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.
Amanda, I am personally honored that you shared this. There are just so, so many parallels to our paths, among them a total nightmare aunt/uncle/cousin/relative meltdown during my own father’s funeral service when I was 18. Insults and jabs were hurled across the room… if they had been shoes or rocks bloody injury would have ensued.
Also of great similarity, I had to completely severe the relationship with my toxic Christian mother for a powerful period of time to allow my own solid strength to grow and develop.
With the clearing work you describe and this piece alone, great change is apparent from where I sit. That’s the feeling in my bones right now as I type this, anyway. <3 Rob
A powerful piece, Ms. Moreno, and meaningful for myself as well. It seems as though you have found a vein through which a substantial amount of experience (resonant with yours) flows. Thank you for exploring it so gently.
As for your opening sentence, it caused me to recall the words of the late, great astrologer Rachelle (“Rockie”) Gardiner, who averred that “patience is the key to heaven.” By which she meant that we cannot make the Sun, Moon or planets move any faster (and that learning to move with them can unlock a great deal regarding our individual and collective connection with the heavens). May you be so blessed.
Yes – a very powerful piece, dear Amanda. I too have grown up with much unhappiness, including two attempted suicides in my family (two siblings ) – and have always been a psychic sponge – though I have never experienced the ‘invasion’ that you have, which must be so very tough. I also have to deal with an underlying, pervasive sense of guilt, that can rock me to the core of my soul at times. As always, i think these negative, unhappy energies. spirits, etc can be transformed by love – it’s the fear that keeps them tight and unmoving. There’s a lovely story of how the Buddha introduced the metta bhavana (loving kindness meditation) to his monks when they had to meditate in a forest full of evil soirits and they were afraid. The meditation transformed these spirits into loving, helpful ones. (((())))
Amanda if you can find Alysia Tromblay she is a very fine healer* (ancestral lines etc – that humming bird flexiblity, fire and speed) or http://www.sacredhealers.co.uk/
With your feelings of sticking with it it may be that these are elements that need to be met with Virtue (“Integrity,” “Self-confident,” “No compromizes.” ). And then weave in your transformed ancestral legacy.
Perhaps HH the Dalai Lama is the great physician of souls? I went to India to see if I could catch a glimpse of him, to see if I could if he was really the embodiment of mercy and compassion (a story of the friend of a friend that was just incredible ‘coincidence': his desire to meet the Dalai Lama and the DL’s car broke down outside the gate and they came to ask him for help). I went to a puja the Indians were holding for him. Coming out of the airport style security there were two nuns (buddhist) ahead of me, and suddenly all three of us bent from waist to ankle, completely involuntarily on my part at least, and when we stood up HH had just come into view 30m away.
A couple of years after that I dreamed I met HH the Dalai Lama in a river of light and leaves with my husband, and the next night I dreamed I was walking through the wood (that wood like the Immanent Grove that is everywhere and anywhere and goes on infinitely) and everywhere the path diverged and I didn’t know my way I always found a leaf from the river of leaves and light to indicate the path. (“Integrity,” “Self-confident,” “No compromizes.” fits this). Not a short term project. Consistently in day to day life over 10 years. I didn’t really think about the dreams, tho I followed the ‘leaves’ day to day (gradually the effect was like sugar crytallising out until there were just crystals, or a full covering over what had been open before.
And then I had more manuka seed than I needed so I sent some to a nursery that I buy seed from and some to the office of the Dalai Lama in case it might be useful to tibetan medicine and if not it didn’t matter. I didn’t put my address and just signed Pam, but that night I dreamed HH said to me it was time to look at my wound. I was bandaged from breast bone to pubic bone and daren’t take off the bandages. If the wound was still there I knew I was finished. Finally he removed the bandages. The skin was sloughing off like under a plaster cast, and there were grubs eating the dead skin. But the skin was whole, not even any scarring.
He said: ‘All that needs now is air.’
I just found this http://www.ithaca.edu/icview/stories/finding-the-right-brain:-alysia-tromblay-83-5087/#.VGmo6_mG_fI
I believe things turn on a pin – sometimes it takes a while to find the pin that’s all!
Wishing you all the best Amanda
just in case!
Amanda- thank you as always for going deep in your sharing and your exploration of the spiritual. What I wish to share is the acknowledgement that we do carry ancestral energies in this life, and that part of our work is to liberate that energy in the manner most appropriate for us, so that we can live our lives unburdened from the past. And so that our ancestors can finally rest in peace. I wish you the ease of swift and gentle resolution.
Amanda, I truly appreciate your sharing going deep and wide with candor. I understand and resonate.
“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.”
Yes. Where I have been awhile. I have walked the line as to what I can say and not say publicly and in my writings all the while a struggle within and realms.
Blessings to you, Amanda.
like pam and chief niwot, i’ve also done work to release stuck “stuff” going back into my ancestral lines, though with elisa novick, who used to write for planet waves. it’s a fascinating process, though it does seem (often) to entail a bit of a “showdown” with guilt and that sense of “duty” it engenders.
i think that’s one reason it can be so important/helpful, even necessary, to work *with* someone on the ancestral stuff: even when we can see the patterns, can see that something is not really ours to carry or be tethered by, the emotional kick-back of the guilt can be incredibly powerful in keeping us tethered. having a support/human guide/healer/way-shower/loving mirror can offer the objectivity that the guilt backlash keeps us from stepping into — they can offer some validation that we are not “hurting” our ancestors by giving them their “stuff” back and deciding to deal only with our own karma.
and then of course some of us (like me) need a helping hand in getting (re)acquainted with spirit, with what it feels like to rise up a little and allow the healing energies of source to do their work. i have found that, for me, it is one thing to recognize patterns at the mental level, but another thing entirely to release the energy or the karma.
Amanda, I read this by Phillip Sedgwick recently (about Orius but I loved it)
According to the Taurus component of Orius, one’s body instincts offer valid interpretation for real life in present time. There’s nothing like a set of chill bumps to offer a reality check. The Libra part of Orius, largely conceptual within its air sign nature, might be inclined to ponder reality from a data point of view – as in do the facts line up – in contrast to more abstract or conceptual data free zones. Can one integrate clarity of mind and spirit within the agenda to remain totally responsive to one’s sense nature? It would seem Orius seeks to drive a person’s spirit back into the body where instinct and sense merge to build life experiences that feed one’s greatest yearnings. Urges Orius, end the vertigo caused by forcing square mental pegs into round reaction to real world holes. Recreate solidity on both feet by restoring the ultimate balance – the balance of soul within flesh.
And mind body stuff perhaps finding a third thing to show you the way. For me it has been piano – you keep trying without stress until your fingers can do it, or your ears can hear it, or your body feels it!
I bet you can dance?! (perhaps you can dance yourself into your body). I have two left feet and am slowly slowly bit by bit feeling the dance through the piano – it is a question of degree of course. I walk. I can walk myself into my body But dancing would be another ‘step’!
PhilS: ‘According’ to ‘flesh’
…”I never thought I’d say this, but I think I need a break from Scorpio. “… SYNC
Amanda, I have a stellium in Scorpio including the sun. This Saturn transit in Scorpio is in my 12th house conjunct my natal moon. I have had some similar themes..issues relating to my mum.
I could never have made the necessary changes in my life where it not for Saturn’s container. I can wax lyrical all day long about the help I have received from Saturn.
My insight is you honour these family member who have passed for their personal struggles and ability to adapt; survive. However, the umbilical cord that ties us to ancestors needs to be cut. We are born unique and fully possessed with whatever we need to create in our life. The only person you will ultimately let down if you don’t fully live out your uniqueness is yourself. Another ghost to be passed down to another generation. Leave nothing behind.
I’ve been trying to find enough moments to write up a response that can do justice to just how grateful I am for each of your comments, but alas – it’s the end of a long day, and I need some screen-less time before the next one starts. So – infinite thanks to all of you for reading and commenting and offering and supporting. Pam, thank you for sharing your beautiful dreams. Yes to all of the comments about sending love through the line. Compassion is so key. And Kelly, yes, I do make jokes about Saturn being big and bad all the time but in all actuality, it’s an incredible archetype that I respect and honor greatly. Venting just feels good sometimes.
Amanda, the sacred healers work to ease discontented spirits (to let go of this realm) – your being ‘inhabited’ might be simply that?
From time to time I have ‘decided’ things like if I can’t do or be xyz then I won’t do or be anything. And then when I stopped sulking had to undo the inertia/decide again (something more active). There might be something of that in your family line that if you can identify it you could just decide definitively: something live/ongoing
Amanda, I can’t get away from Scorpio and Saturn, no matter where the sun is, cause they are both on my ascendant.Like you, I am looking forward to Sagittarius reigning for a while, if for no other reason than enjoying the contrast. That’s as naked as I am going to get right now.
Bless you on your journey shared so eloquently.
Amanda, thank you for sharing your story. I can remember the day my maternal grandmother sat me down and told me, with great sadness, that I come from a long line of family with mental health and physical problems! And she was right…I had visited my cousins in mental institutions and watched her, my mother and countless relatives die from diseases and suffer from poor health and depresssion. For years, the seed having been planted, I worried when it would be my turn. However, when I finally found myself firmly on my spirit path I realized that I was being called upon to break the pattern in this lineage…and to let it stop with me. This is my warrior task assignment…learning to pull out the seeds of programming and fear-based beliefs before they take root and grow. It takes great strength to make that a conscious choice evereyday…and to clear and banish all energies, carnate or disencarate that try to interfere with this new direction. It is a matter of holding onto one’s power and not giving it away to anyone or anything. We are all so much more powerful than we realize!