When You Just Don’t Care: Emotional Distance According To Astrology
Are all emotions sensational? Is it always necessary to explore and process them?
Ask anyone with a lot of air in their chart and they can attest that emotions don’t actually require depth and exploration at all; why go through all that trouble when you can simply observe emotions instead? It’s absolutely more natural and comfortable for many of us to think about our emotions as opposed to feel them. In looking at different emotional experiences through the lens of the 4 elements of the Zodiac, I’ve come to understand that while all of the elements are prone to managing strong emotion in predictable ways, the Air Signs have a unique approach.
A reminder as usual: your Sun Sign doesn’t have to be in the element of air for this information to apply to you. We all have air in our chart and will, therefore, have places where we meet our emotions in the following ways. Air Signs spread their attention thin. Especially when it comes to emotions that feel heavy, strong, or (god forbid), require a big response. They become addicted to planning and mental stimulation, and when it comes to facing real-life problems, Air Signs hover on the surface, avoiding penetration of the outer shell. Within all of the Air Signs is the gift of being able to hold distance from emotions, and the burden of emotional distance that keeps them from experiencing the richness of emotional life.
Mercury is one of the fastest moving planets in the Zodiac and rules Gemini. With a strong desire for exploring concepts and ideas, Gemini loves to learn new things but gets bored easily. Because Gemini collects constant streams of information for later use, new emotional situations seem novel and adventurous. When emotions begin to require real work though, Gemini just moves on to the next topic. Like the proverbial child who gets asked to clean his room and responds, “I’ll do it later!”, Gemini doles out promises to “be back soon”, never to be seen again. This isn’t an oversight on the part of Gemini, this is self-protection. Feelings that bring pain and discomfort are of very little value to chatty, excitable Gemini.
Libra is ruled by Venus and is naturally averse to things that aren’t immediately pleasurable. Libra wants to feel good and keep the peace, and it’s difficult to pacify everyone when emotions are running high. Libra has a distaste for anything hum-drum or routine. Focusing on events happening in real time can bring with them a sense of let-down because the mundane is just boring. So, Libra will avoid the deep emotions (or the boredom), in favor of concentrating on other things- particularly other people.
Libra loves a good fantasy and is rather drawn to focusing on the actions of others as their attention moves fluidly through fascinating questions and projections (“what are they thinking? I think they like me! How can I charm them into giving me what I need?”). For Libra, the distraction and codependence of focusing on “the other”, becomes a game that keeps them from facing real problems.
Aquarius is ruled by Uranus and emotional detachment is the name of this game. Aquarius people have a subtle way of holding others at arms-length, creating a buffer from any external turmoil. They feel easily impinged upon by the needs of others. Aquarius will bypass emotions altogether, insisting that they’ve “already figured it out”, and are also prone to analyzing a situation long past its due date, as a way to keep the pressure off; “Yes, I’m thinking about that, it’s just taking longer than I thought it would”.
Like Gemini, Aquarius isn’t all that interested in emotions unless they produce excitement that feels good. When they don’t, or when they generate fear or discomfort, they move their attention onto more interesting (and distracting) things like sweeping plans for social change, and other options that don’t require an intimate connection.
With Air signs, there’s a need to maintain high levels of stimulation, but activation isn’t sought through melodrama, rather through mental stimulation. So how do we work with those sides of ourselves that are more than willing to check out of present experience in favor of interesting thoughts, manipulating others through charm, or innovative plans for the future? Is it even important to become more aware and in tune with our emotions? It is if you want to step more fully into your human experience.
The Gemini tendency to check out can drive the people around us crazy. Splitting our attention causes us to miss details and give others the impression that we don’t care or that we aren’t dependable. If you’d like to counterbalance that, you’ll have to be creative. The moment something begins to get boring, your attention is going to drift, so be clear with yourself about it, and be proactive. It’s possible to approach any problem from a different (and more energizing) perspective.
If you find yourself spacing out while talking to someone, get up and change the environment. Having a conversation while in motion will help you get more present. Also, engineer conversations about things that interest you (instead of just talking to talk) this will help keep you engaged. Your strong point is communication, utilize it.
The inherent problem when Libra disconnects from emotions is that Venus is relational. Remaining on the surface of a relationship keeps it at a low level of function and the goal isn’t simply pleasure and fun and pleasing everyone, it’s also about contact.
Articulate your opinions and wants. Assert your desires. Converse back and forth, asking questions which create closeness. You don’t want to miss out on the real juice of intimacy which can be found in the highs and lows, and the precarious balance between yourself and other. Remember that superficial pleasure and lack of commitment leads to compulsive desires for more of the same; it’s a never-ending circle. Instead, make it a point to unravel some of your vulnerabilities (you know- the ones you try to bypass by keeping things light and non-committal). You may find that when you’re real and honest about your shortcomings, others will relate to you in exciting ways.
Aquarius spends so much time in the head, making up stories in order to avoid pain. The funny thing is that the more willing one is to just acknowledge and process their pain, the faster it leaves the body and mind. Learning to stay with painful emotions long enough to realize you need help with them (and also holding ground when fear surfaces) is a lifelong journey for Aquarius, but a very worthy one.
Because Aquarius likes to do things differently, make it a challenge- “how can I work with my emotions in a unique and original way?” “How can I practice being more present and less distant and unavailable?” Find clever and genius ways to connect with people (hint: ask them questions about themselves and then actually allow them to ask you questions about yourself!)
The goal with the Air traits in each of us isn’t necessarily to change it and become more instantly plugged in, but rather to develop awareness of the places we disconnect as a way to avoid our feelings. Balancing our avoidance with consciousness brings us into a deeper connection with who we are, and the things we came here to learn.
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