A Real-Life Example
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My Strongest Pattern
To this point in the series, I have been laying out the bare bones conceptual groundwork for the astro-chakra system. But rather than talk about this in the abstract, let’s take a real-life example and see how this might work. Since my work for the last 15 years has emphasized the use of astrology for self-understanding, I will use my own chart to demonstrate how the astro-chakra system can be used to facilitate growth and understanding.
The strongest pattern in my chart is a mutable t-square formed with a Sun/ Mercury-Moon opposition at the base and a Saturn-Mars conjunction at the apex. Sun/Chiron is in the 12th house just above the horizon, Mercury is in the 1st house, Moon is in the 6th just below the horizon, and Saturn/Mars in the 9th. Of these placements, only the Moon sits in a classic position as a 1st chakra planet. The rest are hybrid placements.
The Sun is in a 1st chakra position opposed the Moon, so there is some indication here that this is a 1st chakra aspect.
The Sun’s square to Mars suggests a 3rd chakra pattern. Since Sun is also square Saturn, which is conjunct Mars, this suggests a 3rd chakra pattern of deficiency.
The Sun is also conjunct Mercury, which sits in a classic 3rd chakra position and is tightly square primary 3rd chakra player Mars.
Putting all this together, it seems plausible to suspect that this t-square is a hybrid 1st-3rd chakra pattern, somehow bringing together survival issues and the challenge of finding my place within the world.
The Ashpile Incident
A rather graphic image of my particular 1st-3rd chakra predicament emerged when I was about 3 1/2 years old. I was playing king of the mountain on a huge pile of ashes in my grandfather’s backyard with the neighborhood kids, of whom I was the youngest. Somehow I managed to make it to the top of the pile, only to have the other kids gang up on me, knock me down, and stuff ashes in my mouth. I started choking, and turning blue. My grandfather rushed out, chased the other kids away, and took me to the hospital, where I contracted pneumonia, and was sick for some time.
The message I got from this experience was essentially that “winning is dangerous.” “If I make it to the top of the mountain, it is inevitable that I will be attacked and possibly killed by those at the bottom.” Can you see how this message might compromise my 3rd chakra capacity to find my place in the world, making what might otherwise be a straightforward process a 1st chakra matter of life and death? This is essentially my 1st-3rd chakra deficiency dilemma, played out in rather graphic – what I would call astropoetic - form.
Of course, I have done a lot of work on this issue since then, and have somehow managed to find a way to be in the world without seriously jeopardizing my survival. But the process has been one of learning to more skillfully address this 1st-3rd chakra issue, while having this the astro-chakra system as a framework helps me to understand the process more clearly. And of course, the process continues. With any core issue, of which this is certainly one, there are layers upon layers to explore.
A Transiting Trigger to My Natal Pattern
From May, 2005 – February, 2009, I experienced the transit of Uranus across this t-square – square my Moon, Sun and Mercury and opposed my Saturn/Mars. Uranus, of course, brings the opportunity for breakthrough, especially in relation to the pattern it triggers, in this case my 1st-3rd chakra hybrid pattern. During this period, I started to gain some recognition for my writing. My first book, which had been out about 9 months when this period began, was chosen as a finalist in the Foreword Magazine Philosophy book of the year award contest. My second book, which came out at the tale end of Uranus’ transit to my Sun, won three awards by the end of the period. I also spoke at my first astrological conference (ISAR 2005), and received I was beginning to make my way back to the top of the mountain, and it didn’t appear that my life was in jeopardy.
This is not to say that the process has not been without setbacks. There were many days throughout this period when I felt utterly invisible, unacknowledged and wondered why bother. I don’t mean to cry sour grapes here, but in terms of my 1st-3rd chakra issues, every setback on the road to fame and glory has felt a bit like getting knocked off the mountain.
Despite my successes, I still feel largely invisible. I think this is a reflection of the fact that the 3rd chakra planets in this chart are in cadent positions, suggesting perhaps that there is still some kind of insidious belief system (6th chakra) at work that keeps me invisible, probably because on some level, I still believe that my survival (1st chakra) depends upon it.
As Uranus, a 6th chakra planet passes through the 6th chakra territory in my 3rd house, I get to work on this belief system, to begin to look at it in another way. As I imagine my challenge here, I think of the old Donovan song, “First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.” I begin to see that just as climbing the mountain is not a threat to my survival, there is in fact, no mountain to climb.
Healing in a Colorado Mountain Meadow
I had an experience of this once in Colorado, when I was trying to make my way to a mountain peak. At a certain point, I lost the path to the peak. It suddenly just disappeared and I found myself in a meadow of beautiful flowers. I realized in that moment that this was, in fact, what I had come to see and experience, and that my striving toward the mountain was merely the little trick I had played upon myself to make that possible. I think my 1st-3rd chakra dilemma is a bit like that. Perhaps, this dilemma resolves in the 2nd chakra, where the only solution is to enjoy myself and let the process be its own reward. I think in my own bumbling stumbling stubborn way, I am learning to do this.
In any case, having the astro-chakra system through which to analyze my natal patterns and subsequent transits to them, gives me additional window through which to gain a glimpse into the challenges facing me, and the level of consciousness on which I must approach them in order to maximize my opportunities for growth.
If space allowed, we could trace the entire pattern of this evolutionary history primarily through outer planet transits to my mutable T-square, an exercise that would yield a rich collection of images and metaphors through which to understand my ever-changing relationship to the 1st-3rd chakra challenges I have taken on in this life. Hopefully, in this blog, I have at least given you enough of incentive to whet your appetite for more.
My book goes into much more detail than I have been able to here. For those who are interested in pursuing it further, more deeply into the rabbit hole of their own personal core issues, the Tracking the Soul workshop is the way to go.
The last post in this series is The Workshop.
To read more blog posts, go here.