Ordinary Women

ordinary woman

With much conversation, consciousness raising, books and workshops about the feminine, the feminine principle, and the Goddess, I am personally called to anchor my insights and experiences firmly in the material and embodied world.

One of the main fractures of feminist discourse lies in separating “cultural feminists”, those concerned with the political and social arenas, and “spiritual feminists”, often rejected and marginalized as “earth- mother”, or “hippy types”… never the twain. This is only one of the many splits that plays out in attempting to define what it means to be a woman in a modern, capitalist and androcentric culture.

How do we heal the fragmented feminine? How do we bring the exiled feminine back into consciousness? It begins within, not as an ideal but as a lived experience that can be placed in our cultural framework and highlighted as a crucially important matter of our time.

Working with the archetypes, feminine symbols, astrology and the lunation cycle, as well as academic research means little if it does not translate into the everyday world of the here-and- now.

Money, economics, resources, the balance of power and the things (seen and unseen) that shape our world can be brought to the forefront of feminine consciousness and applied in practical ways.

This strikes me as hugely important. While (it could be argued) the feminine is being eroded in an increasingly gender neutral society, and through biomedical intervention, the question of the feminine as a necessary equal and balancing principle of our humanity, and connection with the “more than human world”, has never been adequately addressed.

It’s wonderful to meet the feminine in her myriad abstract forms, though it could be said that this encourages manipulation and manufacturing… the new age is not above aggressive corporate tactics.

Unless the claiming and expressing of the feminine is an authentic expression of the feminine within… for women and men, the feminine is still in danger of being co-opted and appropriated.

Remarkably, some try to address issues of the planet and ecology by bypassing the question of the feminine, although eco-feminism is a branch of ecology that actively and directly addresses the feminine.

If we are to talk specifically about the feminine, let it be political as well as spiritual, archetypal as well as you and me, and above all real.

Astrology is a rich lens through which to bridge personal, cultural, and collective issues in reclaiming an authentic feminine and highlighting how the shadow patriarchy seeks to demean, control, abuse or reject feminine essence.

Awakening the Soul of the (Inner) World & Expressing it in the Public Sphere.

holam hunt the awakening 1953

The Awakening Conscience by William Holman Hunt, 1853

Full Moon Lunar Eclipse Insights: Thoughts on the Full Moon Chart 21/01/19 at 5.15 AM (UTC).

With benific Jupiter, happily at home in Sagittarius (15 degrees), expansion, action, and boons are highlighted. Jupiter conjunct the Ascendant at 17 degrees Sagittarius serves to reinforces this apparently auspicious energy, however, there is reason to tread cautiously: With Jupiter squaring Neptune in Pisces, it is wise to consider the ways in which we hand our power over to people, ideas, beliefs and concepts that may not be all they appear to be. Matters of a spiritual nature, new age thinking, charismatic teachers & gurus, cultural ideals, and ‘the next new thing’ should be considered rather than engaged with immediately, or without question. Media and social media sensationalism, emotive or manipulative campaigns that “go viral” or attract a lot of attention are also to be handled with discernment, as are political spins that make unlikely promises. During a Jupiter Neptune square, inner council and an examination of one’s motivations and choices is wise and timely.

Also hovering around the ascendant (rising energy) is benefic Venus, great Goddess of love, erotic relationships, sensuality and pleasure… which means she is also squaring Neptune- in an exact conjunction. Here too caution is indicated. Are we deluded in matters of love? Are we constructing impossible fantasies or opening our heart to people or situations that dupe us, or take advantage of our need for connection? Now is a good time to ask.

Who or what are we aligning ourselves with spiritually, romantically, and intimately? Spiritual and romantic connections form our most intimate relationships, the ones where we desire to be fully in alignment- the ones in which we share the deepest aspects of our heart and soul. Are we choosing wisely? Are there shadow aspects still to be reckoned with that are influencing our choices? Are we seeing the same patterns repeating in different ways? Are we looking for wholeness and completion outside of ourselves?

Asteroid Lilith is at 23 degrees Libra, shining bright on the midheaven, in the 10th house – the most public house. This placement invites us to look at how we express our authentic selves to the world, and how this is recognized… or not. The 10th house is concerned with our goals be they material or spiritual, and is often thought to be the house of the father. It represents career choices and our profession life… on a deeper level it points to our service in the world, divine will, and opportunities for spiritual advancement.

Lilith on the midheaven brings career into focus… how do we present ourselves to the outside world? How do we keep body & soul together? According to astrologer Demetra George, “Asteroid Lilith describes how we find ourselves in repressive situations where we are not free to express ourselves and are not intrinsically valued and accepted for who we are. We may feel forced to obey others against our better judgement, and pressured to suppress qualities that others find threatening, especially sexual, independent, and rebellious parts of personality” (Finding Our Way Through the Dark, p.92).

This full moon chart weaves together three great spheres of life… spirituality, romance & relationship, and career & service. Which leads me to ask:

To what extent are the choices we make regarding spirituality and love influenced by how we are –  or how we are not – expressing ourselves publicly and being met in our career? If we are feeling suppressed, imbalanced, or disrespected in our place of work, choice of careers, or in offering our gift to the world, do we then seek to re-balance this lack through intimate relationship, or in spiritual ideals? In the face of unmet needs or unfulfilled passions in the public arena, do we hand our power over to charismatic teachers, or spiritual gurus, or endless self-development and yet more experiences in a bid to express our soul? Do we imagine that someone, or something “out there” knows us better than we know ourselves, or can give us what we lack?

While asteroid Lilith talks of a distorted and suppressed feminine principle, this is not only expressed through women, it can also be an issue for men who can also experience rejection of their feminine nature, soulful qualities, and sexuality.

Lilith on the midheaven draws our attention to the places where feminine qualities are marginalized, inhibited or disallowed in the workplace, colleges and schools- in short, the places of agreed social codes and contracts that in the main value obedience, monetary growth and share-holder’s profits over human needs, and soulful & creative expression. Soulful and creative qualities are however exhorted and harnessed in the worldly spheres… they are bought and sold as commodities- they have a price tag and a copyright mark… they are not generally permissible as innate ways of being- no one likes a loose cannon or a woman above her station.

The 10th house, often equated with the father, or in esoteric astrology with divine will, highlights women’s relationship with the patriarchy including her inner man, the animus. Typically, the solar expression of being “out there in the world” rewards characteristics such as rational thought, linear thinking, structure, discipline, consistent energy levels, and even tempers. It is less accommodating of the ebbs and flow of lunar cycles, reasoning that cannot be measured, and any kind of timing that does not fall squarely into the mechanical hands of the clock.

While we refer to the soul of the world as the “anima mundi”, we might consider the public sphere of work and career as the “animus mundi” … rarely do we see a woman in the public spheres of career and work in her full feminine essence, more often we see the expression of her inner man, or as Jung would say, her animus. Patriarchal structures are upheld by the weight of men and women alike.

Asteroid Lilith represents the parts of ourselves that are threatening or unacceptable to the social world of codes, corporate ethics, established orders, rules, systems, and hierarchies. Instead we are encouraged, or required to, don masks and personas that are appropriate and effective in covering up the raw messiness of human emotions and instincts. Much of this repressed human behavior and instinct seeps through the social order and expresses the shadow face of unacknowledged or unacceptable desires and impulses- think the many cases of sexual harassment in the work place and the “me too” campaign.

From teenage girls being prohibited from going to the bathroom and attending their menstrual needs during class, to women and girls being expected to dress, look, and behave in certain ways in the public domain, the presence, and more importantly, the absence of “the feminine” in the work place in our current age is a subject that raises many questions.

Taking the “ism” out of Feminine.

hannah adamaszek

Image by Hannah Adamaszek

It is a very contentious word- “the F word”, from those who do and those don’t identify with it, it continues to be one of the most loaded, confusing and misunderstood words of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Talking to a college lecturer recently, he tells me that for many of his students, feminism is a done and dusted deal that was put to bed decades ago. For others, feminism includes equal rights and inclusivity for all marginalized people, especially transgendered. The question of women therefore has seamlessly blended into an Aquarian age mix of transgender identity. Simply put, there is “man” and there is “non-man”, and while the masculine is not subjected to the same erasure as the feminine it is nevertheless neutralized in the great blend of non- gender.

It appears we are in the middle of a “gendercide”.

In terms of the feminine, the last time we witnessed such an onslaught was in the early modern period from the 15th to the 18th century- a time that has been come to be known as the ‘witch hunts’. These days the tactics employed are far more sophisticated and covert, ensuring the support of the public who, with the best of intentions towards individual expression and inclusivity, are unwittingly supporting the erasure of the feminine.

The inner workings of this crusade are rarely obvious but occasionally it gives itself away. For example, in a recent study made by the ‘American Academy of Pediatrics’, concerns were raised which challenged the view that breast feeding is the ‘natural way’ to go. According to the article, nature and natural over medical and interventionist is prohibitive to public health aims in terms of promoting vaccination and other multi- billion dollar pharmaceutical and medical corporations.

Here we see the honest motivation of the agenda, however, in order to win over public opinion, manipulation under the guise of an anti-determinist argument is employed.

At the core of the debate is the perennially thorny question of ‘biological determinism’ and ‘biological essentialism’, a fundamental fault-line in the history of feminist discourse that has ensured the feminine voice has remained splintered and incoherent. From first wave feminism, and taking root particularly in second wave feminism, many feminists argued that equating women with biological functions such as birthing and bleeding bound women to social discrimination and second-class status. It was women themselves who colluded with the lie that female biology was a bind and a deterrent in achieving equal rights and opportunities. It may have appeared that way but only in the context of a society that so blatantly rejects the feminine.

The rejection of female biology is evident in all areas of natural woman- menstrual suppression, artificial wombs and the over medicalization of women’s bodies… Women are now “non- men”, “menstruators” and “persons with a cervix” rather than simply women. The word woman itself has become offensive and non- inclusive to many. A move has been made to eradicate the word “woman” from the cultural lexicon entirely, to be replaced with nonsense words such as “womxn” as it is seen to be more progressive and inclusive of transgender women, and women of non-dominant culture.

Green Party Women, an internal campaign group of the British Green Party, confirmed last year that its preferred designation for the constituency it represented was not, “women” but “non-men”.

This attitude is viewed as progressive.

And here’s the rub… it is not the essential nature of women that ought to be questioned, it is why our society has denigrated the feminine so entirely to the point where it has become not only desirable to turn away from natural woman but is being insisted upon.

It is feminism that is socially constructed not the feminine principle in its natural essence. The “ism” of feminism means that it is forever subject to the chasm of duality, limiting rational thought that separates mind from body, science and technology that seeks to control nature, and endless factions and sub-divisions based upon notions of identity being removed from the Self and only worthy when validated by the image makers.

We will never find the feminine in feminism. The feminine cannot be packaged as a concept or ideal, for if she can then she can be controlled by external forces with agendas towards ownership and manipulation.

Take the ‘ism’ out of feminism and leave feminine.

Haumea, Venus, and Lilith… and the Need for Inner Ecology.

inner ecology
Lunar cycle and eclipses from New Moon to Full Moon, Jan 2019
The new moon on 6 January saw the first eclipse of the year with a partial solar eclipse in Capricorn. As the moon journeys through her cycle, she culminates in a super full moon in Leo on 21 January, synchronizing with a total lunar eclipse.
Eclipses are harbingers of change ushering in the new and offering more focus and support in letting go of the old to make way for the new energy that is manifesting. Lunar eclipses can offer deep transformation, purging old and stagnant attachments and emotional blocks to facilitate greater flow and emotional freedom. The energy of a lunar eclipse may be sudden and possibly even radical in the pursuit of freedom and setting us on the correct trajectory. If we are stubbornly attached to old ways of being, we may find the power of the eclipse quite radical. Unconscious material that has been buried, or subconscious content that has been partially eclipsed in our own psyche, may now be revealed.
The partial solar eclipse on 6 January coincided with “Epiphany”, “the manifest light”. What manifested in your consciousness at this time, and what is working its way through your soul toward a point of release on the full moon lunar eclipse on 21 January?
Haumea, Goddess of Ecology was sitting on the ascendant on the new moon, ready to express her essence and culminate on the midheaven on the full moon. Haumea rising speaks of the need for deeper understanding and awareness of our innate connection with life, the processes of life, renewal, ecology both inner and outer, and purging ourselves of outmoded systems and behaviors that keep us trapped in any sort of limiting contacts either with ourselves or in our social systems. Anything that prohibits a full and flowing expression of life may be scrutinized to reveal inner workings, vested interests, and hidden agendas.
Haumea offers release and liberation – not from the outside – she is explicit in her guidance and shows that the way to effect change begins within and that our bodies are natural organisms subject to the same laws and principles of the earth… the act of cleansing the inner waters (and blood) has a resonance with the purifying rivers and oceans- it is all the waters of life.
This lunar cycle from new moon to full moon offers an opening for a deep, candid look at how energy moves in us, the collective, and our social and ecological systems. Haumea is one of the fastest rotating large objects in our solar system; on a bio-psychological level this movement offers the potential for rapid change. When we bring our heart, mind, soul and spirit in alignment, and with intention, the capacity to effect change is enormous and fast. Long drawn out plans that are repeatedly hijacked and thwarted by corruption,man-made complex structures and less than wholesome motivations, may be dislodged and exposed as more direct and powerful means of change are realized.
With Venus and Jupiter on the ascendant on the full moon lunar eclipse on 21 January, the energy of feminine wisdom and expansion are highlighted. Call upon these two mighty forces to aid your intention and focus. Haumea, Goddess of Ecology is shining bright on the midheaven and is conjunct asteroid Lilith bringing a flavor of original feminine wisdom (before it was distorted by patriarchy and life limiting attitudes).
Haumea opens the sluice gate and facilitates the waters of life to flow freely.
To work with these powers during this lunar cycle it is useful to become aware of the places of rigidity in ourselves. It is also a good time to work with inner ecology- where do we spend our energy and why?
If you would like an astrological reading to explore how Haumea spins in your chart, I am available for astrology consultations either via Skype or in person.