Creative Connections & Client Communications
Counseling Insights March 31, 2006Being Alert to Creative Connections
Remember the old joke?: Two psychoanalysts are walking past each other: one says, “Good morning!” The other says, “Wonder what he meant by that?”
The focus here is the significance, the meaning, of something that was said; how deep does it go; how significant is it for one’s personality and how is it connected to behavior patterns? The psychoanalyst is trained to question everything for substance, direct or veiled, to bring it to bear on the welfare of his client. It’s not a joke.
Think of the times in your life when what was said to you or what you said to someone else was indeed extremely important, telling, even life changing: perhaps an emotional bond was clarified, a goal defined, a long-held problem solved, a misconception illuminated, a link established over concerns and reactions a lifetime long, etc. These communications altered your perceptions, called for modifications in behavior, birthed new dreams for further development. The more we understand our behaviors and values and their interconnections, the more we appreciate who we are.
Sometimes we can’t see the shaping of those perspectives clearly by ourselves; we need someone sensitive and astute to mirror what may be developing in our growth process. We talk with a wise friend; we seek out a clergyman trained to assist growth; we discuss things with someone in the “helping professions”; we confer with a cultivated astrologer.
Case in Point My last client showed a highly compressed horoscope into the 12th House. The orientation was/is overwhelmingly Eastern and Southern. Immediately, we anticipate a defensive nature; guarding against a vulnerability to being taken advantage of, pushed around, even victimized.
The astrologer knows this. But if all the astrologer were to do is describe this disposition of character, the conditions of the consultation would be static. There would be no meaning. We would gain nothing except a “Gee whiz, that’s something!” about astrology.
But if the astrologer works with the client to discover the development of this disposition, the understanding can lead the client to greater self-appreciation and illuminated strategy into growth ahead. Problems and fears … and their origins … can be understood; defenses can be relaxed and energies freed.
For example: the only high-tension aspect in the gentleman’s horoscope is Pluto conjunct the Moon, echoed by Uranus conjunct the Nodal Axis. Unequivocally, this focuses a spotlight upon the relationship with the mother, formatively over-done perhaps, possibly usurping his individuation. This is surely the source of the defensive posture, learned in the early home life.
Spotting this is instantaneous for any well-studied astrologer. And thinking into the observations, getting to the substance, to what is distinctively important, is the job of the artist analyst. It becomes the consultation gift to the client.
When I asked my client about his formidable mother relationship, he said, “My mother was a nurse, and she taught me to be measured in my reactions. [Yes, he said that; this thirty-year-old man is exquisitely well spoken.] She had to be defensive with her husband [notice: he didn’t say ‘my father’], and I learned an air of emotional control. I was terrified about being away from my mother’s poise.”
What a statement! I became alert to extensions of this situation within my client’s development.
In league with tr Pluto conjunct the Ascendant at 14, the young man took on new perspectives in his life by going away from home for the first time, on a sports tour. This was the first time he was without his mother’s shield.
--Now, it is very important to add here that this is no classic “mamma’s boy.” He is big, burly, firm, and wisely eloquent to an extreme [Saturn rules the 3rd and is strongly square the Ascendant]. Circumstances of his development have him living through his mother’s model strongly; the father is out of the picture for him.
When the young man went off to University, he experienced his first major relationship. This relationship broke up with tr Saturn=Sun/Moon. His evaluation of it: “She was my father. I felt controlled.” --Was he reaching out for what he never had had, finding the father influence through a relationship with a young woman? A conversational thread was emerging strongly. Both of us were learning much.
This set of modeled behaviors and their significances infiltrated his professional posture as well. While his Sun-ruled Midheaven began his vocational profile to be dramatically the head of his own business, the heavy 12th House focus including the Moon introduced a behind-the-scenes consultant position. This was resolved in his reality by his having four partners –each complementary specialists—[Venus, ruler of the 4th was final dispositor in Libra in the 12th]; they were the front men, he was the head of the operation working his intellectual and artistic magic behind the scenes. In other words, again, he needed a shield for protection and security in relation to reality.
The gentleman offered that there was “something else” beyond his strong successful business position. I was able to reply quickly that it would surely be in an area “idealistic for the common good: something connected with alternative healing.” [Mercury is a final dispositor, is conjunct the Sun, ruler of his Midheaven, and itself rules the 8th.] I was sure, remembering that his mother was a career nurse.
And finally, he had recently married a woman with whom he is grandly fulfilled, and the lady is ten years older than he.
This is astrological consultation: the appreciation of individuality illuminated within time for the client’s fulfillment. Anything less would be dry-ash description and have no value until a listening and thinking astrologer –or psychoanalyst within earshot—asked within the consultation what it all might mean!
Next Update: April 30, 2006