My question is that I’m 45 and have a hard time maintaining friendships. I have a few close friends but based on my social interactions, I should have a crew. I absolutely do not.

— Sagittarius

Hello Sagittarius,

You have a Sagittarius sun, Taurus moon and Aquarius ascendant. Although other factors in the chart do come into play, the main place to look for issues concerning friendship is the 11th house. Your eleventh house has Sagittarius on the cusp and contains the planets Neptune and Mercury, both in Sagittarius. Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius is in your sixth house in the sign of Cancer.

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The thing that stands out immediately in regard to your question is your Neptune. Neptune has a dissolving quality and often shows an area of life in which things are missing, tend to disintegrate or where illusion and deception are likely. Neptune also has to do with some wonderful things such as imagination, idealism and the arts. Having Neptune in the 11th house shows that you tend to have unusual idealistic friendships with people who have dominant Neptunian qualities. This includes artists and musicians, people who are very spiritual or involved with mysticism, people with substance use disorders and idealists. There is an inherent impracticality and instability in all of this. You would tend to experience generosity and a spiritual connection with your friends that is deep, but there is also a nebulous quality that lets them drift out of your life.

Mercury in the 11th house shows that you are very interested in having friends that you can exchange ideas with. You require mental stimulation from your friends, and you teach them as well as learn from them. You love the truth, originality and objectivity, but then this influence is modified by the fact that your Mercury is conjunct your Neptune. Originality and creativity are enhanced, but practicality and objectivity are highly compromised. You are broad-minded and have an openness to all of humanity that gives you remarkable insight and compassion.

With Jupiter, the ruler of your 11th house in the sixth house, your friendships and group activities are closely associated with your work. You tend to work with friends and can gain advancement in your work through friends. You are likely to work with kindred spirits to reach an agreed-upon goal.

Looking deeper into your 11th house, there are influential factors that are not obvious at first. One factor is that your Mercury in the 11th house is out of bounds. An out-of-bounds planet is when a celestial body goes beyond the maximum declination of 23°27′ either north or south making it outside the boundary limits of the ecliptic plane, beyond the plane of the Earth’s orbit around the sun. When a planet is out of bounds in a natal chart, that person is “unbound” in the area that is ruled by that planet. Slightly over half the population has one out-of-bounds planet. The chances of having more than one out-of-bounds planet is much less likely. Because mercurial qualities are so important in your friendships, your out-of-bounds Mercury makes a difference. Your communications are not constrained by the standards of the dominant culture and you are blunt about your opinion. You do not hesitate or beat around the bush when telling your truth and expect the same from your friends. You have the potential for genius and are prone to unusual observations. With your out-of-bounds Mercury conjunct Neptune, your conversations with your friends can be extremely creative, or can go into the realm of complete nonsense.

In addition to your out-of-bounds Mercury, you have the asteroid Juno in Sagittarius in the 11th house, conjunct your Neptune and Mercury. Juno has to do with partnership and you are likely to find partners from among your friends. Juno in Sagittarius requires intellectual stimulation and prefers to be around people who share a similar philosophy of life or view of the future. Because it is in the 11th house, your most important relationship interactions happen with your friends.

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Although it is in your fourth house not the 11th, the moon is important here because it rules your emotions. The moon is exalted in Taurus, and you have it in the fourth house conjunct your IC. This gives you a very strong foundation. Taurus moon people are looking for emotional security, and when they find themselves in an emotionally unstable situation they start looking at the solid facts of the matter. Your 11th house of friendship is so influenced by Neptune, which is the opposite of solid or stable, that you may often feel unsettled by your Neptunian friends who are likely to float in and out of your life. You are likely to feel hurt by this and be unable to have an easygoing attitude about it.

Being very direct in your communications — the simple and reasonable act of requesting what you need from a friendship — will be off-putting to people who are incapable of the solid commitment that is good for you. Neptunian types may “float away” when you try to pin them down, leaving you with the feeling that you can’t maintain friendships. The fact is that you are justified in asking for what you need, and with your Taurus moon being the very foundation of your chart, those needs should take precedence. It is important for you to enjoy each of your friends for who they are. Know in advance that some of your friendships, although intense, will not be permanent. It is part of your nature to have many social contacts and only a few long-term close friends as an adult.