Musings of a 2nd House Prisoner
By Alyce Ryan
A while ago I was half watching an episode of Criminal Minds. I don’t remember a single thing that happened in the episode, however, what I do remember is an FBI guy saying something that truly hit home. I have therefore deemed this significant because despite what I’m sure was a thrilling plot, a great crime solving effort and another criminal brought swiftly to justice, this line from the FBI guy is what has stayed with me to this day. I even Googled it at the time. This meant something. In order to explain the gravity of this situation, allow me to preface a little by outlining some of my core ideals;
- I need to feel safe.
- I enjoy rules and regulations.
- I fear deviation from those in authority.
- Risks are terrifying and potentially deadly (Criminal Minds, hello!).
- Security is key.
- Why explore when you can be safely watching Netflix, where technically you CAN explore AND you don’t have to leave the house! Surely one of the crowning achievements of humanity to date.
- The horror of losing everything is paralysing; death is on the second-place podium for me, which I do realise sounds extreme but the loss would to me feel like a death of sorts.
Now that you have a bit of a background, you’re probably wondering what it was the FBI guy said to inspire such a reaction. It was actually a quote from President Dwight D. Eisenhower (cheers Google); “If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on.” At this point, I’m already considering my new, safe and totally secure life in prison. Excellent plan. Look, I’m sure the food isn’t top quality but I’ll eat whatever is in the closest proximity, so I can make that work. Yes, the clothes are regulation, but I’ve lived in a uniform since school so that’s just business as usual; another tick. Medical care, brilliant! Hopefully I’ll make it to a ripe old age having lived a full life behind bars experiencing all that Orange Is The New Black has informed me prison offers.
However, before I could even consider the pesky crime element inevitably required to begin my new life (see above re: authority), I was swiftly informed that Eisenhower wasn’t finished. The walls of my new life came crashing down around me; those secure, high fenced, impenetrable walls. Here’s the full quote, and my undoing; “If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom”. There you have it; the one thing I have the luxury and privilege to forget I desperately need. And if I’m totally honest, Orange Is The New Black doesn’t exactly paint a rosy picture of prison. I’m also lying to myself about the food situation as my most rewarding journeys have been those taken down the perilous roads to and from the fridge. So now, years later, my quest begins to understand what the hell is going on… Why the attraction to this quote in the first place?
What I’ve realised through Astrology is that this feeling comes from my 2nd House. The 2nd House is heavy for everyone – our values and self-worth, our need to consolidate and stabilise ourselves in the material world, day to day struggles to lay a solid foundation internally AND externally that can support you for the rest of your time on this planet; it’s all found in this house. That’s a heavy burden to carry! So much uncertainty, and so much or so little time. We don’t even know how long we have to provide for! Is anyone else freaking out about this? Surely I’m not the only person who is stressed by thoughts of the 2nd House, and I can’t be the only one who feels warmed by the beginning of that quote. The feeling of calm that washes over me when the responsibility is out of my hands and placed squarely in the much more capable and reliable hands of literally anyone else surely can’t be felt by me alone. So yes, the 2nd House is challenging, but I may have taken challenging to a whole new level because it feels like I’m drowning here. The 2nd House seems to command so much of my time and focus. It feels like its surpassed its boundaries and is bleeding into all areas of my life, and on closer inspection and a lot of astrological study later, I now understand that perhaps I feel this way because my chart is telling me it is this way.
My 2nd House is home to the Moon and Saturn conjunct; fun times. In addition to Saturn being in my 2nd House, Capricorn also rules my 3rd and 4th Houses, and the Moon in the 2nd is linked with Cancer ruling my 9th and 10th Houses. That’s an influence in five out of twelve houses. Five! No wonder it’s overwhelming. These two planets are popping up in more places than I consciously realised, and they’re bringing my 2nd House with them. I’ve only just noticed my whole life up till this point has been geared towards stabilising and securing myself, and in the process I’ve forgotten to actually BE myself. I’m so caught up in this I’ve lost all sense of what I’m actually worth. I am a little on the clueless side about what I find truly meaningful, I’m not really sure who I am, and I’m trying to compensate for this through the completely wrong side of the 2nd House. At the moment my lasting legacy is “she paid her bills” and although I’m grateful to be in the position to pay my bills, I would like to do more than that in my finite time on this planet. Isn’t it possible to pay my bills and not feel so useless? I need meaning, some actual purpose, a reason to get up in the morning beyond cash transactions, because if all the value I think I have comes from a career (and I use that term VERY loosely) I’m not emotionally invested in and certainly not proud of, then how can I move away from this and see the rest of my life as providing more opportunities for me than what I’ve allowed myself to believe I deserve? I believe everyone else deserves to feel fulfilled, valued and appreciated for who they are, why not me?
Astrology has allowed me to see where I’m tripping myself up, and it’s also shining a much needed light on where I can look for help; Sagittarius. The sign rules my 2nd House, Moon and Saturn, plus Uranus is also tucked up nice and cosy in the 2nd House, also in Sagittarius. This this is why Eisenhower was right to keep talking, and I’m glad I kept listening even though it was hard to hear. I need freedom; I need to be able to move to make sense of my place in the world; how can you find your place if you never leave where you started? And I don’t mean literally leave, although that’s not necessarily a bad idea, but to emotionally and intellectually explore, to move past my old beliefs and search for new ones that fit for me. The planets and the ruler of my 2nd House explain why I desperately seek to create meaning in my life and why my work isn’t cutting it – there’s no individuality or creative thought required of me, no emotional ties because I do not care about what I’m doing, no achievements that I can point to because there’s nothing I feel proud of, and no room for me to grow because I’ve already reached the heights of what this path offers (turns out it offers a dead end). So I have realised what I’m lacking and what I need to have in order to feel worthy and of value, but how am I supposed to integrate my needs for both freedom and security at the same time? Well, I’m starting to think that security outside of the self is an illusion created by a society that wants us to buy things we don’t need to make us feel better. Personally, I buy food (prison really isn’t for me). I think I can be free and feel secure at the same time if I can start to utilise my 2nd House rather than blaming it. If I can do something worthy of my time here and make use of the resources I have chosen for myself. To be sure of what I have within and believe that it’ll be more than enough to carry me throughout my quest.
This is a rather big block for me. Although I’m not in actual prison, I’ve been in a prison of my own making for longer than I care to remember. But I can confidently say I never would have realised this on my own. I truly believe this is the reason I came to Astrology, even though I was completely unaware this was the case. Maybe I’m not as out of touch with my Sagittarius 2nd House as I thought. I’m starting to ask myself the scary questions I’ve avoided because I didn’t know how to ask them until now, I didn’t even know what they were. Now I know there’s a guiding hand so I can finally make a start. I mean the guiding hand could be a little less “guiding” and a little more “shoving”, but I’ll take it, because it’s telling me to look to my 2nd House as a safety net rather than a security fence – this is the stuff I have, not what I lack.
So here I am at the starting line. I’m not sure I realise yet the depths I’m about to delve into, but it’s already been a rewarding experience. To most people I’m writing something like this wouldn’t seem a like a big deal, but for me I feel a purpose exists here. I’ve been excited about this. Genuine excitement. My heart is very full. I’ve lost all sense of time when I’m usually counting down the minutes. In my life now I’m at a fork in the road. There’s the really dull, well tread, boring path I’m already on with its paperwork and files, but now there’s another path that you can’t see unless you’re really looking closely because it’s so overgrown. I feel as though I’ve passed this place many times over and never been able to see anything different than what I’ve already known, just going through the motions. My eyes are open now, and for the first time I’m attempting to choose the other path. I don’t know where it goes, which is a risk and we all know how I feel about those. But this might be a risk I’m willing to take, because the path well travelled doesn’t lead anywhere I want to be, and prison isn’t as great as I thought.
— Alyce Ryan
Sydney Astrology School Level 5 student