What comes to mind when you think about getting older?
When I turned 40, which was a decade ago, I had a slight crisis about aging, about having reached a certain age and not really having achieved anything, not by society’s standards anyway… or at least how I perceived the standards of society.
It’s weird isn’t it, how so often we see society as something separate from us, even though we’re a member of it whether it wants us as a member of it or not, whether we want to be a member of it or not.
To others we’re part of that giant judgemental blob known as society when they think or talk about it (unless they’re talking to us as a member of their group outside of that blob known as society, but even then… are we really one of them), but they’re not… and just like them when we think or talk about society, we’re sort of not part of it.
But we are, each and everyone one of us is, a part of society… and if we don’t like it, society and being a part of it, then we need to do that cliched thing – be the change we want to see.
But to be the change we want to see in society requires of us to authentically be who we actually are – not try to change ourselves into someone or something we’re not and then under the guise of that changed being we try to make changes.
To try to change ourselves into someone or something we’re not, however ‘good’ it seems, however good the narrative we and others weave around it… those sort of “false” changes create more of what we don’t want = the need to hide who we really are and pass that wound along to others, forcing them to also hide who they really are, until we’re all faking it pretending it’s real and are all miserable… and prone to get pissed off, passive-aggressive, judgemental when we see someone not bothering to do that – who do they think they are, how very dare they (although they might believe they’re doing it too – we just don’t see them the way they see themselves).
“Go out in the woods, go out. If you don’t go out in the woods nothing will ever happen and your life will never begin.”Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Maybe that’s just me, rather than we…
I’ve never felt a part of any group, not my family, not my peers at school or later, not even really a part of that group known as bloggers. I try to be and fail repeatedly… because I don’t really want to succeed since I’d fail myself if I did succeed.
One thing I’ve held onto throughout all my years of letting go… is this raw wild uncooperative aspect of my nature which demanded that I be true to it. But it hurts to be true to you… and yet not being true to you hurts more. Shit! I can’t decide… dither dither… pain and suffering… which is worth it?
“Wild Women: “They know instinctively when things must die and when things must live; they know how to walk away, they know how to stay.”Clarissa Pinkola Estés
I guess that’s because I was an only child, and spent most of my early years alone, playing by myself (which included talking to my reflection in mirrors – the reflection looked me in the eyes, saw me, listened to me, heard me and didn’t judge me).
I didn’t socialise often with other children up until I was about 5 or 6 yrs old and by then I just was too… too me. I mostly socialised with adults who usually ignored and/or resented my presence because I was a child and thus not welcome in their group.
I still experience the latter when I briefly enter a group of adults who are busy being adults… faking it and patting each other on the back for their faking it abilities. Coteries of people who have found each other and support each other in a certain way which doesn’t support people like me… how did she get in here? We tried to accept her but she is not of our kind. She’s upsetting our fine balance… how do we reject her without appearing like bad people?
I’ve always been a bit of an oddity… a misfit, who doesn’t really fit in even with that group known as misfits, but then no misfit does… no real misfit anyway.
I’ve met people whose persona is that of a misfit, but they’re not really a misfit underneath the surface facade – How do I know that? Well, they usually find me to be too much of an oddity, whereas real misfits don’t. Also real misfits tend to wear a facade of normal and ordinary so as not to attract attention to their oddness.
I have been fooled many times by the facade of normal and ordinary so please ignore me of real misfits and ended up not trying to connect with them because they’re normals so what’s the point, they’ll reject me… and been fooled by the facade of not-a-real-misfit-misfits and ended up rejected by them, or rejecting them, disappointed by trying to connect with them and not being able to because they were normals.
However, underneath it all, real misfits or pretend-misfit, real normal and ordinary or pretend normal and ordinary, each and everyone one of us is truly a misfit, because we’re all one-of-a-kind.
Have I confused you yet? If no… there is still time for me to do so if you have the patience to wait for it.
“Though her soul requires seeing, the culture around her requires sightlessness. Though her soul wishes to speak its truth, she is pressured to be silent.”― Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Saturn turned direct yesterday…
Sometimes I can see the astrology of the moment at work in my life, and sometimes I can’t.
I like astrology, I find it a useful tool and language, but I don’t believe in astrology, I don’t need to believe in it, so it doesn’t matter if none of the predictions which astrologers put out there happen. It is interesting when they do. It’s interesting when they don’t.
Most of what astrologers have been saying about both Saturn transiting Capricorn and Pluto transiting Capricorn hasn’t really happened for me, even though both of those transits have been aspecting placements in my natal chart, including natal Saturn and natal Pluto, and they’ve been the slices of bread with my natal Sun (which is squared by natal Saturn and trined by natal Pluto) as the meat in the middle.
Perhaps I should say – most of what astrologers have been saying about both Saturn transiting Capricorn and Pluto transiting Capricorn hasn’t really happened for me because having Sun in Capricorn squared by natal Saturn and trined by natal Pluto means I’m used to the effects of Saturn and Pluto…
Over the decades I’ve become used to their negative effects – the stress, the pressure, the challenges, the testing of mettle, upheaval, grinding down, breaking up, destruction of old structures and ways of being, and learned how to deal with them, survive them, thrive while they’re fucking with you and fucking you up.
Your ego will be crushed… it’ll be better for it. Gee… thanks?
And they’ve taught me how to appreciate the positive aspects of what often seems like it’s mostly negative.
When Saturn or Pluto kick you off of a cliff while shouting – This is Sparta! – just go with it instead of trying to not go with it.
If you land on your head… well, at least you’re still alive, right. If you landed on your feet and broke both legs… you can crawl, can’t you. Crawling is far more valuable than walking… really, why? Watch how people treat you… that kind of information will inform you.
Fight it and… well, the lesson you’re going to learn whether you like it or not will be harder, more painful, cause more suffering, but sometimes the lesson learned that way is better – you won’t forget it and have to learn it again and again (they will test what you’ve learned again and again even if you choose the easy method of learning).
“If you have yet to be called an incorrigible, defiant woman, don’t worry, there is still time.”Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Although I do have natal Jupiter (the optimist) conjunct natal Uranus (the nutcase) trine Mercury (the mind)… I can spin just about any negative experience around and around in my mind until I perceive something positive in it… but my idea of positive isn’t usually society’s idea of positive.
I’m not a fan of the “power of positive thinking”. I have explored the movement… and I didn’t belong in that group either, I was too negative for positive people – I pointed out once too often how much time positive people spend talking about the negative they see everywhere, in everyone. They’re always talking about what you shouldn’t do and who you should avoid to maintain your positivity levels, and their list of what and who is positive gets smaller and more limited by the second while the negative balloons… that seems so negative.
They’re like Atheists who can’t stop talking about God… but you can’t say anything because flames shoot out of their mouths when you do and it gets tedious to listen to them spouting burning-you-alive stuff like a mantra to protect themselves from you.
Positive affirmations bore the crap out of me. Although I do think that Louise L. Hay’s Heal Your Body has some great observations about physical illness and their connections to psychological issues… but they’re not going to be solved, healed, fixed, by saying I am free, I am free, when deep down you feel trapped.
You can’t turn your frown upside down into a zombie smile just to please the smiley people… especially not when the frown is exactly the right expression to have about an experience. Why pretend to happy when what you should be is mad or sad!?
And the whole “think and grow rich” thing… fuck off!
Can we please all agree that materialism fucks us all up one way or another… I read two articles this morning which pretty much said as much:
Oh and I also read an article about why the USA needs to press the pause button on reactions to the narrative being told about Iran attacking Saudia Arabian oil resources… in other words, it might not be Iran. Someone may want everyone to forget about a certain something which happened in Turkey to a certain journalist, and the best way to do that is to create a drama which turns the baddie of one story into a victim of another story, and shifts the baddie label elsewhere in such a manner that – pitchforks at dawn, and boom world war III finally breaks out just as those interpreters of Nostradamus’ scribbles said it would.
(Does anyone else feel like we’re re-living the 80’s?)
“Bluebeard’s killing of all his “curious” wives is the killing of the creative feminine, the potential that develops all manner of new and interesting life.”Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Can we please just all stop and stop it.
Can we stop playing human chess for a moment, can we stop with the heroes and villains games and just be who we really are authentically – a bunch of misfits all trying to live on a planet and figure out how to do that in a way which respects nature, including human nature, real and authentic human nature.
The wild within…
Have you ever considered that the devil… who always seems to come out of the ground, the bowels of the earth, might not be an entity of evil at all but a messenger from the Earth, the ground beneath our feet, be Mother nature’s way of saying “You’re killing me… and if you kill me, what’s going to happen to you?”
On the day that Saturn, a planet often associated with “the devil” which at this time is in a Zodiac sign, Capricorn, also often associated with the devil, turned direct…
I was getting to know someone better in a way I hadn’t known them before.
I’d been fooled by the facade they put up to protect themselves, their privacy, because they worried about being looked at, judged, criticised, and I hadn’t bothered to dig deeper… why?
Because I was doing something similar… I had a similar issue. Two misfits met and both didn’t recognise each other as being misfits – we both thought the other person was someone else, not similar to ourselves.
They said something to me about when they first met me which floored me – that I was a breath of fresh air. I’m still reeling a bit from that because… I thought they saw me as an unwelcome storm, but that was me thinking that.
If only I’d known sooner… but… we’re only ready when we’re ready and not a moment sooner no matter how much we’d like to be ready sooner, think we are, claim to be…
The time had come, the opportunity arose… thanks to a big life changing challenge for them… for us to see behind each other’s facades.
Wow! Just wow! They’re so beautiful as they are… but that would make them uncomfortable, they were trained to see themselves as distorted. Me too! Damn! How could I have not seen that!?!
Don’t look in the mirror and see yourself as you are! – Why the fuck not!?! Who’s afraid of the reflection… and why should this be what we pass along from generation to generation!?
They reminded me of Clarissa Pinkola Estes, so on the day Saturn turned direct I was looking up – The dangerous old woman and the power of the crone (both very Saturn ruled concepts – the positive side of Saturn).
I ended up listening to a podcast, two episodes in a series:
Clarissa Pinkola Estés: The Dangerous Old Woman, Part One and Part Two
You can find the links to them here – Sounds True: Clarissa Pinkola Estes
I especially enjoyed Part Two, particularly the story about CPE meeting Georgia O’Keefe whom she was told didn’t meet just anyone, certainly not people like CPE when she was a nobody – GO’K told CPE that it was a myth which she allowed to exist, because some myths are useful.
I’m not a fan of podcasts. Nothing to do with the podcasts themselves per se… I just have difficulty listening to disembodied voices.
A quick tangent…
Melanie of Sparks From A Combustible Mind used a question from Rory of A Guy Called Bloke in her latest Share Your World – Are we losing the art of listening in comparison to simply hearing?
And the other day I read this article – Talk to People on the Telephone: It’s time to start calling your friends again by Amanda Mull – which also discussed communication from the perspective of everyone else is doing it wrong.
My answer: Everyone listens and hears differently, listening and hearing mean different things to different people…
What’s most helpful is to learn to listen to yourself and hear what you’re saying whether you’re saying it to yourself or to others… why should anyone else listen or hear you if you’re not listening to yourself or hearing what you’re saying?
If you feel unheard or un-listened to… maybe you should listen and hear yourself instead of expecting others to do that for you, they may be very busy trying to hear themselves over your noise, or the noise of everyone else, of society, who wants to be heard and listened to while not listening or hearing anyone, especially not themselves.
Quick tangent over…
My eyes tend to be better listeners than my ears, so I prefer it when my eyes can listen too.
Ideally I prefer it when my whole body is involved in the act of listening – I’m a full body listener… relying on just my ears means I end up not hearing most of what is said.
Which is probably partly why I preferred part two to part one, because during part one I was experiencing difficulty – I kept getting distracted by Tami Simon’s voice, it just sounded very controlled, not natural, it was her podcast voice which sounded a bit like Alexa (AI voice)… took me some time to stop focusing on that. Then I got distracted by CPE’s voice which is overly hushed, like a little girl whispering – which also seemed to be a deliberately controlled voice. Perhaps she realised that people hear a whisper more clearly, that others have to go quiet inside and outside to hear it… and so she whispers to be heard, to be listened to.
I wonder if she listens to and hears herself when she speaks? She did seem to do so, especially when she spoke about being in her 70’s… or of others being that age. She’d talk to herself in those moments… beautiful!
I was so distracted by their voices I didn’t hear what they were saying at first… but gradually, with practice, I adjusted… and did a visual puzzle on a separate tab, which helped to focus my attention on listening. People speaking… it’s like a puzzle, puzzle pieces, images forming, unformed…
What they discussed just clicked with me, clicked with 50 yr old me who doesn’t have a problem with being a 50 yr old, in fact it’s quite the contrary – I friggin’ love being older and aging now.
Do you know why?
For the very reasons CPE points out in the podcast interviews with Tami Simon, and what she says in the quote above about the power of crone and the dangerous old woman.
I do disagree about about “no one can stop her. Nor ought they try.” because that’s silencing others… a dangerous old woman and crone owning her power should in theory encourage others to speak too, even if their speak is them trying to stop her from speaking, doing, being.
She can handle it, surely, and admire the efforts of others… she knows how shushing people is destructive and how potentially wrong that can go, because the voice within will find a way to speak… perhaps by trying to shut others up because it was shut up.
How many wars were fought and will be fought due to voices not being heard or listened to and becoming destructive because of it.
So let it speak… if it tells you to shut up, let it say that.
“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.”Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Recently someone said in a comment they had a problem with my nickname, Ursula, because it reminded them of the Disney Sea Witch who stole the mermaid’s voice.
The sea witch did warn the mermaid about the price she had to pay for magic, to get what she wanted from the witch… the mermaid was determined, and didn’t listen to the old witch’s warning.
We all have to follow our path… and our path may include regretting not listening to warnings once our wish changes and becomes wishing we hadn’t wished for that other wish with such determination.
Someone else read that comment and we had a chat about it.
Both of them and their words helped me with a personal puzzle I have been working on recently and since I turned 40 a decade ago, went through a crisis which led to an aha moment – a fuck it epiphany.
I mentioned that fuck it epiphany to the person I was getting to know better – they worry about what people think. We all do that to some degree. I’ve done it for most of my life to the nth degree (North Node in Aries) until I hated myself enough to repeatedly consider killing myself one way or another. If only I could not be me…
But then… fuck it, let them think what they think, what really matters for me is – what do I think of myself?
Blogging has helped me figure that out… I did suggest they consider blogging, and did share this blog with them. Whether they’ll read my posts… that’s up to them. Really their focus should be on their own voice within.
Our voice within… it has so much wisdom to impart with us, knows us and our life so well.
Isn’t it weird how difficult it is to listen to the voice within, to figure out what we genuinely think about ourselves. It’s like it’s in code – a coded message. All the clear stuff isn’t really our own thoughts, our own voice. Or maybe that’s just my experience… and yet I have the impression that my experience isn’t unusual regardless of how odd I am.
I have no problem being associated with a sea witch or any other type of witch…
I’m in my crone years now, and being a witch means something entirely different than it used to to me.
I actually studied witchcraft a bit when I was younger, in my 20’s, and decided it was not for me – the whole spells going wrong because you didn’t do them properly thing + me being a mistake making mess = ending up suffering the consequences of my badly drawn spells.
Spells which I wanted to cast to ease suffering of living life and being me consequences…
I can be an idiot, but not always or not necessarily in the usual way. If you know that you can be an idiot, and admit it, embrace it, allow that part of you the freedom it needs to do what it does… you can enjoy the fruits of the crazy wisdom of the inner fool.
I’ve studied many ideas, concepts, theories, subjects, etc, over the years I’ve been alive… but nothing has been as rewarding or right for me as studying myself to find out who I really am and what I’m really about.
I’m still figuring that out, but…
with transiting Saturn and transiting Pluto placing the squeeze on my natal Sun and aspecting natal Pluto and natal Saturn… while also having transiting Chiron dancing over natal Chiron and North Node, opposing natal Jupiter and natal Uranus….
the picture which has been blurry since many decades ago is finally coming into focus.
“Talismans are reminders of what is felt but not seen, what is so, but not immediately obvious.”Clarissa Pinkola Estés,
One of the ways I get to know myself and hear my own voice is through reading the words others share, through listening to and hearing their voices speak… sometimes I want to shut them up, but it’s not them I want to shut up, and I’m glad I don’t have that kind of power.
When you read this… is it my voice you hear or your own using my words to speak to you?
Perhaps my voice sounds like the voice of someone in your life who said things to you which burrowed their way into your mind and made you feel bad about yourself… and your inner voice wants you to confront the voice of the other, and tell them what you wished to say when they made you feel bad about you being you in your own one of a kind way.
Perhaps my voice sounds like a siren… charming you onto rocks – what are those rocks, are their your wild self within which has been trying to get you to lose yourself to find yourself?
That last bit came from something which the person who read the other person’s comment about my nickname reminding them of a sea witch said to me (this time I’ve confused you, yes?)
When the person with the problem about calling me Ursula first mentioned that problem…
I had an old-me moment, I almost said to them: “Call me whatever you want, choose your own name for me, I’m used to people doing that so it’s okay by me, I’ll answer to anything, whatever makes you comfortable, happy and gets you away from what’s making you uncomfortable and unhappy…”
But newer-me stopped me from repeating an old pattern. The problem isn’t mine, therefore the problem isn’t mine to solve. If I try to solve it, I’ll rob someone else of the opportunity to solve their own problem… and the real problem isn’t the one involving me and my nickname.
How can I be sure of that?
Because my problems with other people have never really been their problem… the real problem.
“Writing, real writing, should leave a small sweet bruise somewhere on the writer . . . and on the reader.”Clarissa Pinkola Estés
For instance, I used to say, and I know I’ve written posts about it in the past, things like this – Are we losing the art of listening in comparison to simply hearing?
The real problem I had was – I forced myself to be a “good” listener and I resented it but couldn’t admit to myself that I resented it as much as I did because my identity, persona, facade, was built upon being an “artist” of listening (sooo pretentious!).
Okay it wasn’t me who started that story for me – I grew up with narcissists and they need an audience who hangs on their every word as gospel (terms and conditions apply and the rules change on a whim). But I kept what they started for me going and going and going.
The moment I released myself from that narrative… told myself I could stop doing that… wow… fuck it! I don’t have to listen or hear anymore!!! YAY!!!!
I used to be so resentful that I listened to others but they didn’t listen or hear me the way I listened and heard them… sigh! What a mess and mistake – which I didn’t paint that way until I allowed myself to do that and see it as it was, see myself as is.
I actually think people are just as good at listening and hearing nowadays as they were in the past… we haven’t “lost” nor are we “losing” anything… not anything of true authentic value anyway.
Saturn and Pluto, especially in Capricorn… it’s all about being direct, being real, demolishing those structures which you don’t need, sacrifice the nonsense to own sense…. but first you have to admit that the sense you think is sense is nonsense… and the stuff you think is nonsense, perhaps it’s not at all that.
I really don’t care anymore if people listen to or hear me… love it when they do, don’t mind if they heard or listened to something completely different from what I heard or listened to when I said it, because what they heard, if they share it with me, may be exactly what I need to hear and listen to.