Transformation - Oct 08
Transformation Crisis From: Marjorie. (16 Oct 2008 10:05):
Jung''s idea of the transformation crisis starts at about 36/37 years of age and lasts to around 42. He believed it was the point at which people struggle to become truly themselves. A less easy matter than it sounds. For those who can make it through - the dark night of the soul - they lead more fulfilling second half lives. Some can''t make it through the transformational phase and gently start to decline after mid life into resigned apathy.
My experience is that some facing too major psychological problems can''t even get over the first hurdle and die in their late 30s. That is probably statistically a remote possibility. I just happen to know a few who did so I tend to be on the lookout.
It starts with the second Nodal Return - Moon''s North Node returning to its natal place. I think Alexander Ruperti''s book "Cycles of Becoming: The Planetary Patterns of Growth" talks about the Nodal Returns (second hand on Amazon). The transformation crisis (process) finishes with the Uranus opposition (around 42) which is what is thought of traditionally as the mid life crisis.
Princess Diana died 15 months before her second Nodal Return aged 36. Mozart died just months before his Second Nodal Return. The personal case I know also died in the months before the Second Nodal Return. Guillaume Depardieu just passed his Nodal Return earlier this year. For those coming up to that point in their lives can I hasten to add that dying is a remote possibility. It goes back to what I''ve been saying previously about how difficult profound change is for most of us. For a few it is just too insurmountable a barrier.
For a more Jungian approach see the below which is available in part online (free) at the URL below.
Murray Stein. http://www.questia.com/library/psychology/c-g-jung.jsp
Pluto and the pain of change From: Marjorie. (08 Oct 2008 12:35):
Saturn transits are much faster moving - so transitting Saturn conjunct (or aspect) a natal Pluto is more of a blip. It can happen three times over a few months but sometimes only hits once. My impression is that it is about consolidation and retraction. Though Pluto is often most difficult point in a chart for people to grasp what it really means about themselves and their life so it can pass by without too many ripples.
Whereas transitting Pluto conjunct (or aspect) a natal Saturn is a much longer drawn out affair - over eighteen months. And you won''t miss it. Pluto exerts its take down and rebuild energies onto Saturn''s solid structures in a personality and a life. So it''s rather like a slow bulldozer moving into a wall. There''s push and there''s resistance. It almost inevitably coincides with a time of hard ship in some way, usually financial cutbacks, a tough time needing perseverance.
Why is change so difficult? And can you volunteer for it? It really goes back to earlier postings (27 Sept on USA Insight - why people can''t change their beliefs easily; and 6 July on Change). It''s really to do with how the human psyche operates. At a hugely over simplified level the psyche is like an egg with a yolk at the centre. The yolk if you like is the Self or the Inner You and the shell is the necessary defences, the ego. The ego is required to protect the very sensitive inner core, to interface with the outside world and to cut down on overload from outer events and people. Without an ego you fall into psychosis where there are no boundaries between inner and outer.
Although we tend to think of the ego as being the hallmark of sanity, it inevitably in its selection of unlimited information from the outside becomes biased in the way it sees the world. Pulitzer Prize winning Ernest Becker in the Denial of Death argues that " man lives by lying to himself about himself and about his world. The individual has to protect himself against the world, and he can do this only as any other animal would; by narrowing down the world, shutting off experience, developing an obliviousness to the terrors of the world and to his own anxieties..... We don''t want to admit that we are fundamentally dishonest about reality, that we do not really control our own lives."
So we all live in some kind of a comfort bubble. And you can''t easily expand or alter a bubble or an egg shell. It has to be dismantled to allow a more appropriate or larger bubble/egg shell to grow in its place. This means facing up to past delusions about the way you/your family/relationships or the world actually are. That is hard and hurts as well as being frightening. Losing a dream and a comfort blanket is painful. There''s always a period in the middle of the transition from old to new where your defences are down, so you feel acutely vulnerable and bereft of old securities. Like an oyster without its shell.
Different personalities (and charts) react differently to change which involves letting go the illusion of control and facing hard realities. Some people somatise, become ill, rather than face emotional pain. Others cling on to the absolute last gasp before giving in to change. Some reconstruct their house rather than reconstruct their emotional lives. There should be no judgement in this (except we all do judge!) since not everyone has the same capacities or insights. Though I do get very judgemental about the murderous fathers who destroy their families since they can''t stand the loss of face in impending bankruptcy etc.
You can certainly make it easier on yourself (if you have the capacity to do so) by facing up to what needs to go from your life in terms out outworn attitudes or relationships or past ambitions. But there''s still going to be some pain involved from being necessarily vulnerable through the middle of the process. And most of us don''t really change unless we are hit hard by some outer event which gives us a major shake up and makes you realise you have been living in a delusional bubble.
Lack of Insight From: Marjorie. (27 Sep 2008 12:03):
It has puzzled me, probably all my life, why people lack insight and worse don''t want it. There are a raft of scientific studies which amazingly show ''that people''s confidence in their beliefs is often unshaken by disconfirming evidence.
Strong beliefs are highly resistant to change even in the face of a thorough discrediting of their evidential basis.
People often ignore, underweigh or reinterpret disconfirming evidence to agree with their beliefs.''
This happens right across the spectrum - scientific, political, personal. Common sense says you keep an open mind and alter your beliefs according to what is staring you in the face. Mais non. Everyone digs in their heels, some signs and charts more than others, to cling for dear life to the old familiar mindset. And as Thomas Kuhn pointed out (Paradigms of Change) it takes an almighty upheaval before new ideas can take root. The human psyche appears to be designed as a fairly static system, not one in which new ideas can easily be incorporated. For some people letting in new ideas/ letting go the old ones threatens the stability of their entire mindset - threatens to collapse their sanity. The same goes for societies.
If we assume that USA Superpower is like an individual whose old mindset/psychological defences are running into the buffers - the narcissistic ''we are the greatest, biggest, strongest, rightist'' can''t hold any more. The gap between beliefs and hard reality has been stretched to breaking point. Psychologically you would expect that individual to lean desperately on what they perceive as their strengths which only exaggerates the split between self image and reality. At this point it gets ugly (Cheney/Rumsfeld/Paulson) and frankly delusional. Then the mindset can''t hold up anymore and there is a collapse.
It usually does take a collapse or a really major catastrophe to bring people to their senses and re-balance self image with a more realistic assessment of their place in the universe.
With countries it is even trickier since you are dealing with a mass mindset which is in many ways more primitive and stuck than an individual''s. Russia attempted the transition from communism to democracy and discovered the transition period was just too difficult - everyone wanted the bad old days back since there was at least stability. So in steps KGB Putin and in part the bad old days came back but hey at least it works where meltdown hadn''t.
I don''t think Cancer as a sign (USA) is good at insight or for that matter change since Cancerians tend to be sentimental about the past and are often scared to face the truth since it would be too emotionally devastating. They create a perfect happy family scenario even in the face of screaming evidence to the contrary. And ''small town'' Sarah Palin is the icon for that arcadia which never was but is a necessary prop for the Cancerian delusional dream. I also suspect there is a Grand Canyon of a gap in her own life between her public/self image and the reality.
So Clarence perhaps you are right (and a previous poster) that it needs another disastrous presidency to push the USA into painful realisation of their changing place in the world''s pecking order. Though to be truthful if Obama gets in it''s going to be a disaster anyway since, even if he was a genius which I doubt, his hands will be totally tied. Several columnists have said the real winners of this election are Hillary, Romney and Huckabee since they''ll avoid having to mop up the Bush mess and step up shining bright in 2012.
Change versus the stupid mistake cycle From: Marjorie. (06 Jul 2008 11:29):
Astrology can throw light on periods of change though why it is so difficult individually and collectively to adjust negative behaviour is more of a psychological even biological issue. In nature, structure in plants and stability in the animal population comes through sameness - Jack Rabbit junior does what Jack Rabbit senior taught him, so one generation does what the generation before did because it worked and over time the species consolidates. Simplistically it''s Saturnine or a fixed sign quality. Which is great if what is repeated is life-promoting but the same consolidating process can also lead to mistakes being repeated endlessly until the line dies out. Very fixed sign charts (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio) find change much more difficult than mutable or cardinal charts but the fixed signs are the ones which give continuity over time.
The balancing factor for structure is creativity where there is a possibility of learning/adopting new strategies to adapt to changing circumstances. Creativity breaks down the old structure to allow for change. But creativity is always in part inherently destructive and therefore risky. Without structure there is danger of chaos, anarchy and implosion. Too much Uranus or Pluto without Saturn can be as destructive as too much Saturn on its own in a different way.
Psychologically the human animal finds change however yearned for exceptionally difficult since there is always a critical point where the old mental structure has to give way if change is to take place and at that point there is no mental stability, thus no coping mechanism. Thomas Kuhn''s ideas on paradigm shifts in science are very much to the point - published interestingly in 1962 at the start of the Uranus Pluto conjunction in Virgo. Absorbing new knowledge isn''t a simple linear process of learning more as the facts change. Science he said goes through periods of stability and then periods of great revolutionary ferment where there is a fight to the death between the holders of the old (out dated) knowledge and the torchbearers for the new.
"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light but rather because its opponents eventually die, a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." Max Planck, physicist.
Which is kind of depressing since it suggests that those set in their ways (over consolidated) never actually learn to adapt.
Clearly individual change is possible though anyone who has ever undergone a deep analysis knows how difficult and at times dangerous it feels to let go old mind sets, no matter how destructive one knows them to be. There''s an interesting analogy from a book on Jungian Therapy and the Tarot - of the growth of shellfish like lobsters. They start small with a shiny hard shell which protects them against the dangers of their world but stops them growing. In order to grow they have to cast the old shell at which point they are totally vulnerable so need to be hidden away from dangers at that point, before growing a bigger body and then a bigger outer shell to protect them. The process of psychological development is reasonably similar at least in terms of therapy - where the old defences (Saturn or Pluto) have to be slowly deconstructed or dissolved in a safe contained space, allowing for psychological growth, then new defences need to be erected to allow for a re-entry to the world at large.
The other spur to psychological growth seems to be trauma. According to Julian Jaynes the development of human consciousness two or three thousand years ago came out of a period of huge natural disasters which literally shook us (those who survived) into a new mind set. But trauma is dangerous and can destroy more than it creates. The Uranus Pluto conjunction of the mid 1960s saw the Red Revolution in China which was mindlessly destructive of the old culture, inhumane and chaotic. But you might argue that China''s present rise to SuperPower status came on the back of that. Russia on the other hand under Gorbachev as the Uranus, Neptune, Saturn conjunction was in effect held a bright new hope of a new Russia. But it didn''t work. The ensuing chaos as the old Communist structures were taken down was worse. People began to say it may have been bad before but at least it was stable. So gradually it slid back to KGB Putin who re-introduced the iron grip of effectively totalitarian government. Sometimes change is just too difficult and the transition period too risky for development to take place.
The mid 1960s also saw widespread demonstrations in the US against her Vietnam War (remember never again!) and for Black Civil Rights. Barack Obama may be a breakthrough now in terms of American development but as ever it hangs in the balance - is it a step too far for the collective American mindset? Societal change is very very slow.
Uranus Pluto can oversee scientific and technological discoveries - the one in the mid 19th Century ( in fact a triple conjunction with Saturn in Aries/Taurus ) saw - the first oil well, the first elevator making later skyscrapers possible, ways of producing cheap steel, reinforced concrete, nitro-glycerine and the first cheap daily newspaper in US. How much of that can actually be seen as progress is maybe questionable. There was also the Irish potato famine which led to the Irish diaspora to the US.
The health and eco concerns of that last 1960s Uranus Pluto conjunction may have been partly so focussed because it was in health-conscious Virgo - breakthroughs in DNA, mammographs, measles vaccines, dangers of smoking, pesticides, Thalidomide etc. What''s coming is a less focussed square in Aries and Capricorn.
I don''t think the years ahead will be all negative - but it will be messy and stressful - and I doubt if it will bring sudden revelations about how to live a better life. At least not until after the middle of the next decade when Pluto in Capricorn might be stabilising things more.
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