Surfing the Bottom of the Barrel

Several months ago (it's July 2000 now), I had some fascinating discussions with my friend Suzie Black. Suzie is a channeler and Light Body teacher here in the Twin Cities. Early this spring, she was getting intimations of some important "energy shifts" that would be going on in the May to July timeframe. She wanted my input from an astrological perspective on the matter for some articles she was writing. In a nutshell, we figured that May would bring in crucial issues related to the physical body (because of the heavy Taurus influence that month), while July with its three eclipses would produce changes more at an emotional level. In fact, we decided it would probably dredge up those emotional issues at the bottom of the barrel that nobody really wants to look at or even acknowledge, but which profoundly hold us back from reaching our full potential. Suzie summed it up by saying, "It's time to get on your spiritual path or quit pretending you're on one."

Well, we're in the middle of those changes now. I can't vouch for everyone on the planet, but based on some intimate discussions with a number of my friends the last few months, these shifts have been incredible. Right on cue in mid-May, important "core issues" that people have been trying to hide from came out and demanded attention. True to the physical nature of these initial energies, issues of sexuality, shame and guilt about the body, and male-female relationships topped the list of concerns. Problems related to money and work also cropped up, as well as a more general feeling of being estranged from the crazy world we live in. The emotional issues coming up now are more varied (everyone's closet has its unique collection of ghosts from the past), but no less difficult. There are still some painful adjustments ahead of us in coming months.

Besides having to look at some messy problems in my own life, I was most fascinated by a feeling that descended over me in mid-May. It's hard to describe the feeling, since it has a certain "not of this world" quality about it, but I've learned over the years to recognize it as the influence of powerful unconscious processes in the psyche. At times, the unconscious brings up messy stuff for the conscious mind to come to terms with, and it tends to overwhelm normal mundane life until the matter is cleared up. It's bad enough to go through one of these times by yourself, but it gets really weird when almost everyone (at a certain level of spiritual growth) is experiencing the same thing all at once. I usually say the collective (since it affects everyone) unconscious is active in a big way -- that's the big shift Suzie and I were anticipating.

There's no substitute for simply doing your inner work and facing these problems, but the use of flower essences can speed up the process and make it easier. Obviously, you need to look at the specific remedies that address your particular ghosts in the closet, but there are some general remedies that seem to help the process. One of the big problems during these times is a feeling of being stuck and helpless, of feeling overwhelmed and wanting to crawl into a hole. My first instinct is to reach for Agrimony flower essence when the inner tension builds too much. The effect is to "let the steam out" as though a psychic pressure valve had been opened -- you can even hear the steam coming out in the tight exhale of such a person. Often there is intense, irrational fear associated with the unconscious which must be quieted before any meaningful work can begin. I use Rock Rose (I've nicknamed it "Liquid Valium") and Grey Spider Orchid from Australia to calm the terror. And until you actually take responsibility for your problems, it's easy to feel the rest of the world is victimizing you instead -- Willow is useful here.

One of my more recent astrological remedies is called "Shadow Master" (based on the deep healing contact of Chiron and Pluto last December). This remedy is unique in that it gets you in touch with those messy core issues we've been talking about, but without triggering the fear reactions that prevent you from looking at them. It gets in there quietly and simply unties the knots that keep us in bondage. As you overcome these challenges, you learn how to master these "shadow" parts of yourself. Yes, beware the Dark Side, but you must seek it out eventually. I've been using this one a lot, myself.

By the way, if you're missing out on all the "excitement," you can help the process along with an essence called Black Eyed Susan. Good ol' Susan is excellent for bringing shadow material to the surface and jump-starting your growth process. Just be careful what you ask for...

These times aren't always fun, but that's the nature of spiritual work occasionally. Don't let the unpleasantness of it make you turn away. These growth spurts are some of the biggest leaps you can make and you owe it to yourself to face the challenge. It's not a detour on your spiritual path -- this is the path. Keep moving!