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Surrendering The Past

Why is that when reflecting upon the past, we sometimes find it painful? Maybe there's some memory attached conjuring a sense of loss, of failure, or something which has died and is now deeply missed. As we get older, this becomes more prominent in consciousness; it's the crystallizing awareness of Saturn. Regrets, disappointments, shortcomings--they all seem to slowly have more relevance than they did before. As we age, time becomes more real, more solid, more ephemeral. I noticed recently that this process has been gradually increasing in my own awareness. Perhaps it's just the natural side effect of my encroaching Saturn return; this event which has loomed before me for quite some time--and now, it's getting a lot more real. I'm starting to really understand why this is such a big step in one's growth and awareness. Astrologer Steven Forrest, in speaking on the Saturn return process, compares it to puberty, which once severed us from adolescence. I think this is a rather apt description [1].

How do you describe puberty to a seven year old child? The feelings, emotions, desires--how could one possibly understand this transformation before hand? The truth is, they can't. According to Steven, this is the same with the Saturn return. It's like a second puberty. There's no way you can comprehend these changes until you reach them. Saturn returns to its natal placement around the age of 29 and 30, or in some cases, such as mine, 28--how lucky am I? I've noticed this increasing sense of urgency--to do something, anything, to grow up quick, before it's too late. I've felt this uprising fear that there isn't enough time; that life is slipping away. The clock is ticking faster, the hours are passing more quickly. I need to act, I need to step up. There's this overwhelming pressure placed upon consciousness, it's a reality which I was always aware of, but until recently, never truly quite understood or comprehended--and I suppose, I still won't completely grasp until it's official. Anyway....

Recently, within the past few days, I've noticed this "portal to the past" opening, as I like to call it. It's these periods of time where we are suddenly drawn toward reflecting on the past, and in some ways, urged to re-create or re-experience it, as if we could once again capture its essence--and in many ways, we do, it's sort of an energy field that surrounds us, triggering memories like a familiar smell. I feel like this is a prominent feature of astrological anomalies like certain retrograde cycles (obviously), and eclipses, which we are currently at the epicenter of. Eclipses are quite unusual experiences, and it's interesting how quickly we forget just how prominent they are and their impact on our lives. Why is this? I suppose it's because they symbolize change. They quicken the process of inner and outer transformation. Sometimes change in and of itself is frightening, and sometimes traumatic.

The Sun is the "now", it's the pure light of conscious awareness, self-expression, and the primary fuel source of the ego, the I am. The moon can be likened to our more "hidden", personal, and intimate nature, and thus also, to the "past"--it is our conditioning, our formative foundation, our securities, instincts, and inner motivations. With a solar eclipse, in particular, like the one occurring on May 9th, these two constructs of psyche merge and mingle in a very unique way. Unlike other new moons, the eclipse is an actual direct alignment of earth, sun, and moon. In astrology, we call this an occultation; a very potent and powerful conjunction of planets. We could say that, in a way, the past and present melt and fuse together. Veils which once obscured and blinded us from certain truths are suddenly lifted to reveal a hidden, and sometimes, disconcerting reality. We find ourselves at the edge of a precipice--and as with any astrological event, we're urged to make certain choices about how we wish to proceed.

Do we jump? Take the leap of faith? Or do we back away, overwhelmed by vertigo, clinging to the past and the familiar womb of safety, certainty, and the "known". These two constructs, of past and present, come together to form some third thing which to our present awareness presents itself as this unknown and unfamiliar formation. What do we do with it? Where do we fit it into our present awareness? I think that most of the time, overwhelmed by the experience, we choose to cling or to go back to what we know. We can't quite fit this new and unusual experience into our reality, and so we sometimes choose to ignore it. The reality is that it doesn't just go away. We can't really shove it under the rug; and so it manifests itself outside of us, forcing some kind of change to take place. The reason the past comes up at these times, is because it is a necessary processing that takes place within the psyche, to essentially make way for this new emerging awareness and experience.

It's like a psychic clearing of the house. We're shuffling through the clutter, going through the boxes, brushing off the dust and cobwebs. Suddenly we find an old photo, a familar object from our childhood, and we stop and reminisce--we get somehow lost in the process, forgetting our original intention which was to make more room or reorganize the space around us. Eclipses invite us to process the past, and surrender to the emerging reality before and within us. We can't stop the changes that must take place now, on both a personal and collective/societal level. If we choose to ignore what's happening within us, if we choose to run back to what we know, what we've already experienced--then it is very likely these changes will come from without, from some external force. Either way, something shifts within us. That's the whole point.

How far can you go with this? How deeply can you really go? Ask yourself these questions, they're important. Can you let go? Can you surrender the past, and make way for the new? This process comes and goes. Just as the Sun will rise tomorrow, another eclipse will return. We'll find ourselves back here, back at this precipice once more. Unlike other eclipse cycles, however, we are in the midst of a unique eclipse Trifecta. This creates an extended process of inner and outer transformation to take hold of us. It might be scary, and a little uncomfortable, but it's best if you choose to face this whole thing head on, and really make the leap. We are opening up to more space, more awareness, and ultimately, more consciousness. We can't change the past. It's over, but we can shape the future. What we choose now will very much alter the course that lies before us. So when in doubt take the plunge. Jump. Trust and have faith in yourself; but don't be hasty, there's no rush. Saturnian time is ultimately an illusion. Go with it. Flow with it. It's a process.

When we stop and realize that we're merely a part of a great unfolding, that all that we need to do is step aside and let it happen; it becomes a whole lot easier to manage. Keep this in mind. I think that ultimately, my own sense of urgency in regards to my Saturn return is entirely reactionary. No one can force puberty, and you don't just wake up one morning with pimples and strange urges toward to the opposite, or the same sex. It's a process. What's happening to me--these new feelings, experiences, and sensations, they'll become commonplace one day, just like all that hair under my armpits. So keep that in mind as well. What might be uncomfortable in the moment will be fully assimilated all in due time.

Anyone feeling this?

For those astrologically privy, look to the house in your horoscope where this eclipse falls, at 19 degrees of Taurus. This will clearly describe the area of life where this leap can take place for you. As I described in my previous article, this particular eclipse is about clearing out stagnation and moving beyond patterns of stubbornness. Meditate on these symbols, but ultimately, just do what comes naturally to you now, while being mindful of the tendency to cling or stay stuck in familiar old patterns.If the eclipse touches on specific "tigger points", ie. planets or certain placements in the chart, then this process will be exceptionally pronounced. 

Notes & Comments

[1] Puberty arises about around the time of the Saturn opposition; that is, Saturn opposite natal Saturn, around age 14--the halfway point of the 30 year Saturn cycle.