There’s an unknown story about the Maiden of the Wells that is part of the Holy Grail myth of King Arthur.
In this story, it says that throughout the land there were these wells where any traveler could arrive and be served by these maidens who would offer them delicious food and drinks.
The food that they would serve to these travelers would be the very thing that their hearts desired, and they would walk away feeling satiated and nourished.
The people loved These Well Maidens and given their proper respect.
Until one day, a new king rose to power, and everything changed. He not only disrespected the maidens, but he also turned them into his servants, obliged them to do his bidding. The few maidens that managed to escape this life of servitude went into hiding and refused to share their voices and gifts with the world.
No longer a traveler could receive the nourishment of the food and drinks that were served them on their travels. The wells went dry, and the voices of the ‘well maidens’ were hushed. That’s when the kingdom became a wasteland.
It is said that to this day, we wait for the Well Maidens to raise their voices and sing again. Only then will the spell over our land be lifted and our wasteland will be healed.
What is also relevant to this unknown story is that these maidens are also a reflection of how the Celts saw the concept of Sovereignty.
To the Celts sovereignty was seen as the Lady of the Land, often portrayed as a Queen figure, much like Guinevere, Igraine, Rhiannon, Ellen of the Ways, and others.
What does this story have to do with the astrological dance of 2018?
Since Jupiter entered Scorpio, we have seen the rise of the #metoo movement, the truth to power against the abusive treatment of women. We are seeing men of power, a quintessential representation of Jupiter, be called out by their actions.
Jupiter in Scorpio has an investigative quality, and as such we are in for a year where what is hidden, buried and secretly locked away, will be revealed. While Jupiter is often about expansion, 2018 continues the themes of digging through, instead of expanding outwardly.
Mind you Jupiter will be in Scorpio until November 7, 2018, so the opportunity for growth (another Jupiterian concept) will be via digging deeply, being introspective, and examining our relationship to power (a Scorpio concept) – power within; power over others; and empowerment.
An important detail – Scorpio is a yin sign, with qualities the enhance reflection, going inward and exploring one’s hidden corners. 2018 is an excellent year for inner work and healing.
Saturn in Capricorn
December 20, 2017, Saturn, the planetary archetype of structure, foundation, authority, mastery, and discipline will move into Capricorn – it’s own home turf. The last time that Saturn was in Capricorn was 27 years ago. If you are old enough, reflect on what was happening in your life 27 years ago. What were you trying to master? What were the key lessons you were learning then?
While Saturn traveled through Sagittarius, we explored issues around truth (ours vs. others; fake news); taking responsibility for our dreams and visions, and examining our beliefs.
Now with Saturn poised to enter Capricorn, where it will journey through for the next three years, we are collectively called to go back to basics, value what is essential in our lives, trim the fat and commit to the dreams we engendered while it was traveling through Sagittarius.
Capricorn is another yin sign that speaks to our relationship to time (and its management), to the very things that give our lives structure and shape. So 2018 is a time for us to individually restructure some of our priorities by letting go of what no longer serves us.
Saturn in Capricorn is quintessentially an opportunity for us to collectively restructure our relationship to authority – ours and of others. More importantly, I feel this is the aspect that will call us to reclaim our Sovereignty.
Uranus in Taurus
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are all transpersonal planets. What that means is that they represent forces of the collective zeitgeist, affecting us not just personally, but more importantly ruling the more significant shifts that create waves of change in our culture and world.
So while you may be feeling the effects of a prolonged stay of one of these planets over one of your personal planets (such as Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars), you are also part of the ripple of how these planetary archetypes inform our collective shifts.
In 2018 we see the strengthening of the theme of slow-moving planets entering yin, earth and water signs (Earth – Taurus/Capricorn; Water – Scorpio/Pisces). For a few years they had been journeying through fire and air signs, thus reflecting changes in our beliefs, why of thinking, communicating and envisioning the future.
Now they move into Earth signs, bringing things down to the body, to earth – literally – and calling us to embody the changes we have determined are needed. It’s also a call to the wisdom of the body, nature and the natural cycles.
The most significant shift will be Uranus, the planetary archetype of change, entering Taurus, a sign that encapsulates the resistance to change, and that which we hold on to – people and possessions.
We can approach Uranus’ call for a major shift from a perspective of curiosity and with playing ‘what if’ as we look for alternatives to bring about the changes we desire while loosening the grip we may have on that which we struggle to let go.
2018 the year of looking within to our own sovereignty
There’s so much more to be said about these powerful planetary shifts and how they can beckon us both individually and collectively to engage with our yin energy and reclaim the sovereignty of our inner landscape.
In astrology, it’s often said: As Above, So Below. The rest of this aphorism is: As Within, So Without.
2018 is shaping up to be a year of where the inner work we do, will be the seed cause of the ripples of change that we so desire.
But what about the story of the Well Maidens?
I believe that each one of us is an expression of these Well Maidens and their intimate link to the Lady Sovereignty – the Lady of the Land. As we do our inner work, realigning ourselves with our natural rhythm, and working on our growing edges, we are in turn helping to raise the voices of every one of us.
As we relearn to sing our song, we are in turn reclaiming our Sovereignty. Our inner work is what will help heal the wasteland, in which our world finds itself.
We are the Well Maidens, and 2018 is the year raise our voices. Here’s to every one of us reclaiming our sovereignty.
Want to see how the planetary shifts of 2018 will interact with your birth chart?
Check out my Welcome 2018 offer and learn about how you can make the best of 2018 here.
Yesterday I was at a social mixer event, when someone came to ask me what was happening astrologically because it seemed that everything was moving like molasses.
Not a week goes by that I don’t get some version of this question: What is happening astrologically because _______(fill in the blank, but it usually it has to do with something shitty, difficult or unsettling.)
I always find these questions interesting, but also humorous in that they point to a way in which we still see the archetypal energies around us.
Meaning…. It’s something ‘out there’, outside of us that is ‘causing’ or affecting these difficult, challenging or at least uncomfortable positions.
Usually, but not always, it has to do with things not going according to our expectation. Although there are those who are more versed in the language of astrology and they will mention a ‘good planetary aspect’ as the ‘giver’ of opportunity for something good that has happened in their lives.
In case of something ‘positive’ the accolades go to Jupiter.
So back to that question… in case you too are wondering…
First and foremost… nothing is in a vacuum.
As much as we like to think that we create our stories, we are also immersed in a much pool of consciousness that involves our family patterns, social groups, culture, geography, solar system and level of conscious awareness.
From an astrological point, it’s also key that you look at your birth chart to see how the ‘dance out there’ is interacting with the inner dance of your own sacred inner landscape – the temenos of your birth chart.
That’s my disclaimer before I give some sort of answer to these questions around what’s happening astrologically to affect one’s reality in such a way _____ (fill in the blank).
But right now, I’ve been very interested in Jupiter’s entrance into Scorpio. Whenever a planet enters a sign, specially if it’s going to stay there for more than a few weeks, it’s significant because it affects our zeitgeist’s Feng Shui.
One key element that I can see reflected in my own life with Jupiter in Scorpio is the desire to SLOW DOWN and go deeper.
Jupiter is an energy that loves expansion: increased waist line (mine was affected by all the wedding cake that I have eaten in the past week!), but also intellectual breadth, long journeys – internal and external, ballooning effect and buoyancy.
But Scorpio isn’t about covering long geographic distances, but internal distances. It’s about depth, not breadth of distance.
So until November 2018, when Jupiter journeys through Scorpio, we will be better equipped to navigate these times if we call back all our feelers for opportunities (a Jupiter word) from being all over the place, to FOCUSING on where we can develop depth.
Instead of giving in to our societal ADD of having too many pots in various burners, spreading ourselves thin, it’s best to consolidate and focus on where we can truly develop an intimate relationship.
- Let’s say you are an artist – focus on a specific technique that you’ve been wanting to master.
- Relationships – get intimate and dive deeper into the relationships (romantic or otherwise) where you can truly focus. See your friends more than just a few times a year, but make the effort to be more present for in depth conversations.
- Work – I could write a whole post just on that. But for now just focus on the projects that truly light up your desire, because the opportunities will lie in going really deep and into these projects.
- Spiritually/Psychologically – this is the jam with Jupiter in Scorpio – a great time to do some couch time (not the couch potato version, but the therapy kind.) Do the healing work that you’ve been needing.
You know all the baggage you’ve been lugging around? The trauma, depression, inadequacies, psychic weight? It’s time to dance with them and work in transmuting them. Depth healing work is a great way to transmute the challenging energies of Jupiter in Scorpio.
For a sign that is linked to excrement, it’s time for us to work on our shit, and like good alchemists to do the work of seeing the gold inherent in our own shit – our prima materia.
Why is this relevant? Because when Jupiter enters Sagittarius its home turf next November, we can have less luggage to carry around when we are collectively called to embark on long distance journeys – inner and outer.
Book your healing session: reiki, psychotherapy, shamanic healing, massage, astrological session (wink, wink), or anything that seems to be calling you. This will be the best way to navigate these times where collectively we are seeing the cracks on our society’s septic tank and everything is coming to the surface.
Lastly… it’s not all you!!!
We have our own personal issues, true, but we are also transmuting for the collective. The more you do your own personal work, the better you can transmute the collective work that washes up in your own individual well.
What is coming up for you?
How’s the container of your own septic tank?
What areas of your life are you in need to go deeper?
PS – Catch my Jupiter Report here: http://www.vanessacouto.com/jupiter-in-scorpio/
Or get the full scope of your entire chart here:http://www.vanessacouto.com/work-with-me/
Reflections on the journey to the altar.
Last week I got married. It was an intimate ceremony and reception with a few friends and family. We hired friends to help with the catering, the photography and even our wedding rings. The ceremony was at a friend’s house. The officiant was the friend that played cupid and introduced us on a blind date 8 years ago.
Even for a small wedding, many pieces had to come together, and I’m grateful for friends and family that helped us make it happen. It’s only been a week, but I wanted to write down my reflections on this journey to the altar, while it’s still fresh in my mind.
The wedding itself was a bit of happy teary-eyed blur, but it was a threshold into another life chapter. So it seemed fitting to take stock and share what I have learned on this heroic journey into love and relationships. I hope it can give you some fresh insights on your own journey.
Ten years ago I had a dream.
To be precise it was on October 7, 2007 as marked on my collection of journals. This dream was the seed that lead me on a heroine’s journey that culminated on my own wedding, synchronistically on October 22, 2017. (In my life, October has always been a time of important transitions.)
At the time, I was preparing to write my thesis for my MA in Counseling Psychology. I already had a topic that I had been preparing to write, but I had no juice in me to actually do so. I was struggling with lethargy, good old procrastination, and a major case of writer’s block, until this dream.
It was a dream about a wedding between two actors. It was full of pageantry and symbolism. It wasn’t my wedding, but I felt that this dream pointed towards my own desires to find my own romantic partner. Soon afterwards, I completely shifted the topic of my thesis, and decided to write about the heroine’s quest for love.
The work on this thesis shifted not only my final academic piece, but it was the beginning of my own heroic journey towards finding romance, but more importantly, reclaiming different spokes of my own life’s wheel.
So let’s break down the main lessons I learned on the way to the wedding.
Meeting the Inner Other
Following my dreams has led me to making some major life changes. I moved to Portland, Oregon because of a dream. I shifted my thesis topic because of another dream, just to name a few examples. Working with dreams, as well as fantasies, daydreams and flights of fancy, have always been a rich soil for how I weave my life.
During those years before and after graduate school, my romantic life was nil. Cupid was not hanging out in my neighborhood. I was too focused on work and school to really look more deeply at how not having a partner pained me. That dream and the thesis broke the dam, and I took up doing the inner work to meet my Inner Other (or as I affectionately call: my “Inner Dude”).
As much as I tried, I knew I couldn’t just do online dating, or even dating in general, without first taking a deeper look inside.
The external strategies just weren’t working for me, so I took to my dreams and fantasies as a way to go back to the drawing board. Doing the inner journey towards meeting the many facets of my Inner Other, allowed me to shift the outer relationship I had with the Outer Other. Not only in romantic encounters, but also other encounters with men in general in my life.
It’s a bigger job than you think
Writing my thesis was the equivalent of me writing for myself a travel manual for this heroic journey towards love that I was about to undertake. The thesis was just the tip of the iceberg for me.
After I had finished it and got my diploma, I really took to ‘living out my thesis’. I brought to practice what I had written about. Much like doing a ritual to honor a dream (a topic I discuss in more depth in the thesis), I took to implementing what I had written about. The first marriage was between theory and practice.
I took to working with my dreams with more gusto. I reconnected with my artistic self. I undertook Jungian therapy to help me diver deeper. I analyzed my fantasies and even celebrity crushes. I prepared my house for love. I painted the rooms, rearranged the furniture, created space in my closet to make space for love.
I made sure I was honoring Venus/Aphrodite as well by doing what brought me joy and gave me pleasure. I reconnected with the yin/feminine pleasures that nourished my soul. I brought my quest for love to every aspect of my life.
The best that came out of this was the realization that the search for love ripples through all other relationships in your life.
Finding a partner is just the tip of the iceberg
Now I’d love to say that once you find your love partner that all will run smoothly. That’s so far from the truth. I could write a dissertation on what goes on after you cross the threshold into a relationship. It’s another heroic journey of dismantling old paradigms and rusty inherited relationship patterns that have been handed down from our parents, ancestors and society.
The search for the romantic other is really just the tip of a very big iceberg.
That doesn’t diminish its value, but it’s not what our culture, with its romantic stories, movies and ideals has lead us to believe. It seems that everything ends at the altar, when in truth the work towards a romantic union – in whatever shape it comes – is really a heroic journey towards finding and reclaiming different aspects of ourselves.
For me, one of the key elements that came out from my thesis work and my own romantic quest was my art.
I started drawing again, after putting it all away for 16 years because I was led to believe that nothing would come out from my art. My parents with the best of intentions wanted me to embrace something more financially stable, instead of art. My inner gremlins took over, and I let go of my markers and drawing paper. I put my artist self in a closet, locked it and threw the key in the river.
But the work in search for my romantic other lead me back to my art. My Inner Dude was the torchbearer that lead me to reclaim my art.
I got further confirmation that I was on the right track, when I met my now husband in that fateful blind date set up by our friend. We met at an awards dinner, where he won many awards for his work in print and packaging design. I had an intuition then that we would be working together. He has since become my ‘not so secret weapon‘ in helping me bring my art to life in different ways. Both my Inner and Outer ‘Dude’ are the torchbearers for my art.
In our culture of swiping left and right, of instant gratification, judgments and lack of curiosity about learning and listening to another, doing anything slowly isn’t heralded as a good strategy. We want 3 easy steps towards —– fill in the blank. If it’s not instant attraction or love, we just stop the conversation dead on its tracks. It’s as if we are collectively living under the adage of a New York Minute. Go go go. Never stop to reflect. Never take a second look. Never let it simmer.
I’m not saying that we should stick with something that has no eros for us, or has really passed its sell-by-date. But there is something to be said about allowing time to slow cook the onions of our lives.
I love cooking with our slow cooker. It’s magical to arrive home later in the day and smell the food and know it’s almost done. Relationships, especially romantic ones, are better suited for slow cooking, especially when it comes to our own onions.
You can take the onions here to mean your rough growing edge bits. The parts about you, that honestly, you know you should be handling, but you rather project onto another and accuse them of not doing the ‘right thing’.
It goes beyond the scope of this blog post, but projection and transference are the bulk of our issues with our partners. So much of our own inner shit gets smeared onto our partners, and it’s often way easier to point the finger at them, than to see the other 3 fingers pointing right back at us.
Prior to meeting my husband, I took care of doing my inner work as best as I could. I wanted to see what my ‘issues’ were, so I looked at my dreams, did my time on the therapy couch, and really embraced self-inquiry. (Granted this is something I feel we are constantly doing. The greatest opus of our lives is really sculpting ourselves.)
However, that’s just one side of the journey. It all gets way more fun after you are doing the dance with another, who also brings their own onions to the banquet.
Once I met my husband and we said yes to doing the relationship dance, I quickly learned these three things. I’ll stick to 3, just in honor of giving you the ‘3-easy steps’ taste.
- You are your partner’s teacher when it comes to your emotional inner landscape.
Remember your partner is looking at you from their own foggy projection glasses. It’s your job to educate them about your own inner emotional landscape.
However, remember your best and favorite teacher.
Don’t be a ruthless and snappy teacher. Instead learn to be a motivating and engaging teacher. It may be a lot of work, and we all know that our taste for instant gratification hates anything that alludes to work, but this is a cultural flaw that has ruined way too many relationships. Love is exciting, but like anything good in life it does take work – and it takes teaching.
Embrace your inner teacher and educate your partner on your Inner Landscape.
- Bring your beginner’s mind to the table. Be curious.
Curiosity did NOT kill the cat.
Get over yourself, because the world does not revolve around you.
We need to learn to reengage our curiosity and beginner’s mind into our lives – be in our relationships, romance, work and politically. The antithesis of engaging curiosity is our addiction to black and white, snappy judgments. Culturally we have taken judging a book by its cover to the 9th level of hell. Having a gut feeling about someone or situation is one thing, but a lot gets lost because we fail to ask the questions, choosing instead to pronounce statements.
Less statements and judgments – more engaging inquiry and curiosity.
Your partner might as well be an alien that has just landed in your backyard. Ask questions. Learn about their inner landscape. Be open to understanding what makes them tick, instead of immediately dismissing it. I’m not saying don’t pay attention to red flags, or diminish your own standards or preferences, but be curious even about those.
Often people say that communication is the key element in the success of relationships. I feel there’s a step before this, and that is bringing curiosity and inquiry to the conversation.
- Your partner is your guru-teacher.
Now this is a loaded one. The word guru or even teacher can bring up a lot, but stay with me for a bit.
When we are looking for a romantic partner or we have found someone that makes us want to stay in the dance a bit longer, we are in essence meeting someone that brings important information about missing aspects of ourselves, as well as clues about the story we are playing out.
The triggers that are brought about by the other are clues to our own growing edges.
I know it’s not sexy, but I have seen this play out over and over – in my own life and in the lives of clients and friends.
So when I do manage to calm myself down during a difficult conversation or argument with my partner, I can spot where their behavior or words are really teaching moments delivered to my inner work inbox. That’s why it’s key that we continue to do our own inner work, because it helps us see the patterns, while taking ownership of what needs our attention quicker, rather than let it all fester.
Remember in any relationship, especially in romantic ones, we are teachers to our partners.
No wonder culturally we are so starved for meaty and juicy love courses, not just on how to get the guy or girl, but how to really do this dance. Romantic ideals have given us many good things, but it has failed in helping us embrace the less sexy aspects of what makes for a thriving relationship.
Passion may set the table, but love serves the dinner.
Wearing the Veil
The time between writing my thesis and meeting my now husband took 2 years – almost to the day.
There were times that I wished things had happened faster. I watched bewildered from the sidelines while my friends found their partners. But deep inside I knew that I in the ‘wearing the veil‘ phase of my journey. I was exploring my own inner landscape, establishing a better relationship with the different faces of my Inner Dude. I was rediscovering hidden corners of my psyche. It was a deeply internal time that may not have pleased my more anxious and fasted-paced self, but my psyche knew what it was doing. Even my psyche likes slow cooking.
In these last 10 years, I had the chance to share this information with friends or clients when they expressed a desire to find a romantic partner.
What I often noticed when I shared my process, my slow cooking ‘recipe’, is that while at some level they see the truth in doing the inner work and embracing the flow of time, another side wants something more immediate. Believe me I have been there, and really wanted things to move to the speed of my immediate desire.
However, our psyche, our soul follows its own developmental speed. It has its own rhythm.
The insights I share here are just to inspire or motivate you to embark on this journey, if that is what you wish. I have learned much from other people’s stories, especially how they traversed their own liminal spaces. So I hope that in sharing what I have learned on the way to my wedding, you too may benefit. Take this ‘slow cooking recipe’ and adapt it in your own way, but approach it with curiosity and a beginner’s mind. The onions cooked in a slow cooker make for a more scrumptious onion soup.
On the morning of my wedding day, as I was getting ready, my sister said: “The wedding is just the beginning, what matters is what comes afterwards.”
Although my husband and I have been together now for 8 years, I know that crossing the ceremonial threshold at the wedding, we have now stepped into a new adventure. It’s a new chapter of our lives, a whole new landscape.
The wedding is a culmination of a journey, and the beginning of another pilgrimage of the heart and soul.
PS – Check out my course on Dreaming up Your Partner – In Search of the Magical Other.
As I write this, the Moon will soon embrace the Sun in its monthly New Moon phase. They are both in Libra, a sign that brings to bear issues around harmony in relationships. This Sacred Marriage of Sun and Moon in a sign that focuses on equal partnerships is coming in the wake of a rising tide with the #metoo movement.
But first, let’s take a step back.
True to form, when a planet moves into a new sign, collectively we feel a shift in the zeitgeist. This is specially true if it’s a slower moving planet, because their arrival in a certain sign will shift the feng shui of the collective.
On October 11, Jupiter, the archetype of opportunities, good luck, but also kings and powerful men entered the realm of Scorpio where it will stay for a little over a year, until November 8, 2018. Archetypes are multilayered and require that we dive in a little deeper. Today we will just scratch the tip of the iceberg. We have a full year to explore these themes.
Still the synchronicity of Jupiter’s arrival in Scorpio, the realm of buried secrets, taboo subjects, sex, power, trust, regeneration and rebirth, was uncanny, because this was in time for the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal to explode in the headlines; a scandal that has been shaking up the power brokers of Hollywood.
Now it’s nothing really new to have – yet again – another powerful man abuse his power and let loose his predatory behavior. It seems that virtually every year headlines are paraded around men and their abuse of power and their treatment of women (not to mention issues around other racial and sexual minorities.) Many may act surprised, but the sad truth is that this is behavior that has been going on for millennia.
The interesting opportunity this time, and opportunity is right up Jupiter’s realm, is that the anger and grief around this age old problem has cracked the dam even further, and more women are sharing their own stories via the #metoo. Even if they don’t share the details of their story, these two words – me too – speak volumes.
But they also raise deeper questions and realizations.
For starters it’s getting harder to hide under a rock and run from inescapable truths. This is where the #metoo in Social Media could be the tipping point in a sea change around the power structures in place, the need to dismantle it, and how women and men will need to join forces – aka form a partnership – to do the work needed.
Another realization is that this is not a ‘just a women’s issue’, it’s a systemic issue and fruit of a cannibalistic aging patriarchal system. It’s also a ‘crisis of masculinity’ (see Emma Thompson’s interview on the subject here.)
The questions (to name a few) now are around:
- What can men do to help transform this systemic issue?
- How can they step up to the plate?
- How can they mentor the boys and help shift the culture?
- Can they take ownership of the issue, even if they ‘didn’t behave in such manner’?
At the core here is a deeper issue: silence or lack of action is no longer to be tolerated. This also extends to issues around race, economics, ecology, politics and sexuality.
Silence feeds shame, which in turn is one of the pillars of imbalance of power.
These are all manifestations highlighted by the planetary archetypes.
Jupiter – power, opportunity for expansion, but also when too much of a good thing is actually quite bad. It’s also the ‘good old boys’ club smug in their leather armchairs of overbearing power.
Scorpio – revealing to us what has been hidden, kept secret around all the issues that aren’t fit for ‘polite’ chit chat. But Scorpio is also about rebirth, regeneration and deep transformation through facing one’s fears.
We have a year of this combo. I hope that therapist’s offices will be busy, because it’s high time we collectively addressed our inner demons, and not just let our trauma, wounds and everything in between be left to be ‘digested’ and dumped as abandoned baggage in the collective.
We can expand the #metoo movement to also mean that each one of us will also do the inner work around our own trauma stories, our deep wounds. Each one of us will take responsibility around our own healing, while learning to hold space for others. Because inner work is both political and ecological.
If we can do our own shadow dance, look to what is underneath our own secret rugs, we will be better fit to come together in partnerships to co-create the new solutions to the systemic problems we have at hand.
New Moons are about planting new seeds.
It’s intention time to focus on what we want to bring forth into the world.
Every month, as the Moon is new in a different phase, she, as our cosmic storyteller, is writing a new chapter in our collective book.
Every year, we have a New Moon in Libra, the realm of partnerships – romantic or otherwise. Every year we have the opportunity to set new seeds of intention around our relationships.
Now extrapolate this to our collective, and we can see that the tolerance level for the old ways is quickly diminishing, even if those with fundamentalist leanings are still prisoners of their inability to expand their vision.
For those who are courageous enough to take the blinders off and embrace the many shades of gray that reality affords us, and are willing to engage in fruitful conversations – not just belief competition – there’s rich opportunity of rebirth in the midst of all these truth to power scandals.
Remember Jupiter is about opportunity, and when opportunity knocks at our doors, we have the choice to answer it or not.
For this New Moon in Libra’s podcast episode, I explored one of the characters from the King Arthur Grail Legends. I believe that through stories (myths, fairy tales, movies, etc.) we are afforded lessons on how to proceed forward on our journeys.
In light of these scandals, the rise of the #metoo movement, and the New Moon in Libra inviting us to reimagine our relationships with both the Inner and Outer Other, I chose to tell the story of Kundry, the Grail Messenger.
Kundry is also referred as the loathsome lady, a hideous hag who is the voice that spurs the Grail Knights onwards to find the Grail that would heal the realm from Wasteland and bring back joy.
“Kundry’s harsh tongue is feared, but she speaks the words that will change
the face of the land from waste land into abundant growth.”
– Caitlin & John Matthews
It’s her harsh voice and urgent message that heeds us to act. We can hear her voice in the many women who have spoken out, in the wave of #metoo, in the courageous men and women who have stood up and spoken truth to power.
Kundry is one the many faces of Lady Sovereignty, which in turn is one of the many guises of the Goddess, of Gaia, of Soul. We can see how the way we have been treating women, children, the disempowered, those in need, and the Earth itself, we can see that it’s all INTERCONNECTED.
It’s not just about this sexual scandal or other atrocities, it’s about how it’s all connected. Our treatment of others speaks volumes about the collective state of affairs of our Souls. That’s why it’s key that we engage deeply in our own INNER WORK, so that our emotional baggage isn’t just left for others to deal with. Part of being a responsible citizen is to also take care of our own inner world, which in turn helps us be better care takers of others who need us.
For the Medieval mind the Quest for the Holy Grail was a myth that filled their imaginations. It may seem antiquated for us now in the 21st century, but these stories still resonate because it taps into the core of a powerful archetype.
Collectively we know deep inside that the world we are living in is a Wasteland, as described in the stories of King Arthur, or in the many other myths that speak to the land under an enchantment of an evil force. Tolkien wrote about this in The Hobbit.
We are the saviors we have been waiting, as long as we stop hitting the collective snooze button, and start asking the deeper questions. Jupiter in Scorpio is giving us this very opportunity.
In parting, I’ll leave you with another quote from Caitlin & John Matthews from their book – Ladies of the Lake:
“Sovereignty is the Goddess of the Land whose appearance reflects the nature of the land. When waste land reigns, Sovereignty appears as an ugly woman, a grieving widow, a raped virgin or as native virago whose words sting passing knights into resourceful action. When the true quest is achieved, only then can she turn back into her beautiful self.”
PS – Catch the podcast here. Want to dive deeper? Let’s work together.
In the last several years there’s a lot more information on what it means to be an empath. There are books, courses and programs that help you on thriving as an empath.
Being an empath has become a label – albeit at times a highly uncomfortable one to carry.
As part of my podcast Intersection Interview Series, I had the pleasure of speaking to Laura Rowe, a healer, teacher and mentor, whose work focuses on helping empaths thrive, not just survive. Through our conversation, I had a few insights of my own around this new label: being an empath.
The etymology of Empath(y)
When we describe someone as an empath, we are describing on one’s extra-sensory empathic ability to sense the emotions of others, in a way that is far from of how conventional science and psychology would explain.
In simpler terms, an empath is gifted with a larger ability for empathy – so let’s look at where empathy came from:
According to the Etymology Dictionary Online – empathy harks back to the translation of the Greek word empatheia, which meant passion, state of emotion and feeling (as in ‘suffer’). So at the core of EMPATHY lies our human ability to have PATHOS ‘feeling’ for another’s PASSION ‘suffering’.
In simpler terms, when you are an empath it’s as if your antenna picks up all the radio stations available, not just a select few. Granted this is on a bell curve of ability. Perhaps you may pick up all the stations, and others are more in tune to just a few extra stations.
According to writer Karla McLaren, “empathy is an art, but you are the artist.”
I love this take because not only is it more empowering, it’s co-creative. Whatever may be the gifts you have as an empath, you can see them as art supplies to your life’s opus.
Neptune and Empathy
Personally, I have noticed the rise of articles, books, posts on empathy around 2011 when Neptune entered his own realm: Pisces. The archetype of Neptune is complex and multi-layered, and this post isn’t enough to cover it, but suffice to say, Neptune is the ruler of the oceanic waters of Pisces, connecting us to that which is ineffable about our human condition.
Neptune is often described as spiritual, but there are way too many horrific denizens that inhabit this definition. Let’s just say the Neptune beckons us to face our yearning for being at one with God, the cosmic waters, singing to us the siren’s song that beneath our skin, we are really all ONE – no walls, no boundaries. Neptune teaches us (tough lessons at times) about dissolution as a way towards redemption; and deception and illusion as paths towards real understanding of what is truth.
Because it’s a slow moving planet, Neptune hadn’t been in his home turf since the mid 19th century (April 1847 through April 1862). It had only be discovered in September 23, 1846, so it was early days as astrologers back then learned about the archetypal forces of Neptune.
However in those early years as the collective engaged with Neptune, many events happened to give shape to Neptune’s place in our collective consciousness.
Neptune’s archetypal influence in the mid 19th century affected:
- freedom of slavery
- first stirrings of the rise of the women’s movement
- rise of new religions/spiritual movements, specially those that promoted the idea(l) that we are interconnected with Spirit
- the Romantic Movement with its message of a return to nature
- new art phase with the invention of photography and film (Neptune rules both of these artistic realms)
But there were also negative manifestations as in the rise of addiction to drugs and alcohol, prostitution, dehumanization for the workers in the factories, and the victimization of many other colonial territories.
No wonder, Neptune is linked to the savior and redeemer complexes.
When Neptune is prominent in one’s birth chart, it’s as if one is majoring in Neptunian, which often are rooted in issues of wanting to be saved, or being the one that has to save others, often via some self-sacrifice. There’s often a link between being the redeemer in another’s life, but also suffering the backlash of feeling like the victim. These are challenging subjects to get to the bottom of, because the boundaries are practically inexistent.
When it comes to boundaries, Neptune stands for the dissolution of such imposition to its influence. Think of the power of water to make even stone disappear.
Since 2011 when Neptune returned to its home turf, and where it will journey until 2025, we are revisiting some of the fields in which Neptune brought to bare back in the 19th century. This is where I believe the rise of the empath in our society is linked to Neptune bringing forth new ways of seeing spirituality and healing come together.
It’s not that empaths didn’t exist before, but I believe they were perceived very differently, as to how they are being seen now. For starters, we have now more information at our disposal. Many want tools to help them thrive, not just wobble along as if their gift was a disability. Plus we have a different understanding of energy, psychology and how these are interweaved.
If Neptune is for no boundaries, Saturn is all about (proper) boundaries. These two archetypes of Neptune and Saturn often are at odds with each other, but when they are able to work together – often in an uncomfortable harmony – amazing things can take shape.
In short, I prefer to see Saturn as the container, the birth canal to Neptune’s visions and dreams. Without the tools of Saturn of consistency, discipline (becoming one’s own disciple) and grounding, Neptune’s gifts may feel more like a curse than a gift.
When it comes to empaths, Saturn can be your best friend.
I believe we are all empaths, albeit in different positions on the bell curve. Personally, I don’t call myself an empath. I struggle with the label, but I find the subject fascinating. But I do believe that the rise of empaths since 2011, at least with more media coverage, is a signal that this is what our culture and society needs at this moment.
Unfortunately, since we are born without our instruction manual, it takes a long time, at least for most of us, to untangle the confusing beliefs we were fed as children. Like the Marvel X-Men heroes, our ‘mutant’ qualities are often first seen as a liability, not an asset.
That’s where good old Saturn as the archetype of the teacher/master comes in to help us – hopefully – learn to use these gifts for good, not evil. Comic heroes aside, the core message I feel when it comes to Neptune/Saturn and its link to empaths is this:
If we are born with different gifts, it’s because we are supposed to use them in the world, not to assimilate to what society has already established. Otherwise no change would ever happen in our human history. It’s always the unique, eccentric even, that brings about the necessary change.
When a planet is ‘discovered’, it means that as a society we are ready to face this new archetype that has risen to the collective consciousness.
When Neptune was ‘discovered’, we were called to become aware of that which is ineffable in our human consciousness. Now that Neptune has been revisiting his old stomping grounds, we see the rise of empaths (and many other things beyond the scope of this blog post), as a signal that what is needed for our collective survival and thriving is: GENEROUS EMPATHY to not just our fellow human beings, but the animals and nature – aka Mother Nature.
Because of empaths’ ability to receive information for a wider choice of energetic ‘radio stations’, they can help us perceive different levels of consciousness that are imbedded within our limited awareness range of consciousness.
Neptune is often described as the king of illusions and delusions.
I believe that our askew relationship with our own inner Neptune harks back to our collective illiteracy around seeing the different levels of consciousness that surrounds us. The overwhelm we may feel as empaths is because we are in need of others to also embrace seeing what needs to be acknowledged, and not just leave all the emotional processing for a few others to carry as extra luggage.
Listen to the podcast here and learn more from my conversation with Laura Rowe.
Then drop us a line about your own experience on the subject.
To be an empath is to be energetically bilingual.
If you have tried to learn a new language you know that becoming fluent takes time, patience and skill.
We are all learning a new emotional language and at first things are deeply wonky, but I believe that after Neptune leaves Pisces in 2025, will be better skilled on consciously navigating our own empathic gifts.