Not sure about you, but I am glad to be out of the tumbling waves of Pisces. It’s been a big month, with a volume of old patterning coming to the surface to be dissolved and reimagined. Not that I’ve felt visionary, but rather more kin to the imaginal mush of the caterpillar prior to its transmutation. Swimming in my Sacred Wound, my young fears and hurts, my defensive postures, and seeing how they arise in the fertile context of my marriage and other key relationships!
Our Sacred Wound is an archetype we explore in the Four Seasons Journey, and one I work with in an astrology offering around the cosmic journey of Chiron, the Wounded Healer. Our Sacred Wound concerns separation and loss, usually as a very young child.
It’s “a ‘tender spot’ within the self-definition, a place which cannot be strengthened through self-talk, outer achievements or outside validation. It might also be described as the raw feeling of being too exposed, too vulnerable, permanently broken or somehow defeated.” (from astrologer Adam Gainsburg in Chiron: The Wisdom of a Deeply Open Heart)
We develop defensive postures to protect ourselves from our vulnerability and pain, in order to survive as children. In the Four Seasons Journey, we refer to these constellations of neural pathways, stories and patterned behaviours as our Loyal Soldier, who seeks to protect us from ever being wounded in such a way again by ensuring we avoid all potentially wounding situations. (The Loyal Soldier framing comes from the work of Molly Young Brown and Morgan Farley, via Bill Plotkin.)
“The Loyal Soldier has one mission, to keep you safe and it is at the cost of your growth and development that would come from facing your Sacred Wound and all it represents.” (Four Seasons Journey coursework)
We render our wound sacred when we welcome home these excruciatingly vulnerable and endangered parts of ourselves, by feeling all the feelings they invoke in us, by hearing their stories and needs, by holding our witness perspective and practicing radical self-acceptance. Truly a lifework!
Powerful words from Jean Houston in her book The Search for the Beloved:
“In times of suffering, when you feel abandoned, perhaps even annihilated, there is occurring – at levels deeper than your pain – the entry of the sacred, the possibility of redemption. Wounding opens the doors of our sensibility to a larger reality, which is blocked by our habituated and conditioned point of view. Consciousness that had been previously well-robotised and trained to the consensual perspective of our particular culture is excruciatingly sensitized and has a vastly extended sensorium. Pathos give us eyes and ears to see and hear what our normal eyes and ears cannot.”
And from this place of seeing and hearing, of feeling all the feelings, of “doing a Rumi” and welcoming them all in… from this place we are the Wounded Healer, the Embodied Teacher, sharing a humble yet extraordinarily potent medicine with the world…
What’s been becoming clearer for me, in talking with people about how this Sacred Wound experience has played out over the course of their life, is that a wound implies an original vision. We come into this world with some kind of knowing how things could be, especially in terms of love and connection.
The wound occurs when our vision is lost, hidden, discarded, undermined, dismantled, scattered and shattered in our interactions with our families and the world we find ourselves in.
It makes me feel hopeful, the fact that this difficult wound work is a reclamation of something shiningly good. A Return. A Home-Coming. A coming home to ourselves, to our warm hearth within…
This cycle, I’ve been journeying once again with myself as an infant and the ways in which I learned to be separate, so much so that it feels safer to be alone than together. I am attuned to feeling alone, I expect it, I create it. In many ways I feel safer there, because it is familiar.
The work of connection, of stepping into intimacy, is often terrifying. Unsurprisingly, this comes up most in my marriage.
This cycle I’m noticing (once again!) how I find it so hard to come at emotional intimacy head on. My husband, Gord, and I have been doing a particular form of counselling that invites us to schedule regular time together and have a structured conversation while sitting close and directly opposite each other.
For the baby in me, this whole setup is f***ing excruciating, and can bring up panic, outrage and a host of defensive mechanisms. I’m not 100% clear on why the physical proximity and temporal commitment trigger me, but my Loyal Soldier starts screaming at me to get the hell out of there!
I think of my baby self lying alone in a cot for longer than she wanted, resigned to that place, periodically rageful. It makes sense to me that my baby self doesn’t have a sense of agency or choice, and that she has no words with which to communicate her experience. Instead she just feels – huge waves of grief and hurt, and then outrage at having to journey this pain at all, let alone by herself.
So it’s incredibly difficult, when I’m triggered into this baby, broken-connection space, to remember all the resources I have, to remember the possibility of changing my experience by asking for what I need.
I trigger my man simply with the size of the waves within me. And sometimes I make a request – a feat in itself – and face potential judgment and triggering from him in response.
When this baby is crying and raging within me, I am least likely to open to another. The pattern is so strongly to be alone in this pain. I retreat and avoid eye contact masterfully. Just this cycle, I realised that this could be called Shunning. With all the religious heritage of excommunication at a community level held within that word.
So… much coming to light, to be seen with the Sun of my consciousness. This Piscean cycle has been a stirring illumination of how I move into connection (or not) with other people. Watching where and how I separate, how these movements are often patterned defense mechanisms rather than active choices, and feeling myself holding a dream of transformation, even though the work feels monumentally hard and overwhelming for my baby self.
Can you relate to this sense of a Sacred Wound?
What has this last lunar cycle stirred within you?
LAST LUNAR CYCLE
I’ve been using my Lunar Journal to gain some perspective on my experiences during this Pisces New Moon cycle. This lunar cycle also held within it the solar festival Mabon, the Autumn equinox (for us in the Southern Hemisphere, and Spring Equinox for those in the North!).
Here are four places I looked at, hunting for insights in the sacred geometry of time. I share them in the hopes that you can undertake your own enlightening pattern-making and thread-following…
What was happening in the last Pisces New Moon cycle in March 2017?
At this time last year I was wrestling with being ‘seen’ in relationship – is it safe to be seen? One partnership was emphatically ending. I was also grieving a relationship in which my triggered/sacred/hurt child self had been framed as an ogre and used as a scapegoat. And I was feeling scared of being engulfed and invisible in yet another.
My prayers of gratitude at the Full Moon were around wanting to trust that it’s safe to open, and safe to ask for what I need to stay open. My husband and I spent a chunk of time shut down to each other, walking on eggshells. I pondered our marriage, why we were together. No answers came, beyond the pragmatics of material survival and the whisper/slap of soul evolution.
What was happening last Mabon/Autumn Equinox in March 2017?
I wrote: “I am shedding egoic structures of protection, very slowly, but also surely… particularly in my relationship to Gord. Shedding in particular the stories I fall over, the stories of ‘it’s not fair that I have to hold myself so well, in order to receive love and connection, that I have to package myself and my emotions into some kind of palatable box.'”
What prayers did I articulate at the Full Moon in Pisces on the 6th September, 2017?
Six months ago, under this same Piscean energy, I was listening to a ‘soulmate connection’ audiobook (an odd choice for me!) and then getting stranded in a country town, on the way home from a peak ‘mountain top’ experience hosting wilderness solo experience. My prayer, written in the motel room, was “Gord and I have fun together.”
And at the time, for all that we do often have fun together, the dream of being able to trust and rely upon that sense of fun, and the relational safety that is a precursor to it, felt very far away. I quickly felt hopeless about that prayer, slamming the door shut on that longing, feeling that it would require too much of me. A stretch that would break me.
What was happening at Ostara, the Spring Equinox, in September 2017?
At Ostara, six months ago, I was heading off to another wilderness solo experience, calling in fun as a powerful ingredient in the cauldron of basecamp. I was sitting with the question of ‘where is there space for my shakti, my joyful life force? Where is it safe to live this energy?’
Wrestling with a porn-addicted culture and a perceived lack of safety in a world of men. What recourse but to Shun them all, asks my Loyal Soldier?
Ah but wait, I’m married to one. And my soul-work is to open to him in every way, on every channel. Can’t tell you what a headf*** this is to my Loyal Soldier!
At Ostara, Gord and I booked in for another round of counselling (we’ve had a few over the years). Dark Moon Lilith was conjunct my natal Pluto in the 7th house. Pluto, Lord of the Underworld, reliably dragging me through my deepest vulnerabilities. The setting, the stage, for this stripping? Always, my marriage.
Clear and consistent threads emerging, as I scan back over the last year in this way. There is no hiding from the soul lessons yet to be integrated. My delight in joy and play, my longing for joy and play. Joy and play being such a relational thing, and my very young baby self feeling so vulnerable and potentially endangered in that relational space. My Loyal Soldier stymying many of my efforts.
No need to solve these conundrums, but simply to witness them with as much (Piscean) compassion as I can muster. Easier said than done.
SEISMIC SHIFTS & TSUNAMI WAVES
At both the First Quarter and Last Quarter Moons, this cycle, I dreamt of waves and dangerous waters.
I dream a tsunami is bearing down on me on all three sides (in New Mexico!). In milliseconds, I evaluate the total lack of shelter anywhere. I am about to die and the question is, do I have time to text Gord and the kids and tell them I love them (complete with ocean wave emoji), before I am completely annihilated? No, probably not.
That same night, lying bedside me, Gord dreams he is teaching me to walk on water in the Caribbean. Practising in rock pools, telling me to use the energy of a wave, cos there’s quite a lot of ‘up’ energy in it, telling me to spread my energy thin over the water…
Under the Last Quarter harvest moon I dream I am in a cavernous room, filled with people: a wave-viewing station. A wall of glass stretches to the roof, and from this vantage point, we watch as mountains of water flow past and smash onto rocks. The power and the thrill! To be close but safe… alive and awed…
Later that same night, I dream Gord and I are standing on pinnacles of rock, the ground falling away thousands of metres below us. We have the ability to fly, the skills, the resourcing, but all the skills in the world can’t help me with that terrifying moment of stepping off. My fear immobilises me, regardless of “all the work I’ve done.”
Clearly my dream channel is telling me that Gord has much to teach me, that in the context of his generous love, something new can unfold within me. I realised a little while ago that he’s actually one of the safest people/places I know, but my Loyal Soldier is taking a very long time to get the memo.
Very, very grateful to know myself loved, and for his patience as I oh-so-slowly open to his shining heart…
SET AN INTENTION
I feel so full with the last cycle that I’m not sure I’m ready for a fiery New Moon…
But still this invitation of the New Moon: to call in our heart’s desire, to name the seeds we hold within us. And this particular Moon is the Fire sign of Aries – the Warrior, the Activist, the Pioneer, the Amazon.
That part of us that moves forward despite the risk.
When I think of what helps me ‘fly’ in relationship, what helps me let my guard down and open to love, it is these things:
choice, spaciousness, acceptance, connection. A Pisces/Aries mix, methinks!
In a curious parallel, Chiron – the planetary body which represents this Sacred Wound material – has been working the deeply emotional terrain of Pisces for years now, since 2010/2011. Today Chiron shifts into Aries, alongside the Moon. Our deep journeying of our Wound/Gift shifting into a fire sign.
When I think of a shift from water to fire, I think of:
…a baby emerging from a watery womb into the brightness of life…
…a deep sea bed alive with volcanic activity and pillow lava…
…moving from icy water to a warm fire…
…emerging from an ocean swim to lie in the warmth of the Sun…
And so, my New Moon prayer is for spacious, warm connection, and the faith to keep on edging towards the ‘risky’ heat of intimacy.
Some Pisces/Aries combo questions to get you musing!
What emotional experiences and patterns are requiring active tending?
What’s it look like to practice radical self-compassion?
What ‘ingredients’ help you feel safe enough to open your heart, to live from love?
What part of you is being rebirthed?
What insights are arising?
What #nextlev way of being is coming through you?
And the answers to these questions may not be clear yet, but watch for them over this coming lunar cycle…