Dear Agony

Despair can be linked to Plutonian anguish in the birth chart

stressed out woman holding her head in her hands

I will warn you: This isn't a pretty blog post. It's about darkness, loss of hope, hitting bottom and not wanting to live anymore because life is THAT bad.

It's Plutonian. And because it's Plutonian, it's also about rising from the ashes. So I hope you decide to read on. To live on. You can also get an Inner Reflections Birth Report, which closely examines your personal aspirations, values and longings and gives greater psychological understanding of yourself.

None of us grow up without scars. No one is immune to pain. While I'll never claim to have all the answers to our spiritual journey, I'm a firm believer that our soul chooses a particular brand of suffering to teach us more about compassion and unconditional love. I can't live in a world where I don't trust that we all have a purpose -- a reason for living -- even during our worst times. Especially during our worst times.

I'm well acquainted with mental illness. I've visited close relatives in mental institutions on more than one occasion. I've lived through my own mother's struggle with bi-polar disorder. My 12th house Venus is square Saturn in Cancer in the 3rd house, which tells this story well. So does my Moon-Neptune conjunction in the 8th house.

What my mother's illness taught me

I want to thank my mother for giving me permission to write about this deeply personal topic. Fortunately her dark years are well behind her, but she taught me so much.

Mental illness should not be shamed, belittled or ignored. It should be understood. Persons who contain the greatest reservoirs of strength (and have the capacity to heal others) are the ones who are able to reveal their greatest weaknesses and hardships.

My mother is certainly one of the strongest women I know. She has since healed from her own personal suffering and now is one of my greatest supporters. Although when I was younger and visiting her in the nut house, I'd be lying if I didn't admit I thought differently.

Back then, I was angry. How dare my own mother be this selfish and so incapable of picking up the pieces of her life? How could she be willing to give up -- to leave a mess for me and everyone else in our family? What kind of mother does this???

Breakdowns can lead to personal growth

The answer is clear to me now, of course. My mother was broken. At bottom. In the pit of a Pluto transit of her own that would lead to an incredible breakthrough (transiting Pluto square her natal Moon). But first, there needed to be the break down. Break downs must happen before growth. Always. Unless we confront our agony and accept that we need to surrender to it and listen to its message we simply cannot grow.

I've spent many years counseling broken people both in my domestic environment as well as in my profession as an astrologer. I'm comfortable around crazy. While I hope that I've done more help than harm, I know that it's not my job to save anyone. It's their job. All I can do is provide compassion and healing intentions. All I can do is be willing to face their agony with them so they know they're not alone.  To point them in the direction that'll eventually lead them back into the light. I can point all I want, but they have to take the journey because it is theirs alone to take.

I must be clear:  If you or someone you love is going through a personal crisis, suicide is NEVER the answer. It solves nothing on a soul level ... it's like putting a Band Aid on a knife wound to the heart.

When your heart is wounded that much you need surgery, healing and recuperation. You need to live IN the pain in order to get THROUGH the pain. That's the number one rule of grief. Period.

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