My friend Nora Cabrera recommended I watch a movie called Griefwalker yesterday. You’ve got to love streaming, I got a cup of tea and watched it on my laptop before I even got out of bed. It was quite an extraordinary experience, and one that was perfect for the time.
There’s a lot of death in the air just now. Pluto is lining up some deep shifts for us and the Stephen Jenkinson pretty much sums them up for me in Griefwalker, which is about his work with the dying. Life is framed by death. We can’t appreciate life fully unless we also appreciate death. Jenkinson believes we suffer from a death phobia in our westernised culture. And that this has profound implications for how we live.
Jenkinson asks Tim Wilson, the filmaker:
You didn’t see dying, so this is what makes the challenge. If you have to get the news of your death from someone else [he had received a diagnosis of a terminal illness], how firmly in your life are you? The crucible for making human beings is death. It’s not growth or happiness or success, it’s death. This is the cradle for your love of life, the fact that it ends.
I realised as I watched this film, that we are so focused on life in our culture, it’s as if we have turned our back on death, and our fear of death. Jenkinson also explains that indigenous cultures generally don’t have a fear of death. But we do. And yet, some of the most popular tv shows and books are about forensic detectives. On weekend evenings I’ve got a huge choice of shows that will parade no end of dead, decayed and decapitated bodies into my lounge room, laid out in bold colour. This is how we assuage our craving to meet death. And yet also keep it as a concept rather than a reality.
This week Mercury has been sitting opposite Pluto, bringing to consciousness our deepest survival fears. In early July our deepest unknown personal traumas were triggered by Mars passing over a powerful triple goddess stellium of Ceres, Vesta and Haumea (in 57). The pain of unremembered moments awoke within us. It wasn’t rational, and we can’t make sense of it. Embedded as memory in our cells, created as codes for future survival – I am not worthy, I am not safe, I am not good enough – these early traumas returned to life and took flight in our imaginations, calling out for transformation.
Remember that Chiron is sitting in Gate 22 – the Gate of Grace which means that we ARE beauty and love beneath our masks, and that it’s time to remove the social graces and find the truth of who we are beneath. Gate 22 tells us that Universal law reveals something beyond our ego sense of what is valuable to and in the world. Everything that has been shamed, made invisible or unimportant, misunderstood, buried and forgotten is coming back from the dead zone where we shoved it and then became too afraid to look. Because, you know, death is to be avoided, even all those parts of ourselves we made dead over the years in our best attempts to survive.
In embracing those parts of ourselves that we have made dead, we shift to a relationship with life that arises, as Jenkinson describes, from the crucible of death. This is a powerful tool of the soul.
The Sun will conjunct Jupiter in Gate 56 tomorrow. When I checked the transits for July I thought … oh, that’s nice!
Ha!! Jupiter expands whatever it touches, and in this case it’s ushering in a whole new world. It is being fed by a plethora of minor planets in Gate 11, where we also find the Galactic Centre. This is like a vacuum cleaner, literally sucking out old beliefs and replacing them with new ones.
Here’s the ever so impressive line up at the Galactic Centre – Asclepius, Orpheus, Amycus, Quaoar, Hylonome, Icarus. Short version of what they’re saying – be present to your grief in each moment with no attachment to the past, and don’t try to get around it or over it, you really need to feel it and go through it. When you approach it that way, it will clear more quickly than you expect. Get professional support as needed. I have never seen so many therapists of various kinds in my life as I am right now, it’s delicious to call in so much support! Music is also great, I’ve been listening to this A LOT! – Creative Mind Systems.
So, back to the Sun and Jupiter. In the Gate of the Wanderer (56), this is about trying to escape incarnation, the quintessential feeling of being a stranger in a strange land. Who are these humans? What are they doing????
We have a strong sense of not being at home here on this planet. We are sloughing off the old testament ideas that we are bad,wrong, at constant risk of punishment. We have been thrown from the garden for our original sin and have never figured out how to be ‘good enough’ to get back in. That time is done. Eternal life does not depend on gold stars from god.
There’s something else very intriguing about Gate 56. LiSe Heyboyer talks about entering new and unknown territory, and the need to be modest and careful as we find our way in the unfamiliar. She suggests we expect the unlikely, and be ready to respond from our new selves rather than our old selves.
Margaret Pearson says this about Gate 56:
In being wanderers we must leave behind many ties and almost all physical possessions. By acceding to this emptiness and vulnerability, we open ourselves to new worlds, some of which may be far more fruitful for us than our current homes.
This is NOT an emergency, but a transition. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Hold on to what feels right, release what feels done. Embrace your vulnerability in the unknowing and unfamiliar ways of being that are coming to us. Give yourself soul-ful time to grieve what’s gone and to feel the dance of what is beginning.