Crisis/Resolution & Sitting With Your Pain

The title of this entry probably sounds a little intense. It's kind of where I'm at these days. Nearing my Saturn return in Scorpio, and Saturn currently in my eighth house, things have been rather interesting for me internally. Today (May 9th) is the much anticipated Annular Solar Eclipse in Taurus. I noticed this sinking sort of emptiness emerge in my solar plexus, this sense of something missing, something profoundly significant. At the root of it is an internal dichotomy, or, well maybe eternal dichotomy may be more appropriate. It's a crisis that I come up against quite often, and it feels like it transcends this life.

I recently made a rather big decision. It involved putting aside one path (astrology) and pursuing another (bodywork). I sacrificed an opportunity that was a really big deal for me, because on this more psychic/intuitive level, I realized it wasn't the direction I needed to be going in the moment. It seems that whenever I decide I'm ready to begin practicing astrology professionally, I come up against this blockade. I don't know what it is exactly, but there's something always pushing me in other directions. Years ago I had given up another career path to pursue my study of astrology, thinking it was my "mission" or "destiny" in life, and that everything else was just getting in the way. Maybe I'm not ready, maybe Saturn just needs to solidify some things first within me. I don't know.

I had come across an opportunity to do an apprenticeship, with a very well known master of the astrological arts. It was all set up, the transits looked good, perfect even. Yup, everything was aligned, this was it, it was "destiny". Then, another opportunity popped up to train with another master of massage and bodywork; the other path I had recently set the intention to pursue. I could do both, but then one or the other would get less attention. To top it off, both events conflicted with each other on a specific day, I had to pick one. After a rather lengthy contemplation, and in perfect synchronicity with the superior conjunction of Mars and the Sun a few weeks ago, I made my decision. I chose to pursue bodywork. I decided that, perhaps, I would return to the other option at a later time. If fate allows. Today, right in sync with the eclipse, the reality of my decision hit me like a tsunami. What if I made the wrong choice? What if I've made a mistake? What if my "psychic/intuitive" insight was mere delusion? Was my life path was now permanently altered?

It was too late, the opportunity had passed. There was nothing I could do to change it. Among the backdrop of some pretty intense and heavy transits, I'm currently undergoing a cycle of expansion and opportunity heralded by that jovial and adventure seeking ball of gas we like to call Jupiter. Fat and jolly Jupiter isn't going to make anything happen for me, he simply sparks the momentum within myself, and magically arranges the external scenery to coincide with my need to expand outwardly and bring more experience into my reality. What I do with that energy is up to me; I could go in several directions. I could choose one path or another--or I could do them all, and likely overreach and "fail" in the wake of the classic Jovian pratfall. I chose the former.

I chose the more "practical" path, the one that, on the surface, seems like the more "secure" route. A rather Saturnine thing to do I suppose. It involves something I enjoy and really love doing--but, it's not exactly my bliss. You know what I mean? Maybe you do, maybe you don't. Joseph Campbell coined the phrase, "Follow your Bliss", to describe that thing in life that provides one with  an insatiable all encompassing  joy. Not everyone finds that in life; or even bothers to go looking for it. I think that, actually, unfortunately, many have no idea such a thing exists. For me, my bliss is that thing that sends a rush of ecstasy from my solar plexus straight into my heart chakra whenever I think about it. It's a burning and melting sense of joy. When you feel that, you just know, there's no second guessing it. Your bliss is that thing you do because you have to. Not out of a sense of obligation, but out of pure love and an endless curiosity to explore and expand upon it. You just do it, that's it.

Choosing something over my bliss generated a bit of a mental tantrum; or what we call a "crisis" or "internal dichotomy". It's this intense confrontation of two seemingly irreconcilable constructs, which the mind is pressured to somehow integrate. This other path I chose isn't exactly anti-bliss, like I said, I love and really enjoy doing it, but it just isn't going to make my chi flutter and ooze. Well, maybe a little. I've recently emerged from an intense healing crisis, and it was in the midst of this crisis that I realized that the root of it all, or part of it, was the fact that I had lost touch with my joy in life. I had allowed myself to get distracted and had run off course. Since then, I made the vow that I would never do it again; that I would never let myself forget.

As the Moon approached the Sun today, preparing for the eclipse, this deep sadness and sense of powerlessness came over me. It was like an empty void, a black hole, had formed in my solar plexus. This feeling went far back into time, beyond this life, beyond this moment. I was permeated with regret, with guilt, with remorse. All those dreadful feelings that would make any Buddhist cringe. I was in pain. In the midst of it, I had generated a crisis. A reality had sunken in, it had become real and palpable; and seeking integration, it was solidifying into my awareness and there was no going back. It's interesting what the human creature will do when it experiences any kind of pain, be it physical, mental, or emotional. We generally seek some kind of immediate sense of resolution. We're urged to reach out, to something, to someone, to anything that can ease our momentary suffering. We're conditioned to "fix" it, to make it "better", so that we don't hurt anymore.

It was the death of an ideal, that's it. It was something my mind had become attached to, and now, I had to let it go. Letting go is a process that often involves a sort of mourning. Jupiter comes and he goes. It doesn't care how I expand, all that matters is that I do. All that matters is that I do it consciously. In the past I would usually seek some kind of numbing device. That's not an option anymore. I sat with my pain. The human entity and it's mental, emotional, and physical bodies are miraculous creations. What goes on within us is much more intelligent than we can imagine. There's nothing wrong with the pain. There's nothing wrong with the crisis. It's just a perfectly natural process. I realized that what was going on within me today  was mirrored in the sky, in the eclipse. As the two luminaries began their conjunction, as these two irreconcilable constructs, Sun and Moon, began to merge, a similar process was happening inside me.

What I was experiencing wasn't my problem, in fact, it wasn't even my pain. It was a collective dichotomy. I'm not separate from the cosmos. What's happening within me, is happening everywhere. In the end, everyone's story is really the same. It's the eternal and universal mythos. By the late afternoon, when the eclipse was officially over, I had come to place of acceptance and resolution. A deeper understanding of the situation had emerged all on its own. Earlier, like an animal trapped in a cage, I was frantically looking for an exit. Eventually, it worked itself out--and I didn't really need to analyze it to death. All the mental chatter, stress, and confusion was incessant and entirely unnecessary  It was merely a mental, emotional, and psychic process at work. Most of the time, the mind over-complicates things. Our need to understand something, to "make sense" and rationalize is merely our mind's inability to accept it as it is, and to integrate the unknown.

When we simply trust the process, when we just let it happen, things often resolve on their own. Pain is a healing reaction. In the body, this is the byproduct of an inflammatory response. In our modern western paradigm, we're conditioned to suppress this response by any means possible--in the most outlandish ways, usually quite counterproductive to functional healing. So, trust the pain, and trust the process. Let it happen. Sit with it, let yourself feel it. When in the midst of a crisis, don't panic, don't look for the exit. We don't need to do anything, we don't need to fix it because nothing is wrong. We are the unfolding drama, we are the ecstasy and the agony. Just because we "fail" to attain an ideal, doesn't make us failures. It simply makes us human. All that matters is the experience.