Family traits. Story #4: 'Mother's genes?'
I look to touch the social context before I have questions.


'Mother's genes?'

You need not know whether it's in your genes in order to work with them. Mother loved to tell her stories, especially when she felt at ease. We teased her when she started with 'Yes, John has a strong skull. His birth was ...' or with 'When arriving in München ...' or 'The worst thing was when the whole of Breda had to flee ... I didn't even have a clean handkerchief with me ...'. We used to say 'Yes Mum, that is story number one from the Johnny series', 'That is number six from your boarding-school series', 'You told that before Mum, It's number 2 from your travels-series', or 'Are you sure it was aunt Jeanie, Mum?'. These were peaceful moments.

Mother's genes?

One day, I must have been about eighteen, I went to see our family doctor. Without any apparent reason he said: 'You are much like your mother, do you know that?'. It gave me a shock, because I trusted him and this was not something I liked to hear. I had always been told how much I looked like my father and outwardly that was certainly true. For me that had always been a comforting thought. Our doctor knew all of us very well, and his remark set me thinking. From then on I (sometimes) looked at my mother with the question in mind of what we might have in common. I did not recognize anything but the question stuck in my mind. It took at least another fifteen years before I realized we had a particular experience in common. In those years I had become conscious of my grief about the death of my father whom I had missed very much in the difficult years which followed. Only then did I realize that mother had also lost her father at an early age. She was not even six when my grandfather died. Her mother also had to take over her husband's tasks, her mother never even had had time to play with her children, her mother sent her and her sisters to boarding-school. Yes, we had something in common. Bit by bit I began to understand why she was the person she was, but admit that I would resemble her? That would take some time.

In the time when my parents grew up every healthy person was (still) supposed to marry and have children. That does not mean that they would not have problems with it emotionally. I know that it took mother many years, after the birth of her first child, before she got used to the consequences of her motherhood. Only after some ten years did the feeling of being seriously confined decrease, she told me later. It looked as if her being proud of us served as compensation for the limitations she experienced.

These matters, of course, were at that time no subject for discussion. I sensed these things and drew the conclusion that before you married you ought to know what consequences parenthood would bring. My mother - properly speaking no more than my father - seemed to have had no notion of what she was embarking on in that respect. As far as I am concerned: at that time I did not even know how to use my emotional and social skills, let alone that I would know how to bring up children. I had always liked to go to school but, looking back, I consider not having been taught these skills a major shortcoming in my education. All in all, I thought it best to have no children of my own. I loved children - in my detached way - very much and couldn't burden them with having me as their mother! This was decided when I was a full eighteen years old. I left it to my brothers and sister to contribute to the development of humankind in passing on our parents' genes. My contribution to evolution would turn out to lie in the field of ideas and of culture, to be a brainchild.


The story in review

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Concise descriptions relevant to the story

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As this is about mothers and children the tools which are especially involved here must be brought up for discussion. These capacities are primarily signified by the Moon, Jupiter and Mercury. Furthermore, taking a standpoint and making a decision, however naive they may be, is the case here. For this we also have to look at the Ascendant in my case.

On previous occasions the Moon and the Ascendant have come up for extensive discussion, so this time a short summing up will suffice.

fig.1: Rini Sips
Click for the birth chart
  1. My sense of emotion, like a mirror, is determined by
  2. a speculative interest for the underlying foundations of stories and for the motives behind them, for the essence of my experiences, for the story after the decision. This interest is also influenced by
  3. the absolute need to understand mother and her coercive bonding and my naive rejection of motherhood for myself. All this is being fed by
  4. my bearing toward my surroundings. The first phase, the manner in which people with this pattern of beginning approach the world, has in Zine #5 been described as: 'At the start I concentrate on the heart of the matter. First of all I brush aside everything that is irrelevant. If I cannot grasp the heart of the matter then I do not begin. I relish beginning;
    On condition that I can also believe in it, that taking the initiative will be worth my while. I can only begin if there are also possibilities for growth'
  1. The MOON is situated
  2. in the 9th phase in its own sign of CANCER;
  3. in conjunction with PLUTO in the 9th phase in the sign of Cancer, which is being fed
  4. from the ASCENDANT, the beginning of the 1st phase, which is coloured by the sign of SCORPIO.
I'll initially approach the world, using the Ascendant and the tools in the first phase of the pattern of beginning, in a concise and practical manner.
  1. Right from the start my capacity for recovery and need for growth is available for searching the heart of the matter. 'As soon as I have a concise goal I can start with enthusiasm'
  2. whereby I can draw from memories which are characteristic of a wide ranging interest;
  3. whereby that capacity is being added to by the application of enthusiasm, comprehension and flexibility when having to understand emotionality and power, which can be useful to compensate for blind spots. It adds mental space;
  4. 'Whether familiar or irritated, after letting go new enthusiasm will follow';
  5. 'Can I help anybody who wants to get to know himself more clearly?'.
In the first phase, more than ten degrees from the Ascendant in Scorpio, is situated
  1. the planet JUPITER, in the 1st phase and SCORPIO, which
  2. is being fed from the 2nd phase in SAGITTARIUS;
  3. is connected in a triangle with Pluto and the Moon in Cancer in the 9th phase;
  4. is also halfsext connected with Mars in Libra in the 12th phase;
  5. and in sextile with Neptune in Virgo in the 11th phase.
As much as the manner of beginning is visible for the surroundings, so can other capacities be clearly noticeable, if there are connections with them. These capacities usually develop according to their own patterns.
  1. In the very first - inquiring - moment of beginning I put a lot of energy in
  2. keeping company with my brothers, sister and peers, in noticing differences with childish inquisitiveness. The effect of the aspect (Mercury square the Ascendant) also has a physical signature, among other things, in respiratory complaints in my childhood.
  3. The tools for acquiring information and for inviting interaction are available in combination. 'I take pains to root for the acceptable term, to find the right supportive interplay, to render emotions in a blunt way' and 'The unspoken and the caressability of things have my attention'. The curious, the inquisitive is held back by the view that questions should properly be nice and congenial and cute and that you'd better wait your turn'.
  4. In other words, I can communicate defiantly and mockingly or invitingly and expressively provoke a reaction from my own subjective standpoint. The strong need for a fundamental and meaningful communication is perceptible for other people.
  5. The vital foundation is an atmosphere of friendship and equivalence, of belonging and participation The interaction is not concerned with the physical or personal but with the mental and theoretical. 'I am interested and concerned with a conversation only when the undertone is friendly and equivalent'.
  6. The capacity to determine time by using fear works as an educational tool: at first - because it is of such importance - I'll take up an extra careful or defensive position before, in emotional matters, in commitments, limits can be crossed. This has a far-reaching effect on communication and interaction. Only when there is no need to keep at a distance I can join in the conversation and become interesting company.
Aspects with planets add the qualities of the planet involved to the Ascendant:
  1. The square to the Ascendant from
  2. MERCURY (primary) which runs into
  3. the conjunction with VENUS (primary)
  4. connects it with the 4th phase,
  5. in the sign of AQUARIUS,
  6. and with the planet SATURN in the same phase and the same sign. Although not in aspect with the Ascendant or with the other two planets, he does produce effect on anything concerning the 4th phase.
A pattern owes its personal character, in addition to aspects or dynamic relations between the planets themselves, to the relations between the phases. The twelve types of patterns are treated in the pattern-line and also illustrated there with examples. In my pattern of beginning the above-mentioned three planets are related with two other phases in an unending shift of perspective. fig.2: verwijzingen
Click for the birth chart
  1. The fourth phase, the way in which people with this pattern of beginning ground their emotional basis, has in Zine #5 been described as: 'The exceptional gives me protection. I cannot feel safe or secure without equality, or if I am not accepted with my uniqueness. I exceed boundaries in my undertakings. My enterprise is exceptional. Whatever I undertake is original;
    And it will eventually lead to a solution, it will be transient. The experience of unity will finally give me security'
    The phase with the capacities for communication, interaction and structure feeds,
  2. Via the capacity to acquire insight, the sixth phase, the way in which people who use this pattern of beginning, to analyse and cope with their abilities and needs. This phase has in Zine #5 been described as: 'I work in a practical manner, I work hard. I prefer work in which I can develop my own initiatives. I like to work alone, I do not want to be hampered in my work by too many limitations;
    My final condition is that I can determine by myself whether I'll complete my work. In that case I'll certainly finish it'
    that feeds,
  3. Via the instrument to take initiatives, the twelfth phase, the way in which people who use this pattern of beginning finish this process. This has been described in Zine #5 as: 'I finish my affairs in a harmonious manner. I let go in an attitude of resignation. I seek diplomatic solutions. Before I can give up I always look for another road, for an alternative;
    But finally I'll let go in a concise and practical manner. This solution has to be possible from the start'
    'Putting energy in harmony is the other person's job. When this alternative energy has been found I can leave it'. This in turn feeds,

via the capacities for communication and interaction, the fourth phase. This proceeds to initiatives for coping with insights, goes on working practically with alternative solutions and back again to the unique perceptions at the basis. That can go on, in the background and internally, without end.

  1. from the 4th phase in AQUARIUS, Mercury, Venus and Saturn feed,
  2. via Uranus, the 6th phase in ARIES;
  3. which in turn, via Mars, feeds the 12th phase in LIBRA;

The movement from 12 to 4, forward to 6 and back again to the 12th phase continues until it is broken by something other.

The described movement is being fed from three other phases:
  1. the stimuli for exchange arrive in the first place from the above described practical creative background activities within myself in confrontation with the work, the capacities and the needs of the other person,
    but also from the 7th phase. This has been described in Zine #5 as: 'If I want to work together with another person I think that I should be a bit patient, just wait and see what comes of it. From the beginning I search for the essentials, and I search to get the practical hang of things; if the other person only quietly waits, accepts and finishes when I have found where it finally has to go, I shall be satisfied;
    Secondly the other person must have perspective, have knowledge, otherwise I would not enter into the partnership. It is not about being in control but about setting the direction, making a start and indicating the process. To this end the other person must necessarily have knowledge at his / her disposal'
  2. The stimuli for communication not only arrives from the 11th phase which has been described in Zine #5 as: 'My friends are clear, critical, supportive. I am supportive, critical and clear in respect to my friends. I have a small group of friends. At the start I searched for the heart of the matter and everything needed to be practical; now I accept myself by analyzing my own possibilities;
    Via clarity I will eventually reach harmony'
    but also from the 8th phase. This has been described in Zine #5 as: 'I relish good communication. I make my choice in an objective manner, in a detached way. I concentrate on knowledge, I turn over and digest information. My digestion is superficial. My associate's frame of reference is full of knowledge;
    Finally I make my selection when I am also emotionally involved'
  3. The capacity to shape the emotional basis and planning of it in time is - if I really want it - being fed from the 3rd phase which has been described in Zine #5 as: 'I am independent in the accumulation of knowledge. Independently I stipulate my own conditions. The acquaintances I want are independent, reliable and faithful to themselves. They also quietly follow their own path. I keep at a distance from my acquaintances. My information is reliable;
    But in the end I need information which is out of the ordinary, and exceptional acquaintances'
The supply to the 4th phase runs via even more lines:
  1. Venus not only is fed from the 12e phase in Libra (with Mars, fuelled from phase 6 - see above)
    but also from phase 7 in TAURUS;
  2. Mercury is not only being fed from the 11th phase in VIRGO (with Neptune, in turn fed from phase 5)
    but also from the 8th phase in GEMINI;
  3. Saturn is fed from the 3rd phase in CAPRICORN (with the Sun, in turn fed from phase 10);

How do I deal with these things now? I look to touch the social context before I have questions

I do not doubt that our qualities are passed on via the genes. I do not doubt that parents, peers and the 'zeitgeist' exercise influence on our development. The discussion as to which of these factors are of greater importance or contribute more to the development of a child will be of theoretical importance for scientists. I am, in practice, more interested in the matter of supply and demand. On the one hand there is a personal need for experiences, while on the other hand the environment can offer a certain range of phenomena. The experiences offered perhaps do not match the needs. As a parent or educator one's responsibility demands that you provide for an appropriate supply of possibilities. I think it is clear that, dependent on the capacities and needs which lie anchored in the genes, what is usable in the supply will be accepted and what is lacking shall have to be found elsewhere.
Shall we know what the capacities and needs of that singular individual are, when we know in detail the functions of all parts of the human DNA? Tricky point?

Only later did I take the level of education that I had wished for as a teenager. [ note ]

  • The training as a librarian, which I disliked, taught me to arrange and systematize things;
  • The training as a children's librarian, which I enjoyed, taught me to put to good use my subjective reaction when developing objective arguments for reviewing books, taught me to tell stories and to share my enthusiasm about books; [ note ]
  • For this job I needed to read anything, while in private I looked very selectively for the things I was in need of;
  • In drawing and portraying people I learned to discover, in a naïve and creative manner and without naming what I saw, the unexpected in things and people;
  • By experience in various situations and by searching for the deeper grounds from which I and other people act, I taught myself to see the organic in things, in people, in thinking and in feeling;
  • I know by experience that the information which the chart of my unique system of co-ordinates offers me does clarify my own story and helps me to comprehend my life.

Thus I consider myself an experience expert. Would I have received the education I wished for earlier in life, then I would have learned many useful things perhaps much later or not at all. I can't imagine that anything in what I have learned is not functional for me.
What is functional for a person? Just the positive, the sensible, the cool things? Annoying item?

I have made - among other things about education and work - both well-founded and ill-founded decisions. I take responsibility for all of them, including choices which I made unconsciously, including the decisions determined for me by other people. For me this mental freedom is of fundamental value. After all, decisions made in freedom and well-considered are not better than other ones only for that reason, are they?
What or who does determine whether a decision is good or less good? Difficult question?