Throughout this year, with Chiron and Neptune traveling together, many of my clients have called me with overwhelming feelings of grief. Often there is an event that appears to have caused these intense emotions, but sometimes the feelings 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. Suddenly, after many years, the emotions welled up seemingly from nowhere to take over their lives.
From my article on the Chiron/Neptune conjunction:
When Chiron and Neptune are working together, they combine to assist with the work of the soul. The body, the mind, and the ego are all most interested in living a life well-grounded in the material world that offers the maximum of pleasure and the minimum of pain. The soul does not pursue pleasure and avoid pain; instead, there is an embrace of experiences that will assist us at the deepest level to completely learn the lessons that are presented to us so that we can release the past and move forward with greater wisdom.
Chiron facilitates this aspect of soul work by uncovering any wounded places that have been left unresolved so that we can be freed of the blocked energy that our unreleased wounds hold within the body/mind/spirit system. Neptune assists by reminding us that there is a world of experience that lies beyond the boundaries of the material world. Under the influence of Neptune we either open up to experiences of a powerful mystical nature, or else we become confused and deluded as the nature of our personal reality is blurred and we have nothing to replace it with. Neptune bestows creative genius and a spiritual connection to our Divine self as the physical world is transcended, or it can cause us to indulge in escapist and addictive behavior in an effort to escape the prison of our own mind.
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 transits we often find ourselves facing unpleasant truths and frightening memories from our past, and Pluto can bring up deep and dark emotions that unlock doors to emotional pain. But it’s Chiron that opens the doorways for the emotional pain that we store in our psyche to spring forth into the conscious mind where it can, with conscious focus and attention, be processed and released.
Often a client will ask me, “When will this be over? Will I ever be happy again?” They will say “I don’t want to ever feel this again.” We spend our lives running from our pain, but the problem with that is as long as we run, the pain remains stored in our psyche and our bodies. Later it may erupt in physical pain and undiagnosable illness.
What is required is the courage to look into our own soul and open the doorway to the feelings, to see what they have to tell us and to teach us. It’s not an easy path, but it’s the only way to wholeness.