Growing Up Now by Planet Waves Readers, Edited by Joni Mitchell, Astrology by Eric Francis
Planet Waves Parenting asked kids around the world what it's like to be growing up today. Here is what they told us, in their own words. We also asked for their birth data, and have provided some of their basic astrology information below their quote. We saw some interesting patterns in the astrology. A third of the young people who responded have Libra rising. Several have Mercury conjunct the Sun. There are a lot of fire signs in the collection.
Jules: "What it's like to be a teenager now? I feel like I'm growing up in a time where many things are changing and we're on the edge of so many changes in the world. We're going to be left with so many problems that will need to be fixed for the world to continue existing while at the same time so many great toys or gadgets have been provided. Every year I feel like people grow up faster and faster. I don't know if this is how you felt when you were younger but I also think it has to do with where you grow up. There are kids at my school very grown up then also ones who have been exposed to nothing. We're in an era of ever-growing technology where you rarely hear 'that could never happen' anymore because I feel like we have seen so many incredible or crazy things produced we feel like everything comes in time. While the rules for everything are constantly getting stricter, it seems more kids are breaking out and want to be older so they react in even crazier ways. Who knows? I just think our generation is growing up faster."
Jules is 17 and has Chiron in Gemini, Pluto in Scorpio, and Saturn conjunct Uranus in Sagittarius.
Lena: "I think it's ok but I don't like school -- I'd rather stay home with Mommy."
Lena is 5 years old and lives in Wauwatosa, WI. She has Leo rising, Aries Sun in the last degree conjunct Pallas Athene, and a Gemini Moon conjunct Ceres. She has Mars in Scorpio retrograde on the IC, and Chiron conjunct Pluto in Sagittarius in the 4th house, opposite Venus in Gemini.
Kiara: "I think people think money is too important. Lots of kids are always bringing fancy toys to school and showing off. To me it feels like bragging because I don't have that much money. That's because my mom stays home. I like it that she stays home. I just wish other kids were nicer. I wish we didn't have to wear sun block, and I wish I could run around the neighborhood and play and all the moms could be home so if anything happened to me, they could call on the phone and tell my mom. It is hard to play with my friends in the summer because I don't know where they are and they are not home much. That's because their parents work. I didn't like having to move so much this year because my Dad's job was bad. All the jobs are packed up and full so it is hard for my dad to find a better job that lets him be home more. I miss him a lot and wish he were home more often. If his bosses didn't want so much money, he wouldn't have to work so much."
Kiara is 9 and lives in Flagstaff , AZ. She has Libra rising with the Moon in the ascendant, and the Sun in early Pisces. She has Pluto in Sagittarius in the 2nd house. She's also born with the Uranus-Neptune conjunction in her 4th house. She has Chiron in Virgo in her 12th house.
Ayanna: "I think it is very hard because the other kids get to do a lot of stuff I don't because my mom is a controlling freakazoid. I wish she didn't make me wear sun block or that she would let me wear my shoes in the snow instead of boots. I wanted to see 'Lord of the Rings' when I was in fourth grade and she said it was too violent. I wish we could go out and play more with our friends, but my mom is the only mom that stays home in our neighborhood. The kids seem to be more rude, too. They make a big deal if I get a low grade, they are not very nice or polite. They don't seem to care how I feel when they do that. I don't do that to other kids, they brag too if they get stuff. I hate that. I don't throw it in their face if I get something special. Sometimes I think people at school expect too much from kids. Other times I don't feel this way. It is frustrating. I never know what they want from one day to the next. Money seems to matter so much. Kids talk all the time about how much stuff they have and what they got to do or where they got to go. In my old school, the kids were poorer and they didn't act like money was so important. They were more fun and nicer. It seems like the more money a kid has, the more rude they are. I wish we could eat beef. I wish the beef people would test the cows so we could be sure they are safe to eat. Money is all they care about, not people. I miss those McDonald's hamburgers and beef tacos from Jack in the Box. I miss Beefaroni too."
Ayanna is 12 and lives in Flagstaff , AZ. She is the second of twin girls, has Pisces rising with the Sun in the 8th house in late Libra; and the Moon in Virgo in the 7th house. She has a close grouping of Vesta, Mercury and Pluto in Scorpio in the 9th house. She has the Great Attractor exactly conjunct her Sagittarius mid-heaven. She has Ceres in her 11th house.
Natasha: "There are some good things and some bad things. Sometimes we are not taking as good a care of our environment as we did before. But then, we have all the easy stuff, like microwaves and dishwashers and junk. I like the cool special effects in movies, too. I think my mom is too protective sometimes because she goes most everywhere with us, she even goes to the bathrooms in places with us. She says it is to keep us safe. I think we have to go to school too early in the morning. I am really tired and wish I could sleep in more. I think it is easier living now, my mom is home and that means I don't have to do as much or grow up as fast as other kids. I wish more moms stayed home so I could play with the kids in the neighborhood in the summer. Most of my friends are away at summer camps and stuff. I could play outside more if their moms were home because there would be someone to go to if anyone got hurt or if my mom wanted to know where I was. I am lucky because so many of my friends' parents are divorced and mine aren't. That's all I can think of right now. Ask me later when I am not busy drawing."
Natasha, also of Flagstaff, is 12 and is the first of twin girls born eight minutes earlier, has a similar chart as her sister with several exceptions. She has a slightly earlier degree Pisces ascendant, which places the Moon above her 7th house cusp and the Great Attractor a little further from her Sagittarius midheaven. She has Ceres in her 12th house. Both twins have Chiron in Leo in the 6th house.
Stephen: "I'd rather be a kid than an adult. Adults don't have any time or energy for fun like kids do."
Stephen is 8 and lives in Wisconsin . He has Aquarius rising, an early Taurus Sun, and a Cancer Moon. His Moon is square his Libra Chiron in the 8th house. He has Venus in Gemini in mutual reception with Mercury in Taurus (the two planets are located within one another's signs).
Jessica: "Growing up today is hard, because so many different people expect so many different things from you. There are a lot of people that you have to constantly please, and there is always somebody judging you, or hoping that you fail. Growing up is fun because there are so many new things you get to do, like driving, dating, and gaining independence. Growing up today requires you to find a balance between being serious and having fun, and knowing, trusting, and believing in yourself."
Jessica is 17 and comes from Fresno , CA . She is Cancer rising with an Aquarius Sun exactly conjunct Ceres. Her Moon is in Cancer, in the 1st house. She has Chiron retrograde in Gemini in the 12th. She has a group of planets in Sagittarius in the 6th: the Part of Fortune, Mars, Saturn and Uranus. Saturn is opposite Chiron, which exactly squares the Nodes.
Amy: "Growing up now is very challenging. There is so much out there to have to deal with. Many people only focus on the bad -- going to war, drinking, drugs, AIDS, violence, etc. I think we need to hear more about the good things that happen in the world especially on TV and the news."
Amy is 16 and originally from Illinois . She has Pisces rising with the North Node exactly in her ascendant. She has her Sun in Sagittarius, exactly on the Great Attractor, conjunct Mercury. Her Scorpio Moon is in a close conjunction with Vesta, Pluto and Venus, all in Scorpio. She has a close conjunction of Uranus, Saturn and Neptune in Capricorn in her 10th house. Amy has Chiron retrograde in Cancer on the 5th house cusp.
Chloe: "My parents split up when I was four and that doesn't bother me any more because my dad has got a girlfriend and they are getting married in August 2005. I also have a great step dad who married my mum in July 2002. I suffer from a mean sister. She is the meanest of mean. She is a bit of a bully (towards me and my mum and my step dad). Apart from this I have a great life, my school is great and I have lots of wonderful friends. My mum says we are both Tauruses clashing horns and my mum who is a Capricorn. She has horns as well!"
Chloe is 11 and from Washington, England . She has Pisces rising and an early Taurus Sun. She has a very close grouping of Ceres, Venus, the Part of Fortune, Mercury and the Moon all in her 1st house in Aries. Mar is in Cancer. Her Chiron is in Leo in the 6th house. The Uranus-Neptune conjunction is accurate to one degree in her 11th house.
Leslie: "Hard [from the] social aspect, pressure to do well in school, peer pressure, finding yourself. It's exciting at the same time because you're gaining more responsibilities and learning how to become a responsible adult. Learning how to be more independent from your parents."
Leslie is 16 and originally from Long Beach, CA. She has Aries rising with Mars exactly in the ascendant. She has an exact Sun-Mercury conjunction in Sagittarius and a Leo Moon. She has Saturn conjunct Neptune in Capricorn on her 10th house cusp. And she has Venus, Vesta and Pluto all in Scorpio on the 8th house cusp.
Katherine: "The world sucks. Everything is so corrupt. Like my family. Nobody is there for me, and my mom only cares about her boyfriend since she left my dad. I have to find other adults to talk to. I don't have a family."
Katherine is 14 and from Florida . She has a Capricorn Moon conjunct Saturn, close to the Uranus-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn. Her Sun is in late Aries, square Saturn. She has Chiron in Cancer, close to Ceres and Jupiter. Venus is in Pisces and Mars is in Aquarius.
Anand: "Advantages: Having computers and Internet to help you learn better and having lots of communications with people all over the world. Also I like computer games. Disadvantages: Living in this communication world where you know everything that happens in the whole world. I don't like that real much because I get sad of some things that happen. You hear a lot about AIDS and people dying from hunger, no health care, and no home or get tortured. I get sad of that because I can't do anything about it."
Anand is from Holland. He has Aries rising with a Libra Moon - His Sun is in Pisces in the 12th house, exactly conjunct Venus. He has the Uranus-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn conjunct the MC and a Moon - Jupiter conjunction in Libra.
Ari: "Go fast! Eat food and sleep!"
Ari is four-and-a-half, and his name means lion. He was born in the Year of the Dragon and is from Seattle . He has Libra rising and an Aries Sun in the 7th house. His Virgo Moon is conjunct Ceres in the 12th house. He has Chiron conjunct Pluto in Sagittarius in his 3rd house. He also has Jupiter, Saturn and Mars closely conjunct in Taurus, and Mercury and Venus in Aries. He is born right before the great Taurus alignment of May 2000.
"Smiles, tears, superficial fears,
All are part of the teenage years.
First dates, First cars,
Having crushes on Football Stars.
First jobs, First kisses,
One too many hits and misses.
The best years of growing up,
with great achievements and
Good girls, bad boys,
Finally throwing out old toys.
Sneaking out, getting caught,
Remembering all the fights we've fought.
hoping their love never ends.
Heart breaks, making out,
just to hear parents shout.
Drugs, pot and beer,
All are part of the teenage years,
High school, college,
then it ends,
its time to change once again.
But we'll always remember all of the times
when we won, we lost,
and when we cried.
We'll always have memories of our fights and fears,
And all the good times spent
in the teenage years."
Fellicia is 17 and lives in New Jersey . She was born in Germany and has early Scorpio rising, with Pluto in the ascendant. And she has a tight cluster of Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon in Virgo across her 10th and 11th houses. Saturn, Ceres and Uranus are conjunct in Sagittarius. Her Chiron is in Gemini just into her 9th house, opposite Uranus.
Kate: "I feel as if the world is coming to an end. Day by day, there seems to be more hatred and anger and it makes people lose faith - if there is a God, if we can be helped. People suffer in their jobs, lovers are being sent to war, and people are getting sicker. The world was so much better when Clinton was president- so much better. The atmosphere now is all messed up and we seem to be breathing in the hatred, anger and death."
Kate is 16. She has Gemini rising with the Sun, Mercury and Ceres in Aquarius. Mercury is retrograde. Her Virgo Moon is in the 4th house. Chiron is in Gemini in her 1st house. She has a close grouping of Mars, the Part of Fortune, Saturn and Uranus in Sagittarius. Saturn conjunct Uranus is exact to within one-half of a degree, in the very last degree of Sagittarius.
Cecilia: "Well, for me to grow up is an accumulation of memories. It means to have the opportunity to remember a lot of things, some really good, others not so good. It doesn't matter because memories help us to go on. The most important thing is to remember, because what stays with you is the memory. Health comes and goes, money comes and goes, but for sure memories are the one that stay with us, the only thing that stays. So it is chevere (a local word for great) to grow right now because of that (remembering), because I experience new things, and passions and feelings, and I am living, like the carpe diem thing, you have to live the moment at it's maximum, knowing that you will remember it, it's like you never stop growing."
Cecilia, from San Juan, Puerto Rico, is 15 and has Libra rising, like so many of our Growing Up Now kids. Her Virgo Moon is in the 12th house. Her Aquarius Sun is conjunct Mercury retrograde in that sign. She has a grouping of Uranus, Saturn, Neptune and Venus in Capricorn all around her 4th house cusp. She has Chiron retrograde in Cancer, in the 9th house.
Zoe: "Sometimes, it's all people wanting to turn you into something you're not, like a mathematician when all you want to do is paint, write music, and sing, or turn you into something artistic if you like math, I being more of the former proposition myself. OK, maybe a little harsh, but that's my feeling at times. But being a kid isn't TERRIBLE; it has its ups and downs. Ups are that you can feel free to run around in a field with your friend and trip and fall and not feel stupid at all, or that you can type this much this fast and still have time for your favorite show! Among other things, of course. Downs are that if you are advanced or see the world differently, people still only see you capable to a certain extent, even if you are beyond their recognition of you. If you are saying something profound, at times, adults will laugh in that way where you don't know what it means, and when you ask them, they say, 'Oh, I'm just enjoying it!' LORD, that ticks me off. But thankfully, it only happens on occasion. It's pretty good being a kid, actually."
Zoe is 10 and lives in Virginia , although she was born in New York City . She has late Pisces rising with the Moon and Saturn in the 12th house, also in Pisces. Her Sun is in the last degree of Leo, close to Mercury conjunct Chiron in Virgo in the 6th house. She has Mars in Cancer in the 4th house, and Jupiter in Scorpio in the 8th house. She also has Pluto in Scorpio in the 8th.
Sara: "I have been pondering this question for a while. I didn't know exactly how to respond to such a deeply thought provoking idea. To me this is all I know, and what role society has in my life I had never really considered, but today I got a real eye opener; today a fellow student at my school committed suicide. It wasn't just the fact that he killed himself but the fact that he did it at school. He woke up just like he always had, picked a parking spot in the top lot that over looked campus, then shot himself.
"In a society where everyone has been caught up in the race to the finish line it is no wonder that occasionally people will fall through the cracks. As a sixteen year old I feel I am no longer affected by what I see on TV, at least not in a way that will shatter my identity, but as I sit down to watch the nightly tube I can't help but notice what messages are being spat back at me by mass media. I see 'reality television' that resembles my life in no way, I see ads telling me what I should become and where I should go, but most of all I see a culture racing through everyday trying to reach the top and forgetting about everything else along the way.
"Between ads that tell me how I am supposed to look, I see images of war and death. My TV switches from extremes so fast I can't help but feel numb to anything that happens to me in real life. So I turn off my TV and go to school. At school I see kids struggling to find who they are without being rejected by society. At school there is no war, no black plague, there is only the product that has come from living with all those things.
"Looking back I still don't think I have even scratched the surface of what effects our society has on kids like me. So for now all I can do is try to keep my own identity intact and forget about how I am supposed to look, how I am supposed to act, and most of all about who I am supposed to become. I don't know why that kid killed himself, or why anyone that young could be so sick of life that they had to end it, but I do know what it is like growing up in a society that demands you accomplish the impossible, even if you know it's not right for you. All I can hope for is my own identity, if I can hang on to that, I will always be one step ahead of the game."
Sara is 16 and originally from Colorado. She has Cancer rising and the Moon in late Taurus. Her Aries Sun is conjunct Mercury. She has a grouping of Uranus, Saturn and Neptune in Capricorn in the 8th house. Chiron is in Gemini in the 12th house. She has Mars conjunct Pallas Athene in Aquarius in the 8th house. Pluto is retrograde, in Scorpio, just into the 5th house.
Laurita: "Well, it is surprising, I am surprised of doing these things [she's is part of theater company of actors between 13 and 18, and the interview is the opening night of their new show], of having these opportunities that I knew I was going to have, and that for many it's just a dream, and for me it's real. It is such a spontaneous moment, a lot of things are happening, too much choices. The possibilities of the future depend on my decisions. I feel I have so many options, and that many things in the present may be fun but also may harm my possibilities. For example drugs, they are so close, always there near me, but when you are growing you realize it is a luxury, and it's not necessary because I know there are other things that are forever and those are the one I want to work for. I think that for a wrong choice or one mistake you can destroy your dreams. The image I have of myself growing is that I am in an electrical staircase that's always going up, and I have the choice of climbing with my legs at the same time or to stop. But the stairs are going up even if I stop."
Laurita is 16 and from Puerto Rico. She has Aries rising with Saturn exactly in the Ascendant. Her Sun is in Scorpio and her Moon is in Sagittarius -- but the two lights are grouped with Chiron, Venus, Pluto and Mercury, all across the 8th house of her chart. She has Mars in Mercury in the 6th house. Neptune is in the last degree of Capricorn.
Tamara: "When I was first asked to write something about 'growing up now', I didn't know what to say. It's like getting a writing prompt for school, and you have to answer quickly with an adequate and articulate response. I guess it's a little refreshing to at least not have a time period! To sum up growing up nowadays in one adjective, I guess I would say it's 'solemn'. To be honest, I don't feel anything beyond being myself. People say that things are easier for us now that there is email and fun foods at school, more opportunities to go where we want and fewer restrictions. Adults say that we are more reckless and should be thankful for what we have. I personally don't think there is much difference. Sure, we have more STUFF, but stuff isn't what makes us more complicated. If anything, we are more the same now. I still feel frustrated when I have a deadline for a project, even if I can use the Internet to look things up instead of an encyclopedia. I still feel upset when my mom embarrasses me in front of friends by mistake, even if it's by saying 'yo dawg' instead of 'groovy, man'. I'm sorry if my response doesn't match up to some of the angst-filled answers you're sure to get from other teenagers, but I think it's sort of funny to ask what it's like growing up now. I mean, you grew up once, didn't you?"
Tamara is 14 and from San Diego. She has Libra rising and an Aquarius Moon. Her Sun is closely conjunct Venus and Mercury in Scorpio in the 1st house, with Pluto nearby. Pluto is close enough to the 2nd house cusp to count for the 2nd house. She has Mars in Gemini. Chiron is the highest planet in the chart, in Cancer in the 10th house.
Joseph: "I like being alive and being 12 because I have responsibilities but I don't have to support myself. What I dislike is going to school because it's really boring".
Joseph is 12, and was born close to a lunar eclipse in Gemini with the Sun in Sagittarius. He has Chiron retrograde in Leo, and Mars in Cancer. The Uranus-Neptune conjunction is within two degrees and conjunct Pallas Athene. Mercury and Pluto are conjunct in Scorpio.
Mason: "I feel like an advertising billboard. Even my friggin' underwear have a logo on them! Everywhere I look there is an ad for something."
Mason is 13 and from Sydney, Australia. He has an Aries Moon exactly conjunct the Sun and Mercury. He has a close grouping of Uranus, Neptune, the North Node and Juno in Capricorn. Mason has Chiron in Cancer on the South Node, and Pluto in Scorpio.
--Quotations were submitted by Planet Waves readers and compiled by Joni Mitchell. Astrology charted by Michelle Perrin. Edited by Eric Francis.