Negation/Denial No one likes to hear about difficult things, especially about one‚s self; of course! But to appreciate the client‚s individual development (to bring the horoscope to life), the astrologer must learn about the swirls of emotion and grooving of behaviors (all in relation to individualized needs and required defenses), that emerged out of the early home experience, the interfamilial relationships. Then, there must be assessment of the projection/displacement of all these emotions and behaviors into adult relationships. Initially, much of the consultation discussion may very well appear negative.
When probing deeply into understanding of the horoscope Ųthe Saturn retrograde phenomenon, for example [see Annals, „Analytical Techniquesš; the Saturn Chapter in Synthesis & Counseling in Astrology]ųan astrologer may hear from the client, „Oh no! My father was a tremendously loving man; I was the apple of his eye. It was my mother who was the difficult one.š
The astrologer could well say, „This observation is not a judgement of your father; it‚s an objective description of the lack of relationship between the two of you. He was benign, passive; he didn‚t lead. Your mother did, by default. The balance was off.š
„Well, yes it was. He was much older than my mother; he stayed out of the picture. In fact, you know, they weren‚t much for children, and I was sent off to boarding school∑.š
„Did he ever say, ‚George‚/Alice, baby, I love you∑let me show you the way‚?š
„No∑no, he didn‚t. We were never together much∑š
Look what has happened here: notice how the fit to the Saturn retrograde phenomenon (one part of it) does indeed emerge gradually, as the client gains poise within the call to reflection. And of course, this sets up the creative connection (especially when these home tensions are related through aspect structures to the significator of the 7th House) that the idealized or unfinished business with the father is placed onto the spouse (male or female) in adult relationships.
„Well, I do see this now: I idealize what I want from my marriage in terms of my father.š
„May I suggest, őin terms of the relationship you should have had with your father‚? This gives those ideals a practical perspective.š
Then, of course, this continues on to putting the father relationship factors to some kind of rest (into some more manageable perspective). [Please see The Creative Astrologer.]
Going further As I study this situation of denial through my own experience over so many years and through the fresh experiences of my students, I find that the degree of denial (in the face of any highly well-annotated deduction) is proportional to the intensity of the questioning probe and the authority of the astrologer. That is only reasonable: in any consultation there is a jockeying for status position, for comfort, for security, for protection, etc. Gradually Ųif the astrologer is well prepared and graceful and sticks to her/his guns, adjusting insight to client realityųthe client will become more realistic and open in response.
It is helpful to see this in relation to another type of question, to the strength of the probe about one‚s alcoholism, for example: the person grown dependent upon drink might deny, deny, deny for eternity to cousin Sue, but admit meekly to the problem in the confidence of a conversation with his/her doctor. After all, the doctor can read őthe chart‚ accurately. ŲWith the out-and-out lie, which happens now and again, I just go on with the discussion, based upon my known-to-be-valid assumptions; and then, often, about 40 minutes later, it willwill all flood out in release and corroboration. Trust will have been established, and freedom of expression follows.
Tension/Motivation Every gardener knows that plants need rocks in their soil; the plants push against these rocks to rise and reach the sun. The rocks provide the tension necessary for growth. They allow the change of direction, the intermittent security, the reliable routings of development to get the light.
In human development, the stages of growth so well documented in psychology are our stones. Tension within these stages is absolutely imperative for growth to occur. It is not an empty generalization to say that there is nothing under the sun possible without developmental tension. [Please see my presentation about all aspects being „squaresš, evidenced behaviorally, proved geometrically, in Synthesis & Counseling in Astrology.]
When we say that a conspicuous orientation to Southern Hemisphere emphasis [see Annals, Hemisphere Emphasis, under „Analytical Techniquesš] suggests being swept away by events, missing stabilized anchor, even to the point of victimization, we are not portraying a „negativeš situation. Rather, we are seeing a „motivationalš situation in life development, a challenge that must be met. This is the arena of that particular individual‚s orientation in development. ŲSimilarly, with a Northern Hemisphere emphasis, to „unfinished business.š WHEN and HOW can we get that business finished; this is the process through which we learn who we are, how fine we are, why we are.
An observation of difficulty during a consultation discussion is NOT the expression of a negative. Rather, it is the delineation of challenge for growth, the refiner‚s fire. It reveals how the individual is constructed, how values are formed, and where adjustment may be in order.
Not seeing the difficulty is blindness, camouflage, and, in the long run, self-deception. It narrows vision to the point of obfuscating reality.
Next Update: March 29, 2000