Moving through confusion : reflections on siblings, longing and love

sisters

I heard a while back somewhere that being confused means a movement against fusion.   In fusion things are bound together and all mixed up, not at all clear, there is a difficulty with separating ourselves out.  Its a deep paradox that when this state begins to break apart it happens by way of a conflict whereby the disparate parts start to stir and separate but not yet in any way that is clear, we just have inklings, intimations or intuitions that there is something far deeper going on and we start to question the way we perceived things before, perhaps the way we were unconsciously affected by deeply hidden emotions and longings that we may not have been all that aware of before now.

Sometimes the conflict comes when the deeper schism between our head and our heart is revealed to us.  Our heart may be influenced by all kinds of unresolved longings and conflicts, times when the longing to connect or express or be seen got thwarted in us and sent our energy astray or set it out revolving around and around and around deep inside of us  at a time before we were ever able to make any deep sense of it with our own mind. And that thwarted longing that has no where to go still remains deep inside us, seeking, seeking, seeking something, somewhere, some place, ways or means to flow out so that the pain and tightness we feel deep inside us can unravel.

To the longing heart being told to think about these frustrations with our head or rational side may make us feel angry, bitter or frustrated.  Why aren’t people getting it that something is evoking deeper reactions beyond the detached ones they see when we are reacting in a deeply unconscious way.  There are times when our minds can lead us astray from our hearts and other times when being totally open hearted and deeply emersed in feelings sets us up for problems.  We lose a rational perspective that may have helped us better to navigate what is going on.  Cutting off our hearts longing in this situation may seem just too cruel, but it may be the only thing that can set us free from setting up over and over and over again deeply unconscious patterns

When I started to write this yesterday my confusion was related to several things.  How much I can and should care when others I love are in difficulty?  How much is and is not my responsibility?  How often is my own connection to their pain a projection of similar pain, issues, longing or frustration that I went through?  How important it is to keep the focus on my own life? How much can I really change for others and when is the twisted belief that I can really just evidence of delusion around the limits of my own power?

Yesterday the pain I was struggling with related to a family member who I love.  A family member who had longed for me to come and spend time,  a family member that I feel I may have let down deeply.   I hate to let others down, everything in me wants to step forward and soothe their pain, but yesterday I had twisted myself into such a frenzy of grief and guilt it was only in talking things through with my therapist that I was able to achieve any kind of separation or detachment.

I know these issues I struggle with related to me having challenging connections between my planets of self, relationships and thinking/ perception and the planet Neptune which tends to immediately fuse with deeper feelings in the environment.  Being highly empathetic I don’t have some of the filters that others have.  And then Neptune rules my planet of wounding and healing Chiron placed in the seventh house of relationships. Such a placement has dogged me throughout most of my life. Nearly every relationship I have had with a close male figure has ended in tears and this theme of loss runs through my father and mother’s family as well.  And the pool of loss makes my longing to connect with my male relatives even deeper than it normally would be, but it also makes my fear of connecting far deeper too.

Its interesting to me that my mother never had siblings.  She longed for siblings for most of her childhood.  She had told me how as a little girl with no father and no mother at home after school she would sit on the back step and watch the neighbourhood children play and long and long for brothers or sisters.  When I think to my own childhood where the issue of siblings was made more complex by all of my three siblings being far older and of how I went through the loss of them one by one to marriages and of the loss of my nephews (closer in age to me than my own siblings)occurred following the tragedy in my sister’s life which split us all apart, I see the theme repeating.

Neptune planet of loss and longing is placed in my third house of siblings.  The sister I was closest too died two years ago and her life was marred by tragedy, I am not as close to my other sister or brother.  We move in very different worlds so there is a lot of loss and longing there in me for connection which goes nowhere and gets frustrated by their hyper rational stance on life.  At times connections seem entirely too fraught with complexity and danger to the point that instead of moving forward with the longing what I tend to do is block it or bank it up inside, hiding it behind all kinds of rationalisations.

Saturn on my Moon means I fear connection at the same time as desiring it.  Pulling the longing back really really hurts, but I do think there is a level on which I need to be aware that the longing I feel goes far deeper than just me, it goes back to my mother as well with Saturn on my Moon which rules mother and so there is a level on which I need to recognise that that degree of longing perhaps can never be fully fulfilled in a world where others are tied up with their own lives and relationships.  Its just that way it has been.  And when the opportunities come to go and connect, I pull back unconsciously out of fear.

Its also interesting to me that the planet Mercury with rules siblings and communication is still moving backwards at present.  At these times we tend to introspect on deeper issue or things start to become highly charged or perculate with a hidden power that may not be fully conscious.  My insight into the movement against the particular fusion that has gone to ground with the complexity of the sibling issue is now gaining momentum.

On a positive note.  Over the past few years I have been able to build a loving friendship with my female cousin.  Our father’s were brothers and my Dad was the oldest, and my cousin’s Dad the youngest.  My father looked down on his little brother for lacking ambition.  He was a public servant for most of his life, rather than a ‘self made man’ like my father.   When I think about this I get really angry with my Dad on some level.  The distance which he kept up with all his siblings is mirrored in the distance my own brother and his family keep up with me, his son has nothing to do with me and we live less than 5 minutes from each other.  On one level its interesting to see how the pattern has repeated but its also sad.

Now my Dad is no longer alive I am free to have a loving relationship with my cousin I could not have growing up.  In a week’s time our second cousin from Holland will be visiting and I we are both so excited about that.  Over the past two years my cousin and I have finally been able to be friends and leave the painful pattern of the past behind.  With her I no longer feel fear for I feel embraced and loved unconditionally and together we talk about so many things and connect over so many issues.   Interestingly it is only in the relationship with my Dad’s second sister, my Aunty Lies that I felt this kind of care, concern and love particularly after my marriage ended.  When I had the bike accident on the first anniversary of Jonathan leaving it was Aunty Lies who wanted me to go to Holland.  Sadly I could not do it.

Today I am aware so deeply of the longing to connect with my family of immediate origin that has been so badly thwarted.  I am aware of the places that it would be better that I directed the depth of that longing.  I hope over the next year to be able to break down some of the deeper barriers and fears I feel that come when the desire to connect opens up in me, but I also know my deeper work involves on some level recognising the depth of my inner child’s longing connected to my Mum’s that I am carrying karmically.  It involves recognising and looking for ways, people and places where it is safe to entrust my heart and it also involves taking care of my own heart, recognising the depth of my need and not diminishing it or shaming myself for it.  The wound of Chiron in the seventh is something I need to do my best to tend lovingly with great awareness, sensitivity and respect.  I will not always be able to expect this of others.  I will be sad when my own wounds and limits and blocks hurt others.  But I do have the tools to grieve and keep trying to act more from love and less from unconscious fear.

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Orpheus : Reflections on Looking Back

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.