All posts here are from sections of the books: "North Node Astrology; Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose" and "Lifting the Veil; Becoming Your Own Best Astrologer" and "Astrology for the Third Act of Life" and finally "Saturn Returns~The Private Papers of A Reluctant Astrologer" All available in paperback, Kindle and Audible on

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Cultivating the Witness"

“Do not speak for those who can speak…but for those who cannot. We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience.” Pierre de Chardin

Dearest Kendra~

You ask me, what do I think? I’m proud of you for finding that extra energy to get out there and “do something” and then to take the time to sit down and write about it all. That’s not easy to do when you’re feeling miserable and scared. Maybe this quote above can help both of us keep a good perspective on our lives…and, like you, I’m wondering about your new love, Joseph—have you seen his chart yet? I’m curious about the hidden side of his Pluto and South Node.

As I write this, Sophie and I are on the train going South from Lindisfarne to Whitby. Sophie is sleeping, and I’m thinking how the English landscape feels so familiar yet dreamlike. It’s as if we are in an in-between world, feeling “betwixt and between,” in every way--but I’ll save the “story” of that for the next letter. I hope she’ll be in a better mood when she wakes up.

Speaking of stories, I was just remembering what many spiritual pilgrims have done and still do—they call it “Cultivating the Witness”. Do you know about that? The Witness, or the Self, is the inner Beloved—that core part of us that observes what is happening. It’s aware of our emotions, our body, and the “story” but it doesn’t identify with them. And it lives in the present moment; now.

So when you asked for help, I wondered if you could try creating a slight distance between the “story of Kendra” with all her wounds and strengths, and the observer/witness inside you? Alistair often quoted his teacher, Krishnamurti, about this awareness—this difference between the “observer and the observed.” Eckart Tolle and others talk about this too— and when you put this more objective distance between you and what’s happening, it seems to put one into a clearer, more energetic place. Of course, physicists talk about the phenomena of observing what’s happening too, and how even in the process of “observing” the observer effects the nature of what is observed. But if you go too far with it, a psychologist would say you’re “dissociating”—so a little goes a long way! You’ve got to have a strong enough ego to be able to “let go” of the ego’s story, and allow it to die into this Witness-Self. I believe you have a strong enough ego so that you’re not going to do a spiritual bypass on an emotional problem.

I just bought a glass of red wine from the steward as he passed by. It seems like my ego relaxes more when I have a glass of wine, but maybe it’s just the defensive left brain beginning to relax. Too much wine, and then I suspect, the reverse happens. I wonder if I could give myself the “advice” I offer you? To cultivate the witness and live in the “now” more….to move away from the “story line of infinite possibilities of pain, gain and attitude adjustments”—and simply trust the process of life unfolding. Not easy! This is the point of astrology…seeing what is happening in a larger symbolic context that’s not so personally infused with the pain of private dramas…and to feel connected to the whole.

What do you think? I suspect, with your Scorpio Sun, you’ve been deep into the delirious drama of trying to figure out “love.” I wonder, instead, if you could witness what is happening between you and Joseph, and let it all just unfold--? My fear is that as long as you stay too “enclosed” and worrying about your weight, you’ll be hiding like that turtle you mentioned, and have nothing to give. Most people don’t care about how we look as much as we think they do—although advertising in the media is always trying to prove the opposite.

I would guess that Joseph is more concerned more about what you think of him. He’s looking at you, and wondering if you love him… wondering if you could see him for who he truly is. He has shame and woundedness in his life too! He has a Pluto/South Node in his chart somewhere, and he reincarnated to attempt to heal that. I think he’s looking to see if you might be the one to help him, and to see and feel his love. And—I think his Pisces/Virgo nature is a nice complement to your Sun in Scorpio, Moon in Cancer.

On a more mundance level, let me add this about Jupiter—all that Jupiter and Venus/Moon sounds great for romance, but the “sweet factor” here—Venus and Jupiter—has a down side too. Jupiter and Venus are conjunct in your birth chart, and it can reflect a sensitivity to gaining weight, to low blood sugar, and even diabetes. But it doesn’t have to—you can choose to observe what you eat and what you’re feeling, rather than literally “taking in sweets.”

Hm…I keep thinking that love is better as a verb than a noun….

As always… trying…. ever so slowly…. to “verb” along, like this train….


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