Notes to a friend

Following a request to help a friend of mine whom I having been coaching and who felt well and truly stuck, we met up to discuss his situation and to do the I-Ching.  He asked me to summarise in a email what I had been saying to him about his situation so I thought I would share these:


Don’t count on the harvest while ploughing.  That is, do everything for it’s own sake because it is the right thing to do, not with an eye to where it will lead.

The people on your agenda are there not to get in your way but for you to learn from and work with.  They will often reflect your own shadow and so working with and aiming to help them (without being attached to the idea that they will change) is worthwhile because you will learn from it and you will transform them in your own mind from obstacles to challenges.

When you are stuck the mind isn’t to be trusted in saying that if you provide me with all the data I will provide a solution.  Often it just chatters and analyses us deeper into a black hole.  Distracting it onto worthwhile activities is often a better route (as the I-Ching says – the best way to develop is to make energetic progress in the good).  I notice that my obsessively analytical mind works better thinking about other people and helping them with their black holes and this has the advantage of using up all the energy so there isn’t much left to obsess about myself.

The value of the Astrology is that it helps us realise that we cannot escape our fate by changing our external environment.  Our personalities are our fate in that sense, we cannot escape them.  At the same time they are not “soluble” as such.  All we can do is learn to develop our owner (the conscious part of us that is less identified with them).  The astrology also shows us that everything is perfect, our personality and all that we are currently experiencing as part of a transit – there is nothing wrong.  You are coming to terms with your fate and realising that you can’t escape it, any more than you can escape yourself.

Accept and expect that you will “lose it” (your current clarity) but just recognising this means that you will not get stuck and attached to keeping your clarity which means that it will come back again.

I have had a lot of people talking to me with difficult Pluto transits recently.  In each of their cases, they are struggling with a battle within themselves, almost as if their own personality is at war within them, engaged in a power battle to the death.  Any attempts to gain peace simply fuel the battle.  How do you cope with this – it can be very distressing and debilitating?  My own experience (and it is only that, others may have better ideas) is to expect to get stuck and to go with it.  That is, if you are awake for 2-3 hours in the night, then instead of fighting, be awake and do something else with your time – write or do some activity.  Most of all, expect to be awake and consider that “normal”.  The second thing I find helps is distraction, each person I’ve worked with has noticed that they are stuck or getting into a negative spiral, only when they have time to, so getting the mind involved in something else prevents it from focusing on trying to “solve the emotion”.  My own experience was that I realised that my mind was a liar when it said that if I thought about the problem it could review everything and provide a solution.  Instead, thinking about and analysing it simply heightened the emotion, which made me think there was a bigger problem which my mind really had to solve and so on ad infinitum.  The only way out was to take my mind off the situation until my emotions calmed down again.  Now, I tend to just notice that I am stuck and assume that I have a few days or weeks of a bumpy ride without thinking that I am going to solve it, but rather just, like a plane ride, to let the turbulence come and go again.  Once I have let it pass, I find whatever realisations were important tend to arise naturally of their own accord.  The illusion is that if our mind can just find the magic bullet the emotions will be dispelled in one fell swoop.


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