Pressing the Pause Button

Playful Love

Thank you to my readers for continuing to visit my blog, though my writing has been sparse of late.  That is temporary and the result of an impending move.  Packing and continuing consulting sessions are all that are on my plate for the moment.  I am appreciative of the fact that readers are using the down time to read older posts.

The mundane tasks of sorting through clothing, silverware and books does provide open time for reflection and dream time.  The dissolution of my current home has left me with ample hours to muse on these Neptunian and Plutonic times of discovering and uncovering my own (as one small part of our collective unconscious) deepest secrets and dissolving old forms of thought, assumptions and structures for conducting our lives (Neptune in Aquarius, Pluto in Capricorn, both retrograde at the moment {as are Chiron, Uranus and Mercury as well})  Reflection and review of both our personal and collective epochal themes are the order of the day.

I will be back up in more open waters early to mid-September with my writing and your patience is welcomed.

Just a thought from the Hopi as guidance for these heated times:

There is a river flowing now very fast.  It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.  They will try to hold on to the shore.  They will feel they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.  Know the river has its destination.  The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open and our heads above the water.  See who is in there with you and celebrate.  At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally.  Least of all, ourselves.

The Elders, Oraibi, Arizona Hopi Nation

There could be no better instruction for creating a true and lasting relationship with the Neptunian influences at work now. Those influences will expand and deepen until Spring of the year 2025, when Neptune finally enters Aries.  On that date (March 30) and at that time, 7 of our planets will be situated in a mega-stellium in the first house, the house of identity.  That will be a big day and, if we have done our homework through these next 13 1/2 years, we will arrive in a clear place of self understanding, ready to take on our world with the vigor and fortitude of the Spring Ram. Think of that day and time as a birthday party celebration for which you have an invitation in your hand well in advance of the fete.

As we know, Neptune entered Pisces March 19, 2011, went retrograde June 23 and re-entered Aquarius August 4.  Neptune will go direct again November 9, 2011 and re-enters Pisces February 3, 2012.  We are being asked to spend serious time reviewing and integrating our mental and emotional selves through these transitions in order to prepare ourselves for the deep and long dive into the spiritual and emotional waters of our selves and our cultural values that will ensue next year and on into the middle of third decade of the millenium.

Don’t be a landlubber, get in and swim.  Some water noodles and inner tubes are okay to use in the beginning while you gather strength, but eventually you will have to let those go, too (that’s the last vestige of the ego-personal baggage that’s just got to go).  If you get into trouble, always remember to flip on to your back, relax and breathe deeply and evenly – you will float, I guarantee that.  Struggling and thrashing will send you to the bottom very quickly.  Start wading now and get yourself used to a completely different medium in which to move and hopefully master like dolphins.  If you haven’t physically done so, imagine swimming with them in Kaleakekua bay on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Dolphins are exceedingly thrilling to observe, listen to and swim with. They actually spend quite a bit of time trying to get humans to engage in play with them.  They are intelligent and witty and smile constantly.  They are mammals of the heart and demonstrate a high degree of patience with their terra-based cousins.  I have never known anything but joy in their presence.  Imagine that they are your personal escorts through your submarine world.

Be well on your journeys.  I will resurface and see you shortly on the other side of mine.

In light.

Post Script:

I do, indeed, know how scary the waters can be.  I am not interested in entertaining vacuous platitudes in my writings, and I know exactly what can happen when Neptune arrives on the scene.  Even strong, competent swimmers can succumb to panic and drown. When I was younger and far more stupidly arrogant, I would scratch my head and wonder how such a thing could have happened.  How could someone so able drown like that?  The idiots, I used to think, all puffed up with my own certainties.

I learned my lesson years later training for competitive triathlons. I learned of the terror that can overcome us at a very intimate and personal level.  It is, indeed, humbling when nature comes along and strips one’s ego to the bone, leaving one naked in a place of vulnerability for which we have no previous experience.

In the days of my triathlon career,  which is now eons ago, I was also well-ensconced as the director of a major trauma team at a major hospital.  At the height of my physical, intellectual and leadership capabilities.  I trained for races primarily in my local YWCA swimming pool.  Back and forth, nice and safe. Wonderful and lovely, but that’s kiddie land compared to open water.   Knowing this, I also regularly took training swims in Walden Pond (yes, the Walden Pond) to acclimate myself to the conditions of competitions, which are held in lakes and oceans.  Formal triathlon races are very high testosterone events, partaken of usually by the over-the-top, viciously driven, type A professionals who will, as in their careers, do anything to win.  Doctors and lawyers are found in abundance among the participants. Occupying a slightly a lower tier of the type A personality group and unable to afford the usual $25,000 ultra-light triathlon bikes those folks rode, I was a middle-of-the-packer, trundling along on my 25-pound, $400 hybrid bike during the second leg, watching the whizzers whiz by. (Well, I always knew I would pass many of them by on the final leg, my forte, the run).

Now, I own and regularly drive a 1977 Westfalia camper van and I’m used to being passed up on the highways and biways of America’s roadways on a regular basis.   A grin and a peace sign wave is all I have to offer as I watch others’ tail lights fade off into the distance ahead of me at warp speed.  Regardless of my previous, professional work, I  always competed not just to have a goal for my training regimens, but also to come to know and test my own personal limits and abilities just for myself.  Just to know very intimately the stuff of which I am made.  Winning isn’t really a factor, though the structure of competitive races provides the push and challenge we often do not reach alone.  They are the spark that lights the fire in the butt.  As a Taoist, however, I am also always happy now to yield the path to the frenetic spasms of the unfortunately and chronically hurried.  I was then, too.  I raced myself and the clock, no one else.

Those folks, however, have no compunction about swimming right onto and over anyone to hit the finish line first, and I often found myself plunged to the bottom of shallow lakes by men who outweighed me by at least 80 pounds.  This is a darwinian, kill type of crowd, which is why there are always so many lifeguards on surfboards stationed throughout these race courses.  If one is to enter the arena of competition, at any level and for any reason, one must understand absolutely that it is a cut throat sport and preparedness is key.

One day, I was out on my usual training swim on Walden Pond and had easily gotten out about three hundred yards off shore.  I remember  swimming merrily along in my usual, strong way, enjoying the expansive counter point to the confines of the gym pool. I always swam alone, confident in my abilities.  It would never have occurred to me to not have total confidence in my abilities, though it would turn out I had no idea how limited they actually were at the time.

For some unknown reason, on this particular swim, stroking consistently and blissfully along as I always did, I began gazing down into the depths below me, following the sun’s rays penetrating into the seemingly bottomless void below me. Very slowly, however, some strange, mesmerizing ambience began emerging out of the greenish hue all around and imperceptibly and quite sereptitiously seeping into my unconscious.  Something very subtle and unnameable began to alter reality just beyond my vision and eventually engulf it totally.  Those innumerable rays seemed to go on and on into infinity, linear forms moving away into a parallax view held in medium of waves.  A vague sensation of queasiness and dizziness started to rise up in my belly and mind.  I felt myself becoming lost in a three-dimensional dreamscape, pulled ever-deeper into a foreign place that possessed no boundaries nor anchor points.  I do not know exactly when nor how, but I hit a real and imaginary end point in that vast and open space – a sand bar bumping up against my previously even keel.

In that instant, out of the blue, without any forewarning, a perfect storm of fear and disorientation arose like a tsunami.  My reverie turned a sharp corner and a startling and unexpected terror seized the moment.  Much to my complete surprise, I found myself suddenly and inexplicably unable to swim.  I literally had know idea what to do.  Within seconds I began to seriously flounder, coming into an upright position to regain some sense of security and groundedness in a fluid medium awash within a previously unknown, amorphous landscape of  mental confusion.  Instinctively, I began trying to tread water, albeit with increasingly weak and rubbery legs, a state which was just as quickly and surprisingly followed by thrashing vainly with my arms and in an attempt to try to grasp onto a surface that had no firm hand holds nor substance.

And that’s when I found myself going under, unable to keep my head above water, reaching down to find ground that wasn’t there, swallowing water as the hyperventilating effects of panic took over.  Like a wild-eyed wildebeest desperately looking for safety in crocodile-infested waters, I scanned the surface of the lake searching for anyone out there who could help.  I was, of course, utterly alone, though able to perceive fathers and toddlers on shore, giggling and running with sand pails, oblivious to my predicament.  After my third aspirating submergence and realizing with sudden sobriety that I wasn’t going to come up again after more than one or two more of these episodes, some clear, potent and urgent voice addressed the situation directly and with utmost immediacy, “Amelia, if you don’t get a hold of yourself right now you are going to drown.  You will drown yourself  here and die.”

Somehow, somewhere, my brain was able to recognize that statement as the cold, hard truth and the idea of my own mortality brought me back to some semblance of rationality. It was akin to grabbing my own collar and shaking myself into sanity. I am going to die right here right now.  Unless I do something about it.  It pierced through my irrational activities and provided the anchoring, metaphysical hand necessary to find my way out of this base emotional place and extreme danger.  The voice, which had been instilled and ingrained in my memory through my mother’s insistence of swimming lessons for all of her children beginning at age 4, entered the scene with firm commands: “Roll over onto your back. Do it. Do it right now.”  I obeyed without thought or resistance. “Now, breathe slowly and deeply.”  I obeyed again.  That 4-year-old kinesthetic wisdom, gifted to me by my long-ago swimming instructor, saved my life.  I remained exactly where I was, just floating and breathing, until I felt calm reason restored.  And then I made myself stay there even longer.  Just floating, until I was sure that any vestige of fear had gone. Until I was ready to move again, from a clear and anchored place within.  The entire episode, though it felt like eternity, probably unfolded within a span of no more than 2 minutes, beginning to end.  It can happen that quickly.  And could have, very easily, ended quite differently than it did.

I pondered the brevity and fragility of, and my new-found gratitude for, life as I slowly kicked my way, with the sun and breeze on my upturned face, all the long way back to shore.

Yes, well, there, dear, you almost became one of those idiots you once criticized. That was a good one, yeah. Okay, got it.  Our mirrors are many and enlightening moments are truly humbling and life changing.  And they are great for digging up our truly stupid aspects.  We experience them throughout our lives, building upon each one as they come along, ready and able as they are to give us that next leg up in expanding our state of awareness.

Fear can take hold to any of us at any time. It is the warp and weave of panic that can overtake us during any mundane activity.

These are uncertain times.  Our terrain is rapidly changing. Avoidance of acknowledging our innermost fears (which are going to visit us with Pluto and Neptune dancing a semi-sextile at the moment) will lead to thrashing.  We have to know they are there, as Pluto’s secrets will always be revealed, however it is we need to receive the message.. They can become our worst enemy, or our saving grace. Embrace them.  I would not have fully appreciated and come to know the power of my own internal strength and will to live (that voice) had I not experienced and realized the full extent of my own destructive and easily-induced terror. The trick to master as we ready ourselves for submergence into deeply emotional waters is to feel it, acknowledge it and then transform it into more integrated and mature thought/emotion/activity processes that ultimately benefit us and others.  Our very survival depends upon cultivating that ability.

Neptune’s influence in our chart and lives can feel exactly like what I have just described from my own experience.  Many people in America have absolutely no relationship with their internal, watery, emotional/spiritual/altered consciousness selves and encountering it can feel very much like drowning.  We are trained and educated to believe and invest ourselves in the concrete and to evaluate our competencies around that structure.  Pluto will insist those structures come down (Pluto in Capricorn in the second house in the U.S. Sibley Chart – please do read Jessica Murray’s book, Soul Sick Nation, which covers this subject thoroughly and will assist in placing our personal lives into a meaningful cultural context).

As our social, economic and political structures collapse, it can feel like a vicious darwinian competition for survival.  That all depends on what one believes is essential for survival.  That will become the dividing line between those that cling helplessly to the shore of the old structures and those that can push out into open water.  It is the dividing line between those who have staked their sense of identity on the externals – those that seek the glory of that proverbial finishing tape across the chest – and those whose entire identity arises from within.  The voice of superficial strength needs lots of applause; the voice of power whispers quietly in our own ear.  The person of speed always gets on the bus first;  the person of quickness responds to a changing environment with flexibility and grace.  These are the lessons embedded within the Tao.

Neptune’s co-influence with Pluto will feel very much like a dissolving away of terra firma amidst mind-numbing revelations.  It will feel like coming home and wanting to open the door to your home only to find the door has no handle.  Disorienting.  You can stand there cursing the loss, or start wandering around looking for another solution to the situation.  It will feel like a deep, though inscrutible new reality is beginning to assert itself at the periphery of your vision, something you see out of the corner of your eye, only to turn and find nothing is there.  Somehow, though things appear somewhat the same, they will feel very different.  This is how Neptune shows up.  One won’t even be able to offer any concrete or rational proof of the difference, and there are no real words to describe it.  One just knows it is happening, like the vague feelings of familiarity and unfamiliarity of the characters in the film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  A nice film for grokking how Neptune in Aquarius can feel. While you are dreaming, someone is messing with your mind.  Just make sure its you.

We are entering into a time of opportunity for deep spiritual and emotional discovery.  Remember the Tao:  That which can be named is not the true Tao.  The true Tao has no name.  That is the heart of spiritual essence.  Seek it and become comfortable within it.  It is the core of maintaining equipoise in the face of constant change.

Now is the time for spiritual swimming lessons; now is the time to memorize the concrete statements of the inner self that can lead us out of danger at a later date.  Now is the time to plumb the depths of our creativity, flexibility and adaptability, which ultimately lead us to our own intelligence in the face of uncertainty.


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  1. #1 by rob on September 1, 2011 - 1:16 PM

    beautiful – thanks for your sharing and rounded grounded wisdom – g’luck with with being a floating seed and your new landfall – s’been a similar time out at the Owlsnest… you on the other side – R x

  2. #2 by sistertongue on September 1, 2011 - 7:45 PM

    I’ll be there . . . Just about there . . . thanks.
    – A

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