Managing grief in a pandemic

art by Erisiar

Most of us thought we’d be out of here by now – the daily pressures of how to navigate this new world is getting kind of old. Is it safe to see our friends? What do I do about my job?  It looks like there is light at the end of the tunnel but the way is not yet clear.  Meanwhile we are still grieving losses, both old and new. Friendships that were broken. Spouses and other family members that have passed on.  Seven million humans who have died from Covid.

Sometimes feelings of grief appear to stem from events that occurred long ago.  A client who had mourned the loss of her mother that happened nine years ago.  Another who grieved the loss of her first marriage many years ago.  A widow who thought she had recovered from the death of a spouse is grappling again with the doubts about an uncertain future. Suddenly, after many years, the emotions welled up seemingly from nowhere to take over their lives.

Challenging astrological cycles do often coincide with painful events in our life, but whether the grief we feel is over a current loss or an old one, the feelings are the same.  Psychiatrists know that grief and emotional pain are stored in the psyche with the same intensity that they held during the original event. Chiron has been a great teacher and guide for astrologers’ understanding about the nature of grief, but Saturn and Pluto play a role as well.
Under Saturn transits we are painfully aware of our faults, our loneliness, and the blocks that keep us from our happiness.  Saturn is associated with depression which has a different tonal quality than grief.
Under Pluto […]
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By |2021-10-08T08:04:02-04:00October 8th, 2021|Health & Healing|1 Comment

The astrology of Selma Blair and the Mars factor of MS

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UPDATE!  Selma Blair kindly provided her birth time after reading and approving this post: 8:45 am. I’ve written a great deal over the years about the way the energies of the personality, as reflected in the natal chart, affect our health. The planetary position of Mars in the chart seems to have a great deal to do with ailments of all kinds including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other such immune system disorders. The way in which we respond to our health problems are also connected to our Mars placements. Mars in the birthchart shows the ways in which we assert and defend ourselves, and how we process anger and resentment.

A reader turned me on to the work of Dr. John Sarno who writes on this very subject from a medical perspective and if this topic is of interest to you I suggest you do a Google search for his work.

In any case, Selma Blair has been in the news for the past few years due to her advocacy for sufferers of multiple sclerosis and that is another disease in which I have found a connection to Mars.   Mars is a fire planet, and fire is the element of action and initiation – it creates the drive and ambition that inspires us and stimulates desire and need.  When a chart lacks the fire element, or if there is a strong Mars that is afflicted by a challenging aspect from Neptune, Saturn or Pluto without other supporting factors, the  fire energy is more difficult to express and can back up into energetic blocks in the body.  You can read more about that in this earlier post.

click to enlarge

But let’s get back to Ms. […]

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By |2021-08-29T07:27:15-04:00August 25th, 2021|Health & Healing, People|16 Comments

Finally, an intelligent approach to mental illness

The field of mental health has come a long way from the asylums of the 19th century, through the idea of drug cures for chemical imbalances of the 20th century.  As astrologers we know that certain chart patterns are prone to depression (Saturn), deep core sadness (Chiron), anxiety (Uranus) and oppositional behaviors (Mars) (these planetary correlations are illustrative, but simplistic and don’t tell the whole story).  As human beings we know that grief after the death of a loved one is an important part of the human experience and doesn’t need to be medicated.  I was very happy to see this article suggesting that some mental disorders are adaptive techniques rather than disorders at all:

In a compelling new paper, biological anthropologists call on the scientific community to rethink mental illness. With a thorough review of the evidence, they show good reasons to think of depression or PTSD as responses to adversity rather than chemical imbalances. …

[T]he study authors note that despite widespread and increasing use of antidepressants, rates of anxiety and depression do not seem to be improving. From 1990-2010 the global prevalence of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders held at 4.4% and 4%. At the same time, evidence has continued to show that antidepressants perform no better than placebo.

Taken together, the authors posit that anxiety, depression and PTSD may be adaptive responses to adversity. “Defense systems are adaptations that reliably activate in fitness‐threatening situations in order to minimize fitness loss,” they write. It’s not hard to see how that could be true for anxiety; worry helps us avoid danger. But how can that be true for depression? They argue that the “psychic pain” of […]

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By |2021-08-27T07:35:53-04:00August 19th, 2021|Health & Healing|11 Comments

Musings on the Coronavirus

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Over the years I have studied a great deal of correlations between historical events and the associated planetary configurations.  Often there are clear connections that are easily described.  The conjunction of Uranus (radical change) to Pluto (destruction and regeneration) in the mid to late 1960s is one example – it’s easy to see how this planetary combination correlated with the dramatic social upheavals during that decade.  Same thing with the square aspect between Uranus and Pluto between 2010 and 2017.

To prepare for this article I wanted to see what other astrologers said about the Coronavirus.  Several astrologers say “this is definitely the result of Uranus in Taurus,” creating sudden changes (Uranus) in the stability of our world (Taurus).  One says “it’s the lunar nodes shifting into Gemini/Sagittarius” (by the way, this doesn’t happen until May 2020).  One says it’s because Mars was in Scorpio when the first case was announced, and Mars rules death in traditional astrology and is in its domicile where it is most powerful.  Frankly, none of these explanations really make sense to me.

For the past year I and many other astrologers have been predicting some sort of crisis to occur when Saturn and Pluto collided in January.  Neptune has been in its own sign of Pisces since 2012, where it is associated with flooding, addiction, conspiracy theories, and mysterious illnesses with no apparent cause or cure.  We are certainly seeing this with the Coronavirus.  Where did it originate? How is it transmitted? There is no known answer to these questions – all very Neptunian.  At the same time, Saturn and Pluto converged in mid-January of this year, on the exact date that the first death from the mysterious new virus was announced (the illness began to appear in Wuhan in December […]

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By |2020-03-14T08:31:52-04:00February 27th, 2020|Featured posts, Health & Healing, Planetary cycles|23 Comments

Mars Musings: The continuum of rage

Mars square PlutoMars is squaring Pluto today, completing a cycle of the past week or so in which Mars linked Saturn and Pluto by forming a square first to Saturn last week, and now Pluto.  Mars is the planet of aggression and warfare, and when conflicting with Pluto, which represents death and destruction resulting in regeneration and transformation, you can see where things get a bit intense.

I thought this would be a good time to discuss what I like to call the continuum of rage.  In my practice, I have traced “Mars problems” to all kinds of issues from depression to immune disorders.  Mars is the energy that fuels and motivates us – Mars feeds our desires and provides us with ample physical energy to get through the day as well as the courage to tackle high aspirations.  When Mars is weak or blocked in the natal chart, it becomes more difficult to find any motivation or inspiration and we can feel hopeless and defeated.  Over time the lack of energy turns into chronic crushing fatigue and  other health problems. So you can see that Mars is very important in our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

When Mars squares or is in a difficult aspect to Pluto or Saturn in the natal chart there was often, but not always, some kind of violence in the individual’s life – difficult or traumatic experiences which led to that individual being fearful to express their needs or assert themselves in interpersonal situations.  Sometimes individuals have a great deal of fire and a strong Mars in their natal charts, but that fire is dampened by an abundance of water such as Cancer and Pisces, or perhaps sublimated into Virgo which is more […]

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By |2019-11-05T06:48:29-05:00November 5th, 2019|Health & Healing|0 Comments
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