Control. They say it’s the master addiction.
But the truth is, we have very little of it — which is likely what drives our endless need for the power. We don’t get to choose our parents, our families, or the mini universes we’re born into. We don’t get to choose our natural affinities or our heart’s yearnings.
In astrology, it’s the cardinal signs that are known to be the controllers of the zodiac: Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. These are the initiators, ushering us into each new season. Aries is the warrior and champion, forever itching for the number one slot. Cancer controls emotion, regulating the energetic atmosphere. Libra’s shadow is co-dependence, appealing to, and focusing on, the other in an effort to keep the peace and protect itself from inspection. And Capricorn is the boss, often employing stature or status to assert their agenda.
While these signs are the main controllers, every zodiac sign has control tendencies in one way or another. Stubbornness, a Taurean trait, is a form of control, as is Gemini’s doublespeak and Leo’s melodrama. Virgo is critical, seeking perfection. Scorpio, intense, icing others out. Sagittarius leaves, Aquarius is ideological, and Pisces escapes.
The point being, all of our shadows involve some sort of control because control is part of human nature. The traits listed above are not bad in and of themselves, they’re simply devices — tools. It’s about recognizing them, employing their positive uses, and mitigating the negative ones.
Growing up I hid away in books, films, and television. Knowledge became my weapon. The more I felt I knew, the safer I felt. The joke, however, ended up being on me, because as it turns out, intellectual pursuits are useless in affairs of the heart. I had to come up against my insecurities and fears — my ego — to realize just how isolated I’d been.
Vulnerability can be painful and uncomfortable, but it’s also the only way to truly liberate ourselves.
Control, after all, is an effort to avoid uncertainty. Yet, in embracing uncertainty we learn our strength. Such is the paradox of intimacy. The more open we are, the more secure.
We’re all shooting in the dark. We’re all struggling to make sense of this mystifying world and our place in it. The more we understand and accept this, the less we try to mask ourselves. We accept the dance of life, its peaks and valleys, its nuances and texture.
Astrology, for some, is a predictive art. As humans, we want to know. When will I meet my soulmate, have a child, get a promotion? We think that if we know, then we can let go, surrender, and be present. But actually, it’s the reverse: the less attached we are, the more present we are and the sooner we are to magnetize what we desire. It is our attachment to outcome that can stall the very thing we desire. Namely because we believe we need that thing, whatever it may be, to be happy and fulfilled.
Which brings us back to addiction and control. The more we chase it, the more elusive it becomes. It’s fleeting. And if we’re being honest, what we’re really craving is not the upper hand, but rather belonging and connection… and that comes with letting go.
Danielle Beinstein is a Psychological Astrologer based in Los Angeles. Find her at daniellebeinstein.com.