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

Sunday inspiration: Waiting for the storm

I’m at the beach right now, waiting for Hurricane Florence to hit the North Carolina coast.  We know the storm is coming, but we don’t know when or where it will make landfall, and whether or not we will be able to stay out our week.

It struck me that this experience is very similar to the anticipation those of us who know something about astrology feel when we are waiting for a big planetary cycle to hit.  We know that something is going to happen, but we don’t know what.  Pluto has not budged all year from an intense transit to a sensitive system in my chart, and when I was watching the approach of this Pluto transit I was a little overwhelmed, wondering what it would bring.

Like hurricanes, planetary cycles are unpredictable and follow no prescribed pattern.  A Pluto transit will bring a health crisis for one person, death of a spouse to another, a burst of personal empowerment to a third.  Some of this depends on other aspects in the chart and how well an individual internalizes the energy of the transiting planet.  Someone with a lot of Pluto and Scorpio in their chart, who has learned to manage the intensity of these Plutonic energies of total destruction and regeneration, may have an easier time with a Pluto transit than someone who has not had to deal with those energies throughout a lifetime.  Individuals with heavy Saturn placements have likely had years of stress and difficulty and have built up the internal reserves to sail through the challenges and tests of a Saturn transit without a lot of resistance whereas someone with a lighter chart will find Saturn extremely difficult.

Like planets, hurricanes and tornadoes strike […]

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By |2018-09-09T12:49:06-04:00September 9th, 2018|Inspiration, Life|10 Comments

Transits and Transformation: Turning Crisis into Healing

Art by Susan Seddon Boulet Art by Susan Seddon Boulet

As humans, we tend to think that happiness is better than sadness, that good luck is better than bad. We may avoid difficult confrontations and pursue more comfortable situations. When tragedy strikes our well-protected lives, we shout out to our god of choice: “How could you do this to me??” We believe that our birthright is the pursuit of happiness, and we spend our lives trying to protect ourselves from sorrow.

The soul, however, has a different journey. The soul travels an ancient evolutionary path that seeks wisdom and connection with the divine. Often in our desire to defend ourselves from discomfort, we erect barriers within ourselves. Often we become so effective in compartmentalizing our emotions we become cut off from our very selves, our soul and our spirit.

In astrological terms, the orbiting planets form geometric angles to our birthchart planets, or “transits.” Each transiting planet has its own nature, its own personality and its own purpose-calling upon us as the ancient gods they represent to bring forth something in ourselves that has been lost. The inner planets move quickly: a transit of Venus will encourage relationships and creativity, a transit of Mars demands that we defend ourselves appropriately. Easy Jupiter transits can bring financial opportunity, or liberate us from difficult situations, whereas the challenging transits can cause reckless and risky behavior. The outer, or transpersonal planets, including Saturn which acts as the bridge between the personal planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter) and transpersonal (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto), take much longer to traverse the zodiac and therefore their effects are felt for a longer period of time.

The planets in our birthchart also “progress” through time, particularly the […]

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By |2019-11-10T20:01:05-05:00August 16th, 2013|Consciousness, Favorite posts, Lessons|5 Comments

John McCain’s Planetary Problems

John McCain

John McCain’s Virgo Sun is undergoing a transit of Saturn which began last November, took a second hit in February, and just concluded.  Because of Saturn’s tendency to create limitations and challenge, the transit of Saturn to the Sun can make it difficult for any individual to express themselves in the best light.

McCain’s greatest weakness is his inability to relate well to others, as shown in the opposition between Saturn and Venus (love and relationships) in his birthchart.  To exacerbate the situation even more, Saturn in his chart is retrograde, showing that he is particularly self-critical, and both Saturn and Venus are squared by Chiron (healing and wounding) which shows that this has been a lifelong challenge for him and a painful one.

Currently, Uranus is beginning a challenging transit to this T-square of planets including Venus, Saturn and Chiron in McCain’s natal chart, an event that began in May as transiting Uranus collided with McCain’s Saturn, and coming to a head in June, July and August with Uranus changing direction in what we call a “station” (where the planet virtually stands still) in an exact opposition to Venus and square to Chiron.

Uranus is the Awakener, the Disrupter.  It brings about change and a radically new way of doing things.  Often when we are undergoing a planetary transit, the planet in question appears in the form of a person who exhibits the traits of that planet to introduce its influence into our lives.  Uranus is personified in this transit by Barack Obama, the cool cat with Aquarius rising (ruled by Uranus) who is all about change. And Obama’s popularity and newness (Uranus) is bringing out all of […]

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By |2008-08-01T18:30:47-04:00August 1st, 2008|Politics|Comments Off on John McCain’s Planetary Problems

Are Psych Drugs the Answer?

Bliss Concealed” by Jackie, age 16, from www.dbsalliance.org

As a child of the ’60s, it is peculiar to me that parents today are GIVING drugs to their kids. Research from Dr. Julie Magno Zito, of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore, indicates that as many as 1.5 percent of American children between the ages of two and four are already on such substances as Ritalin – as well as being medicated with antidepressants and other “psychosis” directed drugs. The use of drug stimulants for children climbed two-to-threefold between 1991 and 1995, and antidepressant prescriptions nearly doubled during the same period.

Many of these childhood personality disorders seem to me to be simply reactions to stressful situation. I am particularly interested in something called Oppositional Defiant Disorder, a pattern of defiant and disobedient behavior and resistance to authority, since this would certainly have been my own diagnosis when I was a child. My birthchart shows that Uranus (rebellious behavior) squares my Sun (my Self, or essence). I am a rebellious person with a radical nature, and I am not afraid of reacting with defiance in a situation in which I feel mistreated. My parents just thought I was a “bad kid.” But did I need medication?

I have no wish to minimize the danger of true psychiatric disorders which require ongoing medication such as bipolar or psychotic episodes, or a serious depression or panic disorder which requires short-term medication to help the patient move through a difficult time. But I am concerned about our tendency in the modern world to avoid our own emotions and medicate our children into subservience.

The astrological birthchart identifies certain predispositions in our personality and emotional makeup. Acting as a map, the birthchart identifies our strength and challenges, and […]

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By |2019-08-26T15:20:13-04:00March 27th, 2006|Health & Healing, Psychology|Comments Off on Are Psych Drugs the Answer?
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