reality in the area represented by the house and planet Neptune touches. Such examination might actually help us to respect and work with reality more fully, thereby boosting our self worth.
- Neptune in 4th house may call for an examination of the early home environment – was there rampant escapism, with little respect for reality being modeled by parents?
- Neptune in hard aspect to Sun or Moon may cloud one’s perception of the self. Realistic evaluation of oneself may lead to increased self confidence.
- Neptune in hard aspect to Venus may inject too much wishful thinking into relationships. Realistic look at both partner’s behaviors may lead to empowering realizations.
- Neptune in hard aspect to Mars may introduce doubts, fears and misunderstanding that interfere with self assertion and purposeful action. Confronting such fears may clear the way for a decisive action.
Conclusion: Self Worth and Working With Reality
If there is a glaring chronic problem in our personal life that we know needs to be dealt with, we need to face it squarely if we want to build self worth. Whether it’s about weight loss, addiction, a messy closet, or a psychological trauma that needs to be healed – avoidance of issues usually spills over into other areas of life.
The good news is, the moment we begin to work in harmony with reality, our sense of self worth begins to build. When working with this month’s resolution “to be more physical”, I had to acknowledge the simple fact that I wasn’t exercising enough (a problem which led to lower physical energy), which motivated me to schedule time for more walking in my week – a simple change with very satisfying results.
What helps boost your sense of self worth? What compromises it? If you have thoughts or experiences you want to share, feel free to send emails or comment below.