Astrology Q&A - August 2009

Daniel Sowelu

Q. I happened to pick up this magazine at the local library and just read your piece on Meetings with the Goddess, July, 2009. Well, it made me feel as though there may be a reason for the way I have been feeling lately!

A lot of really bitter memories and painful emotions have been releasing themselves recently to do with the way I experienced being mothered. (I thought that I had resolved this issue, but here it is again!) I experienced my mother as very detached, selfish and neglectful; she was drug addicted and is mentally ill. Of course, I grew up intent on being the wonderful mother I didn't have and have three children whom I (mostly) adore. My biggest fear at the moment is that I will abandon my children emotionally, neglect them physically and generally wipe my hands of them when they get to a semi-independent age, often when kids need it the most.

My teenage daughter has just experienced her first broken heart and (I went through the same thing at exactly the same age, in years and months) I am doing all I can for her as I know how it feels and wished I had had someone there to support me. (As a result of my experience at 15, I left school and dropped out of life, and began using alcohol and drugs, beginning a pattern that was not rectified for many years). How can I release the painful emotions and memories of my childhood? I feel as if there is an opportunity for me to do this right now.

I think also that deep down I am still searching for my "mother" and feel the grief of that empty space. What doesn't help is that my real mother is still alive and non-supportive but involved in my life as troublesome, ringing constantly, unable or unwilling to help with my younger children but demanding my time and attention (being driven places, picking up medication, dealing with her hysterics and dramas, etc) and all I feel towards her is ANGER and resentment. I understand she is unstable but if I attempt to broach any aspect of the past with her, she blames everyone else in the world and never ever accepts any responsibility. She insists that she was a really good mother. And so the logic goes then, if that is true, then I must have been a really bad child. And for so long, I believed that.

Do you see any positive way out of this?

A. Given the above and how it's reflected in your chart, good on you for both getting off the drugs and alcohol and, for bringing up your children! I can't emphasise that enough, not just for the obvious but because your ability to make these kind of changes will improve and strengthen from here on, as a product of the healing that is being offered now. The capacity to hold your ground, and face courageously anything that life throws at you, to do it well, is actually a part of your soul's calling. It will come! And there's some serious work to do in the meantime.

While it's understandable, it's important not to despair at the revisiting of issues you'd thought you'd resolved, as this is an opportunity for far deeper healing than you've been able to do up to this point. Our healing processes are cyclic, in that at different times in our lives we get the opportunity to work on our stuff, to the depth of which we are able to go at the time. Inevitably, and particularly with very painful territory, we will revisit the same themes, as opportunities to work them more deeply. Like now!

I'm assuming that you've done some counselling or therapy. If not, then this is the time to get some help, particularly work that engages your emotions and encourages expression. Many people consider themselves healed after an initial round of counselling or similar, only to discover that the deeper emotional aspects of the trauma haven't been addressed. An important tenant of this layer is that "the child in us needs absolute permission to feel and express the feelings that he or she wasn't able or allowed to feel at the time!"

This is not an excuse for spewing our stuff over someone (even your mother) but an approach to self on a day to day basis and to your healing. Feel the rage, the grief, that empty motherless space, have it, own it fully and take it into your therapy, with quality support from facilitators who have done the deep work themselves.

Anything less is a further betrayal of the child within and, makes it more likely that the energy will leak out or erupt in your relationship with your own children. For this and other reasons I favour forms of therapy such as primal, breathwork and psychodrama, dynamic, expressive work that encourages going into the core of our wounding. Experienced support is crucial as this is scary stuff that many avoid or are too anaesthetised to get to but potentially life-changing if you can. All that you are feeling signals that you are primed for this, and this three way conjunction of Jupiter/Neptune and Chiron clearly says that the grace is there.

Also transiting Saturn is currently squaring your Moon in Gemini while conjuncting your natal Pluto, a process that speaks of a profound psychic separation from your mother and the old emotional system in yourself to do with her, a process that encourages you to find and take your power back from her.

While Saturn shows you the raw truth in this situation, he also provides the toughness and inner strength to set up a whole new set of boundaries with your mum. She is never going to change, unless by an extraordinary act of grace, but you can. It's a form of self-abuse even attempting to go back in there with her about the past and you need to protect the child in you from any expectation that she can or will. This is good inner parenting, however painful.

The same applies to your relationship with your children, as you have a tendency to go in there too deeply with them in a compensatory way that must also produce further anger and resentment in yourself, especially if you tend to put your own needs last.

Again, while it's understandable (we've all done it to a certain extent) to try to compensate for the lack in our own childhoods, it can produce over-protective and indulgent parenting that is both invasive and undermines the child's ability to develop their own inner resources to deal with life's challenges. Saturn calls for you to reset the boundaries here, to get clearer on the distinction between the needs of your inner child (and broken-hearted teenager) and those of your flesh and blood children. You can be the empathetic, understanding, available parent that you are but from a clearer, cleaner place that brings greater health to your family.

Finally your progresses Sun is conjunct progressed Persephone this year and coming up to the progressed Black Moon in the next few, representing a time of reclaiming the fullness and potency of all your emotional self and, of transforming the destructive residue of the disowned feminine, so much a part of your mother's system and behaviour, into an awesome level of personal empowerment. Working with grief and rage is such an important aspect of this transition, necessary to your own personal initiation into the mysteries of the Goddess. This is where you'll find the Mother that you seek.

Daniel Sowelu (B.Sc.Dip Ed) is a therapeutic astrologer, primal therapist and groupleader in his 22nd year of private practice. He is very welcoming of personal questions for the Question and Answers section on this website, so please send to deputyeditor@novamagazine.com.au  For any general inquiries to Daniel go to www.sacredlawfirm.com.au