The tale of Narcissus and Echo is not a love story. She was so muted by unrequited adoration for a raging egomaniac that she lost her voice. She could only reverberate that of others, hence the name: Echo.
He had the hots for himself so badly that he was incapable of anything resembling an intimate human relationship. He literally dies gazing in awe at his reflection, shimmering back at him from the pool. These days narcissus refers to a pretty orange flower and a psychological complex.
The contemporary narcissistic personality is well-documented and evidently makes up about 6% of the adult population. My theory is that they equal across the genders. But that patriarchal society supports the male narcissist more than the female version. A male narcissist could become entrenched with age whereas a female narcissist would need significant erotic currency to “get away” with it.
Even so, the conjunction of asteroids Narcissus and Echo is listed in the 88 Soulmating Links – why? Well, a soulmate link attests to a significant bond between people that’s tangible, immediately present between them and which feels crazily familiar. It often makes no sense in conventional relationship metrics but the ‘hook’ is that the dynamic activates your soul.
However, a karmic connection doesn’t necessarily mean “you must be together in this lifetime” and to be absolutely clear: no sense of fate or chemistry justifies or ‘explains’ poor behaviour or anything on the abuse spectrum. Even if it did explain it, maybe the karma-drama is that this time, you get away early. Or that the real love affair going on is that the other person stirs something within you that needed to be awoken.
This member email illustrates another aspect of the Echo-Narcisssus dynamic.
Years ago, looking at the chart of a dear friend and her ex-girlfriend with whom she had an intense, co-dependent relationship I had the idea of putting asteroids Narcissus (37117) and Echo (60) in the extended chart selection on astro.com and looking at their synastry chart.
It blew my mind. Each woman had her Narcissus conjunct the other’s Echo. I suppose it just didn’t occur to me to check my placements at the time. I was so busy being astounded as I often am by the intense appropriateness of astrology.
So I spent the last weekend rereading emails I sent 10-12 years ago, comparing them to a recklessly current love zombie fixation. Somehow reading and integrating these emails (so embarrassing!) was a bit of a love zombie antidote and I thought to look up Narcissus and Echo in my chart. Lo and behold I have Narcissus rising at 22 degrees, my rising sign is at 21 Libra. Echo is on my IC.
When I look at this man whom I’ve been compulsively and foolishly writing to since eclipse season in January (like staring into my very own mirror pond, I love writing to him about my life)- his Echo is precisely conjunct my Ascendant/Narcissus. And when I look to my husband’s chart (because, yes, I am happily married and this is some weird seven-year itch- I had blamed Uranus hanging out in my 7th house), he also has Echo on my Narcissus.
So if our Ascendants are the mask we show to the world and mine is conjunct Narcissus does that mean I come across as entirely self-involved? I’ve recently been dabbling in what the oracle calls “healthy vanity” and I’ve no compulsion to stop. I’ve been eating super clean, doing yoga, swimming in the river every day. I recently got a great haircut (the first amazing haircut I’ve ever had) and awesome new glasses. It seems like something that had been missing in my life. But the astro has me a little taken aback.
Can being a narcissist be a good thing?
Dear Narcissus Rising,
There is so much to parse here! The last post on here addressing narcissism was when a Pisces fell in with a Leo who had legit N.P.D.
When Uranus is in your 7th house, you want stimulus and that electrical, galactic, spaced-out-sensationa of pure rapport. Also, I suspect that Love Zombies are prone to crush and crush hard on Narcissists. The Pre-Raphaelite vision of the Narcissus and Echo myth, above, could easily illustrate any of the Love Zombie posts. Just give the lady a phone.
Having said that, the asteroids Narcissus (37117) and Echo (60) are included in my Soulmating Synastry reading. Mine do nothing in my chart, but scarily, they are all over the synastry (chart to chart comparisons) of my significant relationships. Example: Sun conjunct Narcissus and my Mercury. His Echo on my Venus. My Echo on his Venus. There are other examples, but this has me shook, as the Pluto in Saggo peeps say.
As for your river swimming and yoga et al. – yes! Clearly this synergy is inspiring sensuality and heightened self-love, as well as connection to nature. Could that the purpose of this dalliance? Not that Uranus in the 7th operates with such finesse. Is writing ‘the bones’ of your life to this other man a diversionary tactic to avoid facing the dynamic of your marriage?
Or does your being “happily married” rely on you being the Echo character? I’m not sensing a narcissist here, it feels more like a liberation. What does everyone else think?