There is an intimate connection between relationships and self-esteem. A supportive relationship can make you feel secure and whole. A destructive relationship can have you asking,”What’s wrong with me?” no matter what part the other person plays.
This is 2nd House territory. In a previous article, I mentioned that this area of your chart is an integral part of your relationship profile. Now I’m going to expand on that.
The natural ruler of the 2nd House is Taurus. It represents your material and emotional resources. Ruled by Venus, it is associated with values. How much are you worth? What makes you feel good? There is nothing spiritual about this house. This is pure, survivalist energy. It’s selfish.
The condition of this house says a lot about what you do to make yourself feel secure. The key word is do. The 8th House (opposite to the 2nd) represents who you attract and what you share. The 2nd House represents what you do to attract someone and what they can do for you.
If this sounds materialistic, don’t forget that Venus rules love and money. Some of us would like to think that love is pure and unselfish, but that’s 12th House stuff (Pisces). For the most part, attracting someone is about fulfilling needs. Let’s look at an example.
Joyce’s 2nd House cusp is in Scorpio and her house ruler (Pluto) is in the spiritual 12th House. Her 2nd House also has a Venus/Neptune conjunction. Right away we see the potential for Joyce to get lost in the fantasy of perfect love (Neptune conjunct Venus). Escapist fantasies make her feel secure. Scorpio adds that all-consuming intensity, and the pursuit of love becomes self-immolation. She is willing to sacrifice (Neptune) herself and creates a persona to match the fantasies of the guy she is trying to attract. It feels like a pure, spiritual quest (Pluto in the 12th) but it’s really one of Neptune’s tricky illusions.
The problem is that sacrifice does not blend well with the materialistic 2nd House. The 2nd is about building a solid set of boundaries, not dissolving them. The men Joyce pursues use her, emotionally and financially. She ends up feeling worthless. A better way for Joyce to use this energy would be to concentrate on herself. Pluto in the 12th is great for plumbing the depths and for self-exploration.
So what would happen if the right kind of partner triggered Joyce’s 2nd House? Steve’s Saturn hits her Venus/Neptune conjunction. Joyce grabs his attention in the usual way, making herself into the woman she thinks he wants. Steve is intrigued, but cuts through the crap and urges her to get real. He wants the real (Saturn) Joyce, not an illusion.
His sense of authority (Saturn) makes Joyce feel secure. His Saturn on her Venus/Neptune conjunction means he is committed to her. He can be stern (like when he lectures her on wasteful spending). But this is the kind of structure that Joyce needs. All that hazy Venus/Neptune energy needs boundaries to run up against so that Joyce can begin the process of discovering (Scorpio) what she really needs. Steve encourages her to focus (Saturn) her altruistic energies (Venus/Neptune) on charities or volunteer work. This way she can give and still feel good about herself.
Let’s flip things around now and say that Steve isn’t such a nice guy. Maybe he has some control issues (Pluto square Saturn in his chart) and ends up dominating Joyce. His Saturn is cold and repressive, using constant disapproval to cut through the dreams she creates. She feels like she can’t win as she reinvents herself to gain his approval, only to have him label her as “silly.” Joyce feels squashed instead of supported, and finds his boundaries suffocating. She blames herself, convinced that she must be lacking an essential quality that prevents her from meeting Steve’s high standards.
The ideal scenario would be that Joyce develops her core without the intervention of a partner. But the reality is, even though the 2nd House represents self-sufficiency, there are always external influences. The key is ensuring that these influences are the right kind.
Comment below: What sign is on the cusp of your 2nd house?