Well, the year is almost over and the Saturn Pluto conjunction is only just warming up. I hope it’s not giving you too much of a hard time, dear reader, and that you’re doing the necessary work – especially because next year, things could get serious. We’re all going to have to bring our best selves to the fore.
With that in mind, I started 2019 with the intention to get serious about my spiritual practice. The Saturn Pluto conjunction is happening in my 12th house so it seemed an obvious response. All year I’ve been diving deep into my unconscious and dredging up old patterns, contemplating the results, and filling a notebook with ramblings and questions and possibilities.
Thanks to my Chiron Return, I’ve also been rethinking and reframing my entire life! As a result of that exploration – which you can read about here – I came up with a plan to reengage with my spiritual practice in a new way.
It’s called Mystic Warrior Practice and it takes everything I’ve learnt over the last 29 years and applies it to every area of my life so it has maximum impact. My spiritual practice began the last time Saturn was cruising my 12th house. Back then, it was joined by Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn, and all three ganged up on me to make sure I woke up. So now seems a good time to renew my commitment.
I created the plan in May and worked out exactly what I needed to do – and then did precisely nothing about it. I had plenty of excuses – Saturn and Jupiter were retrograde! – but by the middle of summer I was exhausted and struggling to motivate myself to do even the most basic things, never mind revolutionising my whole life.
The frustration and internal pressure built to epic proportions and finally exploded in my face: I fell and broke my wrist. This forced me to take a break from beating myself up and look at what I was doing (or not doing) and why.
I got stuck because I was scared of reactivating old wounds. Pluto in my 12th has brought to light lots of ghosts and ancestor stuff and made me realise that many of my so-called problems probably aren’t even mine. I feel a bit like Nathan Appleby in The Living and the Dead, inadvertently activating the ghosts of the past through my avoidance of ancient grief.
However, I also realised the fear was a terror of the light – of Truth – of God – of finally giving up the fight. On one level, it’s just a petty ego fear of death that has no basis in reality. But on another, deeper, level it plugs into an archetypal pattern of resistance to life and existential terror better known as ‘evil.’
The Saturn Pluto transit of my 12th house is demanding self-mastery by aligning with the deep spiritual truth that secretly runs my life (and everything else). And that means confronting the hidden enemies that work behind the scenes to trip me up – a.k.a. my death wish, or inner psychopath. This evil little bugger isn’t easy to face or accept, especially when you find him lurking in the depths of your own being.
It’s the part of my psyche that hates life and either wants to control it or doesn’t want to deal with it all. Despite its posturing and bullshit, it’s a massive coward and secretly scared of life. Underneath the bravado and cynicism, it’s terrified of loss and abandonment – a screaming baby that cries and cries and nobody ever comes.
A crystallisation of total devastation. Helpless, powerless and heartbroken, it lives in a hell of its own making and is determined to drag me under.
Me and the rest of the world.
I see it reflected in the current world system that’s busy destroying the planet in the name of profit, and in the dehumanising culture I’ve been consuming since I was born. How much of my inner psychopath is personal and how much of it is the culture that I’ve internalised? Maybe it doesn’t matter – either way, I have to deal with it.
Ignoring it doesn’t work. Running away doesn’t work. Hiding under the table and sticking my fingers in my ears doesn’t work. Giving into it and becoming a good little cog in the materialist regime won’t work either.
And fighting it directly just makes it stronger.
The fear arises from a basic misperception of reality that makes you believe you’re separate from life. It’s a delusion that prevents you realising the truth of your situation and stops you from seeking the solution by finding out what reality actually is. You’re caught in your own trap, going round in circles, reinforcing your own bullshit until it sounds so convincing you believe it’s true.
Awakening reveals the truth – the illusion is laid bare and you can see the way out of the maze. And that’s when the resistance really kicks in. The ego gets wind of your cunning plan and starts to fight back.
The question is: how do I dissolve the illusion without activating its defences?
My back is against the wall. I’ve activated something twisted and evil squatting in between me and the truth. This is something that happens on the spiritual path as part of the process of individuation. I described it in one of the Chiron posts earlier this year:
“The process of individuation makes you more aware of the opposites within yourself and they begin to fight. At first, you flip back and forth between them in an effort to resolve the inner tension, but gradually realise you’re making things worse. Normally the ego would repress one side or the other and create the shadow, but now you have to accept both sides.”
This confrontation with the shadow means a confrontation with evil – not out there in the world, but in here, in me. And it’s horrifying.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not real. It means the opposites are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. The Chiron post continues: “To resolve the conflict you have to transcend the ego and move to the still centre of the Self which reconciles the warring opposites.”
Sounds simple – until you try it!
Basically I got stuck because my spiritual practice wasn’t deep or mature enough. I ran up against the deepest, darkest part of my shadow and my practice wasn’t strong enough to cope. For many years I stopped practising altogether and it was the worst thing I could’ve done.
I got scared because I didn’t understand what was happening and instead of investigating, I ran away. Like a coward. I gave in to the worst part of myself and let it run the show.
So it’s time to stop running away from reality and reframe my whole spiritual practice. And that starts with remembering that I’m not in charge here. The Self – or the Divine – is running this show and knows what I need. And that makes me wonder:
It feels like everything has gone horribly wrong in the last few years, but perhaps it hasn’t. I feel lost because I wandered from the path and have been going in circles ever since. But maybe getting lost is part of the path.
It’s only when you’re lost that you’re willing to stop running, sit down, shut up and let go…
“Sometimes the experiences that we are pushing away contain the most transformative insights we need to have. Who would suspect that seeing that there’s nothing, nothing, nothing I can do is going to be transformative? … It’s the alcoholic who realises, ‘There’s nothing I can do,’ who is on the way to sobering up. As long as that person sitting there is saying, ‘I can do this. I’m in control. I can find a way beyond this,’ no transformation is going to happen. Bottoming out is nothing more than coming out of denial.” – Adyashanti