The Phenomena of Polarization & Letting Go
Most relationships are entered into because we are getting something out of them. It can be partners/lovers but it may just be companionship/friendship. From business/financial, to sharing a common interest or activity, or even to share power and/or influence. There are all kinds of reasons we get into the relationships we do and it is not unrealistic to expect that there will be reciprocal good will.
In getting to know people, no one gets through life without suffering conflict, loss and endings in relationships. We bump up against each other’s humanity which can and does exacerbate our own blind spots. These are usually met by the extreme relational opposites we encounter.
What do opposites want from us?
Anyone with any degree of self-honesty, at least by the age of 40 will begin to see patterns. Every one of us has them and will go on having them. Synchronistically, the opposites continually seek each other out. There are no exceptions to this psychological law as the psyche is striving for wholeness and wholeness is balance. It would be a remarkable human being who exhibits balance in their character 100% of the time. We are all in constant process to learn more about ourselves.
Even if at times it is exceedingly hard to do so, delving into the dynamics of each relationship to ascertain what we find exceptionally attractive or completely intolerable in others is the only way to make the unconscious, conscious. We are all unconscious of our unconscious. Carl Jung never tired of saying this. Wherever we are lop-sided, the unconscious compensates for us and energetically brings to us repetitive situations as the human psyche is highly equivocal. Even when we think it is all about them, trust me, it’s about both of US. Everything means something.
The “aha” we can get when we see their reflection as a part of ourselves is liberating. When we can physically feel the forgiveness, we know we have integrated into our consciousness whatever part of our own psyche that was split-off. This is not just a platitude; it is felt inside our bodies.
In Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Carl Jung said,
“What happens within oneself when one integrates previously
unconscious contents with the consciousness is something which
can scarcely be described in words. It can only be experienced.” pg 287
We are all made up of energy and consist of differing amounts of earth (sensation), air (thinking), fire (intuition) and water (feeling) which describe the elements.
In Astrology, we have the additional descriptions of modalities: Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable to add to our understanding of human nature. Briefly, Cardinal = action oriented, takes the initiative - direct and impulsive, Fixed = stable - determined, resistant to change and won’t budge, Mutable = flexible - changeable and scattered in many directions, restless. There are also the polarities of masculine (extroverted) and feminine (introverted) signs and the real nitty gritty is the mathematical angles between the planets called aspects. This takes many dedicated years of study to learn and makes each of us complex. Yet, we are all like snowflakes, unique but still made up of the same archetypal foundation. Metaphorically, if you melt us all down to water, you will see the unity of all beings. As the philosopher Terence said, “Nothing human is foreign to me.”
Even those of us who have learned and use Astrology do not know everything there is to know about ourselves. It takes experiences with others to see what the universe has patiently paraded in front of us over and over. It doesn’t matter if you leave this city or country and go to another or leave this job and go to another. Everywhere you go — YOU are your energy and must learn to know and love your fate. Nietzsche called it, amor fati.
As Jung said in Modern Man in Search of a Soul, “We are not born tabula rasa.” (blank slates). “… the individual disposition is already a factor in childhood; it is innate, and not acquired in the course of life.” And yet, we are all growing and changing so it is not as deterministic as it sometimes sounds.
When we first get together with others, we usually only see what we like about each other and what we have in common. Strong idealization can become a defense mechanism against seeing our differences. Differences become problematic only when we are with others who refuse to meet us half-way. We may choose not to or they may choose not to. However, it behooves us to know our differences in temperament and energy, at least with those who are closest to us, our partners, friends, children, families and business partners as I found out with my partner, Trish.
I recently had a polarizing experience with my son who has moved home. The planet Uranus (which rules unpredictability, unforeseen change) is exact on his 4th house (home) which is often indicative of a physical move. Being an Astrologer for 25+ years, I have observed many times that people physically move when this transit occurs. The Community Association of the Townhomes where he was living failed to pay the water bill and they were without water for 10 days. Lawsuits were now taking place and the situation was not improving so he came home. It did not take long for us to experience a huge polarization. Without going into too many details, I want to share that within eight hours, we sat down and discussed the upset. We were able to see that he needed to be more like me and I needed to be more like him. This may sound simplistic but it was not. We were both very angry with each other. I knew from my intense reaction that a part of my shadow had erupted and landed on him, and I said so. I also told him it was interesting to me how his best friend and his roommate not only share characteristics like mine, they are both Libras as I am (and he is) and his roommate of 13 years even has the Moon in Sagittarius, like I do. Sag Moons are rather blunt which does sound rude at times. He has three planets in Sag himself. (Every sign has both + and - characteristics.) This astrological realization gave him the “aha” moment and he was able to meet in the middle of our disagreement. He has since made some huge changes that point his life in a much needed empowering direction. I feel blessed to have a son who is willing to see this situation as purposeful and transformative. All animosity was gone for both of us. We became even closer by this experience as we both took responsibility for our upset. This kind of polarization and realization has happened to me several times which is why long ago I saw the value of teaching Jung’s concept of shadow work together with the benefits of knowing your unique birth chart. The two disciplines, analytical psychology and psychological Astrology are inseparable for facilitating more consciousness in both people as we are becoming who we came here to be.
Not everyone is open to doing this kind of work. We all have a unique path and this is one tool for self-knowledge. With the planet Pluto which rules the unconscious, death and rebirth, transformation and regenerative healing now in the sign of Aquarius, the emphasis is AIR which = communication, objectivity, friendship, non attachment and extending to others the freedom to be who they came here to be. I look forward to us all ushering in a new paradigm in relating that was described very well in a book by Robert A. Johnson, We, Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love (highly recommend) and my newly revised book, The Shadow Dance & the Astrological 7th House Workbook.