Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The astrology of introverts

Are you an innie, or an outie?  Tempermentally I mean.  The extroverted signs are the male, or yang signs.  These would be Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius.  The introverted signs are the female, or yin signs of Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces.  Just because you're a Leo doesn't mean you're an extrovert though.  Signs are important, but house placement even more so I've found, as well as aspects to Neptune.

Do you know if you're an extrovert or an introvert?  Not sure?   Take this free online test  Briggs Meyers test   and it will determine what you are.   It's a very famous test based on Jungian typology.  Career counselers and corporations use it frequently to help people optimize their talents.

The main difference is how one utilizes energy.  Introverts expend a lot of energy being with people, and they need to be alone a lot to recharge their batteries.  Extrovert re-enegize themselves by being with people, and they tend to feel depleted when they are alone for too long.
I'm an super introvert myself, and so have been extremely interested in the differences between myself and the seemingly zillions of extroverts out there.  I've read a couple of books that have been extremely validating when it comes to being an introvert.  One of them was just on the NY Times Bestselling list for weeks and weeks.  I was so happy to see that this stuff is going mainstream.  It's called   Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking.  Amazing book!  

“At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own. Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society–from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.
“Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so…And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.”

In one chapter the author visited Harvard Business School, and found that its virtually a requirement to be an extrovert to be in that school.  It's all about teamwork!!  Introverts are not big on teams, and we usually prefer to do everything as independently as possible.  Not only is everything there done in teams, you are expected to socialize every night after school.  In effect, one is always in the company of other people.  Introverts on the other hand, do their best work alone, where its quiet, and we prefer to socialize in smaller groups, or with one or two people at a time.

Another book I absolutely loved is called  The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World.   Did you know that the brain chemistry of introverts and extroverts is different?  It's all about dopamine.  Dopamine is a brain neurochemical that makes one feel up, happy, euphoric and energized when its released.  Apparently extroverts don't have enough of it.  It's released when we become stimulated, and we become stimulated when we engage with other people, take physical risks, socialize, talk and party.  In effect, extroverts are the way they are because they are just trying to increase the levels of dopamine in their brain. 

Introverts, on the other hand,  have plenty of dopamine.  We don't want too much more.  We can actually become over-stimulated if we do the above activities. I can get a big hit of dopamine just by going grocery shopping for heavens sake, whereas an extrovert might need to go something more stimulating to get that bigger dopamine hit.  Introverts need to be more quiet.  We are driven by the neurochemical acetylcholine, which is the calming hormone.  Sitting quietly in a coffee shop reading a really good book helps us get our acetylcholine hit.  That can actually get our happy juices flowing.

Also check out Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strengthby Laurie Helgoe. This is probably my favourite of all the books I've read on how to thrive as an introvert. 

Soceity validates extroverts and extroversion much more than introversion.  They seem to want us to be less sensitive, to get over it, or to stop being such a party pooper.  I spent a lot of my earlier years trying to do just that....and it was exhausting!  I chose boyfriends that were extroverts, and that didn't work out so well.  I finally 'got it', and now I celebrate who I am and don't hang around people who don't support my temperament.  My close friends are all introverts (and there are only a few), and my friends who are extroverts are great.....for shorts period of time. 

Fascinating stuff!  But, I digress.  To get to the astrology of it all, I've found that introverts have planet placements in the 12th, 4th or 8th house primarily, with strong aspects to Neptune and typically some water signs as well.  I'm an Aries with a Leo rising, which is a very extroverted combo, but my Moon in Cancer is in the 12th house,  my Mars in Pisces is in the 8th house, and they both aspect Neptune in the 4th.  That is the classic combo for an introvert.  It overrides the Sun and Asc every time.   Neptune seems to add that needed element of sensitivity that introverts have.   I had a good friend who is a double Sag.  Yep, she had both Sun and Moon in Sagittarius, the most extroverted sign of them all.  She, however, was a super introvert.  Why?  Lots of Scorpio planets in her 12th house, and Neptune in the first house conjunct the Saggy Sun.

Famous introverts - Albert Einstein, Warren Buffett, Ghandi, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, JK Rowling, Stephen Spielberg, Robert DeNiro, Diane Keaton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan and Meryl Streep.

Are you a Highly Sensitive Person?   Take the test here

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