|Management of Measurement Constructs
Emotional Responses Out of the Way
In my carrier, I have done hundreds of “German” horoscopes. I have heard hundreds of WWII horror stories, Concentration Camp stories, etc.
[No, the horoscope does not show concentration camp internment, just as all passengers on a downed airliner have nothing in common horoscopicly. The War itself was an accident in time, YET, within that suspended time period, personal horoscopes did respond at different levels: a General would win a battle instead of getting a great job; a soldier would earn a medal instead of a raise; a woman would find herself safe for an extended period of time rather than having a baby, etc.]
On my recent tour of Germany, one case in particular touched me and keyed up the importance I associate with the astrologer not displaying indulgent emotions during the consultation.
I was just beginning the consultation with “Gisela,” who was 62. I was presenting, very gently, the Saturn retrograde phenomenon.
Gisela replied easily, quickly, “Ja, Herr Tyl, my father never came home from the War; I was 4 years old; I never even saw him.”
I replied, gently, “Well, that unfortunately brought about an imbalance the household, your upbringing, and…”, knowing there was a tremendous mother influence suggested in the horoscope.
AND here, Gisela interrupted me, leaning forward, actually reaching across to me and touching my knee –a movement not usual with a German client.
“But Herr Tyl, my father … my father was killed on the LAST day of the War!”
---Read that again. Hear that, softly spoken to you. Note that a new dimension had entered the beginning of the consultation. [Think of what that new dimension is.]
At this point –at any time of recall of extreme emotion-- there is no room for the astrologer to gush with “Oh, how awful; Oh what a shame; I’m so terribly sorry; or –the worst—I know how you must feel [because you don’t!].” These meeting-emotion-with- emotion situations stop the consultation dead cold and accomplish nothing supportive for the client. Objectivity is lost; when your client cries. you don’t.
Certainly, there must be acknowledgement of the feelings, the event, but not participation in it.
I replied softly but firmly, leading Gisela into the important issue: “I can appreciate [the proper word] this terrible time, but, please, let me ask you: how do you know your father was killed on the LAST day of the War?” [I knew the answer from experience, but it had to come from Gisela.]
--“My mother told me … she told me a thousand times over the years … She thought God had punished her specifically with this, in this way, she became so neurotic about this and so many other things…”
That was the developmental issue, not necessarily that the father had not returned from the War or was killed on the last day of the War. –As it turned out in the consultation, the mother’s influence had permeated much of Gisela’s own way of seeing the world as punishing, threatening; her own issues about being unlovable were exacerbated, and her fear of abandonment in relationships was born.
The same stay-objective poise applies as well when sexual abuse is uncovered, say in the age 5-11 range. This can be a horror story, I kid you not (See The Astrology of Intimacy, Sexuality & Relationship pages 139-145). The astrologer can not allow becoming involved with the emotional recall or reaction to this disclosure. --I recommend that this is the way to handle the moment: “That certainly is a painful, terribly confusing experience. You say it was your mother and your father, and your brother? Certainly that’s extreme. But, please, you’ve lived with this for quite a long time: what have you brought forward from that time into your adult relationships now, into your marriages?” --This question acknowledges the molestation but moves the event(s) into development, away from the scene and into operational reality in adult relationships.
The answer will probably reveal that a therapist was helpful along the way. Perhaps you will hear that there came a time of forgiveness, with or without apology from the molester(s). Often you will hear a death-bed closure story. –These are the evaluations of the past event(s) that are key to the Now, to the values given to those events, and to seeing time ahead in further development.
Additionally, in all cases punctuated by high-tension developmental occurrences or evaluations, you get extraordinary illumination of certain astrological positions and aspects. Certain parts of the horoscope are clearly sensitized to the extreme. –With Gisela, for example, the Moon ruled her 7th, was deeply involved with Neptune and Pluto (the mother’s intrusion with weird dimension), and, of course, Saturn-rx was the ruler of her Ascendant.
When your client begins to cry, often strongly, during disclosure in the consultation, the astrologer must be helpful to stop the tears. A box of tissues should always be handy (not necessarily obviously). A pause helps. But when extreme, you will need to leave your room to get a small glass of water. [One can not drink water and cry at the same time.]
“”May I suggest, please, that these are tears not of pain, but tears of recognition,John. Let’s understand that. [Your client will nod … to make you feel better!] Let me get you a glass of water; I’ll be right back.”
And as you walk past your client to go out the door, may I suggest, please, that you touch his/her shoulder as you move by. This touch helps to ground your client to your reality.
Put only a small bit of water in the glass –you don’t want another interruption for a rest room break in ten minutes. Under the tension, the crying, the bladder will have been excited as well. A small swallow or two of water is enough to calm the tear reaction.
Your concentration on where you are going with the consultation, on what the client is saying, what creative connections can be made within the developmental scenario of the life --all of this will keep your emotions stable. –After the client has gone, you will then feel the pressure strongly, and then, as I have many times, use a private time to express it, the sadness, the hurt you’ve taken on from your client in the earnest, caring consultation.
Next Update: November 31, 2002