I was drawn by inner guidance yesterday to reach for a book on my shelf which I haven’t looked at in a while. The name of the book is called Open to Desire by Mark Epstein and as can usually happen with me I get this message in consciousness to read a certain page. Anyway this particular section was about anger and how its expression in relationship, and most particularly in our earliest relationship, that to our parents is so essential not only to our developing psychological health but to the development of empathy, just the very thing that is lacking narcissistic disorders.
I must be honest and say I have not always been very comfortable with the expression of angry feelings. This can and does come not only from being with a mother who tended to explode a lot, a father who just ignored anger and conflict and also from a Catholic education which considered expression of anger one of the seven deadly sins. It was also on my mind today after spending time with my closest sister who is suffering from depression and has been medicated throughout some of her angry feelings and has ended up in her own words “frozen and numb”.
It is well known that anxiety and depression often come from repressed feelings and vital energy that in not being accepted to consciousness becomes inward turned and acts against the person. As a middle child my sister was co-opted often into the service of others….she was a child that liked to please and do the right thing, musically gifted but also abused by the nuns who taught her music. I remember as a child getting very angry on her behalf when Mum sold her piano out from underneath her when we were moving house, (my sister swore off music forever when the Nuns refused her request to learn a Dean Martin song to play to my Dad many years ago). My sister was married to a man who had beautiful qualities but could also be a bit of a bully at times. My sister learned to swallow down the anger and bury it deep while struggling on. These are some of the things I have been talking about with her today.
Its funny we were sitting in my mothers unit having this conversation and my sister was wearing a red shirt and all around us where the red things my mother loves. A beautiful red Coburn painting, red glass tea light holders, a red vase and flowers. The synchronicity of this was not lost on me as red rules Mars. Mum has three planets in Mars ruled Scorpio and my sister’s Saturn is there. It just occurs to me this is a Saturn Mars theme which has repeated for my other sister and I as conjunctions between these two planets. Its to be noted that Mars is currently retrograde bringing a review around our use of Mars energy.
I took a break from writing this to type out some of the original Mark Epstein quote that inspired this blog. But today I have had a call from my brother to tell me that my other sister is critically ill in hospital and it is highly likely she will not make it through. She has fluid on the lung and her condition is critical. My sister has a huge amount of health and psychological issues and has been bed ridden in a care home for adults with acquired brain injury for many years now. As a younger person and prior to the cerebral bleed my sister was a vibrant, creative, strong willed and energetic person But like Icarus she tried to fly up so high and very close to the Sun and her wings got burnt and she came crashing down. A beautiful damaged butterfly, the life essence drained away by the brain injury.
And yet, within her eyes a fire still burns and at times I have the sense that she sees deeply into the heart of things. There has been a huge amount of separation in her life. She was taken away to another country by her husband then sent back with a one way ticket, thinking it was a holiday and only realising when my parents looked at the ticket. She was abandoned and then her children were told she had left of her own free will, which was a lie, when really she had been sent away by her husband so that he could pursue an affair. Following the pain of this betrayal she made an attempt on her life. As I write this it is close to the anniversary of other sister’s attempt on her own life and as my older sister lies critically ill in hospital I wonder if there is some kind of repeating imprinting playing out as Mars and Saturn both planets of separation make their way backward through the signs of LIbra and Scorpio.
Its cause for deep concern and quiet reflection for me. Eclipses are notorious for endings and clearings out. Significant deaths often occur during eclipses and over the next 10 days or so we will be in the waning moon part of the cycle and as the Sun makes its way towards Taurus the Moon will make its way back towards it, could this be the ending of my sister’s life? Or could this call from her heart and lungs be a calling to the family which shattered so much around these critical events to come together in order to give love? I have just received word that three of her sons who live in this country will be flying in this evening and it makes sense to me that currently the Moon in in Sagittarius hitting so many essential mutable points in our collective charts.
My sister Jude who is in hospital now has Mercury in Sagittarius. It was this placement that Neptune hit when she had the cerebral bleed. Our maternal great, great grandfather had a powerful stellium in Gemini which opposes this placement and my sister’s Chiron Jupiter conjunction in Libra is being transited by retrograde Mars at the moment and not only retrograde Mars since, currently we are experiencing a grand cross between the cardinal planets between 13 and 19 degrees in Aries/Cancer/Libra/Capricorn.
Moon at 4 Sagittarius is hitting Chiron opposite Pluto at the moment in my own chart. Chiron sits in the seventh and Pluto in the first. Pluto in the first opposite Chiron in the seventh has meant a lot of pain around endings and challenges in relationship which tore the fabric of collective togetherness very widely apart. Deaths and endings forced me out into the world to travel alone, far from the comfort of loving arms especially following my father’s death1985.
I was reading a pamphlet this week about children and grief, and it mentioned how important it is for the child that they can speak about the death, know what it is, experience some kind of togetherness and comfort and be able to maintain some kind of routine. Though I was outwardly much older than a child when Dad passed, still I know that emotionally I was so very young, poorly equipped to deal with loss.
I remember how terrified I was in packing my bags to learn that my partner had decided to opt out of the relationship, forcing me to change our two years long plan of meeting overseas to travel together. All notified within 48 hours of my departure. The relationship was over. He did not love me anymore. It was best if I made other plans. I was told by my mother that it would have been a disappointment to my now dead father had I cancelled my trip and I should press on regardless.
And so I found myself, less than one month after my father’s death, following my arrival at Heathrow, travelling on a train though a long dark subway and arriving in a bleak and wintery London with no planned accommodation, only the expectation of meeting friends at the YWCA, unaware that in London, such a huge city, there were, in fact many different YWCAs, most of which were fully booked. Fate intervened or a higher power. I entered a hotel, confused, tired and alone and at the reception desk was sitting a friend from the seaside holiday town we visited every year. I wasn’t totally alone but I still spent the next 8 years finding an escape through addiction due to the difficulty in being able to feel the painful feelings.
These memories are so strong at the moment as my sister lies so sick in hospital and as the Moon in Sagittarius hits my natal Chiron Pluto and everything at 13 degrees Pluto, Uranus, Jupiter and Venus is smack bang in alignment with natal Neptune at 13 degree Scorpio in my chart, in the third house of siblings, while the healing conjunction of Neptune, Venus, Chiron in Pisces trines this place. Am I at the hospital with my sister? No. My mother and brother are there? Am I at my Mother’s place with my other sister who I am told could be at risk of being alone? No. I am at my place writing this blog. Just got a text from my brother. Judy is more settled. Mum and I are heading home for a break and to look after Sue. You might like to call on Judy. Deep inside I want to keep my distance. For most of my life its been the way I have dealt with things, this keeping my distance. But at the moment deep inside as I sit alone and think of the times I was sick and there was no one there to rush to my bedside I think everything is the way it is for a reason. But I feel like my hand has been slapped and am conscious of the other times that I was not there when critical things were going down for others. But on some level I am taking care of myself and have been speaking to my sister in my heart all afternoon. I will visit much later tonight.
What started as a blog about how essential it is to our development to have our challenging feelings held and not retaliated to by the parent has morphed into something else. While I sit typing in the bleak autumnal grey of a Good Friday afternoon, on my mind are all things familial and associated with the deep psychic history we have shared… perhaps a very strong Plutonian theme which Uranus and Jupiter is bringing into the light of day and I am being challenged to hold all of these memories and feelings close to my heart while creating some form or vehicle for their expression. Yes, just checking and Mercury is at 19 Aries separating from the conjunction with transiting Uranus and very close to the degree of my progressed Sun in Aries in the eighth house.
The wound around my sister’s bleed led eventually to my father’s death, five years later. That was just over 30 years ago. Our family is currently in a massive Saturn return of a critical event which punctuated the end of six years of familial tragedy, initiated by an automobile crash which so nearly took my own life and landed me in hospital for close to three months. How it will play out is still unknown.
I have been called to my sister’s bedside just over a year ago when she had started to disappear and no longer respond. The call came around 9 in the evening as I sat watching tele. It was the 29th anniversary of Dad’s death. When I sat with my sister she came back to consciousness. It was just she and I. In the shadows watching from a long way off were all the ancestors, including my father and great great grandfather.
The fluid that sits on my sister’s lungs could be a pool of grief. That would tally with the Scorpionic/Plutonian energy. When I get into bed at night I feel that I am drowning in my own phlegm at times and when I think of this pain around my sister and my family there is a tugging inside. But you know something? In being able to sit quietly today. In staying self contained here. In looking at photos of my sister and talking to her heart through my heart I am feeling a very very strange sense of peace. There is a sense of closeness to something so very vast.
And I am aware from all my reading and exploring that in the period between a lunar and a solar eclipse there is a summoning up of lunar issues, around home, mother and family in order that a clearing out and coming to consciousness can take place. And that this clearing is part of moving us towards a new turn of the cycle and a new chapter which begins with the Solar Eclipse and New Moon at 9 degrees Taurus in the empty space opposite the leg of my T-square, Neptune at 13 Scorpio in the third.
I have this knowledge. Its is an alone kind of thing. Would I feel complete with my family? I don’t know. Do I feel set apart in some way? Yes. Why? I am not really sure. I only know Pluto rules my third house of communication, so for what its worth I am shaping all of this into a blog. And in the silence feeling more deeply the connections that my soul set up in travelliing here, along this particular incarnation.
2 thoughts on “Familial trauma, deep in eclipse territory.”
prayers brother – I will say them
Thank you .. my sister passed away on the 20th following this post Eric.. and the events following helped me to realise that healing comes through death to issues that might not have been addressed without that death occurring…… It has been a profound eclipse time. I do appreciate your prayers