Many of us who follow a spiritual path feel that we are sensitive to a point that can interfere with day to day life. Going to the mall, driving on the highway, eating in a noisy restaurant – these are all things that most people find a normal part of every day life, but for someone who is hyper-sensitive these experiences can be anywhere from disturbing to frightening.
The astrological chart is complex and most of us have a wide variety of tendencies as revealed by our planetary placements. We may have Mars in Aries and have a strong will and tenacious courage, but Neptune may sit on a Libra Moon and turn us into a marshmallow. Or our Leo ascendant may cause us to appear to be outgoing and extroverted, yet our 12th House Sun and Moon in Cancer will desire nothing more than to be home and safe in our own inner world.
So I found this article about empath traits very interesting:
Have you ever walked in a room and had a wave of negative energy wash over you?
Have you had a conversation with a stranger and could tell, without them saying a word about it, that they were deeply troubled or sad?
Do you ever feel so profoundly moved by something beautiful that you start to cry?
If any of these ring true for you, you might be an empath — a highly sensitive person who has a more heightened awareness to subtle stimuli.
If you are an empath, you’ve likely known for some time you are different from most people around you. You’ve probably been accused of being too sensitive or overly emotional your whole life. As a child, you may have had a hard time adjusting to new situations. You may have cried easily, had unusually deep thoughts, or asked out-of-the-ordinary questions.
You may even believe there’s something wrong with you or that you have some kind of emotional disorder.
Fortunately, that isn’t the case. Being an empath isn’t something shameful or even very unusual. According to research conducted by Elaine Aron, PhD, a psychologist at Stony Brook University in New York, 20% of the population are genetically predisposed to be more aware and empathic. She and her research team have found physical evidence in the brain that empaths respond especially strongly to certain situations that trigger emotions.
read more here… including a list of 22 traits of highly empathic people.
Empathy is the ability to feel and understand what someone else is feeling – there is an innate sense of understanding and connection present. However, when our receptors are so open that the feelings, thoughts and energies of others flood our own senses, it becomes less of an ability and more of a limitation.
Astrologically, empathy correlates to the element of water (such as the water signs of Pisces, Cancer and to a lesser degree Scorpio and the water houses, the 4th, 8th and 12th) as well as Libra, the sign that seeks balance and harmony. The associated planets, Moon, Neptune and Venus, also show the degree of sensitivity that an individual will experience and how they will need to express that sensitivity in order to be most effective in their lives.
Conversely, an overabundance of fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius and to a degree Scorpio) can sometimes demonstrate a lack of empathy and a focus on the Self. Ideally we can find a balance between a strong self-awareness coexisting with a sensitive awareness of the needs of others, and an ability to ground into our present existence in a way that provides stability and a firm foundation.
Those of us with weak or permeable social boundaries can learn techniques to become stronger and to eventually be able to feel empathically without losing our center. This skill is essential to anyone working in the healthcare field as it is all too easy to allow our ability to strongly feel the pain of others to disintegrate our ability to provide care and strength.
Empathy and sensitivity is a wonderful thing when it helps us to understand others or to connect creatively through art or music. But empathy and sensitivity also can bring with it a lack of well-defined boundaries with others and difficulty maintaining a strong sense of Self.