Saturn-Juno-Psyche: sexual projection, control and insecurity

There are several major events holding the astrological spotlight right now, most of which are exact today/Wednesday or Thursday. But what has caught my attention this week is an aspect pattern featuring Saturn and a couple of asteroids — in part because it seems to speak both to people’s individual personal lives as well as a prominent cultural conversation right now.

Simplified sky snapshot for today, clockwise from top: Saturn in Scorpio; Mercury in the last degree of Gemini; Sun and Moon just past today's New Moon; Juno in Taurus (opposite Saturn); Venus in the last degree of Aries; Neptune (square the Sun and Moon). Psyche, not shown, would be in the upper-left quadrant. View glyph key here.
Simplified sky snapshot for today, clockwise from top: Saturn in Scorpio; Mercury in the last degree of Gemini; Sun and Moon just past today’s New Moon; Juno in Taurus (opposite Saturn); Venus in the last degree of Aries; Neptune (square the Sun and Moon). Psyche, not shown, would be in the upper-left quadrant. View glyph key here.

Saturn is currently in mid-Scorpio. Between Monday and Thursday, it’s involved in a T-square with Juno in Taurus and Psyche in Aquarius. That is, Saturn and Juno are opposed to each other, and both are making squares (90-degree angles) to Psyche.

Saturn is associated (among other things) with issues of authority, structure, responsibility, containers — and changing those things. Juno, in addition to having a social justice theme, also tends to represent spousal issues, jealousy, and the difficulty one may encounter in stating one’s desires/needs and getting them met.

Shared themes of Scorpio and Taurus, which are opposite signs (and also ‘fixed’ signs), include sex, sensuality, relationships, passion and possessiveness.

Put all that together, and Saturn-Juno in those signs suggests that a lot of people right now might be working through issues in their personal relationships that center on the possessiveness/jealousy/control/authority matrix. One way this could manifest is as a question: If one way you identify is as a ‘relationship partner’, how do you step into your authority over yourself without putting limits on the other person or dictating to them?

Relationships are fertile ground for projection; it’s amazing how easily we can slip from, ‘I am striving to grow spiritually and wish to share my journey with you’, into ‘I need to see that you are following my path of growth just like I am in order to feel whole’. And oppositions are the aspect in astrology that illustrates that kind of relational projection. The planets are speaking about an internal dynamic, but we often can see it playing out between ourselves and another person.

So when it comes to an opposition in a pair of signs known for sexual intensity and possessiveness, it’s no wonder that the limit-setting imperative of Saturn and Juno’s tendency toward jealousy in place of communicating her desires has the potential to turn into a real head-trip. Trying to control your lover might seem to work in the short-term, but it’s a superficial fix; it does not encourage you to address the root of what’s bothering you, and your resentment will build.

Speaking of head-trips, this is where the square to Psyche comes in. A primary delineation for Psyche is, ‘the sensation of having a spiritual/psychological/emotional wound that cannot be healed’. That is, it’s not that the wound cannot be healed — it just feels that way.

Have you ever felt as though it would be impossible for you to stop feeling jealous or insecure in a relationship? Or that if only your partner would do or promise something, then you could relax and live happily ever after, because they would therefore stop ‘making’ you jealous? (Even if that ‘something’ that you want does not actually address the root issue.)

Or perhaps you’ve noticed your relationship insecurities and thought, ‘Oh god, I am never going to feel secure and loved; I’m just too damaged’.

There are other permutations. Yet in Aquarius, the theme becomes the collective psychic wounds of entire groups; in particular, the kinds that seem new yet entrenched.

As I read over an email thread yesterday about the tragic mass shooting in Isla Vista, California, it occurred to me that this Saturn-Juno-Psyche T-square in these particular signs seems to describe one facet of the social conversation happening now around the matrix of sexual entitlement, jealousy, rejection and violence — and the dispiriting sensation that we don’t know how to fix the ways our culture is psychologically and spiritually wounded.

I can’t say I have the answers; but it is said that astrology never presents a problem without offering a solution. Perhaps the first step is simply remembering that fearing we cannot heal our psychic injuries — individually or collectively — does not mean that we cannot do so. But it will take faith, desire, support, communication, and a willingness to be open even when the vulnerability that comes with it scares us. This is real work.

77 thoughts on “Saturn-Juno-Psyche: sexual projection, control and insecurity”

  1. “Addendum: R. Joseph made it clear that he didn’t think those women who got drunk in order to have sex were not doing so consciously;”

    That should have been “R. Joseph made it clear that he didn’t think those women who got drunk in order to have sex were doing so consciously…” I have no idea where that “not’ got in there in the original post; I think faster than I type.

  2. Addendum: R. Joseph made it clear that he didn’t think those women who got drunk in order to have sex were not doing so consciously; he made it a point to say that most people operate in unconscious ways most of the time; totally unaware of their own programming or motives.

  3. The idea of having a space where men can say their feelings sounds wonderful. Especially because they need to be heard as well. Patriarchy (I use this loosely to mean the current gendered paradigm) harms us ALL.

    Two books I have read which are amazing in addressing this topic are;

    Self Made Man by Norah Vincent :this is a book about a woman who passed as a man for 18 months and wrote her experiences; it is not a man-bashing book but rather an huge eye opener

    and a section in the book by R. Joseph (the one about the right and left brain) in which the author cites how some women, so as not to be seen as promiscuous, will “allow” themselves to get drunk in order to shut off their logical, thinking brain. Shutting off that part of their brains means they won’t have the inhibitions against having sex with men they have no emotional connection with. So a woman sees a guy at a bar, notices he is flirting with her and she wants to have sex with him but her reasoning brain tells her (based on her social programming) that it would be wrong to just tell him that and have sex so she instead gets herself drunk enough to erase the inhibitions and have sex with him. Problem is, next day her reasoning brain is back online and it tells her she just had sex with a stranger so in order to keep her personal vision of who she is (which would be of a non-promiscuous woman) she blames the guy and says he got her drunk and took advantage (or she even uses the word “rape).

    The author was making the point that we all have our vision of who we are (which has been created based on our parents, our society and our programming from these). When what we want clashes with that inner vision of who we are, we often do things (subconsciously) to stifle the inner voice that tells us what we are in order to do those things we want but feel we should not have.

    Men deal with this craziness when dealing with women All. The. Time. Women deal with it as well in the form of the disconnect between what men say they want in a woman (the so-called “model type”) and the kinds of women men actually end up pairing up with.

    Just thought I would throw that in here; I will post more tomorrow as the family are calling em to watch Psych with them.

  4. Just tying up loose ends.

    It took writing that to see where I wasn’t coming from a point of absolute forgiveness – where I was still holding back stuff.

    So that is good and now I can mend fences with my friend – I think the boundary issues were friendship ones rather than sexual pattns too….

  5. ps the glass of wine – probably hit my wound too. Two wounds not a happy mix. Luckily love there too…

  6. Eric, about rules.

    Perhaps the only rule of thumb (as Don Juan said) is, does this path have a heart.

    Another is to allow others their own time and space to come to you, to make the space live between you. Or not. No is possible.

    Another factor is that where ‘on’ (the french word which has no gender and is all inclusive is much more apt than any word we have – one, the impersonal ‘you’ that is so easily misinterpreted, they etc) has experienced boundaries that are violated there is a lack of sensitivity about those boundaries somewhere, in particular, that requires conscious effort to put back in place. The simplest example I know would be a friend who was raped as a teenager (implicit threat and force ie no possibility for her to say no just waiting for yes when she didn’t want to: a predation in short by a family member, not just a ‘technicality’) does not (hopefully past: did not) recognise when she had outstayed her welcome, would only go on her own terms (‘But you invited me to drink a glass of wine…’ The difficulty is that is true, but does that include dinner and an indefinite stay after the third glass is leisurely drunk or it not being possible to cut a glass of wine to just a glass of wine and half an hour of company if the week has been dreadful and the day has to stop sometime, and finally, now – and what about her perceptions of the need of the moment that she had apparently thrown out the window – she is normally extremely acute). I asked her finally to leave now and she refused. It took all my will to get her out the door at all. Everyone has points like that don’t they – blind or not articulating well.

    I don’t have (hopefully past: ‘haven’t had’ by now) good boundaries with authority figures because when I was six I had an out of the blue violent experience with absolute anger that blew me off course completely.

    But once ‘on’ see the cause it is possible to work on it, climb out, get through, discover, and become differently. And more aware, more able, more human. There are also other ‘helps’. My mercury is in a placement where it cannot be easily communicated, my husband’s mars is directly opposite this position which has helped/taught me alot (enough?) and he also because his Mars has difficulty expressing itself too, so via my mercury he has learned to express himself rather freely too – even throwing crockery these days. I was a bit sad (always a favourite cup seemingly!) but on balance I was so pleased – you know how you sometimes see someone as tho they cannot move their hands, and now he does.

    That is the goal surely all round, rather than rules? The difficulty with rules is power is still a factor or different ‘takes’, or people fall through the net somewhere. And that rules are blind so often (like any group mentality).

    Everything is a mish mash… is someone’s behaviour integrated or evidence of a wound, and sometimes it isn’t clear at all.

    Better sign myself as mini mercury to you mercury giants out there!

  7. amanda moreno — thank you for bringing the discussion back to the asteroid Lilith, and for adding yet another rich layer to consider when interpreting that point, especially in the current astrological context. and kudos to you for reading the whole thread!

    70 comments??? holy cow. clearly this is rich, difficult, ripe and complex territory we’re in, with all facets of the conversation here.

    i have not managed to keep up with a number of the most recent comments, but did catch green-star-gazer’s last one, and wanted to thank you for holding space for us all to be imperfect humans as we work all this out with each other in this forum. it is easy to forget that our slip-ups and less-conscious reactions just give us a gentle reminder of where we’re at as we grow along the spiral path, and open up the territory to widen and deepen our understanding.

  8. What a discussion. Thanks everyone for your bravery and great communication. I’m a bit late, but spent enough time reading all of this last night that I wanted to throw this in there re: the discussion of Lilith in the chart, and what Amanda described as a “face off” between Lilith, Psyche and Juno.

    First of all, I love the image of Lilith as the Lust card from the Thoth deck – not just Lilith in Leo but Lilith in general. As I was reading this thread, I kept coming back to the theme of “ownership” once again. So much wounding surrounding themes of gender and identity and patriarchy/matriarchy, etc. We all have it, and I think it’s so important for us to begin to own our own stuff and face ourselves and our suffering/rage/etc.with with compassion first, and then extend that out to others…forums like this where it seems people can start to express themselves are so important.

    At a conference last week, I was introduced to asteroid Lilith as representing in the chart your ideal image of a woman and how that image has been suppressed and denied – and as such she points to an area in the chart where rage can be channeled and conditioning can be shrugged off. Something about her appearance in a post relating to projection, fear and insecurity while residing in the sign of self-expression and self-actualization seems really poignant here, especially as that Lilith-ian kind of transformative energy (referred to in the lecture I attended as the transformer between ego (mars) desire and soul (pluto) desire) gets amped up with the squares to Psyche and Juno. And there’s something about figuring out and owning our “ideal image of a woman,” and understanding how that has been suppressed that seems like it could have lots of healing potential.

    I might just be rambling because I need coffee. But in any case – Green-Star, your last two posts have really hit on something I’ve been experiencing for a while, which is a desire to have safe places for men to start to figure out their emotions and what not. I seem to get a lot of men in my practice who are really seeking help unraveling their inner worlds, and few things inspire me more (and I’m heavily prone to inspiration!).

    And as for experiences with the “I can get as drunk and naked as I want and you still cannot sex me” theme…Kate, thanks for your last post. I think my reading-between-the-lines of Eric’s email was similar to yours. And it brings me back to this theme of ownership…Owning our wounding, sure. But also coming up with ways to help kids figure out their ideal image of the feminine (and masculine – but I’m still on the Lilith theme here) when they’re young…so that they can get used to the energy it constellates, and figure out their sexuality so that we don’t have so much grey area when situations arise that blur the lines of repression and allow that energy to surface.

    And now I need to go to work.

  9. I want to understand where you are coming from.

    I’ve been a victim of sexually based crime, on more than one occasion in my teens and been down the walk of shame and out the other side with brilliant and compassionate help from my therapist (who was a man). Took me years to pluck up the courage to go.

    That line “I can get as drunk and naked as I want and you still cannot sex me” and/or “that would be rape if you did”) came into this particular thread via an e-mail from Eric to Amanda, almost as an aside. It is amazing to see what it then triggered. And your context to that comment further up the thread is much appreciated Eric. I know you are saying that it was not meant to be such a tight context, it is looking at a bigger picture, but it had me thinking.
    This topic, from the angle that is being presented is necessary, it does matter.

    If I understand you correctly Eric, if I am getting drunker by the minute, my ability to decide in my head ‘yes or no’ to sex eventually diminishes. I might not even know, in my drunkenness what it is that I actually do want, or be aware of how I am behaving, because I am already not able to be aware. Not everybody handles alcohol in the same way, so I might not be so completely off my face that I am unconscious, and could also appear to be reasonably capable and just a little merry. And I might also be playing a flirty game, which is flirting to see if I can flirt, seeing if I can attract, and so on. I might even agree to have sex without actually saying so, (or I might actually say so), and it might all happen. It’ll probably be a mess with all that alcohol, but what they hey. And then the day after, or the day after that, or weeks and months later, I might feel some embarrassment about what happened, what I got myself into. I might tell someone else, and they might say, well you were drunk, he shouldn’t have… And there might be a whole lot of my projection and other stuff that gets brought into this from way back. And so I might find myself being happy to let that poor sod take the blame for my shame and cry ‘rape’, when really I am not 100% clear about what I wanted or did not want, or what happened or did not happen, or what I said yes to or no to. I will also be asking him to take on board fully my lack of responsibility about managing how much I drink, knowing that there is a huge likelihood that when I drink, I might get a bit drunk or a lot drunk and do things that I probably wouldn’t do in a million years completely sober. And you are saying that legally this is what is supported and therein lies the imbalance (in part – obviously because it is part of a bigger picture).

    And what I hear you not saying is that it is okay to have sex with someone just because or simply because she is drunk (or on drugs) whatever, or that a woman is asking for it if she does those things, or dances naked on a table. But that she is responsible for how much she drinks, and whether she takes her clothes off and dances provocatively around people, that she is responsible for knowing the possible outcomes of those events with others who might not have a clue and may be just as fudged as she can be with respecting and drawing boundaries.

    Using the Karpman triangle as a basis this means also knowing the difference between potential, unconscious, game-playing the roles of rescuer, persecutor and victim and actually saving someone’s life, perpetrating a crime and being the genuine victim of one.

    E Berne did come up with the game ‘Rapo’. It’s worth reading again. I studied TA and must say I thought he was just a teensy weensy bit misogynistic, but I am rethinking that.

  10. Yes GSg, there are many creative possibilities. I celebrate the fact that you are personally in the transcending space. Thank you for offering up the integrity of your awareness as a woman. May this multifaceted healing journey be explored in this space with increasing momentum and presence.

    This has been my earnest desire for this blog these past 5 years since Planet Waves growth curve has accelerated so much in terms of features. The growth impetus of the blogspace would be one of those Key Performance Indicators for Eric’s project.

    Growth here has to be a major outgrowth of the content quality. The movement in this arena can only be facilitated by conscious and constructive participation.. thank you for yours! <3

  11. Dear Alexander DeWitte,

    “… What I would qualify with is that if aware men among aware women in this forum are being taken to task by a species of female woundedness then we have work to do IN HERE.. 🙂 ”

    I agree but I’d also like to add that even in here in PW, we slip up. That is OK. Nobody’s perfect and no place is perfect. We still just have to get on with it. There is an aspect to this shadow work that activates the “reject” button in all of us when the Truth is spoken. We all get triggered. We all can easily over-react or over-defend. Forgiveness is key for the “Other” and for ourselves.

    Personally, I feel that for some people it is safer to begin the work with other like-minded or like-gendered individuals and gain some fluency, strength and courage there, then expand the process to cross-gendered groups. That said, if the editors here would want to open up a thread in which only Men’s voices were heard as they discussed their woundedness and the women were invited to simply read, listen and bear witness, I wonder what would happen? Ground rules like that can be invoked can they not? But perhaps this is not the place for such an experiment.

    Speaking just for myself, my inner male wants desperately to bear witness to gendered males speaking of their wounds so that I can better understand what they are wrestling with. Until we, as a whole collective, hear these wounded places speak, we cannot address the full healing of our collective.

  12. Green-Star-gazer: Agreed!

    What I would qualify with is that if aware men among aware women in this forum are being taken to task by a species of female woundedness then we have work to do IN HERE.. 🙂

  13. PWOutsider: I hear you loud and clear and I want to thank you so much for your post and your willingness to open up. That touches me deeply and I feel like I know where you’re coming from.

    And to everyone else here at PlanetWaves: What an honor it is to be able to read your posts, take my time to let them sink in, roll them around a little more, put them aside to let them breathe, and begin again when I feel ready. My gratitude and thanks to you all for taking the time to share parts of yourselves so we can all hopefully learn and grow, to keep holding space for others along the way.

  14. clarification…. when I use “you” in the following sentence:

    … ” But if you wait till it feels “safe” or until it is culturally acceptable to speak to these things, you will never begin because what needs to come up has been held down for so long that culture and society WILL reject it… and you WILL feel vulnerable and marginalized and invalidated.. guaranteed. ”

    I do not mean anyone in particular or specifically, not even a certain gender.

  15. PWOutsider: Just to say hello.. and.. thank you for raising your voice. Cyber communities can be very insular.. t’is a fact! Some of the ‘acceptance factor’ comes simply from familiarity.. You know the logic, if you do not post you CANNOT become known; in THIS forum at least!

    There are technical barriers too. Not insurmountable, yet sometimes they feel formidable.. such as astrological savvy. However, we should not overlook confidence issues.

    This space is not merely a technical space, there is room for appropriate and considered self declaration and exposure. I suggest that you have just availed yourself of that here. And I would recommend further steps of engagement. When you articulate your fears people can notice and respond appropriately.. when you bottle them, nothing much happens!

    Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  16. …” It is in that sense that I had to speak up. The male wound attracts little compassion in said epoch, which makes it nigh impossible for even aware men to articulate without being slsughtered. While that climate prevails there will be no healing for men.. and therefore for women either <3 "

    I agree whole-heartedly Alexander deWitte, which is why I made my comment about eventually needing to be able to embrace an image that would have a gender reversal as the one we have the photograph. And yet….

    I am old enough to remember when women stated to speak up about their woundedness. At the time they had to battle with all the objections that I now hear men saying about expressing their woundedness some of which are:

    – that they feel invisible and that society has no tolerance for what they have to say
    – that they feel there are no words to describe what they feel
    – that they feel no one is listening or will listen
    – that they feel afraid to tell their story because in doing so they become terribly vulnerable and this society is not kind to anyone wishing to be that open
    – that they fear being rejected for speaking their truth
    – that they fear the Rage that will become unleashed if they go that deepm and they fear that once it starts it will never stop
    – that speaking their woundedness will weaken them forever in the eyes of others and deprive them of their sexual appeal

    I am sure there are more. No matter what your wounds are and no matter what your gender is, the monkey-mind will ride you hard and give you all kinds of reasons to hold your silence. The only reason women have had "the stage" if you will, on expressing their wounds is because they went first. As much as women have been repressed, somehow we had slightly more access to our feelings and we had slightly more permission culturally to speak about our wounds than males do, very broadly speaking. No one "gave" us the floor, no one gave women their movement towards expressing their wounds, they just supported one another and started to speak to the unspeakable. It doesn't make us better, or more evolved, or bandwidth hogs. We just went first.

    Now it is time for the males to start reaching down inside of themselves and finding whatever works to put voices to their wounds and to do the healing work that is required from their polarity. Actually, it has already begun, but the momentum needs to increase. But if you wait till it feels "safe" or until it is culturally acceptable to speak to these things, you will never begin because what needs to come up has been held down for so long that culture and society WILL reject it… and you WILL feel vulnerable and marginalized and invalidated.. guaranteed.

    So what. That is the thing we/you/anyone have to get over and do it anyway.

  17. After reading and thinking about the commentary below, I would like to add my bit please. Firstly to Tracy, thank you for speaking up about how you feel. You gave me the confidence to post in this forum. As I said before, I rarely do. I have been working very hard to address my difficulties in “speaking up” and I was hoping that I could find some way to participate in these forums. Without going into all the painful details, I have had a childhood of serious physical and emotional abuse from a mentally ill mother. When I was about 8 I was taken away from my family and put in the care of another family member and I was unable to speak for many months due to all the trauma I guess. I am 56 now and it’s only after nearly having a mental breakdown a few years ago at my job where I was being bullied by Defence Personnel, that I had the strength to speak up about it, quit my job and start looking after myself, that I’ve started to find the courage to speak up a bit more, own my pain and screwed upedness (if there is such a word). I really enjoy PW and the contributions of the wonderful people in these forums. Sometimes I don’t agree with everything but I try and think about it. Sometimes I change my mind too. Sometimes I just don’t understand what you are all talking about. I am not stupid but I’m not as sophisticated and as well educated and learned as all of you so how can I participate when I really would like to when the language is just so “foreign” to me? I own my own stuff, well I try to, but I do feel that for people like me, there is not much chance to be heard in these forums or my views taken seriously like the rest of you because of my “unsophisticatedness” in language or knowledge. Mr Alexander de Witt said “we all seek to be heard” otherwise we won’t contribute. Well that is how I feel because of what I have just explained. I wish it was different but how can I do anything about that in here? I think that my views would be dismissed or ignored simply because I don’t have anywhere near the level of knowledge or language skills that the majority of you have and because I can’t focus or join in with the same things the rest of you do. I’m not complaining or blaming and I don’t feel insecure about this either, just saying how I feel and how it is for me and maybe some others. it’s like wanting to be a part of the group, everyone appears to be really nice etc but you just know that you will not be allowed in. That’s how I feel in here and I don’t know what I can do o change it. Thank you Tracy and others for giving me the courage to say this. My intention is not to offend anyone…I am sorry if it does.

  18. Speaking as best I can as an objective social observer, interested in just about everything, this imbalance that Alex is describing is so prevalent as to be astonishing. And invisible. There is the sensation that there will be no sympathy once it’s expressed; that there will be the immediate attack of misogyny and the ultimate and unspoken defense — a woman cannot rape a man; a man can rape a woman. Therefore, all bets are off.

  19. Thanks Kate!

    I rarely speak autobiographically on here and have been low profile for months.. so feel somewhat of a gate crasher.

    I do truly hear the grievances expressed herein and I suppose part of the problem is that our cultural predilections in this particular epoch of sexual politics are in favour of the airing of the female wound at the hands of men. That makes it astonishingly difficult for any particular man to air his personal wounds (inflicted both by particular women and the cultural bent).

    It is in that sense that I had to speak up. The male wound attracts little compassion in said epoch, which makes it nigh impossible for even aware men to articulate without being slsughtered. While that climate prevails there will be no healing for men.. and therefore for women either <3

  20. @Alexander,

    ‘many debates end up with a reactive ‘speaking past each other’ quality. Believe it or not, that is rarely productive and does not automatically lead to truth by virtue of volume of discussion.’

    Understood. Facilitating group communication is one half of what I do for a living, so I do believe it. And I work with some fairly unwieldy groups. The limits of online debate are noted. And the side-effects you described, also noted. Volume is not necessarily my aim, however, given that there are those who said that they feel offering dissenting views on here (or just views, period) is risky, (and that is for them to work through), I know from experience that allowing the ‘I’ expression can be more helpful than – get it all exactly formed and right first. This debate will go on and on. It’s been going on here for years. Were you here when Eric posted the image of a young woman with the ties of her dress draped across her neck? The ‘debate’ that followed that was interesting…

    ‘…my contribution is equal everybody else’s.’

    Of course, it would not be any other way and throughout the years, I continue to appreciate the points you make, even if I do not always make a comment.

  21. Kate, my view I suppose can be boiled down to the fact that many debates end up with a reactive ‘speaking past each other’ quality. Believe it or not, that is rarely productive and does not automatically lead to truth by virtue of volume of discussion.

    When reactivity is prominent there can end up being many blind alleys. It is difficult when not conversing in real time in 3D to clarify matters productively. It is important to keep the core issues in focus and they are often not superficially apparent.

    My contribution was really to re-focus matters somewhat! That is all. So my contribution is equal everybody else’s. We all seek to be heard on here. Otherwise we would not contribute.

  22. @ Alexander

    I wonder if you are somewhat urgent to get where you think ‘we should’ be going too soon, rather than allowing people to find their own way there. At least that’s how it seems from here. People have to catch up at their pace. This is a tough subject.
    It is not solely a cerebral discussion, because feelings are are involved. To remove them, and speak from just a ‘mind’ will not provide. As it would not work were we to speak solely from feeling. It would be great if the whole thing could be wrapped up in just one succinct post, or that one person could provide the answer and we’d all get it. Each has to get there in their own time, and in their own way. Your way (or mine) is not the only way, it is just a way. The differences are important. Even if it is just down to being ‘their stuff’, it is more likely that someone will find their voice by speaking is, using their ‘I’ voice. Not yours.
    It may not be what you meant, but it seemed to me you were in a way dismissing others views because they weren’t expressing them in a way you thought correct. And to be honest it seems a little like that still.

  23. Kate, I think there is a world of difference between analysis and evaluation. I think we need evaluation, not analysis. Analysis must understand when it has become sterile and/or fragmented.

    Evaluation is what brings home the discerning bacon. Connecting is a highly context-specific connotation and for me you connect around the hearth being fully present. A forum such as this generates analysis and exchange but accurate evaluation is the departure point!

  24. ‘How much analysis do we need here? Really? Kudos to each heartfelt contributor herein. Nevertheless…’

    Clearly a lot of analysis is needed. And understanding. And seeking to understand. This is a highly complex, emotional, subjective yet collective subject. If this thread goes on for a long time, or merges into other threads, or gets picked up again somewhere else (which is highly likely I hope), and spins on and on with more and more added to it then all to the good in my view.

    It’s okay to keep talking, keep listening, keep thinking, keep feeling, keep asking questions, keep seeking to understand. That’s not analysis. It’s connecting.

  25. These quotes will always look bad taken out of context. Meaning is meaningful in context. That is an incomplete paragraph quoted immediately below (taken from private correspondence not prepared for publication).

    But while the idea is up, let’s talk about it. Note, I am not advocating any of this. I am saying what I perceive to be extant.

    Here is what I wrote, with a little more context.

    The current paradox is on one level about women rejecting being controlled/owned without self-discipline (“I can get as drunk and naked as I want and you still cannot sex me” and/or “that would be rape if you did”) and therefore, in the public marketplace and probably the private one, without taking full ownership of sex. We are trying to discuss rape in the middle of the Walk of Shame

    I was discussing naked and drunk (not my example originally, but it will suffice) in the context of a total environment, with alternates available.

    There are several issues with drunkenness. One is what the law says, which I have researched and published elsewhere on this blog and which I will re-post if necessary. To sum up: in New York State, one is responsible for the drugs and alcohol they consume — until they start to lose consciousness. Then they are considered incapable of giving consent. One is what is customarily done (many if not most people the world over typically get drunk to get over their inhibitions, and then fuck without ever saying yes). This sets up the paradigm “It’s OK to get drunk and fuck without giving consent.” Last is the emerging definition of what is right and what is wrong in that context.

    For me the issue of alcohol is NOT about right and wrong. That is subjective. What I am speaking about is giving up one’s power to make rational decisions, by ANYONE who is under the influence of alcohol. The power to make decisions is an element of personhood. Imo that is what we are talking about here.

  26. ps and again these are people to people conversations – gender is a secondary issue – the real issue is about ‘heart’.

    Alex do you read Deon Meyer (de Witt sounds SA to me?) I recently discovered him. I’ve so enjoyed these books the men and women protagonists are very fine, very familiar types of people. Maddie and Archer too from Blood Diamond. ‘Rho-desia!’ Like one commentator on youtube said ‘it made me homesick twice’ !

  27. Alexander and Eric and everyone

    It is a question of truth (for me). I ‘had’ to come out because otherwise Tracy would go away thinking that she was mistaken. In my view she wasn’t so I had to say so.

    “I can get as drunk and naked as I want and you still cannot sex me” is the phrase that is difficult for me. At no point in my view is it acceptable to take advantage of anyone – and sex isn’t a numbers game. Guys have occasionally said to me things like but I have bought your body (for example when we were in a ‘regular’ relationship) and I have always said, my body is my body, there is no price, I give it for free or not at all.

    After the first discussion about dancing on tables naked, I went into town wearing no bra (menopause, better for circulation) and a regular t shirt and a loose sweater over that that has stretched and kept slipping off my shoulder and I wondered if I was ‘asking for trouble’. Of course I am under the radar but I did wonder…

    At 25 I ‘looked and listened’ a long time to a great guy, and then said – would it be true to say you think it’s alright to use people as long as everybody has a good time.

    He said Yes.

    I didn’t agree, I still don’t and here “I can get as drunk and naked as I want and you still cannot sex me” we’re not even talking about everyone having a good time!

    A friend used to work with violent men, one of the tenets was something like ‘leave the room well before you lose control’. If you don’t like how a woman is behaving leave her to it, or help her if others seem to be on the point of harming her.

    Are those valid responses?!

  28. Beautiful comment, Alexander. You know – I was thinking that the biggest act of compassion we can give to ourselves and others is not to judge any of it, not even our reactivity – as it’s all part of the dualistic mind. Holding all our stuff in awareness, without judging it, is what allows it to be released in the end. Though it’s not an easy task.

  29. How much analysis do we need here? Really? Kudos to each heartfelt contributor herein. Nevertheless…

    Each of us is situated within a confluence of formative experiences. When we use language to articulate, it is often not quite the perfect fit. We utilise generic frames, we attempt to tap into a common frame of linguistic reference so as to be understood.

    Our unique particularity is always arguably obscure. We REPRESENT ourselves to the world. Something is ALWAYS lost in translation.

    A further factor is that human nature is capable at all times of reactive triggering. Our wounds may be our drivers. Some of these, many of these, are shared cultural and intra-psychic phenomena.

    Let’s be clear: Eric describes his own experience. As does everybody else. This is intrinsically partial. We cannot legitimately accuse Eric of not embodying another’s interiority because it is not possible. Own your own reactions. THAT is the precise point and potential of a forum like this.

    Let me say then: Eric puts his unique aggregate of experiential selfhood out into a vulnerable space in a public forum and invites conversation. How do we treat that vulnerability? What do we do with/to his disclosure of his masculine self that seeks its authentic voice?

    Do we react to words? Do we project our own rage onto him? Or do we listen?

    Eric is a man speaking here to both women and men. And when you contribute you are a man or woman speaking to other men and women. If we react to perceived wounds in the other, what are we in fact doing? I find Eric’s headline post of today most apposite to this whole shebang.. The Mercury/Nessus trine and a few weeks for processing your deep wounds rather than projecting.

    Are you going to own your stuff? Male or female?

    I see Eric doing that, frankly. I know many men who have been destroyed at the hands of women and many women who have been destroyed at the hands of men. Different modalities are deployed.

    Men collude with other men. Women collude with other women. NOTICE that..

    Eric I love you. Thanks for your courage and integrity in sharing your inner process in this space. The image you shared of yourself the other day on here, looking in the mirror, is the most profound art I have seen in eons. <3

    All other contributors: Thanks for your passion, intellect, insight and willingness to be involved in a conversation. We none of us need to take our reactive self too seriously. This is a debating forum, sure. But once we kill the reactive spirit and hold space with compassion, we surely can recognise that pedestals are a product of monkey mind. See farther, see beyond and do not let your pain dictate your theory..

    That is the goal in my view. It's all part of the journey into love. 😀

  30. Personal email to Tracy from May 23:

    Yes so, where is the gray area?

    I am a rape survivor by the contemporary definition. I have worked through a vicious incest legacy in my family of origin and must be a father figure to _____ who is a sexual abuse survivor.

    I understand the issues and I am entitled to my informed point of view, which I subject to public critique.

    You can certainly make suggestions that I am very likely to take on board 100%.


  31. Hi Kelly,

    It is a dynamic that has happened numerous times here in the PW community as we grapple with difficult social and political subjects. We seem however to be able to keep going, as a community and not get stuck. I admire that greatly.

  32. Green -Star – Gazer,

    “That said, misinformation being passed off as truth needs to be pointed out and corrected and this community is usually pretty good at that.”

    What misinformation are you referring to?
    And, what sector of the community now stands corrected – and by which group?

  33. To Jere: in my studies, which are limited, I’ve noticed that the higher up you go in organism complexity, the less likely you are to have physically dominant females in a species. The insect world is full of dominant female species. Fish, and birds, not nearly as many and mammals fewer still. It may have something to do with how the young of a species is reared. Insects do very little to raise their young with the exception of hives (bees, ants etc). Spiders seem to perform some care and in many spiders the females are larger. But they seem to be in the minority in zoology. In the watery worlds, animals seems to be unhindered by gravity and the need to protect territory so bodies seems to be rather uniform in terms of gender. In birds, the obvious differences in plumage occur but there are fewer examples of females having larger bodies, though they do exist: female raptors for example often have the larger bodies than their male counterparts. But things are somewhat different in the world of land mammals.

    A mother who has to nurse their young is at a distinct disadvantage in terms of safety, sometimes even from her own kind ( male bears and large cats for example will kill offspring that are not their own if they are discovered unprotected by a powerful mother ). So there seems to be something in the genetic OS whereby testosterone is employed to drive self-selective breeding. But without genetic diversity the species will eventually crash, such as in certain Cheetah populations. Humans and other social animals have developed group organizations to help resolve the issues around their vulnerable members. Bigger brains in many mammals developed as a response to the needs of handling the processing of complex social organizations and dynamics. If we observe the large-brained mammal species and their groups, there are few examples of Matriarchal societies, Elephants and some Great Whales being the shining exceptions but even then the physical mass of the female body is not larger than the males. Testosterone is highly effective at building body mass, but it also comes with certain side effects.

    To Carecare7… Of course you bring up a MOST important point!! I’ve often wondered which came first – the development of patriarchal societies or the idea of males only as seeders of life. The advent of the plow and dibble, obvious stand-ins for the penis probably had a lot to do with the transition. Before agriculture, fertility just happened. It was a mystery. When we began to penetrate the Earth Mother with our tools ( probably the origin of the nickname) of course we’d make the leap to believing that our own mystery of conception had been revealed. But this still does not answer WHY the control and ownership issues shifted from a collective need to an individual right. We could still have been farmers performing our rituals of fertilization and planting but we could have done all that without reverting to patriarchy… the Mother Earth would still be paramount regardless of who seeds Her if collective values were held in higher regard than individual ownership. Somewhere the idea of individual leadership got twisted into a competition for status and thus the power struggle got started with the “Might-makes-right” model taking hold.

    One of the things that I love about archaeology is how new ideas are transplanting old assumptions about what the evidence means. For example- the story that we all grew up with that once the Romans departed the island of Britannia, that chaos ensued now that “order and logic” as brought by militaristic Rome was withdrawn. This was the conclusion of most of the scholarly ways of thinking, ideas which were of course themselves steeped in the patriarchy. But now modern archaeologists are revisiting these assumptions and revisiting the evidence and seeing that is just not the case. People managed just fine without the order and domination of Rome. It was not chaotic in general but a time of much cross-pollination between and among various cultures. I like seeing these developments of re-interpreting the past because when we remove the programming brought on by patriarchal thinking we see our own past opening up with possibility which then leads us to question what assumptions we’ve made about our present societies. I feel buoyed by this transition. Thanks for adding that important piece to this fabulous discussion.

  34. Hi Tracy,

    I recognize and understand your frustrations with what appears here in the comments of PW. I’ve been here a few years and I can say that there have been many times when what someone has written here, either as a contributing editor or as a commenter has rubbed me the wrong way or gotten me really triggered. This place deals with complex and challenging subjects sometimes and we all get triggered by what others might say.

    What I’ve learned is that while Eric did indeed create this website and he has the final word about what gets published here, PW is a cooperative venture with many people of both genders participating. They strive for inclusion while also trying to keep things civil. Sometimes, for people who have been here awhile, we just silently agree to disagree….unless something really seems worthy of comment and then usually someone calls it out, like you did and others will add their observations. This keeps the place fresh and lively. The trick is to not let it get personal or to gang up on any one person. We are all here expressing different points of view and we may not all agree with everything all at the same time. And, silence does NOT always equal agreement, it is just that sometimes, to keep this place flowing well, it is better for the collective to let just a few voices speak in dissent. I find that a lot of times one or two people pointing out a problem is enough to make the point. That said, I too have personally experienced how difficult it is to present an opposing view here… Or to use an Astrological phrase, maybe a “squaring” view. 😉 But sometimes one just has to and the good news is, if the point is valid, you will usually find one or two others who will speak their support and probably there are MANY other nodding in agreement on the sidelines.

    The other thing I’ve learned being here is that sometimes when I get triggered it is a chance for me to look at what triggered me and see if I can unpack it for myself first. While I find that many of the writers here live in very different perspectives than my own, I can still value what gets shared here even if personalities rub me the wrong way from time to time. Part of the art of living is learning how to accept strong personalities without feeling diminished in one’s self. That said, misinformation being passed off as truth needs to be pointed out and corrected and this community is usually pretty good at that.

  35. Thank you for replying, Carrie and Lizzy, and Pam and others. I fully understand that it takes courage to express a dissenting view here, and I didn’t really expect that many would. I just felt it was important that somebody at least questioned some of these comments. An environment where a man is in charge and women are afraid to challenge him, is not going to yield any meaningful discussion of feminism, rape or consent.

  36. Thank you, Carrie, for your beautiful, generous and lucid reply to Tracy. There are times when I too pick up anger towards women in Eric, without taking away any of the love, admiration and respect that is always present too.
    I also wanted to say to Tracy, that there’s no condemnation if few people have responded to your post. It’s just that it’s not always easy to comment. Speaking personally, I think that being part of a blog community often brings up the fears of rejection and isolation that one has out in the world.

  37. “My own lack of courage and fear of punishment for being myself infuriates me; but is it just my perception, or is it actually the case that very few dissenting voices are ever heard on Planet Waves?”

    No, it isn’t just your perception.

  38. Good question, Tracy.

    This article, though it is supposed to be funny, actually makes some relevant points:

    #5. We Were Told That Society Owed Us a Hot Girl

    #4. We’re Trained from Birth to See Women as Decoration

    #3. We Think Women are Conspiring With Our Boners to Ruin Us

    #2. We Feel Like Manhood Was Stolen from Us at Some Point

    #1. We Feel Powerless (note, this one uses the stereotypical “all men want sex all the time” bullshit).

    There are many stereotypes in this article but I see some bits of truth (the tons of movies and stories and TV shows where the guy gets the Girl Every. Time. or the many comments about women’s looks) which ring true sometimes. If you can ignore the stereotypes, there are some interesting ideas in it.

  39. Tracy,

    I also have felt in the comments by Eric posted here (and other times in the 17 years I have been reading his posts, articles, e-mails) a hint of anger against women. I also see the opposite side as well but I always tell my kids that they should “trust your tummy;” if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and your tummy feels like it is a duck it might be a duck. Might be. Always leave room for the discovery of new information but realize that women have been programmed to doubt our senses and intuitions and to “play nice.”

    I no longer “play nice.” If I feel it, I feel it and I call it. My feelings are not negotiable. They are what they are and they have been right-on my whole life:

    I “felt” the threat of the second man before he actually pushed me against the wall and molested me; I was 13.

    I “felt’ the threat when the first man made me touch his penis and pull on it over and over as he made me lie on him in the dark on the cot; he was molesting me and I was only SIX years old.

    I “felt” it when the Black lady glared at my husband and I and I said we should turn back. It was only when a small boy rode by on his bicycle and said “Y’all going to get beat up” that my husband trusted my intuition and left; we later learned that there were riots in that very street over a killing that happened earlier that day which stirred up racial tensions.

    My family of origin programmed me not to trust my own intuitions because they were abusing me but wanted me to think it was all in my head and my fault. I no longer distrust my intuitions.

    Just thought you should know; you are not alone in your “gut” feelings on that.

  40. Green,

    I really liked your anthropological take on the issue but I noticed you left out a piece that, from other anthropological researchers, may be a very important piece of the puzzle. Part of that ownership issue was the realization (probably once breeding animals happened) that the children are started from the coupling of the male with the female. In many written histories males truly believed they “planted” the “seed” in the fertile woman just like they planted seeds in the ground. This means they had to control the female “ground” just as they controlled the actual land ground in which their seeds were planted.

    This was the origin of the “value” of the woman’s vagina and the sex she would allow; it behooved the males to make women feel shame if they allowed just any males to implant them and all sorts of controls were then placed on female fertility from puberty onward. These controls are still in place WORLD-WIDE, today. It isn’t matriarchy which enforces this – though women were made to teach their daughters the rules because women had become property just as breeding cows had become property.

    One researcher once posited that the reason blood sacrifice happened in history all over the world likely happened because originally humans saw females bleed every month without dying and give birth (life) with blood so blood = life. Bloodletting may have come about once patriarchy was established because males desired the same ability to bleed and not die as females had and the blood = life ideology could also be attached to them even though males didn’t “give birth;” instead they “gave life” by planting their seed in females who then gave birth in blood to the harvest (the baby).

  41. Where are all these drunk, naked women? Who here needs to be told, like a child, by a man, that it is necessary for them to be responsible? Who here needs a “gut-punch” otherwise they might accidentally get drunk and naked in public? Why so little discussion of men’s responsibilities and so much of women’s?

    THIS, below, is everyday reality. Discussing WHY and what to do about it, without just punching the girls some more, might actually be useful:

  42. Such wise words, Kelly. One of the greatest poets and interpreters of humanity, Shakespeare, gives such a brillant portrayal of this with Lady Macbeth.

  43. ..Been looking for a zoological reference to females being more aggressive/dominant to males, difficult time so far..

    I do have a theoretical anthropological proposal that females have always had the capacity to be the more “dominant” gender, if that (as was hypothesized earlier) the physical form would have evolved to a larger (than male) physical countenance. As war and all kinds of other crap has taught us though, legions conquer. Also, I must add, evolution and enlightenment has taught us that this is fucking stupid.

    I believe we’re to step beyond all of this “us/them” b.s., if we choose not to be another notch on extinctions belt,.. but that truly is the point of this conversation, is it not?


  44. Kelly, Green Star gazer– well said again both of you. I appreciate the clarity you bring to this complex subject. Is the working definition of matriarchy the female side of patriarchy? I can use that as it helps with clarity. The idea that a choice for nonviolence would have changed our biology is fascinating. Wonder if some did and were crushed.

  45. Green Star, most brilliant posts. (For the moment, bandwidth is still free!)

    History, evolution, anthropology,.. some of my most excitable theories to bake on.

    I wish my thoughts were more cohesive at the moment, for too comment with added insight. Alas, not so. I defer to your most impressive commentary.

    Thank you for speaking,


  46. I, for one, agree immeasurably with Eric’s observation. I am a woman.
    It is a punch, but I see it as a gut reaction to a deeper truth

    My insight is that more so than men we are the true defenders of the social order and for us to fulfil this role, we are uniformly reared to be at the service of men. It makes no difference what class of society you come from, the outcome is the same. How does that come about? Women are the foundation for perpetuating the species and the bulk of that energy comes from them; through gestation, nourishing children, ensuring the males plays his part.
    Women are handed this condition from their Mother and later on by other female friends. That women have sex is a social mandate, they are raised to be easily seduced by men.
    The true supporters of the social order comes from matriarchy, and women are sold out to marriage by keeping the price of sex high. It’s a vicious circle and every woman is tricked and forced into submission. Even if a woman chooses not to have children she is still stuck in this pattern one way or another.

    Reawakening into another role requires we have discipline over our actions.

  47. Tracy, sorry this took so long for me to reply.

    I don’t know if this will help explain or not or you will see it. I recently was in a conversation with men and women where the majority of the people at the table were talking about a rape that some of them had heard about in the news. Many of us, myself included, didn’t know any facts about it, but there was almost an instant consensus that the men were guilty simply because they were men and generally that’s what men do. Just before this the group had been engaged in a conversation where they swiftly agreed that they were never attracted to people in their twenties because they look like children. (The average age of the people was 40.)

    Even if some were telling the truth, it is impossible for me to look out of my own eyes and believe all of them feel this way, which means I see this as denial.

    This story is relevant to the current discussion because this denial was part of the same thread as the rape. I have a question about why they were connected so fluidly in the same conversation. It’s also where I was coming from when I read Eric’s email.

    And, honestly, I just interpreted it as that a woman should take responsibility for her own behavior, which includes being honest with herself and communicative with those around her. And that if you are drunk and naked and something sexual happens it doesn’t automatically mean it is rape. (I think that it is in a number of cases, and the people I’m around tend to jump to this assumption. And then there are people who always assume that it was not rape. I grew up with these people.)

    As for my definition of matriarchy, I was just trying to start the discussion somewhere.

  48. Thanks Amanda!

    I really wanted to add one more thought but I felt reluctant to do so because I was worried I might be seen as hogging too much bandwidth here, but I’m taking courage from Tracy and many of the others who have spoken up here to add one more point to this discussion.

    Jere’s observation is so true that it is not just a gender issue but a people issue that we are grappling with here. I would like to expand upon it just a wee bit more and say that perhaps it is not so much that people are screwed up but that our collective operating system is what is at fault here and is in desperate need of re-writing. Yes, men or women are polarized and confused these days, so are societies, cultures and governments. But blaming one side or the other for their shortcomings usually starts a defense/offense type of conversation that quickly devolves because we are so programmed to compete rather than cooperate. Regardless of the misunderstanding BOTH parties usually get caught up in confrontational discussions that are a result of programs of conditioning and programming due to our history, our culture, our parents, our peers and the media. We are so steeped in this programming that we don’t even know it. Rather than trying to “fix” the other party (or defeat them), if we turn our gaze instead to examine the assumptions, values and results of all the cultural OS programming that had brought us to this point, then we can start to get some insight on why we are so messed up.

    Imagine for a moment what our world would look like now if 3000 years ago our ancestors had decided to collectively steer away from violence. What if systems, cultural rules and technologies had developed based on the ideals of sustainability, cooperation, sharing as the highest and most desirable traits to look for in a partner, in a leader, in a community? What would our world look like now if we had chosen to continue to embrace a pantheon of deities who were a direct reflection of our close relationship to our environment and who modeled the desired traits and characteristics we valued as a collective? What if our deities were understood to be loving, nurturing, playful and wise, who did not use rape, manipulation, war or fear to get what they wanted? How different would our various religions and their practices look now? What if that pantheon had both genders equally represented so that any child growing up could see themselves as part of the Divine? How would power be wielded differently now in our world I wonder?

    I’d be willing to bet that our bodies would be different. The big & brawny male body would not be so prevalent in general because the warrior class would not have been bred centuries ago because we would have chosen to find other ways to resolve our problems. Women would probably be taller in general because without gender subjugation girls would grow up with just as much desire and cultural support as boys to reach their full potential. I have the feeling that we would probably look more like each other than different from each other physically speaking and I do mean across the genders. Our brains might be bigger, certainly the functionality of our left and right hemispheres would be more facile and integrated. Our adrenals would be smaller. Our hormones might be entirely different because we would not have spent the last 3000 years drenched in fear, regardless of gender.

    Slavery would not have existed. Ever.

    We would not be afraid of others. Racism, class-ism and hatred simply would not have a basis to exist.

    Animals would not be on the verge of extinction.

    Profit and the pursuit of profit would be vulgar and seen as a sign of mental illness.

    The arts, music, and sciences would have flourished like a continuous renaissance.

    We would probably not be living in a toxic, polluted, extinction-prone bio-sphere.

    We would probably all enjoy similar standards of living and poverty would not exist. This standard would be modest and comfortable but creatively expressive and imaginative.

    There would probably be fewer of us because we would have been able to realize long ago that having too many children is unsustainable. We also would have figured out how to have reliable birth control because it was in all of our best interests to be able to enjoy sex without the worry of procreation.

    Children would be planned, welcomed, loved and cherished not abused, abandoned or neglected. They certainly would not be used for workers, soldiers or for sex as this would be anathema to anyone living in this world.

    We’d probably have very few prisons, weapons or internal combustion engines because culturally we would have addressed the root causes of these issues long ago and found alternative solutions because creative, holistic problem-solving would be our natural thinking state.

    I’m sure we’d still have problems, disease, areas of concern and challenges to meet. But the point is, we’d be an entirely different species now in 2014 if we had chosen not to embrace violence, individual status as more desirable than collective well-being, and the “might-makes-right” system of values that we did 3000 or so years ago. These were choices we made because at the time it seemed reasonable, but that reasonableness was based upon the patterns of the past which continued to repeat and build upon themselves usually until the culture failed and then had to choose other options.

    Rome once ruled the world but it was unsustainable. A thousand years after its collapse we had a most marvelous flowering of art and science re-emerge from this warrior culture – The Renaissance. The Vikings also were once the super-power of the world by means of their blades, axes and long ships but their empire collapsed too eventually. But now the Danish and other Scandinavian countries are some of the “happiest” and most egalitarian societies on the planet. I’m sure if we look we can find many examples of cultures which have chosen to embrace other value systems that leave behind the dominator/competition model and evolve into something that is socially, economically and environmentally more sustainable. Hopefully that is what we are doing right now by having discussions like this one.

    On a personal note…. the reason I’m so fired up about this is because Mama Saturn has been dancing/plowing back and forth right on top of my otherwise quiet 12th house Venus-Lilith-Saturn-Ceres-Mercury Stellium. This Grand Square has stirred up a hornets nest and has been a huge surge of energy and learning for me personally It was also activated during part of my Saturn return cycle, so the looking to the past and unpacking it both personally and collectively has been the MO of my life these past few months. I’m really grateful to have this community to help facilitate this process and from whom I gain insight, support and inspiration.

  49. Eric writes: “it’s not coming from the patriarchy; it’s coming from the matriarchy (concerned with keeping the price of sex high through marriage), which is being left out of the discussion and which is essentially sold out.” this is incorrect… To the extent that this is true, it is coming from women raised by, indoctrinated into, and defending the structures of the patriarchy. Whatever a matriarchy may be, it is not this. Defining sex especially women’s sex and womb, as a commodity with market value in relation to marriage and men is a prime tenet of the patriarchy, which has enlisted feminine power of some women in fostering its values and defining morality through mother’s influence on the young.

    Green Star Gazer, your Post on Psyche and Lilith ISS rich joy to read and a pleasure to ponder. I can see Lilith on Diva Maya’s shoulder as she wrote “still I rise”

  50. Or even Amanda, Saturn to grow? and let go of taken on situations without too much importance. But I have memories of an event that I lived that did not too much damage, the Saturn contrary to used relay to develop more maturity on something insignificant
    Take it as a warning, a thermometer to assess temperature not at all passionate with Saturn or so under the duvet it does read hot 🙂

  51. green-star-gazer: and thank you for that extra contextualization and extension of the astrology. i think you’ve really moved the conversation into an interesting direction. just earlier this month i had reacquainted myself with the rest of psyche’s myth, beyond the part where she is punished for her lack of faith. that her story evolves as much as it does is, as you suggest, unusual in these myths.

    and thank you for the idea that lilith is a shape-shifter, even if it’s at the hands of those who write about her. perhaps that has been a factor in my struggle to integrate her into this aspect pattern.

  52. ps Equally is it not possible for a woman to dance on a table and those around her be able to assess if she is dancing or asking or vulnerable and needing protection from herself and others.

    I’ve already posted the experience all those years ago with the guy in the sea and my friend’s boyfriend wading out to us and saying to him ‘it is unkind to pursue her if she doesn’t want’.

    Thank you David.

  53. Hello Tracy,

    I agree with Jere that the discussion is ‘people’.

    And anger.

    I’ve worked with my own anger. And that of my partner. It is experience that makes the difference – how far do you go indulging your anger and blaming others, or what does it take to feel the other (ie love for another that is greater than anything you are or an abortion at 6 months and the tears that wet you while you sleep that change everything so that you feel the woman next to you (ie how you feel).

    How do you get to the point of illumination and seeing something different/other from usual


  54. Oops, sorry for slight gobbledegook in my final sentence before! In editing a typo I seem also to have blocked and deleted the words “to find” before “the courage”.


  55. Dear Tracy, Prosepina, LollyK, PWOutsider,

    I too felt that “gut punch” – perfect descriptor – when first reading Eric’s e-mailed comments within Amanda’s. I have experienced that same feeling once or twice before on this site, albeit then in relation to throwaway remarks in audios about lesbians in particular. Had those remarks found their way into written pieces they would possibly – probably? – have been edited out prior to posting.

    But despite my advanced age and much “inner work”, including three years of twice-weekly, straight-up, analytical psychotherapy alongside a particularly exacting counselling training, I still suffer from that pathetic “it must be me” response when this gut aversion to something Eric says/writes arises, accompanied by a distinct reluctance to express my feelings about it.

    I know exactly where and how this response and reluctance originated in my early history. However, I still fear that I am not clear-thinking or articulate enough to be able to stand my ground and hold my own viewpoint – as if any contribution I made would inevitably be swept aside by some combined, unstoppable force made out of Eric’s finely-honed powers of expression, credible reputation and tons of admiring colleagues and readers!

    My own lack of courage and fear of punishment for being myself infuriates me; but is it just my perception, or is it actually the case that very few dissenting voices are ever heard on Planet Waves?

    Maybe it’s good for me to remind myself that we are none of us – even Eric – completely self-aware or cured of our unconscious projections, however much inner work we do. There will always be blind spots and the struggle for integrity never ends in this lifetime.

    Thanks Tracy for being the catalyst for me to allow myself to feel good and angry with the blessed Eric, and the courage to ask myself why!

    Clare x

  56. Excellent re-framing Amanda.

    I don’t know what Psyche represents in Astrological terms but the story about her is a very complicated one and to my mind is one of the few myths that shows an evolutionary journey with a very positive outcome. She begins life blessed with beauty and she is quite innocent and trusting (as well as clueless). Some might say that she surrenders to her father’s will and allows herself to be sacrificed but I don’t see it that way, I sense that she trusts she has a greater destiny that she has to fulfill and in doing so she finds the love of her life. Then is betrayed (by the shadow-nature of the feminine in the guise of her sisters) and has to endure tremendous abuse and hardship (again from the shadow projection of the feminine in the guise of jealous Venus) and must fulfill impossible tasks which she does… because her faith in the bigger picture allows Grace to intervene and bring assistance. In the end she is re-united with her Lover and is given the gift of immortality so she can stay united with him in perpetuity. She grows, she matures, she endures and she triumphs, not because she is so special but because she is simply a trusting, open being. She’s one of the few archetypes that evolves. That she is standing in the field of Aquarius in this square really says something to me.

    And she’s facing Lilith in Leo. Lilith is a shape-shifter. It is really hard to get a fix on her because her story keeps getting re-written to act as a morality lesson for whoever is doing the writing. She reminds me of the High Priestess in the Tarot deck… enormous Female power that is cloaked and veiled and difficult to access. That she is standing in Leo is formidable. She is perhaps, in her shadowy side in this moment, that aspect of Feminine entitlement that feels she deserves retribution for all she has suffered. In her positive aspect she might be a woman who is in complete command of every aspect of her being. The Lust card in the Crowley deck is a good image perhaps for Lilith in Leo as it pictures a naked woman riding a Lion whilst holding a star.

    And to the left and to the right, our old friend Juno and our “tough-love” Saturn in Scorpio. All in fixed positions, squaring off. Brilliant, powerful survivors all. What do they have to say to one another? For me, it is easy to imagine that Juno, Lilith and even the feminine Saturn could try (and do)get into tons of projecting all over the place, “fixing” blame, emotions and rage and projecting it outward when they are in their dark phase…. but it is difficult to imagine Psyche falling into the blame game. It is not her style. Perhaps that is why she is showing up in this moment to shed some light on how to work with these stuck and fixed energies, after all, she is standing in Aquarius which is all about breaking free. But to break free using the Psyche model means we can have what we truly desire if we take responsibility, endure whatever it takes, stay open yet true to ourselves, never loose faith and remember to ask for help. She is vulnerable and innocent yet in the end, she rises.

    Just like the poetess wrote:

    Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou, 1928 – 2014

    You may write me down in history
    With your bitter, twisted lies,
    You may trod me in the very dirt
    But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

    Does my sassiness upset you?
    Why are you beset with gloom?
    ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
    Pumping in my living room.

    Just like moons and like suns,
    With the certainty of tides,
    Just like hopes springing high,
    Still I’ll rise.

    Did you want to see me broken?
    Bowed head and lowered eyes?
    Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
    Weakened by my soulful cries?

    Does my haughtiness offend you?
    Don’t you take it awful hard
    ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
    Diggin’ in my own backyard.

    You may shoot me with your words,
    You may cut me with your eyes,
    You may kill me with your hatefulness,
    But still, like air, I’ll rise.

    Does my sexiness upset you?
    Does it come as a surprise
    That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
    At the meeting of my thighs?

    Out of the huts of history’s shame
    I rise
    Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
    I rise
    I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
    Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

    Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
    I rise
    Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
    I rise
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
    I rise
    I rise
    I rise.

  57. I feel as you do, Tracy, but I’m never very confident posting into this forum as sometimes, to be brutally honest, I don’t know what the hell is being talked about! This time though, thanks to your comment giving my a little more confidence, I thought I’d stick my neck out as I did bristle a bit reading the comments in the e-mail. I guess I’m in the minority; I try to keep an open mind about other people’s view points but unfortunately, as I mentioned before, I just don’t understand what’s being talked about sometimes in the PW forums and/or feel totally inadequate to post a comment. That’s just my two cents worth anyway but you are not alone on this one.

  58. yes, in addition to that email about Lilith coming to me too late for me to incorporate the ideas confidently, i also realized that — while i think eric is ferreting out some points that are very worth considering — i did not feel like that particular commentary meshed with what i was seeing in the astrology and trying to say. yes, this is eric’s publication, and he is responsible for its content overall; but i did not feel comfortable trying to incorporate his comments.

    at present, i do not have a clear alternate take on how Lilith in Leo fits into the grand square in the context of the interpretation i’ve already presented — except that perhaps the “wholeness of womanhood” is a point of tension in the context of many intimate relationships, and anyone expressing that “wholeness” is at odds with the prevalent cultural sense of injury.

    how many people truly feel whole? how much animosity and resentment is slithering just under the surface of social interactions where a woman dares to assert her sense of feeling whole within herself?

    as for “the feminine nature of Saturn,” in the configuration i’ve written about, that idea is resonating with a phrase i ran across just yesterday or the day before: “the mother wound.”

    i’m not going to post the link to where i read it, because the article is not that well written. but i think the concept is quite valid: that in the mix of social and familial baggage/expectations/injuries/myths that we’re all trying to sort through, there is the phenomena of great (if often subtle) psychic violence perpetrated by mothers on their daughters.

    the writer posited that it comes as a result of mothers not fully grieving and processing their own pain and losses (including lost opportunities) and the restrictions put on them; they then restrict in some way their daughters’ sense of what they’re “allowed” to do and accomplish. some mothers do this through outright critical behavior; some do it by demanding great praise and loyalty. and then many daughters find themselves in a position of having to choose: either individuate and self-actualize at the risk of “hurting” their mothers by going beyond what the mother could do in her own life; or else stay a “good” daughter by self-restricting herself within the mother’s limits, and stay “loved.”

    so i might be way off base here, but that’s my sense of the *negative* manifestation of saturn. in scorpio, it might even take on the flavor of, “i did not feel free as a young woman to express my full sexuality, and therefore if you, my daughter, do so, i will judge you harshly.”

    perhaps a *positive* expression of the feminine saturn would be those family lines in which the women have somehow escaped that vicious cycle and instead support and celebrate their daughters’ ability to go further than their mothers, by providing a solid container/framework to build on — and then stepping out of the way.

  59. I’m not an historian or an anthropologist but I have a deep interest in archaeology and how the revelations from these disciplines and the expansive techniques for studying the actual physical remnants of the past are altering our perspective of the past. (A real Pluto in Capricorn process!)

    When humans lived as hunter-gatherers we had, no doubt, developed a certain set of cultural rules. Females and children were much more vulnerable because the dangers were very real both from the perils of child-bearing, physical damage due to accidents and the challenges of living in a given climate. Everyone was generally on the move so cooperation was essential and having a diversity of skills was advantageous to the individuals regardless of gender because they helped the group be successful. We don’t know what the rules regarding gender were back then but it probably safe to assume that those cultures valued cooperation between the genders even though the tasks of work were probably divided more along gender lines due to physical demands; women probably helped one another with domestic life while men’s lives were probably focused more on the tasks that required physical strength, but most likely there was a sense of balances and trades between the genders because the survival of the group unit required success from both gender’s work.

    When we moved to an agrarian lifestyle we made a huge shift. By not moving around, we could acquire “stuff” which meant we had to have places to keep our stuff and defend it from being lost (either from the climate or from other humans/creatures). The idea of “owning” came into being, especially the owning of other living beings as in livestock. We also became more adept as specialized skills and technology increased in the societies. No doubt we were beginning to figure out where babies came from and as societies grew, some probably became more stratified based on status. Status was determined by what the society valued- for some it would be the land itself, for others it would be livestock, for others it would be how well you could provide for others etc.. It is interesting to speculate if the original sense of “owning” was something that was done as a collective or only done by individuals/families within the collective. It is also interesting to speculate about whether tribes developed cooperation and trade with other tribes or did they see each other as hostile enemies? Probably some of both. The archaeological evidence suggests that outright warfare was rare, and probably ritualized in the Neolithic.

    But as societies grew larger and acquired more wealth from the land itself and from the generation of technologies, the archaeological evidence indicated that there is an increased use of warfare as time moves forward. The use of war ( and thus the threat of death) was now on the rise, the balance of power started shifting towards the male side of the populations because in general male bodies are physically stronger and this gave them many advantages in both physical combat but also in the development of weaponry. This is where Patriarchy begins; with the concepts of “owning” especially other living beings coupled with the willingness to wage war to acquire status thru the accumulation of wealth. It is a system that grew because the threat of violence and death, and the acting out of violence and death to gain social advantage became the fabric of nearly all our societies. We developed more and more sophisticated materials and technologies designed to kill one another. We must agree that most of this warring is perpetrated by males because power now resides mostly in the male half of the population, generally. Since the escalation of death and the threat/fear of death is a very effective means to control others power now resides in those who most effectively ( usually ruthlessly) use it. Power begets power. Success was also made in these systems by clever manipulation of political agreements and judicious alliances with other groups and marriage was a significant tool to use to gain and maintain power. BOTH men and women were used as pawns in this game because the sense of ownership had now become so accepted that it extended beyond land, buildings livestock and now included human beings – standing armies, one’s own family members or the enslavement of other loosing tribes. It is true that some women no doubt rose to power within these systems, but this does not mean they were “Matriarchs” or operating under “Matriarchy” rules… far from it. They were simply successful because they were able to compete effectively under the rules of the day. Simplistically stated, Patriarchy arises because it can since it is the wielding of death and the fear of death that keeps the machinery of Patriarchy going.

    This does not mean that men are evil. It simply means that this is the system we all built together – a system that uses fear, fear of death and death itself to stratify individuals within societies so that those who are at the top of the pyramid are those who hold the most power. And power in this case means the power to “own” everything that is beneath the power-holder and to threaten to or actually deliver death in one form or another to one’s enemies so that one stays in power or accumulates more of it.

    Patriarchy is not about sex or gender or anything else, it is about power; who wields it and why. It is also about viewing death as the ultimate option in the pursuit of power and we’ve all gotten horribly comfortable with this paradigm because we think this is just “the way it is” when in fact, it is something that we’ve all agreed to and helped to create, generation after generation.

    Now we are examining all the underpinnings of this structure and we are seeing how rotten and dysfunctional it is. We are also seeing that this value system is what is killing the planet. We are taking apart all the patterns and rules and unpacking them to see how they work. We are questioning everything. All this is good. To make the shift from Death-worshipping to Life – affirming is the goal. “Life” means all life, not just women, not just men and not just humans. BUT, to do that, the balance of power has to shift and so does the PURPOSE of using power. We still think that life is about gaining power so we can have more power and more of the things that power can supposedly deliver (sex, bling, whatever).

    We have to get underneath all these structures and take them apart and create new rules, new values and new models for societies and that is what we are now in the midst of…. thankfully. But it IS chaotic and scary and difficult work because it means questioning everything and throwing out most of what we’ve been doing for a very long time… and the fear of what will fill that void keeps us retreating back to our comfy Patriarchal trenches because at least we all know what to expect in that system.

  60. Hi, Shelley. I’m aware that the majority of Eric’s readers have a different reaction. I think that’s clear from the (to me) surprising lack of dissenting comments about the (to me) insulting comments about women in the rape/consent discussions here lately. That’s why I was interested to know whether there was anyone at all who felt as I did. When you have time to say what you want to say, and how the definition of matriarchy feeds into that, I’ll of course be interested to hear it, as I’m currently genuinely baffled.

  61. Tracy, Prosepina, Lolly, and anyone else, I’d really like to continue this conversation as my reaction, as a woman, to Eric’s email was very different.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have much time right now and I feel like it is a subject that needs some space and contemplation. I would love to continue this discussion and I have a lot to say, though, if any of you are interested in a more in depth discussion later.

    My reaction was just that women should take responsibility for themselves, not that men shouldn’t take responsibility for themselves as well. (I have more to say, just not time right now.)

    This issue is multi-multi-faceted 🙂 That’s one reason why I’d like to continue the conversation.

    A question to begin, I’m wondering, how do you all define matriarchy?

    Personally, I define it a lot like patriarchy–as a system of control based on reaction and fear.

  62. I apologize all around. My head and mouth are separate. (No excuse, just honest.)

    A train wreck once again, I ask everyone to continue the conversation. (I will exit the mix, and hope those of more stable mind will impart a more productive dialogue.)


  63. Tracy and Prosepina, I also felt a gut punch today, and in several other recent comments that seem to be blaming all women for the actions of a few men.

  64. Tracy, yes, I see it too.

    I feel sick when reading this. Women are the ones trying to put their own genitals on a pedestal? Women are the ones equating their worth as people with sexual purity? This is a function of a so-called matriarchy, wherein women determine everyone’s sexual roles and more or less commandeer our culture to fit around our values? Oh please!

    There is no doubt that the whole virgin/whore dynamic still exists, and perhaps Eric has mistaken internalized misogyny (which many women unfortunately harbor) for this “matriarchy.” Women are still being blamed for wearing “slutty” clothes or being out late at night when they are raped. Why can’t we blame the predators who assaulted them in the first place? If anyone has seen those “Not Asking For It” protestors wearing *all kinds of clothing*, we see that really, it’s not clothing or any particular location that entices rape. It is the male belief that men are entitled to women’s bodies, which in this perspective, no longer belong to women themselves—they are property. That doesn’t sound like any matriarchy I’ve heard of.

    I’m sure that a lot of people think I’m a “man-hating legbeard” for writing what I have here. Question where that accusation comes from. Here’s a hint: it doesn’t come from my ardent belief that women are people too.

  65. I ‘m interested to know – are there any other women who find the comments via email below deeply upsetting, or is it really only me. I’ve been led to believe I am beyond unreasonable for objecting to what I perceive as a focus on blaming women in this discussion. It’s true that no one else seems to think that. I really need to know.

  66. Eric had sent this commentary in an email, which i did not see in time to try and incorporate into this piece. But the asteroid Lilith (NOT the lunar mean apogee, which is Black Moon Lilith) is in Leo in this configuration, making it a grand square rather than a T-square.
    Eric wrote:

    Don’t forget asteroid Lilith (in Leo) in the pattern, “the one who would not be on the bottom.” This is a bit of modern mythology, not necessarily out of the Bible (purported to have been left out) but dating from medieval times into modern thinking.

    However it fits — Lilith was supposed to be the equal to Adam, not made from his rib but created at the same time. The Bible’s creation story is ridiculous — god makes a dude, who walks around the forest and gets lonely, so then god invents Eve. I mean really.

    The current paradox is on one level about women rejecting being controlled/owned without self-discipline (“I can get as drunk and naked as I want and you still cannot sex me” and/or “that would be rape if you did”) and therefore, in the public marketplace and probably the private one, without taking full ownership of sex. We are trying to discuss rape in the middle of the Walk of Shame.

    In the current rape discussion there is a lot of attempted topping from the bottom going on, but there are few rules. Many are still trying to honor “if you want sex, you’re a slut.” That rule is not coming from the patriarchy; it’s coming from the matriarchy (concerned with keeping the price of sex high through marriage), which is being left out of the discussion and which is essentially sold out.

    One of Isabel Hickey’s most brilliant observations is the feminine nature of Saturn, especially ala Capricorn (the style we’re now getting it, in a night/feminine sign, via Scorpio).

  67. Recently, I started following the ”Real Housewives of Melbourne”, because of the bullying behavior by a group of like minded women who tried to inflict their fear and hate on one stand alone woman. This solitary self made woman, Gina Liano, made headlines. She is a 47 yr old single mum, barrister, cancer survivor – with a primo bod. The logical and graceful manner (she is a Taurus) with which she handled the bullying captured public attention, and now, there is an onslaught of online public abuse toward these other women, ever since. The other women are married, or, were married and divorced, to wealthy men. Their sense of entitlement is so delusional that anything threatening their bubble of existence is treated with hostility and meanness.
    The program is a minuscule example of a much larger issue that permeates in society, something that doesn’t often get mentioned – that women, too, are aggressors

  68. Insightful Amanda!

    This is one of those set-ups that prove the holographic principle of astrology so clearly! Wow! From the most personal, to the most political–this one is spot on.

    Thanks for the article!

  69. ..Gotta talk some shit here, Green Star man, I, as a “man” (I think of myself as a young Universal, but) I was threatened with Rape when I lived on the streets of San Francisco. Yeah, long hair, and a sleight body.. dude’s thought I was somethin’… Shit you not, if I was a chick I would have been fucked, or a murderer.

    ..I think we need to absolutely address the gender issue. It aint cool that we have such a separation. I absolutely know it exists but,….. fuck man, PEOPLE, not genders, are fucked up.

    I’m tryin’ to settle my mind forward. I feel this conversation will continue, for the betterment of all Life Forms.

    Love, Peace, and (smiles) some good shit.


  70. “The US has Saturn sesquiquadrate Venus right now. It came into orb with the California shooting spree and is likely to manifest with some more painful and upsetting stories before it passes on June 7. More on this soon, hopefully around Monday.”

    That is from Starlight’s blog, which adds more fuel to the discussion here.

    “The stars are telling us that it is time to dig deeper in this discussion.”

    Loved what you said, Green-Star-Gazer. Exactly.

  71. Beautiful article Amanda…

    I would add that underneath the Jealousy layer of the dynamic is the fear of rejection…in fact, the fear of rejection is close to the core of most relationship issues. That fear of “If I do______ then my partner will leave me because I’ve crossed some invisible boundary that will be unacceptable to them and thus will make me unacceptable.”

    And for many women, whether they are aware of it or not, underneath the fear of rejection is the fear for their very lives. This is the unspeakable Truth that is the result of 2000+ years of living in the paradigm of the Patriarchy, which is still alive and well, sadly. I believe that women carry this genetic memory within their Mitochondrial DNA (which is passed down only thru the motherline) in a more accessible form than what the male half of the population can generally access as males are only carriers of mDNA, which is separate from our DNA. The memory of this programming is very deep and will take time to re-write which is what we are doing right now by having these conversations.

    As hard as this discussion is, as deep as these issues are, we MUST address them.

    Just yesterday a 5 months pregnant woman was stoned to death by her own family in Pakistan because she had chosen to marry the man she loved, who was unacceptable to the “honor” of the men in her family. One could say that has nothing to do with us here in the US, but that is not true… the issues of entitlement, control, projection, sexuality and gender play out in all of us to one degree or another.

    The stars are telling us that it is time to dig deeper in this discussion. Thank you for a great article.

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