Lessons from Saturn : Along the Road to Empowerment

I am seeking some healing, I am seeking self empowerment I am also seeking self definition. At the same time I am seeking liberation from wounding experiences  of the past that have held me in locked in pain which repeats. I am seeking a way to embrace and understand what I went through as at one time being out of my own power at the time due to my level of awareness at that time.  Pain has been the teacher that has taught me the lessons about all this and raised my level of awareness.

A few weeks ago I was reading a blog which I won’t identify out of respect in which the author has a rant :  “you are not a victim”, urging people to take control of their lives and power.  The problem I had with it is, that we cannot recover from the victim mythology until we understand that at one time we were a victim of others who had an investment in hurting us or keeping us small.

Just prior to reading this I had followed a link to a piece of writing from the Energetic Institute in Western Australia in which the author speaks about the  “New Age” tendency to deny that we are actually victims of other people who hurt us. Implied in a lot of New Age philosophy is the idea that you chose it or brought it on yourself. This idea is debunked in the article I read.  I quote :

Another key form of manipulation is the New Age perversion of the concept of there being no evil and no such thing as a victim. In this contrived reality there is nothing outside you that can be blamed for your circumstance, for that makes you a victim, and victims are powerless. The New Age theme is to take back your power by putting the cause of the problem back inside you in every instance and every case.

This logic to me needs a boundary between the truth of unconscious dynamics that we recreate in our lives which may keep us powerless and victims, and the true evil of outside premeditated intent and action against oneself by another.

Scott Peck and Elsa Ronningstam both warn of this fallacy of removing a perpetrator or abuser from their accountability, and instead taking on the issue as one’s karma or self generated issue. They note this being a limited truth not applicable to all dynamics or situations.They note that Narcissists and “people of the lie” are adept at creating justifications and psychologies that allow the leader to abuse the follower, then to doubly abuse them by telling them to stop being victims and see the deeper dynamic which is of their own darkness, lower self or some other origin.

The truth is we are at times victims of people who have an investment in denying and covering up what they have done. They are not capable of the level of introspection and honesty which would enable them to see into their own dark side. We all have a dark side and some of us are willing to face it. Abusers, especially emotional abusers, just are not.

Once we wise up to the truth that we suffered abuse (and emotional abuse can be very subtle to the degree it is denied by the abuser who then manipulates us in many subtle and underhand ways) only then do we have the possibility of making a choice to say “No” categorically and walk away.

This can take courage and strength especially if you have been bonded so tightly to an abuser due to isolation and suffer from trauma bonding.   Trauma bonding leads to us being isolated from other sources of support that would validate us and emotional abusers will invalidate those forms of support which we turn to in order to gain freedom.

This was certainly my experience. When I began to really hit into deep issues in my first therapy my therapy was actively disparaged by both my husband and my mother, both of whom had an investment in not looking into their own souls. I wish at the time this was occurring I had the courage to be stronger, but part of my questioned how people who purported to be loving could be subtly hurting me by denying support and questioning my interpretation of events, leading me to become very confused and to ask the question. “Have I got it wrong?”

I am now aware, as I was not then that there were big issues in our family around lack of honest confrontation and boundaries.  Boundaries could be invaded at any time and if you protested you were ridiculed.  Hurtful behaviour was never challenged. I was not protected and learned to believe that I was powerless.

One parent who was acting abusively was not held accountable by the other parent whose survival strategy was just check out and laugh it off. I was also subjected to abuse by a sister due the fact that my mother was absent at critical times. We came home to an empty house each afternoon and had to fend for ourselves.   It was confusing and lonely childhood. At times certain needs were met, but the message I got was that I just was not worth my parent’s time and attention.

A therapist has recently given this term to what I suffered: “benign neglect.” In the absence of care, support, understanding and comfort I learned to turn to substances. I also learned due to my mother and sister’s behaviour that attachment and connection was unpredictable and at times down right scary. My way of coping was to turn myself inside out, to anticipate that which would please and not anger them and to stuff the anger and the hurt deep inside. If and when I let it out I was led to believe I was a “bad” child and sideline, ostracised or sent to my room.

As recently as 10 years ago my sister said to me when I confronted her on her aggressive behaviour which sparked me to push her and call her a fairly strong name “you were such a selfish,  naughty child, always throwing tantrums.”…. Mmm. Tantrums are often a cry for attention but most especially speak to me of needs for care and boundaries in the process of growing up and negotiating relationships.

At the start of this blog I wrote about seeking self definition. As a writer with a strong interest in astrology I was thinking very strongly today of the planet Saturn. I have Saturn on my Moon and that placement speaks of conditions around me which led me to develop a sense of emotional resilience out of necessity, but it also speaks of defences and prohibitions against feeling the fully conscious, true response to deprivation of emotional needs.  It also speaks of outside forces of repression or limitation being imposed which locked feelings deep inside.

There is this theme of emotional repression and escape into an aggressive stance as a defence, running along my mothers ancestral side which spans critical events of abuse going back four generations.  So on some level it speaks of family karma, not in the sense of something New Age and etheric but as a result of sins of omission going back across generations as a result of the interface of individual and collective forces (Saturn).

Over the next week Saturn in Sagittarius beginning to slow at 4 degrees of Sagittarius prior to turning retrograde on 14 March. This transit sextiles my Mars Saturn Moon and square my Chiron in Pisces in the seventh house opposite Pluto in the first.

For me issues of anger, self definition, assertion, psychological defences and boundaries have been highlighted. I have been unearthing in counselling repressed anger which I could neither express effectively or resolve before.

Over the past 14 years of struggling after aborting an intensive therapy and seeking to separate from maternal, family and ancestral issues by travelling to the UK and starting therapy there (at that time transiting Saturn was in the opposition zone to where it is now) I have suffered from symptoms of spinning and feeling as though I am in the midst of birth process that at times gets stuck. I have felt myself pushing to be born fully against great forces of resistance.

Over the past year or so I have been unearthing intense feelings inside and complex issues have been triggered for female relatives which echo themes of enmeshment, separation and individuation.

Astrologer Erin Sullivan equates the transit of Saturn over the cusp of the fourth house with an atonement with our unique family fate, a growth in awareness of its impact on us personally and a process of separation from the fate. That certainly feels true for me. Last month I was able to make a connection with descendants from my mother’s side and learn more about the family history.

At times I have felt that the Saturn Moon Mars placement is a heavy cross to bear.  And yet lately I am feeling that even all the really painful and lonely experiences of neglectful or abortive mothering have been some kind of wake up call.  In many ways the females in my family have all be trapped in patterns and themes that played out unconsciously.  Saturn is now demanding consciousness. Astrology gives me the signposts for deep soul processes that have much more do with me than just purely personal issues. What I am working on is in some way linked to deep ancestral issues.

Over the past two weeks conditions of intense pain, illness, accident and suffering in my female relatives (which are occurring as Saturn makes powerful conjunctions and squares to Mars, Sun and Venus in their charts) are challenging me to step back and centre within.  My Neptune squares can unconsciously lead me to play saviour for something that is way beyond my power to control.  In the end I can only save myself.

For now its feeling quite comforting to recognise the necessity to stand alone for a time in order to gain deeper insight into what I can and cannot change. It is an important step for me to allow myself to honour my anger, whilst not acting it out, using it instead to demarcate healthy boundaries around what I can and cannot let in.  The more in touch I am with my anger the greater my capacity to love, once the anger is processed (outside of the family) and released.

Recently there was an incident when I had to confront my Mum lovingly and not back down when subtle tactics were used to try and get me to feel once again like the “naughty, bad one” for speaking up. I had to wear again the sting of rejection from the “circle of trust” and bear that pain whilst going through all the old guilt inducing messages.

Melodie Beatty who has written several books on recovery from codependence calls this “after burn” : a necessary stage in the process of regaining self esteem and healthy boundaries within deeply enmeshed relationships.

It is interesting to bear in mind the current transit of Mars in Aries as it moves toward Uranus the planet of individualisation and emotional freedom whilst squaring and challenging transiting Pluto in Capricorn, the entrenched and deeply ingrained legacy of painful secrets, toxic feelings, hurt, and buried emotions that are intense and difficult : anger, grief, guilt, fear, resistance and resentment.

It seems to me lately (in line with the transit of both Uranus and Mars in my eighth house ruled by Aries) that the entire history of my own hurt and frustration in critical relationships over the past 50 years has been triggered.

Last week the Sun in Pisces transited over Chiron there. I read the following and most certainly experienced it last week :

Sun conjunct Chiron in Pisces –

Sun conjunct Chiron in Pisces – On a sleepy Sunday, turn your attention to yourself. Tend to your wounds, your pain, those old hurts that bubble up sometimes. Love yourself back to life. Forgive yourself for reacting, for rejecting, for telling yourself that you should be better than this. You don’t need to be fixed. You aren’t broken – even if you feel you are. Let go of mistakes. You are fallible. It happens. Let It Go!

Source Lua Astrology Facebook Page.

For me the letting go comes once I have absorbed the lesson fully.

Carl Jung once said, “There is no coming to consciousness without pain;” one of these being the potential pain of letting go of attachments to people, places and things that no longer resonate with us. Once we’ve seen the Light, there is no turning back to our former life in the same way. We are now entering into Spring (Fall) Eclipse season. Another good axiom comes to mind, “Let go or be dragged.”

Namaste Starshines

In the midst of undergoing my own painful melt down last week I came across an excellent article on Owning Your Own Power.  I read the following:

Many co-dependents have never learned to be assertive or how to problem-solve. They’re unable to know and assert their wants and needs or make decisions, often even for themselves. They relinquish control over themselves and often defer to others or don’t act at all. Assertiveness is empowering, but requires a foundation of autonomy and self-esteem, both difficult for co-dependents. However, assertiveness can be learned, and doing so builds self-esteem.

As I reflect these words relate to both a strong Saturn and Mars force within transformed in their power to protect, empower and helps us express our True Self. Saturn transits to personal planets and transpersonal drive certain critical lessons home. Self definition, self assertion – it’s a difficult journey for some of us. Its a matter of trust.

In my own case I lost trust in myself as I was not validated.  It has been a long road to understand how neglect and lack of validation kept me in prison for many years, literally tied in knots.  For me, freedom has only come through being able to own and honour the anger I have felt, difficult as it has been for people around me.  Anger is a response to hurt and invalidation, when that hurt is deliberate and when others have an investment in not honouring us or in passing on or projecting old unconscious hurt within themselves.

Anger gives me the energy to set boundaries, to confront, rather than deny what hurt.  Clean anger resolves itself.  It lets go once the lesson is absorbed and helps me to be protected from and recognise invalidation when it occurs.   I now know that my ability to have the power to be strong and achieve a happy life rests on my ability to trust in my feelings and use them to gain wisdom of what is needed by me to do at that time.  This for me these are some of  the critical lessons of a healthy Saturn and Mars.

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