Sunday, August 6, 2017

Taking a Searching Moral Inventory...It's Not Just For Dope Addicts.


I have figured out why Liz Greene’s horoscopes are the best thing going: because she’s also a psychologist.

Saturn reflects struggling to build an ego and protect oneself. I have discovered that I have Saturn squaring just about fucking EVERYTHING in my chart: Sun, Moon, Mars, and Mercury. A square is considered a “hard” aspect and requires real work to overcome a difficulty, with good results if you do. The only inner planet I missed was Saturn square Venus, and you DEFINITELY don’t want THAT in your chart. Saturn is also the tip of my yod with Uranus (reaching for the freedom to be oneself) and Neptune (creativity, dreams, and delusion). Even my rising sign got stuck with Saturn (denoting the desire to develop a talent and climb the ladder of success all on my own, and being worried about how I am perceived by other people, that I’m aloof and don’t warm up to people very well; at least this one is a trine and not a square.) Really, I only have four things in my chart that escaped Saturn: Pluto (planet of transformation, death, and rebirth), Jupiter (planet of abundance and good luck, also of overreaching oneself), Chiron (symbol of childhood wounding), and the Moon’s North Node (symbol of where you’re going in life.)

WTF? So, on a trip to our local New Age book shop last weekend with my Sunday writer’s group, I noticed a book by Liz Greene on nothing but Saturn. Of course I bought that sucker.

Astrologers can write whole chapters about ancient myths and why a planet symbolizes what, but, in short, Saturn:

--Indicates an area of the personality where the person remains infantile or childlike/ish because they didn’t get what they needed in childhood for that area to develop into mature adult understandings, attitudes, and behavior. It’s necessary for the person to grow up in these areas. (So, basically, as we’ll see, my entire personality is infantile and childish.)

--When studied in depth, Saturn offers a detailed picture of what you don’t want to see about yourself.

--Saturn is a measuring stick of the individual’s power of self-determination; it denotes that which can become a permanent part of your conscious self through self-motivated effort. You’re closed off from things you want or need in life until you get a specific task done. You’re supposed to become a good parent to yourself first, then you can help other people.

--Usually in a relationship where Saturn in one person’s chart forms an important angle with something else in the other person’s chart, this kind of thing is going on. The Saturn person has some area of life where they feel incompetent and where they didn’t grow up, something they don’t think they can do in their life. Instead of trying to build this competency in themselves, they’re trying to marry it and get that person to do it for them instead, so they don’t have to risk and try and struggle to build it in themselves, and they are doing it at this person’s expense. The other person gets castrated or truncated, because the Saturn partner is insisting they do something Saturn can’t seem to figure out how to do for themselves. The relationship ends up stale because of frustration and anger building up as this is carried out over time, and the Saturn person doesn’t gain anything, because they just steamrolled their own partner—whom Saturn “loved” because they were going to do this thing for Saturn. But all Saturn did was break the other person and not let that person be himself. “Yet if we pursue the line of thought that Saturn is the great gateway to freedom, the presence of Saturnian contacts in a relationship can be an indication that much growth and self-knowledge can be gained if both people make the commitment to be honest with themselves and with each other.”

What Liz Greene writes about relationships is that “we do not generally form them for the purpose of being happy; we form them to express something incomplete, and they are therefore a process of growth rather than an end in themselves. In this is implicit the idea that no relationship which does stimulate growth can exist without some pain and limitation although we tend through ignorance of ourselves to exaggerate the pain and minimize the growth. There is ordinarily so much unconscious projection occurring in most relationships, and so little objective perception of the real nature of the individual opposite us, that any effort to bring the relationship out of the unconscious level and into a conscious act of union inevitably brings pain with it—the pain of confronting oneself.”

Well, I’m not afraid of confronting myself, or of being honest—BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE DO NOT—so let’s see…

Saturn squaring the Sun (my sense of who I am), the Moon (feelings, what I need to feel happy, the atmosphere of early home life and the relationship with the female parent, instinctive habit patterns), Mars (self-assertion and any aggressive impulses), and Mercury (knowledge and communication)…Gee, I guess I didn’t grow up at ALL. (Looking at Mom’s chart, she has Venus square Saturn, which is famous in astrology for indicating serious personality problems, and also Pluto Square Saturn; these two aspects describe a lot of BPD behavior, which I am convinced from years of reading and study that my mother has. So, yeah, there ARE a lot of aspects of my personality that need to grow up.) Add that to the fact that Saturn is the long end of my Big Yod, and I have QUITE a lot of growing up to do, which explains what Chi and I were doing together; he never grew up either. Basically, our Davison is saying, “This is the highest potential of your relationship,” and our transits and progressions are saying, “And this is what will happen to the two of you if you don’t GROW THE FUCK UP.” 

The astrologer Alice Portman read my chart and told me this big yod with Saturn at the long end (I actually have three yods in my chart) creates a feeling of “What’s the use?” in my life.

And, boy, has it. Let’s take a look:

Saturn Square Sun: (P.S., Saturn always seems to tell you a lot about your parents.) “Sun-Saturn contacts seem to be the mark of the individual who has the opportunity to shape an integrated and finely edged tool out of his personality components and to put this tool to work as a servant of the perfected will.” Let’s hope so, because, fuck, man… We figure out at a young age that we have to work for everything we value. We feel we have to guard ourselves against life. We never had the chance to be a child, so we “never learned that naïve trust in life’s bounty which permits relaxation of effort.” We’re either very successful or we’re failures. We’re either intensely ambitious or we have no ambitions because we’re afraid of the pain of not making them come true. We’re offered the opportunity to become masters of our fates. If we don’t take the opportunity we become very sad people. Usually our fathers were not there for us in some important way (mine died when I was twelve, and was emotionally absent before that, trying to escape my BPD mother.) We have problems with initiative and creative endeavor and have to develop these all on our own because we didn’t have strong parents, especially dad, to encourage us. If your Sun aspects Saturn in your birth chart, it denotes that you didn’t have much help in discovering your own identity. I can certainly say that that’s true of myself. I became what my family wanted me to be. I didn’t even know what would make me happy to be, and even now that I do know, I have an awfully hard time drawing it out of myself, and I believe that even if I finished a novel and offered it to the world, it’s highly unlikely it would be successful and I don’t want to be crushed by it. 

Which is stupid. Why do you have to define yourself by how well your novel does? Only about one percent of books sell more than five thousand copies anyway, and I know all the others aren’t trash, because I’ve read them around the table in writer’s groups for more than twenty years. Why have this kind of feeling about it? Just because you aren’t J.K. Rowling doesn’t mean you’re stupid or worthless. But, that’s me.

Sun square Moon: Denotes a person who wasn’t able to express themselves emotionally in childhood, who had to control their feelings all the time as a child, and whose mother was a disappointment or who let the child down in some way. No kidding; I really couldn’t express myself in childhood because my BPD mother needed validation and insisted I be just like her. I had to be her instead of me. Denotes a person who is brooding, lonely, aloof, and isolated. The person is lonely and needy because they never had an emotionally loving family, even though it looked like it from the outside. The child experienced a lot of harshness and duty and rules, and not a lot of warmth and love. The person has to become strong through isolation because they don’t have any happy memories from childhood and can’t depend on others to provide an emotional family nest they can bury themselves in and not grow (which is just what I do when I have supportive people; nest there and not work on what I want to do). A woman who has this often had a bad relationship with mom that made her feel rejected, isolated, and not good enough, and doesn’t want to express herself emotionally because of the fear of being rejected and humiliated. 

Yeah. Sounds like me.

Sun square Mercury: Denotes that the person often appears stupid out of fear and inhibition. Mercury represents the communication of the birth chart’s potential to the environment and the instrument of assimilating data from the environment. And Saturn is the planet of frustration, difficulty, and delay, so…! If you have a Mercury-Saturn aspect, you got cut off from data from your environment to help you shape your ideas and orientation, and you have to do it all on your own. Specifically, your parents treated you like you couldn’t think for yourself because you were a child, and stifled you if you had any thought or idea that conflicted with theirs. You end up sure you’re stupid, and you work so slowly, because you’re so scared of making mistakes, that you really do look stupid. Then people make fun of you because you look stupid, and you feel and look yet more stupid. This truly was the story of my entire working life, right up until Simon got really sick with brain cancer. Then people started respecting me because I was still functioning! And I realized I really did do some things right, and a certain workplace bully situation (which Chi did help me with) helped me realize I am competent and not stupid. But I’ve had that same problem trying to write an original novel, and stuck with fan fiction for decades because I couldn’t write anything original. I would try, and come up with nothing, for years and years and years. With Mercury-Saturn you are supposed to end up with freedom of thought, because you get cut off from the ideas of other people and have to develop your own. Often Mercury-Saturn people end up searching deep within themselves for their own truth.

Saturn square Mars: Denotes a person who feels frustrated, weak, and powerless, so tries to control other people, especially through emotional domination. Basically, the individual had overly controlling parents and possibly physically abusive parents. The person feels like their will is ineffectual because it’s been thwarted so often, and feels like they have no control over themselves or their life.

Sheesh. So, to recap: I had an awful childhood with a lot of hazing at school, no dad, and a mentally ill mother. Therefore, I have no trust in life because things didn’t go well in childhood. Nobody encouraged who I was, so I’ve had a hard time finding that out, knowing who that is, and believing in myself; and I feel like life is too hard and I can never relax. I couldn’t be who I was in childhood and had a parent wanting me to parent her instead, and neither parent loved me for the person I am (which, really, is the same as not loving a child at all). So, I’m lonely, isolated, needy, and afraid of being rejected and humiliated. I’m think I’m stupid and don’t know anything, and I’m afraid of being laughed at and made fun of. And because of all that…I’m not going to stick my neck out in life. I’m afraid to risk, afraid to try, afraid of failure. I’ll feel humiliated if I fail, like I’m stupid and no good, and should be ashamed of myself for even thinking I could be as good as I want to be. I’m afraid of being all alone and not having enough money because I couldn’t achieve the success in the world that would bring enough money in. And I'm going to need money, especially if I'm all alone for the rest of my life, to pay student loan and hospital bills and adequately fund an old age. So I’m going to…

(Saturn square Mars) latch on to someone else—poor Chi—who appears successful at all the things I’m not, and try to get him to take care of me. And he will, because he’s codependent, with HORRIBLE self-esteem, and believes the only value he has to anyone is if they need him, because he thinks he has nothing else to offer. And I’m going to browbeat him into whatever kind of life it is I think I want, which destroys the relationship.

Which is pretty goddamned bad, because I’m angry at Rory for the exact same thing. 

But Chi and I were together for only four months, and we couldn’t even really date, AND ALL OF THIS WAS ALREADY STARTING TO HAPPEN.

This is one sorry state of affairs. One sorry, sorry state of affairs.

And it’s good that I found this out, since according to our transits, he’s due back in about six weeks.

This is appalling, and I should be ashamed of myself. Since there is no way, no way in HELL, anyone treats another person this way whom they say they love.

Basically, Chi found two carbon copies of the same woman. The difference is, I seem to be able to wake up a whole lot easier than Rory. Looking at her chart…she shares a Saturn square Pluto with my mother, and has some other things in her chart that sound just as difficult.

Which isn’t to say waking up is impossible.

But, really: If I’m scared to pursue a dream, that’s MY problem. I am NOT allowed to substitute someone else, or their success, for the need to achieve in MY life, nor am I to ever, ever, ever, EVER make that person pay for what I failed to do because I was too scared to risk and try.

If I do, I have lost every right to say I ever loved that person. (And so the fuck has Rory, since that’s exactly what she’s doing, too.) Shit, that was what our parents did to us! So what exactly makes it right to do the same fucking thing to our significant other??

Let’s not forget, while we’re at it, that Chi has problems of his own: ACoA, codependency, and lowlowlowlow self esteem. So, while we’re using him to alleviate loneliness and the frustrated need to achieve, because we don’t believe we’re good enough to accomplish what we want to, he’s using us to be his self esteem. Because he’s one of those people who, unless he gets those constant, constant, constant drip-drip-drips of approval from everyone in the northern hemisphere, he isn’t able to believe he’s an okay person. So he picks someone who’s so needy they don’t look like they have any other choice, gives them everything they want, gets used to death, and wonders why he isn’t happy, since the other people are all going, “Isn’t this great? You should be as happy with this as we are!” while they’re directing his whole life and using him to death. (And being distancing, caustic, and controlling into the bargain.)

Jeanne Avery writes that with Saturn in the eighth house (me), the person is about transforming the way he gets his needs met, involving an ultimate transformation of the self. There were a lot of restrictions in getting needs met in early life and the person ends up scared to ask for anything at all. After the person convinces himself of his own ability to get his needs met, he is ready to make a contribution to society and humanity. 

Don’t know about that last one, but the rest of it wouldn’t be so sad if it weren’t all TRUE. I don't know about anybody else, but I think it is much, much better and more honorable to put a book out and endure it being a laughingstock, or nothing at all, should that really happen, than to punish another person because you were afraid to put a book out. Or to go ahead and be poor if you fail that badly, than to harness someone else into providing for you because you are afraid to risk being poor, old, and alone.

At least I can admit all that before I really hurt someone.

I don't know if Chi really will be back in six weeks or not. Perhaps he and Rory had excellent therapists and they both buckled down and worked their butts off. If so, then they are doing very well, and there's no need to come back and ask me for advice again.

If he does come back and I do see him again, the very first thing I will do is APOLOGIZE. Chi saw these very things in me and he told me so the night he called me to break up. He didn't quite put them just this way, but he saw them, and he felt them, and he was right.  

He was right. And I really do owe him a big, big apology.

And if things are okay a few miles north of here, and I never see Chi again (or if he feels too bad to show his face around here and takes up with someone else instead), I will now feed this into the ether:

Dear, sweet Chi,

I'm so sorry for some of the ways I treated you when we were together. You have a hard time to begin with telling others what you want, and I didn't always listen very closely to you, even after I promised to. Even when I heard you, I argued with you and steamrolled over you, and made things all about me when it was clear you were tired or you didn't want something. 

I could listen, all right, but only when it was something I wanted to hear. 

And I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry.

If you ever show up here again, I promise right here and now that I will never, EVER treat you this way, ever, EVER again. Things that happened to me in the past are in no way your fault, and I am to make up for them, not you. And there is no way I will ever, ever again ask you to make up for any achievement I have not made, or am afraid to try to make.

I love you and I mean to set you free, not to enslave you. You need to be you. And I am the person who's supposed to be me, not another person who's trying to direct your life to make up for what she couldn't do.

Wherever you are, I hope you are okay. I hope you are healthy, and I hope you are well. I hope you are happy. And if I never see you again to give you this apology in person, I hope it finds its way to you in spirit.

I love you very, very much.



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