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Posts Tagged ‘Inner Planets’

Pluto's Glyph

Chickpea to Cook

A chickpea leaps almost over the rim of the pot where it’s being boiled.

“Why are you doing this to me?”

The cook knocks him down with the ladle.

“Don’t you try to jump out.
You think I’m torturing you.
I’m giving you flavor,
so you can mix with spices and rice
and be the lovely vitality of a human being.

Remember when you drank rain in the garden.
That was for this.”

Grace first. Sexual pleasure,
then a boiling new life begins,
and the Friend has something good to eat.

Eventually the chickpea
will say to the cook,
“Boil me some more.
Hit me with the skimming spoon.
I can’t do this by myself.

I’m like an elephant that dreams of gardens
back in Hindustan and doesn’t pay attention
to his driver. You’re my cook, my driver,
my way into existence. I love your cooking.”

The cook says,
“I was once like you,
fresh from the ground. Then I boiled in time,
and boiled in the body, two fierce boilings.

My animal soul grew powerful.
I controlled it with practices,
and boiled some more, and boiled
once beyond that,
and became your teacher.”

~Jalaluddin Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks)

Pluto’s glyph is the circle of spirit being cooked in the crucible.   It represents the descent into the underworld, going into the darkness, confrontation with the shadow and facing one’s deepest fears.  Darkness refers to what has been repressed or denied, and Pluto’s job is to call up the experiences that get us to look at these issues. Whether Pluto plays a prominent role in a natal chart or it is activating a personal planet/angle by transit, its strategy includes taking a person through something difficult they cannot prepare for or avoid.

Pluto Conjuncts the Moon

It is December 2002 and I’m sitting in front of astrologer Evelyn Roberts in her home on the central coast of California.  A few months ago, I discovered the world of archetypal and psychological astrology.  Evelyn’s been trained to interpret charts this way, and I want to experience the validity of it through my own chart.

As we move into discussing my current transits, Evelyn begins talking about the Pluto cycle I’m in.  The planet has been conjuncting my natal Moon in Sagittarius, and she tells me it is a time of significant transformation.  We discuss the various possibilities of how I’m experiencing its impact.  Health issues my mother (Moon) is having, a huge transformation my husband is undergoing (Moon as my 7th house/partnership ruler) and the unearthing of hidden inherited ancestral patterns (Moon in 12th house).

For months, I’ve been feeling the transit as a great restlessness stirring within the recesses of my soul.  Hours are spent in solitude, being in nature and communing with the land and animals in the isolated part of the world I’m living in.  My dream world is extremely active, richly filled with intense symbology and I keep a journal devotedly.  I dive into books on the soul;  James Hillman’s “The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling,” and Thomas Moore’s “Care of the Soul:  A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life.” A part of me is longing for something I cannot touch or name.  By all outer appearances, I have a “perfect” life and yet, deep within, something is missing.

Literally, the year and 2/3rd cycle has shown up thus far as a major move with my husband from a home I lived in for 10 years and a city, spanning a big chunk of time since 1976.  Salt Lake City was the place I called home and yet, I felt completely clear it was time to leave everything.  The importance of deeply rooted relationships and a sense of security regarding my place in the community and my contribution to it, were values I was living my life by.  Still, an urgency to answer the call to a journey into the unknown, relentlessly tugged inside of me and I knew I had to go.

Continuing on with the transit investigation, Evelyn asks me how my marriage is going (again, Moon as 7th house ruler).  “Great! We’re getting along just fine,” my response immediate and enthusiastic. “You must have a very strong relationship,” she replies.  “Yes, we do,” I add, speaking with Sag Moon confidence.  She seems impressed that this is so, and I feel good about it too.  Together for 12 years so far, the longevity of our relationship is a done deal.  Of course we are growing old together.  Though referred to as “The Bickersons” from time to time, we are mostly viewed as an ideal couple and our affection for one another is apparent.  The “D” word has never crossed our lips.

But Pluto’s mandate requires that something will happen that you don’t know is going to happen before it happens. Four months after my reading with Evelyn, my husband tells me he thinks he wants a divorce.  There, in the kitchen of our California Ranch home, the ground cracks open and the Underworld Lord seizes control, taking me on an unimagined descent into identity dismantling. Death was imminent, transformation necessary and eventually, rebirth happens.

Over the next several months while we remain together questioning what action to take, I experience intense fears about my ability to survive without him.  I struggle with the thought of losing my strongly held attachment to the role of being a wife.  I want our marriage to work and yet, I feel the burden of responsibility is on me to make the necessary changes and I don’t know if I can.  Laughter leaves me, crying takes its place.  Counselors are seen, while my own work as a therapist becomes increasingly difficult for me to handle.

Plutonian issues are at the heart of what’s come between us.  They’ve been mostly swept under the rug, largely ignored ’til the one day, when the Underworld deity walks into the house bringing chaos and disruption, demanding to be dealt with, once and for all.

Pluto Strategy

One version of the Sumerian myth of Inanna, Queen of Heaven, says she descended from the upper realms into the Underworld, out of her own curiosity. Another says she went there out of obligation paying respects to her sister, Eriskegal, Ruler of the Underworld, whose husband had just died. As Inanna makes her descent, she is forced to relinquish her crown, jewelry, robes, etc…all that she holds dear to her and the way she identifies herself. Standing naked before Eriskegal, Inanna is met with a stone-cold stare, and all life leaves her. Eventually, she is rescued and brought back to life, into the upper world.

The Rape of Persephone by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

In the first version, Inanna’s descent is consciously made. Perhaps there is something potent she is seeking in this unknown place. In the second, Inanna also willingly goes, but this time she travels into this realm out of obligation. A third and later version from Greek mythology, tells the story of Persephone, a young maiden kidnapped one day while she is walking with her mother, Demeter, through a field of flowers. Unexpectedly, the ground opens up and Persephone is kidnapped by Pluto, Lord of the Underworld.

While there may be a part of our psyche that is curious about what is hidden in our unconscious, or some compelling drive urges us to go there, what is more often the case is our protective egos would rather continue operating from a place of safety and security. This is why Persephone’s version is more closely aligned with the initiatory experience of a transiting Pluto cycle. The message is the same for all three versions and ultimately it is a story about the cycle of death, transformation and rebirth.

Pluto takes us into an unknown zone, one of chaos defined as total disorder or confusion. Whatever ego structures one has in place before a Pluto cycle begins, the intent of the initiation is to dismantle that which is standing in the way of us claiming our power more fully. The end result of the cycle is increased self-power, but the strategy operates initially through an intense loss of it, and an acute perception of what is missing. The experience causes us to fully claim what is most important to us by the painfully felt awareness of its lack, and by circumstances beyond our control. As in the law of nature, Pluto represents what is organic and impersonal. Whatever is out of balance, Pluto’s job is to restore it, regardless of the crises and destruction it may bring. The deepest core of our being will be challenged in an area of life containing our most important issues.

Pluto losses can range from physical ones to historically held onto beliefs and ideals. These cycles require a person to feel their feelings by producing dramatic experiences beyond their control. During these times, the power of positive thinking and affirmations can feel like ridiculous new-age tripe. Watching an Abraham-Hicks video whose message is to “Get Happy” can easily illicit fantasies of throwing darts at Esther. Etherial Enya and all higher chakra, angelic music is replaced by a wailing Sarah McLachlan, angry Shawn Colvin or anything tribal and lower chakra infused.

How to Consciously Participate With Pluto

One of the ways to work with a Pluto cycle is to ask the question and make a list of “what is the worst that could happen?” Whether you are in a cycle currently, or about to enter one, making this list calls out the deepest fears, acknowledging and bringing them to light. Oftentimes, what happens is something that didn’t make the list, and thus, the paradox of these transits is that it is difficult to prepare for them.

Hercules and the Hydra by Antonio Pollaiuolo

In the first phase of a cycle, powerlessness is the dominant feeling. Depression may be present. Engaging the dark force or one’s demons requires serious courage. It’s important to ask, “What do you want of me?” The beast appears to be real, and like the story of Hercules and Hydra, each time we try to cut off the creature’s head, three more grow in their place.

Although it is helpful to dialogue with this force, we cannot address Pluto cycles with our minds, there is no logical way through this passage or out of it. It doesn’t mean that we can’t call on our Witness Self to realize that we are a Self, having this deep emotional experience. It just means that the only way to “kill the monster,” is to go into the watery realms and be willing to meet her there.  Shamanic Breathwork, Process Work, and Expressive Art Therapy are excellent ways to connect with the feelings that need to be honored.

It is only in the embracing of deep feeling – whether it is excruciating pain, loss, jealousy, betrayal, abandonment, loneliness and intense fear, that the unconscious material is being met, cared for and given what it needs. Thus, the possibility for transmuting that which is still running some part of us, keeping us from further integration and wholeness, is present, and we rise again from the ashes, powerful and strong.

Shift Happens

Sometime during my cycle, I make a major shift.  I realize that I am not solely responsible for the issues on the table and that there will be changes required for both of us, if we are to stay together.  I begin asking the question, “Do I want to stay in this marriage?  What is it that I truly desire? I explore what it is I need in our relationship and what I feel needs to be done to create a balance of power and control.  I recognize what I’ve repressed and what I long to experience in a partnership.

Another major move occurs, more counseling, further questioning.  Power struggles continue.  Two months after my cycle completes, I know what I must do.  I summon the courage and power to leave.  I don’t know how I will make it on my own without him, but I’m willing to take the risk and find out.  I’m willing to see who I am, separate from him, and experience the freedom to follow my heart, wherever it leads me.

Within another six months, an agreeable dissolution of our marriage contract is reached, and the courts declare us legally divorced.  On the morning of July 4th, 2004, I find out I have “officially” birthed myself into a new life.

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

References:

“Making the Gods Work For You.” Caroline Casey, 1998.

“The Shamanic Astrology Handbook: The Archetypes and Symbols of the Signs and Planets and Their Role in Shamanic Astrology.” Daniel Giamario with Carolyn Brent, 1994.

“The Gods of Change: Pain, Crisis and the Transits of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.” Howard Sasportas, 1989.

Have you gone through a Pluto Moon Initiation?  I’d love to hear your comments about how this transit has played out for you!

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Symbol for Capricorn

Originally published July 6, 2009

Tomorrow’s Full Moon in the zodiacal sign of Capricorn at 15 degrees, exact at 2:21 a.m. PST, highlights what Shamanic Astrology calls the mystery school of that sign. Its archetypal energy investigates the rules and principles that govern the structure of the Universe, bringing spirit into matter to administer and manage it.

As the expression of the Feminine, it is connected to The Central Woman, Queen Bee, The Matriarch Herself, The Business Woman Responsibly Commanding Her Domain, The Counselor, The Elder, and The Wise One.

As the expression of the Masculine, Capricorn represents the archetype of The Elder, Prime Minister, Lawgiver, Responsible Father and Good Provider, The Practical Business Man, The Exiled Scapegoat.

In Shamanic Astrology, this tribe is a giver energy, dedicated to keeping it together for everyone else. In return, they receive great respect and get to be in some position of power to better carry out their responsibilities. Their personal joy or pleasure often comes from what they get from being loved and respected for having done the job so well.

Capricorns are oriented toward the welfare of the community and concerned with sustainability. This archetype asks the question, “Does it grow corn?” It needs to be useful. Connected with the ancestors and the circle of grandmothers, it looks to the past and the preceding seven generations to glean what has worked on this earth, the “middle world,” while at the same time, looks into the future about what is needed to further ensure the viability of the next seven. It is also connected to the resources that are needed to continue to live on this planet.

Capricorns are leaders. Focused, task oriented, and dedicated, they gain their position of authority through step by step application. They are the builders, focused on creating a solid foundation.

Working ceremonially with the Full Moon, means bringing your attention to this domain in your life. If you have a personal planet, or angle in Capricorn, there is an activation in your energy being highlighted by this Full Moon, energized further by the eclipse, making it a Super Full Moon. If you don’t have any personal planets or angles in this sign, you can still tune into the meaning of this mystery school, and look at your relationship to this energy in your life.

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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India Arie: Photo by Holly Alexander

Originally published on July 24, 2009

“Without self-love a man can do nothing. There are two qualities of self-love. One is a dirty thing. The other, an impulse, love of the real “I.”  Without this, it is impossible to move. An ancient Hindu saying—‘Happy is he who loves himself, for he can love me.’” —Gurdjieff

The transiting Sun in Leo’s got me thinking about LOVE. Thoughts take me back to my experience of India Arie at the recent Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa, and the pure pleasure I felt from her energy.  As she expressed herself joyfully across the stage that night, I saw this beautiful star as a Shining One, her essence a bright light, inviting us to claim ours.  With Venus in Leo at 29 degrees, Arie’s expression of the feminine principle is in the degree Shamanic Astrology calls “the most comprehensive expression of the Leo archetype.”

In the Shamanic Astrology paradigm, the archetype of Leo is connected with radiant, radical, self-love, the kind of deep love that comes from a place of realizing who we are and our connection with Source. The light of us. The sheer brilliant, powerful, shining energy of us as Creator. The inherent value of each one of us, simply because we exist as this Source, this beingness.

The king/queen-ship and royalty connected with this sign, contains within its essence a message of our Divine birthright. Knowing we are this magnificent power, unique in our individual expressions of pure creation, we honor ourselves AS WE ARE. The more deeply we love ourselves at this level it naturally follows, the more deeply we can love others as well.

The shadow or imbalanced side of Leo says, “I am God/dess and you’re not.” Balanced, enlightened Leo says, “I am God/dess and so are you.” Leo gives to others by first giving to themselves, embodying their radiant Source essence. Strongly individuated, Leo empowers others by giving them permission to realize and express their own beauty and light. This kind of love is not earned by living up to some type of standard. It simply IS and feels unabashed joy for the pure expression of it.

The Queen, The King, The Leading Man or Woman with Spontaneous Will, The Star of the Show. Like the Sun, enlightened Leo gives each of us permission to re-member and re-claim our inheritance as Divine beings, and the confidence to be a leading player on the stage of life.

For a snapshot of Leo, check out these lyrics:

Video by India Arie

Sometimes I shave my legs and sometimes I don’t
Sometimes I comb my hair and sometimes I won’t
Depend on how the wind blows I might even paint my toes
It really just depends on whatever feels good in my soul

I’m not the average girl from your video
and I ain’t built like a supermodel
But, I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen

I’m not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what I’m wearing I will always be
India Arie

When I look in the mirror and the only one there is me
Every freckle on my face is where it’s supposed to be
And I know our creator didn’t make no mistakes on me
My feet, my thighs, my lips, my eyes; I’m lovin’ what I see

Am I less of a lady if I don’t wear pantyhose?
My mama said a lady ain’t what she wears but, what she knows
But I’ve drawn a conclusion, it’s all an illusion,
confusion’s the name of the game

A misconception, a vast deception
Something’s gotta change
but don’t be offended this is all my opinion
ain’t nothing that I’m sayin’ law

This is a true confession of a life learned lesson
I was sent here to share with y’all
So get in where you fit in go on and shine
Clear your mind, now’s the time

Put your salt on the shelf
Go on and love yourself
‘Cuz everything’s gonna be all right

Keep your fancy drinks and your expensive minks
I don’t need that to have a good time
Keep your expensive car and your caviar
All I need is my guitar

Keep your Kristal and your pistol
I’d rather have a pretty piece of crystal
Don’t need your silicone I prefer my own
What God gave me is just fine

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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