Hostage to emotion

My natal Moon in Capricorn wants to rant.

Every now and then I get sick of being told how closed off to emotion I am, and I accuse all those astrology textbooks describing people with Cap Moons as cold, brittle, harsh, and ambitious as being part of the conspiracy!

Speaking for my own Cap Moon, it frequently feels under siege by more feeling types who privilege the immediacy of their intuition and sensory knowledge over those of us who take longer to get there. It has become politically incorrect to make quick judgements about people who are slow with reading and writing; but it seems perfectly acceptable still to consider people slower to access their emotions as having none.

I’m sick of it.

Just because I don’t always express my emotions clearly doesn’t mean I don’t have them. It doesn’t mean anyone has the right to hurt me by insinuating I’m incomplete, damaged, or worst of all, dishonest. Sometimes it takes me two days before I even realise I’ve been hurt, and then they think I’m crazy for bringing it up two days after the event. I’m sick of it!

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Do what you’re doing when you’re doing it

Large scale natural (and man-made) disasters, like the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, often drive people to come up with ‘explanations’ for why these events happen. Like the response to the tsunami disaster that struck the countries in the Indian Ocean in 2004, I’ve come across a few claims that the ’cause’ of the suffering in Japan today is the ‘result’ of a collective national karma for its past. Depending on which you read, accounts range from their misdeeds during WWII, to their failure to take care of the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki! All of which I personally find pretty outrageous, and the reason why I’m not linking to them — in the age of the Internet, they’re easy enough to find if you’re inclined to look.

I don’t claim to know whether or not it is a collective karma at work. It may well be so, I can’t say. What I’m more intrigued by is the audacity of any one person to claim to know such a thing. I don’t feel particularly well versed in any of the theologies that support the concept of karma, but from my own fledgling and intermittent Buddhist studies, I’ve picked up a sense that the notion of karma, at least in the Buddhist tradition, is far more complex, layered and ineffable to be so crudely applied.

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Energy vampires

I once blogged about ‘emotional vampires’, but have recently come across the term, ‘energy vampire’, which is a different variation. They are sometimes also known as ‘psychic vampires’. Energy vamps as the term suggests siphon your energy.

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

The fiasco at work I blogged about exhausted me so much I took half the day off and stayed in bed past noon. Then I received an email from one of my bosses who made the mess with the report which I had to fix, saying that she is glad we ‘care so much’ and is now ‘reinvigorated’, without admitting a single fault.

As I read it, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and signalled: ENERGY VAMPIRE! I should have picked it up earlier. She drains everyone around her, and then gets the energy to carry on screwing up so she can drain us some more!

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Healing Pluto problems: Obsidian order, Walnut way

If you are currently experiencing the Pluto station at a sensitive point on your chart — it is currently square my natal Pluto, and opposite my natal Venus — it’s likely you’re feeling just a bit taut, like waiting for a shoe to fall, but not knowing if it’s going to be made of soft leather or hard concrete.

Detail of Pluto and Proserpina (1621-22)

Detail of Pluto and Proserpina (It's stone!)

Pluto issues are deep and transformative (cellular, as I once put it) and healing them requires a genuine and concerted effort at looking inwards, and the courage to square with yourself, your desires and your fears, warts and all. Plutonians who choose to look away often end up projecting their shadow sides onto others, hurting themselves and loved ones in the process. I know a Plutonian (still) undergoing a tough Pluto transit who once asked me what the point of therapy was. He said, ‘What’s wrong with just getting on with life? Won’t therapy just raise things that are better hidden?’ My answer was: ‘Sure, you can just do that and time will pass and you will get older and die. But who do you hurt in the meantime? Do you want to live life awake or asleep?’ My questions were not meant to be rhetorical but he never answered them. As far as I can tell, he’s still sleepwalking.

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I/Thou/We/They

The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness
— Annie Savoy (played by Susan Sarandon), Bull Durham (Ron Shelton, 1988)

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On the verge of … verging

The title of this post came from a comment by my astro-blogging friend, Neeti Ray. I was trying to describe the weird sense of limbo I’m feeling that I can’t shake, like being on the verge of something that hasn’t yet manifested, and she wrote: ‘On, the verge of, verging’. Perfect! My original title was going to be ‘How to be in two places at once’.

As Venus opposes Pluto this weekend, continuing to put pressure on my own natal Venus-Pluto square, my thoughts turn to how one might process, or, indeed, metabolise, pain. With her customary bluntness, Lucy describes Venus’ recent ingress into Cancer as being akin to putting a ‘Band Aid on a gunshot wound’. It made me think again about the nature of Plutonian pain. And then there is what Elizabeth Spring describes as the ‘core pain’ of Neptune (no doubt accentuated by its conjunction to Chiron). If Plutonian pain is like a gunshot wound, I’d say Neptunian pain is like a bruising — you don’t notice it at first, until you accidentally press on it, or bump into the furniture again!

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Melancholy baby

swords09 I have been weepy all week.

There. I’ve come out and said it. Ordinarily, I’d wait to process the pain before confessing to it, my Capricorn moon preferring to hide in the basement until it passes, but I have been bolstered by the courage of those like the inimitable Lucy Looking Upward to bear their souls and share mine.

Put it down to the yod in my chart, the Hades Moon, the current Pluto transits, or the once-in-a-lifetime Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron conjunction (personally, I prefer Lucy’s more colourful ‘Clusterfuck of Doom’), it doesn’t really matter. In reality, it’s probably all the above exerting tremendous pressure on my 7th house Venus in Cancer.

We are reminded constantly of the message behind this rare triple conjunction: wounding, awareness, healing, and so on. Personally, I wouldn’t mind the occasional dose of Neptunian anaesthesia from time to time. I know I’m supposed to take lessons from it, I know I am being asked to re-assess what I value, I just wish it didn’t have to feel like a botched bikini wax, metaphorically speaking.

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‘Active laziness’

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying (1992) is an interpretation for the modern world by Sogyal Rinpoche a collection of texts commonly known as the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Sogyal Rinpoche interprets some of the ideas from the ancient texts for the modern world, and argues that the lack of respect for death in the modern world prevents us from living life to its fullest potential. This is not, however, license for hedonism, to do what you like, ‘cos we’re all dying anyway’. It is, in fact, a call for more responsible living, rather than less. Death is a fact of life, and death is encountered in every facet of life, not just the physical — we may experience the death of an idea, the death of a relationship, a feeling, a way of life, and so on. In other words, death speaks to impermanence. The death of our physical bodies is just one aspect of that process.

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‘Peace is this moment without judgement’

Broken Mirror As the Moon conjuncts Pluto in Capricorn and buried emotions rise to the surface, I was originally intending to blog about a heartbreaking experience that happened to me recently. My natal moon is in Capricorn (trine Pluto = Hades Moon!) and Eric Francis writes about how Capricorn moons often have their hearts shattered; well, I feel like it’s still holding together — sort of like seeing cracks in the glass but the shape is visibly intact. At the tipping point, I can shatter or I can reconfigure the shards, and right now, I choose the latter.

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Dignity and destiny

I did sign up for a gestalt course after all, and the experience was really interesting and illuminating. What draws me to it is the emphasis on self-responsibility and awareness. The encounter itself is difficult to put into words, and true to the gestalt philosophy, must be experienced.

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Bearing someone else’s karma

I read this excerpt from a selection of talks, called The Transformed Mind: Reflections on Truth, Love and Happiness, given by HH the 14th Dalai Lama.

Is it possible to bear somebody else’s karma for them?

Generally speaking, according to Buddhist teaching, you will not encounter the results of an action that you have not committed, and once you have committed the action, the result will never get lost, and you have to experience it. Here I think it’s quite important to make a distinction. When you suffer, you not only feel pain or discomfort at that moment, but also a kind of helplessness and discouragement. You are completely enshrouded in that suffering and there is a kind of darkness.

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Recycling toxicity

I wondered a little while ago about getting upset with people who choose to live emotional toxic waste dumps. Last night, my unconscious must’ve been trying to tell me something because the word ‘tonglen‘ popped up in my dream. I know very little about Tibetan Buddhism but I do know a little bit about tonglen, having once made the acquaintance of a woman who was trying to put it in practice.

The core of tonglen practice, as described here, is by ‘breathing in other’s pain so they can be well and have more space to relax and open, and breathing out, sending them relaxation or whatever you feel would bring them relief and happiness’, literally using your lungs and heart and body in compassion to purify the negative energy and convert it to joy and happiness.

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