Death and Changes

Death and Changes

What a month it has been as transiting Pluto comes up to oppose my natal Venus for a 2nd hit. The first time it hit earlier in the year in March I was bullied in the work place which really traumatised me. I had to stand up to the woman who was acting head of the department and it was not a very comfortable to do and it involved writing an official letter of complaint and informing the union and the employer. It occurred during a retrograde Mercury which involved misunderstandings and poor communication on the part of the perpetrator. Although it was resolved amicably it set of a train of events which resulted in my not being employed any more in this particular department and my losing my regular teaching day in the other department which forced me to retire prematurely and collect my super in order to survive financially.

There have been other transits involved with transiting Saturn squaring my natal Sun and Mercury in the 8th house of other people’s money. I had hoped my regular teaching day was going to last until I am eligible for the pension next January but the Universe has other plans for me. However, the changes didn’t end there – a few weeks after that  my landlord slipped a note under my door informing me that he was raising my weekly rent from $250-$375 from 19 December.

You can imagine what effect that had on a home loving Cancerian – I was devastated by the amount of the rise and the unexpectedness of it coming right after losing my teaching days and having to retire. However, there was another planetary energy which had come into play and that is Neptune which is almost exactly conjunct my IC which rules my home and core being. So Neptune literally dissolved my home as I could not afford to pay the new rent. I hoped to reach a compromise rent for the interim to tide me over the Christmas holidays until I will receive the pension. However, my Capricorn landlord who has Pluto going over his Sun said he had so much expenses so intended to renovate it.

As if that wasn’t enough I also received a phone call from the daughter of a dear friend of mine Ann aged 78 tosay that her mother had died. She had recently been diagnosed with liver and bone cancer. I was at the bus stop at the time I received the sad news as I tried to fight back tears. It has taken about two weeks since the landlord dropped the bombshell to sink in. It made me think how do we deal with change or death. It certainly pushes us out of our comfort zone. I include my poem Vale Ann – Earth Angel in tribute to my dear friend Ann.

 Vale Ann – Earth Angel

To my beloved friend Ann
who radiated Love, Wisdom and Light
Who helped me and others
No matter what our plight
Guided me with her Depth and Insight
to a new understanding of Spirituality and Light
I have been blessed to have her in my life
She is not far away
I can feel her gentle caress
and her laughter
As she dances with Angels
Revelling in her freedom
from Earth’s limiting sight
as she rejoices with the Angels
in Heaven’s Infinite Light

23 October 2011

When I trained in Psychosynthesis in the 80s we learned a process called disidentification where we practised detaching from our emotions, repeating the mantra, “I have a body but I am not my body, I have emotions but I am not my emotions, I have thoughts but I am not my thoughts. I am a pure willing Self.” This way we were able to take the Observer position, just observing dispassionately the reactions of our different subpersonalities. In this way we can shift our emotions to the mental level which helps to take the intensity out of our emotions. I have watched my Inner child’s reaction, waking up at night asking myself – is this really happening to me or is it just a bad dream as I feel my safe foundations being ripped away from me – first my teaching days and then this little crab’s safe refuge – her home! We were encouraged to do an evening review at the end of each day just recording dispassionately without any judgement how we had reacted to events during the day.

When under great stress I have noticed that my Moon conjunct Mars can give me quite a short fuse – a few weeks ago I booked an appointment for acupuncture only to arrive to find out the receptionist had mistakenly erased my appointment – I was very annoyed and when I was offered a later appointment I retorted, “That doesn’t suit me – I booked for 12 pm!” and left slamming the door behind me. My acupuncturist Cathy rang me later and apologised for the bungle of the receptionist. Another time a friend was going to come to drop in to pick up some things for St Vinnies but couldn’t come at the last moment and I felt so deflated – both events that I would normally take in my stride but when under extreme stress found I just lost it.

I am feeling a lot more centred now with one acupuncture session and another one to go and a herbal remedy from Anthia for my adrenals. As well as there being a retrograde Mercury when I move I noticed that Mars will be squaring my Moon and Mars just a few days before I move. I am hoping that will give me the much-needed energy boost I need to complete the move.

I am truly in period of transition which can be painful albeit ultimately liberating as I straddle the old cycle waiting to be eligible for the pension now that my teaching days have gone due to staff cuts. I feel a bit like the Hanged Man in suspended animation waiting for the new cycle to begin. However, major Pluto and Neptune transits demand sacrifices in return for the new cycle. There is a need to surrender, to let go, to trust that all will be ok.

Inanna meets Ereshkigal

My journey is reminiscent of the story of Inanna the Sumerian Queen of Heaven and Earth who tells the gatekeeper of the Underworld that she wants to attend the funeral rites of Ereshkigal’s husband. This is described in-depth by the Jungian analyst and author Sylvia Brinton Perera in her book Descent to the Goddess. To reach her sister she has to descend seven steps which symbolise the seven ancient planets and the seven chakras. At each gate she has to surrender one of her worldly goods – one of her  garments or an item of jewellery which corresponds to her seven chakras. She is bowed humble and naked before her sister. Her sister fixes her with the look of death and Inanna is hung on a hook to rot. There is an alchemical process that takes place with both Inanna and Ereshkigal being transformed. The God Enki instructed them to appease Erešhkigal; and when asked what they wanted, they were to ask for Inanna’s corpse and sprinkle it with the food and water of life. However, when they come before Ereshkigal, she is in agony like a woman giving birth, and she offers them what they want, including life-giving rivers of water and fields of grain, if they can relieve her; nonetheless they take only the corpse. The god Enki sends down 2 little asexual beings fashioned out of dirt from the gods’ fingernails to revive Inanna. She is only allowed to return if she sends someone in her place. Inanna returns to the upper world – she sends her husband Dumuzi who is dozing under a tree instead of looking after the kingdom. His sister pleads that she be allowed to replace him for six months of the year and hence we have an allegory for the cycles of the seasons. Inanna, having absorbed some of Ereshkigal’s power returns to the Upperworld, irrevocably transformed and stronger for the experience.

Symbolically, Ereshkigal represents Inanna’s shadow side. At the end there is a hymn sung in praise not of Inanna but of Ereshkigal, thereby affirming the ancients’ acceptance of the necessity of death to the continuance of life. It can also be interpreted as being about the psychological power of a descent into the unconscious, realizing one’s own strength through an episode of seeming powerlessness, and/or an acceptance of one’s own shadow side, as it is by the mythologist the late Joseph Campbell. So we all have to undergo the cycles of death and rebirth – we have to accept our fate and surrender to a higher power.

We all go through these life changing experiences whether it is a life threatening illness, the death of a loved one, a divorce or broken relationship, the loss of a job or a house move. All of these experiences are very challenging but somehow we survive and like Inanna emerge from the Underworld stronger for the experience. We need to attune to our inner Magician or High Priestess to assist the alchemical process and usher in the new cycle.


Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer Harper Collins, New York, 1983.

Descent to the Goddess A Way of Initiation for Women by Sylvia Brinton Perera, Inner City Books, 1981.

Poem Vale Ann – Earth Angel – by Anne Robertson,  23 Oct 2011


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