A Journal of Inner Work and Therapeutic Arts
Immanence and Identity in Plural Personality

Studies Index...

Transition... Loss of structure. Confusion.
Finding the path. The Pluto factor.

11-13 October 2013

Build-up and break-down of identity constructs and personae is very familiar to me, describing stages of a transformative process long ago recognized as self-characteristic. It is a process that seems to correspond with the 88-day orbit of Mercury, scout planet in my radix. The idea of periodicity has some merit in my experience, but the frequency of identity reconstructions is not something I can predict or control; the focal matrix is my relationship with Self and the principals in gestalt. While there are signs or inward advisements in most cases, the collapse is often a surprise to the extent that I am invested in a given project or perspective.

Whatever the triggering event(s), that which is built up does not break down instantaneously. The break-down is characterized by an acute melancholic depression. Old structures prove increasingly ineffective and progressively meet their demise, but new structures have yet to emerge to replace them. The process inevitably involves complete withdrawal and catharsis, a decathexis that includes intense abreactions of mistakes and failure, stunning visions and feelings of vividly realized personal death. Flesh stripped from bone, that sort of thing.  Much more intense when I was younger, these deaths are nonetheless painful today. What makes the depression productive is what happens along the way.

Writing about the process is useful because the exercise — "hearing" the words, scribing, and working with them — enables organization, a concentration of power through the experience of connection. Over the course of some 12 years, essentially a recluse, I wrote a Journal of dreams and psychoanalysis consisting of many large notebooks, handwritten and typed. Recently reviewing some of that material, I found that the problems have been consistent over time, always dealing with transformations in identity, the ego-Self relation and voices in the gestalt of personality. The words "chthonic", "Plutonian" and "transformative" certainly describe the work. In an astrological context, the 12th and 1st Houses figure prominently.

In radix dynamics my 12th and 1st figure prominently, tenanted by Uranus and Pluto respectively; these planets are parallel — they act as if strongly conjunct, combining, in this case, 12th and 1st House initiatives.  In this current transition, however, the matter of House division and the tenancy of Pluto has irrupted again — Where's Pluto?  In the 1st (Equal House, Koch, Companus, Porphyry, Regiomontanus, Alcabitius) or 2nd (Placidus, Vehlow, Krusinski-Pisa-Goelzer, Morinus, Polich-Page, APC). The first few paragraphs of this entry make fairly evident the apposite locus for Pluto in the 1st, so I think we can finally lay that to rest. 1,2,3

Doubt and the need to reassess and verify are consistent with the process, not merely from break-down through build-up. The doubt is not always present, but it always returns, something of a reminder, a caution against presumption and hubris. The approach taken in periods of transition is variable; what makes a depression productive is the effort to learn from it, to go deep, identify cause and course. That may be accomplished through art, writing, meditation, Zhan zhuang, (standing like a post), Qigong, (cultivating life energy — experiencing inwardly directed movement, physically following the energy I see, slowly, utterly), verbal conversation with Immanence and inner voices, and so on. Much time may be spent working with astrology.

AstroWin is one of many free astrology/numerology programs created by Alan Edwall, and it performs a remarkable range of very useful tasks. The following triple chart was generated with AstroWin, and it shows the radix, progressions and transits at play in the current transition.

The outer circle is the Rradix, middle is Pprogressed, and the inner is Ttransiting. There are several observations of interest:

  1. Note the positions of P☉ in the 12th and P♀ in the 11th.

    P☉ enters the 1st in April 2014, having spent some 32 years in the 12th, which it entered about a month before the deaths of my brother and father in December 1982, and the death of my mother some six months later.

    Also in April 2014, P♀ will leave the 11th and enter the 12th.

  2. T♃ is now in the 12th, and will remain there until 16 July 2014; it's about to go retrograde but is currently conjunct the Part of Fortune.

    This transit through the 12th engages a host of important variables — see Using a chart to understand and create change. (25 June 2013)

  3. P☽ and PASC are conjunct R♄ in the 2nd.
  4. RSirius (13°24') and ROsiris (7°14') tenant the 12th; T♄ remains in but formed an exact trine with Osiris on 2 September 2013, and will be in exact trine with Sirius on 30 October 2013.
  5. T♆ is conjunct R♃, trine R♅, and semisextile R(MC ☊).
  6. T♇ squares R(MC ☊ ♀ in Aries; and R(IC ☋ ♆Rx in Libra); but is trine R⚸ in Taurus and R♄ in Virgo.

Those observations leave me feeling better, for reasons too complicated to frame in words. Much of that has to do with the nature of the change, the depth of it, the sense of culmination. AstroWin also enables calculation of what are called "cosmodynes" or "astrodynes", an astrological measure of strength and harmony/discord, which Edwall explains here, using his own chart to illustrate the technique. In my chart (Equal-ASC), the values for planet, sign, house and additional factors are as follows, sorted from highest to lowest.

Edwall suggests the use of these to gain additional perspective on the chart, as in cases where issues aren't clear-cut. I found it an interesting exercise, less straightforward than his example might appear. Emphasis of the 10th House in his case, for example, fits well because he puts most of his energy into working, an activity which consumes 31% of his "total energy". I too am constantly working — 10th House is 33%, exactly double that of the 1st (16%) in second place, more than double that of the 2nd (12.5%) in third place, and more than triple that of 12th House (9%) in fourth place. This is somewhat misleading, however, since Pluto in the 1st squares the entire Taurus complement in the 10th, necessitating continuous work with little gain in terms of traditional career. Second House matters, income and expenditures, gains and losses are indeed relevant in my case, but personal values do not include striving to acquire wealth and profit; indeed, my lack of attention to such matters means I frequently deal with problems of penury, which, in turn, adds impetus to the work (Saturn in the 2nd trines the Taurus stellium in the 10th).

At this point the dominance of the Moon is of greatest interest to me, and I find myself reaching for Tarot Constellations (1987), by MK Greer. She presents a numerologic schema of 9 constellations thought to reveal personal life theme, challenges and gifts determined by the year and date of birth. The Constellation of the Hermit (18-9), the ninth constellation, corresponds with my birth data, and includes the Moon (18). Among other things, Moon represents looking within, the Seeker, divination, magic and mystery, hidden forces, the unconscious, the intuitive and non-rational, knowledge experienced through the body. Hermit (9) represents journeying within, the Source, introspection, solitude, personal integrity, and prudence. These are apposite descriptors, in my case.

Back to the radix, note that Moon rules the 1st, where Pluto resides, and Pluto squares Moon in the 10th. The Moon/Pluto midpoint is 3°18' Cancer, conjunct the East Point and Uranus. Pluto is parallel Uranus. That's the 12th House focus.

So now the problem becomes direction, identifying a course. To that end, I find a heliocentric perspective quite useful. Among other things, the chart at right makes evident three key pieces of information.

  1. Note the basket-like pattern topped by the ♃-♇ opposition.
    Erlewine (p.90) names this pattern StarType #21, The Receptive → "They are like a great antenna, able to tune into and sense what others are going through. Great powers of compassion and concern for others in indicated."  In my case the pattern dynamically conjoins ♃, ⚷, ♆, and ♇, with the ♃-♇ midpoint at 22°25'Scorpio, conjunct Zubeneshamali (which is conjunct Part of Identity in the geo chart), ♁ and ☽.
  2. Path One:  YOD kite focused on Osiris in Cancer.
  3. Path Two:  YOD kite focused on PTAH in Aries. PTAH is also the
    focus of a kite formation with ♆ at apex, biseptile ♀, trine ☽.