At the ending… is a new beginning : reflections on bearing with and growing through pain

Ever feel like you have reached the end of a huge journey?  One that seemed to take ages and took you down so many twisted, convoluted, difficult pathways at times you felt like you would never find home or find yourself on solid ground again?

Ever felt like an avalanche had fallen on you very soul, that you were weighted down with the burden of so much painful “stuff” that you could never rise again?   It seems difficult to breathe with all that is pressing down and you are fighting to stay alive but the fighting is at the same time about bearing with the burden of all that is coming down, that must be felt, accepted, surrendered to and through the surrendering, shed?

Ever felt like it would never end in the depths of the darkest night that it was all too painful and hopeless to bear?

And then have you ever woken to find the landscape cleared by the avalanche, your toes touching fresh soil and the view you have is vast, but it was a vastness that came out of a heap of pain finally accepted.

Addicts like to run from pain.  We don’t want to have to face the tough stuff.  Its not only that its that when we were young containers that would help us to contain, soothe and make sense of our painful feelings were absent.  Or we were loaded with the painful unresolved stuff of others who could not bear their own darkness, insecurity and confusion so dumped it into us without us knowing.

We go forward into life longing for an Eden where these inner feelings of confusion and pain will disappear, we may actively seek it through a host of addictions, not even knowing what the pain is about our what we are doing, just acting out the wound unconsciously, until some kind of turning point comes, a rock bottom where we are not able to run and hide any longer but must start to face up to the part we have played in perpetrating our own pain, due to our unconsciousness and launch on a path to recognising how we got set up to play the game in the first place.

Certain deep revelations have been being integrated by me over the past weeks.  Its no mistake that Saturn has been stationing to move forward over the past few weeks. For me it will soon pass out of the third house for the final time, crossing the IC of the chart which has to do with birth, psychic foundations and the inward basis of security that we need to find in order to begin a time of building towards a form of self expression which honours the unique fate and karma of our past, without being trapped in it by a victim consciousness.

At the moment Saturn is transiting in waxing square to my natal Uranus in the first soon it will repeat the waning square aspect to Chiron in the seventh and the waxing square to natal Pluto in my first.  It seems on the weekend I entered a very dark space of understanding the full impact of all the Uranian shocks, separations and dramatic tearing apart events that I experienced from the time of Uranus moving towards the waxing square with its natal position (the degrees of where Saturn is now transiting, it is giving me a deeper insight into my dharma/karma as one born with Uranus in the first.

I am never going to have been a person with a normal kind of history.  I will have an inherent tendency to be a bit of a loner (most especially with Pluto in the first two).  Part of my identity will be tied up with being a shock force in others lives at times and I wont find it easy to fit in or just go with the normal flow of things.  I will often feel separate or apart.  Its not just about my history, I am now beginning to see, this position is tied up with needed to be a revolutionary in some small way, most especially I hope it will and does involved being a revolutionary to my past conditioning, understanding it, gaining intuitive insight and being reborn on some level.  At the ending is the new beginning.  Shattering happens for a purpose.

Ever noticed when you are on the brink of change that things begin to break?  I remember when my marriage was ending my partner threw a glass across the room and it shattered into fragments.  This was my Uranus opposition to natal Uranus and the Furies were being unleashed as I was taking some time out for me.  He didn’t like it and was justifiably mad.  If I chose not to make the break for a time the Furies would probably have been unleashed inside me.  Its not easy to change.  You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs, so the saying goes.

In the end the Furies were sent back to me when my partner walked out, 11 years ago tomorrow.  We were married 11 years in all so perhaps there is now an end to the grief that was felt in that ending, an ending whose pain evoked the pain of so many other endings, so many losses never fully grieved.

There is a wonderful book by the Jungian therapist, Murray Stein that I read many years ago called In Midlife.  In that book Murray talks of the midlife passage being a time when we bury the corpse of ourselves, of the conditioned self, of all the losses large and small that have made up the first half (hopefully) of our lives, all the wrong turnings that led to pain, all the sadness of not living as our true selves (if over years we only lived out of the false self).

In this prolonged journey that may take many years we are undergoing a psychic death rebirth experience that we can choose or not choose to consciously participate in.  While it is happening this dark night may just consume us totally.  We may find ourselves crippled by a terrible depression and yet hiding in the shadows of that dark place are so many things we need to feel and release and grieve.  The experience of that grief will be the necessary cost of our new life emerging, a sacrifice of old hopes, dreams and ideals.  Much of this is not fully conscious when it is happening, only made obvious once we are to some degree on our way out of the dark woods, Dante spoke of.

I guess this is what I am feeling today, this sense of emerging from the dark wood.  I am aware the transiting Sun is just following Mercury out of the 12th house of my chart today.  Mars is about half a sign behind it, still buried deep in the middle of the 12th house (but soon to be leaving the sign Cancer of deep memory and feelings).  Today I am feeling the warmth of some of the Sun’s rays emerging over the horizon. There is a dim light at this stage and it is not as dark and cold as it was.  I am getting insights into so much.

I had a huge outburst a few weeks ago with my family.  I unleashed the Furies on them over a lot of stuff I had been internalising (in true Mars Saturn Moon in the 6th fashion) over many years.  At the time the Furies were mirrored back to me in a sense of outrage and yet the relationship survived the unleashing of it.   Getting it out of my system has helped me.  The two people involved have Saturn square to my Moon, Mars, Sun, Venus and Mercury and smack bang on my natal Neptune.  Where I want to go deep, there I hit a wall.  It is a necessary wall.  It is a wall that will help me to mature,  it is a wall that will make my unruly idealistic self righteous Uranus in the first come to grips with some painful realities that don’t live up to my Promethian ideal.

Last week I re read the book The Scapegoat Complex by Sylvia Bretton Perrera and saw my journey on many pages.  I came across the following that seemed to sum up where I am at the moment:

She …(began) to sacrifice her demand for a perfect mirroring from her therapist and her family as she began to sacrifice the demand for a lost paradise state and to accept the true burden that was her life.

The burden in my case is the burden of a childhood in which insufficient mirroring and bonding was given to help me deal with painful feelings and develop a healthy relationship with them, my body, my true feelings and self, with my insides.  This burden led me to addiction and to much damage the full pain of which had to be felt, the true anger of which borne with and transformed, integrated over time.  In her book Perrera associates the Scapegoated Individual as the one who is marked out as the shit eater.  In myth there is a figure who takes the shadow stuff of the family, into its mouth, all the poisons and transforms them.  This she has seen is often the role of someone in the family who has to carry the burden of rejected qualities and feelings.

One of the complex and thorny problems of having suffered and failed to develop a healthy narcissism in childhood relates to our tendency to identify with the victim role and with suffering as a lifestyle.  Our inverted healthy narcissism fallen into the shadows acts as a magnet to attract us to overt narcissists who cannot honor us, as we cannot honor ourselves.  The pain of this sets us on a journey to heal.  Suffering is the price of our release.

Learning new ways to be with and contain intense and painful feelings and understand the message they have for us, brings an end to unnecessary suffering.  Letting go of the victim/scapegoat role, frees those of us who have suffered under it for a new life, one in which we love even our most vulnerable feeling self without apology or shame and in and through loving it mature, learning to make less impossible, unrealistic demands.  In the ending of that old pattern, lies our new beginning.  We can let pain go and recognise it as our necessary teacher.

Its a fine line this, feeling our pain to contain, transform and release it without  being trapped by it, weighed under buried or drowned.  Maybe for a time we do drown but if we can keep with it we will surface again.  Pain will leave its scars on us, through these we will become human, humble, both small and large, but not in a grandiose but rather a majestic way.  One that lets us be a light and recognise ourselves as part of a greater light, one we can share and spread and use to warm our souls and the souls of others following behind on the same path out of the dark night, into the light.

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.

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.

Deep in Saturn

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Saturn really kicked me hard by showing me that I could not do ALL the work by myself in the relationship (remember, Saturn also kind of slows things down, so it was like anytime problems would come up and I would go to fix things, it seemed like nothing worked – I really feel this was Saturn’s way of validating how counterproductive it would be to go against the square, which was ENFORCING a lack of action in some ways).

I’m not about to get into anything without my eyes wide open and my mind clear. That’s what Saturn does, so try and use the old codger Saturn to your advantage, and make him do the work, because he does know what he’s doing. I think Saturn promotes self-trust, he makes you get your hands dirty by pulling your self-esteem out from the gutter and MAKING you clean it up and polish it and make it shine. So you don’t ‘act’ more confident, you just actually become it…slowly, and diligently  Quoted from lindagoodman.com

When we consider Chiron from the perspective of defences, we are once again looking at an area of life, or of the personality, in which we feel wounded or damaged. But there is a different quality to Chiron. With Saturn we feel something has been denied us, something withheld that we badly need. This lack or sense of deprivation makes us feel inadequate, and eventually forces us to develop self-sufficiency. With Chiron, there is a sense of something unfair hurting or humiliating us, something that we didn’t merit. We have been irrevocably spoiled or damaged…Something has crippled us and because of that injury we must take a different path in life, one which we feel we not have chosen if we had been left “intact”.  Liz Greene Barriers and Boundaries. 

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I’m fairly familiar with Saturn, after all, he has been with me from the moment of my birth since Saturn conjuncts my Moon and both planets are aspected by Chiron in the seventh house.  Issues of emotional expression, emotional nurturing, relationships, mothering, self-care and core wounds, challenges and difficulties around these are not just a personal theme in my life, but one that seems to have dogged the multi-generational line, especially on the maternal side of the genetic stream.

A long time ago when I was in a deep solitary retreat (a fairly persistent and unavoidable life theme with natal Saturn moon) I did a long piece of writing, which I called Sea.  It came from the idea that everything that has grown and evolved on planet earth, including us humans started from a small cell which then grew and multiplied and divided and metamorphosed and had its origin in the sea.  At the time I was living in the house by the ocean on the South Coast of Australia that my father and brother designed and built in the years just before my father’s death.

The death of my father was a strong Chironian theme in my own life and it is interesting to note, when considering cycles that it occurred during Saturn’s last transit of Scorpio in the early 1980’s.  I could not say that our relationship had been close  A deep bond connected us, but it was one that did not manifest in the realm of external communication and physical contact but more so on a deeply inward level characterised by a profound silence and stillness within which was hidden so much experience unspoken, hidden and unexpressed.

Children can and do sense their parents.  In the absence of words, of loving touch, affection and connection a deep hole or wound can manifest which is hard to reach on the level of words or even of intellectual knowing, rather it remains hidden deeply within the soul as a subtext or felt energy that is difficult to verbalise and yet, at the same time, plays itself out quite dramatically.   Within this hole can be an ache and a hunger for something that is essential to the growing life of a child but which, in being denied, cannot be understood but instead falls down deep to be acted upon unconsciously repeating and repeating as a pattern until enough pain and soul searching can and does bring it to consciousness.

Saturn is not an easy teacher.  Some of the key words for its presence on any planet may read like a doomsday tome:  restriction, limitation, denial, withdrawal, responsibility, inhibition, weakness, flaws, adversity.  And with the Moon: sombre, self-restraint, conservative, fear of vulnerability, disappointment and melancholia.

Both my parents had a very strong Saturn signature.  Dad had Virgo Sun conjunct with Saturn Mercury and Mum had the Scorpio Sun conjunct with Saturn Mercury too.  What this might say is that even though the love was there, there was a deep blockage around its expression and with Saturn Moon.  As the astrologer Liz Greene has noted, Saturn Moon aspects in childhood indicate that “there has been rather a lot of emphasis on duty and on … appropriate forms of behaviour”, and “little warmth or spontaneity in emotional expression”.

Even writing this after years of knowing about it is causing me some angst, after all with Saturn Moon you are more than conscious, even from a young age, of a burden your bear.  There is an invisible ache when you recognise you are never going to know feelings of being the popular, loose, carefree individual who is the life of the party that others immediately gravitate towards. Rather, hard as it is to face, you are going to go through many deeply painful experiences of rejection, of seeing others walk away with the happiness denied to you, tormented on some level by a knowing of the very real restrictions that burden your soul and limit the freedom of your emotional expression, restrictions that you wrestle with, inwardly and struggle to make sense of.  Like it or not you are going to know that questioning gaze or the uncomfortable withdrawal, or the down right exclusion, at times that burns so deeply and leaves you alone in the bathroom dissolving in a pool of tears.

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It’s not easy for deep inside your soul you long to give and receive love and to know the tender touch of a comforting hand when you are in pain, rather than the wagging finger telling you once again how you messed up.  Yet, curiously, that is what you end up attracting, at least until you become conscious of the pattern,  it is the salt of misunderstanding, poured once again into the gaping wound of sadness and loneliness all of which you must face and feel if you are ever to walk towards a deeper sense of understanding, healthy self protection, nurturing and peace.

Allowing the negative side of Saturn to completely get the upper hand today would ensure that this blog will never see the light of day, might require that I tone it down so that it is not judged as too “negative” for after all look at all the blessings and what about concentrating on what you are grateful for and do people really want to hear the diatribe of a victim stuck in pain?    Maybe, if you have a relationship with negative Saturn on the Moon, you too know those voices and maybe there is some guilt associated with telling darker truths we experience.

So often I have felt troubled and guilty bearing witness to my pain, and yet not to makes things worse…somehow, telling the truth as I know it makes me feel like a bad person – as if I am making my pain up…. But the unshakeable bottom of all this is that I’m not making things up.  If I have unkind things to say, it’s because I’ve experienced unkind things…While I am not a victim, I didn’t ask for certain shaping experiences to happen to me.  I didn’t ask to be slapped or ridiculed as a boy or to be mistreated by lifelong friends later in life.  In truth, if I had experience different things I would have different things to say.  What is most healing about bearing witness to things exactly as they are, including my own part in my pain, is that when the voice of the pain fits the pain, there is no room for distortion or illusion.   In this way, truth  becomes a clean bandage that heals, keeping dirt out of the wound.          Mark Nepo

Might Saturn represent the core truth, when all pretence and illusion is stripped way?  Might it as a principle represent  the ability to look deeply into harsh emotional realities which may be painful to face, but yet in which being faced and spoken about can be liberated, acknowledged and aired in a place where healing can come.  For what festers in the cold dark silence becomes a cankerous sore, were as that which is exposed to the light of consciousness and daylight can and does heal into a scar with time, or maybe using Mark Nepo’s analogy, truth is the bandage that heals, after administering the pain of reality.

I am smack bang in the retrograde transit of Saturn to a host of personal planets at present and the feelings of loneliness and isolation that characterise my Saturn Moon have been very strong over the following week, due to events which have been building since the end of last year when Uranus in Aries at 8 degrees began to station direct in sextile to my Saturn Moon.

Par for the course with Saturn squaring my natal Sun Mercurcy and Venus I am feeling a sense of separation and distance from even my closest personal relationships.  Tears have been shed over recent exclusions from events to which I was invited prior to my difficulties of late 2013.  Fob offs have been occurring because people are very involved with their own loved ones. In my own family sickness and accidents have been marring my loved ones lives.  Phone calls have been rare.  The deepest place of solace I am finding is in nature at the park and at home on a rainy day, cuddling my beloved spaniel, Jasper.  When I let go and let the loneliness be, when I feel it through and let it pass there comes pleasure of a calmer and kinder type and of course I am free to blog to my heart’s content although,  at this stage not a lot of people will be reading it.   Still if I allow myself to be informed by the more positive side of Saturn I guess that doesn’t really matter, the point is in expressing it and letting it out.

I am sure that the transiting Sun is currently now very close to conjunction with transiting Uranus and square with transiting Pluto which speaks to me of an unearthing of authentic self-expression in the service of transformation and enlightenment.  Certainly there have been some extremely powerful emotional days over the past two weeks.

Presently we are moving towards the dark of the Moon time in preparation for the true astrological new year, that is the Aries New Moon of 2014. And a powerful new moon it will be forming a conjunction with Uranus while all three, Sun, Moon and Uranus square transiting Pluto. Its no wonder much is being unearthed and things are pushing for expression since Mars is very strongly signified in this lunation. However there is an introverted quality to the current astrological climate since Aries ruler, transiting Mars in still retrograding in the sign of its detriment Libra forcing realisations about the delicate balance between self expression and assertion and our relationships to others.

There is a lot more to explore than what I began to touch on here and in the writing this blog has morphed into a different form from my original intention.  Well that is good, I was following that flow of the ocean and allowing it to dance across the page as the cursor moved with the flow of thought and intuition being stirred so deeply from within.

Saturn does bear its gifts.  It is hard to see then at times for what is denied can seem to be so painful at times, removing us as it does from illusions of that which it is not our destiny to experience. Saturnian contacts and transits can and do force us inwards, to a dialogue with the soul.   The Saturnian journey is bloody lonely and harsh and, at times, I am not even sure if it truly does have a gift, other than to show us the nature of our very real defences and limitations. Is there a life beyond Saturn in a place of contentment happiness and peace?  How much is within our power to change?  These are some questions I ask. I am sure there are positive lessons and the nature of a Saturn transit may actually be to point out the difficult or challenging nature of our lives and relationship in order that we can develop a more realistic sense of what is humanly possible within the limits of our earthly natures. Saturn asks us to recognise our boundaries and the current influence in Aries is asking us to put the focus on ourselves, while doing all that is possible to be there for others at their time of need.

Saturn is associated with the shadow, that darker area of our souls that contains some truths difficult to face, which are not easily embraced in our culture, so maybe it is a life task for us Saturnians that we come to make some kind of relationship with our dark side and in accepting it allow it a place so that we no longer need to hide from it and feel more freedom to express who we really are, rather than who society may rather we be.  And even if that means at times we are covered over with a cloak of darkness, so we must wear it for great processes happen within the dark.  Within the dark ground seeds germinate and give rise in time to tender shoots of fresh new life.  And maybe that is the Saturnian lesson.  There is always more happening during these transits than we may know.  For now we might just need to be patient until the process we are undergoing completes itself and, with time and distance, the cycle turns again to carry us forward on the powerful new surge of life that carries our soul on to the next chapter.