When I began studying psychology I believed that bullies were sad people, people who had a bad upbringing and were bullied as children. They must have been, because they appeared to have such deep emotional pain, right?
Then some years ago I read some insightful research on bullies. They found that bullies did not have bad childhoods after all, often it was the reverse, they were spoiled brats. The bullies started off bullying their siblings and even their parents. In many cases their parents were found to be too permissive and gave in to their every whim.
Many bullied throughout their school years and then into the workplace. Here their bullying helped push them up the chain of command. Once at the top they engaged other bullies to do their dirty work. In many organisations there exists a hierarchy of bullies. Bullies rule the chain of command - all the way to the top.
There are several traits involved, generally we would include 'narcissists' and 'workplace psychopaths'. These are well known in the corporate and public service world. Some CEO's have these traits, so too might your boss, manager or your leading hand or supervisor. Their key feature is that they abuse their power in whatever way they want.
Bullies don't have bad lives - in fact they have the opposite. They generally have a wonderful life, full of joy and fulfillment beyond belief. Why is this so? Because they get what they want, they bully until they get it. When they desire something, or someone, they know how to get it with the least effort.
If you get the chance, watch this documentary: "Stress: Portrait of a Killer". It's put out by National Geographic and available on DVD and now on Youtube.
It begins by examining an African baboon troop, then monkeys in a zoo, mothers of disabled children and public servants in the British Whitehall project - it's absolutely fascinating. What they find is that the higher up the leadership hierarchy you go, the healthier you are. Those lower down, the 'hen pecked' ones, are the least healthy. Simply put, when the bullies rule they get healthier, the submissive ones don't. Stress is shown to be very damaging to your health and well being, let me repeat that - very damaging.
Are we brave enough to learn from a baboon?
Basically, being a bully ensures a long healthy life, while being bullied ensures poor health and an early stressful end. Now that is an incredible find.
Do we see psychopathy and bullying in the astrology chart?
The simple answer is 'yes we do'. However, those features in the chart also signify creativity, drive, stamina, imagination, intellect and passion.
The key to separate them, to succeed using one's own potential Vs to succeed at the expense of others, is generally upbringing and opportunity.
A creative, driven person with the right upbringing, which includes rules, boundaries and a firm hand leading them, generally ends up successful by their own efforts. Those who are creative and driven but have poor role models, and, given the right opportunities (and often rewarded for bigoted, racist and/or criminal means to achieve their goals) may become bullies. In even worse cases they can become 'workplace psychopaths'.
Bullies versus psychopaths versus sociopaths.
There are some subtle differences between these three groups.
Bullies - enjoy beating up others but generally do it for peer approval and social standing, this is common at school and college, we also see it in sports groups
Sociopaths - this groups are best described as people who lack self-control. For example, you are in line, waiting to be served at the checkout in the supermarket. You accidentally bump the person behind you and they drop their milk on the floor, it bursts open all over their shoes. The 'sociopath' will react violently, throwing their hands in the air, swearing and generally acting out noisy. They become out-of-control, eventually they throw the rest of their items on the floor and storm off, yelling abuse at you, and the store, and everyone else since Adam and Eve made babies.
The 'psychopath', however, just looks at you. When you leave the store they watch where you've parked your car. They take note of your car make, model and licence number. The next time you go shopping, on returning with your purchases, you notice your car paintwork is scared by deep scratch marks.
Psychopaths - there are several groups here, the sicko psychopaths who deliberately physically harm others are a separate group, and you'll read about some in my book, 'Psychological Astrology of Psychopaths: Mass Murderers'.
There are also psychopathic types, known as 'workplace psychopaths', or 'workplace bullies', or 'psychopath managers'. This group of people are those who manage you at work. They don't kill people but they know how to get what they want, by bullying.
Their behaviours are much the same as other psychopaths: they lack empathy; use your work and say it's theirs; they self promote; they tell lies, cheat, steal, take advantage of others to benefit themselves; they don't care if you fail and lose your job; they don't care if someone is harmed or killed because of their own actions or inactions; they turn staff against those they wish to destroy; they socially isolate those they wish to discredit; they will yell and scream, belittle and humiliate you in front of others; they use guilt, gifts and bribery, as well as blackmail to get their way; they stand over you and will even beat you physically; they'll even enjoy and brag about it.
These 'workplace psychopaths' are the ones you might encounter each day at work. If you have one supervising you then they can make your life a living 'hell'. I'm sure most people have met at least one of these in their lives.
Why are there so many of this type of personality so prominent in the workplace? Because they promote their own type.
Are there astrological significators for these people?
Yes, but again their chart shows great promise as innovators as well as bullying. We need to consider that astrology has limitations just as any form of divination does. Even experienced astrologers, and psychologists using their psychological assessments, struggle to tell the difference.
Some astrological features to look for are those that promote narcissism, selfishness. Simply put this is excessive Fire and excessive Air. But that means everyone with these features must be potential psychopaths doesn't it? Well, yes, but well, no. We also need to add some Water for the emotional gains, and that muddies it a bit doesn't it. Even some Earth would consolidate their particular features wouldn't it?
I would consider placements like Mars and Pluto in hard aspects to the luminaries Sun and Moon, as well as to the Ascendant. I would include Chiron too, and I suggest that you read my book to see why. But Mars and Pluto don't tell us much more than drive, passion, anger and ruthlessness. What about passion, surely that can't be bad? Well, if you take pleasure in someone elses pain it might.
Air, why Air? Put Gemini strongly anywhere and you risk a lack of empathy, I'd even include a powerful Mercury here. Again we could just as well argue that excess Gemini or Mercury adds a desire to communicate and not ruthlessness. If you add these ingredients, plus an opportunity to learn how to bully, the chances of narcissistic traits to develop may tip this person over the edge.
Astrology is a tool, and I'd not like anyone reading this to go out and label someone with a strong Fire chart as 'psychopathic', or a strong Air chart and label them as 'narcissistic'. That's not what astrology is designed for. I've researched narcissists and psychopaths for decades and I am still very loath to label a chart as 'psychopathic' just because it held the significators and constellations I have seen in many psychopath charts.
What I'd prefer you to do with this blog is to be able to recognise certain behaviours and traits as 'psychopathic-type'. If you work with someone who exhibits traits of narcissism or psychopathy, go ahead and study them. Research 'workplace psychopaths' on the internet, there's heaps of articles out there these days. Knowing what behaviours to look for may prove to prevent you falling under the spell of a narcissist or 'workplace psychopath' or bully.
I counsel victims of workplace psychopaths / bullies, every week, I've spent years studying how to help them. Do you know what I tell my patients? Leave the job, walk away, these people will destroy you. Why do I say that? Well, one day I'll write a book on workplace psychopaths and explain why. In the meantime, do some research for yourself, just google 'workplace psychopaths' and see what comes up.
Noel Eastwood (1955- ) is a psychologist and skilled astrologer, who has spent more than 30 years accompanying others on a healing spiritual journey to meet their inner selves. He was introduced to Taoist meditation and tai chi while at teachers' college in the 80's. This formed the basis not only for his teaching, but also for his work as a therapist after he earned his degree in psychology.
Noel studied astrology under Chris Turner, one of Australia's foremost astrologers, and started to receive clients in 1988. Currently, he is a practicing psychologist and astrologer in Australia.
Over the years, Noel has developed his own, unique blend of astrology, Jungian and Archetypal Psychology, Taoism, meditation and tarot - his great loves that continue to inspire and guide him as a therapist and in life.
Married, with three grown children and two grandchildren, Noel created Pluto's Cave to pass on his skills and knowledge to the next generation of astrologers and psychologists.