Dark side of the moon, Lord of karma…and a sprinkling of grace

In my last blog I spoke about the healing opportunity that Dark Moon Lilith (22-degrees of Capricorn) conjunct Pluto (24-degrees of Capricorn) brings this new moon. I also highlighted the conjunction between Black Moon Lilith (1-degree of Aries), and Chiron (3-degrees of Aries).

In this blog-also about the February new moon- I want to focus on another powerful aspect: Saturn conjunct Chariklo at 27-degrees of Capricorn.

The stellium in Capricorn on Sunday 23 February looks like this-

Dark Moon Lilith 22 Capricorn

Pluto 24 Capricorn

Chariklo 27 Capricorn

Saturn 27 Capricorn

While Pluto Lord of the underworld (unconscious) has managed to catch wild wind spirit Lilith and taken her to his lair, Chariklo, the graceful spinner infuses the scene with a touch of feminine divinity and old man Saturn, Lord of karma over-sees the whole affair.

Quite a play on the cosmic stage as these powerful archetypal energies take their respective positions in the unveiling of the next lunar cycle.

Step forward Dark Moon Lilith-

In my previous blog I wrote about DML representing the exiled parts of us that have become split off from our core self. She is the rejected part of our feminine nature that can cause all sorts of havoc while she is unacknowledged and unintegrated. The wild one out beyond the bounds of civilised convention and social niceties, she terrorises the fantasies of men and refuses any form of submission.

Depending on where she is located in our natal chart DML can act out in any number of dangerous or ‘bad’ ways causing destruction to ourselves and those around us- or it may be where we carry the collective or family shadow or are scapegoated in some way. Lilith in us is most noticeable to others in her Dark Moon aspect and they may see this in us even while we ourselves are blind.

As elusive and untameable as she is DML is no match for Pluto- for no one, not even the most ardent renegade can escape his deathly clutches. Erupting through the barren crust of Lilith’s playground-a desert somewhere out beyond the Red Sea- he has abducted Lilith and taken her to Hades for a thorough stripping and alchemical cooking in the fires of the underworld.

Sinking down through the layers of the psyche Pluto shines a light on the dark side of the moon exposing all that has previously been hidden. This may reveal why Lilith has been raging for so long. “What ails thee dark queen?”.

Let me just say at this point- to imagine that Lilith is going to be appeased or pacified by a positive affirmation or week long forgiveness retreat is foolish and unwise- no amount of new age tricks and by-passing will allay her desolation, no amount of psychotherapeutic rationalism will explain her torment, and forgiveness is futile while the flames of her rage rip through the white-washed buildings of patriarchy.

Dark Moon Lilith is the receptacle of millennia of abuse against the feminine. Someone said it best when she said- “You can’t keep the goddess in the basement for thousands of years with duck-tape over her mouth and expect her to be smiling when she is released. Right! Nor should we expect her to be wearing Max Factor lipstick or sport a nice hairdo. Indeed, she’s not going to be in the least bit civilised. Similarly, if and when Lilith gives up her wilderness abode and crosses the boundary back into Civyy street, she’s unlikely to uphold any codes of moral conduct or etiquette imposed to enable a safe life of denial- for Lilith more than anything demands authenticity.

When someone begins to integrate their Dark Moon Lilith, the nice, pleasing person you thought you knew and loved may cast off her coat of chain mail and liberate herself into the naked truth. As the links of oppression and denial clink to the floor one by one, depending on where you are on your own Lilith journey (radical authenticity) you might turn for the hills and run. But Lilith has so much to show us if we can stand the heat. Lilith is in fact the guardian of our heart for once she is liberated, all that has previously obscured and blocked our connection to our heart (our wounds) falls away and there is nothing left but truth- and maybe in the end the only truth is love.

I am sure everyone has a Lilith story to greater or lesser degrees- and this is probably the degree to which the ‘Lilith Lines’ run through our tribal and family histories, expressed as ancestral or inter-generational trauma.

In the realm of Lilith, we are not only dealing with our own personal story of rejection, scapegoating, denial, or abuse, it is the point where we tap into the whole story of corruption of the feminine… it’s going to hurt.

Exposing and facing the wound of Lilith is not easy and because of this she continues to be locked in exile from one generation to another until finally someone in the family field is able to witness and release her.

But beneath Lilith’s rage and demonic ways is a soft and very vulnerable part that has never felt safe enough to show herself.

Pluto conjunct Dark Moon Lilith opens a gateway into these depths, though I would say if this is the journey you are currently on it would be wise to find some good and trustworthy support for yourself.

And…fear not…there is a point of redemption!

Chariklo, the female centaur and wife of Chiron offers her healing balm at this time. Exactly conjunct Saturn at 27-degrees Capricorn, and so also conjunct Pluto and DML, Chariklo brings a higher perspective of the painful human dynamics we find, or have found, ourselves in.

When we can raise ourselves above the never-ending drama of our lives to see the bigger picture and free ourselves from the conditioning and self-sabotaging beliefs we inherited or have carried forward, we may see that every difficult relationship, or dysfunctional behaviour facilitated our break-through from the imprisonment of the mind.

Like her husband Chiron, Chariklo shows us that what we previously considered as our wounds or curses are in the end a gift- and what Chariklo ultimately offers is the gift of love.

Fortunately, Chariklo stays close to both Pluto and Saturn through the conjunction right up until 2022. This really is a blessing- tuning into the qualities of Chariklo might just save us from suffocating in the chasms of duality- right/wrong, good/evil which leads to further separation and illusion. Forgiveness is needed but forgiveness can’t just be magicked into existence with a course in CBT- these roots run deep.

And what of Saturn taking account of all this melodrama? For me his role in this is two-fold:

First, he insists on asking us to account for how all of this translates in the real world- the here and now, and the day-to day reality of our existence. He may be asking us to create strong boundaries, to call time on a particular relationship, to finally set in motion the concrete things needed to execute a plan, or he may confront us with our human limitations.

On the other hand, issues of karma may be surfacing at this time as we contemplate why we find ourselves in the same situations over and over again. Why do we keep on attracting the same dynamics in our relationships, financial situations, health?

Karmic relationships have a way of appearing in our life to help us re-connect our relationship to ourselves and to Source. They show us how to untangle from toxic and damaging behaviours that keep us split off and disconnected… just like Lilith in the wilds.

Ultimately, it is never about the other person- we are but actors in each other’s play, holding up the mirror and showing, sometimes through the most unendurable pain, where we have turned our back on God- or Goddess- or any other term for the ineffable mystery that we may just glimpse on surrendering our need to be right, or to know, or to always be in control.

In a way Dark Moon Lilith is the place of unrelenting control that will stop at nothing before total destruction…  if she remains unacknowledged.

Oh, but that’s a tough step- it’s really hard to accept the shadow in oneself. Really, we would much rather show ourselves as competent, in control, sophisticated and light filled beings- no one wants the mess. But let’s face it, don’t we keep spilling the mess into our lives anyway, leaving to varying degrees trail of destruction- whether that be on the personal or collective level?

This is where the relationship between Lilith and Saturn is important- until we heal our deepest wounds, we will naturally keep on manifesting them in order to finally understand them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freeing Lilith

February’s new moon occurring on Sunday 23 February at 15.32 GMT has the potential to unlock the door to hidden, repressed or exiled parts of our individual psyche, and in the collective unconscious.

Our banished parts will not lay dormant or be silenced forever and in spite of our best efforts to repress them, like hardy weeds, eventually they poke up through the concrete, straining toward the life-giving properties of the sun (consciousness). And while the weed killers on offer in our current culture may be strong and seductive, they can never fully eclipse the soul’s desire for wholeness.

While the banished parts of us demand to be acknowledged and integrated, like a good family constellation everything and everyone must be included in the bigger picture- for the story is only half told without all the factors.

But we keep trying to lock up the more problematic parts of ourselves in the basement, to not talk about them, to destroy the evidence and use any number of tactics to stay in control. Often the ego will stop at nothing to this end. This is not possible with Lilith. She refuses to collude with any subterfuge of ours, or anybody else’s making. She systematically closes off all avenues that lead to the false self. She persistently shows us the pathways to authenticity even while it hurts and at times it may feel that we are becoming lost in the wilderness. And even while old memories from past lives burn brightly in our unconscious, still she insists on our liberation from any form of imprisonment.

This process is happening on an individual level but it is also happening in the collective, and this new moon offers extra facilitation if we are willing to get real with ourselves.

Freeing Lilith is an inside job, no one is going to give us permission.

Here are the new moon aspects:

Chiron at 3 Aries conjunct Black Moon Lilith (true) at 1 Aries

Dark Moon Lilith at 22 Capricorn conjunct Pluto at 24 Capricorn

What do you get when you cross Lilith with Pluto and Chiron? Deep transformational healing and a chance to own our rejected parts.

In astrology charts I think of the triple placements of Lilith as one process with three stages

  1. Asteroid Lilith is the only physical body of Lilith. I feel it represents our original feminine essence before the abandoned parts of ourselves that were deemed unacceptable were sent into exile. Note this is often where we are powerful and therefore threatening.
  2. Dark Moon Lilith or Waldemath is the expression of the exiled and rejected parts  now split off from our core self and acting out in destructive and unintegrated ‘Lilith-like’ ways. Depending on where we have that point in our chart will describe the ways we are likely to act out or be projected on (it is also the place where we may be scapegoated by others- or asked to carry the collective shadow). In all likelihood we are already acting out that shadow through our own unconscious wounding and defensive behaviour. Dark Moon Lilith in our lives can manifest in many ways such as angry, cold, bitchy, promiscuous, self-destructive, violent, addictive, chaotic, unstable. The danger here is being trapped in a perpetual expression of a destructive and unintegrated Lilith so that we come to believe that is who we are or that we are irreparably damaged.
  3. Black Moon Lilith is the point of redemption and healing through which we may heal our Lilith wound and reclaim the exiled parts of ourselves. This is a deeply visceral process in which we literally release trapped or frozen aspects of our psyche and reintegrate them into the wholeness of our being. It is not that we return to our original feminine essence, it is more that we experience a renaissance of feminine consciousness based on the Lilith journey that have taken. This is nothing short of a rebirth of the divine feminine.

Black Moon Lilith conjunct Chiron in Aries-

This placement can facilitate deep soul healing. Chiron is the wounded healer while Lilith is the exiled and repressed parts of ourselves that need to be brought back into consciousness by releasing blocked and repressed energy stuck in our tissue, cells and psyche. Both Chiron and Black Moon Lilith operate on the level of instinct.

During this conjunction it is a good time to find the methods, modalities and people who have the know-how, wisdom, or vibration that can help us release stagnant energy. Body work, cranio- sacral therapy, breathwork and any other modality that works with the body/mind connection is good, as is shamanic practices such as soul retrieval.

Given that this placement in Aries methods that are dynamic and work on the level of instinctual awareness and/or the active principle is going to be effective. Energetic dancing, shaking, trance dance, any of these practices are beneficial at this time.

Dark Moon Lilith Conjunct Pluto in Capricorn-

To heal our Dark Moon Lilith we first of all have to become aware of Her. Looking at the inner demoness is not always easy and sometimes we just plain refuse to see Her. But here’s a clue… if other people are projecting something of this dark feminine vibe onto you, you can be sure you carry a corresponding wound. The tricky thing about Dark Moon Lilith is that because we have been wounded, we often feel our behaviour is justified in protecting ourselves form further wounding. Ultimately though this is self-sabotaging because not only does it harm those around us, it also cuts off our potential for fulfilling, healthy and intimate relationships. This only serves to reinforce our feelings of rejection and alienation. Dark Moon Lilith has a resonance with Medusa, the serpent headed gorgon who has the anti-gift of turning others to stone just by her gaze.

With Pluto and DML we may be taken right down into the depths of our soul to understand what has happened and why we are so hurt. Lord of the underworld- the great transformer- can shine a light on even the darkest recesses if we are willing to make the descent and face our demons.

Dream journaling, art, automatic writing are all good tools to connect with the unconscious this dark moon- and any dark moon time.

Individually our soul is pulling down the veil while collectively we are being asked to challenge the safe illusions that we have created in order to protect ourselves from the painful truth of our behaviours.

Together, Lilith, Chiron and Pluto offer a hand in leading us to painful but ultimately redemptive places.

 

 

Hunter & The Hunted: Dejanira & Nessus

The Rape of Dejanira- Guido Reni

February’s full moon in Leo occurring at 07.33 GMT opens a gateway into a theme which is constantly discussed and often misunderstood –  the dynamics of the abused and the abuser.

This may seem like a surprising comment given that our social media and psycho-spiritual channels are currently saturated with information on how to identify and over-come toxic and damaging ways of relating. Particularly in the field of personality disorders, NPD, or narcissistic personality disorder has claimed the hotspot in being the new evil incarnate. Podcasts, YouTube videos, talks, seminars, books and films readily expose and condemn the diabolical indicators of that new breed of human- the ‘Narc’.

But it’s not only NPD that is being exposed in an attempt to better understand the inner workings of abusive relationships, and as one thing can’t exist without the other, it becomes apparent that there can be no abuser without a victim to abuse. Co-dependents, sufferers of PTSD, border-liners, empaths, and an array of increasingly complex personality disordered behaviour comes under the sway of psychotherapy in an attempt to understand why we humans are so challenged and dysfunctional in our intimate relating.

It’s little wonder that these matters-especially issues of abuser and perpetrator-should occupy much of our interest these days, after all we are under a Saturn Pluto conjunction which in itself is undoubtedly bringing issues of power, abuse of power, and the exposure of hidden things to the surface.

But under this full moon we also have the added intensity of asteroid Nessus exactly conjunct asteroid Dejanira at 9 degrees of Pisces.

Let me explain…

In Greek mythology Dejanira who was a Calydonian princess and whose name translates as “man-destroyer” or “destroyer of her husband” has become synonymous in astrology with the victim archetype.

This is her story-

One day Dejanira, the wife of Hercules, wanted to cross the river Euenos and was offered a lift by the centaur Nessus who invited her to hop on his back while her ferried her over the water. Dejanira, grateful for the offer accepts the invitation but halfway across the centaur attempts to rape her. The scene is witnessed by Hercules who standing on the opposite riverbank promptly raises his bow and shoots Nessus with a poisonous arrow. Before his imminent death Nessus tricks Dejanira by exploiting her worst fears and deepest insecurities, namely the infidelities of her husband which may eventually lead to her abandonment.

The cunning Nessus draws Dejanira into a ruse that enables him to inflict revenge on his adversary Hercules from beyond the grave. He offers Dejanira a sample of his blood telling her that if she ever fears abandonment by Hercules, she should smear the blood on him thus ensuring his fidelity and lasting commitment.

When Hercules-who was well known for fathering children all over Greece- falls in love with Iola, it is more than Dejanira can bear, and desperately fearing abandonment she places a little of the centaur’s poisonous blood on her husband’s famous lion-skin shirt causing his skin to burn instantly. In great pain Hercules jumps into a nearby funeral pyre, and stricken with grief Dejanira takes her own life shortly after. A tragic tale indeed!

In astrology, the position of Dejanira indicates our susceptibility to abuse or the places we feel vulnerable to abuse. Nessus points to our potential abusive or predatory tendencies. In synastry charts where couples have these asteroids in hard aspect issues of abuse and sometimes dangerous liaisons, are highlighted.

Clues to the complexity of this duo are to be found in the myth itself. Firstly, why is Dejanira so riddled with insecurity to begin with? While it is clear that she has married a philandering husband, what is not clear is what drives her- a princess- into a situation where she is repeatedly disrespected.

And what of Nessus’s revenge from beyond the grave? This speaks of legacies, feuds, and unresolved issues passed down through generations (inter-generational trauma). There is no redemption in this story, everyone ends up dead. But at least then there is a sense that the feud, or curse, or bad blood has finally come to an end.

In her desperate love of her husband, Dejanira’s fears are more than realised in the demise of both of them.

Astrologer Melanie Reinhart relates Nessus issues to sexuality, death, revenge and jealousy, and says that it has to with abuse of power and has ancestral implications.

But Nessus also offers the possibility of reprieve and breaking of the toxic ties for good. As Melanie says of Nessus, ‘the buck stops here’.

 “It seems that Nessus brings opportunities to understand and release deep patterns of helplessness, being taken advantage of, and being oppressed. Nessus processes really do seem to end the unfathomable ties that bind us to people, places, and situations.”

First though we have to understand how these processes operate in our lives. Have you ever found yourself at the end, or in the middle of an intensely difficult relationship scouring books and the internet for information in a desperate attempt to understand what the hell is going on, only to find yourself staring in the mirror wondering if you are the abused or the abuser? And if we accept that we have unwittingly got ourselves involved with (yet another) narcissist, or psychopath, or crazy lady does it not necessitate a deep probing into our own core wounding to ask why we would allow that? Afterall, emotionally healthy people do not invite nor stay in unhealthy relationships.

And in touching our core wounds and travelling back through our psychic timeline can we see where the pattern began, the place where the psychic fingerprints of our father or mother, and their father and mother left marks on our fledgling soul? And then further back down the ancestral line can we identify the patterns of abuse, or unlove, or hidden things whose shadow grows bigger with each generation that refuses to acknowledge it… until the buck stops here- with you.

But this is no small feat and overcoming intergenerational trauma requires more than just personal will and cognitive understanding. Healing wounds of the soul requires spiritual grace, love, forgiveness and compassion- centauress Chariklo can point us in this direction.

African writer and healer Patrice Malidoma say that what we think of as a curse is really the legacy of unlove. What curses flow in the rivers of our families’ crossing from lifetime to lifetime. What betrayals wait in the inner sanctums of our homes. And where did it all begin?

These are sacred wounds, they are ours and yet they are not only ours, they belong also to our ancestors as they belong to our culture and societies.

The myth of Dejanira provides an archetypal lens through which we can explore issues of the abused and the abuser. It is too easy to blame the other. Often we form relationships with those souls who are precisely able to draw stagnant waters form our deepest well.

Like in the myth of Dejanira these poisons are carried in the blood from generation to generation until someone, usually after a great deal of trauma, decides to confront the family skeletons and clear the ancestral field.

Often the kind of relationships that are able to facilitate this sacred healing are in the end just too difficult to sustain, though hopefully along the way we bring each other closer to a state of grace where we can finally let go of blame and the ultimately unrealistic polarity of abuser and abused.

Looking at the placements of Dejanira and Nessus in your own chart-and if you have them the charts of your parents- is hugely beneficial in identifying the family “curse”.

Dejanira’s killing of her husband is unmeditated and accidental but it is from her own deep wounds and insecurities that she destroys her husband and herself.

As I’ve been writing this blog a song from the 80’s has been rolling around in my head- Hunter and the Hunted by Simple Minds-