Like so many others, I too am a breast   
cancer survivor.   This is my story.

Making the climb up from the bottom - on tour of San Francisco City Hall
Pink Ribbon -- symbol of breast cancer awareness

Destiny: Cancer

It had been two years since my last mammogram.  My physician had told me that would be fine.  And it was.  At least, I thought it was.  I had felt no lumps and neither did she.  But a second, deeper mammogram was requested.  It was another two weeks of pins and needles before the results came back:

 "Your recent mammogram showed a serious finding and further investigation is needed."

Further investigation meant a biopsy of the suspicious area.  For me, living in southeastern Alaska, that meant a trip to Seattle, something that couldn’t be scheduled for yet another two weeks. 

After the initial fears and trepidations, I started to get a grip. After all, at sixty, I’d had years to consider the inevitability of this. My older sister had succumbed to the disease in 1987. She was originally diagnosed in the mid-seventies when treatment techniques were still drastic and devastating. But it had returned and she could not withstand the second onslaught.

But this was 2007.  So much progress had been made.  And I was an astrologer.  Surely I could make some sense of it.  So, using Solar Fire, I ran my transits for the day of the biopsy. didn’t look too good.

The Biopsy Transit Chart

Biopsy Transit Chart

There was transiting Jupiter, conjunct my South Node in the 4th house, telling me that I was facing some kind of destiny involving expansion.  And there was Saturn, trudging through the 12th, possibly indicating hospitalization, squaring my Moon, which could definitely be the mammaries.

Mars traveling through my 9th in opposition to natal Jupiter surely showed my trip for the surgery.  And although it was a little past orb, the most telling to me was Chiron and all his wounds sitting in my 6th house of illness, opposing my 12th house Pluto.

There was more, of course, but just from this much I could see that it would be heavy-duty, that’s for sure.  The trines and sextiles I took to indicate the spiritual growth that would result from this experience.  Although I was still apprehensive, the biopsy itself was very caring and also very high-tech, as I expected.  Three days later, the results were back:

"You have Ductal Carcinoma In Situ.  You will need surgery."

It was then that the ton of bricks hit. Needless to say, my life started flashing before my eyes. That gnawing feeling made its presence felt at the pit of my stomach. Surgery would be another month away. That time was spent alternating between feeling that it was going to be okay and that I was going to die tomorrow.

During that month, I also poured over the pathology report from the biopsy (all you have to do is ask for a copy) and looked up all the words on the internet. I soon learned that what I had was the best possible, least damaging variety of cancer that I could possibly have. I didn’t need chemo and I didn’t need to have lymph nodes removed. Not only that, the outpouring of love and affection that came my way, even from people I barely knew, was totally unexpected. Those trines surely had helped!

The Solar Return Chart

It was also about this time that I read Kaye Shinker’s article in Natterings about using conjunctions made by the transiting Sun in Solar Return charts as an event timer. So I made a custom wheel format in Solar Fire to help me plot out all the dates of my most recent Solar Return. What I found amazed me.

Sun Conjunct Moon The transiting Sun was conjunct the solar return Moon in the 5th solar house on the day I met with my doctor to go over the initial mammogram and was told there was something suspicious. I don’t really see the connection with 5th house issues of creativity, children, or love, but she was very sweet in the way she delivered the message.

Sun Conjunct Moon The next conjunction was to my natal Moon in the 7th solar house the day before the biopsy. My loving husband was there with me and was very supportive and concerned, which certainly fits with the 7th house.

Sun Conjunct Moon Then, two days before the lumpectomy, the transiting Sun was conjunct solar return Pluto in the solar 8th house. Well, where else would surgery be? And Pluto, of course, is ruler of the underworld. The anesthesia was amazing! Out like a light and back again an hour later like nothing had happened. Then off to a Thai food restaurant after starving all day. It turned out that the tumor was non-invasive and only two millimeters microscopic!

Sun Conjunct Venus And while my solar year is not yet over, if all goes according to plan, the Sun will be conjunct natal Venus in the solar 9th house the day I start radiation. I don’t know for sure yet, but I’m probably going to have to spend a couple of months in Seattle.

South Node Conjunct Ascendant There was another thing in the solar return that Kay had not specifically mentioned, but that I had read about years ago in Marion March and Joan McEvers’ book, The Only Way to...Learn About Tomorrow. They spoke of the importance of the natal house that is rising in the Solar Return chart. My natal 4th house was rising,indicating a lot of activity in what I called "home and family".  Indeed, I spent a lot of time in someone else's home during my treatment and those who so generously provided it became like family to me.

South Node Conjunct Ascendant  And finally, the solar return South Node was conjunct the Ascendant, marking an issue of the past coming into being.  After seeing transiting Jupiter conjunct the South Node in my natal 4th, this sounded like a double dose of Destiny to me. Oh, and one of my doctors told me that the definition of cancer is "uncontrolled growth".

I feel extremely lucky so far. (And that’s Jupiter too!)

Gloria Scigliano

This was originally written for publication in NCGR's Natterings eMail Newsletter. It was published in November, 2007. As it turned out, I only needed to spend one week going for radiation, twice a day. More Jupiter luck! Today, things are great. I am back to doing what I enjoy, living life, sharing my knowledge and teaching about the stars again.