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COUNSELING ASTROLOGY #6

Article Originally published in the 1990 Summer edition of Aspects Magazine

The Consequences Of Change

 

In previous columns we have defined the purpose of the counseling astrologer as leading the client to better personal awareness. This column addresses one aspect of professionalism in our practice that I believe we need to consider seriously.  It has to do with ethics and it concerns specifically our responsibility for the changes clients makes in their lives and the consequences of these changes.

Indeed, with Uranus as one of our rulers, we astrologers have an ideal: to change the world, to set the world free.  This is a beautiful Aquarian, humanitarian concept!  But have we ever stopped and considered the down-to-earth consequences of being successful?  Are we truly ready, ourselves, to handle the all the consequences such changes would entail?  How far and how fast do we really want to make these changes?

Extraordinary changes are happening right now throughout the world, such as the emergence of Eastern Europe from the oppression it has experienced for so long, and the freeing of Nelson Mandela, symbol of liberation far beyond the borders of South Africa.

 

As soon as the Berlin Wall crumbled, however, many questions emerged about the consequences of a free Eastern Europe, consequences at all levels and for the whole world.  Suddenly, a question arises among many Americans and others: is Russia still a threat to America?  If not, what are the consequences for a country which has put so much energy into focusing on Russia as an enemy for so many years?  The consequences are not only for the United States but are far-reaching for all its allies as well. The consequences are not only political: they are military, financial, social, psychological, and possibly spiritual.  They touch the core belief system of many.

 

In my practice, I have found that the crumbling of the Berlin Wall did not occur only in Germany; with the Saturn/Neptune conjunction, it has also occurred symbolically within many people who are now willing to set themselves free from themselves, from what society imposes on them -- who are willing to take full responsibility for their own lives.  I hold the following theory: the inner willingness of so many people throughout the world to be responsible for their own lives, to trust themselves, brought the Wall down because it allowed them to take peaceful action; in turn, the willingness to take inner and outer responsibility for change is now spreading more openly because people have seen actual concrete results that give them a stronger belief in themselves.

In the same way that freedom through taking personal responsibility suddenly emerges and spreads throughout the world, our counseling work can also have more far-reaching consequences than we ever expected.  These consequences not only directly affect our clients'lives, but the lives of their immediate families, the life of their communities, and, on a bigger scale than we may think - while remaining realistic about our influence upon the world - the life of society at large.

 

Are our clients ready to handle such consequences?  Are our clients'families ready to handle the consequences?  I believe it is our responsibility  to be aware of the possible consequences of change for our clients and to bring our clients to this awareness so that they can make more clearly informed choices.  How good are we at helping our clients anticipate the effects of these changes without making definitive predictions about their future?

Furthermore, what kind of example are we for our clients? Are we, personally, ready and willing to handle the changes we dream of for ourselves and our society?  Or are we giving lip service to some aspects of the changing process?  Are there areas were we need to exercise restraint on our desire for change?  Are there areas where we need to participate more actively (and willingly) in the changing process?

The natal and progressed charts accompanying this column are used with the permission of a client with whom I did extensive work while she was visiting California.  She rapidly found a new sense of self as a woman.  However, knowing that she was returning to her alcoholic husband, anticipating that the Capricorn transits could put a damper on her excitement, we spent part of our last session getting her ready to return home.

With her permission, I quote from a letter I recently received:

" As you predicted I returned to my home with a different sense of myself than when I left.  This found and continues to find expression in many ways.

"One important ingredient is a new desire for honesty. [...], I am finding it easier to recognize what my real feelings are and to acknowledge not cover them up.  The desire to be honest and the carrying out of this desire has enabled me to allow the ones I love to begin to honestly speak their truth.  And of course peace and mutual respect and much more tenderness are the result of this new way in my life.

 

"I have become more of a risk taker.  Fear of failure and fear of authority figures still are present to some extent.  But every time I step out in faith and courage to do something I want despite my fears of failure, it is a victory for the new way - and the many small triumphs are making a new way and a far more comfortable way of living every day.

"I guess another way of saying some of this is that I am trying to stop beating up on myself.  I am trying to be gentle with me and I am trying to find out who I truly am and what I truly want to be and do.  It's a great adventure and the good part is, as you predicted, that it overflows to how I am with others and then how they too are transformed.  It's slow, really a day at a time, but good.

"The biggest single difference is my husband.  I have never known him to be so content.  He is very involved with the house and garden projects - finding  a lot of satisfaction and joy in his repairing, fixing, and growing a garden.  We have been doing a little bit of entertaining and taking a course at the local university, and both or each giving each other the space to be unique and the love that makes us one.

"[...] I am trying not to so tightly control the world around me.  Good things are happening.  I am trying to get a sense of doing the things that are good for me. [...]  I am learning to play.  I try to become more creative.  I am loving life, loving myself, [...]."

 

There is no doubt that such a letter is a joy to me: not only have I seen the client embrace tremendous change in just a few weeks, but now I know that individual changes are holding even when she is back in old situations. Moreover, the changes are spreading around her through her willingness to change, to be in charge rather than in control, through her acceptance of others. She is creating more peace and love around herself, just by being more her true self.

However, such is not always the case.  There has also been the client whom I taught to stand up to her husband, and who called one night in desperation because her husband could not take it and threatened to divorce, leaving her and her eight-month old child without any resources.  There has been the client whose husband became violent when she had the guts to speak up for herself; fortunately, having the charts and the warning signals, she left the house without getting hurt until he cooled off.  There was a client who chose not to continue her personal growth because she was not ready to be in charge of her life, to accept her strengths, and who felt more comfortable in a physically and financially abusive relationship.

And how about when it is our client who files for divorce?  Of course, if we considered the family situation abusive, we can more easily support the client, but not all situations are clearly abusive.  In the not-so-clear cases, what about the spouse and his or her feelings?

What are the consequences of our client's changes on their children?  We can hope that the inner peace found by our clients will directly or, at least, by example, reverberate on the children regardless of their ages.  We can hope that even if they go through difficult times, the children will learn by our client's example to take care of themselves.  I worked with a mother who, confronted by the drug addictions of her children, had the willingness to look inside of herself, then reach out to her oldest daughter and create a beautiful mutually supportive relationship without losing her parental role.  But a client can also choose to abandon young children,  or a child can get into desperate behavior because of our client's behavior changes, changes that are necessary for the client's emotional and physical health.

 

What is the extent of our responsibility?  Can we be proud when a client makes a major breakthrough and just shrug our shoulders when such is not the case?  Can we just say: "He/she brought it upon him/herself!"?  Can we say that we are not responsible for what our clients do with their lives and the consequences of their actions?

 

I have found that most clients go through a cycle of discovery. First, they may believe that someone else is the problem, but soon they realize that the problem is within themselves.  As the healing progresses, as they discover unknown strengths, they look around and discover that the issue was not just theirs but has been a family problem, possibly for several generations.  If their willingness to grow continues, they find out that it is not just their family, but the entire way our society operates which is questionable.

For example, how can one remain true to him/herself when most advertising is based on how to impress others?  How can one not be codependent when facing the tremendous pressure from our society to be in a relationship.  Our entire society is based on couples; most advertising is based on being romantic and sexual, on how to attract a mate.  Most popular songs - from one generation to the next - are about being in a relationship, express that without a relationship one is nothing, teach the need to control to hang on to a relationship regardless of how one feels.  Movies, songs, the literature emphasize that suffering and love go hand in hand.

 

With more and more people willing to recover from their various addictions, it is not just our client and his/her immediate environment which is going to have to change; it is our entire society which is going to be affected and is going to have to adjust.

Let's look at a simple, small example.  When many clients  stand up for themselves, recognize that they are one by themselves, that they can manifest their true selves within as well as without a relationship, their need to impress others diminishes.  This means that the movie industry will have to change its subject matter, that many industries will not only have to change their marketing techniques, but possibly their products.  Without the need to impress, how many clients will cosmetic surgeons have?  Without the need to impress, what is the future of the extensive clothes industry; clothes will still be necessary, but not the need to be constantly up-to-date with the current fashion.  People true to themselves will want to be in much better health and be in charge of their health, impacting doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, etc. Changes within these industries do not just involve corporate executives, it involves changes for the millions of people they employ and who will need to find a new way of making a living, a new way of life.

I believe that we need to be conscious that each time we guide a client to more self-awareness, to taking more responsibility for him or herself, we add a drop of water in the flow of tremendous changes for our society, for the world.  I believe that, as counselors, we need to be aware of the consequences of our actions in the short and the long range.  And, who knows, with the upcoming Uranus/Neptune conjunction, with Saturn and Uranus in Aquarius, these changes may occur much faster that we realize.

 

Are we consciously ready to handle such changes and their consequences?

FRANCOISE-THERESE FRIGOLA uses the astrological chart as a guide to teach her clients to understand inner conflicts and inner strengths.  Her Master's degree integrates transpersonal psychology, astrology, and spirituality.  She writes and lectures on self-awareness and self-growth.  She is currently Aquarius Workshops' program chairperson, ISAR's vice-president, and a member of AFAN and AAP.

Other articles on Counseling Astrology by Françoise Frigola

  1. Listen, Listen, Listen
  2. First Contact with a New Client
  3. A New Client is Coming
  4. Leading the Client to Self-understanding
  5. When The Chart Says One Thing and The Client Another
  6. The Consequences Of Change
  7. From Casual Counseling To Professionalism
  8. Considering Ourselves Professionals

 

 

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