Your True Birth Order and What it Means with Michelle Payton (September 2020)

Your True Birth Order and What it Means

Claiming the accurate Birth Order title
My first exposure to birth order is when I was reading theories about Adult Children of Alcoholics in the 1980’s. As years passed, information evolved to address the functional and order isn’t as cut and dry as many may think. Claiming the title of youngest, firstborn, middle, or only child has some nuances. To take a closer look, birth order “…is connected to the order of birth and role you played out within the family unit that raised you from infancy and beyond.  There are differing opinions on Birth Order theories.  It becomes quite intricate… as it takes into account years between births, gender Birth Order, physical/mental strengths and weaknesses (handicaps, body build, physical attractiveness…), size of family, adoption…   

Rules of Birth Order Thumb
Some rules of thumb that a variety of experts embrace that have helped me in my baseline work:

If the siblings above you are both five years or more older and younger than you (and/or no siblings are below you or above you), you can take on only child traits.

If you are second in birth line, but the sibling above you is of opposite gender, you are also first born, [… each] opposite gender and can take on first born patterns.

If you are second in birth line, but the sibling above you is handicapped, has problems with physical attractiveness/body build, you may take on the traits of first born (switching Birth Order in essence).

If you are from a large family, the family units can run in fours (first born number one and fourth born youngest). 

Middle children are not always predictable: can be the pleaser or the rebel, but generally a negotiator.

Adopted children can become rebellious at any order.

There are always exceptions to these rules and many, many, many opinions. 

(Excerpt from Birth Mix Patterns: Astrology, Numerology, and Birth Order and their effects on the Past, Present, and Future, pp. 17-18.)

Family Models
Look at some snapshots in time of family models and determine where you fit.

A Family of 4 may not have a Middle child identity. A common assumption is the 14 and 12 year old children would assume that they are Middle children.

(Identifies as) Girl, 16 years old—Firstborn girl, family A
(Identifies as) Boy, 14 years old—Firstborn boy, family A
(Identifies as) Girl, 12 years old—Youngest, family A

(Identifies as) Girl or Boy, 6 years old—Only, family B

A Family of 7 could have three divisions:
(Identifies as) Girl, 20 years old—Only, family A

(Identifies as) Boy, 14 years old—Firstborn boy, family B
(Identifies as) Girl, 12 years old—Firstborn girl, family B
(Identifies as) Boy, 10 years old—Middle, family B
(Identifies as) Girl, 8 years old—Youngest, family B

(Identifies as) Girl, 3 years old—Firstborn, family C
(Identifies as) Girl, 1 year old—Youngest, family C
While there is a gap in research for Fluid and Non-binary identities in birth order, it would be reasonable to consider that a family of 4 schematic might show three Firstborns and no Middle child.

(Identifies as) Boy, 14 years old—Firstborn boy, family B
(Identifies as) Girl, 12 years old—Firstborn girl, family B
(Identifies as) Non-binary, 10 years old—Firstborn non-binary, family B
(Identifies as) Girl, 8 years old—Youngest, family B

Personality Traits by Birth Order
Here are some basic traits of each birth order.

“First Born—The Achiever

Personality Theme:  In control.  The one in power.

Role:  Ambitious, goal-oriented, conformist, responsible, organized.

Best at:  Bringing people, projects, events together on time, following rules. 

Challenge(s):  Being too controlling and putting pressure on self and others to perform to their expectations.

Famous Firsts:  Majority of U.S. Presidents and First Ladies, Sir Sean Connery (actor, “James Bond”), Albert Einstein (genius, inventor, E=MC2), William Shakespeare (author).

Only—The Turbo Achiever

Personality Theme:  The Center of the World.  Independent Creator.

Role:  Goal-oriented, accumulator of knowledge, independent problem solver/creator.

Best at:  Planning, setting and reaching goals that clearly benefit the Only. 

Challenge(s):  Seeing past the “Only” way. 

Famous Onlies:  Third ranked Birth Order for U.S. Presidents and First Ladies including Bill Clinton (9 year gap between brother) and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lena Horne (African American singer in beginning early 20th century), Leonardo da Vinci (painter, inventor, genius visionary), Elizabeth Dole (“Only” but youngest charm, Senator, 2000 U.S. Presidential hopeful/never ran)

Middle—The Negotiator
Personality Theme:
  Weaving own dreams with realism.
Role:  Diplomat, negotiator, risk-taker, competitor (larger family, at times less competitive).
Best at:  Compromising.  Making friends.  Being flexible and cooperative.  
Challenge(s):  Confrontation (rather please others) but can be rebel, independent, stubborn, and/or secretive (sometimes), competitiveness varies.

Famous Middles:  Second ranked Birth Order for U.S. Presidents and First Ladies, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (French Military Leader), Charles Darwin (naturalist on evolution and natural selection), Princess Grace (Kelly) of Monaco, Donald Trump (entrepreneur, real estate developer)

Youngest—The Charmer
Personality Theme:
  Enjoy life.  Outgoing.  Expressive.
Role:  Fun, funny, people person, loving and lovable. 
Best at:  Working with small groups or one-on-one.  Creative, innovative thinking since they are more fun-loving, open and feel less pressure to perform.
Challenge(s):  Listening.  Being  grown up.  Following rules (question authority). 

Famous Youngests:  Last ranked Birth Order for U.S. Presidents and First Ladies but includes Ronald Reagan, Thomas Edison (inventor—light bulb and devices to expand usage, alkaline battery, motion picture camera…), Mohandas Gandhi (lawyer, peace activist), Mark Twain (author of classics like Huckleberry Finn).”

(Excerpts from Birth Mix Patterns: Astrology, Numerology, and Birth Order and their effects on the Past, Present, and Future, pp. 80-87.)

Order just Is

Remember that there is no good or bad order; the order just is. People have good days, bad days, and influences that create shifts. Dive deeper to decide how this fits for you.

More on Birth Mix Patterns
For more details on Birth Mix Patterns, Michelle has written three books on this subject, and they can be purchased at Crystal Visions. Training for free and fee can be found in the Education section on

About Michelle
Michelle A. Payton is an academic and wholistic developmental and growth mindset professional, is the author of 9 mind-over-matter books, facilitates individual sessions and workshops at Crystal Visions, and teaches English at a local college. Find more information about Michelle and her offerings at

Planetary Trends for September 2020 by Belinda Dunn

Belinda Dunn

What’s UP – September 2020
Belinda C. Dunn

Pisces/Virgo Full Moon – Sept. 2 @ 1:22 am

Virgo New Moon – Sept. 17 @ 7:00 am

Autumnal Equinox – Sept. 22 @ 9:31 am

Lighting up the sky, illuminating the landscape, September begins with a Full Moon. This is a magical turning point as Sun in Virgo represents the harvest, and Moon in Pisces instills a sense of awe and connection with the unseen dimensions of direct mystical experience. A feminine symbol, Virgo is beautifully captured as a young maiden holding sheaves of golden grain, the pure nourishment of field and farm.

Down to earth and practical, Virgo offers essential advice as the zodiac sign of hygiene, sanitation, nutrition, food storage, public health and safety, and healing in general. Additionally, Virgo governs public service, the health care industry, employment and the work environment. Considering the pandemic along with massive unemployment, it is more than likely that a myriad of issues will surge into view, demanding attention and effective solutions.

Virgo’s natural analytic and diagnostic powers can play a major role in the development of comprehensive solutions. Current trends suggest a culmination of data and research that can begin moving society toward recovery on many levels. Earthy and practical Virgo aims for efficiency and productivity. If there is a job to do, and it needs to be done “right,” give it to a Virgo, or someone that has plenty of Virgo in their astrological blueprint.

Precise, concise and methodical, the Sun’s yearly transit through Virgo is an excellent time to focus on lifestyle changes that enhance personal health. Tapping into the body’s wisdom brings numerous improvements in overall function, vitality and endurance. While the Full Moon brings various issues to the surface, the Virgo New Moon on September 17, supports a potent reset for those individuals taking the steps to implement healthy habits. As the familiar adage states, “ Health is wealth.”

Service is a fundamental, but often overlooked, part of daily life. A very good example of service is the role that domestic pets play in our lives. Those that have pets realize the unconditional love, comfort and well being that comes through serving pets, and the reciprocity of sharing life’s joys and sorrows with animals.

A typical September begins with enthusiasm for return to school and work. Of course, this year is significantly different, but the themes of education, communication and service are front and center. September begins with Mercury and Venus in harmony. These planets connect in a favorable aspect on Friday, September 4, and then transit into Libra and Leo for the Labor Day weekend. This facilitates exchange of information and ideas with an attitude of open minded curiosity for other viewpoints.

We would do well to hold onto, and expand this atmosphere of open conversation, especially during the second half of September when Mercury makes very challenging aspects. As the messenger, Mercury will be in Libra for most of the month (September 5 – 26). This is the zodiac sign of the peacemaker, negotiator and mediator. This is a high point for the nation’s destiny, and all eyes are on the upcoming presidential contest.

However, by the New Moon on September 17, Mercury begins a series of stressful aspects to the Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto alignment. The week of the Autumnal Equinox is compellingly intense. Unified voices are speaking out on behalf of the inequities and unfair burdens that have been placed on so many citizens, to the point of extreme hardship. Game changing information and significant disclosures contribute to the dialog becoming more caustic, toxic and possibly slanderous.

Mercury’s transit through Libra can be likened to the iron fist in the velvet glove. By the way, Kamala Harris is a Libra with her Mercury in Scorpio, and her style has been characterized as just this. Conveying her message with smiling sincerity, she is very bold, direct, at times blunt, and she is a force to be reckoned with, on and off the debate stage. This is a very strong choice for the Biden ticket, and the astrological compatibility between the two of them is quite dynamic.

Back to Mercury in Libra, and the unfolding time line. First, Mercury activates Jupiter on the 17th. This can be uplifting and hopeful news, but not necessarily based on reality, so fact check for validity. It’s like a pat on the back to placate distress and shift the focus. This can feed into Neptune’s long term transit through Pisces whereby an aura deception veils the truth as conspiracy theories, mental illness and criminality distort perspective and cloud the narrative.

On September 20-21, Mercury is in stressful aspect to Pluto, kicking up the storms, probably words and actions that incite violence, discord, sudden disclosures and reversals. On September 23-24, Mercury is in stressful aspect with Mars and Saturn, lending an atmosphere of despair, hostility, negativity and cynicism. This is a week to remain mentally alert and cognizant of the spoken word.

This theme is furthered by another major planetary development. On September 9, Mars, the planet of action, motivation and momentum, begins a nine week retrograde phase. Retro means just that, stepping back, reviewing, halting forward movement. From the planetary perspective, the cosmos is holding up a bright red stop sign!

This trend holds many possibilities and repercussions, personally and collectively. On the individual level, Mars retrograde suggests priorities being re-evaluated. Already the pandemic has uprooted and upended daily life. Frankly, there is no going back to “normal.” Mars retrograde can include a deeper acceptance of the quagmire, and the so-called “new normal.” This stepping back implies the necessity for cautious and patient review of direction.

In terms of the pandemic, Mars retrograde is highly suggestive of lowered vitality and immune function. From the standpoint of health, Mars tends to manifest critical conditions such as inflammation, fevers, accidents. The underlying emotional charge relates to suppressed hostility, resentment and frustration that erupts into illness. Therefore, guarding one’s health and emotional state is paramount throughout these weeks.

Astrologer Erin Sullivan writes, “When Mars is transiting retrograde, it is an ideal time to determine the difference between depression of the senses, or psychic apathy, and simple lack of interest. To press on in a situation which appears fruitless is sheer bloody-mindedness, not brave assertiveness! It might be appropriate, therefore, to relinquish a once-beloved project, attitude, relationship or goal, rather than persist aggressively in outmoded activities once Mars completes its retrograde cycle (November 13).”

On the collective level, Mars retrograde signals a deterioration of conditions that can lead to major changes in circumstances. At the beginning of the pandemic, the word, “migration,” surged into my consciousness. It didn’t make a lot sense at that point, but it is apparent now. Huge swaths of population are being forced to move and relocate as the result of businesses closing. The economic impact is more evident, and over coming months many people may choose to leave familiar surroundings, and head toward greener pastures.

Keeping this in mind/heart, let’s consider that two major planets are going direct in September. Jupiter goes direct on the 12th, and Saturn on the 29th. Jupiter is the planet of justice and high minded ideals. The current political climate is riddled with a perception of injustice on all sides as citizens and factions take sides in a combative contest of right vs. wrong. Jupiter direct, and Mercury in Libra can lift consciousness out of game playing, out of the roles, and shift awareness to a more unified realization of common welfare, aspirations and goals.

Traveling through the zodiac sky, Sun leaves Virgo and enters Libra on September 22, marking the auspicious and sacred Autumnal Equinox. The chart for the equinox sets the stage for the final week of September, a potent inflection point whereby there is no turning back. This chart shows an astrological configuration called a T-square, a crossroads point of challenge and strategic choice. Not easy, but immensely rewarding in the long run.

Dissecting the planetary energies, first and foremost, let’s consider that Saturn has been retrograde since May 10, and is now proceeding forward on September 29. As the planet of karmic consequences, this retrograde period has been particularly challenging this year in terms of gaining traction to move away from already manifested scenarios. It’s as though many circumstances have just had to run their course. Saturn is the truth telling planet. Heavy realities have taken their toll with the realization that fundamental changes must be made in order to move forward with any progress and stability.

There is no way around Saturn’s lessons except to dig in, do the work, and accept responsibility in matters that are relative to personal duty and dharma. The Serenity Prayer is a good reminder in these challenging times. “Creator, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

On the very same day that Saturn goes direct, Mars is in stressful square with Saturn. In order to grasp the enormity of this moment, it is necessary to go back to the planetary signature of 2020, the alignment of three consequential planets, Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto in Capricorn. Energetically, this can feel like a heavy load with great weight, almost impossible to carry without determination and faithful resolve.

Adding in the other significant planetary development for September, Mars in Aries is now retrograde. As Mars meets Saturn, this can be likened to taking a sledge hammer to an immovable brick wall. Mars will aim for the weakest spot, but the wheels of massive transformation have already been set in motion.

Summing up this planetary alignment, I am reminded of the axiom, “failing forward.” John C. Maxwell, an American leader, author and inspiration speaker popularized this idea, defined as “leveraging mistakes, making a realistic assessment of the risks and the ability to live with the downside and experiment with new approaches.”

Now, before this article reads as down and out dismal, let me reassure readers of an approaching upswing in December, in preparation for 2021. We really are at the climax point, the convergence point of many trends that have been building for years, if not for generations. Truly, we are witnessing unprecedented and massive change in a very short period of time.

At this point, it’s anyone’s guess as to the exact nature of coming events. It may be natural disasters, the presidential contest coming to a head, the global pandemic, economic restrictions, and/or racial tension and protests. However things show up, September appears to be another unpredictable month is this unpredictable year of 2020.

However, rest assured that no matter how dark the times, there is light at the end of the tunnel. This heart breaking systemic breakdown promises a breakthrough of gigantic proportions, beyond our wildest dreams, beyond our heartfelt prayers. Civilization is not going backwards, it’s failing forward.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation.;

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