Incarnating Your Creative Authority
Mercury Retrograde in Pisces/Aquarius -
Dialoguing with the Soul
(February 13th, 2007 – March 7th, 2007)
First published at Myss.com.
It’s been a long time since my last installment; my apologies, I had a book to write! And though I am in rewrites now, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to reconnect with all of you. I have truly missed writing for you—it’s such a treat to be able to share with you what’s on my mind and give you some guidance for the Mercury Retrograde that happens every four months. This cosmic cycle which occurs three times a year never fails to deliver humbling experiences that ask us each to dialogue with our Soul a bit more and our Ego a bit less. Speaking of dialoguing with the Soul, my new book coming out in December is called Transforming Fate into Destiny-a new dialogue with the Soul, and writing it has been a journey like I’ve never before taken. So many ideas have been gestating and birthing through the writing process that I’ve had to pick and choose which ones to develop and include in the book. In fact, many of the ideas that have been downloading into my consciousness will just have to wait for a second book! That said, I thought I would write a little sumthin’ sumthin’ about what I have been doing in my little alchemical laboratory since you heard from me last. Namely, I want to look at something connected to a cosmic cycle I have written on before that was set in motion for us all nearly two years ago now and begins to finish up this summer. This time I want to add some new layers regarding this cycle that has been forcing all of us to become more responsible in recreating ourselves through a new level of self-governance; let’s look deeply at this celestial task which asks us to incarnate our own creative authority. Ready to rock?
Incarnating Your Creative Authority
Generational Legacy and the Dark Night of the Baby Boomer Ego One of the things that doing intuitive-astrological readings on folks has afforded me is an archetypal viewpoint regarding the developmental cycles that are passed down from generation to generation. I love this part of my work, and have realized in recent years how crucial it is that we each establish new coordinates within our process of spiritual growth and self-development which include this vital component. None of us develops in a vacuum right? We all mature and grow out of certain soil which was fertilized (or ravished) by the generations that have come before us. Simply put, we must become increasingly aware of our socio-cultural and generational inheritance. As each new generation is born, it inherits the psychic DNA of the previous generation and then must begin to negotiate that patterning, which means you must begin to negotiate that patterning as an individual fused within that generation. You must also look at what psychic, spiritual, and earthly resources (or lack thereof) have been passed down to you by those who preceded you, and what resources you are leaving for the next generation.
Surely most of you have already faced this dynamic when it comes to your family of origin and creation—but have you truly taken a look at the archetypal implications of this process as it relates to your generational imprinting, inheritance, and legacy? Well that’s what I’m here for! : ) I have noticed (almost without exception) when it comes to clients that I’ve worked with over the years (and heck, myself and friends of mine!) that many people work diligently on themselves in terms of healing their family legacies—yet very few look to the larger picture of cultural imprinting and inheritance. This is so critical because we can often only be as integrated, whole, and healthy as our culture and society is. Take a moment and contemplate what that means for each of us as we are embedded within and evolving out of a patriarchy! Thus far, addressing family issues has been approached through many mediums and modalities that I am sure many of you have explored and are familiar with (i.e. psychotherapy, yoga, meditation, cranial-sacral work, drug therapy, acupuncture, rebirthing, hypnotic regression, NLP, eating chocolate—I swear this one works the best!) While these tools are incredibly useful and represent where we must all begin in terms of rebirthing ourselves as creative adults, in my experience they are not enough—especially now that we are being cosmically tasked to incarnate more soulfulness into our lives. They are often inadequate because they do not sufficiently address the socio-cultural level of archetypal processes. How many of you have spent years healing aspects of your familial wounds and still, of late, are finding that you can’t seem to creatively take the next step? And furthermore, you can’t figure out why because you can’t see the locus of your creative block as coming from your family history? I know for certain that there is in fact a whole generation of folks (and then some) that currently feels angst in some form or another when it comes to this part of their growth. Let’s look at this closely, because even if your not part of this generation, you still are psychically anchored by and connected energetically to them. Which generation am I referring to, you ask? Well the Baby Boomers, of course!
The Baby Boomer’s Shadow
We all owe a lot to the Baby Boomers. (To be more specific I am talking about those of you born from 1939-1956 when Pluto was in the sign Leo, though most sources would state that this generation spans from 1946-1954. This means all of you born when Pluto was in Leo have that in your own astrological birth chart. Pluto moves the slowest of all the known planets—and yes it’s still a planet to me!—in our currently established solar system, taking about 250 years to circle the Sun. Therefore it can spend a number of years in one astrological sign, imprinting a generation with an archetypal pattern pertaining to matters of power and death. The generational impulse Pluto releases concerns the transformation found in facing the darkness within life and oneself encountered at the threshold of survival. And I mean survival on all levels: emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual.) All that said, no generation catalyzed ego development as it relates to childhood survival and wounding more than the Baby Boomers--and thank God! When the 1970’s got going and psychotherapy was en vogue, they paved the way by being the first to address their parents for poor parenting as a generation. Though psychotherapy as a healing tool began to develop long before the 1970’s, relative societal stability afforded this generation the luxury of exploring their parental wounds via this tool—out of which ‘woundology’ was born (a subject Caroline has brilliantly explored in her work.) Generations before that simply were trying to survive settling new countries, plagues, civil wars, genocides, world wars, and depressed economies—sorry, no time to be upset with mommy and daddy when you’re just hoping they’ll live long enough to keep feeding you! But as the world relatively stabilized, new needs in ego development as human beings became urgent--one of which was healing one’s wounded inner child. Therefore, Baby Boomers were the first generation to psychologically explore in depth the Child Archetype; an archetype that we all universally share as we each were once children before we matured into adults. Yet it must be recognized that whenever we address our parents for the wounds they’ve left us with, it’s going to be done through the child within us—therefore, if we stay stuck addressing our parents for poor parenting, we also stay stuck in our Child and can never truly grow up! So where am I going with all this, this time? Somewhere very crucial actually, especially if we are going to collectively begin rebirth ourselves as mature adults. This requires that we begin parenting ourselves such that we rise from the ashes of the generational shadow that the Baby Boomers are negotiating: the Ego-centric Child that seeks constant affirmation, attention, and importance to the detriment of collective resources and the greater good.
I ask you to consider something that I have discovered and mapped through my work: Every generation will go through three important phases of growth and development integral to our human evolution. Each must face a generational disillusionment, that is a need to become clear on a belief in something which falsely promises fulfillment (and perhaps salvation) via something other than an authentic connection with the Divine – a belief in a false god if you will; a generational ideology that becomes an outmoded way of thinking which supports a false structure of stability and equality; and a generational shadow that is born out of a power struggle regarding the collective denial of the same disillusionment and outmoded ideology of that generation! In other words, the more a generation empowers their disillusionment and ideology, the darker their shadow becomes. Take a moment and see if you can chart yourself within this process. Can you identify your generational disillusionment, ideology, and shadow? Can you name these archetypal coordinates? How does this imprinting impact your own personal journey of individuation?
While I would love to go into more detail about each as I’ve charted them for each of generation currently on the planet, for now I feel it poignant to solely address the generational shadow of the Baby Boomer’s as it has been triggered for nearly two years now via the planet Saturn--currently in the sign Leo. (I do have a book to finish after all!) It is my hope that this will render you aware of the fact that your issues may not be nearly as personal as you think—in fact, they might be originating out of a generational process.
To begin this, as we look at the generational shadow of the Baby Boomers, I want to lightly add in the generational disillusionment piece also to give you a sense of how it amalgamates into the shadow issue (sorry, the ideology piece is a whole other article!)
Once again, even if you’re not a Baby Boomer, you are still affected by what I am about to say, so listen up! (I mean that with all the love in my heart.) Illustrating this point: the generational disillusionment for Baby Boomers includes a false belief that the ultimate fulfillment in life would come from marrying one’s other half—which the new age now calls finding your soul mate (they are the same damn thing, come on now!)—this illusion has led many to believe that one’s happiness lies in finding another human being to complete them, essentially rendering another the source of all contentment. Though the Baby Boomer generation was indoctrinated with this illusion by cultural imprinting, many today are still under its spell that are not from this generation. The main difference is that many of the Baby Boomers are often not coming out of this illusion until their 50’s, while the subsequent generations are coming out of it in their 40’s and 30’s, depending on the generation.
That said, the generational shadow for the Baby Boomers is born out of their generational illusion that denies this truth: No one will ever be our Source of happiness, therefore others are not responsible for how our lives turn out; this means we can’t blame our parents anymore for our lives. This denial leads to projecting the parental archetypes (The Mother and The Father – our first sources of fulfillment) onto others, landing the Baby Boomers smack in the shadow of The Child Archetype and victim consciousness (components of their generational shadow.)
Yet, The Child Archetype and its shadow are something that each individual must face in their development creatively. The Child Archetype is, in part, the source of our creative genius when it comes to being spontaneous and free to express our inner sense of divinity through what we do in life. But unless you are able to make your child inside feel safe and nurtured, how is that part of you going to come out and play? Though I am not a Baby Boomer, I have still had to deal (and still do!) with my wounds from my childhood. The difference is that I am not spending twenty years getting through the bulk of it. And that is due largely to the grace given to me by the Baby Boomer generation as they got things moving, making it easier for my generation to evolve through the same issue at a faster pace. This is how things work in terms of generational progress and growth. Similarly, what my generation achieves in terms of burning off the legacy left to us will make it easier for the generations that follow us. However, the other side of this must also be embraced: if we don’t do the work and elect to remain unconscious, we leave the next generation with quite a mess. Therefore we must assume, as individuals, a new level of responsibility for our entire generation because we are not only inheriting legacy, we are also generating it! What we do—both positively and negatively—as individuals, determines what we do for All.
As we move back to the subject of the article, I hope you have a sense that things pass down not only personally, but also collectively at an archetypal level. Keep this in mind as we continue. Onto incarnating your creative authority!
Incarnating Your Creative Authority
The planet Saturn has been triggering each Pluto generation alive on the planet for some years now. In July of 2005, having just spent two and a half years in the sign Cancer making sure we take increased responsibility for mothering ourselves to secure greater emotional security and belonging in our lives (while restructuring our so called ‘family values’); Saturn entered into the astrological sign Leo (a sign resonate with the Child Archetype) and issued a new task for us all in terms of fathering ourselves so that we can bring out more of our inner creative authenticity. Generally, the astrological cycles of Saturn continually ask us to evaluate how our ego was structured by parenting and socio-cultural conditioning, and whether or not this ego structure is tenable for what the soul is growing toward. Thus, when Saturn is moving through the heavens, He begins to search out the fissures in our ego structure that are not supportive to housing a new level of our true potential: a new facet of our Soul. I like to call this alchemical process the dark night of the ego because it forces us to reorient our relationship to how much of us is in unconscious allegiance to our past conditioning—meaning that some part of our ego/past must die.
As we continue from here, please know that I will be outlining some harsh aspects of our times. But if we can’t embrace our generational and collective process with an honest dialogue, we can’t change our future trajectory: we are evolution. That said, after entering into Leo in July of 2005, Saturn--true to form--collectively forced us to look at our American Ego structure here in the United States regarding what we collectively project our Father issues onto: namely our elected officials. With the Katrina debacle in August of 2005, we got to see that Daddy government (primarily made up of Baby Boomers) was not coming to our rescue. This event is symbolic of Saturn asking each of us to step up to the plate and take greater responsibility for our collective issues, which must begin at an individual level. Saturn is always ready to make us look at our own our complacency. On an individual level, since Saturn entered into Leo in July of 2005, I have worked with many clients that have experienced this new alchemy as a call to grow up more, paradoxically, so that they can be a child again and embody their unlived creativity!
In terms of gender, women have had to reevaluate the ways in which they relate to their own inner masculine creative energy (being expressively creative and self-directed.) This has begun to greatly reshape needs in marriages that were forged out of having one’s husband live out their creative side, and needing approval from men because of fathers who weren’t emotionally present (or were but created male dependency as the only source of validation growing up.) Many women have had to incarnate more of their own inner masculine authority by fathering themselves—especially those who are Baby Boomers. But don’t think men are off the hook with this Saturn cycle! Many of my male clients have had to look at how they feel about their own masculinity as it relates to approval from their fathers. In fact, some men have been getting caught up in their father issues through interactions with other men who function as authority figures in their lives (such as bosses, CEO’s, and law enforcement.) In addition to exploring what authentic masculinity means, many men are also investigating the concept of having authentic relationships with each other in true brotherhood (which means relating in ways where there isn’t a need to prove oneself more macho than another, but to genuinely support each others creative journey as men.)
Moving beyond gender; Saturn in Leo is catalyzing for each of us a need to discover who we really are and externalize that more so we can be seen by others for what is inside of us. We all are being forced to wake up and face just how invisible we feel in the world— which is really about us seeing ourselves anew, or perhaps for the first time. Moreover, we must acknowledge the ways in which we feel disconnected from our creative masculine center—our inner divine spark—and how that’s coming out in less than desirable ways through the parts of us that sabotage our true potential. Saturn in Leo demands that we become Kings and Queens of our inner domain, Sovereigns unto ourselves through an authentic connection to our inner star quality, you game?
And all of this couldn’t be more poignant for those of the Baby Boomer generation as Saturn has opened up an unflinching dialogue with their Pluto in Leo around themes of responsibility, integrity, and karma. This is clearly visible in how the elected officials of many countries have conducted themselves over the past two and a half years. I actually wrote about this theme nearly two years ago when Saturn entered into Leo, guess hindsight isn’t the only thing that’s 20/20! Take a moment and look at this with archetypal eyes. Could it be that many of the world’s leaders and business officials have been, in part, acting out of the generational shadow through an egoic and childish level of narcissistic pride and greed?
For it is the Baby Boomer generation that is, for the most part, currently in political and economic power worldwide and their generational task has indeed come due. This task requires letting go of childish pride through the support and approval of the internalized archetypal parents. If you are part of this generation, how’s it going?? LOL! And if you’re not, realize that Saturn is currently looking at all of us through Leo eyes of responsibility and discernment one final time. A terminus is being reached this late April when Saturn stations and begins moving forward out of its current retrograde phase—leaving the sign Leo in September. Then he goes onto his next task with our ego development in Virgo for two and a half years, triggering the generation that follows the Baby Boomers (those born from 1956-1972; those with Pluto in Virgo.) A new Saturn task passes down to the next generation requiring them to heal and deal with the legacy they inherit. What’s more is this straddles an election year here in the United States! With the generation following the Baby Boomers in ascendancy politically and economically, it should be an interesting next couple of years to say the least. Environmental policy, selling ethics for profit, and health care will take front and center stage no doubt, as all relate greatly to Virgo (the sign of the Sacred Prostitute and Mother Nature.) Saturn will be opening up a dialogue with the Pluto in Virgo generation, and I sense this generation will respond in a much different way. Get ready! Looking back now, the Baby Boomer generation has indeed been experiencing a dark night of their generational ego the past two years and many are currently reaping the results of getting caught up in failed wars, Wall Street scandals, and chasing the approval of their parents to the detriment of their creative potential. But fortunately, now that Saturn is past its mid-cycle shift in Leo, I see many people of this generation kicking some ass! I bet you thought I was just going to keep dogging the Baby Boomers! No way! Many are taking charge of their creative destinies. After much struggle, many of my clients are reaping what they have sown throughout this cycle after leaving jobs that are unfulfilling, ending marriages that are repressive, and dropping the old story lines and beliefs left over from childhood so they can branch out beyond personal desires to collective needs. Many Baby Boomers are becoming increasingly vested in a new model of thought: It is no longer the collective that is responsible for the individual, but the individual that is responsible for the collective. Something that I think the next generation will be making even more of a reality. That’s what I’m talkin’ about! And so it goes………
Take a moment and think about what this means to you and be honest. Is personal development for the narcissistic reasons of being ‘happy’ and ‘whole’ really enough? Once we have reclaimed our inner buried treasure, we cannot engage in authentic heroism unless we deliver it back to the world through service. This idea contains our next steps as we transition from this Age of Pisces (the Age of the Mystic) to the Age of Aquarius (the Age of the Mystic Without a Monastery). On that note, let’s look at the upcoming Mercury Retrograde cycle – because it will happen this time in both Aquarius and Pisces, bringing with it many of the themes I’ve just covered: how the individual and collective are interconnected! (By the way, I really do love all of you Baby Boomers, heck my Mom’s one!)
Mercury Retrograde in Pisces/Aquarius – Dialoguing with the Soul (February 13th, 2007 – March 7th, 2007)
Before we look at the upcoming Mercury Retrograde cycle, let me be clear on what the Ego and Soul are to me as I will be using those terms throughout the rest of the article: For me, the Soul is the part of consciousness that is much greater than our personal sense of identity. It's our total being and essence, the eternal part of us that is omniscient, immortal, and multidimensional. We may hear the Soul referred to as the Deeper Self, Higher Self, or Inner Self. Giving this idea of Soul a more cosmic reference point, in my work with hundreds of people I have intuitively discovered that Earth is not the only place the Soul can come for an incarnate journey, though you curiously rarely hear of this through past life regressions (another subject entirely)! This is a massive Universe folks. Nonetheless your Soul is the consciousness that chose to experience creation through your name, your identity, and your incarnation onto this planet through your persona—all of which comprise the Ego. Therefore I define the Ego as: the largely conscious part of your personality that is derived from interfacing with the environment around you, and which acts to preserve your self-concept and self-esteem as they are formed by that environment.
Whew! Onto the Mercury Retrograde cycle…..to summarize briefly what a Mercury retrograde cycle is: When looking in the sky at the planet Mercury we usually perceive it as moving in a forward motion through the heavens, this is called “Mercury Direct”….then every 4 months or so, it appears to go backwards in the sky due to our earthly orbit operating in tandem with Mercury’s orbit around the Sun. This apparent backward motion – and I say “apparent” because it’s not really going backwards – lasts for about 22 days. When Mercury is direct we are engaging with life in a very forward way and not overanalyzing actions. Making decisions seems to be in greater harmony with the forward movement we want to take on our path in Life. Yet we are also more driven by the personality and ego during such times, and tend to not allow for too much reflection and introspection generally speaking. All the while we are forging forward; the Universe is giving us guidance via intuitive data that we tend to miss because of our busy minds trying to run the show. In an effort to keep the Tao of the Universe in balance, we are given a three week opportunity to reflect and re-evaluate our choices and direction, allowing for a more informed wisdom to emerge while we slow up a bit and redirect our Life – this is the Mercury retrograde period. When we resist - via our ego - this introspective time, then Mercury as a messenger, shows up in the “Trickster” form that everyone is all too familiar with. This is the phenomena that you always hear about; electronics breaking down, accidents, miscommunication, thwarted plans, etc. These are all agencies through which the Universe operates so that you’ll slow down and pay attention to the message the Gods have for you! And here we are again, the Gods are delivering a message both collectively and personally to us that we have needed to hear as a reminder of just what our ‘Cosmic Contract” is, and Mercury, the herald of the Gods, is ready to deliver, but are we ready to listen? Though Mercury doesn’t go retrograde until February 13th, the “set up” phase of this Mercury Retrograde already began on January 30th. This is because on January 30th, Mercury entered into the degrees of Aquarius that it will eventually retrograde over again while it backtracks for 3 weeks back out of Pisces into Aquarius. So take a moment and think about what’s been going on in your life the past couple weeks. Anything a bit ‘off’ lately? Any trickster phenomenon kicking your butt yet?
This retrograde is the first glimpse of Mercury’s gradual shift of retrograding in the water signs where it has been the past year, to the air signs of Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra. This last year, the retrograde in water signs has brought about a reevaluation of our most intimate emotional ties, emotional reasons for living, and the quality of our relationships—often forcing us to reconsider the future of those relationships. In fact, look back to a year ago when Mercury retrograded in Pisces: what themes from that time are once again surfacing now for another review? This is your chance to polish up whatever you haven’t made peace with. And with this retrograde being mostly in Pisces, you’ll need to look to your Soul for direction.
Let’s look at what this means a bit. What does it really mean to dialogue with the Soul? It used to mean that we should go on a weekend spa/yoga retreat or to an ashram/monastery for an intense period of silent meditation. Though it can still mean these things, I am sensing that dialoguing with your Soul can happen when you would least expect it. For example, how about when you are pissed off in traffic? What better time to discern the voice of the Soul from the Ego? Irritation in fact is often your Ego speaking to you. No situation will bring this out like a frustrating traffic jam! And no cycle will bring this out more than a Mercury Retrograde. Once you have identified the part of you that resists what is, then you can open to something deeper: the Soul.
This Mercury Retrograde will demand you let go of resistance, surrendering to the Piscean themes of forgiveness, unconditional love, and authentic compassion. We will each have to look at our own spiritual practices used to cultivate such virtues, and whether we’ve been showing up for them. This will be an opportune time to reconnect to whatever you do to feel close to the Divine—to your spirituality. We all may need to review a bit what it means to surrender ourselves over to something greater than the Ego. Emotionally, as human beings, I believe we each seek union with something larger than the Ego. The catch is that the Ego often experiences the agenda of the Soul as a defeat! It is here that authentic surrender can and must take place—this means letting the Soul decide, while releasing the Ego’s pride. This also means we must also let go of all the illusions of separateness, security, and control our Ego clings to so we can merge into the pulse and flow of the All.
One of the best things to engage with this next retrograde phase is to ask yourself whenever you are feeling fear, anger, the need for recompense, or plain ole revenge: “What would my Soul decide?” My sense is that many of us will be asking that question until March 7th, when Mercury stations direct again. Until then, use your life circumstances as a symbolic arrow pointing toward what your Mercury Retrograde message is. Mercury was messenger to the gods after all, and seeks to deliver to your conscious mind (Ego) a message from your Soul. One that you haven’t been listening to, or perhaps been ready to hear. On Thursday, February 22nd, Mercury will retrograde into a conjunction with the Sun in Pisces and demarcate the mid-cycle point of the retrograde, symbolically delivering the “message” he’s had for each of us this retrograde. Look alive and pay attention this week. The remainder of the cycle is about integrating that message into your life, and allowing additional insights to surface. Remember to be patient and wait out any impulsive needs to take action once the message is delivered, more information will continue to surface throughout the remainder of the retrograde cycle that will better inform your perspective. This is especially true this retrograde as Mercury dips back into Aquarius after having been in Pisces and asks you to “Ask not what the collective can do for you, but what you can do for the collective.” Your personal destiny is woven into to the purpose you were born fulfill in service to all of us, and this retrograde will ask you to bring forth more gifts from your Soul on the behalf of us all after you’ve spent some time dialoguing with your Soul.
Investigate what that means to you this next month, and use whatever tools you need to in accessing your Soul. Speaking of which, I can think of one that you should definitely consider! Caroline has a book coming out on March 6th called Entering the Castle that is a must have! I have watched her develop this new material over the past two years and it has everything to do with accessing the Soul. We toured together this last year around the US giving lectures together, and the effect this new material had on people was beyond words—as experiencing the Soul often is. Her book is already available (as is mine) on Amazon.com for preorder, so check it out there, or get yourself to the nearest book store on March 6th!
As an aside, I find it fascinating, but not surprising that her book (which teaches a new model for entering the Soul and living as a mystic without a monastery) releases officially on the same day that Mercury begins to slow down prepping to station and go direct from its soulful and humanitarian retrograde in Pisces (sign of Soul) and Aquarius (sign of the mystic without a monastery!) And no, she didn’t plan it to happen that way! This is a great example of what I continue to teach: astrology really is nothing more than a map of synchronicity.
That said, when Mercury goes direct again in 25 degrees Aquarius on March 7th, then you can begin to make some new choices based on the newly revealed emotional data and vision you have unearthed during the cycle. There are many ways this energy may manifest in your life, but the archetypal motifs underlying such manifestations will most likely be the same (Piscean/Aquarian). Throughout it all, remember to be good to yourself by accepting what you feel and being grateful for the Divine’s love which is ever present and all around you—like gravity it grounds you to your life.
I wish you all the best! Introspection and slowing down can go along way these next few weeks. I hope that I was able to communicate to you some new ideas and concepts regarding generational legacy—a complex process to be sure! As always, I love receiving your feedback, whatever it may be.