[This post will make no sense unless you have read part 1]
As I went through astrology reading after reading at this event, I began to see that I was mapping each person’s attachments and identity. I was mapping the Ego. The 9th House Pluto person was rather attached to the search for Enlightenment, to the idea of surrendering, but of course is held ever-captive in the ‘bond’ of their search. When we search, we do not find. When we surrender the search, we find! Searching implies a gap between us and that which we search for. By stopping searching we close the gap.
Before that Soul can reach the total surrender of Pisces, they must first release their bond to the world and individuate. In our current world, the problem is even deeper – our Ego, our sense of Self is actually completely dependent upon other people’s Ego. When we think of a classically ‘big Ego’ person – the Porsche car, the attachment to money, the fashionable clothes, we assume that is the epitome of Ego. Actually, it isn’t.
That person is designing his or her Ego based on other people’s ideas and opinions, and based on the belief systems and values of the world around them. That person hasn’t actually yet become a healthy Ego. They are lost in other, their entire fabricated identity is shaped by other, not themselves. They are quite far removed from the real, defined Ego they actually need.
We hear many spiritual teachers saying that we need an Ego, that it is not to be transcended and is the container for our higher selves. The totally individuated Ego that is beautifully created when we reach the end-point of Aquarius, is the healthy Ego we need. This is the true, individuated Ego that has become an ‘I’, become a ‘Self’ that is no longer bonded to or conditioned by the environment or collective values. Those driving the posh cars and spending the big bucks on the latest fashion are light years away from embodying this Aquarian, individuated Ego. **This is just a crude illustration – I am not suggesting everyone with a posh car and the latest fashion are distorted Ego’s.
Let’s call that first Ego the ‘Disillusioned Ego’, and that 2nd Aquarian Ego the ‘Illuminated Ego’ just so we know what we’re talking about. We could also call them the fragmented Ego and the whole Ego.
It is my belief that the first use of astrology is to help people evolve from the disillusioned Ego to the illuminated Ego. We can do this by artfully exploring the concentration in the houses and signs and aspects. This is the path towards the illuminated Ego. We can help people to come home to who they are and where their true gifts, interests and motivations lie. The chart on first examination maps the ways in which the illuminated Ego has gotten lost in the disillusioned Ego. We could also call them the Lost Ego and the Found Ego – the chart first maps the Lost Ego, and the ways it can return to the Found Ego. Many spiritual teachings elude to this idea that we need to find our whole Ego before we can then experience Enlightenment.
There reaches a point however, where there is a block in the road. The person has discovered themselves, they have stepped beautifully into the heart of the illuminated Ego, the Lost Ego has become the Found Ego. Knowledge, understanding and wisdom has been acquired and truly embodied. What now? This state still isn’t the Enlightened no-Self. It can’t be, because there is still this sense of an I – of an I am this or that or this. Though that this or that is very much individuated and no longer bonded with other and outer.
How wonderful! I believe most people stop there. And that is a truly beautiful, awakened station to stop at in my humble opinion. If the world were filled with 100% illuminated Ego’s then it would be a truly wonderful place. In that busy weekend of readings, 90% of people had strong signatures of being lost in other – lots of 7th House and Libra energy. Upon talking to them I discovered every single one of them deeply sacrificed themselves in the name of what others wanted for them or needed from them. A perfect breeding ground for the Lost Ego to thrive in!
But some go onwards on the journey. Or, more aptly they go no further and stop right where they are! We can progress by miles by not taking a single step.
Don’t give up on me just yet – we are getting to the finale here.
So we can see how the higher Aquarian path to individuation is needed, and we can see how the chart maps the Ego. The first step of the chart is to map the Lost Ego, back to the Found Ego so that it is ready for surrender. Perhaps this is the meaning of ‘self-actualisation’?
Now, we read the chart very differently from this point on.
Now instead of the houses and signs being areas to focus on, things to pursue or challenges to master in order to find ourselves, they become areas to let go of – totally. Now we look at the chart with a new pair of eyes, instead of encouraging ourselves to strive towards the higher path of Pluto, 9th House or a certain sign etc, we focus on letting go entirely of the archetypal energies that those signs, planets and houses represent. This is surrender. The chart becomes at first FULL as we stride towards our Found Ego. Then, bit by bit the chart becomes empty as we surrender those parts.
For demonstration let’s look at a chart. It is my own chart as that is the one I am most comfortable with!
What might be my path from Lost Ego towards Found Ego? There’s a big 9th House and 12th House focus, to find my Found Ego it involves higher studies, a search for meaning and truth and time in meditation and time not only building beliefs but also surrendering them to move towards a sense of greater meaning. In the 11th House there’s an urge towards my big hopes and dreams – have some in other words! As I grew up, I wasn’t allowed my own hopes and dreams, I was discouraged from having faith in life and taught that life is cruel and meaningless. There I was in my Lost Ego – conditioned by the environment. I secretly went to church as a child without my parents knowing – God didn’t exist according to them. A busy 2nd House means I have allowed my Lost Ego to be defined by other people’s ideas of my worth and value. Sure, my mother literally told me I was worthless many times. Another big area through which I was in my Lost Ego and needed to discover my Found/Illuminated Ego by actively discovering my true worth and value.
A strong Sagittarius energy had me lost in other people’s beliefs and meanings and values – I lose count of the number of feet of gurus I have sat at the feet of, staring up with starry eyes! My path to my Found Ego has to do with discovering my OWN belief systems and meaning. And plenty of Pisces here too – I embodied my Lost Ego by literally losing myself in others. My desires and needs were drowned in others. My path to my Found Ego involved a deeply spiritual, creative release and self compassion.
I could go on, but there is only time for a brief tour. My chart maps all those juicy ways in which I can discover my Illuminated Ego – to arrive at that totally individuated Aquarius Ego Self. Fitting, as of course I am also an Aquarius Sun. This is controversial I know, but I am going to suggest that the Sun sign is the archetypal energy that we are MOST enmeshed in our Lost Ego through, and represents the strongest, most direct path to our Found Ego, and then onwards to no-Self if we buy that ticket. I offer some very short cookbook snippets of each sign and that path at the end of this piece.
Let’s assume for a moment, and this is not true for me at ALL, just to be clear! Let’s assume I have fully released the Lost Ego and am now 100% Found Ego, totally individuated and no longer bonded to the conditions of my environment. What is my path? How can my chart now help me?
Now, my path lies in completely surrendering all those individuated parts of myself. Now, my chart maps the quickest route to no-Self, and the areas of life and energies that most strongly hold me to this bond. So looking at that 9th House Pluto – where I was most lost in the disillusioned Ego was through my higher belief systems and my sense of meaning and truth – I gave that away to others. Through an active and deep search for meaning and truth, I found my way to my illuminated Ego – this was my path. Now, my path is to see that it is the search, the idea of there being a truth, and any sense of meaning and purpose that I need to totally let go of. The search is over, there is nothing to find.
There cannot be meaning and purpose to life, because when we cultivate some form of meaning and purpose, there is bondage to life, there are conditions to life. Even if those meanings, truths and purpose are extremely spiritual and profound – they STILL represent a bondage, and a set of conditions, a sense of resistance that stops me from surrendering. That which is given shape and defined creates resistance to that which does not fit its shape and definition! We can never ever arrive at a defined truth.
Even if we say that the ultimate truth, or meaning is to discover the no-Self, the no I, to discover the immense formless presence that I am – there is still ‘searching’, and ‘finding’ inherent in that idea. And, it is still an idea! What do I do? I surrender the search. I surrender to no-truth, no meaning, no purpose. Because surrender is the ONLY way to find it. For every moment I hold on to there being an ultimate meaning or purpose of truth, I am bonded. I seek but do not find.
This is what so many spiritual teachers elude to – Enlightenment cannot be found. It is already there. It was always there. There is no inherent truth, meaning or purpose in Enlightenment – it is an all-pervading, empty, formless, timeless presence. The moment we apply meaning or truth to it – we describe it. We start dressing it in clothes [words] and the emptiness is now a little full in some way.
Scary? No – not at all. No one can describe the state of Enlightenment – ever! But here’s is my best attempt: The emptiness is completely full. The nothingness is absolutely everything. The awareness is not aware of itself.
Am I enlightened? Nope! But also yes…. We all are, all of the time. It is a totally natural state. Have you had direct experience of this pure state? Perhaps… write to me!
One more example – where the 2nd House density at first asked me to discover my own true worth and value in order to truly embody my Found Ego, now, it points me to the truth that there is no inherent worth or value in me that makes me any more or less worthy than anyone else. Now, I must surrender any need to HAVE worth or value in any way. Now I am pointed towards the truth that it is an attachment to worth and value that it is to be surrendered.
The chart is filled with questions that we as holders must ask ourselves. Then, we must stop asking any questions at all. Questions create identity – they create form, a sense of Self. In the end, the chart is linked to spirituality and Enlightenment by re-readiing it as in what way can I now empty this chart? In what areas of life, in what tensions or gifts or in what underlying motivations am I still being held in bondage to the non-reality of material life? The areas of focus indicated in the chart now tell us what ‘focuses’ we need to let go of. My intense focus on the spiritual search and Enlightenment, as indicated through a powerful 9th and 12th House focus needs to be surrendered. But…
I can only do that once I gather together my whole, complete Found/Illuminated Ego. Because all parts are now ‘with me’ – no parts are with others/outside. I think this is one of the deeper wisdoms of Shamanism – Shamans say that we gather together the lost parts of our Soul and integrate them back into the Self or the Soul. It is my belief that that these lost parts are our Lost Ego – and Shamans gather them back into to form our Found Egos once more.
A simple and rather crude analogy – if we want to get in the car and drive to London, we have to make sure our whole body is in the car. If a leg is in Manchester and a hand is in Greece, then only parts of us can drive to London. I see this process of evolution as having lots of parts of us elsewhere – in people, ideas, beliefs, values, fears etc. These parts are our Lost Egos. The chart maps the route to gathering back these lost parts to form the Found Ego – so the whole of us can get in the car and evolve! Once our whole Self is in the car, and never again able to be lost, then we can drive that car and arrive at our destination of Enlightenment – which isn’t a destination really at all – we are already there but our leg and hand needed to catch up!
A note about the therapy process – I believe that all these lost parts of our disillusioned Ego are wounded. In the process of evolution they have become so wounded they have separated from our Found, Illuminated Ego. In therapy we get to talk – a lot! We get to explore these wounds. These wounds are like a superglue that bond and tie us to other and outer and memories and fears – anything that isn’t the present, whole moment. The process of therapy helps us to slowly move from the Lost to the Found Ego because these parts have been heard and found and put back in place again.
Once that process has been completed, with love and compassion, then therapy becomes something that can only now serve to pull those found parts BACK into the outer/other world again. Therapy becomes a form of resistance, and prevents the now whole person from surrendering. Surrender can only occur when there is no form of resistance at all – and talking therapy can sometimes foster that resistance.
Going back to what I said earlier, about being fully in and engaged in this life but detached – of course there is a way to be in therapy, totally engaged but totally detached – with no cause and effect. But then, if that were the case, you likely wouldn’t need to be in therapy anymore!
So, after all that, true to the beauty of Astrology, my 9th House Pluto conjunct Saturn in Scorpio has been dragged through the crushers several times over, and all in the name of arriving at the understanding that I just need to let go of the search for meaning and truth. And the irony is, that there is no way I could have ever arrived at that point, without first searching for it, and using astrology as my guiding light!
Cookbook ideas for the Sun sign’s path…
I believe the Sun sign reveals the part of us that is most entangled in the Lost Ego expression, and the clue as to the path we are to focus on in this life in order to first build our Found Ego and then surrender it. Here are some starter suggestions that might trigger deeper reflections:
Aries Lost: I am lost in the illusion that I need to fight for my survival.
Aries Found and Surrendered: My sense of Self is now fully found and my survival is not affected by the outer world. I am ready to surrender the need to survive at all.
Taurus Lost: I am lost in the illusion that my 5 senses define my life and prove I am alive.
Taurus Found and Surrendered: My sense of Self is now fully found and I sense permanent life within even without any senses being engaged. I am ready to surrender the need to sense proof of life at all.
Gemini Lost: I am lost in the illusion that my mind requires ideas and information to make sense of life.
Gemini Found and Surrendered: My sense of Self is now fully found and I have no use of the mind to define or describe that Self. I am ready to surrender the need to fill the mind with anything at all.
Cancer Lost: I am lost in the illusion that my feelings define who I am.
Cancer Found and Surrendered: My sense of Self is fully found and my feelings no longer define who I am. I am ready to surrender the need to feel anything at all.
Leo Lost: I am lost in the illusion that my identity and Self needs to be witnessed in order to prove I exist.
Leo Found and Surrendered: My sense of Self is fully found and I can truly be myself without needing anyone to witness me. I am ready to surrender the need to be anyone at all.
Virgo Lost: I am lost in the illusion that I need to be useful, and perfect in order to have a right to exist.
Virgo Found and Surrendered: My sense of Self is fully found and I see I am perfect just as I am. I am ready to surrender the need to serve to earn my place.
Libra Lost: I am lost in the illusion that others must accept me if I am to have the right to be here.
Libra Found and Surrendered: My sense of Self is fully found and my right to be here is no longer dependent on others. I am ready to surrender the need to have a right to be here.
Scorpio Lost: I am lost in the illusion that I have unacceptable shadow parts.
Scorpio Found and Surrendered: My sense of Self is fully found and my right to be loved and be alive is no longer altered by the condition of my shadow self. I am ready to surrender the war I have waged against myself.
Sagittarius Lost: I am lost in the illusion that life must have meaning and purpose, or that there is such a thing as ‘right’.
Sagittarius Found and Surrendered: My sense of Self is fully found and meaning and purpose and rightness is solely and only defined by me. I am ready to surrender the need for there to be any meaning or purpose to life, or any need to be right at all.
Capricorn Lost: I am lost in the illusion that if it’s not difficult it’s not worthy.
Capricorn Found and Surrendered: My sense of Self is fully found and only I decide what is worthy or not for me and how hard I need to work for it. I am ready to surrender the need to prove myself at all.
Aquarius Lost: I am lost in the illusion that I am different to others.
Aquarius Found and Surrendered: My sense of Self is fully found and no part of my identity or ego is shaped by or dependent on others. I am ready to surrender the need to be different or have any identity at all.
Pisces Lost: I am lost in the illusion that I am lost.
Pisces Found and Surrendered: My sense of Self is fully found and I deeply sense my own consciousness that isn’t lost at all. I am ready to surrender the need to be found, I am ready to let go.