I have tried to describe shyness to others. Mine comes and goes, but it seems this Neptune transit to my first house has made it come and stay. It has nothing to do with how you look or how you actually feel about yourself, or what others actually think of you. Wariness and reluctance to engage is its own thing.
I have been taking ASL classes for 12 weeks now, but I have yet to use it to communicate with another person.
My instructor, a lovely and pleasant individual who thoroughly enjoys his job, signed to me yesterday as I walked into class. I’m often the first person there, because I’m either going to be very early or very late. Since he’s deaf, I’m afraid to talk to him because I might find myself shouting or over-enunciating as if I’m teaching ESL to children.
I understood him, but I just nodded and walked into class. I believe that I understood, I mean, because I suddenly reacted to a social encounter with someone I’ve never spoken to before by averting my eyes. This doesn’t work when the language is 100% visual. Then, I realized I was being rude and turned around and said “I’m sorry. How are you?” aloud. He signed “good” and smiled and went back to work on the other side of the wall, all the while with this look of patient understanding that I imagine he’s cultivated over the ten years he’s taught these courses to all sorts of people, and that I cannot be the only awkward adult he’s encountered there who could reasonably expect that the teacher knows exactly how much ASL you know.
I will make amends by leaving glowing reviews on Yelp and Google.
Still, you’d think after three months I’d be able able to speak to the person teaching me his language and not be rude.
And while in other circumstances, I consider my shy awkwardness part of my charm, a minor art form that mildly entertains and masks my age and gives me more freedom to craft my identity as the situation calls for it, its maladaptive in a one on one situation.
And then I realized when I never could learn how to speak and hear a foreign language before: I was too shy to use it aloud.
So that’s shyness, irrational shyness, circular shyness, navel-gazing shyness.
Shyness is a useful mechanism for small children who should be wary of strange people so they don’t take off from their caretakers and the humans who are most interested in keeping them alive. It’s part of healthy bonding with a caretaker. It becomes maladaptive when the child won’t engage in social interaction with peers or safe adults when it’s appropriate to do so.
And you can see shyness or potential for shyness in the astrological chart.
Virgo and Pisces come to mind as the shyest rising signs, as neither wants to be in the spotlight, though Pisces Rising can surprisingly put on a perfectly sociable facade. Capricorn rising is often secretly shy but appears either stoic or ever-focused on social graces. Sagittarius rising can also be secretly shy, using humor and being too cool for school to hide it. Taurus and Scorpio rising tend to be quiet but not necessarily shy. Cancer risings can be shy but seek to warm up to others rather than hide away. Aquarius risings are more likely to be aloof rather shy but will forget themselves easily. Leo rising, Aries rising, Libra rising, and Gemini rising are generally sociable unless afflicted by Saturn or the Moon.
All of the above applies to the sun signs as well, except that this usually comes out after the initial encounter, or a few drinks, or when finding one’s self in one’s element.
Not everyone likes a party. Gemini is good with parties, as is Cancer. Capricorn is surprisingly quite good at navigating these things well. Libras just stand around and wait for people to come to them, but they’re happy. However, Sagittarius, who usually likes a party, tends to wilt if stuck inside a house where everyone’s the same and they’re all super serious and breaking off into cliques. Aquarius likes being around people but if there’s no humor and no conversation, Aquarius finds a way to make it interesting. Leo finds a niche if it’s not the center of attention. Cancer is probably hosting. Virgo is cleaning up. Pisces is nervously drinking everything before Sagittarius downs it all or playing a character who is really enjoying herself. Aries struggles with sitting still and will find a way to move or play, or will end up breaking something or wrestling with the host’s dog. Taurus is happy to be fed and talk to the people she already knows. Scorpio is looking around the room for someone special and if they’re not there, she’s out. Or sulking.
The Moon knows the best what someone actually needs and that’s where you’ll find the actual social need the Sun and Ascendant are trying to attract. Surprisingly, the Moon in a sign doesn’t always act as expected when in a sign. For example, Aries Moon has a social need to be number one and to be liked. This softens the competitive edge, but doesn’t always soften the need to number one. Sometimes that means being the only one. Taurus Moon wants someone to sit at home and eat cheese with them, forever. The social means is to find someone to be comfortable with. Gemini Moon needs propel to help keep them abreast with what’s happening by helping them stay engaged with others. Cancer Moon needs the protection of family. Leo Moon needs people who will be loyal to them. Virgo Moon needs someone who will make them feel needed and competent. Libra Moon needs a partner and to feel like the center of someone’s attention. Scorpio Moon needs intimacy and transformation through relationships. Sagittarius Moon needs someone to be there on the adventure of life and still be friends even when far away. Capricorn Moon needs the security of unconditional love. Aquarius Moon needs people who “get” them and let them be themselves. Pisces Moon needs people who will lift them up above the fray and feel eternal.
The Instinctive Moon
The problem is that not everyone is born into or can find the circumstances to get what they need. This is karmic: the Moon is likely repeating instinctive and social patterns from a previous life, and the key is instinct.
The wolf travels in packs, and that’s what it knows while the jaguar travels alone because that’s what it knows. This is not to say that you or anyone else was an animal in a past life, because that’s highly unlikely, nor is it to say you never learn from one life to another. But we tend to come back to what we know and stay where we know. We not only come back to the same people but usually the same or similar circumstances. Whether we leave and move on depends on other factors.
So, if say, you have a Cancer Moon but you live with a family who caravan around the country and you’re never in the same town for more than a few months at a time, you miss the sense of family and being enmeshed culturally that you need to feel secure. If you have an Aries Moon but are forced to conform to a group identity with people with little patience for your spontaneity, you miss out on being appreciated for your individuality. If you have a Virgo Moon but grow up in chaos with irresponsible and rigid adults who can’t teach you how to be competent, you miss out on the security of knowing that your people need you and that they want you to need them.
The choice then is to suppress the Moon or depart to find a way to get what is needed in some other way from some other people. Of course, if you can’t and you’re surrounded by people who don’t seem to like you at your core, you second guess yourself and your place in the world and may develop shyness because you have learned to anticipate rejection and harm, which can be seen in harsh aspects to the Moon from Saturn, which limits things, or Pluto, which provides extremes such as extreme isolation or marginalization, or Venus, which shows an inability or lack of opportunity to make warm and pleasant social contacts.
Venus the Charmer
Venus is how you attract people, the tools in the social belt, and it doesn’t really matter what sign it’s in (even if I’m Aries or Scorpio), because each Venus provides some sort of gift or social artistry even if heavily afflicted, intercepted, or in the 12th house. It’s both what you find attractive and what you do to attract or are that attracts. We tend to mimic the things we find attractive or seek out others who find us attractive and share our aesthetic.
For example, it’s pretty much meaningless to read articles about how men feel about makeup because they don’t actually know unless they wear it themselves because they don’t even know what they’re looking for when they profess to not like makeup. It’s also no secret that the people in couples — gay, straight, and all else — tend to look like each other. It’s also no secret that the signs share certain specific characteristics with their opposite signs, particularly head- and eye-shapes, and that the sign on the cusp of the 7th house opposes the ascendant. It’s also no secret that you dress and groom in a certain way to signal to the world that you’re a certain type of person who likes certain things. You find attractive on yourself what you think best signals who you are despite what others think.
This is why sometimes you end up trying on something in the dressing room that you don’t like but buy it anyway because everyone else tells you that you look good in it.
Frankly, this is the entire reason the graphic t-shirt industry exists.
No, I dress for myself alone!
Bullshit, unless you never leave the house and never take photographs. You dress and groom as a signal to other people, for their gaze as well as your own.
No, I look this way because it’s how I think I look good.
Yes, and you care about how you look when interacting with people. If you didn’t, you’d be a lone ascetic who doesn’t bathe, living in the wilderness, wearing camel hair and living on locusts, only coming out periodically to baptize people.
Glad we had this talk.
Venus is not just how you look but how you present yourself globally, regardless of how you feel. Venus is the social and aesthetic filter for the other energies……and also how much you care about what other people think. We all care to some extent, depending on who and in what context. The higher up in the chart, the more people it’s concerned over. If it’s angular or in an angular house, Venus is much more concerned with what the world thinks of them, with 1st and 10th house Venuses most concerned with what the world thinks of them, or what everyone around them thinks of them. If afflicted, it can lead to self-consciousness or shyness due to attention Venus draws in. It can also lead to drawing in people who seek to dim Venus’s light through cruelty and coldness.
Jupiter the Good Time Charlie
Jupiter is another social planet, the planet of generosity and abundance. It shows what we share with others to get good stuff and create good stuff. It’s the party planet, the buddy planet. It’s the planet that shows what you’re likely doing at social events. Is it in the 6th house? You’re cleaning and cooking or else you feel lost. The 11th house? You’re creating an ever-widening circle of friends. How about the 5th house? You’re sticking to your own clique or looking for romance. And so and so forth.
Jupiter shows what you think you have to offer others and what you use to get other people to be your buddy. What you’re most comfortable doing for friendship may not have an outlet all the time. Jupiter in Libra can dole out the compliments anywhere at any time. Jupiter in Virgo can only help you with your homework if you actually want the help. Jupiter in Taurus can buy nice gifts and give them at any time, but Jupiter in Scorpio can’t always use sexual attraction to make friends.
If afflicted, Jupiter struggles to expand and to react out. Retrograde Jupiter may reach within, finding its own mind to be better company than anyone else.
What about Mercury?
What about it? Shyness doesn’t affect your ability to communicate, just your desire and comfort with communicating. An afflicted Mercury or Mercury retrograde tends to be introverted and reluctant to share ideas with others, not necessarily shy. However, for shy people, being introverted as well can be another hurdle, because not only do you struggle to interact with others when you want to or have to, your social cup fills ups much more quickly than for others. By the time you’re comfortable and talking, it’s been a while and you’re buzzing. When everyone else is down warming up, you’re ready to wind down and go home.
Most people aren’t actually introverted. If you like to read quietly, you’re not introverted. If you’d rather ignore everyone in the elevator and mindlessly scroll through Instagram, you’re not introverted. If you’d rather text than talk on the phone, you’re not introverted. You’re just a product of your culture. If however, you could happily spend an entire weekend alone without another live human around, not resort to video calling or messaging everyone, and if, come Sunday night, you don’t want go back to the noise of reality, you may be introverted.
This is not necessarily the same thing as being a loner, either, but a loner is usually not very gregarious.
But determining loner tendencies is a different lesson.
For Practical Consideration
No one has ever asked me for a chart reading seeking help with their shyness, largely because by the time you’re giving your birth data to a lone wolf astrologer behind a computer who doesn’t know anyone you know and has no one to talk to about your chart anyway, the shyness is not an issue. Shyness, at least for adults, is the secondary issue to something else, like figuring out if your crush would even respond kindly if you muster up the courage to say something, or if that job is a good one for you even before you go on the job interview.
I don’t think I would be so presumptuous as to assume someone is too shy to take action on my advice, but when I do suspect it, I like to be a little more encouraging, because we all need a little extra reminder that the world is not going to bite.