Moving through confusion : reflections on siblings, longing and love


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.


The connection between pain, hurt and the critic : reflections on Mercury Retrograde in Virgo.

Has anyone been especially aware of the critic in themselves and others over the past week or two?  The critic has been on my mind a lot in the past few weeks.  I have been watching my own criticism and judgement towards myself and others.  I am usually fairly tolerant and like to see both sides but I must also own that I am at times a pretty impatient person.  I have issues when I think people fail to show consideration for others on the road or if they seem to be dawdelling, but I am aware that my idea of something dragging the chain may be someone else’s idea of a relaxing drive.

This week in Australia a controversial episode of the social experiment Married At First Sight was screened on national television.  This episode was controversial as there was a passionate exchange which involved one of the participants stepping all over the boundaries of another and then criticism and aggression came into the mix as a result, things escalated when the person aggressively pursuing their own agenda incited the ire of the person whose boundaries were being pushed, more criticism was levelled against him (unfair, undue, unwarranted) and the person being pushed challenged the partner of the other one to ‘take it outside’.  He was then talked down by the other male participants.

The episode evoked a storm of comments on social media, most siding with the person who under threat of having his personal boundaries stepped all over took up the challenge and got aggressive.   However others accused this guy of being a thug, using aggression and all sorts of accusations were levelled against him.  The person who stepped over his boundaries also received a lot of criticism as well as a lot of name calling.

Much as I sided with the guy who in getting his boundaries validated arked up in response to more damaging criticism from those who did not know him, I was not really comfortable with all of the criticisms levelled against the other female participant who in choosing to bear all about the details of her and her partners sexual involvement on the first night of the experiment evoked the ire of a large part of the Australian population. Being able to read through all of the comments on Facebook to me was a very interesting exercise in how the critic functions when we see something happening that we don’t like and we want to justify our own take on things.

It really got me to thinking about how we can set up divides.  How the ego when hurt or challenged will fight back.  I felt angry myself that some people could not see that the person evoked to aggression was on some level justified.  He had his boundaries trampled on.  His partner got up and left him alone in it. He was cruelly judged and name called.  He was really just trying to defend himself.  He probably didn’t handle it in the best way but in the face of what I saw as narcissistic abuse he was trying to express valid frustration.  I was aware when I started to get very involved in the comment stream myself that it was triggering something deeply for me.  I had been in that guy’s position many times, judged or criticised by people when they did not understand the full spectrum of what I was dealing with.

It was heartening to see the support for this person on social media by most people who understood his position and were empathetic.  There were those there who wanted to lambast him and one woman accused him of being an abuser, which frankly I could just not see.  He had treated his partner with respect and part of the reason he got so upset was the this desire to maintain their privacy was not respected by the other person.  But I still did not think that she needed to be judged for choosing to pursue a  sexual relationship on the first night and I don’t think some of the nasty comments made about her were fair.

The whole thing has died down a little now but it really got me to thinking about the function of the critic, how tied into hurt the critic is.  When we feel hurt we are more likely to criticise.  And there are discriminative functions of our being which need to operate and act to keep us safe from harm and protected to demark the boundaries of what is and isn’t acceptable for us.  If we just abandon our discriminative function we end up without a functioning ego that can keep us together and moving in the direction that we need for physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual health.

We are deep in Virgo territory at the moment and the sign of Virgo being ruled by Mercury the energy of mind and perception is highlighted now.  Mercury (along with Mars) also rules our movements and choices powered by desire and discrimination.  With this sign highlighted there is concern with the operation of the daily discriminations that we make in order to keep our life functioning at an optimum level.  What time do we choose to get up?  What fuel do we decide to give our body?  Who do we choose to interact with today?  Do we need time to connect or time to be alone?  Can we share this part of ourselves with that person?  If so how much should we share?  Is it a time to rest or to move?  Should we take action on that concern or just sit with it in order to get a better perspective on the issue?  How did we feel when that person said that too us?   How can we deal with our feelings well?   How can we take care of ourselves and show compassion, discrimination and love?

Over the next few days Mercury in Virgo will be moving backwards to form a conjunction with the Sun at 20-21 degrees of this sign.  This may be a time of growing insight or a time in which a seed is planted.  That c0njunction (called in astrology the inferior conjunction) takes place midway through the Mercury Retrograde cycle.  The full Moon Lunar eclipse takes place opposing this in the sign of Pisces on the 16fh of September three days later.

In thinking about what this full moon opposition to Mercury and the Sun in Virgo might mean we must also take into account that the Moon will be meeting up with Chiron in the sign of Pisces.  The wounding power of our words will be highlighted during this full moon which in being a lunar eclipse means the bringing to light of some areas of our mind that may have lived in the shadows.  We may find ourselves on the receiving end of criticism, or we may be feeling especially critical either of ourselves or others.  This criticism might not be all bad, there may be elements of discrimination contained within it.   Things we need to see or adjust to keep our lives growing and functioning better.

Virgo is for me the sign of adjustment.  In the 360 degree phase it rules what astrologers call the waxing  inconjunct, this Virgo ruled phase of the cycle is where two or more opposing energies need to make adjustments to each other, but the adjustment comes before a fuller insight occurs, which takes place in the next phase related to Libra and the opposition.  Seeds of awareness are growing within us now about how our discriminative faculties may have been wounded or affected by criticisms or perceptions born our of past pain. We may get insights how we react when we are in pain or how pain is projected through criticism or misunderstanding, an inability as yet to see things from the other person’s side.

This is what I have seen playing out over the past week within the context of the Married At First Sight social experiment programme and in the communities reaction to it.  It will be interesting to see what plays out this week as things unravel or progress on the programme.  I believe we can learn much about ourselves in seeing how others relate and how we react to what they go through, how their wounds are stirred, how they respond when they are and how fuel is added to the fire or how the burning embers of the fire are husbanded and contained through the powers of empathy, understanding, love and discrimination.






Reclaiming Land from Sea

I woke up in a curious way this morning suspended between the two worlds of consciousness and unconsciousness, waking and sleep and trying to navigate my way from the depths of dreaming back up to the surface while feeling as I do in my body all the strange and curious sensations of post trauma stress.  This is the time I need to be most mindful. To reflect on dreams that may like elusive fish be about to swim away from memory, to pin them down so I can reflect upon them.  With Mercury soon to turn retrograde this need to turn inwards and reorient to and connect with Self becomes more highlighted.

Last night I recall I had a dream where I was working out a central conflict of past years which concerned the house I moved into that had deep connections to a past experience of my earlier years in which we were forced to move from a cosy small house to a huge part built ‘mansion’ my Dad drove us towards in his quest for upward mobility.

The house I was buying here in my home in 2011 (after returning following over 25 years away) had all these strange echoes of synchronicity with this past experience. The little girl who lived there was also aged about the same age as I was when we had to leave that semi cosy house of my early childhood where I was best friends with the neighbours and could escape there to play on the lonely days after school when no one was home due to working.

The little girl at No 8 (my new house) appaerently held onto the walls and was crying, her mother told me, when she knew they had to leave this house I bought.  It was a sweet cottage full of so much cosiness and love the owners had invested into it over years.  This caused me great concern at the time.  At the auction I was forced forward on in price beyond my limit by the auctioneer and my mother and I sadly caved to pressure.  I had a very emotional reaction upon the hammer going down. Something in my soul screamed silently “NOOO” but me being me I kept quiet and sucked it up.

Anyway last night I dreamed that this couple had sent me to outer space to this house that was so far above the ground.  I was divorced from any connection with earth and longing for home and I was so angry, a great crime had been done and I couldn’t do anything about it.  Powerlessness!!!

Writing this I realise it is a metaphor for how it felt to have to move in  here at that time as an echo of how it felt to move to the house of later childhood in which I felt so alone, started to become an addict and in which our family went through so much tragedy due to being forced onwards and upwards.  It was also an imprint of how at critical times of need (following my father’s death for example)  I was forced forward overseas alone by my Mum when my soul was crying out for togetherness, connection.

When I moved into my current house at the end of 2011  I had just come out of a very painful relationship with a narcissistic kind of guy (well we both had narcissistic issues) and mostly wished to have love and support around me, not really to be on my own forced into a house I did not choose, beautiful as it may have been.  On reflection this IS a lovely house its just that the echoes of being forced out and away at times of critical need when  I most needed emotional support is a replaying theme that has occurred over at least 6 or 7 other moves and in forcing me to buy this house my mother didn’t attune to what her daughter really most needed at the time.  How could she, her own mother forced her out of the house into domestic service at the young age of 13.

My mother had to go and live with another affluent family close to here.  She rebelled, she got herself a job as a tailor’s apprentice.  The lesson my Mum learned – a Chiron in Aries lesson – you have to be independent, you cant rely on anyone to empathise, you have to do it yourself. And yes you do but you also need a mother’s empathy love and understanding. My Nana wanted my Mum out of the house. She had found a new love and wanted to get married at that time.

Gosh what p0werful associations to that dream.

Whilst pausing in the midst of writing this to make a drink and eat an orange I had the thought : this work I am doing is about reclaiming land from the sea, consciousness from unconsciousness. Each time I pay attention to my dreams, take the time to centre within, write upon awakening rather than just unconsciously launching out into the day I do the work of making the unconscious, conscious.  I am involved in the process of reclaiming land from the sea.

While writing and considering the planetary archetype of Mercury soon to turn retrograde I am aware that it is Mercury who is the winged God who has the ability to travel between two worlds.  The wings on his sandles are the wings that carry him between lower world or under world and upper world, between subconscious/unconscious and conscious.  With my own Mercury natally retrograde I am always a bit scewiff, turned back towards the inner world or underworld.  I listen with more than just my ears and I try to read the subtext.  I get in trouble for it at times, but its important I stand firm on my way of being as must all sensitives and empaths.  We will often be misunderstood, misdiagnosed, ostrasised, considered strange or out of step and yet we must listen with both ears and both sides of the brain, stay tuned to the nuances and engage day by day in the precious and precarious work of making the unconscious within ourselves and other conscious.