I go through a huge tug of war in my mind at times, on this long and complicated, twisted, winding road of healing engaged deeply as I am, not only with memories of the past that haunt and echo along a chamber of years, but pulled in and dragged deeply down by underground emotions never completely integrated that lie subterranean like vast underground reservoirs.
One reservoir contains grief, another anger and yet another confusion, loneliness, self doubt, thwarted development and questioning. And yet there is another powerful place that I visit, one that contains joy, celebration, wonder, happiness and awe, one that is filled with longings and desires that have no thwarted hurt contained within them. This is the place I am longing to live but I know its existence depends upon the truth of the other world too being felt and understood.
The conflict I have been experiencing at present is with questioning the need and desire to look back and dive down deep into those older pools of suffering which I KNOW have been essential to navigate, when I feel the greater peace experienced in the light filled world. And so today after reading another writers blog on Orpheus I have been prompted to write this blog.
In the mythic tale of Orpheus, we meet someone who has endured a great loss in the realm of love. The love of Orpheus, Eurydice has died and been taken to the Underworld. Orpheus pines and longs for his lost love, he courts the favour of the Gods who strike a bargain with Orpheus, they allow him to visit the Underworld and reclaim Eurydice on one condition : that he does not look back.
Orpheus travels to the Underworld to be reunited with Eurydice but as they are leaving Orpheus is prompted by either fear or mistrust to look back where in Eurydice is taken once again. I should imagine that now Orpheus has undergone twin losses, the initial painful loss of his love and the second missed opportunity made more tormenting due to his so called mistake or error.
Astrologers Liz Green and Juliet Sharman Burke associated Orpheus and his myth with the planetary energy of Neptune. And I resonate strongly with the story of Orpheus, I have strong Neptune and Neptune rules my Chiron in Pisces in the seventh house or relationships.
There was a time fourteen years ago when I had the chance to move forward in my own personal life and make a break from a complex family history of tragedy to the other side of the world. I took steps in my new life to move towards healing and understanding, I was in therapy and moving towards a course of study in Psychological Astrology. And at this time Saturn was passing through my 9th house of overseas journeys, higher learning and just crossing the midheaven into the 10th house of career.
At this time as psychic forces were building within me to make the break I had a powerful dream. In the dream I was ascending a spiral staircase and on the stair case as I was climbing the stairs with my husband coming down the stairs was another couple.
Next in the dream on there was a powerful explosion of energy it was not only on the stair it was deep within my spine (in the dream the staircase a powerful metaphor for my spine?). Then I was in a room and the walls were closing in on me. It was as though I was trying to be born and reach through to the new life but I was being squeezed.
At this time there was a powerful pull deep within my psyche to return to Australia. My mother had fallen my sister who has recently died was undergoing difficulties our house lease ended with no possibility of extending. And so my husband and I returned. Within three years my marriage was ended. I was alone in the underworld in a deep dark place. I had looked back and lost, captured and trapped.
Its interesting to me to consider as I write that Saturn is now opposite the position it was in when I had the spiral staircase dream and so much came to pass that brought me back. It was as if Saturn had to travel back down from its elevated view in order for me to renegotiate essential experiences of my development which could only be understood by returning and loosing everything, thus launching me on the interior journey but that underground journey came at a terrible price. I was consenting on some level to being buried for some years deep in the dark night.
As Saturn crossed my ascendant some seven years later I had another relationship which challenged the path I was on of healing and negotiating the past. The entire first house transit of Saturn engaged me on a push pull dynamic of self and other. In the end the urge for self became too strong and the relationship shattered when he wanted me to be a satellite of his self. When Saturn went into the second house of self value the conflict of his extraverted narcissism rubbing against my own buried introverted narcissism caused a rupture and I was drawn on the path of reclaiming my own sense of self love and self value.
Looking back, experiencing the entire reservoir of feeling left behind and buried in the deep underworld of myself has been essential and yet there have been so many challenges to this journey from others who saw it as a kind of indulgence. And at the moment this blog is not even making sense and yet I must persist after having written it once and having lost entirely that first draft, since on the second writing it is morphing less into a meditation on Orpheus and looking back and more into an exploration of Saturn as it has passed through the eastern hemisphere of my chart since 2001.
The spiral staircase in my dream has also for me the resonance image of the journey of growth in consciousness of our deeper soul self as we travel through life, a journey I see as spiral in nature in that we seem to go through cycles and repetitions as we travel which enable us both to dig deep and get at an under standing (seeing underneath what happened of which we were not conscious before) and get a broader view from above.
To expand on some themes of the dream maybe in the dream travelling as I was up the stairs I thought that on some level that by going overseas and getting away from the family I could gain freedom and perspective and yet in the dream while travelling in this direction I met a couple travelling back down (down under to Australia the land of my birth) and the explosion happened. I was pulled back to experience the tragedy and trauma here first hand with all others stripped away for a time.
And so I find myself here today, on the 15th of July remembering deeply after yesterday diving into one of the deep underground reservoirs the time in July 2004 when my husband returned and packed all his things to leave me alone on the 4th of August just as the Sun crossed my ascendant. I was looked down on by he and his family, misjudged, discarded for being too sad, for not being the happier person he needed me to be. And so, I was launched onto my own healing journey and the remembering of all the other losses evoked by that leaving cycling and cycling around the history over 11 more revolutions, Eurydice in my own Underworld and only partly at home here longing for Orpheus to return as he longed and grieved for me.
Am I Orpheus or Eurydice? I am both. I am both he who travels down into that place and she who is there. I am also the one who returns to the Upper world informed by the suffering of the Underworld, carrying that suffering and all those powerful memories of loss of so called “mistakes” which were really just deeper learnings forward, translating it all into a longing for life, real deep, true authentic soul life in which there is a part for everything, loss, grief, longing, desire, love and ultimately joy.
This joy is not happiness it is a joy that rests not on the absence of consciousness of suffering and its fruit but is joy that is all more valuable, powerful and poignant for having been informed by the agony and ecstasy of darker experiences and emotions not negated but endured, alchemised.
10 thoughts on “Orpheus : Reflections on Looking Back”
Absolutely beautiful inspired and honest this is lovely
Thank you 🙂
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i agree with featheredsleep. it is truly a gift, you sharing your journey and lessons – and the astro never lets you down for insights. bravo, you, brave emerging one!
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Reblogged this on Emerging From The Dark Night and commented:
I find myself looking back a lot in my life and with Venus in Scorpio lately the depths are being plumbed once again. So I just wanted to reblog this post from 3 years back.
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Thanks so much. I don’t understand what my RSS is… sorry I cant help with that. Best wishes Deborah