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Empathy: The three Types

 “All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.”
― Tahere Mafi

Are you an empath? Were you told you are too sensitive growing up? Let’s consider what does empathy even mean.

All humans have empathy- with few rare exceptions. Having no empathy at all would essentially make you a psychopath.  Some people have such a developed ability that they face special challenges in their lives.

Empathy is defined as the ability to feel what someone else is feeling. It is not your feelings but you identify and understand them enough to feel them as if they are your own.

Empathic people tend to be able to experience a wide variety of emotions. Imagine emotions like colors- for an empath these colors are vivid and a wide combination of tones and textures is available. Some might call this emotional intelligence but I think that at times empathy can in fact hinder the ability to act in an emotionally intelligent manner.

If you are an empath you by nature don’t tend to separate yourself from other people. The boundaries between” I and other” are blurry.

For an empath the ability is most present when being in the same space as another person. In fact, the closer they are standing next to you and if they touch you and look into your eyes- the stronger the experience of emphasizing will be for you.

Empathy doesn’t have to be toward an actual living person in the room or a person at all- it can be a strong experience towards an event, a story someone tells you or an animal.

Like I mentioned before empathy means understanding how someone else is feeling- putting yourself in their shoes.

In order to do so- you would have to know the feeling- to have experienced it yourself. That’s why most empathic people have intense emotional responses; they feel things on a deep level. They felt things from an early age and are familiar with the different ways: love, anger, pain, anxiety and happiness can take.

Imagine talking to a friend and telling them of a problem you have or something that happened during the day.  An empathic friend would not just listen to what you are saying- they would respond as if they understand how that event made you feel. They may say something that shows they understand or they may understand without you saying anything- what you need. If you need silence, a hug or advice they will be able to give it to you.  Chances are they will show they are affected by what you said- they may start crying or shiver as if they feel your fear or if you are happy they will smile.

Most of us try and be good friends and family members and show we care.  The difference between empaths and regular people is in their boundaries and level of detachment.

An empath has a very low level of detachment from your feelings and may even confuse them with their own emotions!  Another difference is in their ability to move away from the emotions, they can’t simply forget what you told them or how you made them feel and will need a lot of time to detach. Most empaths also have physical symptoms of this experience: they can have nightmares, shiver, and feel cold and overwhelmed.

Because being an empath is not an easy experience and it can get overwhelming- many highly empathic people think there is something wrong with them. They may see how different their experience is to other people and feel they are “weak for letting the world get to them. Nothing is further from the truth, they are not weak but simply more attuned to the world- they are a radio attuned to the human experience with no off button.

Not being able to turn off empathy makes many empathic people shy away from human interaction. They may seem distant and cold which is ironic.

Empathy also has another side effect-an ability to put on a mask or play any role. Think about it- if you know emotions so well and you expressed and experienced them on a deep level- wouldn’t it be easy for you to pretend o feel something?  This ability to become anything and anyone is an interesting aspect of empathy. It is almost like magic.

The challenge for empaths is to learn how to create boundaries that are strong enough to let them function in the world. The trick is in knowing that boundaries don’t mean they shut themselves away from helping people or from feelings- in fact boundaries allow them to be much more emphatic towards many more people, without getting tired.

Anyway…Let’s get back into what Astrology has to say about empathy.

Traditionally empathy is associated with the Moon, specifically with the Moon in a water sign.  Additionally, empathy is associated with the planet Neptune.

In my experience the way empathy plays out for each Moon sign is different. Although I am talking specifically about moon signs these types can also relate to personality types and play out in other placements in your chart. If you recognize any of it- and don’t have a water Moon, that is probably the case.

1st type is the Moon in Pisces:  This is the type of empathy where with the lowest level of boundaries. You feel you are the other person completely! The emotions are also very lacking I direction because you can’t always tell where they come from or what made you feel. It is almost as if how you feel is made out of fragments of other people and places. You tend to feel collective emotions! So you are a natural actor and performer. On the other hand you can’t describe or pin down what you feel- you just do.

2nd type is the Moon in Cancer: This is where you know you are feeling someone else’s emotions- but you can’t help but let them in. You also feel very nurturing and like you want to help the other person. The need to be of service and to give can make this empathy very exhausting. Take care of yourself first.  You also tend to feel stronger empathy towards those who are weak: children, animals and the sick.

3rd type is the Moon in Scorpio: Here there are stronger boundaries and ability to tell what your own emotions are. You have the type of empathy that goes underneath the emotion of the person to the root cause. You tend to understand the reason for the emotion and are a natural psychologist. Here the empathy is directed towards the darker impulse of humanity- you understand pain and darkness and can see beneath evil to the pain at heart.

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Moon in the 8th house: The Brave Survivor

Those born with the Moon in their 8th house are in for a ride. This planet in particular by nature is subject to change, waxing and waning. The moon is in rhythm with the element of water and the sign of Cancer. If you are born with your moon in this mysterious house, your states of mind are subject to constant up and downs. This basically means that the only thing you can rely on is that nothing lasts. This statement holds true about events in your life- people, possessions and thoughts all come and go. Perhaps that is why you are so passionate about what you have- you know it is fleeting and you desperately need to cling to it before you lose it forever.

As emotions are like currents and waves, you can feel safe knowing that negative states of mind will go away on their own. You simply need to let go in order to reach inner harmony. Learning how to let go might be the hardest lesson for this moon- you are deeply tied to the past. You have a very good emotional memory and can vividly recall how you felt about something no matter how long ago.

As I mentioned before, your life in general,tends to be somewhat dramatic. It is not unusual for people with this moon placement to experience death, illness and catastrophe in childhood. Even without actual events- there is a tragic heavy weight on your shoulders. Because you are so intuitive to the needs of others, as a young person many (family usually) relied on you for healing. When something hard happened in the family or home- you were subjected to standing strong and surviving.  As a result you have many emotions which you did not process or express. You think you have to be strong, stoic- unlike other people. In a way you are right- you are stronger than others people- you can feel so much more and keep going. On the other hand, this is just your survival mode that won’t let you deal with the difficult events. You are probably quick on your feet in emergencies.

At heart, you have a great healing power to help others face who they are. People tell you their secrets and you listen. You take it all in and learn from it. This is where the intelligence you possess comes in- you learn by observing emotional currents. This is true about all water moons in general, but a moon in the 8

As I mentioned before, your life in general, tends to be somewhat dramatic. It is not unusual for people with this moon placement to experience death, illness and catastrophe in childhood. Even without actual events- there is a tragic heavy weight on your shoulders. Because you are so intuitive to the needs of others, as a young person many (family usually) relied on you for healing. When something hard happened in the family or home- you were subjected to standing strong and surviving.  As a result, you have many emotions which you did not process or express. You think you have to be strong, stoic- unlike other people. In a way you are right- you are stronger than others people- you can feel so much more and keep going. On the other hand, this is just your survival mode that won’t let you deal with the difficult events.

You are probably quick on your feet in emergencies. At heart, you have a great healing power to help others face who they are. People tell you their secrets and you listen. You take it all in and learn from it. This is where the intelligence you possess comes in- you learn by observing emotional currents. This is true about all water moons in general, but a moon in the 8th house would utilize the skills of the sign it is in. For example, a Moon in Gemini in the 8th house would be able to talk and communicate difficult emotions after talking to many people about their problems. They may be a bit of a copycat and a great actor.

Generally, people with the Moon in the 8th are very mature. On an inner level, there is something heavy and serious about them. It is like they never were just children- they always had worries and thoughts about life. They are always searching for meaning and truth within the realm of the 8th house. You see the Moon has a lot to do with what we think- what is on our mind. Here the mind creates an obsessive loop of thoughts about fear. Because the thoughts are focused on very primal needs- survival, safety, sex, food and love. The result is strong feelings that might feel like anxiety, fear, depression and anger. If you take the layer of these feelings down you will find that people here are always in search of bliss. They want to experience perfect love, perfect harmony and unity. Because you need this meaning and can’t always find it in life- there becomes a programmed way of thinking that can be very anxiety inducing, hence the “bad” reputation of people with this moon being melancholy. In truth, is not the natural state of mind but a result of not dealing with inner needs. You have a need for deep experience and meaning and if this is something you can integrate in daily life- you will be just fine.

You simply have to accept how passionate you are and that you have needs that are a little different in their intensity. The Moon rules our inner home – our security. For you this place is threatened from within. You are a survivor that is also a destroyer. Your own worst enemy. How? By thinking thoughts that only pull you down and that focus on negative things. Once you fully accept you need to feel safe and start finding outlets- the record will be broken and you can start anew. In fact, that is a good description of your life. Going deeply into various places and starting over when they don’t serve you anymore.

On a social level, you are probably what others would describe as interesting. You have an aura that promises something more just around the corner. The way you move through life leaves other people excited and interested. You can also be wonderfully dramatic and artistic in how you express yourself, charismatic even.

There a beautiful quality to your voice, movement and speech. It comes out as something very raw and animalistic or dreamy and melodious. Regardless you attract a reaction of some kind.

As it happens, all the beauty you have to offer is not seen by people. It is not a stand out in a crowd kind of charm. You are very private and share yourself with very few. You guard your emotions and people may get a different person in public. This is especially true about fire signs who may appear much more open than they really are. Although they can still charm you to death.

I think the key with this Moon is to find an inner security that stands on a strong ethic of self-love. This is a process of coming to face with emotions and with putting up strong boundaries. Once this starts to take place an element of the Moon in the 8th house starts to appear- and element of great strength and healing. Without fear you can truly share with other people, stand on a podium and heal, sing you heart out, create a masterpiece or a happy home. You will always be there for people you care about- and you will also learnt to let go and be above petty hurt. No one can hurt you with their words or actions if you don’t let them. You are a survivor.

 

Fire Moon in the 8th

You have endless energy and may seem very headstrong, inside you are much more sensitive and less extroverted. You have a lot insight into human character and what makes people feel important. You know how to put on a show and can act out any state of mind with ease. You need to feel respected and respond with irritation when you perceive a threat to your sense of self. Drama, writing, acting, the law and dancing can be great outlets.

Earth Moon in the 8th

You have a strong resistance to change but you also crave it. You seek lasting relationships and situations. Your foremost need is to feel secure on an emotional level and build trusted foundations. You are a person of depth as you respect the hidden agendas of others and know there is always a reason. You choose your surroundings with care. Nature can be soothing and film, painting, poetry and singing good outlets.

Moon in air in the 8th

You re sharp as a knife. A deep thinker and an amazing communicator, you influence people with ease and can be both very diplomatic and overwhelming in your strength. At times you can become shy and act a little cold. You don’t like to be overpowered by your emotions and prefer thinking them out. You can sometimes offend others without knowing why. You are in conflict between wanting to keep it light and wanting enlightenment. You are a seeker of truth and a detective. Good outlets are politics, public speaking, research, activism, medicine and playing an instrument.

Moon in water in the 8th house

You are a secret dreamer, you enjoy a broken type of beauty and you find your ideals don’t always match up with life. There is a mysterious quality to you that no one can pin point. At times you feel your emotions are too ugly to bear. At others you feel you found “it” and are overwhelmed with joy. You are a natural psychologist and have the emotional intelligence of a mythical creature. At times you can be self-destructive and overly protective. Good outlets are helping others, healing and all artistic endeavors.