Why Do We Serve? Questions for Spiritual Facilitators

Jean-Paul_Haag_-_A_helping_hand
Why do we do what we do?
Is it to feel useful?
Is it to feel powerful?
Is it to be seen as saintly?
Is it to find yourself on some kind of pedestal?
Is it for self-satisfaction?
Is it to find healing for your own wounds?
Is it to find forgiveness, worth or redemption?
These are questions, albeit uncomfortable ones for some, that I would recommend asking yourselves – as I do from time to time.
There are of course lovely, inspiring answers to the question of why we do what we do. But it really matters which parts of yourselves those answers come from.

Is the Heart that Speaks?
The Ego-Mind?
Or is it the Soul’s Whisper?

How you learn to differentiate these different perspectives, voices or levels of your own consciousness is also a part of the journey. As you gain more tools and deeper perspectives, the deeper you can tune in with yourself and learn more about why you do what you do.
Having that perspective transforms the work that you do and the level of integrity you bring to it. It immeasurably deepens the nature, quality and energy of what you bring to another person’s life – and to your own.
I’ll be writing more on this soon – consider this a brief introduction : )
Blessings,
Bairavee Balasubramaniam
The Sky Priestess
Image: A helping hand: By Jean-Paul Haag (1854-1906) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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

VESTA CONJUNCTS CHIRON, OPPOSES LACHESIS (THE SERPENT’S VENOM)

1890_Redon_Femme_et_serpent_(Mystère)_Kröller-Müller_Museum_anagoria

This is a powerful conjunction and opposition that opens up very specific kinds of vulnerabilities and possibilities for healing. Vesta in Pisces is the energy or archetype of the Priestess / Spiritual Facilitator navigating the Cosmic Ocean. Here she is bereft of a plan, a title, a ritual, a structure that gives her certainty about anything at all. It really is a position where nothing short of absolute surrender, and absolute faith is required. Dreams and messages through meditative practices can provide Vesta with some clues as to what she’s meant to be doing, and how.

Whilst Pisces is the sign of miracles born of faith, it can be an energy of seclusion, confinement and suffering. Despite Vesta’s uncertainty, she is required to serve irrespective of what comes up. She is called to practice compassionate non-attachment with all, including her deities and religions. Holding onto anything, or anyone, force a lesson of surrender in unnecessarily painful ways.

Vesta met Chiron at 20 Pisces ’48 (at 10:57 am, GMT + 8, 14th May 2015), intensifying the karmic element, and bringing with it the possibility of re-visiting a core ‘soul wound’, perhaps even with the awareness that is required to surrender it to the Divine (whatever your conception of that is), for healing and transmutation.

Priestesses and other spiritual facilitators are likely to be feeling the weight of past karmic dynamics (potentially persecution, death, exile. etc) related to their path from previous lifetimes.

They may also experience vulnerabilities surrounding the purity of their present-life faith, their ability to connect with the Divine in ways that erode boundaries and to surrender to the Mystery.

Those who are further on their healing journeys may see it as a day where they are called to greater service in support of those who still engage with the Chiron archetype in its ‘victim’ (as opposed to healer) form. Some may find in themselves the compassion required to finally release the wound as it has served its purpose. The possibilities are endless.

Vesta and Chiron both form an opposition to Lachesis (20 Virgo) – an energy with a dual meaning. On the one hand, Lachesis refers to the middle sister, the 2nd of the Three Fates in Greek and Roman mythology. She measures the length of the thread of life that an individual is to experience, and also chooses the destiny of that being. I interpret it as a call to release from a fixation on past timelines and future ones, to simply: Be Here Now. In the sign of Virgo (again, the Priestess / Facilitator / Service archetype), that may be the most practical thing that one can do, given the emotional and spiritual intensity of the alignment.

I woke up with a powerful dream this morning and then was guided to integrate a second meaning of Lachesis. In the dream, a serpent gave me its poison to consume. (He died, then came back). I was puzzled and mulled it over.

I hadn’t connected the dots till I began working with a client who had a strong Lachesis position in her chart, opposed to Iris (a force of healing which requires catharsis). And the dots finally clicked.

A few years ago, I began working with a wonderful homeopathic, multidimensional, parapsychologist named Kathy Stranks (www.kathystranks.com). I consider her one of the most intelligent beings I’ve ever met on this planet, and the kind of person that no form of ego, fake persona, self-delusion could ever really survive in the presence of. She’s sharp, compassionate and a real asset to anyone who seeks to understand and accept themselves better. Someone I’m absolutely thrilled to have had the privileged of meeting.

The first thing that Kathy introduced me to was Lachesis (serpent venom). I can’t believe that I forgot its properties for nearly .. 6 years! It acts as an expectorant that assists in the free flow and release of emotions – something that was very very relevant to my client’s chart. (Now I don’t often touch the subject of health, medical astrology or homeopathy, but it was one of those synergistic connections and realizations that needed to be said). It would certainly help to unblock the past congestion of emotions (as I interpret it), bringing one back to the present.

Also bear in mind that I am not a homeopath, if you’re interested in this, please, please consult a professional! And drinking serpent venom directly is – just putting it out there – not a good idea. Homeopathy and certain forms of traditional medicine (in India as well) use it in very very tiny doses. Not something to be playing around with.

So the dream (Pisces) of serpent venom (Lachesis), led me to perform my service of facilitation (Vesta / Virgo) that would promote healing (Chiron) of a profound soul wound. Rather neat how that played out (bear in mind that I hadn’t made the Lachesis in the sky connection till looking up the sky-charts just now).

(and yes .. I love my job … )

Looking at the archetypes involved (no, you do not need to drink venom), it appears that Lachesis provides the impetus for catharsis – be it tears, or the expression of emotion in some other way. It is conjunct Elatus which encourages the expression of the self through writing or spoken word – that too is a possibility.

In short, in whatever way you see fit:

Release with the intent of healing, rather than harming yourself or another in any way,
Release with the intent of freeing, rather than prolonging a karmic dynamic,
Release with the intent of serving, both the self and the other,
Release with faith and surrender, surrender, surrender,
To the deepest, most sacred, aspect of Spirit,
That you need to look no further to discover,
Than in your own Soul.

Blessings to All,

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD

bairaveebalasubramaniam.com ; fb.com/theskypriestess

Astrology with Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD

Image: File:1890 Redon Femme et serpent (Mystère) Kröller-Müller Museum anagoria.JPG – Odilon Redon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
© Text by Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015. All rights reserved

VESTA CONJUNCTS PLUTO (13 CAP ’02, 10:54 AM, GMT + 8, 28-12-14)

Cornelia,_the_Vestal_Virgin,_entombed_alive_surrounded_by_bo_Wellcome_V0041753

Blessings. Vesta is the Goddess Asteroid which represents the archetype of Priestess-ing and Spiritual Facilitation It shows us what we are fixated upon (initially) as a path of service, which we must later throw into the (metaphorical) fires to be purified and reborn. It combines the energies of Virgo and Scorpio, bringing together the themes of service, sacrifice, regeneration and transformation – with a special focus on the home and hearth.

Pluto is the planet which represents key transformations-through-crisis, issues surrounding boundaries, sexuality, intimacy and power – as well as what transpires in / through our ancestral karma and deep Sub-Conscious. Part of its transformative dynamics are echoed in Vesta. [The Pluto-Uranus square and its dynamic is more or less generally understood, won’t be discussing Uranus in-depth here for that reason]

Capricorn, the sign which both bodies make their conjunction, relates to the energies of the Deep Earth Crone / Tomb as well as the pinnacle of material manifestation in this realm. It asks us to seek the Deep Wisdom of the Earth as we go forth in our deeds and words, leaving a material legacy behind us. What that legacy is, depends on the choices you make.

When Vesta and Pluto are in conjunction, what I see is an explosive energy, breaking through outmoded structures in the way you carry yourself as a vessel of service and facilitation. If there is something in your Path of Service which is not in alignment with your Deepest/Truest Self, now is the time that it leaves … even if you really want to hold on to it. It might be a fear of success/recognition, or a refusal to look at the Earth/Crone’s wisdom (Capricorn) — or anything else in this vein. But whatever it is needs to be thrown into the Cauldron that is Pluto-Scorpio for it to be burnt, and transformed into something New: Rising from the Ashes.

Some of you will feel this as an intense crisis of sorts, especially if there are things that you’ve been holding onto which you need to let go of. Sometimes it can come through an inner crisis, and at other times precipitated by an individual in your environment who may be attempting to manipulate you or overpower you through the improper use of power (an abuse of Pluto’s gift). Others, who have worked their way through these challenges, will simply feel this as a time of great intensity, potentially of great power, healing, regeneration and transformation. Remember that the kind of ‘death’ that Pluto brings, is ultimately the precursor to New Life.

For those of you in the position to respond consciously to this energy, it might be a great time for you to use meditative or introspective tools to identify to places where you could get even deeper / go further inward in your spiritual journey – if that is appropriate for you. Those seeking to offer their services as a facilitator as part of a business may also find insights coming to you at this time. Some of you may also find key insights as to where you need to stand your ground and/or surrender in interpersonal dynamics, particularly with intimate partners in life and/or business (i.e. with whom you may merge a company, etc.).

But please also be aware that this is a particularly intense time, and that some of you may have to deal with waves and waves of ancestral karmic dynamics coming to the surface for purification and transmutation at this time. The square that Vesta/Pluto makes to Uranus intensifies the ‘surprise’ element to the revelation you are about to receive. It may be an unexpected conversation, a message delivered by a friend, something you read on-line – but whatever the source is, Uranus will ask you to transform your Facilitator-Consciousness and align it – even more so – with Source.

Facilitators, this energy can really move in any direction. My only advice to you – should you wish to take it – is to center yourselves with the values, ideology, vibration, Path, Deity, etc. that makes you feel closest to who you truly are, and your identity as a Facilitator. Even if you’re in a situation where you have to stand your ground in the face of manipulation tactics and/or an oppressor — stand tall, but always remember the principle of inward surrender to the Divine (however you conceptualize it). Those of us on the Path of the Feminine in particular are called to stand our ground with a state of inner grace in the face of established institutions of power that have not yet accepted what we do, and why. The way you conduct yourselves now has the potential to break through some of these structures, be they in the form of a person, or an institution. You choose whether this breakthrough comes through the modality of destruction or healing, or both – whichever is appropriate to your context. Remember there is no one answer that suits everyone.

Blessings to all of you at this intense energetic conjunction. Be as gentle as you can to Self and Others without compromising your Truth. And just Breathe.

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
www.bairaveebalasubramaniam.com

Links:

General Energetic Climate – Pluto-led Stellium in Capricorn + Saturn’s Shift into Sagittarius – http://wp.me/p4OUNS-fy
Awakening the Goddess through Astrology [Radio Interview] – http://wp.me/p4OUNS-eY(for those wanting to know more about the Goddess Asteroids & Black Moon Lilith)

Image Information: Cornelia, the Vestal Virgin, entombed alive surrounded by bones in the dungeon. Line engraving by G. Machetti after B. Pinelli – See page for author [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons