Habit and addiction seem to me to have a tight relationship. While habit is considered normal, addiction by definition is a bad.
If I take a vitamin every morning is this habit or addiction?
If I have a beer every night is this habit or addiction?
Vitamins are “good” therefore a habit. Beer is “bad” therefore an addiction. Can we be addicted to good things?
Definition of Addiction
This Medical News Today article defines habit and addiction clearly:
What is the difference between a habit and an addiction?
Addiction – there is a psychological/physical component; the person is unable to control the aspects of the addiction without help because of the mental or physical conditions involved.
Habit – it is done by choice. The person with the habit can choose to stop, and will subsequently stop successfully if they want to. The psychological/physical component is not an issue as it is with an addiction.
The difference between addiction and habit is clear and is about control. Yet I wonder how many habits we have that we really can’t stop at will?
I suppose that’s when habit becomes obsessive-compulsive disorder which is habit-as-addiction.
What does astrology say about habit and addiction?
Astrology of Habit and Addiction
In my search on the astrology of addiction, I found lots of blame put on Neptune, the mystical planet of merged consciousness.
Neptune makes sense in terms of the traditional addiction to intoxicating substances. Life on earth can be a hard slap on the face because we imagine wonderful things (and see movies that make us imagine and dream even more) and even when we get what we imagine, it’s never quite the same as in our mind’s eye.
Romance, of course, is the most obvious place where this occurs. When your lover first farts, corporeal reality has intruded on all of your projections. (Could this be the mystical reason for flatulence?)
That’s life on earth.
Neptune, then, seeks escape.
Is escape addiction?
This Astrolada article has for me the most interesting and insightful take on the astrology of addiction. Rather than blaming poor, abused Neptune, research done by the writer indicates the moon in hard aspect to Mars, Saturn, Uranus or Neptune are all indicators of addiction.
I’d been suspecting the moon all along.
The Foundation of Your Home
In thinking of habit and addiction, the image that comes to mind is of a basement. The walls are like habit. We want strong, sturdy walls to keep the house upright and free from intrusion from insects, robbers and nature.
Saturn, which rules structure, is like the walls of the basement.
Because no structure is 100 percent solid or seamless, there are going to be areas where the wall is challenged by the environment. There may be cracks, fissures or holes that appear over time. If the structure is solidly built in the first place, repairs should be easy.
If the structure was not solidly constructed or there is a natural disaster, the structure is at risk. Then one must re-grade or re-build entirely the foundation of the house.
The environment, with its constant changes, points for me to the moon. The moon is the stuff that comes at us daily. The moon is our reactive nature. If we have any problems with Saturn, which is considered a problem in its own right, the reactive nature kicks in which seeks safety and comfort.
Saturn is considered the planet of karma and often our Achilles Heel or weakest link. Aspects to Saturn indicate if our basement can survive the rain. If not, the moon brings the mop and buckets – and a cup of tea because it just feels bad to have to mop the basement.
If the basement wall is filled with holes, the moon will react more often with its bucket, mop and comforting cup of tea. As the mopping becomes more frequent, the tea may change to coffee and then to Red Bull and then to whisky.
When moon and Mars are in hard aspect, then maybe insects are constantly trying to invade our basement. Insects are called “bugs” and when someone does something we don’t like we say they are “bugging us.” It’s frustrating to have all those people out there getting in our way.
When moon and Saturn are in hard aspect, then maybe our foundation was never built well to begin with. It is constantly threatening to bust at the seams which creates the need to constantly reinforce. This is habit-as-addiction.
When moon and Uranus are in hard aspect, it’s more like sudden, unexpected weather threatens our basement every few years (like seven). We might go through periods of addiction due to unusual circumstances and periods of non-addiction.
When moon and Neptune are in hard aspect, then we have decided to live on a house boat. Water underneath will never be entirely stable. Addiction might be more continual with this aspect (poor Neptune) since we can’t make the house stop rocking.
Habit as Addiction
Habit becomes addiction, possibly, when we want to avoid basement problems by constantly, every day, reinforcing the basement. Nothing on this earth lasts forever so trying to create a basement that can survive anything man- or nature-made is to try to create a bunker.
Habit, then, is Saturn gone bad trying to create a bunker with 50-year food stores to survive a nuclear disaster.
What if there was a disaster and you could live in this bunker for 50 years? Would you really want that?
Is excessive habit the polar opposite of addiction?
The Basement and the Roof
In the horoscope, the fourth house is at the bottom of the horoscope and the tenth house is at the top. The fourth house is ruled by Cancer and the moon. The tenth house is ruled by Capricorn and Saturn.
Oh, look – the moon and Saturn.
The fourth house is considered our foundation, our early home environment which molded our personality.
The tenth house is considered our social conscious and relates to our career or how we’re seen in the world.
If the fourth house is the basement, maybe the tenth house is the roof? If the basement is our foundation then the roof is our covering.
Capricorn covers through social identity – aka success, career, position, reputation.
It’s Never Too Late to Fix the Basement and Roof
“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood,” is a quote from novelist Tom Robbins. Robbins has moon conjunct Neptune in Virgo opposite Saturn in Pisces. Jupiter in Sagittarius forms a T-square. He also has four planets in watery Cancer (Mars, Pluto, Mercury and the sun).
Robbins’ basement is flooded as it’s an inch from the ocean while the roof is taking the hit of a million tiny rain drops. Jupiter provides relief and inspiration through travel and reckless behavior.
If Robbins can have a happy childhood, then all of us can have a clean, dry basement and sealed roof no matter what rains or blows upon us.
This is a great article on habits and addiction! 🙂 As a person with Moon squaring Neptune, opposing Saturn (and Venus), and quincunxing Mars, I can really relate with this, but since I have a very strong Saturn, I end up “catching myself” before everything goes to crap. The way I see habits is this: if we had to consciously think about everything (and I mean everything) we do, we would be utterly overwhelmed. Some things need to be on “automatic.” Even nature knows this, since many of our systems are rather automated (think homeostasis). However, as mentioned, when structure (Saturn) is challenged, adjustments need to be made – and sometimes they cannot be made quickly enough, or we do not know the nature of the adjustments to make. The overwash of destructive energy then can take on different priorities, which from a certain viewpoint is immediate survival over long-term fixes (or even tearing it down to start over for building a proper structure that is less vulnerable). The immediate survival need has to happen because the long-term will never happen if you do not survive to do it. So this is where those “bad habits” people have develop, of which I like to reframe this and call it “coping mechanisms.” Whether it is drugs, smoking, eating more sugar – doesn’t matter. Perhaps the chosen coping mechanism is harmful in the long-term, but if it helps the person to immediately survive, while they are working on rebuilding their structure – to me, that is not bad. It only truly turns bad when the person using the coping mechanism for survival can’t fix the long-term issue (or doesn’t want to) and they may GIVE UP even trying to fix the problem. THAT to me is the point of when a coping mechanism turns into a bad habit. A bad habit is designed (consciously or not) to AVOID the long-term problem, the “escape” mechanism. The drug is only a method of them to use the escape excuse. It is like saying that drugs are the reason, and to me, they are not the reason. The reason is the decision by the individual to not face and correct their structure. Yes, I suppose drug use could influence those decisions, but I have seen people after years of drug use wake up one day and are tired of it and get their crap together and do it, despite their drug habit or anything else – and it is often not easy because they have more to handle than they did at the beginning of this cycle. Definitely something to think about, thank you for this post! 🙂
This is really interesting. I remember a friend years ago saying that the sign Sagittarius always has a bad habit. Since then, I’ve thought of the Sagittarius “bad habit” as the need to let go and have some exhilarating fun. Like going to Las Vegas. Most go to Las Vegas to let loose for a few days but then some go and stay forever. I suppose the “bad habit” is like a trip to Vegas. As long as you come back and haven’t mortgaged the house, you’re in better shape for having had some R&R. And it’s those wild times that help us return to our essential daily routines and appreciate them.
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