It’s Capricorn season — let’s get down to business! With six planets in Capricorn at this recent New Moon solar eclipse, including a conjunction to Saturn, Capricorn’s ruler, it is time to get serious. (Look to your natal chart to see where you have Capricorn as this will be the area for you to focus your energy; message me if you need help).
Your success is directly linked to your effort, and with Jupiter in Sagittarius for the next year, the possibilities are limitless.
Do the work, reap the rewards.
This is a time when we can focus on the tangible, practical, and determinate steps that we can take to ensure success in the areas we choose to focus on. In Capricorn, we discern, we discipline. In Sagittarius, we cast the vision, we set our sights on the ideals. Now, in Capricorn, we examine the map, identify the obstacles and the tools we need to be successful on the voyage.
You might ask yourself, at this important time, in what ways have you have been spiritually bypassing? In what ways have you been avoiding your problems through your spiritual and healing practices? How are you focusing on the light at the expense of the shadow? Are your practices truly healing you or are they just helping you cope? Are these practices helping you grow, or are they just helping you escape?
The difference between healing and coping is an important one.
Coping takes the edge off pain. It reduces the immediate tension in a way that makes suffering manageable. Healthy coping skills are super helpful for maintaining a functional level of well-being — they are a valuable aspect of any self-care toolkit!
Coping skills keep us from going into crisis and help us function in our everyday lives. Coping skills result in maintaining our ability to function through the experience of suffering, which can lead to the ability to heal. However, unhealthy coping skills (and sometimes even healthy ones) will often numb us from feeling the deeper call to heal.
Healing, however, takes us beyond coping and removes the presence of suffering altogether. It is often the difference between surviving and thriving. This is the result of doing the deep work of resolving trauma at the root. It requires a confrontation with the shadow, with the aspects of ourselves that we prefer to ignore, bypass, or numb. Healing is the disruption and resolution of the trauma cycle that necessitates the need for a coping skill in the first place.
Healing, unlike coping, tends not to soften our pain; rather, it tends to plunge us directly into it. Face first. Sink or swim.
For this reason, healing is often experienced first as a breakdown or collapse of what once was. It can feel like our carefully constructed worlds are coming apart. When healing is happening, it is easy to think the situation is getting worse, not better. This is the proverbial “dark night of the soul” of the spiritual seeker, the “rock bottom” of the addict, or the “healing crisis” within homeopathy.
I remember a time when my son was very young. He had a history of ear infections and fever. I knew that subduing the fever with cough syrup, although recommended by many people, was contrary to his body’s need to fight the infection; yet, I also felt that his system needed support. I turned to homeopathic Belladonna for this support. Within 15 minutes of the first dose, his fever escalated. He became glassy-eyed, flushed, and spacey. There was a moment that I questioned my choice, as this intensifying of his symptoms was quite scary. I stayed true to my intuition, however, and very soon after the second dose, his fever broke completely. He hasn’t had a single ear ache since that time.
This somewhat miraculous experience illustrates not only the difference between healing and coping, but also the need to be with the dis-ease of the symptoms and not rush through them to feel better temporarily, at the possible expense of long-term wellness.
Healing requires the unwavering capacity to sit with our suffering, in whatever way it presents itself — as shame or guilt, as grief, as anger, fear, or physical pain. Healing requires that we bear witness to truths — about ourselves, others, and the world — that no one else wants to acknowledge.
It requires that we surrender relationships that require our complicity and smallness. It requires the sacrifice of comforting yet distracting habits and patterns.
Healing requires presence and presence requires discipline.
Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn, is the force of discipline in the zodiac. Saturn is the boundary, the patriarch, the ruler. Saturn sets the limits and holds us unfaltering to them, even as we resist. Karma always comes around and Saturn keeps the dharma in perpetual balance. What we resist persists; even if it persists on the unconscious level.
Where Jupiter wants us to soar to limitless heights, Saturn wants us to ground. Yet the medicine of both planetary energies, though seemingly in opposition, is exactly what we need to fly.
While Jupiter helps us grow through expansion, higher wisdom, and exploration, Saturn helps us grow through challenge. To make the most of a Saturn transit, and the Capricorn season we are now in, we rise to greet our challenges, our pain, our limitations head-on. We can’t bypass the shadow anymore. To heal, it is necessary to accept and face suffering. Ironically, sometimes our suffering is caused by an attachment to not suffer.
The New Moon in Capricorn is a time to set intentions with the kind of clarity that comes from the learned experience of failing over and over again.
What have you learned from your path this far? What blocks do you come up against over and over again? What patterns continuously reveal themselves to you? There is a special kind of awareness that comes when we finally learn the lessons of mistakes made. It can be quite humbling to recognize our own limitations and shortcomings.
Saturn’s lessons, once integrated, can and do lead to freedom. Yet, now we must consider freedom from a truly grounded and “Saturnian” perspective.
Freedom — true freedom — is not a series of endless choices without consequence. This is the wishful thinking of a nestling, not yet experienced in the ways of flight. To this nestling, gravity equals falling, which equals pain. The experienced flyer knows that gravity is the necessary counterforce to spaciousness that creates the tension needed to lift off. There can be no flight without a tension of opposites — one pulling down and the other lifting up.
Freedom, like flight, is the space between structure and space. Yes, we may fall along the way, but the lesson learned from falling is the whole point.
Freedom is found in the unfailing presence of being with the process no matter what, if any, choices are available. Now, at the Capricorn New Moon, we have the capacity to transform the old way of relating to boundaries, attachment, and expectation. When we recognize the boundaries, we can use them in the best and most liberating ways possible. They become our allies.
Babies are born through contraction — so too, is the soul. The more we resist the contraction, the more pain we feel in the process. Breathing through it, resting when possible, and surrendering the need for control are assets during birth. What is being born in and through you now, at this Capricorn New Moon?
Please reach out if you are interested in any of my offerings through “Wild Embodiment”, including Lunar Flow Embodiment — an online group journey for women to integrate the moon’s rhythms into a conscious practice for awakening new paradigms. You are worthy!
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul.
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