Imagine yourself as the unborn babe you once were, in your mother's womb. You and her were one being then, connected seamlessly to one another, your growing body inside hers. You felt what she felt, heard what she heard, and went where she went. She nourished you, loved you, kept you safe and secure. You experienced the world solely through the membrane of her body. There was no “you” yet. Only the primal waters of creation, which you grew further and further away from with every passing day.
Perhaps it would have been nice to stay coddled there, in that most comfortable place. But life hurries onward, and you could not stay that way forever. In a matter of months, you’d already begun to outgrow her. And then, finally, that final day came - the day of traumatic, exciting, necessary change. The waters of the womb seethed and churned. Her stomach jolted and crashed all around you, forcing you out of her and into the outside world, whether you wanted it or not. At that moment, you left your mother's body, and were born into this world. That day, in that place, in that instant, your chart was cast. And you crossed your Ascendant line from the 12th House, into the 1st.
To celebrate, they gave you a name - something to call yourself, to identify as. Because now, for the first time since your first cells started dividing, you were a “you”. A separate individual. An autonomous being, with a mind and body and ego distinct and all your own.
IF YOUR NATAL CHART WERE AN ACTUAL HOUSE
Look at your personality, your chart, the entirety of who and what you are, and see it (metaphorically) as a house. Your Ascendant would be the front door, or what people see when they walk up and meet you for the first time. And your Planets in the 1st House would be the first thing they see when they open up that door.
DOMAIN OF THE 1ST HOUSE
The self; ego, identity, consciousness
Your name, title, and any other unique words you (and others) use to identify you
Your physical body and outward appearance
People’s first impression of you when they meet you face-to-face
Mannerisms, facial expressions, hand gestures, body language
Appearance as self-expression: the styles and trends you want to dress yourself up in
planets IN THE FIRST HOUSE
Having your Sun here means you were born under the earliest light of dawn, just as night was finally ending. You came to be just before the top of the sun pushed over the eastern horizon. The world was still deeply set in darkness, as it had been for hours. But the edge of the sky was flowering, casting a small glow of warm light up into the night.
This is an exceptionally powerful placement for your Sun. Anything placed in the 1st House is expressed at its fullest capacity with absolutely no censorship. For you, this means that you cannot shelter your ego from being impacted by others, and you also cannot stop expressing yourself in the realest, rawest way possible. When you are young or immature, people will see you as obnoxious, egotistical, self-absorbed, and self-important. But others will be drawn to your warmth, generosity, optimism, and creativity. Whether good or bad, you impact the people around you in a noticeable way, and are bound to be popular because of your large personality.
One way you impact others is through your own personal aesthetic. You have the glamour and the sex appeal of the golden god himself - beautiful hair, a shining smile, muscle tone, a warmth to the colour of your skin, and a taste for bold, sexy, creative style choices that draw all eyes to you. It makes sense that you put a lot of care into your appearance, since it is an enormous source of pride for you. Of course, you aren't immune to bad body days, where insecurity gets the best of you. But the important thing is to focus on what you can change, and what you love about your body, no matter how you might feel day-to-day.
The moon was just under the horizon at the moment of your birth, poised under the earth like a seed about to break through the surface. And likewise, in your chart, all of your emotions sit right under the surface of your skin. A Moon here is sensitive and prominent in your personality. When other people look at you they will see your heart on your sleeve, your tender feelings out in the open, and all those fragile little pieces of love fluttered across your face. You can feel them running through your body: vibrations in your chest, knots in your stomach, stress sparking out through your nerves, and happiness flooding up from your feet.
Those with this placement are often given rounded features and softness about their face and body. Your look gives an impression of being warm and caring, a fact that is aided by a quiet disposition and telling eyes. You prefer soft, stretchy fabrics in soft colours, and like to feel "bundled up", like you were wearing a blanket. In many ways, you appear young and child-like, perhaps even baby-faced. This planet is closely tied to the maternal feminine, and many astrologers link the Moon to your impression and experience of your mother. When reading your Moon sign’s description, you may find you can relate a lot about what is said of your own emotions to what your mother is like. And in turn, you have become a lot like your mother in this way (whether you choose to acknowledge this or not).
It is an understatement to declare yourself as an “emotional person”. You are moody, compassionate, intuitive, and very sensitive to your surroundings. Being so thin-skinned, all of your feelings exposed on the surface, you are permeable in the way that everything penetrates you, no matter how hard you try to erect barriers between yourself and the outside world. You feel enormous empathy for other people, especially animals and small children, and can't help but pick up on all the subtle energies in the air around you. Faced with other people who are upset, stressed out, angry, or on the verge of a nervous breakdown, you feel like the waters of your heart are crashing back and forth in your chest. In quiet isolation, at home or with family, you feel your waters are still, your inner seas calm. In a frenzied crowd, you feel overwhelmed, and run away to safety. And in the wild spaces outside our human cities, you feel at peace, as if the waves are gently lapping the shore.
The house Mercury sits in shows where you accumulate knowledge, what you want to learn and what you like to talk about. With it in the 1st House, you analyze yourself. You may be interested in psychology, personality, astrology, and spirituality, for they seek to offer you truths about yourself that you did not know about before. You may be interested in learning about the health of your body, in nutrition, diet and exercise. But your mind does not stop at the inner walls of your own head. You become the utter representation of this planet, and so become a bright (if fickle) intellectual, exploring all of the information the world has to offer.
You are Mercury and everything it stands for. You flit from person to person, topic to topic, picking up information like a bee collecting pollen from a variety of colourful flowers. From everything, you take a little piece and make it a part of you, adapting to and mimicking all different kinds of people. Frequently, your life changes on a whim. Once you feel you’ve become stagnant, you suddenly change, travelling somewhere or picking up a new area of study. You are restless, inquisitive, insatiably curious. Your mind never turns off or slows down. Books, games, puzzles, studying, tinkering with things in your hand - you can’t sit still for the life of you!
When being by yourself isn’t enough, you like to go out and mingle in big groups and talk to people. You need your mental abilities to be challenged, sharpened by wit and forged in the fires of intellectual discourse. This is why you have the potential to become such a prolific public speaker, writer, singer, journalist, or teacher. Your way with words is unparalleled by all but a few. But an obstacle stands in the way of you connecting with a wider audience: there is no filter between your head and your mouth. You say whatever comes to mind, no matter how offensive or insensitive it may sound. This can create tension between you and other people, who become irritated at your rude and audacious behaviour. Others, who are thicker-skinned, find it funny, and revel in the fact that they can say whatever they want around you. A little bit of edgy controversy can get you some attention, but you do not want to be popular for being vulgar and mean!
You feel feminine energy flowing out of your heart and into your fingertips, coaxing you out of your skin towards sources of beauty and elegance. The power of Venus lies in her receptivity, her sensitivity, and her ability to cooperate within the social spheres of life. But she also can serves as an enchantress, seducing all those that fall within her line of sight. You and the goddess share the same illustrious desires for pleasure, beauty, and harmony. Women slip into the body of a goddess most easily, but for men this can be challenging to their inhibiting ideas of masculinity. If you are a woman you will wear your beauty proudly, accenting it with art, make-up, and fashionable taste. If you are a man, you may instead reject being beautiful and become a creative artist, choosing to create beauty instead.
But despite this placement giving you enormous sex appeal, this is not an especially harmonious placement for Venus. When you take Venusian ideas into your personal identity and merge with the goddess, the value you place upon yourself depends on what other people think of you. Your worth and self esteem are not determined by your own level of self-respect, as it should be. You go out of your way to be as likeable as you can be. You may be a goody-two-shoes, always being sweet and good and impressive. Or you may become a seducer, flaunting your body for attention and adoration. You are gentle, reception to their emotions, compassionate, cooperative, and eager to make another person’s life more beautiful. Yet people call you weak, lazy, indulgent, pleasure-seeking, shallow, and vain. You spend too much time and money pleasing yourself and not enough on improving yourself. As long as your self-esteem depend on the opinions other people have about you,their perceptions of you will cut to the bone, and you will never feel satisfied with yourself.
And honestly, there is so much to love about you. For all the hang-ups Venus has in the 1st House, there is no denying the charm and the beauty she gives you too. There is a reason for your reputation as a heart-breaker, a heart-throb, an idol, or a sex symbol. That certain something you have that draws people in and keeps them there is caught by everyone you meet. You move enticingly, like there is a coiled spring inside of you ready to twist little people around your pinky fingers. You enjoy the attention and find it flattering, allowing them to covet you even when you have no intention of making their dreams come true. Aside from that, you also impress with your artistic talents in art, writing, music, design, and acting, all of which come easily to you. And don’t forget your social etiquette – refined, elegant, but not without good humour, people find you as enchanting to be around as fireflies in the night.
The blood running through your veins has been ignited since the day you were born, pumping red-hot iron through your powerful heart and into your muscular body. Mars is the embodiment of masculine energy. He is everything strong, brave, aggressive, and sexual, ruling over what you want and how you get it. At his best he is courageous and ambitious, fighting for himself and defending the weak. He is a warrior and a protector; an adventurer and an athlete. At his worst, he is rude, bluntly forthright with his desires, selfish, and demanding. He sees only himself and what he wants, and is willing to push others down and walk over them to get it. You have Mars inside of the 1st House, which means you bind the essence of the gods to your body and your mind and merge yourself with Ares’ potent masculine energy. Men find it very easy to do this, as they then meet society’s expectations of what a man should be like. But women have a harder time, for although they may be cool and tough on one hand they are often criticized and ostracized for being aggressive, sexual, loud, and bossy.
Possible conflicts aside, this is a very good placement for Mars. Through this energy you are able to exert your will and get what you want without shame or embarrassment holding you back. This placement shows itself very early on in life, as you were the type of baby that kicked and cried until you were free to stretch and move around. You showed an early desire to walk, to climb, to get into things and explore; bravery showed too, as you charged forward into new adventures and never looked back to mom and dad. You got hurt a lot, a trait that can be seen all the way into adulthood. Scars (especially on the face), bruises, broken bones, and trips to the hospital, all a result of you moving too fast, knocking things down, falling over, and your general accident-prone nature. You were one of many children that needed to be put into sports or some other kind of physical activity. Without a structured outlet, your boundless energy becomes destructive.
As an adult, you still share many of the same charismatic features as your younger self. You still have that same strong identity, the same desire to impose your will upon others, the same outspoken (borderline inconsiderate) way of expressing yourself. Truth be told, you do not fare well with sensitive people; they find you to be cruel, offensive, and too overwhelming to be around for very long. If you are wondering why people have such strong, predominantly negative, reactions to you, that would be why! You do better with other masculine people who do not need their friends or lovers to be so gentle. You are hilarious, entertaining, confident, sexy, and you possess enough strength of character to get past the hate doled out to you on a regular basis. Perhaps you are not always the most sensitive, nurturing type of person (if you are at all) but you possess other likeable qualities that draw others to you.
You may find yourself constantly surrounded by those who need you to take care of them. That is because you are Ceres, in every way. That is the image you project out onto the world, and so that is the image that needy child-like personalities are drawn to. This planet blooms like the early buds of spring – full of promise and potential. Offering yourself unto those around you as a caregiver, your soft presence gives comfort to anyone who seeks you out.
The comforts of home and family mean a lot to you, and you wear them on your 1st House for everyone to see. You very strongly identify with your family, particularly your parents, and owe much of who you are to their influence. If asked to describe yourself you are likely to describe what your parents are like, your heritage, where you come from, or how you grew up, and how those things have impressed upon you. Men with this placement often recount in detail how similar they are to their father, while women often adorn the qualities of their mother. But the truth is you contain equal doses of both your parents, as well as connections to your grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, and your long-passed ancestors down the line. Your connection to them is more than genetic. Your family, your home life, and your childhood are all a part of your personal identity. As an adult you will be called to grow up and let go of some of your familiar ties in order to establish your own separate identify. But you will never truly leave behind your family
Planets in the 1st House are expressed fully without any restraint, and people surely pick up on Ceres’ energy when they are around you. Think back to when you were a child relying on your parents to take care of you. You trusted them, sought comfort in them, and they took care of you out of dutiful, unconditional love. Reflect back on the familiar walls of your childhood home, the smells of your family's cooking, of the people you knew when you were a child. You make other people feel the way your fond memories make you feel. You give other people the comforts of home because you project the image of a stable caregiver. Do you notice how comfortable children and animals are around you? They pick up on your warmth, your quiet strength, the love in the hearth of your heart, and feel instantly at ease with you. They feel like you are reliable and trustworthy, like they can come home to you.
Wisdom is not an end to meet, but a process of getting there. A teacher is simply a student further along the line, not one who has finished the journey lecturing from on high. Jupiter in the 1st House means that you exist as the perpetual student and the perpetual teacher, learning and dispelling your personal truths as you become aware of them. The wisdom you seek comes from digging into the deeper recesses of who you are and unfolding the truths that lie there. You are always questing about yourself, your motivations, your destiny, your purpose in life, and for much of your young life you come up with few answers. But by familiarizing yourself with the planet Jupiter you become acquainted with not only the truth of who you are, but the truths of Jupiter itself. As George Bernard Shaw once said, “I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveller of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead - ahead of myself as well as you.”
Large and expansive, Jupiter exaggerates your persona until you become a larger-than-life figure full of force and promise. Exaggerated stories, exaggerated speech, exaggerated movements – all makes you comical, dramatic, and fun to watch! This is what makes you so very popular, lucky, and successful in life. People like you, even when you stick in your foot in your mouth and say things that offend them. For you are totally honest (even brutally honest at times), even when that means telling people things they do not want to hear, and are not about to quiet your opinions on anything. You are totally yourself. You love yourself, and you aren’t about to deny yourself anything. Pleasure-seeking with a big appetite for live, you indulge in hedonistic pleasures all the time. Good food, drinks, shopping, parties, games, entertainment, seeing friends, having fun, school, and travelling make up the list of things you like to do. But be careful. Money slips through your fingers when you spend it unwisely!
You are not simply a student of knowledge, who seeks to fill one’s head up with information. You are a student of philosophy and spirituality, who pours over pages of history, culture, politics, language, and the nature of mankind in order to become wiser to the ways of the world. There are big questions that need to be answered. As a teacher, you open your pupil’s minds to all the possibilities hosted here, inviting them to explore topics freely and unrestrained. In the position, however, you are victim to an inflated sense of self-importance and the false belief that you have more wisdom to offer than you actually do. Still, your confidence in yourself inspires confidence in others too – which is part of the reason why you fulfill the role of entertainer, too. Being as dramatic and funny as you are, you were born to perform!
Famous astrologers have commented on how planets in the 1st House often reflect the nature of the individual's birth itself. Saturn here usually indicates a long and difficult birth, as if the child is not ready to come out and meet the world yet. Even in the very beginning of your life, you met new experiences with apprehension, unwilling to make any sudden changes to your established routine. Fear seems to run your whole life in this way, making you hesitate and procrastinate and dwell on things long after you should have acted. You are not made for frivolity. You plan out big goals that take you years to accomplish and then work very hard to make sure they are realized in the end. Seldom are you ever found without a project and high ambitions in mind. Serious, responsible Saturn becomes you. This planet is a monumental part of who you are.
You are a figure of strength, stability, safety, and security; a reliable person one can trust to always be there and to be the same no matter what. But you are also frigid, strict, controlling, and unforgiving, totally devoid of sentiment when you are setting out to accomplish something. You are as stubborn as a bull, as solid as a rock, as enduring and as patient as a mountain, and as persistent as the waters which slowly erode them into valleys below. Responsibility and duty become your two most admirable qualities. Coupled with your intense work ethic and goal-setting nature, long-term success is bound to find its way to you. Your stony face hides an inner nervousness, however, and a shyness that plagues you when you want your talents to be publicly recognized. Insecurity is your weakest point, one that feeds the fear and the anxiety and the depression you are susceptible to. To you, it seems as though criticism is coming at you from the outside, and you put up barriers to protect yourself from what they say. But in reality, you are judging yourself, lowering your own self-esteem with your negative self-talk.
Even your appearance takes on the qualities of Saturn. An air of chilly superficiality tends to hang around you, adding to the unfriendliness that people pick up on. To some you look mean, cold, calculating. But the expression you wear on your face is there to mask your insecurities and put up an emotional wall between you and other people. Your clothing is apt to cover your body, as you are modest and do not like to show much skin. You are attracted to traditional, classier cuts and darker colours which lend a sense of timelessness to your style. One might get the impression that you are hiding your body, and they would be right. Saturn can make your body feel unattractive or uncomfortable to live in, as you focus on your flaws and what needs to be “worked on”. You are able to discipline your body with a strict diet and exercise regime. You may even be able to lose some of the weight you seem to retain no matter what. But you will always have the impression of being heavier, sturdier, and stronger than you actually are.
Western culture is steeped in the memory of our Puritan framework. No matter what your personal beliefs may be, if you live in a Western nation, you have been berated since birth with lessons of humility, modesty, hard work, and putting others before yourself. Even before we had images of Christ, in Greek myths there way the centaur Chiron, who became fatally wounded but could only die in peace when he sacrificed himself. As a person with Chiron placed in the 1st House, you become the Wounded Healer too. Self-love is hard for you to conjure up; much easier is it for you to shrink yourself down and perceive others as big, more impressive, and more worthy than you of respect. Chiron’s mission is to heal the world despite his own suffering. But placed here that journey is long, tedious, and full of hard lessons to learn.
Chiron is not in his place when in the 1st House. He is driven deep into the way you look at yourself, what you identify as, and in turn, he becomes a large part of how other people see you too. When you look at yourself it is through Chiron’s flawed and wounded lens. You have poor body image, looking at your face and your body with sadness and disdain. You never believe that you are good enough to be loved purely for who you are, always wondering if the people you love really care about you back. You worry about what other people think and of not being good enough to make them stay. You routinely doubt yourself and your ability to succeed. The dialogue in your head is constantly negative, putting yourself down and telling yourself not to try. Erratic emotional upsets, depression and anxiety, the feeling of being “fragmented” – all are the end result of identifying yourself by your damage.
Being as your wound sits in your 1st House, there is no way for you to hide it. It is always exposed to those you meet, always open to to the words and actions of others. Fear results from feeling weakened, disempowered, exposed, and vulnerable. You cannot take criticism because your ego is so sensitive from being berated from you all the time. Insecurity also makes you severely judgmental; it makes you erroneously defensive of your mistakes and blaming of other people for your shortcomings. It makes you inflate your own ego with a false sense of superiority to make yourself feel better. It makes you jealous, controlling, possessive, needy, manipulative, and introverted. All arising out of a wounded self, and all causing you to destroy your own relationships from the inside. You often talk about being “abandoned” by other people. In truth, you drove them away.
Uranus is a planet of spontaneity, revolution, and individuality, and you carry with you its air of sporadic energy. Your life is marked by many sudden changes and a tumultuous personal life. You tend to be strung up on currents of electricity that fry your nerves - the best outlets for which are mental exercises pushing the boundaries of thought and invention. You need to be free to move from place to place, to express your creativity, and to host your own ideas, else this planet will become frustrated and rebellious for no reason.
With the electricity of this planet charging your 1st House, you become the very epitome of Uranian energy. This is the planet of the rebel, the inventor, the intellectual, the radical – the ones who shake up authority and challenge convention! Your influence on the world is nothing short of revolutionary, as you characterize disruptive change and innovative individualism. You seek to discover the truths of this world that lay in science and reason. And yet you also ascribe to eccentric beliefs, unusual interests, and strange hobbies in your personal life. You feel entitled to determining your own truth for yourself and possess a highly independent way of viewing the world. When it comes to hard science you are in agreement with the experts. But on topics of spirituality, religion, politics, culture, and world issues, you can be quite controversial in your views. At times, you can be quite inconsiderate of other people’s beliefs and opinions, stubborn in your own, and intent on getting your way at all costs. For this reason (among others) you do better in leadership roles or working by yourself. You need an enormous amount of freedom to express yourself, and often you would prefer just to work alone.
To a lot of people, you are nothing short of strange, odd, even creepy. But their judgement is a testament to the creative and original way in which you express yourself. It seems like everything is designed to get attention, for it is all too bizarre for it not to be. But in reality, you are just showing off your true self. Whether it is colourful hair cut and worn in outlandish styles, offbeat makeup, peculiar accessories, funny clothes, or just a curious way of holding yourself, you are very good at making conservative people uncomfortable. You may identify more readily with alternative styles, outcasts, weirdos, subcultures on the outskirts of your own. You may even start you own trends from the outside in. Kurt Cobain, who had this placement, became the face of the Grunge Rock movement of the 1980/90's, and John Lennon became a figure of war-hating, peace-loving, drug-using counterculture in the 1960/70's.
Herein lies the collective emotional waters cresting your surface world, casting mist upon your jagged, rocky coasts. This is where the deep Neptunian seas wash upward onto your body, washing you in a disguise that changes based on who is looking. When Neptune is thrown upon your 1st House she is a veil that opens your heart and blinds your eyes, allowing you to intuitively experience unexplained phenomenon and the emotional world around you. She casts you in illusions so that nobody sees you clearly. In your lifetime you will be typified as many people, cast in roles ranging from saviour to martyr to villain and child. You may not know who you are either, believing yourself to be different from year to year. You entire ego is, in other words, shrouded in mists of imagination and delusion.
You do not simply possess Neptunian qualities. You are Neptune, with this planet’s qualities fully blended into your personal identity. You are a creative, imaginative, and talented artist in your chosen medium. You are a highly spiritual person who possesses uncanny psychic powers, heightened by a lack of emotional boundaries between you, other people, and the divine. You reflect their qualities like a mirror and absorb their energies like a sponge. Perhaps it is because your mother refused to let go of you that you feel so guilty about separating yourself from other people. Or perhaps when you were growing up, your life was so unstable you never developed a secure sense of self. You are so easily affected by other people that their emotions can be overwhelming to the point of madness for you. But instead of erecting walls between yourself and others, you simply look for methods of escaping from your current negative feelings. This is why you are so prone to drug use, alcoholism, and getting lost in your own imagination. You should not feel as though you have to sacrifice yourself and your own happiness for the sake of making other people comfortable. And yet, you do it all the time.
People get the wrong impression of you all the time. Especially if you work in media or are in the public eye, more often than not, people’s impression of you is wholly untrue. Nobody knows what you are really like – all they see is a constructed, imagined image of whatever they wish you to be. They may choose to see you as shallow, stupid, crazy, and lazy, cherry-picking evidence to support their views. On the other hand, they may idolize you for your beauty, your artistic talents, and your spiritual guidance, going so far as to worship you totally. In either case, people have such a grandiose and delusional view of you that you become more of a character than an actual person. When finally confronted with the reality of your humanity, flaws and failings and gifts alike, they react with pain and anger. You weren’t what they imagined you to be, so it must be your fault for deceiving them. That is why you should not place too much weight on other people’s opinions of you. Instead, pay attention to what their opinions say about them.
Some people are marked by the very profound effect they have on other people. For some, the legacy they leave after they die is an image of themselves in all the varied ways they changed the world around them. The imprint they leave is different from person to person; some may have hated them, loved them, been seduced by them, been emotionally destroyed by them. Their raw ambition and single-minded pursuit of their goals propels them to even higher heights. Their love of adventure, spinning them into more lives; their rejection of authority and customary rules punching holes in the establishment. With Pluto in your 1st House, you are such a person. And the powerful image you carried in life follows you in death, as well.
From the way you carry your face and posture to the way you express yourself through clothing and style, Pluto in the 1st House makes you look intimidating and unapproachable. You are a figure of power, like royalty, and you gaze upon the world as a ruler does. Some people are hopelessly drawn to the energies you emanate, and some are too scared of you to dare approach. What is true is that you have a deeply profound, highly emotional effect on the people around you, whether you realize it or not. People around you pick up on the intense emotional energy you radiate, as well as the sultry, sexual magnetism exuding out of every pore. Your fashion sense is likely to switch between being sexually appealing and conservative, as you likewise sway between wanting to be an object of desire and being ruthlessly self-protective.
Pluto in the 1st House is given to children who needed to protect themselves when they were younger. Some astrologers claim that this indicates that your birth into this world was difficult or life-threatening for you and your mother, beginning life itself with strong birth-and-death themes. Throughout your life, you have learned to be self-sufficient, to support yourself, not to trust anyone (even the people you love), and to observe people for clues as to their hidden motivations. In extreme cases, this could mean a childhood of abuse, betrayal, crisis, traumas, painful separations, destruction, emotional turmoil, and other difficult experiences. This has lead you to become a person obsessed with gaining power over yourself and your relationships, making you very controlling, obsessive, vindictive, and paranoid regarding whatever is “yours”. Depression and anxiety, as well as anger issues and violent fantasies, plague you. But these are all a part of who you are. You are not above using sex or emotional manipulation to get what you want. You are ruthless, dark, and dangerous, and as much of a threat to others as you are to yourself. You can unravel people’s lives from the inside in and force them to burn and be reborn – and you can do so destructively, through pain and anger, or you can transform them through love and acceptance.