TrueHeartWork | Valentine’s Day
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Valentine’s Day Tag

Carried in the Deep 7c

Sun in Pisces—Rolling in the Deep—Mystic, Mélusine, Misfit

a239a69d3960d9823ccff550b08dfbb5The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do itJ.M Barrie, Peter Pan

Bruised clouds hang in bunches over the parched land, delivering thunder and lightning and a meagre measure of rain. Yet as river beds turn to dust in the wind, jasmine bursts, a froth of fragrant creamy white, from tight-coiled cerise buds. Eight months before spring.

Faith and Hope hold us airborne. There’s a life-force that spirals from struggle.  Writer and civil rights activist, James Bladwin, says of Shakespeare’s life in Elizabethan England, It is said that his time was easier than ours, but I doubt it—no time can be easy if one is living through it.”

Throughout human history, times of drought, plague, famine, flood, and myriad human atrocities have crushed civilizations. Yet from the shards of broken lives rise  mystical visions and Marian apparitions. New perceptions perfume the air. From the confines of her monastery in the politically hazardous 11th Century, Christian Mystic, Hildegard of Bingen wrote, I am the fiery life of the essence of God; I am the flame above the beauty in the fields; I shine in the waters; I burn in the sun, the moon, and the stars. And with the airy wind, I quicken all things vitally by an unseen, all-sustaining life. And as the Black Death scythed 50 million souls or more, in the 14th century, came this reassurance from Julian of Norwich: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” As we spiral through our ordinary life’s seasons amidst a maelstrom of political and climate change, magical thinking, practiced by shamans and visionaries for centuries, offers sustenance in our own difficult times.

There’s a sublime sensitivity, an innocent faith in the celestial sky-story this month. The Sun moved into the sign of Pisces on February 19th,  joining Mercury, Venus, Neptune, and Chiron in the unbounded depths of the sky. The Sun and the Moon consummate their union with the new Pisces Moon on March 17th.23494e332063871e31b4fcc990a16b4f

The Sun’s passage through Pisces awakens our yearnings, diffuses our dreams with dappled remembrances. It stirs our faith in the ineffable, the non-ordinary realms, bringing magic and wonderment to lives so often infused with a tincture of loss and longing. Pisces is associated with The Hanged Man in the Tarot, directing us as initiates to suspend our worldly concerns to turn our gaze inwards, shifting our perspective.

Planets that wear iridescent Piscean clothing offer strange tinctures of genius and madness.  In the watery-logged realm of this archetype is a marshy Never Never Land surrounded by an ocean of dreams. Here Lost Boys and Lost Girls skip the light fandango, turn cartwheels ‘cross a sea floor scattered with the bones of those who lingered and languished in the deeps.

Faith and Belief are strung like precious pieces of coral around the Fishes’ tails. Jupiter, the traditional ruler of Pisces, is associated with “luck”. The kind of abundance we evoke by using affirmations as talismans to ward off  the spectres of lack and loneliness that haunt us. “Buildings fall; even the earth perishes. What was yesterday a cornfield is to-day a bungalow,” wrote Virginia Woolf. Jupiter’s Wheel of Fortune spins for each one of us, oblivious to status and wealth, to prayers and affirmations or the amount of exercise we do.

Jupiter crossed the border into Scorpio in October 2017 and will turn retrograde on March 9th at 23 degrees Scorpio.  Jupiter in the sign of Scorpio stirs up  dark sediment: the outing of sexual predators, the massacre of seventeen students on Valentine’s Day. Mars, the planet of war, and Jupiter, the planet of excess and amplification, are now in mutual reception before Mars changes sign on March 17th.  With Jupiter, be careful what we wish for.

 

43ff4608b3d5a7ce2c4ff73558b1e8c9Neptune is the more elusive modern ruler of this amorphous sign. Neptune’s associations are born of the sea, carried in the deep roll of the waves by the Muse that inspires music and art, ecstatic intoxication, and slow wasting diseases that are impossible to define or to cure. Lodged in this archetype is our debt to eons of human history. A soulful yearning for redemption and transcendence. With Neptune comes necessary sacrifice, carried for us all by the gory image of a crucified Christ and a dismembered Dionysus.

Neptune, turns a ghostly face to our human need to hold onto those things we love, to keep things just as they are.  We learn that everything is transient. That what we hold on to too tightly, fades into nothingness. Writes mystic and poet, John O’ Donohue, “transience makes a ghost out of each experience. There was never a dawn that did not drop down into noon, never a noon which did not fade into evening, and never an evening that did not get buried in the graveyard of the night…”  Still we search, like children on a pebbled beach, for miracles and wonder. We discover “synchronicities” that shape our sense of reality. We hold the flame of faith that things will be better as we welcome new presidents, new Father-Redeemers to lead us to the Promised Land.

 So, come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!―J.M BarrieCarried in the Deep 3

For workshops and private consultations, please email: ingrid@trueheartwork.com 

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Saturn in Love

Saturn—Pluto Co-presence—An Ode to Love

lovers 32This Valentine’s Day, millions of people will demonstrate through chocolates, music and flowers, their longing to love and be loved. “Perhaps it is true that we do not really exist until there is someone there to see us existing, we cannot properly speak until there is someone who can understand what we are saying in essence, we are not wholly alive until we are loved”, writes author Alain de Botton.

To be seen, fully seen by our lover emboldens and ennobles us. The power of love plucks us out of our literal life into the full-throated drama of  our fantasy, flings off our inhibitions, invites us to create a-new. Yet, the course of love in the digital age is perilous: we’re ghosted, benched, and bread-crumbed. We’re executed with one lethal swipe.  There’s absolutely nothing we can do or say to make someone love usto treat us with kindnessto engage. Concealed within the seductive scent of a scarlet rose, the soft sentiment of  Teddy Bear, love coils and cools, neglected and betrayed. Kristen Roupenian’s highly acclaimed short story, Cat Person, is chilling rendition of the arc of  relating in our adolescent culture. With the callous flick of a finger, a tender human heart crushed, a connection cruelly cauterised.  The technological revolution has got everyone talking, yet so few of us have the courtesy to listen, the skill to empathise. Love amputated by ridicule and disdain aches like a phantom limb years after the bond has been irrevocably severed.wings 6

 

 The astrology of these next five years (as Saturn moves through Capricorn and then through Aquarius) eloquently portrays the flavour of fin de siècle: a closing of an era exemplified by the events of the 1980s. Saturn’s co-presence with Pluto in the sign of Capricorn—December 20th 2017—December 2020—mines Collective and personal trauma that may offer, for some of us, a creative impetus to work through noxious legacies, to stoically endure a world that is falling apart as we learn to love with all our hearts.

passagewayThe archetype of Saturn is redolent of prisons. Pluto is accompanied by a primal, shadowy fear that’s hard-wired in every living creature. Pluto is life and death. Pluto is survival. Tapping into the core scene of the Saturn/Pluto energy of this time, Hard Sun, the pre-apocalyptic BBC drama, depicts a world that faces certain destruction in five years. It’s a prophetic vision of love and survival that resonates with the zeitgeist of Pluto in Saturn’s sign.

The eclipses that fall like hailstones on January 31st, February 15th, July 13th and 27th and August 11th, puncture our birth chart, stir fresh opportunities to re-calibrate, to flush out contaminated old stories. Pluto irradiates Saturn: Traumas of the past are made manifest. Now we must plumb a toxic legacy more consciously. Now we must question those predigested ideas, examine formulaic rules that have no place in a spiritual partnership or a new world order.  

Mars changes sign on January 26th, and as he moves from Scorpio into Sagittarius, from water into fire,  we may feel an infusion of vivifying red, a new impetus to love bravely and honestly that releases us from the prison of fear and conditioning. Mars will be travelling through Sagittarius until March 17th. This Jupiter-ruled sign is associated with faith and optimism. Love lives in the imaginal realm of our soul, and like Santa and the Easter Bunny, authentic love comes to only those who truly believe.

On February 11th, Venus moves from Aquarius to Pisces. She joins Neptune on February 22nd, amplifying the Piscean flavour of the intoxicating sweetness of that first kiss embossed on a silver cord of memory that reverberates across the bars of a song. Neptune is associated with illusion and delusion, with the pain of longing, the exquisite eroticism of an idealised love enshrined in the sugary commercialism of Valentine’s Day. Romantic love is a multi-million-dollar Bolly-Hollywood illusion that mirrors our collective longing back to us from the silver screen. The glittering grandeur of star-spangled romance leaves us breathless, aching for more.

“Illusion” is derived from the Latin, “in ludere,” which is translated as “in play.” And when our world-weary souls expand in joyful play, our lives are graced with “illusions” that may enfold us and protect us from “reality” which may be a mere stand-in for an authentic life.
By your Side 100

Our challenge, as we navigate this end time, is to balance caution and mature wisdom with compassion. To cherish the precious fire-fly of Romantic love. To remember that when we ghost, freeze or bench someone, we wound a tender human heart.

A love that lasts requires a Saturnian back bone: the resilience to stay the course as passion wanes, flickers, and re-ignites. Love in the time of Saturn demands maturity and wisdom, and the courage  to expand our hearts and clear our heads of the clutter that belongs to someone else.

Expect to be moonstruck by the image of beauty in the one you Love. And in the quiet darkness of the new Aquarian Moon on February 15th  let Love press itself deeply into your heart.  

Avoid the flourish. Do not be afraid to be weak. Do not be ashamed to be tired. You look good when you’re tired. You look like you could go on forever. Now come into my arms. You are the image of my beautyLeonard Cohen.

Join me in Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, Saturday, April 28th, 2018 for a day devoted to the sibling constellation in our birth chart: Bonded By Blood. Email: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

loving couple

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Beds are Burning

sad_manThe Fallen Hero is a tragic motif that reappears in myth and fairy tale. It’s a tale as old as time. Yet, for me, what is unfolding as the trial of Oscar Pistorius painfully progresses amidst a cacophony of speculation and the dull drone of gossip is an ancient pattern that has existed for eons in human consciousness. It is the story of the Scape Goat.

Leviticus 16.22 says The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area, and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness…

Historically, it was the  reviled and exiled goat that was the sin bearer. The goat that carried away the matted filth of the tribe. The goat that either was cast out into the wilderness, or ritually slaughtered. Its blood cleansed our sins. Its unclean remains were burnt outside the boundaries of the community.  In other tribal traditions it was a human being who performed this sacred ritual of sacrifice and collective atonement.

The Hebrew term for scapegoat is translated into English as meaning roughly for absolute removal.”images9QTHCACG

Jews, blacks, Aborigines, women, homosexuals have been scapegoated for centuries. Those who appear to be weaker, different or who threaten the status of the community, set apart from the tribe. Sporting heroes, politicians or celebrities who fly too high and singe their wings are scapegoated in modern times. Scapegoats are tormented in our neighbourhoods, schools, universities, and in offices where people are singled out for bullying and harassment.

In the old eye for an eye paradigm, where power is externalised, “you either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” to quote Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight. Often the scapegoat begins to scapegoat others to purge the pain and rage of powerlessness.

There is something paradoxical about this once shining beautiful youth who carried the hopes of his countrymen so high on his young shoulders. Oscar Pistorius to me is the “maimed” scapegoat, like Oedipus with his deformed feet, or Hephaistos who was born deformed, he is living in a  society where there has been history of scapegoating. Where there is a scapegoat there is often a feeling of collective powerlessness and great will to power or great rage perhaps deeply buried.

According to a bbc report, a neighbour of Oscar Pistorius found the South African Paralympic star praying over the body of Reeva Steenkamp as she lay dying. Recalling the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013, Dr Stipp said he had heard gunshots and after making sure it was safe, went to help. When he got to Mr Pistorius house, he found the athlete kneeling by Ms Steenkamp, with his left hand on her right groin, and his right hand – the second and third fingers – in her mouth. There is something symbolic in this ritualistic rite perceived through mythic eyes. Self-loathing, victimisation, a compensation for the pain of being the impotent humiliated victim? Often the scapegoat begins to scapegoat others to purge the pain and rage of powerlessness. Sometimes the scapegoat is the healer-redeemer who believes that if they can save others, they will redeem, rescue the scapegoated part of themselves.

Victim and persecutor live in the same magnetic field and like metal filings attach themselves into the shape of an archetypal pattern. Our own feelings of being scapegoated are projected out onto others. We notice the outer “reality” though the magnet is hidden.eclipse-5exposures

In this haunting hall of mirrors, we all must confront something dark and hidden and ominously destructive that is externalised as “the enemy out there” and carry the shadow of the collective.

The trial presents an archetypal tableau with all the elements of a Greek Tragedy. The Cast of Characters themselves carry the pattern of Scapegoat. And perhaps we need to ask ourselves who is the Scapegoat in this courtroom ritual which will indelibly affect the lives of so many:  the young blonde victim, the black woman judge, the Afrikaans male athlete.  If we look more deeply we may see the magnet. Perhaps by our own vicarious engagement in the events that painfully unfold we will be brought to another level of compassionate understanding. If we can see through the “evidence” precided over by Judge Thokozile Masipa and glimpse the more subtle shades of a more layered composition.

There is no facile solution for this tale as old as time reminiscent of ghastly witch hunts and bloody genocide. We may be physically powerful, have enormous wealth, yet we shelter behind security fences and carry guns because we perceive power, like beauty and wealth, as being external. Murder, sanctioned in warfare, is outlawed in suburbia.

SAFRICA-TRIAL-PISTORIUSPerhaps Oscar Pistorius is not the freakish Minotaur  or victorious Blade Runner. Perhaps he is both Victim and Persecutor. Perhaps he is one of us. We will never know what activated the trip wire in the often stormy and competitive relationship (symbolised in their individual and composite chart astrology) between Oscar and Reeva. Was this the old story of Samson and Delia? Was Reeva the persecutor or the scapegoat? Or was it Oscar? How are we the persecutors?

Paranoia, frustration, fear of abandonment, critical words that land with barbs in our soft and tender spots…when we are triggered, each one of us will act out of the reptile brain without the logos or the temperance of the cerebral cortex. When we see ourselves as inherently powerless, the phallic potency of the gun is a lethal weapon against those we fear or wish to harm.  If there is a scapegoat there has to be a persecutor – the High Priest, the Judge, the Emperor. Someone we choose because they are identified with the collective values. So, to preserve the stability of our society we must suppress, exclude or destroy those things which threaten the stability and the status quo.

Freud spoke of the Superego. The Inner Judge who passes judgment on our transgressions and has a stern moral code. I imagine that collectively we have judged and found guilty, as we ourselves are guilty of thinking and speaking and acting in ways that have caused others suffering. As the evidence is presented in the trial, the scales of balance will be tipped and justice will be served according to the law of the land and her people. And in this fallen hero and the cast of characters that play on the stage of this tragic drama, we may see our own faces mirrored there darkly.capricorn mask

Midnight Oil – Beds are Burning

How can we dance when our earth is turning
How do we sleep while our beds are burning
How can we dance when our earth is turning
How do we sleep while our beds are burning

…The time has come …

 

 

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The One I love

images954O6GS6This one goes out to the one I love.

As cloyingly sentimental or overtly commercial as this celebration may seem, Valentine’s Day has survived world wars and financial crashes. It has evolved from rumbustious fertility ritual origins enacted by the Romans. Emerged from the gruesome torture and execution of men we now call saints and martyrs. On February 14th in most places on this earth, millions of people will demonstrate through chocolates, music and flowers, their longing to love and be loved.

Romantic love is celebrated in song and literature. It’s a multi-million dollar Bolly-Hollywood illusion that mirrors our collective longing back to us from the silver screen. The glittering grandeur of star-spangled romance leaves us breathless, aching for more. Love lives in the imaginal realm of our soul. It emboldens and ennobles, plucks us out of our literal life into the full-throated drama of our emotion and our fantasy, flings off our inhibitions, invites us to create a-new.

We’re cautioned that Love is an illusion. I believe that like Santa and the Easter Bunny authentic love comes to only those who truly believe. “Illusion” is derived from the Latin, “in ludere,” which is translated as “in play.” And when our world-weary souls expand in joyful play, our lives are graced with “illusions” that may enfold us and protect us from “reality” which may be a mere stand-in for an authentic life.

imagesP8PZ7MQVScientific research purports that love lies in the brain, not the heart; that lust has lodged in our brains since Pleistocene era. That passion can be measured and scanned. The premise is that love shape-shifts from a coat of many colours into a knobbly old cardigan.

There are theories that suggest it is body odour that draws us to our lovers. That when we fall in love it’s more about fertility – and our collective survival.  So men are drawn to fertile women with perfect waist-to-hip ratios. Women will lust after high testosterone men with angular jaws and wide shoulders. That we fall for healthy symmetrical faces unblemished skin and pouting sexually aroused lips. What airless little boxes we would live in if this were true.

Psychoanalysts have their theories too – when we “let fall our hearts” and tumble into Love’s terrain we enter the domain of lunatics. Those in love have a similar profile to those who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, they tell us. Other currently favoured theories suggest we seek to find in our lover what we did not receive in our childhoods. It could be the raise of an eyebrow, his smell, the sound of her voice or the curve of her shoulder. In love we seek the familiar. We nostalgically yearn to reclaim the past … So our adult years are a ceaseless quest to recapture the love and attunement we did not receive from childhood caregivers. So we say we’ve found our soul mate, or met again from a past life. Perhaps we have. There may be a sense of recognition or a soul connection that defies the tick in the box.  Scientists say it is oxytocin, the bonding hormone, that we must honour each wedding anniversary. And this Valentine’s Day, it’s the delicious dopamine drenched cocktail that brings lovers together. So is romantic Love merely a chemical like Prozac? Do we blame dopamine and serotonin for luring us time and time like hapless moths to swoon and die in passion’s flame? It’s the caudate nucleus of the brain that lights us when we fall in love. Or can be something far more mysterious, more nuanced, more subtle? Love opens the windows to those parts of ourselves that may have lain hidden and dusty for decades. It initiates us into the complexities of being human. It anoints us with courage and jealousy. It brings us unexpected endings. It mangles and cracks open our calloused hearts.imagesP1C7LALQ

Love in all its splendid visitations is a Mystery. Can we categorize and quantify and measure Love as our bodies soften and our hearts unfurl in a thousand blossoms? Can we fear that which captivates our soul? Love’s landscape cannot be measured or quantified by the intellect. Its nuances must be imbibed through the heart. Savoured with all the senses. Love cannot be separated from the rich loam of the imagination. And each one of us will experience Love quite differently.

So  expect to be moonstruck by the primrose-coloured light of the full Leo Moon on Valentines’ Day. For those of us who have known even one Great Love this life time… Aren’t we the Lucky Ones?

Rosie Thomas sings enchantingly, the one i loveimagesO0BLJOIQ

 

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Heart Shaped World

rosetruffles3Dark chocolates wrapped in cerise or shiny scarlet foil. The promise of red satin, the feminine fluff of pink lace, gift-wrapped in tissue paper and arranged in a heart-shaped box. This week commerce pays homage to the Heart.

A muscular pump that can be replaced or fixed with a set of stents? Or the source of Love that transcends our humanity? In many spiritual traditions the heart is believed to be the repository of the soul. From the lifeless bodies of lovers and poets, from the ravaged remains of chieftains and warriors, from the noble ribcages of  kings and martyrs,  hearts were removed, carried home and buried. Cardiologist Professor Dr. Armin Dietz writes, “If it proved impossible to either transport the body home or conserve it, the heart at least was brought home, being the seat of the soul and therefore most important part of the body.”

Some say it was the deep green curve of an ivy leaf, or the generous spread of a fig leaf that inspired potters of prehistory to carve hearts into clay. Some say it was the immaculate feathered  necks of two courting swans or bright coloured flowers that fluttered like fallen hearts in a fresh spring breeze that were immortalised around the rims of bowls and slender jugs discovered in splintered shards in ancient Greek and Roman middens. In dank catacombs, in the silent vestibules of monasteries and convents, heart motifs represented a love that was paradoxically both hotly erotic and transcendent of mortal concerns. The original iconic heart might have its origins in the little seed of the silphium plant. It was highly valued all over the Mediterranean and ancient Egypt and traded from the North African city, Cyrene. It mainly used medicinally and as a contraceptive. Two simple curves that join to represent a symphony of human emotion, heart-shaped pictograms were carved into coins of pure silver. Then, just like now, hearts were bought. And sold.

Ivy leaves became the red hearts on playing cards. Red suggesting life force, the heat of passion, the white hot flame of a spiritual, eternal love.  As physical love evolved into stylised courtly love, qualities of loyalty and faithfulness were celebrated in art and literature. Across the world as  the broad green leaves of the Bodhi tree fell sofly onto decks of playing-cards they grew into stylised hearts too, and for the Buddhists, it was enlightenment, not earthly love that was highly prized. For the self-deprecating Jesuits, The Sacred Heart represented the  painful longing for eternal life and redemption, stoked by the fires of Catholic fanatics who longed to purge and burn away anything that threatened the stone pillars of patriarchal power.

Eternal love, passion, or simply sex, the heart is a symbol that transcends culture, class and centuries of human muddle as we seek this thing called Love. So on this Hallmark day of commercial brouhaha and the echo of the death cries of the mythical  martyred Valentine, let us pause a while amidst the plethora of heart-shaped second chances to speak our truth, buy those red roses,  to dare to say I love you. Let us celebrate the confounding mystery of the human heart and spin like whirling dervishes, gone giddy with  delicious excess, the pink and red flourish of kitsch, cheesy, craziness of it all. Happy Valentine’s Day!old-2-red-love-hearts-flowers-arrow-valentine

Chris Isaak reminds us that this is a Heart Shaped World

 

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