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THE native whose case is here recorded was a highly strung but perfectly normal woman—a woman with deep feelings and a fine character. The trouble only began when the Sun—trine to Uranus at birth—progressed to the square.

She was happily married, and had a baby girl. Shortly afterwards she suffered from severe headaches, and showed a strong tendency to hysteria. Her husband, an Army man, was easily frightened, particularly as she had always been healthy and strong. He at once took the advice of a young doctor (their usual medical adviser being away), and agreed to send his wife for “change and treatment” to a so-called “Home”—in reality a mental hospital. She was put under no certificate, as no one pretended for a moment that she was insane; but it is unfortunately possible to send patients who are either “borderland cases” or only “nerve cases” to these institutions to be treated. She went willingly and cheerfully, having been told—as so many are told—that it was “a nursing home.” Her husband, confident that the plan was satisfactory, started for South Africa on the following day. She was a sensible woman; and the experience of finding herself unexpectedly under lock and key, surrounded by many patients in different stages of mental disorder, did not give her the shock that it does to some. The nurses were humane and cheery women; the Medical Superintendent had an admirable manner; and she was quickly reassured as to the future, and told that she would not be there long. Believing it, she settled down and made the best of the experience. She was treated with as many privileges as possible; and in three months was perfectly fit and well. Then her husband, having returned, came to see her. It had never for a moment occurred to her that at this juncture she would not be let out; and her amazement can be pictured when she found that he had been persuaded by the Superintendent to keep her there longer. They had told him that “it was for her good.” In a few more months, she would be even more thoroughly restored. There is no doubt that the doctor himself believed this. Moreover, extreme caution is the rule of the management. No patient who once gets in has much chance of getting out again speedily. But from this moment the trouble took a different turn, and it ended in a hopeless misunderstanding and estrangement.

The husband refused to go against the doctor’s wishes. The wife, bitterly disappointed and disgusted, began to fret and worry, lost strength and appetite, and was reported “not so well.” When, finally, the time came to an end, and she had fought her way out, seeds of resentment and suspicion had been sown which were never entirely killed. Both these unhappy people—husband and wife—were victims of a “panic legislation” for which there was no necessity at all. A few months’ rest and care under natural conditions would have seen the trouble through. Now a fatalist might say of this story: “But that aspect would have worked somehow. Uranus is a notorious promoter of estrangements. If it did not work in one way, it would in another.” Of course “it would have acted.” But that is no reason why people should act with it; and this is precisely what people do again and again. Many a bad direction is brought into operation through one’s own ignorance and folly. Many a one also is turned aside and transmuted through spiritual knowledge, foresight, and prayer. This is a truth upon which we cannot insist too strongly, and I want to return to it later on. Meanwhile, before leaving this brief study of dangerous directions, a word may perhaps be added about the progressed square of the Sun and Moon.

Even if this does not affect the health house or the “hyleg,” it should be very carefully watched, for all sorts of insidious troubles may occur. Particularly does it seem to affect relationships. Misunderstandings are likely to arise, and sad estrangements if not guarded against carefully. All slight illnesses should be attended to, and all new ventures postponed. Sometimes an apparent disintegration of the character—like that described in Chapter VI—occurs under its influence. It is a time when “the house is divided against itself”; the moral bulwarks weakened; and the natives have need of all the steady affection and patient sympathy which those who love them can bestow. The square, in my experience, is much worse than the opposition. Much, no doubt, depends upon the sign of the Sun at birth. Roughly, it may be said that two-thirds of the slighter mental cases in my own experience had the Sun in Aquarius. This splendid truth-seeking sign, so harmonious for the Moon or the Ascendant, can produce a fatal weakness in the will when the Sun is afflicted in it. In my opinion all these are cases where the help of an understanding friend who knows the horoscope might be of such great value. For Astrology alone can discover the counterbalancing tendencies and judge how the danger may best be met and turned aside. Nowhere is it more true that to be forewarned is often to be forearmed as well.

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