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Autumn 2022: Conditions for Thriving

The themes of the last six months have revolved around tending to my physical and mental health and getting some harsh reality checks about myself. This has resulted in a deep recalibration of almost everything in my life, including relationships, my work, even my spiritual faith and magical practice. I am currently navigating the 3rd major transit of my mid-life passage (Uranus Opposition) plus a Saturn Opposition (which happens about every 14 years.)

I'm trusting (or at least trying to!) that everything falling apart is clearing the path, so I can get where I need to be.

Saying Goodbye

At Summer Solstice, I experienced a significant rift in one of my most cherished friendships and the subsequent breakup of the women’s circle we had been a part of together. This was followed by two months of limbo while we took a break from talking to decide if we wanted to try to work things out or not. In the end, we decided that the sun had set on our season together and we parted ways, wishing each other well. I felt at peace with this. And I felt grief. Not only from losing this friend and this circle, but the compounded grief from all the times something similar had happened and the realization that this pattern would just keep repeating. Unless something changed.

(I have Pluto conjunct Node Node in Libra in my 11th house, so experiencing death and rebirth within my friend groups is part of my soul’s evolution and something I signed up for, but knowing that doesn't make it any easier when the heartbreaking pattern repeats once again.)

I knew I needed to get some space from everyone so I could feel my own truth, hear my own voice. I needed to be in my energy. Alone. But rather than just “disappearing” like I have done so often in the past, I showed up for my relationships in a new way, honoring myself and the people in my life by clearly communicating what I was going through and what my new boundaries were. Tending to these loose ends allowed me to gather my energy back to center, so I could use it for the self-healing I sorely need.

When I tuned in to my inner landscape, it felt like being lost at sea and the only boat I had was made up of beliefs, opinions, expectations and perspectives of others. So I jumped off that boat and like a newborn baby thrown into the deep end, I had to quickly begin learning how to stay afloat with no support other than who I am in this very moment. It’s messy and at times I feel like I’m drowning, but I am gathering the pieces to construct a new boat, one that is all me.

This card (Tribe) from the Wisdom of the Cailleach Oracle by Jane Brideson has been coming up in my readings lately. It makes me feel sad because I don't feel ready to try again. And it makes me hopeful, that every time my attempt to establish community ends in failure, I am one step closer to finding my soul’s tribe. I understand now that the choice to live with an open-heart means there is always a risk of my heart being broken. And yet, the path calls me on.

At this New Moon in Libra, I’m asking myself how do I want to show up in community? What do I have to give? What do I need to receive? And then allowing the part of me that is aligned with my deepest truth to answer.

Crisis of Faith

In my quest to find where I belong, I joined groups and circles in the hopes of finding my kindred spirits. Instead, I spent most of my adult life trying to make my spirituality “fit in” with others, and when it didn’t, feeling like something was wrong with me. Over time, I began to lose trust in my connection to Spirit, and with that came the loss of joy, play, and magic. Everything that makes me feel alive.

One of the things my life coach, Christine Thomas prompted me to do was to court my desire back by noticing the moments when I feel naturally engaged, motivated, and joyful. And then note the conditions. Not to perfectly replicate them in an artificial way, but to embody and enjoy them so fully that I open myself to attracting more moments like that. She called this “The Conditions for Thriving.” When I do this, I see the possibility for my life to be made up of joyful moments one right after the next, without planning and without repetition. Like experiencing a whole new world every single moment.

What I'm going through now are the growing pains of building my own boat and learning how to navigate through the sea of potentials in the direction of my choosing.

Collage titled "Aquarius" created by me

Healer, Heal Thyself

Transiting Uranus is in my 6th house, which is about sacred work, service, and health matters. It is making an opposition to my natal Uranus in the 12th house, which is often called the house of “self-undoing.” It is here that we connect to the dream realm and to the Unconscious (personal and collective). Because of that, this area of our chart has a lot to do with our mental health. Both of these parts of my chart and life are being activated in a big way

After avoiding it for two years, I finally got Covid in May, while attending an outdoor music festival for Beltane. Thankfully, my symptoms were mild and resolved quickly. In June, I had a biopsy to check if a mole on my neck was cancerous. The results came back as basal cell carcinoma, a common and easily treatable form of skin cancer. I am scheduled for Mohs surgery in October with the expectation that the long-term prognosis will be good.

The biggest challenge has been my mental health. It has been in decline for much of this year and worry over that has consumed much of my energy. My depression and anxiety reached an all-time low in December 2021 and I finally reached out to my doctor. Before I go any further, I’m going to pause for a moment to highlight how much of a BFD it was that I even got to the point of asking for help with this.

My parents were Scientologists. As a child, I learned that mental illness either didn’t exist (it’s all in your head) or if it did exist, it’s something you need to deal with on your own without bothering anyone else with your problems. I developed an extreme aversion to asking for help and couldn’t fathom the idea of taking medications for mental disorders.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to realize how much of my perspective on the mental health system is based on out-dated and biased opinions that I received from my parents. Mental health diagnoses and treatments have come a long way since the 50’s & 60’s, I’m sure. The person who was pivotal in helping me make this shift in consciousness was my son, who was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) while he was attending his freshman year of college. He was initially receiving treatment for depression and anxiety, but it soon became clear that his depression was directly caused by untreated ADHD. Once he treated the root cause of the problem, his life improved dramatically.

When my mental health began declining, I had several talks with my son and his wife (who also has ADHD). I found out that ADHD shows up very differently in women and because women are generally better at “masking” the symptoms, it is more likely that they appeared neurotypical and were never diagnosed as children. I started following women with ADHD on social media (including a YouTube channel called “How to ADHD”) and was blown away with how much I resonated with the thoughts, feelings, and experiences they were describing.

For many years, I have rejected the labels and masked the symptoms, but I have finally accepted the possibility that I have an undiagnosed mental condition. I am currently going through the process of seeking an evaluation for ADHD and possibly ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).

Although I have done a ton of work and experienced tremendous growth, social anxiety and the inability to maintain healthy long-term friendships is still something that has a significantly negative impact on my life. So often, I feel like I somehow missed a memo that everyone else got. What seems easy for others is a source of major anxiety, stress, and emotional trauma for me.

Even when I mask my symptoms well, the amount of energy it takes to do so is exhausting. I'm at a point in my life where I can no longer mask, and that's why it seems like the symptoms are “suddenly” there. But if I look back over my life, they have always been there. They were there when I was a childhood overachiever, trying to earn approval by getting straight A's (and then forgetting everything I “learned” the moment the test was over.) They were there when I was done with school and finally got to follow my own interests, which meandered and veered off into a million tangents, never in a straight line. They were there when the cultural programming told me I needed to commit to something and follow through, and I was left feeling like a failure because I hadn't stuck with any one thing long enough to master it.

On my better days, I know there is nothing wrong with the path I've taken. And there is nothing wrong with me. To help me remember that, I am currently seeking the right counselor to start therapy with. I am also exploring medication options (both prescription and over-the-counter) to find the right formula for keeping my mind focused and my emotions stable while I adjust to the new way of being me. The first medication I tried gave me distressing side effects like hives, intense stomach pain, nausea, and dizziness. So, I recently weaned off of that and am trying a different one. I’m only one week in but so far, so good.

As difficult as this road has been, I have faith that I will make it to the other side of this passage having a stronger sense of who I really am (and who I am not). I am learning what it feels like to be in my own energy and create my life in alignment with my soul's truth. I am learning to appreciate how my neurodivergent mind works, and how to be safe and comfortable in this world without the mask. I am undergoing a complete overhaul of the structures of my life to support my conditions for thriving. It is a continual process of experimentation to find the formula for living my best life.

Saturn wants consistency and measurable progress. Uranus wants liberation from rigid routines. I am the container for alchemy between these two astronomical forces. Together they are shaping me into something new. When I get to the other side of this, everything may look different. But whatever it looks like, it will be real.

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Be wild & make your magic! 🧙‍♀️✨ Amy

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