By Amanda Moreno
It’s been one of those weeks when clients are echoing very similar sentiments over and over again. One overarching theme that keeps appearing, regardless of how differently each session begins, is that of self-forgiveness.
It’s so easy to talk about the idea that forgiveness of ourselves is a primary step in moving forward in life.
We can receive the forgiveness of others over and over again (or extend it to them), but it is the forgiveness of self that allows us to move through guilt and shame, two of the most complex and seemingly impenetrable emotions.
But how is self-forgiveness accomplished? What the heck does it look like in action?
I often talk about going into our own suffering, about reaching out for those parts of ourselves that have done the wrong thing or that are stuck at a younger age, having internalized the criticisms and painful conditioning of parents or society. Maybe that takes place through imagining conversations or actions, or maybe it’s through psychodrama or letter writing or something else. Being with ourselves through our suffering, holding space, and loving the heck out of ourselves through the good and the bad seems to have a place here. It’s a journey of feeling, blessing and releasing the parts of ourselves we might rather ignore.
By going into our own suffering and loving ourselves through it we are able to experience the redemptive qualities of unconditional love that are best known by extending unconditional love to another. It seems in so many ways to be easier to create a container of unconditional love for our children or lovers — why is it so difficult to do the same for ourselves?
By aiming that love within, to the person we are the most intimate with, we develop compassion for ourselves that can then be extended out to others at even deeper and more universal levels.
As Saturn’s tour through Scorpio draws to a close, it seems that for many people the passage between the Plutonian underworld and our emotional bodies is having contractions at an increasing rate, urging us to participate in what is being birthed. We’re beginning to take responsibility for whatever it is still lurking in the shadows of our psyches.
Venus’ retrograde through Leo seems to be conspiring to ask: now that our emotional bodies have been restructured, what do we value? How are we creatively self-actualizing? What emotions have been or are being distorted? In what areas do we need to work on unconditional self-love — or forgiveness?
I decided to look up the Sabian Symbol for 29 Scorpio, where Saturn has been sitting for some time now. (The Sabian Symbols are a system images applied to each sign of the zodiac; Dane Rhudyar’s version is the most well known.) It reads:
Phase 240 (Scorpio 29): An Indian squaw pleading to the chief for the lives of her children.
Keynote: Love as a principle of redemption.
Here the soul is presented as a mother whose sons (i.e. her active energies) have become disruptive forces in the collective life of the tribe. She seeks to counteract the karma of their misdeeds through her love and implorations. The soul is responsive to the experience of unity (the spiritual king or chief) but the energies of human nature often follow their self-seeking, divisive tendencies.)
I thought that was a nice little bookend to several days spent with a focus on pondering the symbolism of the skies, charting Saturn’s slow movement through that degree where it stationed and is therefore spending an abnormally long time. Once again, a lovely synchronicity to see the endpoint of so many client hours embodied within a relevant Sabian Symbol.
So perhaps regardless of whether you are feeling challenged, exhausted, anxious, elated or maybe even just fine, you might find some time to send some loving-kindness energy towards the parts of you that have been disruptive forces within that inner tribe we call the psyche. Give yourself a break for a minute or five. It would appear as if the heavens have your back, and the constructive energy of Saturn is emphasizing the profoundly healing redemptive qualities of love.