Some People Are Like Strangler Vines

Some acquaintance are like the strangler vines on trees. They grow around the tree, and at first, it seems like a symbiotic relationship.

Someone I know – a Taurus, oddly enough – is having to cut a strangler vine off his tree. It is a prick of a job as once they have latched on, the Strangler Vine do not want to let go. I ‘m not a botanist, but the modus-operandi of the Strangler Vines reminds me of some people.

They turn up (shat out by a passing bird, in this case) and plant themselves at the base of a tree that has it’s shit together. That is, the tree has deep roots for sustenance and a decent position. It is home to birds and has branches that wave gently in the sunlit breeze. It’s networked to other trees and yet singular.

This tree is seasoned and has successfully weathered various storms and adverse human-induced environmental factors.

Then the Strangler Vine proceeds to grow around the tree, taking nourishment from its roots and eventually killing the host by rendering it weak and blocking vital sunlight.

About the only thing they have to offer is that they provide extra strength during inclement. Some consider them ornamental but of course, this is offset by the ‘killing the host’ bit.

Energy Vampires come in many forms. Some are nice; others are more overtly after something. But they always seek out strong hosts and start out small, seemingly useful or decorative.

So, do you know a Strangler Vine?

53 thoughts on “Some People Are Like Strangler Vines”

  1. My mother. Except she’s an odd sort of vine: she somehow managed to plant a couple of trees next to her and by constantly choking them as they grew, forced them to put out loads of extra deep roots and grow extra tall. All so she could have something to wrap herself around and destroy.

    Needless to say, I uprooted myself and go no closer than her vines can reach. My brother, alas, did not do the same and his life is completely hollow – no friends, no job, nothing. I can’t forgive the woman for that.

  2. Sounds like American politics and most, probably all politicians. Trouble is, when we remove one, another just the same takes their place!

    1. LOL, well-played! Yes, Washington is their native habitat. 😛 That really is an apt comparison, though, ahead of the USA’s Pluto Return. They’re choking the life out of this country and yet somehow fail to see their parasitic effects upon our government.


      My passport’s valid – anyone else want out of this mess ahead of that Saturn/Pluto conjunction? We could start our own little astro-republic somewhere….

  3. Holy crap. This describes my second husband to a tee. AND, mercury is retrograde in my 7th house, so who pops up out of no where yesterday? My first husbands alcoholic father. My 8 year old has very little family left (her dad passed) so she was overjoyed to see grandpa. But it turned into the usual for me – fixing his broken down car, paying for lunch (and all his drinks), then following him back to his teardown house for a meltdown with his drunk girlfriend in front of my daughter. On top of that, he wants to move into our house. The whole way back, all I could think of, is NO – hell no.. And how to give my daughter the “grandpa” time she desperately wants while maintaining iron clad boundaries.

  4. yes! I live in the wet tropics of far north queensland in Oz, plenty of stranglers. Up here in the jungles, the circle of life is VERY BIG, LOUD AND SUPRISING.

    there seems to be a balance, or fairness in the wild here. For example, stinging trees, which are similar in appearance to stinging nettle but way bigger, spring up at the edge of cleared areas as a way of saying ENOUGH you will take no more. Brush up against on of these and you will end up in ICU or worse.

    Every lush leaf, huge and shimmering in the verdant moist, has hidden thorns underneath, every wonderful flower has a unique purpose.

    even flies, yes common flies, are sometimes more irridescent and brilliant hued than opals

    I live in paradise

    1. I miss all the birds up there. (And everything else. Ok maybe not the things that bite and sting. But hey. Ahhh… The tropics <3)

  5. Are frenemies in the strangler vine category you think? They’re all ‘let’s do this together’ and ‘I love your hair / hat / bag where did you get it from’ but secretly they’re backstabbing and sniping and reputation-undermining until you’re apparently a husk. Then the tree dies, and the strangler fig stands in its place but guess what, it’s hollow! And it can only ever echo your form.

  6. I had a lower-vibe Pisces stranger-vine “friend” in college. Luckily, our relationship died explosively just before graduation. If nothing else, she inoculated me (to shift metaphors a bit), against future stranglers.

  7. Is it a challenged Neptune in that person’s chart maybe? With some aspected Jupiter for the interpersonal boundary blowout factor? Narcissism? Some kind of misplaced attentional demand? Missing social cues and foundational training in how to co-exist .

    1. One thing I have learnt (fwiw) is that a few of my natal chart indicators point to becoming “better at groups” in this lifetime – teams, group dynamics, playing nice with others, cooperation, interdependence, sharing without hesitation, showing up, being present, communicating.. I hesitate to say “fitting in”, although such a concept is definitely a sore point – possibly self-created, so perhaps there’s something to reflect on there. I can see how this might easily tip into being strangler-fig substrate (I’m still a Pisces at heart, however you want to interpret that based on your experience of pisceans), but… Strangler fig or the tree, (Self) awareness is key isn’t it.
      Meditation helps to spot where the interpersonal energy starts to loop out a bit, and to bring everything into conscious awareness with a bit more self-work. If that makes sense

      1. And trust – trusting others. That’s a biggie. Sorry, this is getting a bit blog-stranglish now haha x

      2. Hello Pi,

        As fellow Pisces who have Saturn natally in 11th house Leo, I relate to every word and challenge of yours above.

        Thanks for putting it all so eloquently. The learning continues! xx

      3. Hey
        Just going to out this here, hope is ok
        As an extremely Saturn challenged person, Pandora astrology’s Saturn pages by sign was also a helpful addition to my own self-directed ‘studies’, and this site (rambling Saturn ruminations on the astrohacks brought me to a new and v profound realisation also)

    2. This, & the four or five posts above confirm that my ex was not just a qi vamp/ karmic partner from hell, but is also a strangler vine. Sun & Merc sq Neptune. Safe to say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, & I’m rising on up from hereon out x

  8. Yeah, i got away from one in 2015 but didnt know it at the time. I wasnt enough sustenence for an aries grifter which is probably why i wasnt chosen and i was all sad at the time. he was the one all up in the sex cult. Turns out, now 2017, the sex cult kicked him out. So much of a leech the thing that is supposed to steal from you….you steal from. Lol.

  9. Not anymore 😉 Nope, nope, nope – if you suck all the Light/Air/Energy out of me while offering little-to-nothing in return, we’re done.

    Smart Libras embrace the Tao of Reciprocity like a religion; it is the foundation of all GOOD relationships – especially during Jupiter in Libra. If you consistently drain more from my energy pool than you contribute, you gotta go. Everybody is allowed “a moment” now and again – relationships cannot be perfectly balanced all the time and sometimes one party leans more on the other due situational stressors. However, if you look at the overall dynamic on a long enough timeline there should be give-and-take on BOTH sides rather than there being a preponderance of outflow heading in one direction. Users, abusers, chaos addicts, & drama queens will be all too happy to take your precious qi and suck you dry – recognize the strangler vines in your life before it’s too late and excise them from your life.

  10. Yes. 2 vines –

    1. capricorn sun and mars, a conjunction under 1°, making exact opposition to my venus (my venus is angular too)
    2. libra sun and venus, a conjunction under 2°,making ~ 2° opposition to my mars (mars angular)

    It is a matter of attraction, if a malignant one.

  11. Lux Interior Is My Co-Pilot

    I have had to remove two strangler vines off my person in life so far….

    Interestingly once you have done it, you become quick at recognizing them and avoid the icky “implantation stage”…

    1. Yes!!! I to find that after been mildly asphyxiated a couple of times that I can see the first tendrils coming from a mile away, especially in work scenes

      I still have a hard time discerning these sorts of strangler tendrils in more intimate relations.

  12. Re-reading, i have to say i love the little “I’m not a horticulturalist” bit.

    I’ve found that if i accidentally channel my own Merc in Aries in the t-square with Mars and Uranus – a real slicer of a weapon – through trying to be all understanding Piscean about it, in humble tone and as a little side thought, it actually slices finer.

    I mean, really. Some people just have to fq with you even though they know better. I do believe they feel if they push my buttons i’ll explode and get myself tripped up, but my Pluto-Saturn trine with Mars in Capricorn just means the madder i am, the harder i use the heirarchy to “help”, with background military strategy.

    And if the battle is a covert emo one…yeah, it hurts but i’ll definitely be the survivor.

    OK, i’ve vented here. Better get back to sweet strategy. I have a quiet “request for team member support” meeting in the morning. Hoping that team member gets, um, some swift support. (Seemingly submissive, pass-agg team member needs to know that “submissive” sit-on-hands-cannot even-cope-with-the-mess-they made helpless attitude can be read as “basic incompetence”. And yes, your Pisces boss KNOWS the difference. And has already been to the Virgo Duty-Is-Your-All Second-in-Command. And the Scorp Fourth-in-Command. So if Second-in-Command Sag is a disappointing cqblock, it’s all just a matter of…my favourite strategy…Enough Rope!)

    So yes, strengthen the tree, and kill the parasite carefully.

    As if i haven’t enough to do. Haha…don’t make yourself my job, when i already have one. All jobs get done, on Pisces time.

    1. Would like to add, the person attacked me the week before fuquing up very publicly.

      At that time, i just took it home and felt very very badly, and wondered how i could do better. I’d been supporting the difficult person despite the underlying hostility, and protecting them from client and collegial fallout. My focus was on how i could support better, even though that person could not see how much i had been operating behind the scenes with higher ups, clients and on my own, for their benefit.

      I was happy to keep going, because it seemed right. But the incapacity to help me help them, or the pure apathy, or worse, is absolutely against my value of forging a better team environment in a previously divided department. This team was badly treated by the previous boss, in divisive ways. I inherited that going in. That’s hard work and slowly coming together, and i won’t see it undone.

    2. Mandela was a womaniser, and i knew that for sure at aged 14. Before some journalistic shit came out years later, and my Virgo sis never doubted my feely-take. It never undid his message to me, but I quit my Amnesty involvement once he was free.

      Jane Goodall, you mean?

      In any case, what is your take? I know i’ve been emoting and i hate its prideful feeling. I just want to get …

      Nah, don’t worry, don’t give me your take. Whatever i do it has to be fully self-supported by all that i intrinsically know is right. I’ll get there.

      Fqer is fqin up only just at the point where i know they need support. And i have to give it, whatever it takes. And whatever it is. If i go in with the best of intentions despite myself, it should be a good all round win. And, ya know, thus spake 0 degrees Scorpio 12th house ruler (knowing its own twelfth house power, and exactly what that means).

      No pingback, and no lie. And full accountability, for thus endeth the 12th house: in mouthy Jup-Nep-Moon Sag Antares, also conjunct the Rise.

      Weird tho, it’s an Aqua, and the other Aqua is in my corner, as much as an Aqua can be in anyone’s corner. (Also fam Aqua had some pithy idea.) But when the going gets weird, you scry the local Aquas, non?

      1. Thanks, PF. I was so angry. But not at your words or anything. Just hard to get a good direction going.

        Today is a new day. I’ll just do what i can, and sit quietly with the outcome.

        I’ll even think of Mandela. Some of his words.

  13. Wow this is a powerful metaphor and I love everyone’s comments – what if you end up being your own strangler vine with your adopted belief systems as the parasite as in your choke yourself with your own false ideas? That said I once worked with someone whose energy felt all consuming and they tried to copy me in lots of ways and while acting like a friend was literally sucking up my ideas, confidence and serenity. Blugh!

  14. Sounds just like Ivy, scurge of a green thumb. And yes I also have hungry students, real attention guzzlers. Actually my daughters are throwing tanties now…

  15. Buckle (Aries Sun; Pisces Asc; Gem Moon.)

    I teach in higher ed and I love it. I bloody love it. But maybe once, twice a year there will be a stranger vine student who is so emotionally dependent that it makes my skin crawl.

    They carefully draft their (multiple) emails and put in far too much information for the context. In person they make unbroken eye contact and constantly divert into personal anecdote and descriptions of their own personality and ‘how they are’.

    These are usually mature-age students around the same age as myself (almost 40) and I think that’s their ‘in’ — they are desperate to tell me their painful life story and all the reasons why they are hurt and why I am WONDERFUL instead of… just. doing. the. assignment!

    1. OMG the emails with too much personal focus and context.

      First, i thought, OK they need some personal attention and maybe if i feed them a little now and again, they’ll become more manageable.

      Then it became clear i was watering a Strangler. I stopped.

      1. Buckle (Aries Sun; Pisces Asc; Gem Moon.)

        Yeah, I’m all for individual engagement and encouragement, but not “Hey stop what you’re doing because I need more help than everyone else because I am a special case” stuff.

        I meet so many astounding students succeeding under difficult circumstances that when I sense a strangler vine, I just think, “No, dear. Feel my NO vibes”.

      2. Oh, yes. Those people who struggle so much and humbly make it happen.

        They have no idea how inspirational they are, how they channel divine glory in their humble hard work. There are so many incredible forgers of their own success whom i supposedly “look after” who just break my soul open to some amazing light that i can’t believe i didn’t see before. The tough part for me is that protective thoughts of them get me feeling all ‘righteous’ with all my Jupiterian 12th Sag biz and i really do not want to create bad karma through prideful thinking or vengeance (that 12th is ruled by zero degree Scorp.)

  16. What a metaphor
    If we are not awake we are either strangled or strangle ourselves in the process. Our boundaries are important so to is loving ourselves fully,
    Lets remain awake.

    1. Our boundaries. Loving ourselves fully (to love others fully).

      Wise, wise words.

      Thank you so much, Sophia. I’m in a fire of cold fury and must channel wisely. Keep the higher goal as the purpose xx

  17. motherofunicorns

    Yes but ironically they’ve been crowded out by some healthy new growth and some beneficial companion plants…

  18. We have a moreton bay fig at the bottom of our property. These guys start their lives as stranglers but evolve over time into massive trees that support a lot of animal & bird life. Ah now there’s a story…a strangler who found redemption 😉

      1. Also, Ficus are considered to be sacred by Muslims in Eastern Indonesia and wouldn’t be cut without at least a prayer.

  19. Funny as I have been up to my neck in strangling creepers all week!
    Under them I find ancient rose bushes (ouch!), metres of blackberry bush (eek!) and old stumps of has been trees.
    Vaguely imagined we had an actual garden, but it was an illusion of strangling creeping plants that have rendered the garden as sinewy and locked up as a body builder’s thighs.

    As to strangler people, I think most people are stranglers to a point. The drowning man who pulls you under etc. Good to avoid people for periods of the day if possible.

    1. At first i read this post as one Giant Metaphor, because yes i have my work hands FULL of one.

      Funnily enough, it was when i got to the bit about them being “shat out by a bird” that i realised it was literal, and THAT image really made me laugh!

      Does anyone remember the Roc from the Sinbad the Sailor comic ?

  20. The bit about ‘only being good in storms’ resonated. I know two people who have some kind of PTSD (complex, I think), who are unbelievably great when it’s a life or death situation.
    But in everyday life, they suck the livelihood out of you – it’s almost like they don’t have a 1st, 2nd or 3rd gear. Only extreme. No lighthearted laughter or relaxed shooting the breeze. Everything is deep, dark and heavy.

    1. PTSD really does fit the mould of a strangler vine. Some shit rains down from above and from it grows something that will do its best to choke every last bit of vitality and life from you.

  21. Wow, it is so strange to read that after what happened this evening.
    I just found out that my kind-hearted aunt, who tries to live the path of love and forgiveness every day, and who has supported her family for years on her own, is talking about opening her (small) home to her abusive first husband whose wife just died (possible suicide) and who is himself seriously ill and disabled now.

    This is a damaged and damaging man who has done nothing but take from, and hurt, people in his life. He physically and emotionally abused my aunt, her son, and, at least emotionally, his second wife. My only memory of him in my childhood is of him slapping me on Christmas eve.

    Now that he is scared and alone and sick, my aunt is reaching out to care for him so he doesn’t end up homeless. (I’m not sure what her second husband thinks about this. She pays the bills, so she usually calls the shots, although there is family discussion.) It is only supposed to be temporary, but this man uses people without conscience, so I don’t trust him.

    One of the happiest days of my life was when she divorced her first husband and got him out of her life. I am so worried that she will get hurt again, if not physically, then emotionally.

    Strangler vine? Yeah. I think I see one creeping up on my family now.

    1. Awful, sometimes i think they’re so resistant/durable because they don’t feel others’ pain, and are completely unaware of their affect on people.

    2. Holy mother of god. I grew up a Piscean, and didn’t learn to channel my Mars t-squares etc until much later. It was all forgiveness and turn the other cheek. (Now the cheek is…my “other cheek” 😉 )

      Forgiveness is beautiful.

      It mustn’t be cheapened.

      I don’t know what you can do. Your aunt sounds like she has tremendous willpower. Sending you and yours, especially your aunt, the grace of clarity and deep forgiveness of self xxxx

    3. I genuinely believe, you can’t make other people’s decisions for them and your Aunt seems determined to “help”this man for whatever reason.
      If you have any influence, try to change her definition of SUPPORT. Are there other options for supported accommodation, a flat of his own she could pay for, 6 months rent in advance in a share house. Anything so she is not exposed and vulnerable again.
      And tell her how scared you are for her wellbeing. Good luck. I have 11 aunts and I love them all, it is a special bond, good on you for caring so much.

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