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Astrology of Emotional Avoidance & Defense Mechanisms


With six months left of the Capricorn and Cancer nodal placement...the current Capricorn South Node conjunct Saturn opposite the Cancer North Node, we are walking a balance beam in our collective soul's evolution and the dance between perhaps wanting to avoid (Capricorn) and stay stuck (Saturn) and fully feel (Cancer). Capricorn contains and suppresses through stoicism or overworking, while the polarity of Cancer invites us into feeling and nurturing. Avoiding emotions or dismissing them is often seen as more mature (Capricorn keyword) because they are contained whereas emotional expression is often considered regressed or immature (Cancerian). I believe we are collectively healing this misnomer and moving more into understanding that to feel and express emotions does not mean immaturity and that it instead is emotional maturity and emotional intelligence.

One of the main ways I see this theme in myself, clients, and friends is that our emotional avoidance--emphasis on "dance"--tendencies seem very much at the forefront. It feels like such a soul lesson related to staying present and grounding during such a sacred, sensitive time.

The Lunar Nodes are astronomical points where the Moon’s orbit intersects the Earth’s path around the Sun, a representation of our inward and outward experiences. They represent fundamental ideas of where we have been and where we are headed in our collective and personal evolutions . The current North Node in Cancer occurred on Nov. 6 2018 and will stay there until May 2020. It implies a shared shift towards learning lessons in empathy and emotional intelligence.

The moon in our charts representing the way we process emotions, or don't, the more we know about our moon the more easily we can notice and come more into consciousness what we may be avoiding. It's our unconscious needs as well and when those needs aren't met, we are more prone to avoiding them. Both Cancer and Capricorn have a tendency to block or cut-off, though for different reasons...they both crave safety and security and our emotional defenses are reactions to either feeling attacked (more Cancerian) or feeling disrespected (Capricorn). When an emotional state in us is triggered we go into a regressed place and knowing our particular patterns of avoidance can help us more quickly identify when we need our own self-soothing and attunement.

I find in my own chart my emotional avoidance strategies are a combination of my Moon sign, Sun sign, as well as archetypal combinations of planets related to it. An example is that my Aries moon often avoids by staying in motion and it is conjunct/next to Venus and then I crave pleasure and sugar, if that doesn't work, which it doesn't, then I either dismiss it with Saturn or go into hiding (Plut0). When that doesn't seem to work, then I leap into my Sun to cope and avoid the emotional realm altogether.;) In this way both the Sun and Moon can show us how we avoid how we feel.

The defenses we build and create are healthy and normal, and serve a purpose to protect the tender parts, though can also impact our ability to stay connected to ourselves and move through difficulty with more ease. Defense mechanisms were identified by Sigmund Freud and are behaviors people use to separate themselves from unpleasant thoughts on feelings. It's a way of creating distance through avoidance of discomfort.

Most of us know by now that unprocessed emotions often manifest in long-term mental or physical health issues. We may avoid because we don't want to be uncomfortable or we aren't in a phase where it is necessarily helpful to slow-down and feel things. By the nature of defenses they are mostly unconscious and therefore associated with the Moon, though show up often in conjunction with our ego defenses as the Sun.

Emotions and the soul have their own timing and sometimes we may need to avoid in order to function and take care of things in the material realm. However, this post offers and invitation to explore your own tendencies and how they relate to your chart during this time of uncovering.


Here are the most common emotional avoidant tendencies I notice by element of Moon sign, as well as more in-depth with the sign and archetypal combination. Understanding the complexity of your lunar self involved also knowing the "flavors" the planetary aspects offer as well.

Distraction, minimizing, or denial // Fire Signs :: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Disassociation, addiction, or obsession // Water Signs :: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Suppression, dismissal, or pleasure seeking // Earth signs :: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Overthinking, joking, or dismissal // Air signs :: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius


  • over-exercising or staying busy

  • compulsive decision making

  • minimizing or denying feelings because they aren't inspiring or uplifting


  • shopping or focusing on material things

  • pleasure seeking through sugar or other indulgences

  • attention seeking or vanity

Gemini/Moon-Pallas Athene/Sun-Pallas Athene (please note I consider Pallas Athene the ruler of Gemini)

  • over-thinking or intellectualizing

  • compartmentalizing or splitting the emotions off from identity

  • head in the clouds disassociation


  • overeating, especially comfort foods, or eating disorders

  • nurturing or helping others instead of naming needs

  • clinging to comforts or security to feel better


  • creating drama or avoiding through joking or dismissing

  • focusing on what people think instead of how you feel

  • reaction formation where we tend to react in overly positive way (similar to spiritual bypassing)


  • overthinking instead of feeling

  • over rationalizing the emotions and their "facts"

  • focus or controlling around day-to-day life

Libra/Moon-Astraea (please note I consider Astraea the ruler of Libra, not Venus)

  • displacement of emotions onto unrelated situations out of not wanting to disrupt peace

  • co-dependency and deferring emotional response to someone else

  • self-abandoning and avoiding expression by hiding how we feel


  • repression, control, and containment of intense feelings

  • shadow projection as a way to avoid shame or guilt

  • intensely triggered by others and into attack mode (often a sign of shadow projection)


  • being righteous about the truth of a situation

  • dismissing or being overly optimistic

  • going into consumption mode with food or spending


  • armoring up and going into solitude

  • judging, condescending, or being authoritative about the self and emotions

  • advice giving instead of being vulnerable


  • wanting to get away or do something new and exciting

  • believing no one else has ever had the experience before and can't relate

  • focusing instead on manifesting and trying to get rid of your unconscious or "lower vibration"


  • going into victimhood mode

  • projecting feelings onto someone else

  • spiritually bypassing emotions because they don't seem divine

  • addictions or other forms of disassociation

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