Water has been the dominant element in the charts this month, as the Sun moves through Cancer and particularly as we recently experienced a solar eclipse in there that is still sending out its waves. Venus is also in the sensitive sign Cancer, making aspects to many planets. This reminds us of what I think of as the most significant personal theme of our times, which is emotional healing.
This is illustrated most vividly by Chiron in Pisces, a relatively new influence, which means we’re still getting accustomed to it. Pisces and the other water signs are the realm of feelings, emotions and the imagination. If we look honestly at how these things are contaminated, it starts to get disturbing. The truth is there are many influences competing for control of our feelings, and that control is not positive. It’s easier to make people feel bad, and when someone succeeds at doing that, they tend to get control.
I was reading one of those commercial health websites the other day and found a kind of slideshow about all the things you shouldn’t eat if you don’t want to ‘bust your diet’. The program included descriptions of numerous items containing a pile of both salt and sugar, such as big, fluffy cups of ‘coffee’.
I wrote to a friend about this, who explained something called sensory-specific satiety. By adding both sugar and salt, people’s taste buds are basically tricked into never reaching a satiation point — they want to keep eating and eating. That’s why you’ll find loads of sugar in many salty products and a loads of salt in many sweet products. It keeps people confused and munching — and this is hooked right into the emotions, directly and symbolically. Sugar and salt both influence the emotions, as does the experience of desire, attempting to fulfill that desire and then going back for more when you feel like you don’t have enough.
We could add all the influences of media that are designed by focus groups, script writers, editors and directors to get us to feel a certain way and thus respond by taking action. So all day long we are infiltrated by primarily emotional sensations designed to get us to act. Even before the Internet, people in the Western world were exposed to some 4,500 advertisements a day.
Then there are the drugs we’re prescribed or self-prescribe for everything from migraines to depression to pain to ‘social anxiety’ — which are far more abused than street drugs. All of these influence how we feel. Then there are the entertainment products we ingest willingly, which pack our emotional bodies and our senses full of images and sensations.
All of this is in the realm of Pisces, which directly connects to both our senses and our emotional responses to them. This is a challenging realm to begin with, before all of these extra inputs arrive. Pisces itself is now the home of Chiron, suggesting a special focus of attention is necessary.
Chiron in Pisces is telling us that it’s time to beware of all of these influences and how they affect us. We tend to avoid the conversation because once you start, there is no end in sight. There are so many sources of emotional infiltration (including family, social ties, relationships or the quest for relationships, and work-related necessities) that it might seem like you could never deal with them all. However, Chiron in Pisces presents us with both the occasion and the responsibility to be aware. That awareness would embrace everything that influences how you feel, and everything that you choose specifically to influence how you feel. Chiron is a holistic influence. One of the most effective ways to work with it is to see the connections between the seemingly different elements of your life.
You might consider the new basis for everything you eat, drink or allow into your mind as being: How does this make me feel? This kind of questioning counts as raising awareness, and it counts for a lot. You don’t need to plunge in and change everything under the influence of Chiron; you need only touch the edge, admit the subject matter and respond to what you find out. Or you can start by seeing the relationship between two seemingly different things: such as a meal you ate, and how you felt the next three hours.
Then you have the opportunity to make a correction. You might say that Chiron is about making adult decisions about what we know affects us. Yet one way Chiron works is that the longer we ignore it, the more the stakes go up.
One thing we face when confronting emotional situations is lack of confidence (which is itself often an emotional condition). In terms of confidence, an eclipse in Cancer (which as we’ve been reporting, happened on July 1 — but eclipses have an influence for at least the next six months) is a two-edged experience. On the one hand it’s pushing us into new territory. Eclipses are measured in cycles that go for many centuries, and this recent one was the first event in a brand-new cycle — one that’s never happened before. So that can be intimidating, and it can invite us to enter unknown territory willingly, perhaps with some curiosity. That might include: what do I think of as risky, and is that realistic? What do I do for the sake of safety, and does that help me or hurt me?
There are many influences affecting us now that are about stepping out of the feelings that have held us captive since childhood. You would be amazed who is still dealing with the same things that stripped them of their confidence, or is still trying to please their parents, well into their 50s and 60s. To begin to escape these traps we first need to notice we’re in them; then, at least, it’s possible to consider another possibility. You have options and you have the power of choice. We might question how it is that we heal from any of this, and the answer is we become aware, and then gradually make a series of decisions. Chiron and what it represents will help with the awareness piece; the decision part is all yours.