Grinning Bear It – The Four Bears

Isn’t it weird how the same thing can be perceived differently and have different meanings for all those who look at it.

If those words sounds familiar to you, it could be because you read them in my previous post – Grinning Bear It – which is part one to this part two.

While the two posts were born out of one, which I decided to split into two, this one of the two is different from the other one and I’m rather bewildered as to how or why they were ever part of a whole.

The previous post contained narcissists…

This post contains bears, different stories about different bears…

Teddy Bear in the Hotel Baren (The Bear Hotel) St Moritz, Switzerland by Dennis Jarvis

One of the things I love about focusing upon an idea is how it changes my perspective. Things which I might not have noticed or been interested in, suddenly become noticeable and interesting.

For instance…

Last night while browsing the local online newspaper (I live in the UK, in East Anglia… the land of Druids and Boudica), I noticed the latest installment of a series they’ve been doing for years about local legends, myths, scary tales, and other weird stories. I’ve never read any of the series… until last night.

They have a clickable map which goes with the series, and each click leads to the relevant article – one of those I clicked upon started off by paraphrasing the lyrics of a song:

“If you go down in the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise
If you go down in the woods today, you’d better go in disguise
For every bear that ever there was will gather there for certain
Because today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic”

lyrics from The Teddy Bears Picnic by Henry Hall

The website where I found the lyrics has a section under them which gives:

Song Facts about The Teddy Bears Picnic by Henry Hall

and shares the history of the song, as well as touching upon the origins of the Teddy bear as a toy friend for children and adults.

“In 1834, Robert Southey wrote Goldilocks And The Three Bears; in 1894 a German toy company came up with a stuffed bear; in 1899, Margarete Steiff registered patents for twenty-three of her soft toy designs including a dancing bear; in November 1902, Morris Michtom sold the first Teddy Bear in his Brooklyn shop. The year 1906 saw the first advertisement for the “teddy bear”, in the trade journal Playthings, and in 1907, a book called Teddy Bear was published; written by Alice Scott, illustrated by Sybil Scott Paley, and The Roosevelt Bears newspaper strip was published in book form.

President Theodore Roosevelt (who was known by his childhood name of “Teedie”) lies at the heart of the teddy bear craze.”

excerpt from Song Facts about The Teddy Bears Picnic by Henry Hall

Ah… Goldilocks and The Three Bears… my mother’s favourite story to tell child-me at bedtime (when and if I went to bed at bedtime, which I didn’t always since sometimes my father kept me up to watch horror or western films with him and my mother went to bed before us).

She changed it every time she told it. It made it more interesting that way.

Sometimes Goldilocks was a good girl and sometimes she was naughty, either version of her got her into trouble, lost in the woods, breaking and entering the Bears’ home and vandalising it, then playing the victim when she was caught, and doing a runner to avoid the consequences and responsibility of her actions.

I got the impression that my mother saw Goldilocks as her alter ego, especially as she spent more story time describing Goldilocks, her hair, her face, her clothes, her feelings, her thoughts, her actions, her life before bears than she did on the bears. The bears were just a footnote, extras of little importance soon to be forgotten, in the great adventures of Goldilocks.

She didn’t see Goldilocks as I saw her. For her Goldilocks was the heroine. I thought she was a villain, a picky painful thorn in the bears’ paws.

My mother also loved the Adventures of Isabel:

Adventures of Isabel by Ogden Nash via The Reading Workshop

I liked Isabel too.

For me Nash’s Isabel stories were about inspiring inner strength, self-reliance, and not being intimidated by large beings who are aggressive, who bully, shout, are manipulative and controlling, who may want to eat you and think it’s okay to do that because they’re big and you’re small compared to them.

They puff themselves up, are made grandiose by their delusions of grandeur, feel entitled to everything you have because they want it all and try to squish you like a bug which bugged them.

Child-me often felt like Isabel when dealing with adults.

Up until I was 5 going on 6 yrs old, I didn’t socialise with other children except on rare occasion, and when that happened I was too weird for most other children because I spent so much time socialising with adults or on my own.

I knew how to play backgammon but not hopscotch – My child psychologist Godfather (who I suspect hated children because he found them scary) and his boyfriend taught me to play backgammon when I was about 5 to pass the time while we sailed from island to island in Greece on an old fisherman’s boat.

The socialising I did with adults was mostly due to being dragged around by my parents to adult events (not X-rated adult events, just dinner and lunch parties, gallery showings, and other adult get togethers).

I was expected to be a little adult, but better than an adult… so no getting drunk, being rude, having a brawl or tantrum about something, no acting up because only adults were allowed to do that and more.

And they called me a brat – a precocious brat because I would talk back to the adults if they disrespected me, which apparently is a big No-no… but someone had to protect me and stand up for me (and it wasn’t going to be my parents), make it clear that just because I was small and they were big didn’t mean it was okay to squish me. I wasn’t a toy to be played with and then tossed aside when used up, broken or boring now!

Ah… I see now how the previous post and this one are connected.

Not all the adults in my childhood were badly behaved giants trying to stomp on the little human that I was, nor did they all dehumanise me, treat me like an object, a thing, a target… there were a few very good, gentle and kind ones whose impact upon my developing self was in some ways bigger than that of all those big bullies.

Which brings me to where all of this started, what inspired this post which then became two parts of a whole…

excerpt from Ernest Hemingway Selected Letters 1917-1961 via Google Books

It didn’t start with Ernest Hemingway, although there was something bear-like about him, I included the above excerpt simply because it (or at least the bit highlighted in yellow) popped into my mind as I read about…

The Nounours (Teddy bears) of the Gobelins.

Here’s the Wikipedia entry about them – Teddy bears of the Gobelins.

But I didn’t read about them on Wikipedia, non non… or in the news, non non…

I read about them in a wonderful post:

From Teddy Bears to Sex Dolls: How Did We Get There? – The Nounours des Gobelins suggest a changing definition of transitional objects by Roni Beth Tower Ph.D., ABPP

It’s the kind of post which makes me go all sorts of Hmmm…

Here’s a rather large excerpt (I hope the author doesn’t mind, I’d have made it shorter, but it’s all so inspiring and insightful, and you never know when a blogger might delete a post or their blog, and I wanted to capture it):

The characteristics of teddy bears:

They are imaginary playmates. Children have incorporated stuffed animals (along with dolls and materials representing them) into their play, assigning them roles in scenarios ranging from the domestic, mundane, and intimate to the outrageous, fanciful, and foreign for centuries. At least since October 14, 1926, when A.A. Milne published the first book in which Christopher Robin introduced Winnie the Pooh, stuffed bears have been the universal imaginary playmate, one a child could identify with regardless of gender, race, or cultural background.

Teddy bears are usually soft and cuddly, pleasant to touch and hug. As I’ve written again and again, touch is critical to mammal well-being. Our enjoyment of it, its ability to reinforce attachment bonds, and its role in survival have been amply documented.

As such, stuffed animals also make a perfect “transitional object,” or stand-in for a primary caregiver who may be absent. The works of D. W. Winnicott underscore the positive place that a material substitute for a missing caregiver can provide in helping a person tolerate distress, maintain a sense of belonging to another being when they are physically alone, and define themselves within a world in which people are continually disconnecting and reuniting.

The relationship between a person and their teddy bear:

Control: The person who encounters a teddy bear does so with full control over the nature of the relationship. No longer are they at the mercy of a waiter who might be rude, a shopkeeper who ignores them, an aggressive seducer. The relationship can be fully responsive to the needs of the human rather than requiring accommodation, responsiveness, or predictability.

Development: The relationship between a bear and its person is free to evolve in ways that suit the needs of the person. In the film Lars and the Real Girl, the sex doll easily adapted to the developmental needs of the man who was afraid of real human relationships, especially those with a woman. As amply described by Adam Gopnik in his piece about Mr. Ravioli, imaginary playmate relationships are free to evolve as a situation changes.

Memories: The teddy bear and its person share experiences. The bear can be an alternate memory source, more powerful than a stash of photographs because reminiscences are curated only by the unconscious. Through sharing memories, the pain of loneliness can be mitigated, a sense of safety invoked, and helplessness tempered.

excerpt from From Teddy Bears to Sex Dolls: How Did We Get There? – The Nounours des Gobelins suggest a changing definition of transitional objects by Roni Beth Tower Ph.D., ABPP

After reading her post on Psychology Today, I clicked on the link the author shared in her post to the article she wrote about the Gobelins Bears which (inspired her PT post) went slightly viral, was very popular.

This is the link. It’s a beautiful story and has great photos of the Gobelins Bears in situ:

Les Nounours des Gobelins: Giant Teddybears Take over the Streets of Paris By Roni Beth Tower

I must confess that even though I lived in Paris for many years, did a lot of walking along the river bank and elsewhere, explored many parts alone while having an existential crisis (part of the experience of living in Paris) and with the school I went to (certain history classes required going to certain places of historical importance and relevance), I’m not sure where the Gobelins are on the Paris map.

I’m not sure that I ever visited the area, that arrondissement… if I did, I don’t remember it.

Ah, memory… and the things which stir up what is stored within its vaults, archives.

How do you picture your memory?

I like the idea of it being a giant library with many levels… I love books, the smell, the feel, what’s inside of them, and the old style of library is such an appealing structure, with ladders and curves, corridors, nooks, places to get lost and yet not be lost at all, find yourself and discover others in word worlds, warm woods, forests made of books.

I also love the idea of the Akashic Records (wiki link), but that’s more ethereal… more like the internet.

Why do we remember certain experiences and not others?

Why do we recall certain people and not all those we’ve met?

Why do certain things, like a Teddy bear, become keepers of memories for us?

That’s me, Ursula (she-bear), and my bear hat… this is from the same shoot as the one in my About.

I had two Teddy bears as a child (I vaguely recall also having a panda, and then there were the small clippy koalas which a stewardess friend of my parents kept giving me – I sometimes used those as bookmarks). Both were given to me as gifts.

One was called Hilda, because Hilda gave it to me.

I remember Hilda the bear. She sat on an old raggedy armchair in my bedroom (which was originally my mother’s walk-in closet but then baby came along and it had to be stored somewhere). Hilda was two year old child sized. I didn’t play with her. She just sat on her armchair. She seemed happy like that, just sitting and watching.

I remember Hilda the person. When I met her she was old – she was probably my age now, or a few years older. She was married to Rocco. She was British and he was Italian.

They stayed with us in Italy for a while in the guest house. They were retired. They looked after the house and animals while my parents were away and the rest of their time was spent enjoying all the time they had to do whatever they pleased.

Rocco spent some of it building me a dollhouse – which was magnificent and very sweet (I never told him that my dolls didn’t need a house because they were never home, they were usually shipwrecked on desert islands, lost in jungles, trying to escape captivity before the crazed lunatic who had captured them and tortured them, killed them).

Oh, no, wait… it was Bill of Bill and Maggie who built the dollhouse when they stayed in the guest house. Bill was one of those stern-faced silent types who looks like a mean headmaster that uses his cane on his pupils but who is actually tender-hearted and wouldn’t hurt a fly (well, maybe a fly, they test everyone’s patience… I wonder if the Dalai Lama swats flies?).

When my parents were there, Hilda and Rocco would go off on adventures around the country.

Years later, when they’d decided to live in the UK instead of Italy, I stayed with them in their house in St. Albans for a weekend. My mother had to fly off urgently to sort out some drama my father had created for her to sort out, would be away for a couple of weeks, and I couldn’t go with her because of school… so they offered to help out.

I had fun being looked after by them at first, but then I became bratty after a few days because depression kicked in.

I didn’t know that’s what it was in those days – children aren’t supposed to or allowed to suffer from adult things like depression. Not in those days anyway.

I just felt deeply sad about nothing and everything, retreated into myself away from everyone and hid behind a grumpy face, growling when people approached. I made it difficult for Hilda and Rocco to look after me, especially for Rocco since he stayed with me at our flat in London while I went to school. They were very sweet about it, such gentle huge amounts of patience.

“How do you spell ‘love’?” – Piglet
“You don’t spell it…you feel it.” – Pooh”

― A.A. Milne

The other bear was Michael, because Michael gave him to me.

I remember Michael the bear. He was a bit bigger than Hilda, softer too – squooshier. I didn’t play with him either, but he did occasionally come on trips. One trip was a train trip from Milan to Cortina D’Ampezzo – which is a ski resort in the Italian Alps.

That’s the place where I had that bizarre experience in the hotel’s film theatre. The hotel was a bit like the one in The Shining – grand, big and empty and… I met someone weirder than me.

I was alone, passing the time by watching a film and this little girl who lived in the hotel sat next to me in the darkened film theatre which had many seats and only about five people there… but it was Italy and, unlike the Brits, Italians huddle together in empty spaces rather than sit far apart. She stroked my arm. When I asked her what she was doing and why, she said: “I’ve never seen skin like yours, I had to touch it”. I’m covered in freckles… that sort of behaviour from others is normal. She was creepily sweet and we spent some time together after that. Her parents ignored her like mine did with me, and left her with others who left her to look after herself.

No idea why my parents decided to go there because neither of them could ski and they hated snow. I also don’t recall how we got from Rome to Milan.

But I do recall the train trip from Milan to Cortina D’Ampezzo because there was a big fight between my parents (they fought all the time, so that was normal, but this one included being trapped on a train and not being able to get away from each other). The big fight happened because we were supposed to change trains, got off at the wrong station and then got on the wrong train – even though it got us to where we were going it was somehow the wrong train.

Everything was always the wrong thing where my parents were concerned – something or someone needed to be wrong to make the fights more interesting for them.

My mother slept some of the time, and she took Michael away from me to use as a pillow so she would be comfortable. I never quite liked Michael again after that even though he’d done nothing wrong and was still the same old squooshie soft Michael. Once my parents had touched something of mine, which was mine and only mine, and made it theirs…

“Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it. And then he feels that perhaps there isn’t.”

― A.A. Milne

I remember Michael the person. He was American. I met him when he was working at a hotel in which my parents and I were staying for a while due to my father having to travel to New York for an exhibition of his artwork.

Michael was temporarily working as a room service waiter while he finished his studies and then decided what he wanted to do with his life.

He eventually went to work as a National park ranger in somewhere like Montana and then he entered the seminary… or did he do it the other way around. Unfortunately I no longer have the postcards he sent me with his stories about his life adventures.

He occasional babysat me – as in checked up on me during his shift when my parents were out but couldn’t find a babysitter (or couldn’t find one they liked and then blamed me for being difficult… they didn’t like the ones I liked because I liked them, and that was competition to be defeated), and I was left alone in the hotel room. I knew how to look after myself because this was normal, but it was nice to have Michael there but not there just in case I needed someone.

He was one of those people who liked me. His like for me felt genuine not faked like many of the adults I met through my parents who were so obviously pretending to be nice to the child of these people they wanted as friends, as social climbing acquaintances.

It’s weird isn’t it, how people who are faking liking you somehow think you’ll be fooled by it… as though they think everyone but them knows about this ability to fake liking. Or maybe they don’t think that? Maybe they want you not to be fooled by it so the sting of it hurts.

If they’re a narcissist they want it all – to have you be fooled by their fake liking you and for you to be aware of it so that it hurts. And there’s nothing you can do about it, that’s the real sting, because if you call them out you’ll be the baddie and they’ll play the fake hurt by you card causing everyone to assume that you were a meanie to the nicie narc.

“Friendship,” said Christopher Robin, “is a very comforting thing to have.”

― A.A. Milne

He was one of those people I liked. Really liked -and not had to pretend-like because I’d been ordered to be polite and fake nice to them. I hated doing that, but it’s a social nicety and you don’t want to be branded as a brat, do you? I got branded that way regardless.

One of the reasons I liked him was because he was one of those rare people who didn’t allow my parents and their shenanigans (they hated it when I liked people, and hated it when people liked me, and had to “steal” those people and their like away) to alter his view of me.

He was a genuinely nice person, heart of gold which was real gold, who was truer than true to himself and thus to others too. It would have taken a heart of stone wrapped in steel and lead-lined not to like him and I didn’t have one of those in those days.

Michael the person gave me Michael the bear to remember him by, and to remember other things too, good things to keep close during bad times to get you through the bad times. I didn’t need the bear for that, I’d learned by then that it was best to keep those sort of things invisible, my parents couldn’t get their hands on them and ruin them that way, but it was a sweet gesture and the memory of it kept me warm during the ice ages to follow.

Hilda and Michael, the bears… were given away at some point.

They did manage to survive my mother’s special type of tantrums which required sacrificing toys and possessions of mine to her volcanic rage to appease it. It’s okay those sacrifices went to the local orphanage, so the sacrifice was worth it – although I never got to meet the orphans so I don’t know if they agreed with that.

They both managed to stick around until I was old enough not to need toys and childhood possessions anymore.

I don’t own anything from my past anymore… other than my memories of it, invisible things which don’t take up much room, which aren’t heavy, don’t need to be packed and unpacked and packed again, carried around from place to place to place, interfered with, taken, stolen, lost… not physically anyway… although memories can be all those things and have all those things happen to them.

A final bear link:

Bear Meaning by Avia Venefica

And here’s an excerpt from her very interesting and inspiring post:

Potential Messages the Bear offers us

♦ Patience and Connection
Hibernating with our ideas or projects until a better time presents itself. Further, bear will speak to you about connecting to both earth-based energy and celestial (sun/moon) forces. Tapping into the bear will also allow you to tap into the wax, wane and flow of life.

♦ Confidence and Authority
By its physical presence, the bear reminds us we can be larger than life if we raise ourselves up to our inherent status. Moreover, no one questions the bear. This kind of authoritative presence will be a lesson the bear can impart.

♦ Nurturing and Protection
We intuit these attributes by the commitment bear mothers make to their offspring. Whether your offspring is in children or ideals, the bear will lend you the determination required for rearing up strong results.

excerpt from Bear Meaning by Avia Venefica

That’s it…

I know it’s long (that’s too long, said Goldilocks) and that I could have shortened it (that’s too short, said Goldilocks), but it feels just right as it is…

22 comments

  1. I never had a teddy bear growing up. I guess it wasn’t thought of or wasn’t in vogue then. But I had my father’s unconditional love till he died when I was 43. I cannot imagine how it would be to live the childhood you survived.

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    • Thank you for sharing, Sadje 🙂

      Your father sounds wonderful. Your mother passed away didn’t she, when you were very young. That is an incredibly painful and difficult experience for a child, and for the father of the child who must find a way to comfort himself and his child. His unconditional love was his gift to himself and to you. With such love you didn’t need a teddy bear. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing the story of your bears 🙂

    I feel a tone of nostalgia or sadness here, but it might as well be coming from me and the rainy weather here only adds to the blue. Oh, the excerpt of The Love Bomber Issue in your previous post, was also a part that had me thinking when I first read it a year ago.It reminds me of things and I have added them in my new post.

    Drop by for tea and maybe share a bite of thoughts lol 😉 Now I’m thinking maybe the cafe in my dream also has to do with ‘playing tea time’ with you

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    • Thank you, Rev 🙂

      It must be coming from you. I was simply opening books on the shelves of memory and reading from them. I felt neither nostalgic nor sad while writing this. I had fun following a trail of bear-crumbs and seeing what I discovered and uncovered. For me memories and the past are a source of information which informs the present. I was honouring past-me’s story and experiences by telling them. I was also paying homage to souls who helped mine along my journey through life. Honouring our past brings an honouring of the present, and that energy makes the now a place of respect.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I had a teddy. I now have probably twelve of them, all miniature stuffed bears. My original teddy was thread bear and ‘loved’ looking because I got him when I was two (I think) and I still had him when I was 52 and moving away. I haven’t been able to find him since the move and I suspect he was one of the items the people organizing my shtuff so I could move, but not take rodent smirched stuff with me, threw him out. The outrage. Teddy was a constant. And although when I was an adult other confidants took his place, he still was a strong symbol of stability and proof that something loved me back. Anthropomorphizing things is something I do. I hope Teddy is packed away in a box somewhere and doesn’t think I’ve forgotten about him. My hubby’s nickname was ‘Hunybear’ (only in private, as it embarrassed him if I said it when others were around) and that is one bear that I’ll always have mixed feelings about. The stuffed ones at least don’t bite.

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  4. Howdy Ursula🤓
    Never had a Teddy🐻. I remember Teddy Ruxpin as a child and found him kinda creepy. The robotics of his “lifelike” movements were so false. Marketing tactic to average kids- make them believe toys can be real, but I wasnt one of the average kids, I saw it as it was. Then of course when all of those horror movies about toys coming to life to take a life, yeah dont make it any better lol.

    My oldest was gifted a giant 3 ft teddy🐻 as part of a care package before his birth from my mother. I put it up and not until recently- when my youngest got ahold of it- is now an interesting toy. Sometimes, I used to think about how he, the bear, felt being in a dark closet? Was he warm or cold? Bored? Lonely? Now that he’s being played with- mostly left on the floor- is he happy for any type of attention? But that’s what narcs do to their vics, isn’t? (Not saying my kids are narcs but studies have shown toddlers are in the Ego).

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    • Thank you for sharing, Scherezade 🙂

      WOW, a 3ft teddy!!! How cool is that ❤

      I love the association you made between what narcs do to their vics and what your kids did with the teddy. And no, your kids aren't narcs, it's normal and natural for children to be narcissistic because they're going through the narcissistic phase of human development as they're supposed to. Ego is important as it gives drive, ambition, creates a dream and the inner spark to pursue a dream, and a sense of being unique and separate from others, an individual with individuality. Having a healthy dose of narcissism is vital for a healthy ego. It's the oomph in I AM ME!

      Professionals, at least the good ones, won't and don't diagnose NPD in children/teens because being narcissistic when you're young is part of the growing pains of growing up.

      When an adult is still behaving like a child and appears to be stuck in the narcissistic phase of human development, never growing up… and is treating other people like teddy bears… that's different.

      I wonder how many children humour their parents and other adults when it comes to things like Teddy Ruxpin, and pretend to like it because the adults have created it and seem to need children to like it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Children dont play with toys now, they play with the real thing the toy is meant to look like-at least my boys do. They flop around with a toy phone, but when the real thing presents itself, oh boy! Let the fun times roll. Right now, Godzilla is my oldest’s favorite toy but only because he knows Godzilla isn’t real until he is then he’ll play with him like the action figure 😂😂😂

        Hey, I should’ve wrote a perspective from the teddy bear like I did with the chair and the washing machine?😊

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  5. Hey Ursula🐨

    All of my childhood things were lost when I was homeless/living in my car. I dont remember if I had any teddy bears or other animals, so probably not. I do remember having quite a few when I was 7,8,9ish and how very important it was to me that they were in their correct place on my bed when I went to sleep at night. I dont know if I was protecting them or they were protecting me. It was probably me protecting them to protect me. I have a couple of Eeyores now. Ben took the bigger one to join his crew of mostly Hello Kittys.

    The picture of the bear from the hotel, I’ve stopped to look at it several times and I get a different impression each time. There’s something very very interesting about that bear or the way the photo was taken… hmmmm…

    I love your images of memory! Perfect! A library, YES! Books are such treasures. Even if they’re never read. The look, the smell, the feel of the covering and the weight…little clippy Koala book marks… And the Akashic library is something I must have heard or read about because it feels familiar to me.
    Memories or memory in general is something I’ve been coming to terms with? Thinking about? Bother by? Whatever it is I’m doing with it, it’s on my mind. Ha! Memory on my mind… I AM bothered that I cant seem to access some memories easily. And they aren’t painful or loaded, deep, whatever kind of memories. It’s just random stuff. Like I’ve taken in a bunch of info but it’s not properly filed. It’s in big stacks of paper all over the place and I dont even know which stack to look in.
    Maybe I need a good hibernation!

    It’s too bad that your mother polluted Michael bear. He reminds me of younger daughter’s bear name “Squishy Bear” because of his soft squooshieness. He looks kinda ratty now, he’s 25 years old and a constant companion for many of those years.
    Older daughter has Monster Bear. He had a face that’s sweet and it folds inside out to reveal a monster face with fangs. There are cloth pieces that can fold over the “hand” claws too.

    I love that both my daughters have their bears. I love the bears in Paris. Imaginative play… we’re never too old to feel the joy of it.

    I dont know about the astrology of this weekend. But I always look at my natal chart when you mention astrology. Maybe if I keep looking at it I’ll remember more. My Saturn and Mars are both in Aries and my Saturn squares my moon, and right now I dont remember what any of that means🙄 I really DO need some hibernation.

    Another great journey. I’m still going through the links on that other one… I got sucked into the Narcissist’s blog and spent way too long looking around. Had a laugh at myself about that.

    I think that’s it for now. One never knows with me🤷‍♀️😘🌻

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    • Thank you for sharing, Angie 🙂

      Where’s your natal Pluto in Virgo, is it in your 7th house? – what you said about “how very important it was to me that they were in their correct place on my bed when I went to sleep at night. I don’t know if I was protecting them or they were protecting me. It was probably me protecting them to protect me.” sounds like Pluto in Virgo across the 1st/7th axis.

      Where’s your natal Uranus? since it would be in conjunction with Pluto but you’d have a wide orb.

      The easiest way to remember what things in your chart mean is to connect them with your personal experience of being you. Character traits, particularly the ones you’re attached to, which mean a lot to you about yourself, such as those you repeatedly tell other people about because you want them to know this I AM about you are really useful when learning astrology. If you connect your I AM’s to a placement in your natal chart it makes that placement more vivid, creates a personal connection/relationship with it.

      Memory works better when there’s a personal connection/association – what an interpretation says links up with inner knowing, fuses together, interacts and has a chat.

      Once you have that connection in place then it makes understanding transits and their effects easier. Strong surges in emotion tend to connect with a transit hitting a natal point – natal Mars gets energised by a transit to it, depending on the transit as it can also signal a loss of momentum and drained energy, but more often than not there’s a power surge so you might find yourself getting angrier or suddenly being more active, getting more done perhaps channeling anger into action.

      Saturn by natal and transit is a tough one to deal with, however it is sometimes the easiest one to spot when it comes to how it affects you personally because it imposes restrictions, limitations, it reins you in and it can feel like you’re a bucking bronco being caged in. Especially if you have Saturn in Aries because Aries wants to go-go-go and Saturn says no-no-no not until you’ve learned to control yourself and use your energy with more discipline.

      Mercury is about to go retrograde in Scorpio – Mercury retrograde is a good time to review, recollect, reflect (anything with re- which is going over something again), and in Scorpio it is a good time to go deep, dig and delve. If it’s conjoining your natal Neptune, you may find it easier to access memory through dreams, daydreams, and sensory stimuli. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Ursula! You guessed the placement of Pluto. I’ve been digging around in the sites you’ve linked to, like Elsa and Darkstar. There’s so much info and as I read it, I’m having great ah-ha moments, but they seem to fade.

        I’m really distracted… or distractable lately. Ideas pop zoom zing and go off on tangents and it seems so superficial. Like I’m tasting a bite of everything at a buffet and it’s all mixed up. I want to stop an one place for a while, but my mind wont settle down. It’s really starting to bug me. I haven’t even opened a book in weeks and that’s unheard of for me.

        I really really appreciate all of your guidance with the astrology. To answer the questions you asked, I did something I’d been thinking about doing anyway. I published a page with my natal chart. It’s been sitting in drafts for a couple months. This just felt like the right time to hit publish. Then of course it was back dated to the draft date and I had to change that🙄 Maybe its presence on WP, where I spend a good bit of time, will send its energy to me🤷‍♀️
        👋🌻

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        • That’s so cool, Angie 🙂

          The “ideas pop zoom zing” sounds like Uranus/Mercury. And what you said here – “Like I’ve taken in a bunch of info but it’s not properly filed. It’s in big stacks of paper all over the place and I don’t even know which stack to look in.” – sounds like Neptune. Anything brain-foggy is usually Neptune either natal or transit or transit to natal.

          Quickly checking your chart – Transiting Mercury is close by a couple of degrees to your natal Neptune which sextiles natal Uranus. So those could be the astrological connection to your mind/memory status at the moment. Transiting Mercury has activated your natal Neptune and anything which aspects it – which includes a square from Jupiter (“big stacks… all over the place” sounds very Neptune/Jupiter). Neptune is a blurry place, best navigated using the senses. Trying to focus when Neptune is dominating the psyche using the mind is tricksy, if you want to focus you have to use a different part of you like feeling – intuition.

          Just read your 3rd broken toe post. Ben sounds like an embodiment for you of your 7th house astro – placements in the 7th tend to be experienced through others, particularly personal relationships (groups and social is represented by the 11th). Others embody the energy of the 7th and we learn about that aspect of ourselves through our relationship with them, slowly integrating the energy and its meaning/lessons through them into ourselves. You have Jupiter there at a powerful astrological degree (0 degree and 29 degree are powerful degrees, they are the beginning and end points of a cycle), and a “hug” especially a BIG hug is a very Jupiter thing. Unexpected strange accidents tend to fall under the auspices of Uranus (as does electricity – although you are in Cali and they’re turning the power off because of the fires), and your natal Uranus is in opposition to your natal Chiron (wounds/healing in the wounding).

          There are a lot of good astrology sites, much depends on what you want to explore. 🙂

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          • Wow! Thank you! 🥰 The thing with Ben is very interesting. He’s a Virgo Sun, and my planets are in the Virgo part of the 7th. Maybe I should do a synestry chart with him? Or should I be learning more about what my planets mean in those positions? Oh, and I keep meaning to ask… when a planet is retro does it “move” clockwise instead of counter? Ben is a HUGE factor in my life. And will be for the foreseeable future. If he’s part of my 7th, which seems to be important (I AM often surprised how others experience me) that’s a good place to start.

            The Uranus/Chiron opposition might explain why I seem to find the most unusual ways of hurting myself.

            The electricity was just a random this time. The fires aren’t near me (knock on wood) and we haven’t had the planned outages. The big TV in the living room didnt survive the surge of whatever blew up or got crashed. (People are always smashing their cars into power boxes🙄…and walls, and, and and) Ben’s autism does NOT allow the absence of a working TV in the living room, so for the sake of my sanity I get to go shopping for a TV today. I detest shopping and ugh! People-ing…shudder. Hopefully I can accomplish this task without adventure.🤞

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            • You could buy the TV online then there’s no peopling really and it usually doesn’t take much longer than going to get it from the shops, sometimes it’s quicker which is weird… but you’ve already gone there and done that by the time you read this 😉

              It’s best to get to grips with your own natal chart and its astrology, and to get more of a fluidly comfortable feel for astrological interpretation before venturing into all the other types of charts – eg. synastry.

              Read up on your 7th house placements first, get an understanding of what they mean for you and how you experience them through others. Explore the aspects to and from the 7th to other houses – aspects create conversations between houses and planets, so any aspects between 1st and 7th mean the dialogue is a combo of me (meaning you) + other.

              This is a great post about the 7th from Dana Gerhardt for Astrodienst – https://www.astro.com/astrology/in_dgsevhouse_e.htm

              This is good too, it’s more esoteric astrology (which is a fascinating version of astrology) – http://beyondthestarsastrology.com/2011/01/19/the-7th-house-the-shadow-self/

              Go with your own flow, Angie, that’s the best way to go 😀

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Your story of being an only child and dealing with those mentally disturbed parents makes me hurt for Ursula-the-child. It makes me wish I could’ve been there for you. I have this tendency to want to be there for people, especially kids with crazy parents.

    Even though I had narcissist parents and played alone a lot, being an only child among that craziness just makes me feel so sad, in an empathetic way. I had one sibling, but my bro and I didn’t spend much time together. We went our separate ways. He and I handled the crazy parents in different ways. He used to disappear. He’d go play with friends somewhere and we never knew where he was. However, I did have a best friend who lived right next door. We pretty much grew up together as sisters. She wasn’t always available as much as I wanted her to be, but at least I had her, which is why I feel so for you. Plus, I also had my fantastic, fun-loving grandmother who had a bright, cheery spirit. I’m so grateful for those things that helped me through my parents dramas. Not to mention, we were a little more stable than you in that we never moved. We lived in the same house/neighborhood since I was a baby. My parents lived together, but we didn’t see my dad much, except during their dramas, and during American football season (16 Sundays a year).

    You got me thinking about “teddy bears” from my childhood. My dad used to call me “Tiger.” As a kid, I thought it was because he thought I was bold and vibrant, like a tiger. Later, I learned that when I was a toddler and preschooler, I had a stuffed animal tiger that I carried around everywhere. He called me Tiger because of that toy. I don’t remember it at all, and I don’t know why. There is one stuffed toy I remember clearly, and I still had it up until a couple of years ago. It was an all-white puppy with one black ear and one winking eye. He had a tag on his collar that said, Frisky. My babysitter gave him to me when she went off to college. I was nine years old. She was another bright spot in my childhood. I thought she really, truly loved me, unlike my parents. When she went off to college, she never ever contacted me again. I used to talk to Frisky and pretend like he was sending her messages to come and visit me. She never did.

    I found myself feeling grateful for my crazy childhood after reading this. I was aching for the little girl, Ursula, who had no stabilizing force and no one to count on. My heart goes out to her.

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    • Thank you for sharing, Lori 🙂

      What you were said about “I found myself feeling grateful for my crazy childhood after reading this.” reminds me slightly of the stories about those less fortunate than me which my mother used to tell me whenever she thought I was not appreciating how lucky I was to have such a wonderful life given to me by wonderful parents, especially such a wonderful mother.

      While it is useful to contrast and compare your experience with those of others to get a new or different perspective of your own experience of something similar, and perhaps feel a sense of gratitude and have appreciation for what you didn’t go through, there’s a flip side to it which it is best to be aware of, which is that it can create a blind spot. Where you may minimise your own pain and suffering because it’s not as bad as the pain and suffering of someone else, and may be inclined to dismiss yours because of how you perceive theirs. If you’re a child of narcissists, you have to be careful of doing that because it’s a pattern which narcissist parents tend to instill in their children to stop their children from feeling and experiencing anything which the narcissist parents don’t want their children to feel and experience.

      It creates censorship of self and the self’s experience.

      Children of narcissists have to be aware that they’ve absorbed their narcissist parents to a degree and may do to themselves what the narcissist parents did/do to them. We can become our own narcissist parent, constantly monitoring ourselves and censoring ourselves often using comparison with others as a reason to do so.

      Little-me did have a stabilising force and someone to count on – my self. So while it is sweet of you to feel for her and she appreciates the sentiment, she was and is fine, and would most likely not have relied on you had you been there for her because she was learning to rely on herself – that was the life lesson her experiences with her parents and other similar type of adults were there to teach her.

      I did have a few good adults in my life as a child, and appreciated their input in my life.

      It sounds as though little-you is the one who needs your heart to go out to her, perhaps you could reply to her in a story about Frisky and the babysitter so that she no longer needs to wait for a message or a visit. The way you expressed that story… it sounds like little-you is still waiting. Go to her 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hiya Ursula, I appreciate that you learned how to rely on yourself from your childhood lessons, but I’m sorry that you felt you had to give back my empathy for little-Ursula. It was heartfelt and not anything to do with my parents narcissism. While I agree that our parents can affect us in the ways you mentioned, I can tell the difference when I’m acting from that or not. I genuinely have empathy for little-Ursula. My heart breaks for all children who have abusive parents. Does my empathy come from what I went through? Maybe, but perhaps that was my lesson from my childhood….to have compassion for people and/or children who face difficult emotional situations.

        I compared your life to mine because I was sharing my life. Perhaps I should’ve just said that I felt for little-Ursula and not shared my life at all. But I suspect you still would’ve handed my empathy right back to me. Could it be that maybe your narcissist parents taught you that you don’t deserve empathy or compassion? Did they teach you that you needed to be strong and that accepting compassion was weak?

        As far as my babysitter, I looked her up when I was in my 30’s and went to visit her. She wasn’t the one who contacted me, but I went to see her thinking I might recapture something. What actually ended up happening was that I got closure, and we went our separate ways. The story I shared with you was written from little-Lori’s point of view, not from grownup Lori. I was trying to show compassion for you with your childhood toys, by sharing little-Lori’s experience with a childhood toy.

        I also feel compassion for the little girl, Lori, who went through what she did with her parents. My compassion for her is detached from grown up Lori. I can look back and give that little girl a hug without crying for grownup Lori. That’s what I was trying to do for little-Ursula. Does grownup Ursula ever give little-girl-Ursula a hug? Compassion? Or, is she so superhuman strong that she never needed it?

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