Image Credit: Violet Hour Muse
For many Mars-Pluto individuals the “Apple Pie” life at home is not what they have experienced and “family” is a place filled with anger, yelling, insults, sexual violence, beatings, and even killings. ~ Julie Rimner
Last night I was musing over my Fistful of Yod (or Why OD) of natal Mars/Orcus/Lucifer sextile Pluto/North Node pointing the boney-M at Orpheus in Aquarius, and, no flies on my guides, today I am led to an article about the darker side of Mars-Pluto aspects. That is after I had rescued a few soul fragments that were still tripping the light fantastic in the Disco-dungeon of the late-70s. I trust I will no longer sink into a beige cardigan funk the next time I hear rah-rah-Rasputin…….
Other five-finger discount aspects at play with this Fistful of Yod are: Pluto sextile Neptune; Mars trine Neptune, square Moon; Moon sextile Orpheus which squares Neptune; Neptune trines Chiron conjunct Orpheus. Don’t get me started on the Vigintiles, Tredeciles, Quintiles and Sesquiquadrates………I’m still sussing them out.
Cutting through the astro blah-blah, what this means, for moi, is that I grew up with the embedded belief that I was lucky to have been raised in an abusive home environment in which no information was disseminated about the nuts and bolts of my mother’s manic-depression, and I had to pretend that everything was okay. Happy families. The Sabian Symbol for my natal Mars/Orcus nails this dynamic to the floor: Cancer 8 Rabbits dressed in clothes and on parade.
I had also absorbed the behavioural patterns of both my parents and studying the concepts of Early Childhood Development has very much contributed to my understanding of when certain messages are imprinted; providing a map for my Shaman squirrel to find the cache of nuts. As an adult, I have been more than a little horrified to download the full ramifications of how this embedded belief has reverberated through my energy bodies, and the impact on my Throat Chakra. Years and years ago, I used to have quite awful dreams about trying to speak to somebody, yet my mouth was glued up with chewing-gum. I would try to remove the chewing-gum, yet there would be more and more of it and I could never talk. I didn’t have a voice because I had been censored with these rules:
- Don’t talk to people about what goes on at home.
- Don’t talk back.
- Don’t say things like that.
- Don’t talk while the news is on.
- Don’t talk with your mouth full.
- Don’t talk about your problems, I’ve got enough of my own.
- Don’t talk in class.
- Don’t talk through your arse!
- Say that again and I’ll knock your block off.
- Keep your mouth shut.
Despite all the odds stacked up against me, I emerged from the subtle and not-so-subtle abuses in the dynamics of my family life and those of my working-class disadvantaged background, with enough commonsense to not descend into the obvious traps of substance-abuse, alcoholism, gambling, reckless behaviour, acting-out, self-harm and a few other behaviour patterns that I was at risk of developing. Surprisingly, I never considering running away from home, although I was told I made a bolt for it when I was 3 years old!
Definitely, in my younger years I ticked all the boxes with going from one bad relationship to another, selecting troubled abusively controlling men that were too fond of the booze. I was 18-21, got that over and done fairly early in the piece. Or so I thought. The last encounter in 2009, ended with me getting a court-served Intervention Order and ~ boy ~ was that whole experience a massive wake-up call for me to dig a lot deeper as to why I was still attracting this pattern of relationship in which my personal boundaries were being violated. Relationships in which I felt psychically raped.
The outcome of that rather epiphanous relationship was that I learned howI could not have chosen more appropriate partners; not coming from the loveless home environment in which I was parboiled, observing that adult relationships = belittling insults, thinly-concealed and not-so-concealed contempt, daily arguments, constant complaining on my mother’s part when my father was at work, and having to tiptoe around my father’s moody silences, as well as his sleep-patterns being a shiftworker.
Most of the time, in my adolescence, my parents communicated to each other through me:
- Ask your father if he wants a cup of tea.
- Tell your mother to wash this fork, it stinks.
We’d all be sitting in the same room together as this was going on. Each of us at our own table, facing the TV. I have no memory of us every sitting down at the one table to share a meal; not even Christmas dinner. I knew this was weird at the time because I would watch TV and see those families all sitting down at the same table to share a meal and talk about things. My cousin who is three years older than me, had a similar crazy upbringing with his parents and told me once that he would watch “Leave it to Beaver” and cry, wondering why his family wasn’t like the Cleavers. I never did that, didn’t make those comparisons.
My father enjoyed watching British comedies like “On The Buses”, “Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Them” and “Love Thy Neighbour”, which all had the same them of abusive, insulting, bigoted, miserable family life. And my mother watched American day-time soap operas in which everybody was arguing and engaged in emotional conflicts.
In my home, nothing was voiced that could have led to breaking the trance my parents were under, yet I was always aware of a subtext going on. As a child I wasn’t permitted to ask questions that made my parents uncomfortable. Certain subjects were taboo, like when my paternal grandfather died in 1970, my mother told me to not say anything to my father. He was upset. When my mother’s uncle died, of whom she always spoke, the day she got the news on the telephone, she sat in her chair and began to cry. I went over, sat next to her and put my arm around her. She pushed me away, screaming Don’t touch me!
Over the years, I learned to not voice my distress over being bullied at school and 100 other matters. Learned that my parents didn’t want to be burdened with meeting my emotional needs or even to give in instruction in necessary lifeskills. They taught me that I couldn’t go to them for guidance or support. My mother once said that they raised me to be independent and self-reliant, yet I feel that was her way of denying the truth of their ambivalence about parenting.
My mother also believed that my difficulties with learning math was the result of the change to decimal currency. That happened in 1966. When I was five.
My difficulties in math were not at all related, in her mind, to the many times I was pulled out of primary school and fostered out when she was hospitalized and my father couldn’t cope with looking after me, or chaotic traumatic confusion that reigned during those times. I missed a lot of school and fell behind in maths. I learned a couple of years ago that I have a sort of dysplasia with maths ~ that went unnoticed. I still have difficulty with basic math skills such as adding up, subtracting, multiplying and dividing in my head ~ I have to write it down. Remembering how my mother blamed the switch to decimal currency for my inability to understand math, when I was far too young to have even been affected by that ~ I don’t even remember pre-decimal currency ~ exposed the depth of my mother’s self-deception and the extent to which she lived in a fantasy world that bore no relation to the realities of her life; our life.
Growing up in such a house of subtexted silence meant that we were all “voiceless” and asteroid 60 Echo addresses the issue of voicelessness on the evolutionary level. I understand the common interpretation of Echo is to enter into the Narcissus mythology, of unrequited love, yet Hera’s curse that meant Echo could only speak the last words of oter people after she had heard them, speaks to the way in which as children we parrot the beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviours of those we perceive as having authority, and within an abusive home, experience voicelessness, not from losing our voice, but from never having been encouraged to develop a voice in the first place that sings with the qualities of self-worth, identity, and love. The unrequited love is the Soul’s longing for you to hear its voice, to begin a conversation that will tell you everything you need to know, when you are ready and not a moment before. Echo asks:
Did my parents (teachers,peers,partners, employers or insert antagonist of your choice) respect and value what I said, see myself as independent from them in a positive way, and demonstrate that my thoughts and feelings were as important as theirs?
and the core question:
Do I respect and value what I say, see my Self as independent from others in a positive way, and feel that my thoughts and feelings are as important as theirs?
Having encountered the stories of other adult women (and men) who grew up with a mentally-ill parent, my experiences have found a less nebulous context in which I could work through the trauma memories from the perspective of the Child Protection Practitioner archetype. Approaching the work from the distance of an advocate for my inner child, I didn’t get dragged back (well, not for long), into the Void of invisibility and voicelessness.
I recalled two things my parents each would say to me that turned Chiron’s key and unlocked a profound insight:
- Father: You’re just like your mother
- Mother: You’re just like your father.
They didn’t see ME. They only saw what they hated in each other. If they didn’t see me, then they didn’t “damage” me, and all I needed to do was eject the messages they had embedded in my psyche. Deprogram myself. Then after a while, I reached a sweet place where I had a lovely vision of the two people who were my parents. We were all 16 years old. We met in an open field of flowers and I said to them: I am the friend you never had. I am the daughter you never knew. I am the Soul you never saw.
No blame and no need to forgive. If I take the approach they did nothing to me, then I cannot allocate blame ~ only accountability. They were the parents. I was the child. It was incumbent on them to create a harmonious healthy home for me. They didn’t because they didn’t know how.
The voice of Christ on the cross: Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do. I really get that now. I really feel the essence of that message. I see the healing energy it contains.
In the world of the children who had a parent with a mental illness, I am quite ordinary and normal. Just another person that was trapped in the hell of my parent’s suffering. It was damaging and isolating and without extended family or a support network to balance the chaos, to provide an objective reasonable perspective, or an insight into what a regular ‘normal’ family really looked like, it follows that I didn’t receive a healthy template of relationship or family upon which to go out into the world and build my own life upon. Like most people, I learned the hard way. Several times.
I am not at all certain that I have a healthy template now or if I have turned-off that damn signal that attracts abusive controlling men into my life. I guess I’ll find out, if I can be bothered. Which I’m not.
From the annals of my lived experience, the Mars-Pluto aspect is a finely nuanced and complex one, embracing the concept of psychic rape,and issues of Power-Over that Starhawk writes about. All prime Sacral Chakra territory. Not surprisingly, the majority of my physical health issues have been below the belt, starting from when I was 14 with a mysterious ailment, that twenty years later I would understand to have been a rogue ovarian cyst. Being the age that I was, the doctors focused on fitting my symptoms into a diagnosis of appendicitis.
I still have my appendix. Never given me any trouble.
Currently this T-Square is rocking for me, for you and the things that we do. Make a cup of tea and contemplate what has been sown and is ready to reap, if you can see the angel that desires liberation from the marble, and if the people in your life demonstrate that they respect what you have to say.
Ceres Pisces 27: A harvest moon
Echo Sagittarius 27: A sculptor
Lucifer Virgo 25: Flag at half-mast