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Psychological Astrologer Jennifer Freed Says You Can't Live an Authentic Life Without This One Thing...

Psychological Astrologer Jennifer Freed Says You Can't Live an Authentic Life Without This One Thing...

By Jennifer Freed, Ph.D
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Every human being is capable of a growth mindset, a drive to remove obstacles to share and evolve our gifts and capacities. When we realize that we are not shackled to our past identities or problems, we recognize that we are one completely consistent, coherent, predictable self that extends across all circumstances. We are a work of art in imperfect and continuing progress.

Ancient and modern astrology breaks our capacities into four elements. Fire is dynamic, charismatic, magnetic, assertive, and thrilling. Earth is grounded, stable, consistent, calm, and dependable. Air is objective, logical, expansive, curious, open, and intellectual. Water is feeling, compassion, empathetic, merging, and psychic.

We each naturally express all four of these elements in our ways of behaving and relating. For most of us, one or two of these elements tend to take the lead. We come to define ourselves as just that sort of person—a predictable constellation of choices, habits, and responses. What is true, however, is that we have more choice in this than we might initially believe.

As we develop awareness around how we habitually show up or how we habitually think or feel internally, and as we learn about the other ways we could manifest our beautiful power and presence, we go from the egoic and limited perspective (This is me. Take it or leave it.) to a sagely and expanded perspective (I am everything. I can open new doors of perception and experience every day.).

We can capitalize on the fact that we all, as Walt Whitman said, “contain multitudes.” Wherever we think we possess only a limited palette of colors and textures, we just haven’t yet opened ourselves to the vast potential within.

This might sound overwhelming, but a system for expanding our potential and living into our growth mindset can help. Here is a system that uses the astrological houses or “domains” and the elements of Fire, Air, Earth, and Water to guide your exploration.

The 12 basic domains covered by the astrological mandala are:

1. Persona and presentation

2. Self-esteem and values

3. Communication of all kinds

4. Home and family

5. Love and creativity

6. Health and habits

7. Partnerships

8. Sex and death

9. Travel and belief systems

10. Career and legacy

11. Kinship and group affiliation

12. Spirituality and psychic unity

In each of these domains, we have a way we reflexively and habitually show up, relate, and participate. These patterns are created from past experiences we have had: how we were parented, what traumas we’ve suffered, and much more. It’s no wonder we can come to feel like we are limited in who we can be. The good news is that we have much more choice about this than we might have been led to believe.

Let’s look, for example, at the 11th domain of kinship and group affiliation. One client said to me, “I am a bad friend. I don’t call people or follow up with them.” She was stuck in a loop of old beliefs about herself. Another client said, “I am the most loyal friend… but people ask me to do things for them all the time and forget that I have needs.” Another client told me, “I just am better off alone because people are so annoying.”

In each of these cases, the narrative is a closed loop. These people don’t see that everything is in a state of flux and change—and that we can actively work with our mindset to enlarge our scope of experience and interactions.

Human brains possess neuroplasticity, a quality of being able to modify, change, learn, and adapt throughout life and in response to experience. This means that we can become fully expressed and unlimited in our capacities by removing constricting beliefs and healing unaddressed traumas. We can explore many different modes of elemental expressions in all the above areas of life. In any domain, the first step is to bring more awareness to the element you tend to privilege and lean into as a native strength. Then, you can begin to wonder how you might access and enhance the other elements in that domain.

To live a fulfilling life is to constantly challenge your status quo and to realize that those people who make a true difference are engaged in a life of divine possibilities, not foregone conclusions.

For example: when it comes to persona and first impressions (the first domain), many of us have a go-to mask that we wear when we first enter a room. Mine is Fire: I usually enter the room quickly, loudly, and full of exuberance. When I take a mindful moment and think about my impact, I can change that up where it would better serve. I might opt to enter quietly, thoughtfully, and sensitively (Water) or with energy that is grounded, stable, consistent, calm, and dependable (Earth).

Some of you habitually enter the room with a very quiet, still, solid, and calm demeanor: Earth. Some of you enter the room with empathy, sensitivity, warm-heartedness, and emotional outreach: Water. Some enter the room with coolness, logic, and open objectivity, giving others the sense that you are great at inquiring and listening: Air. Depending on the circumstances and who is in that room you are entering, the spirit and vibration of one or another of these elements may be the best fit.

Consciousness and heightened awareness are the prerequisites to free will. When you are on automatic, you are fated by your past patterns. Start to feel into the idea that you have a choice about how you show up in every new situation. When you take a few moments before starting a meeting or meeting someone for a drink, you can realize that you can lean into all the elements and be more intentional about how you show up.

Let's say you tend to enter with Water: sensitive, feeling, and porous. You are about to go into negotiation around your salary or about a needed policy change in an organization. Water can be your back-pocket skillset, but you will benefit more in this situation by starting with confidence, enthusiasm, and assertiveness—Fire—and cool-headed logic—Air. The trick is to KNOW you are more than you believe and not limited to your past habits of presentation.

Another great example of living fully and deeply is in the critical area of friendship (11th domain).

As a therapist for forty years, I can say with certainty that we are only as healthy as the quality and dependability of our friendships. I have never met a person who can sustain a great love and romantic relationship without a sturdy friendship net. This is also true of parents who are raising children: without an honest and supportive friendship group, parents are overwhelmed by demand and lack of perspective.

Yet, friendship is also a place where we tend to adopt stereotypical patterns that may interrupt our ability to make and sustain nourishing connections. How would it look to surprise each other with constant growth in how we show up and contribute as friends, using the elements as our guides?

Ask yourself: What kind of a friend am I? Consider how you naturally show up in friendship at your best (skillfully as well as your defaults when you are less resourced (your shadow, less skillful self):


Skillful: Active, energetic, passionate, and outspoken

Shadow: Angry, restless, and impatient


Skillful: Stable, loyal, consistent, and dependable

Shadow: Stubborn, resistant, defensive, and stuck


Skillful: Conversant, curious, breezy, and stimulating

Shadow: Inconsistent, gossipy, unpredictable, and shallow


Skillful: Kind, caring, responsive, and sensitive

Shadow: Soppy, whiny, needy, and babyish

Be honest with how you identify today, even if it leans toward the more unskillful side. The point is that you are not a fixed object, but a subject with enormous power to exercise the multitudes within. Now, ask yourself: What type of friend would I like to grow into? What element might be under-expressed for me that I can amp up to enable growth? Which elements would I like to see more expressed by my current friends?

When we gain clarity and conviction about our potential for full self-expression, we begin a magnetic and endlessly fascinating journey to keep extending our definitions of self. When we are fully vested in growing instead of cementing our mindsets, life becomes a wide-open playground of prospects.

People who live for discovery tend to be people who are inspiring and encouraging to others.

Take a moment today to widen your lens and commit to new elements of expression in your life.

There is no harmful side effect; the application is free, and the outcome is the amplification of the highest good for yourself and others.

Jennifer Freed Ph.D. is the bestselling author of USE YOUR PLANETS WISELY. Her new book, A MAP TO YOUR SOUL, releases in October 2022. You can reach her @drjenniferfreed on Instagram or

Sunday Paper readers will receive a free gift with the purchase of Jennifer’s new book, A MAP TO YOUR SOUL, by using this link and entering the code MARIA upon checkout.

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