May Sim

Tired of Being Judged by ‘Others’?

The Astrology of Society’s Expectations and Being Judged

I’ve studied astrology for a long time, and even after years of being in touch with the material, every now and then a piece of dry astrology fact clicks into place, and I gain a bit of life wisdom just from understanding HOW and WHY this fragment of astrology WORKS.

One of such incidents I remember well, was this:

Fact: Saturn takes approximately 28.5 years to complete an orbit around the Sun

That means absolutely nothing at first glance, but a bit of math tells you that relative to where Saturn is at your birth:

– When you were 7 years old Saturn moved to the first quarter point of the circle

– At 14-15 years old it was opposite your natal Saturn

– At 21 years old it’s placed at the third quarter position

– At 28.5 years old it returns to its original position

– Subsequently the pattern repeats itself at approximate 28.5-year intervals


In almost every culture, at age 7 you transit from being a kid to becoming a ‘big’ kid – you started going to a proper school, and suddenly homework just got serious, and god forbid… you were expected to pass tests. Welcome to your first taste of parental, teacher and society’s expectations.

Life StagesAt 14-15 all your classmates seemed to have their style, or their ‘thing’. You felt left out, unattractive, and embarrassed to be seen in any social situation because you felt that the adults were watching and judging you, and you were conscious of looking ‘cool’ in front of the other kids. Perhaps you started noticing the opposite sex, and realizing that their opinion of you was so, so important.

When you finally made the transition to adulthood (people turn ‘adult’ at 21 in Singapore, where I come from, although astrologers beg to differ on this point – see next paragraph) at approximately age 20-23, you’re conscious of not being dependant on your parents anymore – it’s time to make your own living, embark on some kind of career or path. You wonder how you’ll measure up to your peers. Maybe you took on a college degree or career that your parents chose for you (either consciously or subconsiously).

By age 28-30, most of us would have sort of settled into some kind of career, and while you feel that you still have a long way to go, there’s a sense that you completed a milestone that began with your entry into school at age 7. This time of life is known to astrologers as the Saturn Return because Saturn returns to where it was when you were born, and this is where astrologers consider the true transition to adulthood, for here you take responsibility for the choices you made at the three earlier Saturn milestone points. Where you stand at the Saturn Return sets the stage for the next Saturn cycle.


What Saturn Means

From just the analysis of Saturn’s orbit above, you don’t need to know astrology to understand that Saturn represents measuring up, structure, parents and their expectations, teachers and their expectations, bosses and their expectations, long-term plans, tradition and conventionality, responsibilities etc.

On the other side of the coin, Saturn makes you wait for the outcome, makes you WORK for the outcome, gets you stressed up and worried about not ‘making it’, and reminds you every now and then ‘others’ are constantly watching the ‘grade’ you’re getting on the tests that come your way every here and now, just like the way it was when you were 7.

How Saturn in Your Chart Can Manifest as Problems

  • You become defensive and sensitive to criticism, either real or imagined
  • You fear not ‘making it’, so you overwork, overdo, overstress
  • Because standards are high, you constantly don’t meet your own expectations, and over time your confidence wanes, creating a vicious cycle
  • You crave achievement in this area so much, and try so hard with so little results (in your opinion) that you become intensely envious of those who seem to surpass your abilities with so little effort
  • The required effort is so overwhelming that you give up altogether and reject an entire part of you

Some Examples

I’m not a believer in providing all possible placements for planets, since every birthchart is well and truly unique, and simplifying placements inevitably sounds like I’ve grouped the world’s population into 12 categories. Nonetheless, here are examples to illustrate two house placements of Saturn:

Saturn in the 2nd house (money, possessions, values) could indicate someone who works really hard for money, mainly out of an intense insecurity of not having money, rather than a need for status and power. This person could be very reliable on money matters, for they are likely to take such responsibilities seriously, and would probably have a sound, long-term financial plan in place, though if taken to extremes this person could be a stingy money-pincher. Because of their aversion to risk (because speculation is like, sooo irresponsible), ironically the accumulation of wealth may take a long, long time.

Saturn in the 3rd (communication, thinking, siblings, neighbours) indicates mathematical and scientific ability, due to the structured mental disciplines required for such fields of study. There could be talent in handicraft that takes time and skill to perfect. However this person may be found doubting almost all information coming his way, leading to missed opportunities, and might be very sensitive if his intelligence is ever called into question (real or imagined). In some cases, negative thinking and problems with siblings and neighbours is indicated.


Making Sense of What’s Happening to You Now

Transits to Your Birth Chart

Transits, especially outer planet transits, can turn your life upside down, but it can also provide you with an avenue to shake up the monotony of your life (Uranus), gain insights and lose your rigidity (Neptune), eliminate whatever is no longer working for you by sometimes addressing your greatest fears (Pluto).

The process is never simple, and the periods of your life that are hit by outer planet transits result in events or personal changes that you never forget. These characterise job changes, new relationships and romantic separations, illnesses, saying goodbye to long-term commitments… so it’s no surprise that astrologer’s clients only show up when they’re getting major outer transits – we seldom see anyone who’s not going through one of those.

Some Facts About Outer Transits

1. They last a long time.

The outer planets are VERY slow-moving – e.g. Pluto takes more than 200 years to go around the zodiac, so you’ll never live long enough to see the entire cycle, and it’s not unusual for you to feel a specific Pluto transit for up to a year. Because you’re likely to get that specific transit only once in your lifetime, it literally is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

2. They can really mess up your life, or effect the most amazing transformations

We’ve seen middle-age men dump their steady, long-term marriages for a holiday fling with Uranus transiting natal Venus, people cutting themselves off from family due to suspicions and distrust with Pluto transits, and others who feel a deep sense of loss and sometimes depression with Neptune transits.

However, those who work constructively with these same transits find the courage to leave unrewarding jobs during the Uranus transit, find peace by picking up yoga and meditation during Neptune transits, and finally conquer addictions during Pluto transits. How do you want to use yours?


If you would like to find out more about astrology, join me for my workshops:

I will explain the transits in greater detail, as well as how to prepare ourselves to first accept the lessons of the transit, manage its effect in our lives, and most importantly how to use the energies to grow and take control. If time permits, mini-readings will be done during the session for participants. Most of the workshops are complimentary. 

Subscribe to us to find out more on our workshops, astrological charts, classes. If not, do email us via our contact form to book a consultation and we will get back to you as soon as we can!


In Between Signs… Or Are You?

If you were born between the 20th – 24th day of any month, there would have been some confusion over which ‘sign’ you were. Depending on where you read your horoscopes, you would have been categorised in either one of 2 signs. For example, if you were born on 22 November, some books would say you were Scorpio, others say you’re Sagittarius.

Are these books wrong? How most of the ‘cusp-babies’ deal with it is to identify themselves as being half of one sign and half of the other. Well, the answer is:

There is no such thing as being ‘half’ of a sign. If you were born 22 November, you are either a Scorpio or Sagittarius, never half of each. Which one you are will depend on which year you were born.

The Scientific Explanation

Just as it’s either July or August (there’s never, ‘today’s half-July, half-August’), there’s a clear cutoff point after which we transit into the next month. It’s possible to be late July or early August, but never half of each.

Why the exact date for the transition cannot be specified properly is attributed to 3 phenomena:

1) The Earth takes approximately 365 and one quarter days to complete an orbit around the Sun

2) The Earth’s orbit around the Sun is not a perfect circle

3) Different time zones used around the world means that if you were born 22 November, you might be Scorpio if you were born in Sydney, but Sagittarius if you were born in New York

Let me explain each one:

1) The Earth takes approximately 365 and one quarter days to complete an orbit around the Sun

If you divide a 360-degree circle by the 12 astrological signs, each sign occupies 30 degrees of the zodiacal circle. Hypothetically, if the Earth’s orbit took exactly 360 days, the Sun would ‘move’ exactly one degree per day. Unfortunately the orbit takes 5 and one quarter extra days, so the 1-degree-per-day estimate is not exact, and each ‘sign’ actually lasts slightly more than the 30-day allocation. From one year to the next, the actual transition from one sign to another will never fall at exactly the same date and time.

2) The Earth’s orbit around the Sun is not a perfect circle

As the Earth’s orbit is slightly elliptical, some signs last slightly longer than others, making it additionally difficult to determine the exact time interval between sign transitions.

3) Different time zones used around the world means that if you were born 22 November, you might be Scorpio if you were born in Sydney, but Sagittarius if you were born in New York

Unfortunately, the MOMENT that the Sun transits into the next sign doesn’t occur exactly at midnight, for whose midnight are we talking about? At any given moment, Sydney and New York may not even be on the same day, let alone the impossibility of it being the same time at both places at once.

As an illustration, based on Singapore-time, which is where I’m based, the transition from Gemini to Cancer occurred on Friday 21 July 2013, 1.04pm. A baby born that day in Singapore at 12.30pm is a Gemini, while another born the same day at 4pm is a Cancer. If they were both born in New York, at 12.30pm and 4pm (New York time) respectively, they would both be Cancers.

Are you a cusp-baby?

If you’d like to put to rest once and for all which sign you are, just generate your FREE birth chart with your birth details here.


1) How do astrologers know exactly when the Sun transits to a new sign?

Astrologers use a tool called an Ephemeris which records, according to astronomical calculations (read: the study of the science behind outer space – or what NASA does), the movements of the planets and other astrological elements. Most ephemerides are based on GMT time, so we need to be skilled in carrying out the right calculations to determine planetary placements, depending on your birth time zone, and birth location by latitude and longitude etc.

2) Based on your calculation, I’m a Sagittarius, but why do I still identify so strongly with Scorpio interpretations?

What we call your ‘sign’ is just the sign that the Sun happens to be in at the time of your birth. The Sun is just one of 10 planets (the Sun is technically a luminary, not a planet, but we’ll say so for the sake of simplicity) in a birth chart, and even if you’re a Sagittarius Sun, any number of the other 9 planets or other chart elements may be in Scorpio, possibly giving you more Scorpio traits than Sagittarian traits. I personally am a Taurus, but have only the Sun in Taurus, while I have 2 planets and a handful of asteroids in Aries, making me very Arien indeed (anyone who knows me will agree with that!)


What You Work For: Money, Service or Status?

Work forms such a huge part of our lives; too often years go by as we suddenly realise we’ve gotten some place (or in some cases, no place) in our careers. Then again, you find that the definition of ‘getting some place’ is different for each person. I have found that the personal definition of ‘career fulfilment’ for each person is guided by a mix of three principles: 1) How much you make 2) Whether your work is truly productive and valuable 3) How much recognition and status you get out of your work.

For some, status and job satisfaction is secondary, they’ll do whatever work pays the bills. Others feel that it’s ok if the salary isn’t great; as long as ‘Director’ is fancily enbossed on their namecards, or if they get their names on Wikipedia. What’s fulfillment for you?

The three areas are represented in our birth charts as follows:

Second House: Planets here indicate a sense of practicality – jobs are valued based on how much it pays. While this may sound superficial at first glance, this practicality is essential to ensuring that one doesn’t end up as a sidewalk violinist who lives on music and not quite enough dollars. 

Sixth House: Planets here show someone who cares about the quality of the work itself, ‘am I providing a genuine service to others, am I helping?’. The danger here is that a strong 6th house breeds workaholics who can lose their handle on the big picture of their career paths.

Tenth House: Persons with a strong 10th house (many planets located here) need recognition on the job. Working for years with no promotion is not acceptable – they want to lead teams, their capabilities must be highlighted. While success comes easy to these natives, they risk over-ambition, or can easily lose interest in jobs that don’t offer much in the way of recognition.

Chart Example: Albert Einstein

You might find it tricky to identify the houses in this chart, because his houses are skewed to one side, but his placements are as follows: 

Second house is empty (it’s a tiny house), he’s got the Moon in the 6th house, and FOUR planets in the 10th house.

If you refer to my descriptions above, Einstein would then be someone who prized career recognition and status above all, cared a bit about being of service in his work, but with not much emphasis on how much he was actually paid. Does that gel with your understanding of who Einstein was?

Note: Just because 2nd house is empty doesn’t mean someone’s going to be poor(!) What it means is that salary isn’t a priority, but a good income would still be a by-product of doing work that’s valuable to society.

The planets in Einstein’s 10th house are (from right to left): Sun, Mercury, Saturn and Venus. The Sun’s placement here tells me that success and recognition for his work is very much a part of his identity. Mercury and Saturn very close together indicates someone who built a career on something related to logical and mental processes and which requires long periods of study or work on a serious subject. Venus indicates a smooth-running career, and because Venus is in Aries, suggests that he might be known for being a pioneer, front-runner of some sort.

Moon in the 6th house suggests that Einstein could have been rather emotional or sentimental about his work, and its placement in Sagittarius tells me that ethics / beliefs / judgements related to his work might be the basis of emotional unrest. If you recall, besides being known for the Theory of Relativity, Einstein was also the inventor of the atomic bomb, which wiped out Nagasaki and Hiroshima, effectively ending World War II. He had not agreed with the idea of using nuclear fission as a weapon, and the eventual use of the atomic bomb and loss of lives was possibly emotionally upsetting for him.


Which house is a higher priority for you? As I will show in the example of Albert Einstein above, being aware of your inclinations can guide you towards careers that give you the satisfaction you seek in this lifetime. 

How to Obtain A Copy of Your Birthchart 

1. Email me at to obtain a free PDF copy of your birthchart like the one I posted of Albert Einstein above. Do remember to provide me with your:

  • Full Name
  • Birth Date
  • Birth Time
  • Birth Place

For an in depth understanding of your chart, do book an consultation appointment with me via

What does your chart reveal? Leave comments and tell us if an examination of your Career Houses (2nd, 6th and 10th houses) accurately describe your career inclinations.

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Western Astrology Consultancy Firm

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