The Path, and How to Walk It

Ernest Ponthier de Chamaillard {{PD}}
Ernest Ponthier de Chamaillard {{PD}}

Dear Julie,

I hope this question fairs better than your recently published questions just as I hope others will be interested in the answer. Let me start with the general broad questions and then give you my specifics in case you want them.

Okay, Tora, that sounds good. The easiest way to do this might be for me to just put my answers within your letter. Though this is primarily a relationship blog, I think our relationship with ourselves is the primary one–unless that’s good, how can we be with someone else?

What advice do you have for those who have “messed up” pivotal transits? I don’t mean simply missing opportunities that transits can give but more like making the “wrong” choice. Like if someone fails to handle Saturn well during their first Return, the next 28 years aren’t necessarily gonna suck the whole time, right? Neptune oppositions, Uranus oppositions, Progressed Sun changing signs, etc.

First, I just don’t believe there’s any such thing as the ‘wrong’ choice. Are we capable of making bad choices? Of course, we can make the worst choices possible, but that doesn’t make them wrong, that makes them our choice! I think you’re missing the point: having choice is having freedom–it’s up to the individual to decide, and even if we make a choice we know is not the best, it’s still our choice–that is, it came from us, from within, from our unique viewpoint. And no matter how disastrous or poorly realized the consequences, those were, most definitely, the result of our thinking, impulses, beliefs, and so an expression of who we are.

And in what ways, astrologically speaking, can they work on these wrong choices and failed lessons? Will other transits and progressions simply provide similar lessons? Or is it down to the next step of the failed transit, ie failed Saturn Return helped by the next Saturn Square or the next Saturn-Natal planet aspect?

What I have found is that individuals typically deal with three or four major ‘themes’ throughout life, and these take ever-new (and sometimes ever-repeating) forms, and with attention and effort, these will evolve and open the way to new understanding, and so new ways of being (and of course, that means new ways of making decisions, of choosing). We can’t work on things, as you say, “astrologically speaking”–we work on our lives, not our transits, and you are definitely misunderstanding astrology if you see the transit (or natal placement, or progression, and so on) as ‘coming first’, that is, as dictating when and how we are able to address things.

For the specifics, I was born (data removed to maintain privacy).

I’ve definitely failed to heed my Saturn Return and the call of Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus. When my mother passed away on May 7, 2011 my moon had a Uranus square, Neptune trine, and Pluto opposition. Now Neptune is at 11 degree Pisces which is a big degree in my chart; it’s squaring my Sun/AC and Uranus while trining Saturn/Mars and sextiling Jupiter.

I’ll try to summarize where I am and have been in the last few years. I’ve been depressed for over 8 years, long before my mother passed. I failed to empty the hoarder-type apartment we shared until February 2015, well after Saturn left its natal Scorpio.

I didn’t work from summer 2013 to summer 2015 and I currently have a low-paying retail job I hate; it barely makes enough to make a dent in my $3000 credit card/student debt. I’ve been living with family for two years and that won’t change in the foreseeable future.

I went to college for 10 years and I’m still short of a Bachelor’s degree by 19 units. I can’t see going back to school any time soon either; I failed at least one class every other semester in the last 4 years because of my issues.

I don’t even know what I want for a career anymore either. I was a psychology major with the intention of becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist but in August 2012 I started to have dreams of becoming a fantasy writer. 4 years later and I haven’t written anything, I haven’t tried anything on that front.

That’s a lot of information isn’t it? But you can see how multiple areas of my life are messed up because of my procrastination, inaction, fear. I’ve even been meaning to ask you this since February! And now I’m finally doing it after the sun has moved into my 12th house and I failed to do any New Moon wishing as it moved through Aries and my 11th house.

I threw my hands up and said screw it, I’m going back to California the first week of May instead of waiting until July when my dad and stepmom sell their house. I don’t even know if my car will make it back or what’s the situation with my California registration since they never sent my stickers. My cat has no place to live in Cali so I might have to give her away. So Saturday night was the first time I’ve contemplated suicide. Not for that night but rather the steps I need to take, the storage unit to go through, which things I want particular people to have, the best available option I have to do it, etc. I cried off and on for 2 days thinking about it. Now it’s trying not to think about it and considering antidepressants.

Astrology has been one way for me to understand myself, another psychological tool at my disposal. But I don’t have the experience with transits and secondary progressions that I do with a natal chart (or at least my natal chart). So any thoughts you can give on the general questions, how to “fix” past transits or change the direction of a bad path, would be very much appreciated.

~Tora

What I see here are a lot of statements, declarations of the state of the life, which tells me you know where you are. What I don’t see are any intentions to change the state of things. As anyone would, you want them to change, but are remarkably passive in the way you are approaching that change. I think you may have the misconception that you must already have an end-point in mind before you take your first step, but that’s not so–in fact, to be truly open to the Universe, to the flow of life and to those things that can assist you, you must be willing to take a first step and then listen, rather than stepping right in to the next move. You are in the perfect position right now to take that first step in a direction you deem positive, and without an end point in mind, you are then free to respond to what comes.

In the past it doesn’t sound like you’ve made wrong choices, it sounds like you have made first choices and then refused to make a second one that might make the first one work. I do think you may need a therapist or counselor, and possibly anti-depressants, as the combination of talk and meds can be very effective in helping people like you (you are not alone!) become ‘un-stuck’ from the unproductive pattern that has been pursued so far. I strongly encourage this, because you have everything else: intelligence, energy, creativity, eloquence, that can create a wonderful future for you–but first you must learn to deal with the present.

Don’t despair–it seems to me you need to learn something very basic which is holding you back: you need to learn how to effectively address life. This is not as uncommon as you think, so you were quite correct in believing others may benefit from your letter. And believe me, you have put a lot of energy into preventing your life from working in any coherent way, though that’s never what you intended. You’ll need to honestly answer the question, ‘What have my ‘bad’ choices allowed me to do, that I wouldn’t have dared do otherwise?’ Within the answer to that lies a whole lot about why you have made the choices you have, and acknowledging that there are reasons you have created what you have is important, in fact it’s the only way to begin to turn it around, because those choices gave you something you needed–and your job is to find out how to provide that to yourself in a form that will also bring you personal peace and a reasonable feeling of security.

As to the astrology involved, it makes me think of a recent commercial that you may have seen. Two much older women are in the living room of one; she has covered one wall with photos and notes, and is using social media terms in talking about them (posting and sharing, for instance). Her visitor objects, saying she doesn’t understand, and the woman says, ‘I unfriend you,’ and the other woman stands up and says, ‘That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works’. It seems this is similar to your understanding of astrology: you have much of the mechanics, and the lingo, down, but you are misunderstanding the essence of it: without acknowledging that we are the arbiters of and creators of our own Fate, all the study of transits and progressions in the world is useless. Your characterization of having made ‘wrong’ choices is the heart of it; as I explained, if you don’t understand there are no wrong choices (but there are bad ones), then you will continue to believe that a ‘wrong’ choice negates the effects of a transit, meaning you have ‘missed’ what it could offer–and that is just plain wrong in itself.  Even study of the natal chart is limited in its application until we realize that it is descriptive, not determinative–and that means that though it may help us choose most effectively, the choices are still ours alone to make.

So, I won’t be addressing the astrology involved (I did mention on the question submission page that’s a possibility), because honestly, I don’t think that will help you; in fact, I think it is a distraction from what you really need now: someone to help you sort it out, along with the understanding that you are the only one who can change things (which is a concept I don’t think you’ve entirely realized, yet), and that you don’t have to wait for any particular transit (nor are you condemned to negative results after ‘missing’ one) for you to make the most of things.

I wish you the very best, Tora. I truly hope you’re not too disappointed with my answer, but from my viewpoint this is the best information I can offer. Experience tells me this is what you need; I could be wrong. My sense is that you have a great deal to offer the world, and that you can build a very satisfying life, if you’re willing. Much good luck, jd

 

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2 thoughts on “The Path, and How to Walk It

  1. Zack April 22, 2016 / 9:48 pm

    As my mother once said to me, sometimes you have to just call a decade a wash. Here’s to the next one-

  2. Kate July 10, 2016 / 5:08 am

    Julie, I wish I had these words of yours during my worst transits 8 years ago when my grasp of astrology was like that of an infant. Your advice is way better than any mother, sister or friend can give – because it came from a technically competent stranger.

    Tora, you are the surfer. Breathing in and living your life through astrology is like surfing the tides. There’s a time to shed off your clothes and ride the wind, the sun and the waves. That’s the time when your energy is one with the universe. Go ahead and tap into it, be one with it. Then come back to your regular daily life with an enriched consciousness to live a deeper and fuller life.

    Let me tell you how I survived. I embraced everything that’s in my natal chart. I embraced the fact that I’m looking at my life through the astrological lens. I embraced how all the archetypes presented itself in my chart. That alone is therapy for me. I began to accept that to be able to move forward, I have to carry my bag of skeletons as well. I started to look into my 12th and 8th house issues. I also adopted a positive outlook towards my pluto and saturn hard aspects.

    Accept your sinister side and breathe through it – you’ll be surprised at the depth of personal insight doing so can give you.

    I’m currently having my Uranus opposition…and just realized that it’s like a lucky wild card I’m getting after all those Saturn squares.

    Really, looking at your life through an astrological lens is just one way of living it.

    All the best. Surf’s up!

    Thank you, Kate, both for you kind words and for your confirmation that life is lived outside the horoscope, not through it. It’s a very useful tool, as you so eloquently say, but it can’t and shouldn’t define anyone–and the use of it to understand what you term the ‘sinister side’ is one of its best functions. Glad to hear you came through it well, and love your idea that the Uranus opposition is a kind of reward after Saturn’s trials! All the best to you, too–jd

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