Narcissus & Echo

Narcissus (37117) and Echo (60).

Relevant background info

In one version of the story; Echo was a nymph that had the job of keeping Hera distracted whilst Zeus was off doing his philandering with the other nymphs. Echo loved to chatter, and she also loved the sound of her own voice. When Hera found out about Echo's betrayal, she cursed the girl by taking away her voice except in those instances where someone would shout out, and Echo would be forced to repeat the words. Echo came across Narcissus when he was out walking, and she tried to follow him, yet she could only echo his words back to him. She went to throw her arms around him, and he spurned her advances. She was distraught and ran off. Because Narcissus rejected all suitors both male and female, the Goddess Nemesis decided that the best punishment was for him to fall in love with his reflection. Good old Nemesis (the Goddess of retribution) lured Narcissus towards a pool and as he caught sight of his reflection he was struck by love. Echo could see Narcissus wasting away by the stagnant pond, and as he slowly died, she was overcome with grief and wasted away whilst still pining for the love she never had.

In Greek myth, it was a youth called Ameinias that had Nemesis curse Narcissus. Ameinias had been spurned by him and in his humiliation, he killed himself on Narcissus' doorstep and whilst he did so, he called on Nemesis to avenge his death laying the blame quite literally at the door of Narcissus. As in the other version, he eventually died by wasting away as he was unable to pull himself away from the sight of himself in a pool.

The myth makes it clear that both Narcissus and Echo were beautiful, yet the pride and arrogance of Narcissus were such that he never allowed himself to be swayed by the heart. Echo was too busy listening to her own voice to consider the feelings of betrayal that Hera had to endure. So what does this information mean for the birth chart?

Narcissus could be giving us the point in the chart where we can be a little bit narcissistic but also incredibly attractive to others. We may have a blind spot as to how we affect others if it features strongly, such as conjunct the Sun, Moon or the ascendant. Narcissus was attractive on the outside, but he also had his issues. Did he think he was just too good to share himself or was something else going on? I haven't done all that much research into narcissism and as I've gone off to refresh my memory of the basics I've been thrown into conflict. It seems some are of the opinion that there can be healthy amounts of narcissism, and I'm not sure about this. Yes, I agree there can be varying degrees but having a healthy sense of self-esteem does not put you into the category of being narcissistic. And who draws the line as to what is what is healthy, and what isn't?

Back in the birth chart, I think it's far too simplistic to suggest that anyone with a strongly placed Narcissus is suffering from some pathological disorder, but I do think it could point towards someone who finds it too easy to reject the offers that come towards him/her. It is said that at the root of narcissism is a deep inferiority complex but until I've had a good look at the information available I can't comment on that. In the myth, we are told that Narcissus' mother once asked a seer of some description if her son would live to a good age and the reply was "If he but fail to recognize himself, a long life he may have, beneath the sun". There could be some major significance in that answer. Is Narcissus the point at which we really will be okay as long as we don't see the "gift" that we actually have? Does Narcissus represent the point in the chart where ignorance can be bliss?

The individual with Narcissus needs to look at the house where it falls because this could show an area of life where it may well be better to stay slightly blind to whatever it is that you possess. Echo may be easier to understand. We have the asteroid showing us where we can feel like we don't have a voice of our own and it may also represent a point that we are in danger of being a major distraction to truth. I think that Echo manifesting negatively could imply that we don't pay attention to what we are saying and as a result of that we are in danger of parroting and not thinking about whether we mean what we say. Why did Echo help Zeus and not Hera? Echo could show an area of judgement that goes against the grain. It could also be something much more simple, such as we are in danger of wasting away if we don't use our voice to its full advantage.

This pair of asteroids could have some weight in synastry, but I'd want to see exact conjunctions or some other hard and strong aspect. Obviously, if someone has Echo aspecting the other persons Narcissus and the myth is playing out back on planet reality, I would like to hear about it.