February 9, 20112 Comments

Valentine's Day box of candy“Astrology for the Astrologically Challenged” by Deborah Smith Parker

I’ll get back to Pluto specifically in my next posts but he’s still evident on Valentine’s Day—all that death and dismembering of relationships resulting from bad and even disastrous gift choices on this and other requisite gift giving days.

So as a public service I’m going to use astrology—novices need not panic—as reference points for how my husband Jeff and I navigated these treacherous waters, punctuated with excerpts from my book, “Humanus Astrologicus.”

If we’d had to rely on presents to anchor and cement our 27 year relationship we wouldn’t have made it past the first few months. But we survived the failed gifts of the garlic press and the meat thermometer.

He gave them to me quite early in our relationship, to me an Aries woman, queen of the Amazons, domestic rebel. Yes, me, a woman who in my younger years taped to the wall behind the toilet—so men would have to see it while they peed—a poster that read, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” It weeded out the weak and fragile egos faster than weeks of dating ever could. My Aries Sun does not suffer fools gladly:

They’re drawn to anything that’s new
And may not stay too long with you.
They’re not inclined to mope or grieve,
They just pack up their things and leave.”

We survived. It helped that he’d grown up with both an Aries mother and sister. Raised by wolves I say, so he knew how to deal with me. Plus he has Mars in Libra so he likes strong women and the heat and energy they bring to a relationship:

They need relationships as anchor
Though they may be filled with rancor
Because they’re drawn to fires made
By those who throw the hand grenade.

His Sun is in Aquarius so he stubbornly spends much of his time in his own world.

“You think they’re there when they are not;
Their standard line is, ‘I forgot.’
Their minds go to another place
Where they are able to embrace
New ideas just taking form
Which they will use to change some norm.”

He fascinates me. His ideas I can’t always follow, he’s often in outer space, but he never ceases to surprise and amaze me in wonderful ways, albeit in ways that have nothing to do with commercial purchases. When he shifts his concentration to me he more than makes up for his absences while journeying his native planet, Uranus.

Venus is the planet most related to gifts. His is in Aquarius so we have that outer space thing operating again. However, I have Venus in tender-hearted Pisces which is more about what I feel about him rather than what he gives me materially.

His Moon is also in Pisces, conjunct my Venus. In astrology the Moon represents our feeling response and what we need from others. The deep Piscean water of cosmic consciousness is where we meet and feel our deepest connection, one we felt the first day we met and continues to be vital today.

Sure, occasionally one of us would like to run the other one down in the driveway. But we don’t. We learn.

When we’d been together five years he asked me what I wanted for my birthday. At least he asked. I told him I wanted him to write me a poem. I knew what I was asking. He really doesn’t like poetry and I’m a many times published poet. But poetry is the language of Pisces. I knew he could engage his Pisces Moon and do it!

Strong images for them precede
The words that somehow just impede
Expressing thoughts that have their home
Where few of us will ever roam.”

He swallowed hard and then said OK. On my birthday what he gave me could never equal any traditional gift. Until today I’ve never shown it to anyone, it was so special to me. But in writing this post I realized it represented just how many bridges across seemingly impassible territories two people can build. I asked his permission to share it here. In true Aquarian fashion he shrugged and said, “Sure, why not.” Enjoy it. We may never see another.

Deborah’s Birthday Poem 1988
By Jeff Parker

Astrology shows the link between us,
By it we learn to think of oneness.
When our hearts tune into energy above
Our charts will show that it is love.
Our hearts are like a garden tended,
And when love neglected needs be mended,
I know that you have felt frustration
And sometimes think me a crustacean.
However, remember please before too late,
When in the midst of some debate
Our garden is tended best when we communicate.”

I saw an Internet ad this morning for a hearts & kisses ring I know some poor guy in desperation is going to snap it up because it glitters and is expensive. I thought its two side by side heart-shaped settings with rubies and diamond chips made it look like a Colorado River Toad just coming off a three day drunk. DON’T BUY IT! Consider writing her a poem instead.

Jeff and I eventually abandoned presents in favor of spending what would have been gift money to do things together we both enjoy. I highly recommend it.

(Deborah Smith Parker is the author of “Humanus Astrologicus” available on this site. To follow her on Twitter and Facebook click to the right of this post)

About author:

Deborah Smith Parker is re-writing the often impenetrable language of astrology into a much friendlier form. She has spent her 30 plus years as an astrological consultant, writer, teacher and lecturer freeing the rich astrological images and their descriptions increasingly buried under modern clinical and technological descriptions. Her additional work in public policy has provided many outlets for demonstrating her ability to break down highly complex systems into information that’s easily understood.

All entries by


  1. What a wonderful Valentine’s day article. –And tell Jeff I love his poem. Glad he was willing to share it.

  2. Terri says:

    Hi Deborah,
    I love your posts! They are both educational and amusing — a happy blend. Keep ’em coming! Also, thanks for hosting the fine Astro*Carto*Graphy workshop today with Steven Mark Weiss — very inspiring. Pity I’m reluctant to move east…

    – terri

Leave a Reply