Withholding – Refusing to join others…

outsider artToday, I came across the notion that there is a social aspect to a person…and that a person who refuses to join others…well, it’s just sort of weird.

Just think about a certain kind of withholding.  What’s it about?

For example, why do people lurk here without participating? Is it self-protective?  Is it some kind of defense?

Is it because not joining other people distinguishes them in some way?

It’s interesting to consider, because it does seem, we’re designed to interact. So if we refuse to do this, what does it mean?

I related this to Saturn in Scorpio.  A person controls their energy.  They may block it, but they could just as easily feel a responsibility to share their resources (whatever their resources might be), with other people.

Are we really designed to be alone and hoard whatever it is we have?

What does it mean (on any level), when a person refuses to join others, and be with them, share with them, celebrate with them..?


Withholding – Refusing to join others… — 187 Comments

  1. Wow, and, “And the people come out of the woodwork” is right. This post really made me think, especially that 80/20 concept. You can always be more social, be more productive, educate yourself more, it is an ongoing process of motivation and faith. That sounds kinda preachy and corny, but you know what I mean. That being said, I think we are in the passive phase of this computer/internet technology. And that is where the danger comes in, being able to watch and listen as others interact, ect. passively without any responsibility on your part to have any interaction or exchange. In the future, being on the internet will probably be like being in someones living room, where you can see them and hear them as they speak in real time. Maybe at one point we will be able to smell them too, Smell-O-Rama. Anyway enjoy it while it lasts.

  2. I love how stirred up everyone is on this one…as you say…pure question. my thought…and it took a long time to get here…is that we are very different critters…some more so than others. It’s better to explore, marvel, honor, protect and nurture and then express those aspects that make us the crazy wonderful mixed up version that we are. an eagle goes through life very differently than a barnyard chicken…especially in the social arena. I think that’s enough for now lol

  3. w/94 replies this might not be seen, but will give it a try. I check-in to see what people are talking about, but I definitely relate to #6, posted in whynot’s excellent post.
    However, about one year ago I read on this blog about people changing their screen names – why?

  4. Wow! What a great topic! I think I like to take things in and toss them around in my head for a while sometimes. I work by myself and I like it but when I do interact with others I realize how valuable it is, the exchange of ideas, etc.

    I know of people who are so angry with the world (actually themselves, but they don’t see it that way) that they interact very little with others. When they do share it’s simply throwing all their criticisms all over everyone. They can’t see any other way than their own. So even when they are joining others, I don’t think they really are.

    Just my thoughts, for now….

    • “When they do share it’s simply throwing all their criticisms all over everyone.”

      Something along this line occurred to me too. “Those who can do, do. Those who can’t, criticize.”

      It does not apply in all cases, but it’s certainly common.

  5. Absolutely, Elsa. That’s when I feel it’s my cue to duck out and go someplace happier. Or at least quieter.

  6. I ran into this recently with a person who lives as an ascetic. I have absolutely no problem with that lifestyle until judgement of others or “the group” happens. A neighborhood fire, a group of people working hard to put it out and this person makes an observation that the group is not appreciating the water coming out of the hose and listening to the earth that is burning. She retreats to “meditate” on this observance. I said to her – you know what – if you believe you have some deeper level of knowledge, make a space to teach those who are interested, find the leader in yourself – don’t sit in judgement and disassociate from mankind.

    • I think the logjam is indeed shifting! I was just copied on a group email from this neighbor sending a link to a documentary about raising social awareness!!!
      I really do feel that action and productivity are what’s needed from people right now. Even if it is just sharing ideas.

  7. Thank you Elsa, and everyone else who has shared so thoughtfully, for this post and your responses. This really helped me understand a situation that I am currently in. I am dealing with some nasty consequences of not “sharing” ( on the surface) in my neighborhood. The issue is that my “gifts” are dealing with others’ dark sides or personal issues. I can help people but I am not supposed to talk all of the time- I need my energy so when things get out of kilter I can go out in the street and say “enough” when it needs to be said, and the trouble stops and everyone is grateful for the moment but also a little terrified and sometimes resentful of the fact that even though it was necessary it was “antisocial”, not nice.
    Also because of my current and past jobs I need privacy because I deal with daily, and hold from the past many other peoples’ secrets. Astrologer,past private investigator, past hotel manager, worked in a shop that sold sex toys ( a little uncomfortable but an education into human nature that I would never trade for anything),antique and rare book appraiser and dealer specializing estates- yep, dead people’s stuff and all the family secrets that come with it and. Discretion is my service! But a lot of people don’t know that where I live and that makes me a true professional, but also a target as the neighborhood weirdo because I don’t interact. With Neptune on the Mc I have no control over what people project onto me and my reputation. It is usually so wrong as to be comical.
    I try to be more “social” but it doesn’t work. I am not the neighbor who says I can help you plan a party or you can count on to give you a friendly smile and warm welcome
    every single day but in a crisis, especially the kind that you don’t want anyone else to know about( an ex, a stalker, a ghost, addiction,) in the middle of the night I always seem to be there with a bat, taser, the name of a really good defense or divorce lawyer, therapist etc. whatever one needs because I can feel “the call” to help others in that moment, but there is no one around to see that and it has to be that way.
    I think I read it on this blog before, but I am not sure, “there is a reason the shaman lives on the outskirts of town.” I need to move somewhere more appropriate for my energy, and also to be more available to those I help because they don’t want my neighbors discussing them so they can’t come over. I have come to that realization that I must move but that is not possible just now, but if anyone has any other advice as to how to navigate this until then, it would be greatly appreciated. There are some very angry people wanting me to play social reindeer games, but I am not just built that way.

  8. Yes – yes – yes.

    For about 2 years – I’ve been exposed to lessons with ownership at work. About 3 years ago, I worked many, many, many long days with a very small team to learn and introduce new technology to some clients. As the work and client base gained traction, our team was forced to
    grow, including, out of the blue, the support of a third party that had a significantly more experience working with the technology. As things progressed, the bulk of the work that I had hoped to do was continually passed on to the more experienced group. Upon my first exposure to this I became absolutely irate. In hindsight, this was also during a Mars retrograde. Fortunately, I had supportive colleagues, but the course was set. So I had to learn to share and accept other responsibilities and learn new skills that have been, for the most part quite, fulfilling.

    Similarly, in my personal life, I’ve been in a relationship with someone with natal Saturn in late Scorpio. She has been fighting her own battles, but interestingly she keeps things very close to her chest,
    quite reserved about her talents and gifts. Ironically, as I’ve begun to notice, she attracts people in her career/business environments that tend to surreptitiously copy or disrupt her plans. Unfortunately,I am also finding it quite difficult to maintain feelings of intimacy.

    Oddly, regarding the relationship, Neptune is transiting opposite my moon and my natal Neptune, in Scorpio, opposes her natal moon.

    Blindingly bright ah-ha moment.
    Thank you!

      • Hi Charlotte,

        Ha, nope – about 30 degrees back, 3/24. Funny thing is when we both became more than friends, we had both commented on how much we might learn from each other and it has been very much so.


  9. Wow!
    I don’t know what transit prompted Elsa to bring up this subject, but it sure brought out the “lurkers”!!!
    I find this very funny and at the same time highly effective – and a good thing too.
    I don’t write very often. Do I qualify as a lurker? (Unfortunately the word feels slightly negative)
    But all the answers & reactions make me want to un-lurk!
    I tried to read carefully, but did not see if anyone mentions slowness : I am TERRIBLY SLOW, mull and ponder for days (and nights) & when I’m finished thinking, I figure what I have to say isn’t very interesting because there are so many good things written here by everone else!
    Well, there you have it from me : a (nearly) knee-jerk reaction. Pretty slow knee, however. (I’ve got 2, but they’re both slow)

    • Hi Satsun, I think that reason is extremely common (the ‘slow’ aspect).

      I’ve really enjoyed this thread, not least because it has been so highly participative. Developing groups (on how to work together better) was a major part of what I have been doing for my living for the last decade. The perfect job it seems for an 11th house Cancer Sun. The process involved identifying how contribution works, why some do, why some don’t, and through experience in the live setting, encouraging people to see this for themselves and change their behaviour in a way that would work for them and suit them. Because one thing is for sure, a group eventually grinds to a halt, runs out of steam, whatever you want to call it, if it is left to a few to do the work. Not only that, loads of times, people don’t get what they need or want, and leave it in the hands of other people to provide, sometimes even having to guess what is needed, because ‘they (the others) should know!’.

      The main reasons are differences in personality, approach, style – all of what has been mentioned. People needing time to think things through is one – they feel the moment has passed before they have their response, and perhaps it’s been said already, so it’s too late. For many, it is fear, and fear covers getting it perfect/right, saying something stupid, getting into a conflict, getting it wrong, being rejected, fear of it going nowhere and they are isolated. A classic one was not responding to a question to the group asking their opinion on something. Some would respond, but the rest would sit there in silence, as if somehow they were not included. It used to take days to convince them that even a simple yes or no, or I agree or don’t agree would make a huge difference.

      Ironically, groups are my worst thing, so it struck me as brave and ridiculous to even attempt a job like this. Meeting with new people and groups, in person, or online, used to fill me with dread. Now it is just a little dread, but I make myself, otherwise I would be alone in my own little world and waiting for everything and everyone to be perfect and comfortable first, or for it all to come to me.

      • I would also like to add that I see people being brave and honest on here and that encourages and inspires me to keep going.

    • by Satsun: I figure what I have to say isn’t very interesting because there are so many good things written here by everone else!
      Excellent explanation and can relate to that besides being a threadkiller. Saturn slows me down also. Wish I had more time to read this blog everyday – always good to read what other people are thinking and to appreciate the lives they have led.

  10. This is a great topic. I believe we pay a steep price for withholding our gifts from others, and it is critical that we get to a point where we stop expecting what we give to be immediately appreciated. I used to take it personally if I felt that what I offered wasn’t appreciated. It was because I was giving so that I would be liked. If I saw evidence I wouldn’t be liked as a result, I would pull back. I think I’m through with (or close to being through with)that now. Life is short. I want to share what I have.

    • If you are giving so you’ll be appreciated, that’s not giving, it’s trading.

      It’s an attempt to control the other person or persons. You can only have this is you do that. Mommy give and she can take away if x, y z, conditions aren’t met. It’s commonly called, “conditional love”.

  11. Withholding is a psychological defense, so essentially it is a protective measure, so it’s possible that those who have felt ignored, disrespected, or shut out in their relationships would ignore/disrespect/shut out others through refusing to join them.

  12. Other human beings do not necessarily make everyone feel safe, happy, and loved. Other human beings can be incredibly draining and/or be totally dedicated to making you feel like shit.

    We may not be designed to be alone, but we’re not apparently designed to be compatible with all humans either.

  13. I think I’ve been a bit misunderstood here…more today then yesterday.

    I just thought this was a decent thing to consider – use it or lose it, in regards whatever it is you have to give. And just to spend a little time thinking about what we were made for, in a bigger picture.

    I am sorry I am not a perfect writer. We all know this, lol!

    • Lol sorry if I’ve also misunderstood. Its just that this topic has really stirred something up in all of us. Mars in Libra at work!

      I used to be driven to rescue others. Venus & Chiron in the 10th. I mean like I wanted to adopt/foster a ton of children, give up all of my possessions to help the truly sufferring, and devoted my life to people in dire situations with little to no hope. I still can’t work without feeling like I am living in service somehow.

      But I gave up once I realized that some people truly would never be helped because there really are some people who just want to watch the world burn and many who will light their cigs and watch it all fall down. Realizing just how incapable I was made me feel like whatever I did would just be patching up a leak with chewing gum. I care that others hurt but I don’t have the life force right now to endure it. I will start volunteering somewhere again soon (likely once mars turns direct because i’m feeling like that’s the energy in my life) but I wonder if feeling powerless is a reason for others.

      • No problem, Cici. There are too many people who have commented for me to know who might feel what. Like I could know that anyway. This could also be sensitivity on my part.

        Imagine being at the center of this. I may simply be getting worn down.

        People can get whipped up and pissed off at this or at me, but in reality, I’m just trying to survive, myself, the best I can. So its just not easy.

        Anyway, I have no idea. There is no individual who has upset me. I am tired. I need some sleep. I need to replant 150 plants that got buried under 4″ of snow today. I feel like crying, due to the hardships some of my clients are facing…and my friends. Life and death and other very heavy shit.

        So when there is a post like this, all of that gets lost. My own humanity. I often (and easily) become a figure people are mad at, but really I’m just wishing I did not have to make dinner tonight or drive my kid the millionth place or whatever else it is that I have to do and then do and then do.

        The fact is, people really do seem to need to hate someone, to despise someone, and I seem to fit the bill often enough.

        Some of it is my fault. I don’t communicate well. I used a bad example. Whatever. I am not a God and this irritates the fuck out of people on a regular basis…and it tires me, as it would any of you.

        • Elsa, It doesn’t matter what one gives, for some it will never be enough. You give everyday but people still get pissed for you not saying it “this” way or “that” way. Well excuse the fuck out of me for not inventing the light bulb – that’s how I see those types of comments.

          I’ve supported this site in smaller ways, lots of reports, love the specialty ones like for the Grand Cross. I’ve tipped the jar but never had a full reading. Why? I would feel utterly pathetic asking about some of the stuff in my life compared to some of the stuff I know you’ve gone through and what others are going through. Trust me, we’ve got some real shit going on right now (stabbed in the back by a kid you put in business using lots of our own money) but it is what it is at this point.

          I like seeing your face in my e-mail box when I get your newsletter. I like reading stories of your dogs, I’m a sucker for a fuzzy rescued face. I found an AMAZING tarot reader on this site I still work with. I’ve gotten some great stuff from here. You’ve made a difference, as has your husband. THANK YOU <3

        • (((Elsa))) There will always be people who ruin it for the rest of us but I think this topic has been great for the majority of us. Exploring certain ideas can be very necessary to get some balls rolling, like a butterfly effect. Thank you!

          If you’ve done what you can and you need to stop and recharge that’s your right and your duty to yourself. It doesn’t matter if anyone else gets it and blames you for whatever because they aren’t living it, you are.

          AAARGH to snow!!!! That’s just awful.

  14. Help doesn’t have to be appreciated but it has to be accepted. I think that’s what I was trying to illustrate.

  15. Btw I’m not mad. I’m glad were talking about this:) it helps me refine my ideas about right and wrong.

  16. Don’t be disheartened Elsa. (((damn snow)))I am in western Canada and ours only melted a few days ago. It might even snow again this weekend!! What a year!

    BTW: This has been a great thread with lots of interesting input. That’s an example of something I could not or would not do. I write an Astrology blog but do not try to generate a lot of feedback. I am happy with someone commenting now and I enjoy writing…. but I don’t want the pressure of managing a lot of people as you do here. You give a lot and a lot of people know it and appreciate it!!

    Thank you!

    • I try not to be disheartened. But I have this real life stuff, like a crick in my neck…draining. And I did not wrote this to generate comments.

      I wrote it for the same reason I write everything. It came to me.

      But then I respond all day and wind up with pain in my hands my wrists…and no idea what happened to my neck.
      Mud all over the house…company coming over.

      See what I mean? I’m actually real.

      • I think it’s great! (The responses not the pain!) I am not fired up at all, in fact I think that your post fave me he kick in the butt that I needed to start interacting more openly but with caution (if necessary) as jupiter is leaving my twelfth house I feel like I have the energy to come out of the cave I was in… Somewhat refreshed. My moon is in Sag so I can relate to having a crick in my neck when overloaded with energy (good or bad). For me at least this post may have been the thing that is helping to clear a traffic jam. 😉 thx!

  17. Sometimes just leaving the house is tough for me. It wasn’t always like this yet it’s a struggle at times. I do like to help; 10th house Cancer w/ Jupiter, Moon & Chiron in Pisces 6th-hellooo rescue dogs. I know my limitations and never want to harm whatever organization I’m involved with. Example; I have everything necessary, skills included, to run a silent auction. I donate this on a regular basis from set up to clean-up. BUT I know I’m going to struggle with collecting auction items so that’s not included with my help.

    Even now I’m working on fundraising for a rescue group I cook for, cooking extends my available dollars. This job will be done online otherwise I wouldn’t even try.

    We’re very blessed & I LOVE to share what we have but sometimes it’s just never enough for some people. This has caused problems in the past. Like a 2nd visit at a church & get invited for dinner to show us plans for the youth building and the drawings have our name on the building – WTF.

    I read your site everyday but don’t post much. I used to but it was at the very beginning when I was new to astrology. I’ve purchased numerous reports and even tipped the jar a time or two as support for all you write. Personally I feel posting on any site can be very heavy for the site owner. Plus it does feel like I’m writing to a black hole sometimes, not a complaint or a response is required it’s just how I feel. Then other times I feel it’s how I can process the info.

    I don’t know why I’ve pulled back so much from society, my friends & even my family at times. I actually went 2 months without leaving my house, my daughter was home from college and she did all the grocery shopping.

    This post is heavy for me. It could just be my personal “pathology” or it could be a very heavy transit. If you don’t mind the question Elsa, where would we find this energy in our charts?

    Thanks for the thought provoking post, always interesting reading here 🙂

    • I’m not sure what you’re asking, TracIE. Relating to others is a Venus function. Generosity I would give to Jupiter.
      Withholding – Taur/Scor axis.

      • Thank you for the info. My question wasn’t very clear but you gave the info I was looking for.

        Venus conjunct Pluto in Virgo 12th, I relate critically. This opposes my Jupiter, Moon & Chiron conjunct in Pisces 6th, I want to help & soothe the wounded I relate to.
        Neptune in Scorpio 2nd opposite Part of Fortune in Taurus 8th, meh not sure but I’ve never felt a strong pull to learn more.

        Thank you again for this though provoking post, I woke up thinking about it.

  18. My son has a Saturn/Venus square. He courts loneliness. I’ve pointed out to him time and time again that I realize he acts sour in order to be “right”…. he predicts that he won’t have friends, and because he acts so sour, he is not disappointed. It’s a weird psychological defense. I hope that one of these days he’ll decide he doesn’t want to withhold from others, that taking the risk (Saturn in 7th) with others can lead to wonderful things. Yes, it can lead to disappointment too but in order to fully live life, you have to put yourself out there.
    Now ME—- that’s a whole other story. I am a hermit, I hide in my room and have not tried to socialize at ALL since we moved 3000 miles away from the place I loved. My excuse? I AM JUST PLAIN WORN DOWN. I have lost my mojo. But I have no doubt I will find it again— when the time is right. I have had Saturn chasing the progressed Moon for the last 4 years, which as far as I am concerned is a really, really good excuse for withdrawing from others.

    • I have seen that too, dog. No one is good enough for the person – this way they suffer no rejection. It takes courage to offer yourself…and any Saturn person who does not face their fear is going to compromise themselves, severely.

      Another thing, all through this, I am assumed to be an extrovert. Hardly! ::laughs::

      For Godsakes, I’m from the desert. I was the girl in high school with a boyfriend and an outcast gay boy for a friend.

      I admit, I will blow your doors off, if you decide to talk to me one on one, but extrovert? Hell no.

      Do you see me at astro conferences? There is no way. I’ve tried, but I am paralyzed with fear. I can’t even speak.

      That people assume things come easy for me, is pretty bizarre. No idea why anyone would think that – what do you see me doing, that is *easy*?

      I’m just accustomed to do what needs to be done, and I am glad of it. I don’t want to live a crunched down life.

      Jeez, you guys. I had to get my nerve up for 2 years, just to go to mass. That was…seven years ago and I still struggle. Struggle, but I do it.

      Because guess what? Some 76 year old man just quit his days going to the hospital. Can you blame him? He’s old!

      So who is going to take his place? No one. People want service, but they don’t want to give it.

      So who volunteered to take more days?


      Is this because I’m an extrovert?


      I’m such an extrovert, here I am going to the hospital for going on 2 years, walking in thinking, “please don’t let me fuck this up.”

      Jeez, how many times have I moved to the middle of nowhere? This next time will be my 4th and hopefully my last. And what do I want to do when I move?

      Have parties so that SINGLES can meet people the old fashioned way.

      Why would I do that?

      Because someone needs to.


      I would just as soon, lie in bed with my husband, watch movies, tell jokes and fuck. But guess what? It’s not all me, just like it’s not all about him.

      It is about what I can do, and what I can do is maintain this blog, have a party, cook for people, let kids come to my house, visit the hospital, support my friends, grow vegetables and give them away…and any other thing I can possibly think of that might make this world better, not worse.

    • dog8818, “I have lost my mojo. But I have no doubt I will find it again-when the time is right.” I feel the same way & I appreciate the hopefulness at the end of this statement.

      It’s an odd thing to see your children struggle with relationships of any kind. My daughter had very little friends, one day she explained she’d be a bitch then she’d know why she wasn’t liked. Her way to control possible rejection but a crappy way to be. You can’t learn to interact well with others if you avoid doing it. She has a packed Capricorn 8th;Uranus, Saturn & Neptune. I don’t think she has Venus, I’m sad for her. One thing she’ll share everything & always volunteers.

      Me & my son have the same signs in the same houses. He has the strangest view about relating. He expects people to feel the same way he does & when they don’t he’s SO disappointed. It’s not likes/dislikes it’s having the same commitment to… If he’s on a team goes into it thinking “we’re all in this together pulling the same way & shall bond over this experience”. Then he discovers it’s not this way & he get really upset. It’s as if he’s looking for “his people”. Venus in his Taurus 8th, he relates via our resources. Saturn’s in his 6th Pisces (opposite Chiron), he’s had some odd health issues & this embarrasses him, makes him feel even more different. He volunteers but he requires a little more cheerleading.

      Good luck finding your mojo.

  19. I have to feel lead to do something in my heart or I’m not doing it. If I’m guilted into doing something (by older people) I begrudge it. It isn’t a blessing to me and I feel like it is of reduced value to the receiver in someway.

    I will sometimes interact with strangers, I have some great stories about strangers I’ve talked to, but usually I would much rather play with my phone. Interacting with several hundred people 40 hours a week is a plenty, I don’t need to chat in the grocery store line too, let Ellie extrovert talk to people while I play with my phone.

    • I agree,about feeling called. This is why I asked my son about this. I feel called, constantly. He doesn’t seem to feel this himself. My husband is probably right. It’s something you have to instill in a child.

      We have legions of people,so self-absorbed, they don’t even glance back to see if they need to hold the door for someone behind them.

      This is not a civil society. Everyone says we’re in decline, but no one wants to do anything. 6% cannot carry a society. I feel there is such a thing as a civic responsibility. It trumps your feelings, quite frankly. You were made to do a lot more then feel. If not, why have arms and legs?

  20. I was thinking, I will have these people over, even though I don’t know what I am doing. I have no class, in reality, but I try very hard to fake it.

    Anyway, I will invite people over, and allow them to see I don’t know how to decorate a house and I am just jacked up in too many ways to count. However, when I run out of forks and you’re required to share a fork with the man next to you, who you wind up marrying, that will not surprise me. Because I do bring people together.

    I don’t know why people think they need to be perfect. You aren’t perfect, and you never will be. You’re nowhere close to perfect!

    But anyway, I will allow myself to be seen, mocked, denigrated, talked and gossiped about, in order to offer something I feel I have to give.

    This blog is proof of that. My writing sucks…my ideas don’t. I write this blog though I am dyslexic as fuck, brain-damaged, really, and I keep coming back to write it, no matter how shot up, I might be.

    I don’t do this for you, I do it for myself. I want there to be meaning in life…and for me at least, I don’t that can happen without an investment of time and energy, and whatever talent I have, even if it’s meager.

  21. Speaking as a lifelong Capricorn, I will admit to always wanting to look like I have it together in public. This doesn’t mean I can’t appear foolish or silly or make mistakes in public, as long as I look like I can recover and be cool. I would die before being publicly humiliated by appearing incompetent.

    But, as an astrologer, when I look at the houses/signs, four of them involve “couples” (5th, 6th, 7th, 8th), and four of them involve the rest of the world (9th, 10th, 11th, 12th)… and even the 4th house usually implies other people, as having a family usually involves more than one person. So 75% of the houses include other people… and even Taurus, though self-oriented, wants to be in a herd. Maybe only Aries and Gemini are kind of self-contained.

    I know we need to master ourselves, and delve into ourselves, but to me, I’m doing all that work so I can interact better with all those people out there.

  22. I was painfully shy as a child. Even in graduate school, my teachers nicknamed me “pretty girl whose face turns red”. It was not something my parents “did to me”. I was born with Saturn conjunct my Leo ascendant from the 12th house! Recently, I was shown a picture of myself from when I was 16 that I had never seen before. Now, at 37, I saw the beautiful young woman in the photo trying to hide nestled in my cousin’s shoulder and I felt sad that she had no idea how lovely she was.

    By being shy and withdrawn, I observed A LOT about people and their nature. I was internally intensely curious and highly sexual at a young age. These were not appropriate things to share. It shaped the person I am today. I can look at someone and discern the likelihood of an illness to develop and the psychoemotional layer that perpetuates their disease process. This is, also, not something everybody wants to hear about. So, I withhold. Even when someone is paying me to tell them the truth, I have to be extremely tactful. It is often something they already know and may not be ready to hear out loud.

  23. Coming from a person with Saturn in Scorpio in their natal chart. I withhold myself from the world because my trust has been betrayed so many times that it’s an act of insanity to come close to opening myself to the possibility of that betrayal again. Which, there is a very high chance of that happening

    • I agree. Most people are bastards, it’s not worth trying to wade through them to try and find some good ones. The grabbing hands grab all they can. My motto is, nothing ever works, so don’t even try.

  24. There is something that astrologers have that scares me away from posting comments. I call it the astrologer’s finger. Hold your arm out with your palm clenched, facing down. Just point your index finger out and wag it from side to side. That is the astrologer’s finger. Use it when you want to tell astrologers that they are wrong about something. e.g. “If you’re not doing fixed stars, then you’re not doing astrology!”. Notice how sensitive people run away!! Fear of criticism, fear of rejection.

  25. I have Saturn in Aquarius, 8th house natally. I do withhold. I have a big lesson around this. I’ve found myself in situations where I feel it necessary to withhold for many years now.
    Part of this is because I moved around as a child, and maybe due hypersensitivity with late Cancer rising I became very self conscious. My mother was seen as “Native” by my father’s family, although she did not consider herself so. I suppose I picked up on the perception, however it was very unconscious. My mother’s sun sign was Aquarius. She was a beautiful shade of brown and her beauty was constantly remarked upon, and I am very fair, and not classically beautiful or exotic. That set up a certain dynamic for me as well where I felt inhibited.
    We moved back to my mother’s home when I was 8 turning 9, and left again when I was 14 turning 15. In 2005 my mother obtained her Nunatsiavut status, and I followed suit – I had been waiting for her to do so. In healthy communities communal living imparts that generosity which is not withholding, and given the confusion of post colonial native communities – that generosity has been lost for many of us. In fact I hung onto intellectualism as the value to be sought – which only served to mess me up emotionally.
    There has been an Aboriginal Renaissance and First Nations, Metis and Inuit issues have been forefront in our news in Canada.
    I became aware of issues such as the over representation of Native people in our Justice and Corrections systems when I worked as a court worker. I married a man (divorced 2007) who was Institutionalized – part of that as a result of my own issues from family dysfunction, alcoholism, co-dependency etc. This is heavy stuff. (apologies 🙂 )
    I’ve often wished to be light, funny, and that sharing came easily. I see people in social situations being easy in their skins. Yes! often I have wanted that. Who wouldn’t?
    Right now I am home recovering from cancer surgery – have to begin chemo in a few weeks. My job entails working in a jail where I do see evidence of the system being oppressive especially as regards native peoples. And I end up withholding b/c I am shy, and find it difficult to raise the issues I am thinking about without coming across as being defensive. People generally just speak about those who are incarcerated as “pieces of shit”, and that is the ‘party line’. Anyone who works as a social worker or in a capacity to make change is referred to derisively by correctional staff. I can see that the CO’s need to draw a line so they can be enforcers – it would be too difficult to recognize humanity when you’re the person who may have to physically take someone down.
    Anyway – for a variety of reasons – my post secondary education cut short due to my early alcoholism (in recovery now for 21 years) – I have been struggling to ‘be more’ and ‘better’ in my life – some good has come from meditative practice and yoga. My Virgo Moon (3rd house) berates me for not getting those worked into a disciplined practice yet.
    I am trying to be honest about myself to reveal the withholding personality; I am not only trying to justify it. It’s uncomfortable! My ex boyfriend who is Blackfoot and has a highly evolved sense of humour pities me my uptightness. And I have struggled with Constipation LOL – the surgery may have corrected it fingers crossed.

  26. Just think there are so many permutations and combinations and it’s good that within any group there are those who may not appear fully engaged – sometimes observers are needed. There could be so many levels of activity, including spiritual methinks! – occurring at any gathering of people. Different people are functioning at different wavelengths, and even within their own lifetime that may change from being withholding to giving and maybe a morph into some other purpose altogether again.

  27. “Looking at man, almost the first thing we see about him is that he’s not an isolated unit independent of others, but a social being, bound to others by needs which cannot be satisfied and by powers which must remain unused, save in relation to other men..”

    From Theology and SanityTheology And Sanity by Frank Sheed

  28. Elsa,

    I said why I was withholding for the past few weeks in another blog post. I felt you were sugar-coating some really hard times for the Cardinals. I have a 10 degree Cancer Sun in square to Mars. Mars in Libra. So am seething inside. Nothing seems to be working out. It’s like am teased with things that seem would be fantastic, but they don’t ever come to fruition. I have a natal chart with easy aspects, a lot. Now I have a chart with hard angles ONLY. No break whatsoever in sight. Not for months – even years. Of course, I don’t want to share. I feel like am bringing everyone down. I need to find a way up. So am kick-boxing every single day. Is it easy? No way. It’s my eighth day and I’ve never done it. I haven’t exercised in 5 years. So this is how I am expressing my aggression. But it doesn’t mean the Universe is opening any doors regarding work or love or friendship. Am on my own for the first time in decades. If that was part of the big picture, well, it’s in effect. I apologize for not sharing more. I just want to be an observer because I have nothing positive to contribute.

    Thank you for understanding.



  29. I was somewhat taken aback by the description of the withholding person as ‘weird’. I have to say too – thank goodness for the forum, and we’re going to say things as we express ourselves that may be questioned by others. I don’t know if anyone is familiar with the Film “Romulus My Father” – the book on which it was based was written by Raimond Gaita, a moral philosopher, and the story it tells is a true one. I am attaching an excerpt from his treatise: “A Commmon Humanity: Thinking about Love, truth and Justice” – because I think this topic has raised the need to remember some human beings have suffered experiences which have taken away easy social intercourse. “To talk of inalienable dignity is rather like talking of the inalienable right to esteem. Both are alienable; esteem for obvious reasons, and dignity because it is essentially tied to appearance. Like the protestation of rights to which it is allied, it will survive only if one is spared the worst. Those who are not spared, those whom Simone Weil described as having been “struck the kind of blow which leaves a being struggling on the ground like a half crushed worm”, depend on the love of saints to make their humanity visible. That is why Weil also said that when compassion for the afflicted is really found “we have a more astounding miracle than walking on water, healing the sick, or even raising the dead”. please see the link, Gaita is wonderful IMHO http://www.theguardian.com/education/2001/may/22/socialsciences.highereducation

  30. Soooo, you wanna know what I think. I think Neptune directly on my ascendant is a calming influence. My Chiron in Aries at 13* also feels a calming influence from Uranus. It almost feels like a small answer to the equation.

  31. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I have a problem with not withholding and oddly enough it only happens on ElsaElsa. I get why people hold back, they get stirred and are frightened of the floodgates. Hell, ya’ll have seen me in action. It’s not really a mystery.

  32. Hi

    I like whynot’s post and ideas. I have read like more than half of the posts but after that I didn’t have enough time to read the rest..oh, better said, my Gemini moon went on to something else 🙂

    I saw the post when no one had replied and had a strong reaction to it. Felt a big threatened and I’ll explain.

    Got well-aspected pluto in my 11th house and I’m Scorpio rising so I’m a bit cautious, especially with groups, hehe. I quickly felt the post would get the response it has hadd and well, I was a bit busy at the time and wanted to revisit it later, when I was more relaxed.

    I have had experiences of being the group scapegoat, especially based on my ethnic differences with the main group of the country where I grew up. Pluto does have ethnic vibes, I think.

    Anyhoo, that’s why I shy away from groups at times, especially if I sniff a storm (like I did.) But I’m here, and posting.

    I am an introvert who is also socially curious (five planets in air, yet with my ascendant and with my pisces sun and aquarius mercury in the private fourth house)and I take turns to join a group and to leave it. I have uranus rising and venus in aquarius, so I like to go off at times and ponder by myself.

    Got 8th house moon and mars in gemini (gemini 8th house cusp) and I work with people’s emotional and psychological resources and love to empower others so I share a lot with others, I know.

    Yet in groups (physical ones, like in my psychotherapy training) at times I have been accussed (literally) of witholding – and they were right. Partly due to fear, partly due to wanting to hold on to stuff (scorpio, south node in taurus!) and partly because I wanted to share because it came out of me, not because others coerced me to do so (this happened once in a group.)

    I like that people have come out to post here. I thought many who normally don’t post would come out and post. Thanks to everybody 🙂

    Interesting post…I like combining sharing with others and keeping to myself, especially to recharge and also because although my gemini planets can ‘wing it’ in terms of spontaneous debates and conversations, deep down I am a slow thinker (mercury aspected by saturn, neptune aspects in my chart) so I prefer to think a lot and ponder before deciding on ideas.

    Now I feel I have talked a lot already and taken up too much space in this group with this long post, so see you soon!

    • appreciate cris London’s post. Re-reading about participation – I don’t believe being an introvert excludes me from participating. I have done a lot of thinking about using myself for a greater purpose and I believe I have a wide streak of altruism. I idealize community, at the same time finding joining in socially difficult. another link from Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts

  33. I have a stellium in Scorpio (sun, mars, mercury) in opposition to Jupiter, so this is interesting. I do withhold in some ways – don’t tend to comment on blogs, can be quiet in groups, don’t wear my heart on my sleeve, need lots of time on my own etc. However in the right context, which for me means at work, my interaction with others is a pure flow. It’s a joining, not taking or giving. I work as a massage therapist in palliative care and my interaction with patients is at a deep energetic level. I think doing this kind of work has fundamentally changed my sense of what it means to interact with others. I guess I feel if I am going to interact it’s got to DO something, just writing something on the internet seems flimsy somehow. I suppose it’s about helping others ultimately and what you write Elsa so definitely does.

  34. Read through this a couple days ago, had a long conversation with my partner about the idea. Still struggling to come up with an answer, normally I would just move on and say nothing but I feel a strong compulsion to do so.

    Though I am very Gemini, I’m extremely private and have never been able to fully express myself in words well. It takes me a million words what someone could say in a sentence. I clarify too much, use too many qualifiers (is that even the right word?) and I’ve re-gained my previously-shed extreme self-consciousness about how odd my manner of communication is.

    At the same time I used to work at an inpatient drug rehab, and taught classes to the residents. Somehow I generally kept the attention of fifteen just-barely-detoxed individuals for at least twenty minutes at a time, a skill that not many of my coworkers had. Dynamic rambling and I could not care about sounding or appearing eloquent, professional or put-together. Never talked “at” them.

    (Actually, the above? I don’t ever have an answer until I work my way through to it, and that takes awhile. I guess I don’t want to share something until it’s a “complete” idea, at least online, and that’s not possible for me. So I contradict myself repeatedly and I just don’t like that inner dynamic being observed… I gotta get over this and do it anyway.)

    Fascinating post, fascinating responses, thank you everyone.

  35. Three giant revelations of this thread:
    1. Look how many people feel as shy as I do! Wow!
    2. So why not get off it and just share?! Look how much we’ve all learned from those who ‘never’ share. More wow!
    3. Sharing is soulful, courageous, worth doing if you can find a way to let go of the habit of hiding; even if you you do it awkward or funky it’ll get you high

    Sharing = positive action = good karma = feeling great = enCouraging us all = I’m calling it ‘doing the Elsa’

  36. Mercurial- I get so much from what you’ve said. You describe something that I understand – it’s a process and those of us who aren’t readily engaged in a group, can often be very effective among groups of those like addicts or criminals, at risk children, etc etc – those on the fringes b/c we know how that is. It’s a gift too and definitely something to share. So it does come full circle to Elsa’s take that we all do need to find how we can share – it just isn’t necessarily easily or readily observed. My communication so often comes across as obscure. I love poetry.

  37. Look at me Cancer rising, hanging on and on

    anyway came across this on my facebook from a few years ago, and I liked how I put it (this was when I was keenly aware I was withholding socially from workgroup):

    August 19, 2012 near Calgary

    What’s rolling around in my head: as I read about violence among the criminal more than your average bear: I can almost ‘get’ how people who’ve had it rough and no education and perhaps no caring from a loving parent, can hurt other people; what I don’t get is how educated people with good jobs, good health and supportive social lives can be cruel, self serving and self aggrandizing, and have no value for compassion. If bullied as children – I marvel that they can’t figure out that one bitter nut they experienced may be how another human being HUMAN BEING experienced life – many many bitter awful moments for an extended time period with a damaged ability to perceive choice. I wish for our future generations that processes like meditation and practices of compassion become as mandatory as math and language arts in our education systems.

    MY soapbox and release for the day.

  38. I love these questions! I’ve been here and commented under various aliases. I’ve commented a lot (for me) in a short period of time. Then nothing.

    In my own case, I lurk as much in RL than online. I just truly love to listen (or read when online). When I do, I can dothis because:
    – I like to notice opinions that are not mine, reactions that are not natural for me, the way people bond or antagonize each other. Sometimes I also like to identify what I interpret as misunderstandings or miscommunications. This, in turn, is meant to teach me about my own behaviors, my own reactions, and to help me spot my own ability to not be clear…
    – I also often find that I feel my own opinion or thought doesn’t matter. It absolutely matters to me and can even be part of me, but I truly and … Humbly? I don’t know. But I fail to see how it matters to the other. Maybe because too often when I share I feel the other I share with tries to change my mind, which truly isn’t why I share. Heck, I just share because if you want to know part of who I am this is me… Online, even that seems irrelevent.
    – I’m also quick to over share (and share and share!) as proven by the length of this comment. Moderation is truly tough for me, so when I don’t want to over share, it seems so much more natural to just censor and appreciate. I often find that when I start feeling comfortable enough to share, I leave little room for the other to do so as well unless the other is a bit like me 😉 So not saying anything truly feels like the most respectful thing ever to do! LOL Sometimes, in RL, I also actually see people’s eyes doing the closest thing to glazing over when I’m on a roll. And I can hear the inner critic panic and mutter: “You’re losing them! Shut the hell up!” It’s happen so often I think I can preplan this and autocensor at boot.
    – I’m also a compartimentalizer (which I doubt is an actual word). I do things some places, with some people, more often than not when I’ve had a good “vibe” one on one with all present parties or most, and never in other contexts. It’s weird. Some people have heard me swear and yell again and again, and that I’m a spontaneous dorky over-affectionate person. Others would swear I’m some sort of angelic – not necessarily a compliment – uptight unemotional goody goody. Others that I’m a snob. Others that I’m super naive and gullible. It’s weird but hey…

    As for how this plays … I’m pretty instinctive. This plays better in RL because I watch people’s smile and try to match their words with their body language…. Essentially, if I feel accepted as is without expectations – then I let myself unravel and let my words and actions show who I am. If I feel expectations I tend to panic. If I feel judgmental expectations or am told who I am without showing anything, I shell up I guess. It makes for few real bonds, but those real ones are hheck a worth it!

    TL/DR -> I’m a lurker on and offline. Yes, it’s weird. I think I’m weird. I talk too much, and it’s why I choose to shut up strangely! It makes connections hard, but when I manage to create and feel them, I start acting like it’s a life commitment. Weird I said.

  39. Well, trying to figure out why a person does what they do is an infinite, convoluted question to begin with. If one had a thousand lifetimes they could not begin to figure it out. 🙂 best to not try. And is this non-participating person is “withholding” in some way? Well, I don’t think any of our behaviors are any thing other than our path of least resistance at the time. 🙂
    I can relate sun in libra (supposed to be all social?!! Wtf?), moon in Aries ( I usually just wanna fight) :), mars venus conjunct in Scorpio (everybody stares/thinks I wanna do it)-in 12th house (leave my love alone-it’s deep, it’s personal), square my Leo Saturn (I’m SO awkward).
    It is ALL there for the good. In me and in another. And as we’ll I am a magnet, therefore what I see in others can only be active in myself as well.

  40. We all cannot be of the same nature. Sameness is not what we came for. It is in the diversity that we expand. And without expansion, life would cease to be.
    Also..sag rising (I’m going places others just don’t think is fun) 😉
    #loner haha
    Yeah everybody loved this post. Huh? Ver cool.

  41. Great topic Elsa. When I first saw it I thought “aw gee”, had to think about it. For the past 2 decades I so loved being on social media. Put the kids in bed then have friendly talks with folks I am still friends with. Plutp moving into my 12th and the past so many months of Mars in Libra has kept me sick in one way or another so that is really all I have to talk about. Not many people want to hear ” so how high is your fever today? ” There is also a strong desire for strong spiritual bonds. I freely tell my friends how much I love them and do dearly. Service work or helping another person who is going through trials plays a bigger part as well. Unspoken words are very powerful. On the other hand superficial relationships just don’t have the meaning they once did. I find myself in deep thought looking for ways to make experiences positive for everyone involved. Pulling back from social media has opened many doors and exploration into area’s I never had the time for. Nature, playing with the wild animals or I should say the animals that were tossed away. Then the greatest love is looking into my grandbabies eyes and being part of their first experiences. I am a Leo after all! There is just a deeper meaning to life than before and the rewards are beyond anything I have experienced. Now hopefully Mars in Libra will stop the illnesses, to much to long-just wiped out 8th house along with P-mars, natal Virgo

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