By Amanda Moreno
I never thought I’d say this, but I think I need a break from Scorpio.
Our dear friend Saturn, the lord of time and karma, has been moving slowly through my fourth house during his residency in Scorpio, dredging up fears and insecurities that seem to be resulting in some incredible determination, will, self-discipline, total confusion and complete exhaustion.
I’m also experiencing the euphoria that comes with facing my fears, and then finding all kinds of light and spaciousness on the other side.
The topic of this column is meant to be “spirituality,” and I dare say that from the perspective of someone whose spirituality is largely informed by astrology, the topic of conscious transits is absolutely relevant. I find myself in this weird place, however, because as Saturn dredges through my fourth house, issues of my family of origin have come to the forefront.
I’ve largely strayed from the topic because in so many ways it seems like the story of my family of origin has become surreal and nightmarish, turning into something I can’t quite grasp, let alone speak about to a largely anonymous audience. I’m fine sharing my personal travails about other fourth-house themes, but exposing my family feels unethical, especially with some of them reading. In addition, it seems like a dramatic heaviness takes over any time I start to talk about family.
When I think back on my life, I tend to focus on all the incredible, serendipitous and fortunate events. Every once in a while, however, I get a whiff of what feels like my own personal PTSD experience. Sudden death of the father and all kinds of drama and uncertainty surrounding his death, sudden changes in life due to unexpected injuries, a brother who committed suicide, and other traumatic events I’m just not comfortable putting into print.
I feel like I was fortunate to have a spiritual upbringing, even if it was predominantly Christian, because it gave me a sense of the importance of meaning and community. I was raised Catholic — well, at least until my dad died when I was six. After that, my mom tried taking me to a Methodist church. I promptly informed her that they were “doing it wrong,” leading her to decide that I wouldn’t be going back to a Catholic church again. Lucky for her, around the age of 10 I befriended some fundamentalist Christians who filled me in on the reality of the apocalypse and the massacres to come, alongside some really great Sunday morning sing-a-longs.
My mom’s family was always just regular old non-practicing ‘Christian’. In my teenage years, my mom veered off into the New Age movement, and I remember her telling me that the most important thing was to remember to be kind to people, and to explore religion as much as I could to figure out what made sense to me. Bless her for that.
It wasn’t until I was 25, at my brother’s funeral, that the Christianity card got played by my extended family. My brother, who had been living with schizophrenia for five years, had been working with a Buddhist nun, and so my mom and I felt it would be appropriate to have a Buddhist monk at his funeral. We were blessed with the opportunity to have two, one of whom actually led a ritual.
My grandparents pitched a fit, screaming that we were a Christian family with Christian values and blah blah blah… and I’ll never forget sitting next to my grandfather during the service as a Buddhist monk recited prayers, with my grandfather muttering under his breath all kinds of obscenities.
Buddhist explanations of the karmic effects of suicide were complex and realistic and comforting, however, and the rituals affirmed that complexity and helped my soul to feel lighter despite my grandparents’ disapproval. The rituals also helped me to feel like something was being done to help my brother’s soul transition. What I learned during this period of my life propelled me into the current phase, imprinting a basic understanding of the importance of living life to the fullest alongside a worldview that embraces love and connection.
Now, almost 9 years later, I’ve watched as a large portion of my family of origin has been decimated by physical, mental and emotional illness. My urge to separate from my ancestral lineage is huge, and I have to wonder sometimes about whether that’s because I’m avoiding or because that’s what I’m ‘supposed’ to do. I can look at my chart for some help here (Uranus in Scorpio in the fourth house), but paradoxes abound.
I’ve had revelations recently about wanting to keep my energetic field clear. Much of this has to do with a reoccurring bout of coming into contact with ancestors in my field who are not helping me. Not to say they are malicious, but they are definitely not serving my highest good. I’ve encountered them as “spirit attachments,” as cords, as daggers and spears, as muscle pain, as black smoke, and so on. I’ve come into contact with these energies on my own at times, but they’ve also been brought up by healers, and guides in regression work. It always seems to focus around the same area of my body.
These ancestral lingerers made their presence known again today in a session with an incredible, loving soul doing bodywork on me. I felt that one specific area of my body flare up, and waited to see whether he’d go there, and he did. And as he started to recount in his own super-sensitive and compassionate way his sense of these beings hanging out there, I knew I’d had enough. Almost my entire being said, “I’m done with this. I don’t want this anymore.”
But then there it was — a mental awareness of some sense of guilt that I don’t consciously understand. A sense of sticking with the ghosts, or the patterns, or the thought forms, or the family, because of some feeling of duty that I can’t quite comprehend. Maybe it’s the Catholic guilt. My guess is that it goes back much farther than that.
Perhaps it’s just fear of what happens if I truly let go. The question that’s up for review at the moment, in truly Saturnine fashion, seems to be: what am I responsible for? This brings to mind the questions I’ve seen on Planet Waves in the past few days — what do I value at the deepest levels of my being? Hopefully examining these questions can help us all to navigate authentically the intensity of the times.