I want to be who I am. I want to feel what I feel. I don’t want to be told it is wrong, that it should be another way that I have to accept being hurt as it is all for my own good. I don’t want to believe that lie any more. I want to be able to know what is really, really true, deep down in the very core of my soul. To be able to trust myself too, that even when the truths I have to face are stark and harsh and hard and may be rejected for being too real, that they are never the less true and real. I no longer want to have to change myself to fit another person,s shape, to twist myself around to gain that light reflected back from your mirror angled to see me in a better light if that is not my true light.
Sometimes I want to be really really dark, because the reality is I have had some very harsh, dark, hard experiences. I have known great loneliness, I have known loss. From a very young age I watched the one person in my family who carried so much great light, passion, creativity and happiness walk out of my life with a dark man and try to establish another life away from the very imprisoning one my parents were trying to build coming out of their own very dark and hard pasts where there was a lot of struggle to survive and so little comfort, fun, security, structure and support.
I watched her life destruct, in trying to live up to something that was a dream, that combusted and burnt and left a legacy of ashes. I watched my father shrink and then die in response to this. Working so hard, always trying to achieve security for his family, having no fun, only being driven by a sense of duty. I never knew the loving arms of comfort. I got in trouble for being “bad” because I was bored and very, very lonely and missing my sister so much. Inside me was a loneliness that grew that could not become conscious, that I had to live out into addiction and then recovery from it.
Saturn is showing me all of this now. Its very stark and harsh but its also very real. I am finding comfort from finally being able to see the reality of how it was through the gift of a box of letters which I found over six weeks ago when clearing out my sister’s room in the care home where she spent her last years. And it is no astrological accident that the reading of these is now taking place as the Sun inches its way forward to her own Mars Saturn conjunction in Cancer which falls in my natal 12th house.
Across town my other sister has gone on her own dark journey. It, too has been a deeply Plutonian one, like mine. Hers has passed through a suicide attempt, depression and hospitalisation and now there is the dawning of a light. When we speak I feel and know that Saturn has done his own work on her and she is now coming out of what was an emotionally barricaded state. Saturn in Scorpio natally is not easy. It brings a fear of the depths, of emotional vulnerability, a defensiveness against intimacy… My sister has passéd through this passage now and is finally opening up and we can actually talk, for the very first time about the demons that have plagued us. I know everything will not be healed yet, but I do feel that Saturn is bringing home to us both gifts. I pray that I will be able to stay real in the face of this all and know deep inside that my family is going through its own deep evolution following the passing of my eldest sister.
Yesterday I was able to cry out in my group when close to the end it seemed like there would be no time for me to share about all that was banked up inside. I had developed a sore on my head where the pressure had built up following my sister’s death and my other sister’s hospitalisation. Mum and I were struggling to deal with the aftermath of all that needed to be sorted out in the absence of support from other family. The deep fracturing, the reserve and emotional distance that has dogged our family is a legacy of both parents Saturn Sun Mercury conjunctions and the outplaying and interweaving of their personal journey within the evolving collective context of which we are all a part.
Reading my mother’s letters to my sister when she left to live far away in 1965, I hear the longing and need inside my Mum for the light my sister carried. My sister battled with my mother over many years, trying to break out of something I never fully understood until now. But there was a lot of need there too, a difficulty with separating emotionally which I now understand to be a legacy of Mum’s deep loneliness and frustrated longing for sibllings, My eldest sister, too, was living out elements of an ancestral journey that was not conscious but part of a huger tapestry woven over eras.
Through these letters I am understanding my mother more. I see how she, too, struggled and worked so hard but had so little fun and lightness and joy in her existence, until the career came in fashion which nurtured her soul. I resented her for years for leaving me, and I never fitted into the family business, struggling to find my own place, being forced by my father into a career I loathed and struggling with addiction, the quiet symptom of my souls hunger for a real true life. It really hurt, but now I understand. Over all the years I was so lonely, no one in the family really related to me on an emotional level. I faced my father’s death alone and the built up frustration and angst I felt tortured and broke apart two relationships. At times it seemed everything I loved or wanted went into the fire and so it did. I now see it had to burn. I had to burn. That is Pluto in the first. The burning was a necessary burning. A breaking down of what was hurtful and had to be transformed through pain into understanding. That was my alchemical nigredo, so necessary to the burnishing of a husk of coal into gold, the process by no means complete.
In this life we are born out of the past. We are spirits who come here and go through these experiences which inform our souls. We carry wounds, we endure many things, and hopefully out of everything we undergo we learn. The true quest in my life now is not necessarily for happiness, although I have known happiness in the past and will know it again. For me the true quest in my life is for meaning, for with meaning pain is accepted as a necessary step in the process of evolving both wisdom and soul. John Keats, with a poets keen sensibility for meaning called this world the vale of soul making.. and so it is. For me soul making is a process of evolving meaning through enduring all the emotions of this multifarious life, fully lived.
Joy, a more profound and penetrating emotional state than happiness is directly related to finding meaning. (this is like an alchemical process).. the first step of alchemy is not enlightenment, but forcing out of the material the dark stuff you have to transform.
Carolyn Baker : Consciously Collapsing, Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times
So for me the dark is not something to be rejected, feared or exiled. It is the place of deep work and transformation and our passage through is essential to our enlightenment which occurs paradoxically through our endarkenment… maybe a very apt sentence to be writing as the Sun transits slowly through my natal 12th house.