Creative Connections & Client Communications
Counseling Insights for September 30, 2003A Positive Approach to Difficulty
An enthusiastic, responsive, cheerful Piscean lady (48) bubbled as she chatted with me before the consultation. Through all the bright self-presentation however, what dominated was the “Neptune Eye Flutter” [see “Notebook” July 15, 1999] --and there was Neptune on her Ascendant!
What was going on inside? What worked through deepest sensitivities to threaten her in relationships? --Saturn retrograde opposed Mars, ruler of the 7th, this axis squared with Venus, ruler of her Ascendant. This is a very serious challenge to identity development and relationship efficiency.
In the midst of this first impression of bubbling self-contentment, I saw that it would be difficult, even clumsy, to plough right in with the sensitivities and the constriction upon the feelings, the parental model, etc. So I focused on the Moon in Aquarius, quindecile Jupiter and squared by Neptune.
“To start our discussion, I think it’s important to find out how you help people! Please share that with me!” --This is a loaded statement: with all the clearly suggested relationship difficulties, I’m asking her to talk about her successful helping of others (the reigning need of the Moon in Aquarius, the background energy of the Sun in Pisces).
My client told me how she works remedially with older people, as an entertainer, actually! She also added that she had been a hospital nurse for some time before that.
When we started to talk about the father relationship, all I heard was happy praise for her relationship with him [usually, this is a description of how the client wishes it had been, in retrospect, trying to salvage the situation] … and the punctuation of the Neptune eye-flutter. --Something was not quite right.
I’ve learned to be patient in situations like this, waiting for the client’s subconscious to give him or her permission to divulge emotional truth. Sometimes, it can take ten or twenty minutes; you leave the issue, the client’s mind continues to process it, and it slips out a bit later … the doors open up.
I waited, listening to her description of a brother and then a sister who had died at birth, how this had trampled much of the family’s life together. There was a musing pause, and she said, “My father was such a fragile man….”
Now, this word fragile said it all.
“I really had to nurse him for such a long time,” and we know she became a nurse professionally. Her voice had softened.
I said, “I understand. But additionally, what were the emotions like within the family?”
The doors did open: “My parents used to say, ‘we don’t talk about emotions’; there was no show of suffering ever.” --Suffering was her word; it was there but suppressed.
>B>The creative connections were easy to make. The adult relationships for this nurse were with fragile men and women also, people who needed her to take care of them (Saturn- opposed Mars, ruler of the 7th). –Her Mercury, ruling the 11th –feeling lovable—was at her Sun/Moon midpoint, this need dominating those relationships. It all fit together, and I explained it to her; together, we established some distance from the times passed.
The approach to a deep, difficult situation was accomplished from a positive platform, “How do you help others?”
Another case shortly thereafter, a Cancerian woman (51), lent itself perfectly to this same beginning approach.
This lady had a total orientation to the West. The Sun, Venus, and Uranus in Cancer in the 6th (with the Sun ruling the 7th) were square to Saturn, Moon, and Neptune in Libra in the 8th. A very tight dynamic syndrome of social caring.
Venus was in mutual reception with the Moon, was square the Moon, and ruled the 8th House.
This lady physically made an understated, almost old-fashioned, self-effacing presentation.
While the entire horoscope was built upon Saturn and Neptune conjoining the Moon, and Uranus squaring it, her serenity deflected any immediate intrusion by me into the problem areas with early emotional security.
In the small talk of getting adjusted to the beginning of the consultation time and place … “How are you today?” etc… I learned that this lady was ill and had been ill for the longest time, out of work, receiving government monies, etc.
But she was the picture of health to my eyes. She was bright, moved beautifully –it all seemed a kind of game. How was I to break through this possible Hypochondriasis to gain understanding of the suspected mother/father problem and how it affected her relationships? [Sun ruled the 7th and was squared by Saturn and conjoined by Uranus … I was determined to find a way to break with the past, Uranus had to win over Saturn).
I said, “Please share with me how you heal others? –Here we had the Cancerian focus that was extreme (Sun, Venus, Uranus) squaring the Saturn, Moon, Neptune complex in Libra, in the 8th, which is the House of healing. Venus, so important here in its mutual reception square with the Moon, ruled the 8th. This lady had an Aquarian Ascendant.
She had to be involved with helping, healing others, and my point was going to become why were the ways to heal herself so elusive?
I had approached the difficult situation through a positive platform, and it worked. It was as if I had caught her at a game played for personal sympathy, that which she had never felt in her homelife and in her relationships. In overcompensation, she had given herself over to others, which, in a way, made her own personal problem worse.
This client showed two measurements coming up very quickly: Solar Arc Neptune conjoining the Midheaven, which I thought would ‘do her in’ at her age, so to speak, chaining her to this frailty for the rest of her life AND SA Pluto=Sun, Pluto ruling the 9th.
I suggested that the time was right now, RIGHT NOW, to determine that she do something for herself, establish herself professionally helping others. Her face started to brighten, and then I asked her if she were planning a long foreign trip soon. –Yes! She was going to India to formalize a healing program for people in her home country.
We agreed that she was now on the right track, that her spiritual creativity and idealism would take concrete form … in service to others and in aggrandizement of her, that which she had never experienced.
One of my final statements to her was, “I’m not a medical doctor, but I don’t think there’s a thing wrong with you. The doctors have given you all these general labels of malaise, but you and I know those conditions are soon to disappear.” –There was a big smile there.
We should recognize that the positive in all of us so very often masks the difficult. Conversely, that which is difficult so often brings the positive into being. When this fails, difficulties are routined into problem behaviors and mindsets. --Leading with the positive can dramatically reveal the underpinnings.
Next Update: October 31, 2003