Re-writing your narrative this Mars retrograde

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It’s important to be deliberate and specific in what we want – often our stories have been shaped unconsciously. As a child you may have been told that you were lazy, selfish, useless, dumb, not creative, weak, pathetic… I know I was. It has taken me a long time to go over all these implanted limiting thoughts and re-examine them, discarding them when I realised that they were both untrue and harmful.

With Mars retrograde in Aquarius from now until September 2018, this is a great time to re-invent your story and re-write your narrative.  Words are spells, and the stories we tell ourselves about our lives are powerful in shaping our experience. Limiting beliefs often stand in the way of us accomplishing what we want and need to accomplish in our lives. In this post I will share with you my ritual for re-writing my narrative this Mars retrograde.

My Mars retrograde re-writing ritual:

  • First, write a re-cap of your story over the past few years focusing on what you have achieved, and how far you’ve come.
  • Second, because we have to be aware of what we want to transform, write down the limiting patterns and beliefs you are aware of in every area of your life – I did this focusing on the themes of each astrological house.
  • Thirdly, meditate on each area/house, and intuit what kinds of affirmations/messages you want to replace these limiting thoughts with.
  • The fourth step: be specific – for each of these areas make a list of very specific things you want to think, feel, see, and experience.

I have not quite gotten to step four yet but I will share my limiting patterns and affirmations below in case they are useful.

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Image from The Tiny Totem

1st house – feeling like I’m not good enough/not doing enough/not a good shining person

Affirmations: I am good enough – as I am – I am enough – I do enough – I shine and radiate warmth – I am good and whole – we are all good enough if only we can recognise it – I do well to be myself – I am proud of myself – I am a wonderful person – we are all wonderful beings – I am here to learn and share – I accept myself through and through. I love and approve of myself, 0 I am doing my best – we are all doing our best – I am whole and centred and full of light.

2nd house – not having enough, scarcity, fear of loss, financially disempowered, undervalued

I have enough – I am blessed with abundance – I am grateful to have everything i need and more – I have so much that I can share – I am generous and kind and giving with healthy boundaries – I am valued by others – I have strong values – I am secure in myself and my path. I have a fabulous income and I spend it on things that I value – I own just enough (not too much, not too little) – I have everything I need.

3rd house – lacking in confidence RE communication and esp in job interviews, fears about not being a good enough writer, frustrations with communication, meaningless communication, anxiety and unhelpful social media habits, wasting energy, dishonesty

I communicate confidently and with ease – I am intuitively guided to say what is best suited for the situation – I can be honest and open and safe by listening to my intuition on what is a good thing to say at the time – I listen to intuition – I come accross as competent and confident – I am a wonderful writer – people enjoy and appreciate and value my writing – I get lots ofgood and useful feedback – I communicate calmly and clearly – My communications are meaningful and I listen well – I am good at calming myself and centering myself in my body – I have healthy and productive communication habits – I use my time effectively – I integrate information and knowlegde to effectively share understanding with a wide range of people who are receptive to me.

4th house – Feeling frustrated/grumpy at home, and playing into power struggles with the child

I have a wonderful home-life – I am safe and comfortable and at-ease in my home – my home routines are good for my health and wellbeing – I spend enough time alone and looking after my needs – I nurture and noursish myself well – my home is beautiful and practical – I keep only the things I need, want, use and love, the things that enhance my life and bring me joy – my home is a solid foundation – My early life and family patterns have given me wonderful learning experiences and I process and let go of the emotion that no longer serves me. I live in healthy balance with my home and family, past and present. I take responsibility for my role and for my ability to help. I feel supported, connected, nurtured, and loved.

5th house – feeling insecure and anxious about creative exposure, fear of death through vulnerability/character assassination

I celebrate my creativity – I celebrate my creative work – I stand by my creative work – I feel good about my creative practice – I feel proud of my novels and other creative writing – I am comitted to my creative practice and to sharing it with the world in good ways – I have valuable things to say and my creativity helps me to share understanding with a wide audience – I am strong enough to stand in my vulnerability – I enjoy receiving useful feedback and let go of anything that is superflous to my needs – I understand that people project all kinds of things into what they read and I only take on-board what is useful for me – I am proud of my creative character and I am resilient. My creative practice is a balanced part of my life – I have a strong need for creative expression and I feel fulfilled in my creative practice – I share bravely!

6th house – feeling resentful/frustrated/disempowered about work, feeling like I ‘have’ to go there, rather than like I want to be there – feeling tired/low energy/afraid of exhaustion

I’m full of energy – the work that I do gives me energy – the work I do is meaninful and empowering – I am putting my skills and talents to good use – I’m contributing in a meaningful way – I work with great people – I enjoy my time at work – I love my work – I am healthy – I exercise well and eat nourishing food in balance with my body’s needs – I’m so grateful for my work – my work brings me joy – I’m satisfied with my income – I earn more than enough – I feel content and excited with my job – I do a great job with my work – I am grateful that I can be genuine at work, and be myself – I feel understood and appreciated and valued in my work – my work is in wonderful balance with my home life and my creative life!

7th house – judgement and negative projections about other people, including in close relationship and when we first meet. Feeling limited in ability for relationship with women, feeling inhibited.

I observe my own patterns and release myself from perspectives that do not serve me well – when I meet people I see the good in people and good is reflected back to me in my interactions with others – I am self-aware and notice my own patterns reflected in other people – my relationships are harmonious – I am happy and satisfied with my relationships – I am good at relationships – I feel free and empowered in my relationshipsI am present in a way that brings out the best in people – I enjoy my interactions with other people – I feel happy and excited and safe in relating to other people.

8th house – feeling disempowered, pattern of powerlessness and being made powerless by other people in positions of power, disempowerment with money

I am empowered – I stand in my own power – I am strong and brave and courageous – I explore my own mind deeply – I am in a process of continuous transformation and unfolding – I grow, heal, let go of what I no longer need, rest, and come back into blossom – I am in-tune with my own cycles – I am empowered in my body – I am empowered in my finances – I am empowered in my interactions with people – I am empowered in my sense of self – I am powerful.

9th house – fear of not being taken seriously because of spiritual ideas, getting stuck on ideas, not feeling like I live up to my ideals, inhibition when it comes to exploring, travel, adventure and new experiences – fear of the unknown and of risk, fear of publishing failure

I am wise and intuitive – I am brave and courageous – I explore the fronteir of my own mind – I step out of my comfort zone to grow – I am always learning and exploring – I am an excellent researcher – I have excellent perspective – my publishing is successful – I am exactly where I need to be right now – I have faith in life – I trust in my path and my journey
10th house – ambition and its attachment to my self-worth RE work status/title, fear of not achieving enough at work and in the world, fear of inneffectiveness, power struggles at work, feeling superior, fears of failing to achieve my publishing dreams, fears of public ridicule, feeling held-back by gatekeepers, feeling underappreciated and undervalued at work, confusion about career path

I am happy and satisfied with where I am in my career – I am excited about my career path – I am working towards achieving my dreams in an effective and practical way – Every day I take another step forward towards greater independence, greater success, and greater effectiveness in my career – I am valued and well-regarded in all my work areas – I meet the public in a way that is good for me – I clear my own path and make my own way in the world and I am also well-supported – I am good enough and I am doing enough – I am on my best path.

11th house – feeling socially isolated and disconnected, feeling like I don’t belong, outsider, hating parties and being socially awkward, hating small-talk, feeling superior to the masses to protect myself from failure/shame/humiliation/embarassment – fear of failure/shame/humuliation/embarassment.

I am worthy of love and belonging – I am connected to many groups of people – I am great at having interesting conversations with the people I meet – I am innovative and in-tune with new developments – I value other people – I feel comfortable in my own skin and can easily relate to other people – I am comfortable with myself – I find it easy to connect with people – my creative work connects with a wide audience that resonates with me.

12th house – patterns of avoidance and hypochondria, being sick in order to escape, opting out of things that make me uncomfortable, too much screen-time as a drug, too much junk food as a drug, the urge to surrender myself to another person in wild infafuation, feeling weak and hopeless, fear of inprisonment, fear of the shadow, fear of powerlessness, fear of the void.

I face the difficult parts of myself with loving kindness and acceptance, I face up to my fears – I face challenges with bravery and courage – I am strong in myself – I surrender only to my path and the present moment – I let go of the past – I am well – I am healthy – I am present – I fear hopeful – I have faith in life – I am powerful – I find power in silence, stillness, aloneness and in the void – I follow my intuitive wisdom to create harmony and balance in my life – I am good enough.

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Shadow work: Saturn, Neptune, and pulling back the blanket

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Ghostly – by Stephanie Wild

When you have been stumbling in the dark for a long time, in terror of what you don’t quite know, it can be a startling surprise to have the blanket pulled from over your head – to realise that it was there this whole time, keeping you bling to your own patterns.

This is what it can feel like when you come to a ‘big reveal’ in shadow work.

Under the blanket, in the dark, it’s safe and warm. We hide under the blanket, as children because it keeps us safe from monsters. In this way, the darkness of our shadow – of our ignorance and innocence – is a safety zone. If we can’t see what is terrifying us, we can pretend it doesn’t exist. Ironically, that very safety zone and the lack of ability to see is what keeps us paralysed in fear as well, in fact – pull back the blanket or turn on the light and the monsters vanish into thin air.

Do you ever wonder what patterns might have you in blind-folds?

Maybe it is a complex you have been struggling under for some time, a personality patterning, a strong natal aspect that kept you feeling powerless – a prisoner in your own life. Maybe it was too easy to project your powerlessness out onto those putting you in this situation, victimising you, making you feel terrible  – and maybe you have good reason to fear, hate or resent people who do and say horrible things! There is no need for a false dichotomy. Both can be true at the same time: we can be in a pattern of being victimised – our own pattern – and also be actually victimised at the same time (as is often the case). Strangely, the people making us feel like powerless victims often feel similarly powerless and victimised… our realities may be so incompatible that one person must surely be crazy. Either way, we are all usually stumbling in the dark, bumping into each other and getting mad, upset, hurt, scared or otherwise unhappy about it.

Neptune can blind-fold us. Engulfing us like a spell. Never letting us know that we do not know what we do not know. Neptune governs hidden things. Neptune is a great, delusional, drizzly spell and in the 7th house, especially opposite the Ascendant, there is a tendency for captivating and immersive projection. Saturn is just now conjuncting my Neptune in the 7th, opposite my Ascendant. Saturn brings cold, hard clarity and smashes the pretty baubles of Neptune’s delusions, revealing what lies beneath the blanket: my subconscious patterns.

For a long time I have felt I was in a kind of hostage situation – My natal Mars in Scorpio squares my Leo Sun. “Did you grow up with a bad relationship with your father?” an astrologer once asked me, in relation to this aspect. Well, yes. I grew up feeling continuously under threat because my Step Father was the kind of parent who threatened violence in order to gain power – all the time. I was always negotiating my freedom, pleading with my mother for intervention. Desperate and fearful.

Childhood patterning runs deep.

To this day, I feel like I’m held hostage by people in my life I cannot escape. I have been struggling with this intense terror and powerlessness acutely in bursts over the past few years – always projecting outward onto a bizarre and surreal external situation, this pattern that was mine.

I am only just beginning to realise – as the shadow blanket slips away, revealing harsh, bright light, that the ‘other’ has no power over me, other than that old fear. I do not need to live in terror. Not anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

Children are the worst (and best) spiritual teachers

 

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Lean Into It / Sweet Chaos – By Stephanie Wild

Since 2008 I have been going through a very challenging kind of spiritual training. It’s called parenting. This training never really stops and there is no viable way to quit. Lessons can occur at all hours of the day and night, and are always different, often painful, stressful, exhausting, and very very challenging.

When she was a baby, the lessons involved a lot of sleep deprivation, confusion, anxiety and coping with the painful ringing in my chest every time my tiny master cried out. I likened it to the kinds of Zen where the master hits you on the head to make you pay attention. I have, for a long time, considered all of life to be about spiritual learning, and why should this most central, mundane, intense and special part of my life be any different. My baby was born into water with her eyes open. Still connected, it seemed, to the source from which she came. Newborns always appear this way to me: little Buddhas. Present. Totally in the moment whether they are crying or sleeping or staring into space.

As they get older they learn to be less present, but their lessons can teach us to be more present in the most challenging ways. Our children present us with out own incredible vulnerability and powerlessness. They give us the terrifying and agonising experience of being an impotent god. We don’t have magic wands to take away their pain and suffering, to change the behaviour of other children, to make everything okay. They lash out and push boundaries and try to manipulate us, and that is all part of their learning as well as our own.They reflect back to us our own inner-child.

The Moon represents the  inner-child in a person’s chart. The sign it is in indicates the character of the inner-child and the house placement of the moon indicates the focus and wider patterns of this sensitive, vulnerable, reflective and core part of us. Aspects to the Moon with other planetary bodies reveal our key challenges, opportunities and gifts. The Moon reflects our relationship with our mother, our own emotional selves, and also our children. On a similar note, I have written before about Parenting By the Moon, of observing the quick-changing moods as they reflect in relating to children, a practice I am often too busy to think about!

The Child archetypes of fairy tales can be mischievous, but tend towards the innocent.

They are easily tempted, like Goldilocks, the girl in the Red Shoes, or Little Red Riding Hood. They will easily stray from the safe path, their innocence and lack of awareness is sometimes startling.

The way we treat this child self is reflected in the stories involving evil step parents. Generally the children in these stories are presented as pure, good and innocent, the step sisters are the greedy, whiny ones. From an archetypal perspective all of these characters are parts of self. and in our daily lives we enact these patterns, projecting the interior into the external world.

We can be the Too Good Mother/Father archetype one minute, then, when our children push us to the brink of tolerance and we have nothing left to give we can too easily flash into the rage of the Evil Tyrant. We can even become children ourselves, in trying to cope with our children, putting them into a role where they must act as an adult because we have lost all control.

All of this is horrible, wonderful, challenging, learning

The lesson is always to be present, and;

  • Usually, to be patient. To be grounded like earth.
  • Often, to be like water, to flow with empathy and gently shape the situation.
  • Frequently, to be air-like, to use logic and reason, to encourage these faculties to develop in our children, when they are not too overwhelmed to think clearly.
  • Sometimes, to embody the passion and bravery – the swift action of fire – but carefully, because fire can also burn, and violence does not bring peace.

Parenting is the hardest job, and yet least socially rewarded job. As parents we are expected to do so many conflicting things – to be perfect, to be saints, to be disciplined, to be kind and generous and nurturing, to be strict and unmovable forces, to never give in or reward ‘bad’ behaviour, and yet to empathise with the struggles of powerless that our children face on a daily basis… and so so many other things. The impossible struggles might seem hopeless and pointless at times, but they do offer many many opportunities for learning and growing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes healing sucks: Chiron rising, the problem with progress, and Inanna in the underworld

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Collage by Stephanie Wild

The problem with the idea of healing is that the narrative of progress does not always fit well with reality. Life is both a process of growth and of entropy, and many many other things. I find myself, amidst this life, focusing always on getting better – on progress, healing, renewal.

Chiron, the asteroid symbolising the wounded healer, was rising at the time of my birth. It sits in my 12th house, in Gemini. Chiron conjuncts my North Node, linking it closely with my learning in this life. I still have a lot of unpacking to do around understanding these prominent aspects of my chart but I can tell you what it resonates with so far in my life.

Chiron rising conjunct my North Node for me coincides with a life focusses around healing and teaching. As a young child I felt a deep hopelessness at my atheist upbringing. I developed a paralysing phobia of death due to phychological abuse from about age six. Around that age I also had a kind of spiritual epiphany – a vision of connectivity – of people holding hands over the world – a sudden deep understanding of empathy. These are all very 12th house themes. My childhood trauma seems to coicide with early Pluto transits – adding to the death themes. Around the age of 12 I developed depression which I spent many years working through – with counselling, shamanic work and various kinds of paganism (in my teens), and then meditation, copious affirmations, hypnotherapy, energy healing, more counselling and writing (in my 20s). I have done so much healing: food/nutrition based healing, yoga, journalling… basically every kind of healing I came across that resonated in order to try to deal with chronic illness and chronic fatigue. A huge thread through my life story has been healing in one form of another.

By now, in my early 30s, I would expect to be really good at it. I have a couple of decades of actively seeking out, learning and participating in healing processes – and teaching them as well. But life is full of challenges – difficult transits like Chiron squaring my natal Neptune and also (simultaneously) Neptune squaring my natal Chiron. Going through journeys of losing faith and re-growing it, the pain of psychological dying giving way to the pain of psychological rebirth. So much healing.

Healing for me has taken on a very different process, in recent years. It is no longer about crystals and guided visualisations as it was in my teens, or about re-programming my mind with beneficial thoughts and tracing back my past life lessons as it often was in my 20s. Post Saturn return, my healing process is mostly about journalling and paying attention – cultivating my ability to listen to deep intuition, and also every form of self-care that makes sense to me. Astrology, a language I began to learn in my early 20s, has been very useful to me in understanding the learning that I am currently going through – every transit is surprisingly relevant to my life, and the knowledge of the transit’s lessons, challenges and opportunity helps me to get the most out of the difficulties.

Sometimes healing sucks. Probably, most of the time. It is hard. it is painful. It often requires trying multiple things that don’t work before, hopefully, we find something that does. I like to use metaphors for the psyche based on biology and ecological systems: some wounds require intervention in order to heal – we must clean out the pus and muck, untangle and separate ourselves from the things we are caught up in, remove psychic splinters. Other wounds need to be rested in order to heal – too often we think of ourselves as we think of doctors – as active agents of healing, however the real healing is not an active process, just as doctors themselves do not heal. In order to heal, we must remove all obstacles to the healing process which is a natural process.

When I am going through painful healing processes my main coping strategies for this kind of thing are going for walks and journaling. Also – doing all the things I know that help me to take care of myself – which are not always the things that are easy and comfortable. When I am going through a difficult time I want to stay in bed and eat junk food but that leads to feeling worse! The problem with knowing all about healing is that you have high expectations for yourself and want to feel like you are progressing. The processes of healing often don’t feel like that. It can feel hopeless and hard – a big struggle with no clear light at the end of the tunnel.

Sometimes healing sucks because it doesn’t feel like we are making progress at all – and we feel like we should already know how to deal with this shit by now! Sometime the fixation I have with progress – with always getting better – just makes me feel worse. Awareness of this allows me the opportunity to release my grasp on the fixation with progress. I do not need to be always getting better. Life is a process that will always lead to death – ageing and entropy are inevitable if we life long enough. There is still so much to accept here. These topics can be terrifying psychological terrain to tread. When we do stumble upon them the dread sets in, we have stepped towards the shadow, across the boundaries of light and into the underworld.

In Sumerian mythology, Inanna’s descent into the underworld provides a wonderful metaphor for the suffering and pain of such a journey. The goddess Inanna is often archetypal linked to Venus, the divine feminine aspect, the goddess self. Inanna journeys into the underworld to meet her sister Ereshkigal. To prepare for the journey she dresses elaborately, with lapiz lazuli, her garments represent her power, but along the journey, each of the seven gates she passes through force her to remove her garments and jewelery,  piece by piece stripping her of her power. These are the snags along the dark path we tread into our own shadows. When she reaches Ereshkigal, the dark feminine archetype, Inanna is naked. Ereskigal and the seven judges shout at Inanna and murder her. She is hung on a hook. Three days and three nights pass before the god Enki helps to resurrect Inanna. She is reborn, just as we may be when we emerge from deep painful healing, cutting away the deadwood of our lives, clearing space to make way for new life to grow.

We are good at celebrating the light and success – we also need to learn to honour death, to sit with pain, understand anguish, to embrace struggle, and to accept the inevitable, when it arrives.

 

 

 

 

Projections: love and the Mirror of Erised

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In the first book of Harry Potter (Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone) Harry stumbles across a mirror late one night when exploring the Hogwarts castle. He is instantly entranced and fixated. He seeks to return, night after night, to stare longingly into the mirror.

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I have been thinking a lot about crushes, fixated infatuation and the feeling of falling wildly in love as metaphorically like the Mirror of Erised in Harry Potter: it shows people their heart’s desire but is just an illusion. Harry sees his parents. Ron sees himself winning the house cup etc.

Many people have wasted away in front of the mirror, longing, trying to get what they want out of it… Voldemort sees himself using the philosopher’s stone to become immortal. At that point what Harry wants most is to find the stone and not use it. It appears in his pocket.

We see a beautiful illusion in another person. Maybe it is the child inside ourselves teaching out for reunion with a parental saviour. Maybe it is the happily ever after Prince rescue that feels so close to a death wish with heavenly afterlife.

On some level we want to surrender to oblivion and not to have to do so much. Life is exhausting. We are weary. Everything is hard. But maybe the equivalent of finding the philosopher’s stone our my pocket is discovering a hidden nugget of truth or deeper self awareness.

Relating to other people is often a process of navigating projections.

A similar reflection of relationships is represented in Osho’s Zen cards:

7 of Water: Projections

The man and woman in this card are facing each other, yet they are not able to see each other clearly. Each is projecting an image they have constructed in their minds, covering the real face of the person they are looking at.

All of us can get caught up in projecting movies of our own making onto the situations and people surrounding us. It happens when we are not fully aware of our own expectations, desires and judgments; instead of taking responsibility for them and owning them, we try to attribute them to others. A projection can be devilish or divine, disturbing or comforting, but it is a projection nonetheless–a cloud that prevents us from seeing reality as it is. The only way out is to recognize the game. When you find a judgment arising about another, turn it around: Does what you see in others really belong to you? Is your vision clear, or clouded by what you want to see?

In a cinema hall, you look at the screen, you never look at the back–the projector is at the back. The film is not there really on the screen; it is just a projection of shadow and light. The film exists just at the back, but you never look at that. And the projector is there. Your mind is at the back of the whole thing, and the mind is the projector. But you always look at the other, because the other is the screen.
When you are in love the person seems beautiful, no comparison. When you hate, the same person seems the ugliest, and you never become aware of how the same person can be the ugliest and the same person can be the most beautiful…. So the only way to reach to truth is to learn how to be immediate in your vision, how to drop the help of the mind. This agency of the mind is the problem, because mind can create only dreams….
Through your excitement the dream starts looking like reality. If you are too excited then you are intoxicated, then you are not in your senses. Then whatsoever you see is just your projection. And there are as many worlds as there are minds, because every mind lives in his own world.

Osho Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing, Chapter 7

Just as Osho says: look at the back, look at what’s really behind the projection.

Chiron Rising: empathy, connectedness and metamorphosis

Chiron Rising: empathy, connectedness and metamorphosis

Lately I have been feeling unsettled… actually this has been going on for quite a while. We have moved four times in the last year, living in different temporary places, without having enough information to make decisions or plan out what to do next.  A few months ago I gave away all the furniture I still owned, and most of my other possessions and packed my little car with the things my daughter and I need (mostly clothes). We drove to Wellington, stopping on the way to visit my step sister and to play in the snow on the mountain. I have been doing my best to be guided by intuition. The uncertainty has been so challenging. I’m leaning into my fear and vulnerability, and letting go… and letting go.

In my natal chart Chiron, often called the wounded-healer archetype is ‘rising’ in my twelfth house, in Gemini. My life has had a massive focus on emotional and spiritual healing, both for myself and for other people… and for society and the planet (at least in terms of intention if not effect). This call has dominated my narrative and my life, but it has changed a lot over the years.

For a long time I felt broken. I felt I needed to fix myself. But the emotional woundedness and the healing were all part of the same cycle, the same archetypal pattern, much like the victim/rescuer complex. It took me until my Saturn return to really restructure this patterning, and I am grateful, every day, for the stability I have built over this time.

The vulnerability I have been processing recently has been more to do with myself in the world. The process is also one of healing in a different way, because it it one of growing, and growing always involves healing as we push through our own boundaries. In this way I have felt a lot like a seed, sprouting. The hard shell of protection has softened and now I am trying to break through, out of the dark, into the light… perhaps up until now I was planted in the dark soil, learning these subconscious lessons. Perhaps as a child I was a delicate blossom, easily damaged, which became a fruit, which was eaten by the bird of adolescence which took me to such a dark place (to extend the metaphor out too far).

It is a similar metamorphosis to that of moths and butterflies… it is the process of fighting its way out of the chrysalis that pumps vital blood into the butterflies wings. Human beings undergo similar metamorphoses. We are phoenixing beings. We must die to the past to remain in the present. Like Inana’s descent into the under-world, in this journey of deep soul alchemy, we much let our riches be torn away. We must let go of everything… in order to gain everything. It is a painful process. I understand why many people avoid it… and it is not for everyone. We all have different meandering paths through this chaotic social wilderness.

Chiron is not just about woundedness, and not just about healing. It is about empathy. Suffering is something that unites us all, and when we can process past the self-isolation and absorption of the wound, when we can untangle these knots and allow them to heal, that scar tissue remains as a connecting point. Chiron can connect us to the whole, in much the same way Neptune can. Chiron can feel like all the sadness in the world, which is a heavy emotional burden, but Chiron can also blossom into exquisite empathy. I have been feeling this empathy well up in me, as well as a deepening sense of holistic connectedness. I have let go my old life, over and over, mourned the past, and been reborn into the present.

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Chrysalis by Stephanie Wild http://www.stephanie.me.uk/

The girl in the birdcage: fear and the victim/child/damsel archetype

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There’s a red-headed girl in a cage at the bottom of my psyche. She is the victim-fear-child. She grows and shrinks in age, and yells obscenities at me. Fear always makes her scream or flinch. I can’t fix her, can’t remove her. Her hair reddens at the sound of rain and she dissolves into poetry… face of porcelain… her dress is always white lace and she claws… and she sits with legs with legs crossed. I watch her. When I don’t watch her she reaches up into my life and wreaks havoc. With eyes on her she is confined to the cage.

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Her hair grows and shrinks. She screams at me until I turn away and draw bird cages, gold like her’s, on white canvas paper. I hold up a blank slate for her and she draws cages too. We laugh and I slide my fingers into the cage to find hers… dissolving into me.

I sit in the room and watch her. I cannot fix her of free her. Attempts only makes her violent. I visit her often and when I have extra… I feed her… peas and broth from a ceramic spoon. I reach my arms around the cage to find it dissolving, just a little, but it re-forms when I move away.

“It’s safe outside” I say, but if I remove the cage she only grows it back from the fear inside. It’s part of her. Some traumatised animals never leave the cage, even when the door is open… even when the cage is gone. The cage is inside their minds and the trauma continues in aftershocks. She knows this. She is this.

Awakened, she reaches up through the bars – a pain-body phantom. She claws at my heart and projects the pain into other people’s faces and my own personal failings. If I watch her, sit with her, she has company and sometimes she lets me scratch behind her ears. She responds to warmth… it melts the ice from the fear… melts the cage momentarily.

We watch each-other.

I can’t fix her…

but can I love her?

birdcage