Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Selfishness is that detestable vice which no one will forgive in others, and no one is without himself.(Henry Ward Beecher)

I never loved another person the way I loved myself.
(Mae West)

Section headings from: 5 Signs You Are Selfish - detail at the link.

1.Unaware of Imbalance in Relationships
2.Control Freaks and Manipulative
3.Hate Team Work
4.Only Think About Yourself
5.Constantly Give Negative Feedback and Get Nagged

What had astrologer C.E.O. Carter to say on selfishness in his book An Encyclopaedia of Psychological Astrology, first printed 1924, re-printed many times during 20th century?
Mr Carter first directs the reader from "S" for selfishness to "E" for Egoism.

Egoism and Selfishness are essentially exaggeration of our instinct of self-preservation and of the individualizing principle. These probably come respectively under Cancer and Aries, but the faults of egoism and selfishness can hardly be ascribed to one sign more than another; they occur in all of them,except where the ego is of a relatively high type. Even many martyrs and protagonists of causes are essentially egoistic (although not selfish). It has been said that "it is really setting a rather high value on one's opinions to be willing to die for them!"

In a very general sense it may be said:
Aries is usually egoistic, but not necessarily by any means selfish.
Taurus is good natured but selfish and lazy.
Gemini is egoistic, but also often selfish, frequently in a rather childish way.
Cancer is as a rule neither one nor the other, although Saturn in affliction with the Moon is often very mean.
Leo is, in good types, very unselfish, affectionate and ready to help others; but it is frequently egoistic in the extreme.
Virgo is self-centred.
Libra is often lazy, and dislikes contact with the sadder aspects of life, but is distinctly unegoistic.
Scorpio goes to extremes, but is usually devotedly selfless towards its special idols.
Sagittarius is generous with material help, but often careless of others and slapdash in manner.
Capricorn acts from principle rather than from the heart; it is self-protective, and is seldom willing to do more for others than is strictly due to them.
Aquarius is unselfish in the service of causes and ideals, rather than individuals; it is not egoistic, but in present day types the Saturnian rulership often causes a good deal of selfishness; in good types the reverse is true.
Pisces is good-natured and as a rule far from selfish; it can, however, show a certain amount of egoism in its liking for preaching at others.

Turning to the planets, afflictions to the Lights or to Mercury are always liable to produce an over-accentuation of the individualist tendency. Mars and Uranus tend to self-assertion and extreme independence; Saturn narrows the sympathies and general outlook: hence the Moon or Mercury afflicted by Saturn is a common feature in the nativities of tyrants and absolute monarchs.

The great star Sirius, now [1924] in about 13 Cancer, [in 2015 Sirius is at 14.17 Cancer] has relation to inordinate self-opiniativeness, self-esteem, and self-will. This must be considered principally by conjunction and opposition, above all with the Sun. (Note: This may, however, be a "degree-area" value, and in no way connected with Sirius. Henry VIII, who had the Sirian characteristics, had Sun in 14 Cancer, but in his day the star was in about 7 Cancer.)

I don't understand what Mr Carter meant in the note to the last paragraph relating to Sirius.

With regard to his remarks about each zodiac sign, I think it should be added that the Sun, in astrology, is directly related to one's core self, so when investigating "selfishness" one's Sun sign could be more directly and strongly related than when investigating other psychological issues, when other planets in signs could have equal or more importance than the Sun's sign. It's still worth bearing in mind, though, that extra emphasis on a sign other than the Sun's placement (e.g. a sign/planet on the ascendant or mid-heaven or opposite angles, or a tight cluster of 3 or more planets in a sign) will have importance here too.

I doubt that any human on Earth could, hand on heart, proclaim that they are not selfish, at least in some ways. Without a certain amount of self interest we'd be squandering our precious time here. In my opinion the ideal will be found in balancing a healthy amount of self interest with the interest of others - others both close and distant, those related by love, friendship, profession, race, creed, and not forgetting those simply related by inhabiting the same planet.


mike said...

My first job in the commercial sciences required that I give monthly presentations of my research to my immediate group, with occasional presentations to mid and upper management. This intensified over the years, as I was promoted or began new employment at a higher level. I hated public speaking and presentations were very difficult for me. I read an article in the Boston Globe one Sunday with the title, "What Does Fear of Public Speaking Have to Do with Depression?" Fear of public speaking was making oneself more important than the presentation...dwelling on the presenter rather than the presentation itself...self-ish. Ditto for depression. Depression was too much focus on the self...self-ish. I was a very depressed teenager and I had to agree that, in retrospect, I was obsessed with my self, but ironically, it felt like the opposite at the time of the depression, as if I was small and invisible to others. I have to admit that everything revolved around and was about ME during those years of emotional turmoil.

Too much self-focus and self-interest is depressing and can only lead to aberrant feelings about oneself, making one self-ish. The social-cultural atmosphere here in the USA is largely driven by capitalism and consumerism. Each of us is bombarded with messages telling us how to achieve greater status with whiter teeth, the latest model car, the latest Apple digital device, breast enhancement for feminists, social media accounts, etc. Last night's "Nightline" had a segment:
The beautiful and wannabes clamor for membership in this club and most have extensive cosmetic procedures as part of the process! The American culture is driven by ridiculous aspects of selfishness. Is it any wonder that the pharmaceutical companies have been made rich with their antidepressants?! The feel-good-about-ourself industry is heavily fed by souls lacking in self-worth and self-esteem, but rich in self-ishness.

Selfishness is a food, water, and shelter survival mechanism in many third-world countries, but is viewed in westernized countries and cultures as a necessary quality to navigate toward the top of the elite-heap. Donald Trump epitomizes the selfish gene, but he's only one of many icons of this genre.

mike (again) said...

An antonym to selfishness is altruism. Aung San Siri Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize for her altruistic efforts in Myanmar. She was asked about her tremendous sacrifice to the people of Myanmar, to which she stated that it was not a sacrifice, as she made a decision to do so, and it was by choice. She added that a sacrifice is when your infant is sick and your neighbor's infant is sick, but you give the neighbor the medicine intended to save your infant's life.

Mountain Astrologer has an article about Aung San Siri (Suu) Kyi with astrological observations regarding her altruism:

Twilight said...

mike + (again) ~ I hated doing any kind of presentation too. I could get over it by lots of prior preparation and rehearsal, then quite enjoyed it, but doing it off the cuff - no way - panic attack time! I agree there's a steak of the selfish involved in this. In my case I think it was due to fear of not doing my best - a streak of perfectionism, pride - or something. It's a different type of selfish from the kind where a person refuses to share stuff, always wants the biggest slice etc - that's selfish-simple, your examples could be described as selfish-complex, maybe. Vanity, pride, social-climbing etc can be seen as selfish but a person can be vain and proud but have a generous sharing nature. So, for me, it's not clear cut.

Thanks for the link - she is one very good lady!

Anonymous said...

I have aries on VII ... and ...

At one time ... all of my close female friends ... had aries moons.
I can't really say ... if they were particularly selfish or not ...

But they sure liked to go on about "selfishness" in general. :D


Yes, that last paragraph about sirius seems a bit wild.

... at least I hope so ... (moon)

Twilight said...

Anonymous/kidd ~ I put up my hand to Aries Moon (and Saturn) 12 and 25* probably in 10th. LOL - I have gone on a bit, blog-wise about selfishness haven't I - though this is the first time in almost 9 years, and I hardly ever talk about it in person. Having been an only child maybe I didn't have to worry about it, I guess it came as standard! ;-)
Me too on the Sirius garbled note. I have Cancer rising somewhere in that area though possibly a degree or two past Sirius.