Wounded Healer, Wounded Teacher: Questions for Self-Reflection

L0004642 Japanese model figures: doctor and patient Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org Doctor and Patient. A doctor feeling the pulse of a woman patient; both seated on their heels, side by side. Carved ivory netsuke, Japanese. Published:  -  Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

All of us bear wounds of some kind – be it a sense of pervasive unworthiness, a lack of self-esteem, disconnection, abuse, trauma, etc. Some choose to suppress these wounds and the experiences that shape then – and carry on life as usual, others choose to acknowledge it, and seek healing. Some throw themselves into a committed path of healing, seeking to master the wound with knowledge of techniques that they then teach others. The majority of spiritual workers, teachers and trainers fall into that category.

All of these paths are equally valid, neither is more elevated than the other – except that the path of not-doing-anything-about-it, has a different set of karmic consequences.

And whilst the wounded healer archetype is one that we have come to accept as part our spiritual discourse, and our understanding of those who come to service … we need to spend a little more time thinking about just what that entails.

Everyone brings their perspective onto what they teach – that includes their joys, their strengths, their weaknesses – and yes, their wounds. And as we mature into our roles as facilitators (those of you who are on this path) – one of the big lessons is to acknowledge how we work with our own wounds first.

It’s a fairly important thing to do for a wide range of reasons – to be true to ty self – to ensure the lack of energetic spillover – to be able to provide your clients with the best possible service. Shamanic practitioners, or those who delve into another person’s energy field directly, have a greater reason to take this to heart.

Here’s a metaphor that might help, albeit a little bloody:

Imagine you’ve got a cut in your arm, and that the wound is still bleeding. For some, it’s a trickle, for others, it’s an arterial spray.

You see someone with a similar wound, something you think you can help fix. You’ve learnt how, and go in with your needle and thread. But you’re still bleeding.

It ain’t a pretty picture, but, at an energetic level, that is what tends to happen. Scary, I know…

It would be best to let yourself heal first, allow the stitches to hold together your own wounds, then have them removed. Once those initial stages of healing are done, then, my friends, you’d be in a much better place to work with others.

And no, that’s not selfish. That’s not turning a blind eye to another person’s suffering.

By working on you first, you’re actually practicing self-compassion. You’re allowing yourself to emerge as a kind of healer/teacher/practitioner that is safe for your clients to work with.

Questions to ask yourselves:

Do your wounds come out in the facilitations that you do? Energetically, verbally, etc.?

How do they shape the kind of facilitator that you’ve become?

Do you hide your wounds as part of our public persona? That’s not the same as baring your soul to everyone, but do you pretend they never existed?

Do you acknowledge your wounds as part of your story – at an intellectual, but not at an emotional level?

Do you believe that having a title, a piece of paper-based certification or a following is enough proof that ‘you’re done’ with those wounds?

Do you mask those wounds, vulnerabilities and experiences because you’d like to seem more ‘integrated’, able to be a better facilitator? How so?

Do you seek to heal your clients as a proxy to healing yourself? (It just doesn’t work that way, my friends … )

At the end of the day, irrespective of the roles, titles, degrees and training that we may have, we’re all facilitating one another, just by virtue of being. The onus is on us to be critically self-reflective when we do so with greater public presence and when we seek to be seen in a certain way by others.

Whilst these are unpopular questions, they are necessary ones. It helps to be able to see your reflection in the mirror of another whom you trust, one who can give you honest feedback.

Bairavee Balasubramaniam

Image: Japanese model figures; doctor and patient Wellcome L0004642.jpg – See page for author [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015. All rights reserved

THE VIRGO FULL MOON, MARCH 2015: HEALING THE WOUNDED MOTHER

357px-Mother_Goddess_and_Child_LACMA_M.82.42.2

I love the energies of Virgo. She represents the Archetype of the Priest/ess (and Spiritual Facilitators in general). She is sensual, earthy, pragmatic, analytical, fully embodied and uncompromising in her ideals. She is independent, self-sufficient, as sexual as she chooses to be. She knows how to work the details, organize, schedule and shift things around so she can achieve her goals. Whilst she can facilitate or serve (when she chooses), she knows the ways of the world and can learn to draw boundaries and ensure that there is a fair exchange of energy. She can discern through the many psychic impressions that appear, knowing which is true, which is not – what needs work on, and what needs to be let go of. She sees the material world as a sacred expression of the Spiritual and knows that she cannot disregard it in her practice.

Distortions in the way we interpret female presence and power have led to a widespread idea that Virgo is somehow fussy, sexually frigid and neurotic. Whilst this is a possible manifestation of that energy (in one extreme of imbalance), it is not the Virgo-Virgin that Vestals of Ancient Rome and other Priestesses and ancient Goddess cultures represented.

We have more to learn and re-member about this sign, particularly in its links with parthenogenic birth, brilliantly expressed in Den Poitras’ Parthenogenesis: Women’s Long-Lost Ability to Self-Conceive – a book that I had the pleasure and privilege of reviewing and endorsing.

No, it’s not man hating/shaming, and no, it doesn’t say that sex is bad, or that men are lesser beings. The book is itself written by a man seeking to honor the Sacred Feminine.

You can find out more on my take on Virgo in a writeup + video I posted sometime ago called ‘Reclaiming the Virgin’, here: http://wp.me/p4OUNS-5i – That was written in honor of the Virgo New Moon (25th August 2014), whose seeds we now reap – with some discussion on the Pisces-Virgo dynamics.

Look back to the 25th of August, 2014 to see the seeds of intentions that you set, which have now come to some kind of fruition. The Full Moon itself occurs at 14’50 Virgo (Moon) – Pisces (Sun) at 18:04 (GMT/UTC time), March 5th 2015 – so in a little under 6 hours’ time (from the time of posting).

Now we get to the specifics of this Full Moon Herself and how it links up to the Archetype of ‘The Wounded Mother’, as represented here by Black Moon Lilith, Persephone, Hera and Iris. There’s a lot more going on with this alignment, but I felt that this was the most important aspect of it.

The energy of Virgo opens the doors to finding self-sufficiency and the kind of service/facilitation we can provide to others, if we choose to do so. The Moon intensifies the emotional and intuitive aspects of this energy, and links it powerfully with our experience/connection with the Mother Archetype.

This can be a profound time to Serve the one who Facilitated your Birth, to find ways that both you and She can both heal, forgive and nurture one another once more. Certain wounds are ones that carry across the generations, passed down from mother (and father) to child. You might call it part of cellular memory, or a spiritual imprint, or the powerful connection you shared with her, gestating in her watery, dark womb. We begin listening and learning, even from within.

You may find this with your biological mother, or Divine energies that connect you with ‘The Mother’ – or both.

Note that the Mercury-Vesta-Circe conjunction calling for the healing of The Sacral Chakra (Children, Creativity, Sensuality) and the connection with the Womb (for all beings) still bears heavy influence in the skies – http://wp.me/p4OUNS-mv – reccomended meditations and practical tools are listed at the start of the article.

I ended up waking up in the middle of the night (had left the TV on) to a beautiful, beautiful, film called ‘Stepmom’ with Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon. They play out the projection, manifestation and reconciliation of these ‘wounds among women’ in a powerful, beautiful, way. Definitely worth the watch.

Another suggestion is to light a candle, incense, or a lamp – hold a piece of rose quartz or unakite in your hand – and to simply ask the Universe to send waves of love, peaceful healing and grace to your relationship with your Mother/The Divine Mother/both – in a way that does not negate Free Will, that is in the best interests of All, etc.. Never underestimate the power of focused intention and prayer 🙂

Those who wish to get deeper in understanding the Nature of the Mother Wound this alignment helps us heal, keep reading! Let’s look at what the astrology tells us :

Conjunct the Moon:

BLACK MOON LILITH – THE DARK GODDESS – (10 VIRGO) represents the aspect of feminine energy that is collectively sidelined or hidden as it is somehow too dangerous, too unpredictable, too able to challenge the status quo. Her energy is closer to the Crone, rather than the Maiden. Black Moon Lilith rises in her capacity as a facilitator, showing us the power of independent choice – and making us understand that Service is not the same as being Subservient – Purity is not incompatible with Sexuality, and so on. You can also find out more on Black Moon Lilith in Virgo athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C82L1TXltsg

IRIS – THE RAINBOW MESSENGER GODDESS – (15 VIRGO) speaks to us of where we can lose ourselves chasing folly (‘trying to find the end of the rainbow), or where we can – through discipline and a steady, measured path – find satisfaction (‘the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow). Iris also speaks to the cleansing and cathartic power of tears. In some way she bridges both the sensitivity of Pisces and the pragmatism of Virgo – both intuition and intellect, spirit and matter.

Conjunct the Sun:

PERSEPHONE AT 13 PISCES asks us to look at the parent-child relationship, and where one is overly attached to another. In mythology, Ceres/Demeter’s grief over losing her daughter to Pluto (the God of the Underworld who effectively abducts, rapes and co-rules the realm with her) – causes the Mother-Nurturer to withdrew her gift of abundance. The world turns wintry and bleak, and a deal is made so a her daughter is returned to her for half the year, creating the cycle of the seasons. Persephone also asks us to consider themes of life, death, re-birth and the sexuality of the younger, maiden archetype. As co-sovereign of the Underworld, she is privy to its magick, mysteries and arcane powers.

Opposed the Virgo Moon, Persephone’s lesson here asks us to look at boundaries – sexual – spiritual – psychic – intimate – parental – and to learn where they are best set. She speaks to us of ‘coming back’ from experiences of trauma, wounding and psychic/emotional death. (Asteroid Requiem at 19 Virgo supports the emphasis on death, through the ceremonial and ritual perspective – and the role of the facilitator in supporting the journey for both the living and the departed)

HERA AT 16 PISCES represents the archetype of the jealous, scheming wife and controlling mother – somewhat overshadowing her role as one of the most powerful embodiments of the Divine Feminine in Greco-Roman mythology. We are constantly reminded, through myth of her supposed vindictiveness – with little commentary as to how she’s supposed to feel about her polyamorous husband, Zeus. She is shown as a mother who manipulates her children in other to exact vengeance on her husband (or his other offspring), in some form.

Like Black Moon Lilith, Hera’s Divinity is heavily projected upon in ways that make her terrifying and unappealing – both as a wife and as a mother. Opposed Black Moon Lilith and the Virgo Moon, Hera’s reminder is once again, the realization that what we do as powerful embodiments of the Divine Feminine (particularly women) collectively tap into and challenge certain ideals of what women ‘ought to be’. This form of projection and mis-interpretation itself constitutes a powerful spiritual wound surrounding the ‘strong mother’ archetype – for all those who identify as female and perform these roles.

Again, it comes back to re-connecting with the Wounded Mother, she who has been Suppressed, She who has been misunderstood or misinterpreted. She, whose wounds are kept alive in the Bodies of her Sons and Daughters. We all have that archetype within us, and it is one that is in need of collective healing.

Blessings to All,

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
bairaveebalasubramaniam.com
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Page: Astrology with Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD

Image: Mother Goddess and Child LACMA M.82.42.2.jpg – Los Angeles Country Museum of Art – Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons [text with graphic, my own]

Text + Graphic Layout © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015