Our Chief Asteroid Officer points out that Astraea (the fifth asteroid discovered after Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta) completes the Grand Cross with the Full Moon. Astraea is about Innocence, and she’s right at home in early Virgo.
We can think of Virgoan innocence as “Who, me?” in the sense that when your best friend Lovingly accuses you of hiding behind a Mask (when you actually are), and you naturally and innocently reply “Who, me?” Not that your friend would ever be dumb enough to try to label someone else’s Masks; it’s just a metaphor to explain Virgo’s function.
Leo is where the Ego’s Self-Confidence peaks, Libra is where it meets Other, which means that all bets on Self-Confidence are up for grabs. Virgo is in charge of the Transition. If Virgo is the palm, Pisces is the back of the hand. Aquarius is where the Ego’s Confidence in Community peaks, Aries is where it meets brand new territory so success will only follow from “Don’t-Know” mind. Pisces is in charge of that Transition.
At the Full Moon we have dwarf planets Opposite one another that are both Stationary (Strong) early in this Virgo-Pisces Ego-Transition, from having a fair degree of Certainty and Comfort, to becoming a complete newbie again. With Astraea asking, “Who, Me?” Or as a reader says…
“Kaboom, JUST connected. I’m wiggin’ out because I hold this perspective & perception that EVERYTHING IS A TRADE OFF. OMG – THAT belief? I was completely indoctrinated into THAT. Hugo mungo either/or thinking. I never saw the depth of this trade-off perspective and never connected it to The Grand Either/Or that permeates so much. That they are one and the same.”
I could tell similar stories about my own Epiphanies, but this stuff moves so fast, and the nature of this Edge between Consciousness and the Unconscious is so ephemeral, that I can’t keep track from day to day of what my Psyche is doing. I just know it’s moving through Heavy territory and making it’s own connections.
How old was I when they had to sew my tongue back on because I bit it almost off jumping off a couch while horseplaying with my sibs? Three? Of course that wouldn’t have triggered my Abandonment because my father had to spend money he didn’t have. And of course that wouldn’t have anything to do with my allergy to hospitals and my recent experience of them.
Without knowing what but knowing it was Heavy, I used to literally paint that picture when I was in high school, the scene from the neighbor’s car, looking out over the river in the darkness. I obviously wasn’t in my Body. Shortly after that we moved to the downriver side of the hospital, and it took me a long time to figure out why in this picture I was looking down river.
Another reader, born during the height of the original Ouija-Board Pluto-Uranus Initiation, recommended Bill Plotkin’s Wild Mind to me. Here are some excerpts about our Masks…
“The grave problem with having made such a pact in childhood is that, once adopted, it becomes a bedrock layer of our personalities. Achieving liberation from our Loyal Soldier survival strategies is one of the most challenging and long-lasting tasks of the individuation process, requiring a good deal of courage, discernment, and endurance even into genuine adulthood and elderhood.” (p.133)
His pact, or Oath, is our response to our need to protect our child self from likely-fatal Abandonment by our Family or Community. The dwarf planet Orcus, which symbolizes these Oaths, is Stationary only a few degrees from Astraea. It’s handy, having Astraea’s Innocence there, allowing us more Empathy for the pickle that our historical tykes found themselves in. That allows us to slap our forehead with an OMG, instead of the “How stupid can we be?” that we might otherwise greet ourself with while opening these doors.
The Pisces side of this equation features the dwarf planet OR10 – also Stationary – and the Centaur Nessus. OR10 is about irruption of material from the Unconscious – including sudden Epiphanies. Nessus is about Privilege and Abuse. And all this is in the context of having Mars (Action, Anger) Oppose Vesta (Limiting Unconscious Beliefs) less than a Degree from the Full Moon axis. All preparation for June’s Eris-Uranus (Embracing the Previously Denied) – the cosmic choreography is quite amazing.
“Our juvenile survival strategies of self-diminishment form the core of our most self-defeating patterns: those that disparage our dreams, our potentials, and our healthy wildness, or that aggravate low self-esteem and troubles with intimacy. And, most irksome, these strategies are often on autopilot, launched outside our awareness and without our consent or control.”
Conspiring to hold our Unique Genius in its Orphanage – or as we bring them into Consciousness, to Set it Free, as Ixion (Genius) Trines (Grace) Eris-Uranus.
More Masks from Plotkin (p.157)…
Not all of our Wounded Children are trying to help us survive. Some are simply casualties of our other [Masks] or of the unkind actions of others. These are our Outcasts, elements of our psyches we rejected in order to survive, in order to be accepted by others.
“These are the versions of ourselves of which we are ashamed – perhaps our gentleness or our fierceness, our sexuality, our anger or sadness, our fear or embarrassment, our love of dance or poetry, our joy or vivaciousness, or our need for touch or compassion. Once we reject these Wounded Children and label them bad or worthless, they exist in a marginal, banished state within our psyches. Nonetheless, we live every day with some awareness of their pain and heartache.
“For children, conscious self-rejection is less harmful than being rejected by others, even if it’s no less painful. By restraining ourselves from acting in ways that lead to being shamed, we’re less likely to be abandoned. The price we pay is self-shaming, resulting in Outcasts within us we’re not willing to love, who we’ve neglected and exiled.
“Although our Outcasts persist as pockets of pain within us, they embody great gifts – strengths and sensibilities not deemed worthy by others in our early lives, but gifts we can reclaim when we’re psychologically ready to do so. The reclamation process usually begins with grief. We must mourn our psychological woundings by others, our consequent self-woundings, and the loss of joy, aliveness, and relationships that resulted from all our self-diminishments.”
And again (pp.186-7)…
“We’re all in recovery from Western civilization. Sooner or later, we each must address the paramount addiction in the Western and Westernized worlds: our psychological dependence on the worldview and lifestyle of Western civilization itself. The Western worldview says, in essence, that technological progress is the highest value, and that we were born to consume, to endlessly use and discard natural resources, other species, techno-gadgets, toys, and often, other people, especially if they’re poor or from the global South.
“It’s a world of commodities, not entities, of consumers, not human beings, and economic expansion is the primary measure of progress. Profits are valued over people, money over meaning, our national entitlement over global peace and justice, ‘us’ over ‘them.’ This addiction to Western civilization – especially now that the Chinese, too, are hooked – is by far the most dangerous one in the world because of how rapidly and extensively it’s undermining the natural systems of the Earth.
“Addiction to Western civilization keeps us from seeing and feeling the staggering price all Earthly life pays for our consumer habit. And it protects us from having to make any radical changes in lifestyle, or from having to grow up, leave the ‘home’ of our adolescent comforts, and embark on the hazardous journey of initiation that leads to an existence that’s life enhancing, meaningful. and fulfilling.”
“The Shadow, one of the archetypes identified by psychologist Carl Jung, is composed of those elements of our own psyches that are unknown to us … the Shadow is not what we know about ourselves, don’t like, and keep hidden. Rather, the Shadow is what is true about us that we don’t know – don’t know at all – and, if accused of it, would adamantly and sincerely deny.”
“The purpose of the Shadow is to protect us from enacting personal characteristics that, if expressed, might land us in big trouble with others or ourselves. We stuff these forbidden parts of ourselves in a corner of our psyches where we can’t find them, where we can ‘fail to notice’ them.”
“The Shadow is what our psyches repress (render unconscious), not what our Egos suppress (consciously hide from others). … This is difficult to accept and digest – that there are aspects or parts of ourselves we really don’t know and that are completely at odds with who we think we are.
“Even when our other [Masks] act unconsciously (independently of our Egos), we know them by how they affect our lives, thoughts, and deeds. Perhaps we don’t acknowledge them to others, but we do know them. Not so for the elements of the Shadow. The Shadow is always unconscious.”
Ah yes, dwarf planet Chaos (Unlimited Potential), Sextile (Grace after we initiate) to Eris-Uranus. Thank goodness there’s always More.