The beginning and end of all things
13 May 2007 2 Comments
I’ve been on another anime kick, and spent the weekend watching Escaflowne. In it, there is a lesson the hero learns — calm the rage in your heart and the dragon won’t attack. Amazing how many life lessons can be learned from cartoons. That, I am learning, is a key lesson in Zen. The dragon, of course, is an easy metaphor for all that we fear, and all that we rage against because we fear.
But calm the rage in your heart, and the dragon won’t attack. In other words, the lesson is not about repressing your fear but mitigating its effects. The fear is still there, and the dragon is still there, but its effects, the rage, can be dissipated.
I’m making a leaping association with this metaphor to recent events at home. And by home, I don’t mean the one I live in by myself, but the one my family still lives in elsewhere. Conflict has erupted in the way it always does in my family — primarily by someone’s rage because of their fears; and because we never learn to articulate our fears, we rage away all the time. It took me several years of being away from home to see it clearly — their rage and mine.
Don’t get me wrong. I love them deeply. But what I am able to see now is my own distance from it. It used to be that I seemed to (try anyway and) absorb all their pain, thinking I could mitigate their conflict, even when I moved 8,000 miles away. Now I think I can leave them to it. I’ll listen but I won’t be coerced into taking sides; won’t let it be played out in my head through my own guilt.
It’s time I tried to engage the Chiron in my fourth house, rather than let the drama enfold through it. Chiron in mythical and astrological terms is the ‘Wounded Healer’. Eric Francis explains it more here, and interestingly he picked Chiron in the Fourth House as his example. The fourth house deals, in his words, ‘with security, safety, the parents, often particularly the father, the environment, the early surroundings and what kind of emotional effect they have on the person.’ And a child with Chiron in the fourth is likely to have the following issues:
Now, the 4th house is a sensitive place. Children, and all people, with this placement feel their environments poignantly. Much that supports or hurts them is likely to be right in their immediate environment. …
… Let’s use the fictitious example of the 4th house Chiron child. Let’s say the father is not around, or has a struggle that makes him unavailable. Let’s say the child has an issue feeling safe. And let’s say he gets a rash on his arms. It’s a real gift when astrology points to the connections we might miss: for example, the missing father and the feeling of not being safe. So, we have a clue, something to be aware of. If you catch the child in a moment of feeling not so safe, you can ask: “Do you miss dad?”
With this child, it would be a very good idea to keep an eye on surrogate father figures. They are as likely to present opportunities for repeat injuries as they are to present opportunities for healing. It would probably be a very good idea for the mother or caregiver to make sure there are some older men in the child’s life who are NOT transient (i.e., lovers). The need some lasting stable relationship with a man who understands how to create a safe space for a child.
That child is — was — me. Only I tried to make up for it by parenting myself and my whole family. All my life I have had issues with surrogate father figures — played out with various supervisor/s, bosses, lovers. Only they were all impotent, passive people, all similarly wrapped up in their own insecurities and fears. In many ways totally opposite to me. I have my anxieties, but I try to leap out of it; I fear the unknown but I will brazen it out. The ones I seek out to support me withdraw it because they need to conserve what’s left for themselves.
I’m not laying blame, just coming to understanding. If we attract people and events to us by our attitudes, behaviour and karmic energies, then it is time for me to change mine. The fourth house in astrology is also said, in this article, ‘to indicate the beginning and end of all things, representing early childhood experiences that give rise to an unconscious emotional experience of life, the vulnerability of old age, the process of death, and funerals’.
The beginning and end of all things. The collapse of linear time. ‘Home’ is who we are, where we are, at this moment in time. It is what, I think, will allow me to look the dragon in the eye and someday bid it farewell.