Ambivalence. Ambi-valence. Do you experience it much? I know I do, mostly in deciding who and who not to be involved with, in issues surrounding my family, most especially and my Mother in particular.
Lately as Mars has stirred up deep, complex buried feelings and issues I have experienced ambivalence around whether I really want to be here, living this life.
On the weekend I again entered deep suicidal territory. I knew I had to face the feeling and not run but it was also crushing me and I knew I had to make a movement too, out of a house that didn’t rise above 10 degrees celcius all day despite having the heating on full bore.
At the deepest point of pain what came to mind was the letter my great, great, great grandfather wrote to his son in the depths of winter in 1879 saying how cold it was in Cornwall and how sad he felt that he would never see his son again who had immigrated thousands of miles away to New Zealand. I thought how despite all the material security our family seems to have found there is still deep emotional deprivation at its core, themes of loss, separation and isolation have replayed over years.
I see my older sister moving away from that pattern but at times I feel myself to be the one carrying it to consciousness in my therapy and my astrology and it was interesting to see the Moon on Sunday was deep in Pisces which speaks of the collective unconscious. I have noticed when I dive into this deep sea often the Moon is in Pisces tapping my natal Chiron Pluto opposition. I experience feeling that all the trauma I have endured and all the painful attempts to grow and separate have been for naught. I experience the strongest urge to end it all while knowing I cannot and must hold on.
I called my therapist and cried. This is really painful lonely work she said to me. You experience so much at a deep bodily level. The next day feeling less stuck I also felt both a shift and a recognition when I logged on to the net to google Mars turning direct and found referred to on another site the astrological writing of Gray Crawford, two powerful blogs one on Neptune and the other on the tension and transcendence themes being evoked by powerful challenging aspects of the three strong energies on my chart, life and journey, Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune.
In that atricle he spoke of how so many of us are currently experiencing the death of cherished ideals and dreams. Facing deep sadness and feelings of futility too, but also how the spiritual path of these challenges is leading us into deep territory whuch asks of us a way of finding meaning, a re evaluation of what our life is truly for beyond past superficial ideas or ideals which do not speak to the deeper reality of our soul journey influenced as it is by so many forces beyond our immediate control.
How could we not feel ambivalent? Googling the word ambivalent today I came upon a psychological description which said it concerns the pull between emotions which have a ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ valence or charge. The idea of Carl Jung that we hold the tension of the opposites involves the belief that in bearing with and forming a container for the tension of two valences we birth something that does not require us to split off either side and that we grow and mature soulfully in the process.
Thomas Moore’s book Dark Night of the Soul speaks to this process. He explains the dark night or consciously born depression experience or process as a crucible within which we develop a sense of maturity and deepen irony, a recognition of the inherent mistakes and wrong turnings of life, the losses, the endings, the heartache, the deaths not consciously chosen. He explains how we grow through the process of bearing with these in such a way that new insights and recognitions birth. In facing and grieving in time we emerge from the crushing grip of the dark night or depression.
Deepening our ability to bear with paradox is another so called ‘gift’ of this path. For we can feel like dying and deep within that feeling or experience is the hidden thwarted desire to be truly, fully, vulnerably, nakedly alive as the unique being who we truely are at the deepest level, to grow, to shed, to birth, to transform and paradoxically, too to accept the complexity of what we have lived and are being asked to live at this most painful time of crisis personally and collectively.
Today Jasper and I headed out into the windswept freezing day. By the lake I watched my lively beloved spaniel run free, as the wind cut into my face like a knife. I had the desire to embrace the experience, the sharp sensation, rather than to retreat, close up, hunker down, wall off and so we kept walking by the lake around the point as the steely gray waves whipped up by the wind, towards the Water Police station.
I thought of Saturn (ruling the police), water ( ruled by Neptune) of our explorations into a small cppse of pine forest (Jupiter) there was no depression, no emptineess just a highly charged present moment in which for a time we were free. On the borderline of water and earth we were living out our own astrological experience and there was meaning, at least for me, I am sure as a more evolved being Jasper was oblivious, he was just embracing the moment.
On Thursday I watched an old interview in which Stephen Fry spoke to Australian journalist Jennifer Byrne on his experiences and insights into bipolar states of being also known as manic depression. He said feelings and states of being are really just like the weather. We don’t argue with the rain and tell it it should not be, rain is just rain, so too he said is sadness and deep utterly devestating depression just as valid a state, like weather it has a right to be.. If we can face the experience, feel it, allow it, not argue with it, in time it too shall pass just as clouds and rain do. And after the rain we may have glipmsed depths that had a message for us or at the very least taught us to value too the sun when it returns.