Rethinking Perimenopause and Menopause.

Image by artist Galen Dara

Image by artist Galen Dara

I notice lately a lot of posts about peri menopause and menopause- this is great! The once taboo conversation is now well underway.

Menopause and its emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual manifestations are finally coming out of the shadowy closet labelled “women’s issues”.

Women are having frank and open discussions about their experience of “the change” … and it is definitely a change.

As a woman on the threshold of menopause myself (perimenopausal) I am loving the journey. I know this comment might buck the trend toward talking about menopause as a difficult and for the most part negative experience however I am excited to also talk of the gifts of menopause.

Why do so many women suffer through menopause and opt for HRT?

I propose that the real issue is not with menopause itself- which is after all an entirely natural biological process – but with the trappings of a modern, science led consciousness that seeks mastery over nature.

Could part of the trouble be that in our current culture women have largely been denied a natural hormonal, biological, birthing, and womb experience?

From teenage years (and now even younger) to middle age and beyond the effects of artificial tampering with the hormonal cycle, birthing, reproduction, menstrual flow, contraception, and hormonal regulation has to be considered when accounting for the huge number of women suffering from gynaecological issues.

Secondly, our 24/7 “always on” society that prizes and praises a “can do”, “just get on with it” attitude above a body centred consciousness lacks a multi-dimensional perspective and is still trapped in a mind- body- spirit -split.

Denial and fear of an integrated and fully expressed feminine consciousness still holds sway in our collective beliefs and attitudes… and has a dark legacy.

With more women having children later in life and running careers and families while going through the menopause, it is no wonder that women are struggling.

I know some feminists will take offense at my over emphasis on female biology- according to second wave feminists the reason women were demoted to the rank of second-class citizenry was precisely due to their “inferior” biology- but realistically how feasible is it for women to continue to push on through while their bodies (and souls) are undergoing major transformation. Could this not also be a cause of menopausal suffering?

I am not quite there yet, as I say I am on the threshold and just getting used to perimenopause and already I cannot be bothered with the many demands and distractions of the world- there is a thinness, an insubstantiality that no longer grips me. I am less seduced by the world.

I want to tune in, go deeper, sit in silence when I need to, rest when I need to, dream and experience the visions and wisdom of my inner life. I want to experience my true nature.

I don’t want to miss this initiation…the transition into a more mature, more rooted version of myself.

Ultimately menopause is an important preparation for an even bigger transition- death… something else our culture apparently does not do well.

Toward Feminine Conscious Sexuality and Reproduction

Mato Ioannidou

Image by Mato Ioannidou

Are you a young woman who is considering your contraceptive options, or are you a mother of a young woman who is supporting your daughter in considering her options?

It can be a minefield, right?

Unwanted pregnancy has profound consequences for the body, mind, and soul, and we try to avoid it all costs.

According to a government health report, 31% of women experience severe reproductive health issues – that was 4 years ago.

This figure does not include mild and moderate issues.

The truth is that a vast number of women are suffering from “women’s issues,” the biological stats I suspect are downplayed while the emotional, mental, and spiritual costs are rarely if ever discussed.

Around 55,000 hysterectomy operations are carried out in the UK each year. This means about one in five women will have a hysterectomy at some point. The most common age to have one is between 40-50, however they are often carried out on women outside of this age group.

Approximately 600,000 hysterectomies are performed annually in the U.S. where approximately 20 million women have had a hysterectomy. This makes hysterectomies one of the most common surgeries performed in the U.S.

I suspect in both cases the figures are now higher.

How does menstrual suppression medication tie into this?

The short answer is I do not know because although I have conducted some study in this area, I am not medically trained and a lot of my thoughts on this and other subjects related to female health are born from a deep intuition and calling to speak out… because something does not feel right!

I am hearing more and more stories about how young women are affected by these medications. Yesterday I was talking to a couple of women, one of whom was describing the adverse side- effects of the contraceptive implant on her teenage daughter; these ranged from serious change in mood; sensitivities to a large number of sensory stimuli, foods, and chemicals (this could imply impaired immunity).

The young woman felt desperate and asked to have the implant removed; she was met with hostility and a patronising pep talk from the health care practitioner. In short it was a fight to have it removed.

Incidentally both women (who I was talking with) had previously had a hysterectomy… one was a coupe of years older, and one was a couple of years younger than me.

NEXPLANON one of the market leaders in contraceptive implants is manufactured by Merck- the same drug company that produces the HPV vaccine Gardasil… another highly controversial drug.

In 2017 Merck made over $40 billion in revenues.

The point of this post?

Female reproduction; female sexuality; female bodies; female psycho-spiritual, and psycho- sexual experiences, and the increasing bio-medicalisation of women’s bodies are deeply critical issues for our time and carry consequences way beyond what many of us are led to believe.

It is so important that these and other factors related to female sexuality and reproduction are considered from a holistic and feminine conscious perspective.

Invoking The Goddess of the Moon: Scorpio Full Moon Lunar Eclipse: (intuitive download)

Painting "Salammbo" by Gaston Bussiere 1907

Painting “Salammbo” by Gaston Bussiere 1907

Now is not the time the time to override your deepest intuition and knowing.

Do you feel that you simply cannot tolerate a circumstance, dynamic, life course, or way of being any longer?

You are not alone and now is the time to surrender.

This may feel scary… radical self honesty and placing our deepest knowing and intuition above and beyond everything else will undoubtedly initiate life changing situations… even leaving us feeling alone and outside the comfort of the well-travelled and “certain” path.

There may be no certain path ahead right now. That is Ok. You may make mistakes. That is Ok too.

Don’t play dead. Don’t play safe. Your soul’s freedom is worth more than your compliance, safety and need to be accepted, loved, or liked. What is your truth. I mean really- what is your truth. Can you honour it now?

Instead of bypassing or avoiding certain people or situations to keep the peace or refrain from rocking the boat, let it all play out… watch… feel… trust…The truth of the situation will be revealed if you let it (this is what eclipses do best).

Where have you been cheating yourself? Can you still afford to make compromises that hurt your soul and betray the inner core of who you are?

Do you feel the need to apologize for being you?

Let it go.

Stand-alone if you have to.

Are you not fed-up appeasing, pleasing, adapting, and accommodating?

When do you put yourself first?

When do you trust yourself?

Are you fed up staying in situations where you are constantly trying to negotiate and explain yourself? Why stay where you know you are compromising and diluting the glorious truth of your being?

Stand behind, beside, and before yourself.

Fly your flag even if in a quiet and unassuming but determined way.

Don’t make others wrong. They are where they are and they also on their unique soul journey. If they could meet you, they would. With love and compassion let go of what needs to be let go of. Find a way to maintain what needs to be maintained in an authentic and true way. Is that possible?

Now is not the time to be tied to social convention and expectations.

Where have you playing small. What of those parts you have tried to hide, the great and the hideous? Bring them out. Invite them in.

This eclipse is a portal. What are you choosing? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, this way or that way, but you have to acknowledge your truth at least to yourself. If others cannot hear it, so be it. You no longer have to explain.

Can you feel this?

Take a deep breath and choose yourself.

The Wounds of Love

Johhny Depp and Amber Heard

Johhny Depp and Amber Heard

Rarely do I get involved in big media stories, sensationalist cases, or political pantomimes. Why? Because mostly I feel mass media is rigged… behind the curtain, levers are being pulled and wheels are steered by political and media wizards… not to mention the enchantment that is Hollywood.

For the most part media consumers – us- are influenced (subconsciously) by trickery, illusion, psychology, subliminal messages… some may say this adds up to sophisticated social engineering.

In the past week or so though I have become interested in the Amber and Johnny case and confess to watching the televised courtroom drama.

When I look at this man and this woman, I do not see a victim and perpetrator- at least not of each other- I see two wounded people looking for what nearly everybody else is looking for- love. Much of the debate centres around which one of them is the real abuser; the most intimate details of their personal life spotlighted for the world to see.

How the outcome is determined will no doubt have an impact on our perceptions and beliefs around domestic violence (DV).

Is his alleged coercive and controlling behaviour less abusive that hers? She has admitted to “hitting” but not punching him- this was recorded on Mr. Depp’s phone. And what of the bottle incident- did he molest her, or did she assault him… how did he lose his fingertip?

What of the fake blood, the faecal matter, the missing money? It’s the stuff of Hollywood for sure.

But in the end does it matter. Is it not time we woke up to the grim reality that many, many people are in toxic and abusive relationships and that Amber and Johnny are not alone in their suffering? It’s just that their relationship is more public and there are external players who have vested interest in the outcome.

There is also a strong case to say that men and women fare differently within the social and legal systems… that’s all part of the set-up.

I can’t help feeling that Amber and Johnny are actors on a much larger stage more complex and insidious than we imagine.

The human race it seems are beset by unhealed trauma, emotional wounding, and injuries to the soul. Our need for love and the wounds of love makes us vulnerable to manipulation and coercion not necessarily from our significant other or our lovers but from an illusion of love that promises what it cannot deliver… because the root has not been tended.

We’ve heard it many times, it has become something of a new age mantra, that love begins within, and I believe that is true, but it is also through the other and our growing capacity to give and receive love that the roots are watered.

I am learning about love, and I forgive myself for the ways I was not able to give or receive love before. I also forgive others for this too.

Today as I walked around a store, the radio blared out one achy breaky heart song after another, many of these songs have been played on a loop for years… decades even. And the new ones, well, they don’t sound much different; the basic premise is always the same… love feels amazing until it hurts like hell.

We spend an awful lot of time and energy on matters of love… and mostly dysfunctional love. Why? Because so often we cannot face the truth of ourselves far less the truth of another… or even the truth of life.

Once the Disney shine of projection has faded, and after the surface layers have been penetrated, unprocessed trauma and attachment injuries are revealed, and we are left with the wounds of love.

What does it really mean to love and to be loved, and why do so many of us struggle to experience true and enduring love?

Today I found a quote by Publilius Syrus who said-

“The wounds of love can only be healed by the one who made them”.

Interesting though I am not sure I agree, for who made the wounds of love. Where did they originate? They did not begin with the heart broken by the lover… the wounds are deeper by far; they were there all along waiting to be unlocked and revealed by the lover.

Astrology is an excellent lens through which to view our soul’s blueprint and consider how we are affected by others, particularly in our intimate connections. The synastry chart points to the potential places and spaces we may experience in entering relationship with another soul, it speaks of possible sore points, conflicts, harmonies, longevity, uses and abuses. There are red flags and green lights… timing has a lot of influence too.

Of course, an astrology chart is a symbolic take, not the literal experience but when we accept that in working with archetypal energy and unconscious forces, we recognise that people we meet along the way are guiding us toward our Self, not necessarily through the happy ever after, sometimes it is through the fires of hell.

I am looking at the synastry chart of Amber and Johnny which is revealing many interesting aspects and signatures; I am writing more about that.

I am also writing about the full moon lunar eclipse in terms of relationship, the wounds of love, and the shifts I perceive are occurring. This is all part of a series of work on Eros & Psyche that I initiated a few months ago.

If you are interested in working with me, I offer astrology sessions including synastry charts where I can focus on the points above, or any other aspect of your chart. You are also welcome to join me for part 2 of the Eros & Psyche series, details to follow shortly.

The Inner Fires of Beltane: Kaali & Lilith

Kali & Skulls- Author's Own Image

Kali & Skulls- Author’s Own Image

Today at 13.26 is the astrological point of Beltane- 15° Taurus.

Lilith’s lunar influence is strongly felt as she is in an exact conjunction with the Moon-

Black Moon Lilith “Mean” and Black Moon Lilith “True” are both at 6 ° Cancer 44”- the space between these two points is known as the “Temple of Lilith” and for it to be exact as it is right at this moment is rare.

The Moon is at 6 ° Cancer 34”.

For me the key word here is TRANSFORMATION

The Sabian Symbol for this degree is:

PHASE 97 (CANCER 7°): TWO NATURE SPIRITS DANCING UNDER THE MOONLIGHT.KEYNOTE: The play of invisible forces in all manifestations of life.

The basic concept is that behind all vital processes one can perceive occult forces at work. They operate within a realm often called “astral” or “etheric”; and the moon has a deep influence upon that realm, releasing special solar rays of occult potency.

It contrasts the invisible with the visible, the inner with the outer, the dream and the ideal with everyday reality. In a sense this refers to man’s CREATIVE IMAGINATION.

What is being transformed is the exiled dark feminine principle that is necessary for the creative process and facilitates transformation- the creative process fundamentally includes death and rebirth. Intense feelings of stuckness and blockage that many are experiencing now is connected to outmoded prohibitive forces that must give way to a greater spiritual light.

Binds of consciousnes: karma, ignorance, and forces operating beneath the veil of consciousness that keep things stuck on the astral plane are now being released- if they are not easily released a conflict ensues. This conflict manifests in depression, instability, confusion, and other malaise of the soul that can occur when disrupted forces rise from the unconscious.

It is difficult to release what cannot be seen…the dark goddess opens our inner eye.

Active imagination, dream work, stream of consciousness, and altered states can induce deeper ways of seeing. We are being asked to trust our gut instinct as never before. The problem is that the deeper we probe into the unconscious, and the “realms of the gods”, the less clear-cut things become. Beneath the rationalism of the egoic mind duality becomes less definable…we enter the labyrinth.

Entering the labyrinth leads us on our unique soul path or Grail quest… only we can make this journey… there are no road maps. Things do not necessarily feel consistent here and the Trickster looms large.

Still in a close conjunction with Chiron, Kaali wields her sword against demonic influences which hide- sometimes in plain sight- behind manipulations and subterfuge designed to confuse and distract. In her relationship with Chiron, Kaali is also helping us to identify and release wounds to the soul.

Kaali exists behind the veil of conscious reality as mistress of the astral planes- nothing escapes her wild eye and lightning-fast moves.

As with Lilith, these archetypal forces of the dark goddess offer protection while at the same time forcing us to wake up and smell both the roses and the bullshit… the rose being the glory of our true nature and the bullshit being, well, not so much that which inhibits our true nature but that which we allow to inhibit it… by remaining asleep we collude.

But it’s hard to wake up… the birthing pains can seem long and unbearable at times. Kaali loving Mother and destroyer disrupts the processes of the ego that desperately attempts to maintain a false sense of security and self-importance. She draws us back into the laws of Spirit and Earth.

Next to the Sun at 15° Taurus in a tight conjunction is the great awakener and liberator Uranus who is also helping to guide us toward our true nature. There could be some surprises here though and unless we go willingly into the light of consciousness- often by first descending into the dark- we may be taken unawares and feel out of control or that we have no choice in the matter.

If we accept that transformation, as painful as it may be is for our ultimate growth, and if we can surrender to the creative destructive force of the Great Mother, these powers can move through us… for better or worse… for who are we to judge? We do not yet see the bigger picture.