Title Image

Relationship

And I love her

After spending three weeks in Mountjoy women’s prison Teresa Treacy, of Clonmore, is home. Her crime, her refusal to comply with High Court orders to allow power lines on her property which would, and did, ruin the beauty of the landscape, destroying tall trees. This act of courage and defiance has made this 65 year old woman a cause celebre in Ireland.

For me, Teresa symbolises the uncompromising Crone energy we must draw from our bellies if we are to live authentic lives in challenging times. I believe that in order to cross the threshold into the realm of the Crone, we as women, (and those men who have integrated the Feminine energy,) must experience a rite of passage, so that we may enter the sacred centre of the web of our lives, to learn what real Love is. Illness, divorce, death of a child or a partner, retrenchment, prison – tsunami times of intense physical or emotional suffering when the loss of our old identity becomes a psychic death. Times when we feel like utterly alone, floating in a fathomless ocean… no direction home.

How does it feel ?
Aw, how does it feel ?
To be on your own ?
With no direction home ?
Like a complete unknown ?
Like a rolling stone ? sang Dylan.

I saw an interview with 74 year old activist and feminist Jane Fonda. Breasts like Barbie’s, face taut, impossibly white, perfect teeth. She seemed brittle, very fragile, unmothered. Still hungry, unable to embrace the energy and quiet assurance of the mature feminine or the fierce wisdom of The Crone. The initiation into the wise woman archetype or Crone (which means “corona” meaning “crown”,)   lacks ritual and celebration in a world where we worship at the altar of  youth. Change is never easy. Most of us lack the support of community, or the mentorship of mature women to guide us over the crossroads through the dark forests and dangerous pathways. Mature Women to shake us firmly from our torpor, when we prick our fingers on the spindles and fall “asleep”. Our conversations are a timorous lament of our loss of youth. We sprinkle conversations with self-depreciating remarks – saggy breasts, stretch marks, flabby arms. We self-harm in our desperate attempts to stay sweet sixteen foolishly falling for the folly of Botox, HRT, face lifts.

Hollow-eyed beggars, starving for the crumbs of love. We’ve been fighting our bodies all our lives.  Marion Woodman describes the Crone cycle as a time of Crossroad, where we come eventually, to a place of deep surrender. “After a lifetime of trying to improve herself in order to become a “perfect” daughter, wife and mother, a woman’s “surrender” to herself just as she is, becomes like bathing in the refreshing water in the pool of her soul. Grounded in her connection with her inner wisdom, she now lives from her own authority.”

And so, through illness, loss, the inevitability of our own death, we stumble or are pulled with ferocity into the liminal landscape of the Crone. She is uncompromising. The giver and taker of life. She demands as payment for crossing the threshold, precious gifts hidden in the challenges that crucify. These are times when we may also glimpse the white butterfly of new possibility. As we integrate our aloneness and despair into new learning, we plant it back into a world that looks the same outwardly, though we have changed irrevocably. Says Marion Woodman, “periods of renunciation are the initiations in life when we realise God is not running a day care centre.”

Goddess is a word that has lost its currency. This powerful archetype has been prostituted to sell perfume, bath oil, and deodorant. It’s bandied about as a term of endearment.  Goddess, like Woman, has been made infantile, pretty-in-pink, static, always smiling, naively youthful.  But, there is not only one goddess. She has, for eons, appeared in three: Maiden, Mother, and Crone; and she takes many forms. In a civilization as flatlined as ours, she lives still as the Fairy Godmother, the Woman of the Mist, Baba Yaga, the Cailleach. She is the dark moon, the cruel winter, the fierce, wise Mother of All. The Crone courageously embraces her values, her truth, and her beauty. She caresses the silver riverbeds that lattice her belly and her thighs, sees the eyes that stare back at her in the mirror, and says, yes!  She works through those who have not pricked their fingers on the spindle and fallen asleep.

There is an old story, told by Lame Deer, a Lakota Elder. It speaks of the importance of injury. When we die, we meet an old hag in the Underworld. She will eat our scars, and then allow us to continue on our journey. If you have none, she will eat your eyes instead. This suggests to me, the value of inner sight, as we die in various ways on our journeys. It is in our scars, the fractures in our hearts, our wrinkles, our stretch marks, as Leonard Cohen says, There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

So there will come a time when we must stand in the fire, like Teresa Treacy of Clonmore. We must speak our truth quietly, with assurance. We must persistently mine the metaphors in our lives. Dig deep, chew the cud of our dreams and savour the delicious sweetness. Stir the cauldron of our darkest emotions. And when we have prepared, and are ready, the Crone will appear. She will take our hand, and lead us back to the Garden.

Well, then can I roam beside you? I have come to lose the smog.
And I feel myself a cog in something turning.
And maybe it’s the time of year, yes, said maybe it’s the time of man.
And I don’t know who I am but life is for learning.
We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.
Joni Mitchell, Woodstock.

Love the Crone, and listen to the original sounds of the Beatles:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaJIQmIei14  And I love her, the Beatles http://www.offalyexpress.ie/news/local/teresa_treacy_to_meet_with_esb_1_3143058

 

 

8

I’ll have what she’s having

Faking it. We all do it. The casual, “let’s have lunch sometime,” we toss out during a chance meeting with an acquaintance in the supermarket, knowing full well that we have no such intention or desire. The “I’m doing so well,” when our heart is heavy, and we are overwhelmed with worry.

The little white lies we tell others – and ourselves – as we create a busy collage of perfect images that mask our Authentic Selves. “Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in jar by the door. Who is it for?” sang John and Paul in Eleanor Rigby. We feel the heaviness of the suffocating masks we wear, and still we protect, preserve, settle for, ideas – and relationships, that keep us feeling like frauds. Eventually, we come to believe that we are what we do, or what we own. We rationalise, quantify, articulate, until all we are is a pastiche of the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves.  

Remember the scene in When Harry met Sally? They’re in the diner. Sally wants to prove to Harry that women can – and do – fake orgasm. She puts on a very vocal performance of ecstatic pleasure. The woman customer in the booth nearby says, “I’ll have what she’s having!”  It gets the laugh, makes a point. We fake orgasms, tans, happiness, success, and youth. As little children we may be told to dry those tears and put on a happy face, and as little children in grown up bodies, we may continue to be “the good girl” and fake it to win approval, or avoid saying what we really think and feel.  The little lies we tell that erode our authentic Self, and split our energy. We wear our tragedy mask when we lament, “why is this happening to me?” when the question that always empowers is, “What do I want to make of this situation?”

The Zen Koan asks, “What was your original face before you were born?” It asks that we discard the masks we wear to conceal our vulnerabilities and hide our  fear.  It invites us to go deeper, further, to excavate our origins, the meaning in our lives, and the source of our true selves before the story of our lives. To reveal our original face in everything we do. We have all lived many lives, whether we realise it or not. Childhood, adolescence, our student years, first jobs, unrequited loves, marriages, motherhood, divorce, illness, or death – each experience has left a deposit of sediment, like a sandstone cliff. It will require some painstaking digging to unearth the sacred site of our True Self.  If you have a photograph of yourself as a little child, take some time today to study that snapshot and look deeply and lovingly into her eyes. Examine her little face. Notice the jaw, the eyebrows, the mouth; get a sense of that little child, and of who you were before the layers of assumptions and expectations, covered her essence. Brush off the clinging soil that hides the truths, exhume the promises and the pain that have entombed your True Self, and gently, very gently, allow your Original Face to smile back at you this new day. 

We view ourselves as works of art. Somewhere in us there is a perfect image, a perfect work, a well-wrought mask that cuts us off from flesh and blood. Our real terror is that the work, being precious, may, in an instant, be destroyed. Medusa wants everything permanent, perfect, engraved in stone.” Marion Woodman

5

This is a Man’s World

Look around you at the boys pretending to be men: the conniving political leader, the indifferent school teacher, the pedantic priest, the sadistic gang leader, the vanishing father who leaves his wife and children destitute, the bully boss who ridicules his junior executive.

The world is teaming with boy-men. We extol the boyish behaviour of celebrities; we mistake threatening, controlling, hostile behaviour for strength, when the Tyrant is really the Emperor wearing no clothes – an angry, lost little boy. We have reached a tipping point, a collective crisis in mature masculinity.

Pluto in sombre Capricorn, sign of the archetypal Father, now heralds a new world order: a relentless breakdown of structures that no longer serve their purpose. Quantum physics sanctions what mystics and shamans have known for eons: we are all One and we live in an interconnected Uni (one) verse (song.) So what is necessary now, in this new age where sacred rituals have lost their potency, where rites of passage are medicated away, numbed down by distractions and addictions, is for us all to embrace our Masculine energy, and be hu-man. The word, man, means “human being, person.” And as Pluto, like a miniscule drop of purging homeopathic remedy, pervades the  waters of the Collective Consciousness, we confront these ancient blueprints. Archetypes of Masculine and Feminine which are out of balance as we cross the threshold of a new awareness as foretold by the oracles of old.

Now is time for critical self-appraisal. If our governments and world leaders reflect the microcosm of our own lives, where are we out of integrity, acting as bullies, withholding or abusing power over the earth, or each other in our homes and communities? Says Neale Donald Walsch, “Stop looking all over the place for “the answers” – whatever they are – and start looking for the questions – the inquiries which are most important in your life, and give them answers. You do not live each day to discover what it holds for you, but to create it.”

This is the challenge we face today, in a world devoid of True Heroes, Wise Statemen, and Gentle Men.

We must collectively take responsibity for holding the Father Archetype and bringing Masculine energy into balance with the Feminine.

Now, more than ever in our human journey, we need mature masculine energy, as our civilization nears its great initiation into a Whole, more Uni-versal way of being.  We’re being forced into the responsibility of making wise decisions— setting new goals, or we’re not going to survive as a species. As a culture of fatherless boys and girls, we must now access the Positive Father within to embrace the Postive Mother.

Patriarchy is not masculinity. Patriarchy is about Power, and patriarchy drains the life blood from the Masculine, and throttles the Feminine.  So patriarchy will amplify the either/or.  Patriarchy separates, divides, it amps up the dualty of black and white, right and wrong. It is always self-serving – like the Imposter King or Queen, it usurps power and tramples over dead bodies to get to the throne. Matriarchy can be just as vicious as patriarchy, as anyone who has worked under the an archetypal ward Matron or Mother Superior might have experienced. When we identify ourselves with power in any form – power over other people, power over nature, even power over our own bodies, denying the inevitablity of ageing with the insane quest for eternal youth, we are in the Venus Fly Trap of distorted patriarchy.

Goal setting is a positive masculine attribute, cutting away with the Sword of Truth things that are non-essential. So is taking action, being discerning, discriminating. These masculine attributes are positive when they are in relationship to the feminine. The masculine protects and honours the feminine, champions and celebrates the attributes and the values of the feminine, and these two energies are active in mature men and women. The feminine is chaotic, creative, and is the “being” energy of our humanness, while the masculine is the dynamic, the goal orientated, “doing” energy we must send out into the world  to bring forth the fruit of our creation. We need a balance of both energies to be in balance in our lives.  Says Marion Woodman, “there’s a divine marriage going on between the feminine and the masculine in every creative process. The more a woman develops her masculinity the more feminine she becomes, and the more a man develops his femininity the more masculine he becomes.”

We, as Women, need to be in our Mature Feminine to hold our men in their Mature Masculine. Pluto’s long passage through Capricorn these next sixteen years, will make us so.

This is a man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fd8_gojNXc James Brown at his soulful best! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh2Yxp6q2h0&feature=related Christina the Diva

0

Money Money Money

 “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons,” quips Woody Allen. “For I don’t care too much for money, for money can’t buy me love,” sang The Beatles.  Our relationship with money is steeped in contradiction, confusion and myth. We were told, it does not grow on trees, or that we should save for a rainy day. Most people find it easier to talk about sex than money.

 So what is this thing we call “money”?  Like slippery bodily fluids, money is a stream of electrons, a medium of exchange. Even Wikipedia is somewhat woolly about the origins of the word. As in myths, fairy tales, archaic beliefs, “money”  is swathed in the mists of time. It is said to originate from the temple of the goddess, Hera. It’s associated with the goddess Juno. With the Etruscan goddess, Uni. Some sources claim the word “money” is believed to originate from a temple of “Moneta”. The Latin word for money is “monere” (remind, warn, or instruct) and the Greeks used “moneres” (alone, unique).  Sound fuzzy enough for you?

“Everyone’s consciousness draws from the same underlying reality,” says Deepak Chopra. Over these next 14 years in our human story, we are moving through a new domain of consciousness. Neptune moves into its home sign of illusive Pisces this year, calling us Home to Spirit, to float in a sea of interconnectedness. Neptune is a transpersonal planet, and that means it its energy operates in the Collective consciousness, as it swirls silently in darkness, within the outer reaches of our solar system.

In its highest vibration, Neptune draws us to a direct experience of the Divine, and conventional religious theology will not satisfy our yearning. Neptune calls us back into Dream Time. Boundaries become permeable, spirituality, medium ship and psychic activity may become more acceptably mainstream.Yet, the  light is dim in the murky oceanic realm of Neptune (Roman god of water and sea,) and moray eels lurk in hidden crevices. Neptune can also manifest as charlatans who deceive, gurus who are not all they seem, mass hysteria, illusion, disillusion, addiction, victimhood, and sacrifice. Watch the movies. Note the newest fashion trends,  these are  harbringers of this new consciousness. With Neptune’s influence over  porous boundaries in terms of personal privacy and safety, I’m guessing there will be changes in the way we use social media. There will be far-reaching changes in the power base in world government, in banking systems, financial institutions, and the value we place on this thing we call “money”.  Those people on the first wave of change are now offering skills exchange, or payment for what they believe a service is worth. Already, they are re-imaging their relationship and beliefs about money as a form of energy, nothing more. So we come to the inevitable question: How do I follow my bliss, do what I really want in my life, and have the money I need to live in this material world? Our fear of money has spawned a surfeit of books, Cds, self-help gurus who preach abundance, prosperity, The Law of Attraction… and yet there are still  barnacled beliefs, old  myths that keep us chained to poverty consciousness and lack, no matter how many pairs of shoes we have, or how much food is in the refrigerator. Neptune entreats us to dream differently. To use right brain intuition that defies logic and the rational mind. 

Neptune’s realm is our dream time, our spiritual exxperience, our creative imagination, our yearning to transcend the hardships and rigours of this earth plane.  Neptune is John Lennon calling us all to Imagine. And by 2025 when Neptune enters the fire sign of Aries, we will have the challenge of putting our  imaginings, our dreams, our new world view into action.


Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one. John Lennon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCkOmcIl79s

Abba’s Money, Money, Money

 

5

Love Is All Around

Nothing much has changed when it comes to the map of the human heart. Two dressed-for-success business women are engaged in serious conversation between nibbles of a warm mushroom and ricotta cheese salad. They lean towards each other over the restaurant table, talking not about the crisis over the euro, or the latest merger. They are talking about Love.

Much in the same way, I imagine, our ancestors sat around fires, in mossy caves, talking to each other about their children, their men. Much in the way women of the land  laugh from the depths of their bellies, as they pick tea, hoe the red earth, peel the leaves off maize, talking about the people they hold close to their hearts.

Just like the stars that shine even when we can’t see them, Love is all around. It’s the Field, the Matrix. And when you connect to Love, miracles happen.

Love is all around at airport arrivals, in the cancer ward.  Love is in the eyes of our lover, as we lie, limbs entwined. Love is all around when the parent we have been at war with for years, now lies, just like a little boy, breath rattling in his sunken chest. Love is the flowering of our heart when we hold our first grandchild. Love is the aged family dog, now deaf, almost blind, tail still wagging, warmly welcoming us home.  Love comes  softly sometimes. And there are times when Love strips us naked, flays us bare to the bone.  Love is boundless, arching over barriers that divide race, gender, age, or social status. We fall in love with the married man, the gardener, boss. We find the love we have been searching for all our lives in the soft arms of another woman.

Aphrodite, or Venus, as the Romans named her, is  goddess of love, beauty, and lust.  She  was once a creator-earth goddess, and like other feminine deities she delighted in lusty pleasures, found her Joy in the embrace of handsome young men. She is Woman, relishing the curves and fullness of her body, finding beauty and pleasure in all things sensuous and playful. Her gutsy call to pleasure and beauty is  enticing, and her siren call draws us, to the vortex of our desire.   Love brings lasting happiness and  soulful partnerships. Love  also detonates marriages, divides families, destroys kingdoms, ravages our bodies with venereal (Venus) disease.  Our quest for youth and sexual allure  disfigures our faces and bodies, depletes our bank balances.  “The course of true love never did run smooth,” Lysander laments in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Ask anyone who has tried to navigate the stormy seas of  long distance relationship, or who has loved someone who has committed to be with another. Yet if we honour her respectfully, and connect with the Aphrodite essence within, she always brings us just what we need at just the right time for our soul’s sorrow or joy.

Each one of us has a Venus in our birth chart. Unique by her position in sign, element, and aspect.  Our Venus longs for her own distinctly unique expression. Some of us deny our Aphrodite energy. Or allow our partners to carry it for us. We cage our primal sexuality, wage war against our bodies; bridle our lusts, disconnect  from what makes us feel sensual, feminine, and alive.  Aphrodite’s essence has become split in our Judaic-Christian world view, where femininity, sexuality, our bodies, have been smeared with morality and judgement. Yet, centuries on,  Aphrodite lives  in art, in advertising, literature, and in the characters of  soap operas. Modern Aphrodite’s appear in movies, on the pages of fashion magazines.  She is the diva of song. As distant as the Evening Star,  she is the  wet and wild porn star –  Aprhodite the insatiable  Harlot. As the chorus in Euripides’ play, Hippolytus sing, “neither fire nor stars have stronger bolts than those of Aphrodite.” When we are struck by Aphrodite’s  bolt of Love, we experience a profound stirring of the loins and the soul. Aphrodite initiates  by piercing the armour of our defences, dishevelling our lives. Challenging us to go within and connect with what we value, what feels lovely, delicious, what brings us pleasure. Love is all around, so dance today with Aphrodite!  Allow her to caress you, and delight you with her charms.  Love  and honour your body today.  Tune in. Listen to what it says to you, so you can listen to the call of your soul. Love yourself,  then be truly willing to receive Love – it is all around.

Carrie: Have you?

Mr. Big: Have I what?

Carrie: Ever been in love.

Mr Big: Absofuckinglutely.

Sex and the City

The Troggs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ut5uC91FcbI

 

0

The Kindness of Strangers

 

In folk lore and fairy tales little children are always told not to talk to strangers. Strangers denote danger, some form of awakening from the slumber of innocence. They can be angels in the guise of ugly old crones. They can be wolves in sheep’s clothing.

So often, these serendipitous encounters with perfect strangers can open our hearts to the generosity of soul-directed experiences that defy logic. Says Clarisssa Pinkola Estes, “In mythos and fairy tales, deities and other great spirits test the hearts of humans by showing up in various forms that disguise their divinity. They show up in robes, rags, silver sashes, or with muddy feet. They show up with skin dark as old wood, or in scales made of rose petal, as a frail child, as a lime-yellow old woman, as a man who cannot speak, or as an animal who can. The great powers are testing to see if humans have yet learned to recognize the greatness of soul in all its varying forms.”

If we trust our intuition, our wise animal-instinctual skills for survival, we will sniff out the predators, and open ourselves to encounters with strangers who midwife us through time of painful and lonely transitions, soothing with a smile or a single act of generosity.  We will recognise those strangers who can awaken us to a new life direction. Those who bring a sense of texture and the comforting sense of continuity in our daily lives.  Many people say that real friendships are not easy to forge in termite mound apartment blocks, lego land housing estates. We may ask, are these my friends or merely acquaintances? Does it really matter?

“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,” drawls Blanche du Bois in Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar named Desire. The Latin word for Kindness is Humanitas. Stranger is Hospes, also meaning, guest or host. How deeply significant are these more authentic meanings if we savour them and allow the essence of the words to infuse our psyche. So often it is a stranger who performs heroic acts of love and daring – answering a telephone call that saves a life, swimming out to sea to save a drowning child.

Ian offers his time in the service of the dying, sitting at their bedsides to write down the stories of their lives. Jessie visits Alzheimer’s patients who sit and stare. She gently holds their hands, combs their hair, and sings the old songs they may or may not recall through the gossamer veils and whispers of their memory.

We use the word “friend” loosely these days. We are “friends” with strangers we connect with on face book, those we meet at the yoga studio, or at a weekend workshop. A neighbour becomes a friend. There is a soulful kinship with the elderly lady wearing the red scarf, who walks in the park with her rotund dachshund. We smile and exchange pleasantries with the man in the video store.  For me, these low intensity friends are like luminous pearls in the necklace of my life. Like angels, they enfold me in their wings in times of joy and times of sorrow. They bestow nods of encouragement when I feel the bruise of living. They reach out with silent “likes” and comments of acknowledgement on Facebook.  In this circle of kinsmen and women, we all belong to an interconnected universe.

These are the friends that offer us the out breath in the sturm und drang of living with lovers, the soap operas in our families. These are the friends who dapple the shadows of our lives with small acts of kindness, honest caring, and gentle humour. It is the kindness of these strangers who offer us sanctuary amidst the tumultuous storms, the dry deserts, of our lives. So, each day, let us be in gratitude for the kindness of strangers who encircle us when storms rage through all that is safe and familiar.

“Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other –  it doesn’t matter who it is – and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other.” Mother Teresa

 

 

 

 

1

No White Flag

Nothing is more abrasive to the human spirit than being ignored or invalidated by the one you love. When a lover, or cherished friend makes a unilateral decision to abort a relationship, and “move on”, we remain behind, emotions cauterised: unheard, unseen, invisible. Very few of us journey through this lifetime un-scalded by the sting of rejection.

“She won’t return my calls,” Jeff told me, despondently stirring a third spoon of sugar into his cappuccino, as if to sweeten the sorrow in his heart, ameliorate the loss of his dream. “She says it’s over. She’s in love with someone else. There’s so much I feel I still want to say to her!” he says, staring despondently into the dark chasm of a future without his Kathy.

Deep attachments are excruciatingly difficult to release lightly, to unravel effortlessly. Especially if they come, not in a fit of pique, or a defensive cold shoulder, but as a deliberate closure, or when some fated event cracks us open, catapults us into the thunder ball of rage and grief.  Of course, we can embalm the Love that once was. Conceal it like a precious pearl in our hearts. Defiantly refuse to raise the white flag and surrender. Or we can accept that these sudden jolts are critical moments in our spiritual life, in our evolution towards a new level of opening.

If we allow ourselves the Grace to experience the raw pain of loss and the darkness of depression, to sit, for as long as it takes, in the stinking sewer of our own self pity and anger, to allow the salty moisture of our tears to cleanse and heal – then, and only then, will our Wise Woman self emerge  to garner the fruits from the dark Mystery of this experience.

Pathos, rather narrowly defined in the modern dictionary as “suffering” was understood in a far more sophisticated and subtle way by the ancient Greeks. For them, pathos embraced the profundity and enormous scope of human experience. We feel the breath of pathos when embraced by a powerful unexpected bolt of passionate love. Or when someone we love dearly leaves us or dies. Or when cataclysmic change occurs in our lives to shock and disorientate us, to fling us into the dark abyss of unknowing. Pathos is something outside us, bigger than ourselves. Joseph Campbell said, “It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”

Our ancestors knew Pathos. They knew Necessity. They embraced the Mystery of Fate that realigned their lives and personalities.  The shaman would travel to the Underworld to enter into the temple of the soul, to be dismembered by pain and suffering, to be born a-new. With our fundamental either-or beliefs in “facts”, our dumbed down, literal world-view, when Fate intrudes in a coldly detached way, we are so often left, entrails dangling, disorientated, stumbling in the darkness, searching outside ourselves for logical answers.

In my interpretation of astrology, I see pathos acitve in the birth charts of clients who are visited by fate in the form of life threatening illness, a devastating love affair, loss of a child, the seemingly inexplicable ending of a long friendship. It is a visitation of something non-ordinary, impersonal, supernatural. It is a breaking open. We face our own Armageddon  when we succumb to our hidden longings, unfurl our crumpled wings, and free fall into the unknown – a new relationship, new job, a courageous move to a new country. Broken open, we allow our soul to shine through.

“White Flag” – Dido
I know you think that I shouldn’t still love you,
Or tell you that.
But if I didn’t say it, well I’d still have felt it
where’s the sense in that?

I promise I’m not trying to make your life harder
Or return to where we were

I will go down with this ship
And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I’m in love and always will be

I know I left too much mess and
destruction to come back again
And I caused nothing but trouble
I understand if you can’t talk to me again
And if you live by the rules of “it’s over”
then I’m sure that that makes sense

I will go down with this ship
And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I’m in love and always will be

And when we meet
Which I’m sure we will
All that was there
Will be there still
I’ll let it pass
And hold my tongue
And you will think
That I’ve moved on….

I will go down with this ship
And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I’m in love and always will be 

3

To Begin Again

 

Endings can be unspeakably painful. Like a folding deck of cards, an ending can evoke a long-buried memory of a lacerating loss, open archives of ancient pain.

 A friendship fades, a partnership dissolves, a Lover leaves, a life partner dies. Our default response is to ferret for some kind of logical reason; to dive into a chasm of rejection and abandonment; or find a balm to soothe the seeping wound. For years, we pick at the scabs of these endings, stew in the bitterness of our own bile, our ego waiting for an admission, an explanation, an apology that never comes.

We self-righteously blame the other for committing the savage crime of rupture. For answering their soul’s call to move on. Like a little child sucking her thumb, we latch on the unforgiveable flaws and non-negotiable behaviours, crumbs of comfort. It would never have worked means “I did not have the courage, or I did not love enough to …”

So often, the astrological symbolism in a client’s birth chart suggests that unconsciously it was she or he that felt the call of her soul to break free from the putrefying corpse of a relationship long deceased.  The composite chart, which contains the soul of the relationship itself, with all its fateful twists and turns, may reflect this need to part, or to re-invent the relationship, some time before it actually happens. Relationships, like the orbits of the planets, cycles of nature, have seasons too. Some never survive the cruel frosts of winter. Others thrust new green shoots after vigorous pruning.

 We all have our own narratives about times of endings. One of the great challenges at these times is to look at the stories we tell ourselves with gentleness and compassion. To acknowledge what is, to imagine what might be.  To accept the initiation into a new soul-ful experience, which always comes through a death  in some shape or form.  Perhaps only one of us feels that the relationship has become lifeless. And the heart rending decision to leave must be carried alone. Is this being callous, selfish, or honouring of the relationship and the one we once loved? Out of the seed of Love blossoms Death, so that Love can grow a-new.

Our relationships, our lives, demand courage and endurance. Courage to Hope again. Endurance to gracefully embrace the cycles of life and death. The wisdom to breathe, and embrace a new beginning.

“After all, computers crash, people die, relationships fall apart. The best we can do is breathe and reboot.” Sex and the City

 

 

 

 

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Wild Love

Nothing strips us as soul naked as Wild Love. Nothing shatters suburban lives, unmasks our shadow, nullifies our fear, lifts us on the wings of Angels, as Wild Love.

Provocative choices, profound turning points, soul-directed impulses – when we begin to see everything as energy consciousness, there can be no accidents, no coincidences. No one out there who can keep us in the gilded cage, as it is we who hold the key. We are the heroines of our own story, we write our own scripts. It is we who can dare to go to the ball wearing the glass slippers. We who choose to stay alone, sitting in cold ashes at the hearth. When we dare to love wildly, there are no victims, no-one to blame, just an interconnected web of constantly changing energy, new experiences to deepen and to grow into our Authentic Self.

“Passion is truth’s soul mate,” says Sarah Ban Breathnach, and as I see the tears of joy shimmer in my friend’s Siobhan’s lovely brown eyes, my heart sings. “It’s a meeting of souls,” she says. “This feels so right.” Siobhan lives her own story. Always has. Her life has been a trajectory of passionate, rather than passive, loving. So she soars to her new lover, transfigured, illuminated, true to her wild, authentic self. So she experiences a-new, deepening spiritual growth, another chance to bathe in the dewy-moisture of Love.

So many people say they fear intimacy; they’re commitment-phobic, as if this is some badge of honour.

Fear is the opposite of Love. It constricts, keeps our light dim, and mutes our cry of Joy. To love fiercely, we must overthrow our crusty beliefs about the material world, and answer the call of our soul song.

Cor,  root of the word, courage, means heart in Latin. Do we have the courage to Love ourselves, and another with all our hearts? Do we have the courage to embrace a fierce, instinctual wild love that will change our life, our world, irrevocably? Do we have the courage trust our intuition, the messenger of the soul?

“The way to maintain one’s connection to the wild is to ask yourself what it is that you want. This is the sorting of the seed from the dirt. One of the most important discriminations we can make in this matter is the difference between things that beckon to us and things that call from our souls. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the choice of mates and lovers. A lover cannot be chosen a la smorgasbord. A lover has to be chosen from soul-craving. To choose just because something mouth-watering stands before you will never satisfy the hunger of the soul-self. And that is what the intuition is for; it is the direct messenger of the soul.” — Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run with the Wolves)

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It must have been love

Sooner or later we encounter the bully boss,conniving colleague, abusive lover, controlling sibling or friend. Our relationships can be fonts of deep joy and growth; mirrors of our dis-owned shadow, as well as sharp shards of glass that make us bleed, and leave.

For five years now, Jenny and Ron have been locked in an abusive relationship. They fling criticism and blame at one another like poison arrows. Their marriage is a battlefield and they, the walking wounded.

It feels familiar on an unconscious level, to repeat family patterns. We glue ourselves firmly into unhappy relationships, because the reptile brain wants to keep things as they are. So an abused child may cling to the abusive parent, a battered wife may open the door that one last time.  In chronic stress, we mistake the familiar for love. We abuse ourselves by not acting in our truth or our integrity. We deceive ourselves – we cannot make it alone, we will not survive financially, we  will fail. Often the more painful a relationship is, the harder it is to walk away, even though it poisons us and stunts our growth.  Instead, we circle each other like snarling tigers, or dim our Light, become invisible.  In our stress response, adrenaline pumps through our bloodstream, devastating our body.

The drama triangle is a much-cited psychological model. Every painful emotional drama in our lives emanates from this triangle, so the theory goes.  Most of us unconsciously choose to re-enact childhood dramas, and replicate a template of neglect, criticism, martyrdom, insecurity and fear – the neurochemistry of pain. So, if you are locked in a power game of attack and defence (two people can play a role in this triangle) you might be playing either one of these roles: Persecutor, Rescuer, or Victim. We all have these inner voices. The Persecutor is the critical parent; the Rescuer is the over-responsible parent, and the Victim is the powerless little child.

Venus, planet signifying our relationships, is in Virgo, with the Sun and the New Moon (August 29th) suggesting that we go within, look at areas in our lives where we are out of integrity. Where do we deceive ourselves, make ourselves right, the other person “wrong”, deny our instincts and the signals from our bodies?  Only we can change the dance of destruction in our homes or offices. We can walk away, or we can choose to begin to learn the steps of a new dance this new Virgo Moon. The counterpoint to Virgo is Pisces, which can hold the energy of Victim, Martyr, and the sacrificial one.  Use the energy of Virgo –  self-containment, essential right mindedness, and purity. She is Goddess, honouring all living things – and Herself. 

Human beings are infinitely complex, mysterious and defy labels. Einstein is often quoted as saying that you cannot solve a problem from the same level of thinking that created it. So as we make a decision to shift from fear-based, battle mentality, to a new expanded awareness, we can today embrace a creative solution that opens up the possibility of respectful, loving relationships.

It must have been love, but it’s over now
It must have been good, but I lost it somehow
It must have been love, but it’s over now
From the moment we touched till the time had run out.  Roxette

 

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