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Harry Potter Tag

Cry Heart, but never Break—Sun in Aries

Hero

We are the only creatures who are in-between. We’re of the earth, but don’t belong to it, because we strain after the heavens; and yet the heavens aren’t full in us. So, this wonderful, restless, eternal longing in us has us always on a quest—John O’Donohue.

Wearing thin leather shoes with heavy metal spikes, Roger Bannister, the gentleman athlete, did the impossible—he sprinted across the finishing tape, covering one mile in under four minutes. Of his world-breaking athletic record, he said it was simply, “good luck”.

With a fiery Aries Sun conjunct barrier-breaking Uranus in tight square to disciplined and self-effacing Saturn, Roger Bannister was an unassuming Hero who gave up competitive running to pursue a successful career as a neurologist.

Yet, his heroic feat of courage and determination, describes our eternal longing, our Hero’s Quest: “Those last few seconds seemed never-ending … the faint line of the finishing tape stood ahead as a haven of peace, after the struggle. The arms of the world were waiting to receive me if only I reached the tape without slackening my speed. If I faltered, there would be no arms to hold me and the world would be a cold, forbidding place, because I had been so close. I leapt at the tape like a man taking his last spring to save himself from the chasm that threatens to engulf him.” 

In our patriarchal culture, the hero myth is associated with the existential courage and the white-knuckled will power that overcomes seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Modern heroes are “sporting greats”, intrepid adventurers, astronauts and soldiers. And as the Great Wheel of the Year turns, and the Sun enters Aries on March 21st, a light shines through an aperture—igniting the hero/warrior archetype, and its shadow: the destroyer. In myth and in fairy tale, the hero/warrior archetype is typically masculine. Heroes slay nine-headed dragons, rescue hapless damsels, defeat degenerate villains.  Yet the destroyer lives amongst us, tattooed in pain and anger on the skin of the wounded Fisher King.

Starhawk describes the distortion of the Hero/Warrior archetype still so prevalent in our culture today. “The soldiers in Vietnam patted first their machine guns, then their groins: this is my rifle/this is my gun/ one is for fighting/one is for fun.”

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For most of us, our heroes’, or heroine’s quest is a response to the challenges of life that is not muscular or spectacularly heroic. So often, it’s the austere grip of Necessity that wrenches us out of our ordinary lives and catapults us on the Hero’s quest. Financial ruin, illness, the noxious fallout from a ruined relationship, may ignite within our hearts, the courage we never knew we had. The Dark Knight of Desperation may spur our leap of faith. Compassion may break open our heart to moisten the lips of a dying parent after years of painful estrangement. The dragons we slay might be the fears that terrorise us in the darkest hours just before the first bird sings. The hapless damsel might be our own deeply wounded Feminine nature. The degenerate villain may be the impotent Masculine, who hides his wounded vulnerability beneath the rusty armour of bravado and grandiosity.

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The sky-story for the second half of March has a very different feel to the first half of this month. The phallic thrust that propels us through these last weeks is charged with daring, action and adventure.  Mercury, Venus, Uranus, and the Sun are all in the Mars-ruled sign of the Ram and it is in Aries that we must dare to find the deeper meaning of courage, the true hero’s quest.

On March 21st, the Sun’s chariot of fire races through the gate of the Equinox into the sign of Aries. We cross the threshold into Spring or Autumn. We emerge from the reflective soulful region of the human psyche, depicted by the Sun’s journey through the sign of Pisces, into the forge of fire, depicted by the archetype of Aries.

Mars, pumped with testosterone from his journey through fiery Sagittarius, rides into battle on March 18th, crossing into new terrain as he joins Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn, the Mer-Goat. Mercury turns Retrograde on March 23rd at 16 degrees Aries, urging us to retrace, recover, revisit old ground. Jupiter in the Mars-ruled sign of Scorpio, turned Retrograde on March 9th at 23 degrees Scorpio, reminding us of  that eternal longing, calling us back to our soul’s quest, depicted in our own birth chart.

 

 

Hero 2Some of us may realise that the harshness and discord in the world reflects our own internal state. That the rocks and thorns  are on the pathways of our internal landscape. Some of us may know that there are no heroes who can save us from ourselves.  That our quest as women, is not to attempt a hero’s journey, to try to be pseudo-men. That modern heroines require a skill set that  pays the mortgage and the school fees.

“You can’t do it all. No one can have two full-time jobs, have perfect children and cook three meals and be multi-orgasmic till dawn. Superwoman is the adversary of the women’s movement,” says Gloria Steinem.

In the words of poet Mark Nepo, “our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world, but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet, and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.”

Leia, Hermione Granger and Ginny Weasley are heroines with their own very distinctive quest: to define and validate feminine values in the urn, the alembic, that contains intuition and empathy; courage and intellect. Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, and Roger Bannister, present a more nuanced manifestation of the Hero.

Says author and teacher, Gary Zukov , “The Old Male is limited to the perceptions of the five senses, evolves by surviving, and survives by pursuing external power… the New Male re-defines masculinity. He feels his emotions, consults intuition, laughs, cries, and shares himself easily, and looks for partner to grow with, spiritually.”

Some of us may aspire to become army generals or astronauts. Some of us may aspire to scale the Seven Summits.

Some of us aspire to watch our grandchildren play in safety, in the sunshine.

Cheryl Strayed writes, “you go on by doing the best you can. You go on by being generous. You go on by being true. You go on by offering comfort to others who can’t go on. You go on by allowing the unbearable days to pass and by allowing the pleasure in other days. You go on by finding a channel for your love and another for your rage”.

For some of us, an ordinary life lived with as much consciousness and courage we can muster, is heroic. Our quest is cyclical, not linear. And even though there are times when it takes every last spark of courage to unearth something positive, anything hopeful, to hold onto, we go on. And we do the best we can.

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For private consultations or for more information about new workshops, please email: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

For more regular updates on current astrological cycles, I post  regularly on Facebook.

 

 

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Nostalgia

imagesCAOVDKN8There is something alchemical about travel. It’s in the constant arrivals and departures that take place at airports and railway platforms that we re-enact the hero’s journey, the setting off on our voyage of discovery to gather experience and bring it back home. High above the fleecy clouds, suspended in space, we slip effortlessly into a private part of ourselves that may feel familiar.

Even a banal business trip offers the opportunity to share a moment of connection with a fellow traveller.  And if we were to unplug from the iPhone, close the laptop, sit with ourselves. Cocoon and cuddle in thoughts that are our very own originals… what would that feel like?

As we make our “connections” to cities and far-flung places, our hearts in motion, we may be asked, “Where are you from?”  Flung like a silver thread this need to find a baseline. This need to establish tribal belonging, a root, however shallow. So we lean across the armrest of our seat to meet the eyes of the stranger sitting next to us and tell the story of our belonging.

The collective yearning for home has been echoed in great works of literature and in movies that have captured the longing in each one of our orphaned hearts to return to the safety of warmth of home whatever we believe this to be. From ET the Extraterrestrial, to Harry Potter, our homesickness is universal. And it’s data mined by advertisers and the megalithic pharmaceutical companies – our lonely hearts momentarily soothed with material things or the oblivion of pills.   distantlove

Katherine Sharpe in Coming of Age on Zoloft: How Antidepressants Cheered Us Up, Let Us Down, and Changed Who We Are, bravely explores the effect of psychopharmaceuticals in our culture and in our individual lives. Twenty-five years after the introduction of feel good Prozac, she asks us to consider what our sadness and our pain mean when they are labelled as an illness. How when we turn to pills, do we know what is trying to come up from our psyche to be acknowledged, to be healed?

“Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Americans grew ever more likely to reach for a pill to address a wide variety of mental and emotional problems.” She writes, “ We also became more likely to think of those problems as a kind of disease, manifestations of an innate biochemical imbalance…less than two decades after the introduction of Prozac, SSRIs had outpaced blood pressure medication to become America’s favourite class of drugs, popped by about 10% of the nation…in permeating everyday life so profoundly, antidepressants also embedded themselves in youth, with an ever-growing number of teenagers taking psychopharmaceuticals to abate depression, ADHD, and other mental health issues. And while relief from the debilitating and often deadly effects of adolescent depression is undoubtedly preferable over the alternative, it comes with a dark side: Antidepressants confuse our ability to tell our true self from the symptoms of the disease… And given the teenage brain responds so differently to life than the adult’s, the implications are even more uneasy: Though antidepressants are effective at managing negative emotions, they don’t in themselves provide the sense of meaning and direction that a person equally needs in order to find her way in life.”

Nostalgia comes from the Greek, nostos, a return home. It’s a “ bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past. The condition of being homesick; homesickness.” Yet our yearning may be less about place or even a person and more about the quality of the energy we find there that nourishes our innocent soul.imagesCACQ4ZIX

Many of us don’t know where our true home is anymore. We’re uncoupled, disconnected from the mother ship of our true self. Disconnected from our core aliveness, what we truly value, what gives our lives meaning.

Maya Angelou writes, I am convinced that most people do not grow up. We find parking spaces and honour our credit cards. We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are still innocent and shy as magnolias. We may act sophisticated and worldly but I believe we feel safest when we go inside ourselves and find home, a place where we belong and maybe the only place we really do.”

Many of us don’t know our real selves. Most of us have not spoken to the shy child inside us for decades. We haven’t a clue what we truly desire because we don’t even know who we are any more. Shamed by the harsh voice that admonishes us, scared by fears that darken our dreams, dulled by the anesthetic of antidepressants, we’ve lost our ruby slippers.

So be present as you witness the bittersweet goodbyes and exuberant home comings of feelings that surface like ripples on a lake. Dare to allow yourself to feel the nudges that stir your consciousness, however raw and painful.  They give meaning and texture to life..681x454

For there is no place like Home, as Dorothy proclaimed in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In the sorrow and in the pain, in the cyclical seasons of our moods, like homing pigeons, we will find our way home to our authentic self. When we quieten our minds and allow ourselves to feel the cells in our bodies respond with a soft sigh Yes! We will know we are home!

Everywhere it’s been the same… feeling…
Like I’m outside in the rain… wheeling…
Free, to try and find a game… dealing…
Cards for sorrow, cards for pain

Cause I’ve seen blue skies through the tears
In my eyes
And I realise… I’m going home.

I’m going home, I’m going home. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo  Nostalgia

 

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