MONDAY, AUGUST 21, 2017

Posts Tagged ‘pain’

Cancellations

As noted in my last post, I had expected that I would be appearing at Many Gods West 2017 to vend and read, as well as to teach a seminar on Mead Brewing as a Spiritual Practice, but it turns out that this is not to be.  Though my recent surgery was successful in removing the ovarian cyst and revealed that it was benign, the cervical cancer itself is the source of the majority of the pain I’ve been experiencing and that has been worsening rather than improving, to the point that even after ratcheting up my medications I am still in too much pain to effectively manage most of my usual day-to-day tasks, let alone vend and teach a class, and what pain relief can be achieved with medication comes at the expense of much cognitive function.  Therefore it is with a heavy heart that I have cancelled my appearance at Many Gods West, along with my other August events.

What light there is at the end of the tunnel comes in the form of the hope that the pain will begin to be reduced by my upcoming regimen of daily radiation and weekly chemo.  I appreciate the kind wishes and prayers that so many have extended to me during this time, and hope that within a few weeks I will be able to muster an update with better news.

 

Health and Events Update

As noted in my last post, my regular posting schedule has been suspended due to health issues.  It turns out that I have cervical cancer in addition to the ovarian cyst (which grew in the month between its first sighting via ultrasound and the CT scan that followed), and ovarian cancer is also a possibility due both to troubling markings and the cyst having attached itself to the nearby intestinal wall.  I will be having surgery on the 25th of July, during which the ovary will be biopsied to determine whether or not ovarian cancer is indeed part of the picture, although the probability of both cancers having developed simultaneously is minimal, thankfully.  After I’ve recovered from the surgery I will have radiation and chemo, and while all of these treatments have their risks, I am still grateful that now there is a treatment plan, and a light at the end of the tunnel – like any good Capricorn, I am much happier when I have concrete facts and actions to ground me, and I feel like I can face anything so long as I have a plan.

This has forced me to cancel my appearances at events in June and July, and another appearance in early August, but it looks like I’ve managed to schedule the surgery with just enough recovery time to still be able to make it to Many Gods West, where I will be vending and teaching a mead brewing seminar, though I will need to take some steps to make sure that I don’t overdo it, and probably won’t be as lively at the conference as I would otherwise like to be.  I will not be scheduling further event appearances until I make it through this.

I am very grateful for the love, support, and prayers of my friends, and particularly for the aid of my maternal aunts, Dorothy, Linda, and Lucy, who have formed what Dorothy calls “The Assembly of Auspicious Aunties.” They have indeed been living up to that name and have been helping to coordinate getting me to my medical appointments and acting as clear-headed backup brains to help make up for my brain fog resulting from pain, meds, reduced appetite, and chronic sleep deprivation.  They have also been wonderful to talk to and reconnect with after many years of separation due to my stepmother’s fear and dislike of my mother’s family resulting in her actively preventing them from seeing me combined with her poisonously divisive programming of my young mind, that taught me that they didn’t want me or care about me.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

I’m also deeply grateful for my stepmother’s two caregivers who tend to her personal care on an alternating schedule, Cathy and Grace, with whom I have developed a friendship.  I try not to worry them with my situation, but both of them check in on me and try to help me with finding ways to manage my own care while making sure that my stepmother continues to be well tended to.  They are both immigrants, so my interactions with them over the past few years have helped to educate me on the experiences of immigrants now in the era of Trump, and I find myself feeling fiercely protective of them and their families.  Their stories, their strength, their kindness and dedication and compassion move me deeply.  Even if I hadn’t grown so close to them as a result of living in the same house with each of them for half the week, I would find them admirable, but in the midst of this illness I am continually reminded that women and men like them are the people who build this country from the ground up.  My job here would be infinitely harder without them even if I wasn’t sick, and now that I am, I know that it would be impossible to get through this if I didn’t have their support.

Experiencing the loving care of these two extraordinary ladies and my amazing aunts has been the silver lining in all of this.

As has the change in my perspective.  When faced with my own mortality and even greater physical limitations than those caused by my usual autoimmune issues, priorities change.  I’ve actually become more obsessively creative, but in tiny doses throughout the day, whenever I can either beat the pain and fog enough to draw, or via knitting to distract myself from the pain when it’s bad but not incapacitating – knitting the patterns I know by heart requires even less brain power than drawing, and it’s remarkable how far you can get knitting a few stitches here, another few after the worst of the pain subsides.

For the most part, I can still woman up enough to haul myself out of bed and do what I need to in order to manage my stepmother’s care, but these days more and more of that work is conducted from my bed, with the caregivers keeping me posted on what needs to be done, reminding me of whatever my foggy brain has forgotten and making sure I stay on-task.  One of the more frustrating aspects of this is that between the brain fog and the constant pain, everything I do is much, much slower – to put things in perspective, I started this post shortly before the end of June, and have struggled each week since to try to finish it and get it posted.  If not for my extreme stubbornness, I wouldn’t get anything done at all, but I am stubborn, and each day I tackle the most crucial tasks in bite-sized pieces until those pieces add up to something complete.  Even if it’s only one small thing complete, at least it’s something.  It’s ironic that I came out here to care for a terminally ill woman, and now find myself a patient as well.  I am lucky that I can extend my influence from my bed through the computer, that I can do so many tasks electronically, even if painfully slowly.  I am lucky that I am only afflicted with brain fog and not the full-blown dementia from which she suffers, and that this illness is treatable and therefore temporary, however scary it may be.  Watching my muscle mass shrink due to my inability to eat reminds me of watching her wither due to her emotional lack of appetite when the dementia really began to become serious, though unlike her I am still actively trying to make sure that I get good nutrition, even if it is all liquids and purees.

A few months back a fellow astrologer and numerologist pointed out the combination of both the Sun and Mercury in my natal chart at 22 degrees that he saw as indicating that I would need to become a “guide” to a family member.  Since this is the area of Capricorn that Pluto will be transiting in another couple of years (a couple of years before the United States’ Pluto return), I have given much thought to how this corresponds to my efforts to help my stepmother during her lengthy process of dying.  While I am not going to assume that this disease was divinely given in order to make me more compassionate toward her by giving me an inside look at the experience of a debilitating illness, nonetheless it is perhaps a side benefit in the midst of the pain and disruption of my life, something to give me more understanding and hopefully help me to help her better during her final days (weeks, months, years…).  If all goes well with my treatment, then perhaps I will be better equipped with the empathy to help her face her own mortality.  In the meantime, like her I am becoming intimately familiar with the view from my bedroom window, and with the process of waiting.

 

 

 

Astrology Update, March 10th, 2017: Breaking Ground for Re-Planting

The Moon in Leo starts the day off with a trine to Uranus in Aries in the very wee hours, putting our unconscious in alignment with our futurist leanings and sudden changes in our lives.  If we are asleep at that hour, our dreams may be tumultuous but more likely to be revelatory than bad.  Others of us may find that we could not get to sleep at all for a few hours after midnight, or that we could not sleep consistently during the night, but since this is a supportive trine aspect, we may have found that being awake was actually a benefit of some kind, perhaps creatively or intellectually stimulating, and the more inventive among us may have hit upon a eureka moment or two.

Later this morning the Moon in Leo trined Saturn in Sagittarius, giving our emotions and instincts a boost from our more disciplined side.  Our feelings this morning may have turned serious, but not likely to negatively so since this is a harmonious trine.  Rather, we may find a greater state of ease and flow between what we feel and what we need to do, our outlook on life now sober and steady, more ready and able to work within the confines of reality to achieve aims that express our true selves.  We are likely to have taken pride in our practical achievements at this time, especially those supporting our larger belief system and our sense of social responsibility.  We may also have found ourselves more easily working around or even through our insecurities and fears, and any understanding gained about such matters during this time has the potential to help us effect lasting emotional change.  The Moon turned void-of-course with that last aspect, so we are likely to have fared best if we stuck to routine during this time, allowing ourselves to process these final lessons of the Leo lunar transit deep in the unconscious while drifting on autopilot through our conscious world.

That Moon/Saturn trine and void-of-course helped set the stage for a more practical tone to our instincts and emotions as the Moon enters Virgo this afternoon, making us more concerned with health, growth, and process, and all of the little details that go into perfecting whatever our hearts are most concerned with.  The Moon in Virgo is actually a little uncomfortable with overt expressions of emotion, preferring a more intellectual approach to feeling, since like Gemini this sign is ruled by Mercury and like Gemini Virgo would rather treat emotion as a thought experiment, a subject of study rather than a visceral experience.  Still, human feelings don’t tend to respond well to being boxed up, so we are more likely to feel our emotions through our bodies now, and those of us who tend to stifle them may well find ourselves feeling under the weather during this transit, as the Virgo Moon highlights the connection between our emotional health and our physical health, and the breakdowns that result when either is not respected.  Virgo is scientific and fact-finding in orientation, precise in language, so academic study and research are favored now.  Virgo is also prone to perfectionism and can be hyper-critical, yet also thin-skinned and fussy, and even prone to martyrdom, so we may find ourselves more likely to get embroiled in conflicts that turn on the smallest of details, or feeling as though no-one understands us, used and abused by those we thought cared about us.  Virgo may not be comfortable with emotion, but Virgo is still highly sensitive, after all.  Nonetheless, Virgo is also generally well-meaning, if perhaps a bit tactless about its perceived path to perfection – typically Virgoan criticism is meant to help, even if that help isn’t being sought after.  Navigating this Moon then requires us to recognize that what seems perfectly obvious to us may make absolutely no sense to anyone else, and more often than not we have to let go of our desire for perfection in favor of what is actually possible in a real world with finite time and a host of other people with differing viewpoints.  Thankfully, Virgo is a friendly and likeable sign, and highly adaptable, so keeping a light touch will make all the difference during this transit.

Late this afternoon the Moon in Virgo trines Mars in Taurus, giving us a lovely opportunity to get into a flow state with practical matters, with steady energy and focus on achievement in the material realm and an instinct for how to make those achievements work out just right.  Even if we can’t achieve perfection now we can come much closer to it, building our personal realms steadily and most likely enjoying the process.  With the Virgo’s ruler Mercury in Pisces, we may find that our efforts include an understanding of what we need to give up in order to gain what we desire, and with Taurus’ ruler Venus in Aries, we are likely to be simultaneously more aware of the need for action yet more concerned with making sure that said action is what we really want.  Since those sign rulers are highlighting the ongoing concern with personal needs in social realms that has been a theme these past couple of months, this trine is a great opportunity to create more understanding of that theme through today’s mundane activities – the practical steps we take to clear ground today may yield greater relational wisdom for the future.

This evening Mercury conjuncts Chiron in Pisces, so the Virgo Moon’s concern with health has been amplified today, reaching a peak tonight.  Our thoughts (and also our emotions through Mercury’s rulership of Virgo) are confronted with our patterns of injury and trauma, the old wounds we don’t know how to heal in ourselves, yet through our experiences can use to help others similarly afflicted.  Tonight is a time for communicating about what ails us, and listening to others with kindness and sensitivity, allowing our intuition free reign to make sense of the larger picture, seeing our own situation through others’ eyes.  Mutual healing may come now through these discussions, and a degree of release from patterns that have previously kept us imprisoned.  Of course, since Virgo feels emotions bodily and Mercury rules Virgo, some of us may be confronted with more physical manifestations of our patterns of pain.  Tonight is definitely a time to take things slowly and make time for self-care, exercising compassion for ourselves and others, remembering that even when there are breakthroughs the healing process tends to be slow, and it rarely travels in a straight line.

How all of that is part of our karmic path and affects our goals for the future is getting highlighted tonight via the Moon’s conjunction to the North Node in Virgo.  Our emotions that are so caught up in process and being influenced by Mercury’s encounter with our pain and need for healing are now confronted with the Virgoan vision for our future selves, and we may find ourselves needing to come to grips with necessary adjustments resulting from our past patterns of injury, and recognize where and how we perpetuate our own martyrdom.  Tonight, as we consciously study our limitations we may also unconsciously study our potential, gaining a greater understanding of the whole pattern that the two create together.  For so many of us, this is not likely to be a fun point in our journey, but it may very well lead to the breakthroughs we most need.

Shortly thereafter, the Moon in Virgo squares Black Moon Lilith in Sagittarius, forcing us into an unconscious confrontation with our shadow selves in relation to the ingrained beliefs that have created the patterns we are seeing tonight, and bringing our unconscious reactions closer to conscious understanding.  We may find ourselves experiencing the powerful consequences of a conflict between the spirit and the body, who are meant to operate together but who are constantly driven apart by our more destructive socially-programmed belief patterns.  Parallels between the damage to our society and our planet may make themselves apparent in the damage to our bodies and minds, damage that we have to muster the courage to heal for ourselves.  Continuing to endure this damage in order to live up to societal expectations is just more martyrdom, and we’ve had enough of that.  Black Moon Lilith here is forcing us to experience just how awful our chains have become and how we became so enslaved in the first place, and the Moon in Virgo forces us to feel that enslavement physically in order to become aware of just what process is needed to throw our shackles off.  Like a landscape blasted by industrial pollution, our psyches and our bodies have suffered long enough.  Even in the midst of these poisons, we can still bring growth and vitality back, albeit slowly.  And though our emotions and instincts tonight may feel deeply, viscerally challenged by how toxic the soil we are growing in has become, still the Virgo Moon is an excellent gardener.

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All aspect times used in creating this post are calculated for Pacific Standard Time.  I tend to speak in broad terms when I reference time on this blog, referring to time-frames like “morning” or “afternoon” rather than specific times, since I still have a lot of friends on the East Coast who read these posts and I’d like them to be pertinent to those friends as well as folks here on the West Coast.  Readers from further abroad will need to adjust time-frames accordingly.

Please keep in mind that we all have different responses to the aspects of the day because we all have different natal and progressed charts with which these aspects interact.  If you would like to know more about your own natal and progressed charts in order to better understand how the aspects of the day will affect you, please take a look at my astrological services, and let’s get started on helping you to understand your life better!