I felt this phrase flow out of me in response to something a fellow spiritualist wrote. It seems to be an apt response to all the fear that surrounds so many at this time. No need to turn a blind eye to the reality around you, but no need to allow that to define who you are, and what you choose to bring into being. Hate begets hate and fear begets fear. Let’s try something different
Quote & Image: Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
Description: My first view of the Himalayas
We all carry scars from our past, and perceptions of childhood that were either painted in the sugary-pink hue of nostalgia or tarred with a big murky streak. There will be of course, those who see their childhoods for exactly what they were – but for the most part, some degree of perceptual distortion is usually present.
For better or worse, so many – if not all – of the ideas we hold to be true about ourselves can be directly linked to lessons imparted in childhood. It was during this phase of life that we first learnt what spaces we were allowed to occupy, how much love we were entitled to and how much freedom and happiness we truly deserved – whether what we learnt as children is true/valid for our authentic self-expression and spiritual journey is a question that many are asking themselves now as adults. And very often those lessons were told in terms of parental actions and attitudes, rather than being explicitly spelt out and written down in public view (Melody Beattie).
In Codependency No More, Melody Beattie talked about these unwritten rules – which we so often internalize and take to be our model or basis of reality. And what we perceive is what we manifest and assume to be true – even if it doesn’t reflect who you truly are/can be. For example – a family that consistently neglects the needs of a child in the favour of a parent struggling with addiction or illness – can, for example – ‘teach’ a child that it’s role in life is to take care of the family, and not of her/himself. That tends to be a common biographical feature shared (as both Beattie and Norwood -see below- have explained) by those with codependent traits.
I recall reading about Robin Norwood’s experiences as a counselor in Women Who Love Too Much [a brilliant book that every person socially conditioned to be a caretaker needs to read!] In her experience, people whose needs were badly neglected in childhood, who had no ‘self-love’ concept, or who were forced to grow up too fast and become a mini-adult too soon tended to idealize their childhood and pedestialize/romanticize their parents and their wounds — in ways that sharply contrasted with any objective account of the way things were.
Focusing so much on ‘how good it was’ and how one’s parents struggled and suffered made for a great narrative, but one that often clouded her clients from seeing things for what they were – and how those themes repeated in their adult lives, particularly in their intimate relationships.
This isn’t to say that one shouldn’t acknowledge strengths where they were facilitated – but there is a difference between seeing ‘the good in all’ and distorting the facts. Very often this denial mechanism is the best ‘defense mechanism’ that the ego uses to avoid extreme pain as feelings of neglect, abandonment and other sources of wounding in childhood can trigger extreme responses – especially when brought to one’s awareness.
And most people, unless focused on developing self-awareness, taking charge of their lives, self-healing, etc. tend to run away from that kind of truth-reckoning as though their lives depended upon it.
To acknowledge what was – exactly for what it was – no more, no less can be an extraordinarily painful process – and one that is a precursor to ‘getting to know who you really are’. Psychologists consider this a part of ‘family-of-origin’ work, and you don’t have to be diagnosed with anything to go do it – I think it’s a useful exercise for all and a great vehicle for self-knowing.
Whilst I do not claim to be an expert on human psychology, I found these books as life-savers and path-changers. They helped me see my upbringing for what it was – the gifts and the challenges – and taught me so much about developing myself in more ways that I can express.
I suppose I’m thinking about all this with the upcoming shift of the Sun-in-Leo tomorrow (lots of focus on the Inner Child) and the reflective bursts of consciousness facilitated by Uranus just gone retrograde. Writing or journaling about your perceptions of your childhood and contemplating on how that has affected/molded/shaped your emergence into adulthood can be a truly self-revelatory exercise. This isn’t the same as ‘living in the past’, but it’s looking to the past to understand the present.
A word of caution: It is one thing to acknowledge things for what they were (constructive or not), and it is another to blame someone else for the way things turned out – or to use that as a reason to stay angry, hurt, etc.
I’m not encouraging the blame-game in any sense – If you do hold resentment towards your parents/caretakers – releasing that energy and attachments to that past can be of great use to you in moving forward. In other words – to forgive – and very often that’s the hardest thing to do, but also the most rewarding
Blessings to all,
Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
Image: Story Time by Dave Parker – on Wikimedia Commons distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License. Originally on Flickr (1).
At 2:42 pm (GMT + 8:00), 22/7/14 – Mercury in Cancer opposed Pluto Retrograde in Capricorn. This is a very intense alignment, and one that will most certainly involve some element of crisis (real or perceived).
Mercury is all about the way you perceive, think and communicate. Cancer relates to your relationship with your family/home/mother/collective identity. When stressed, Mercury use the sharpened blade of its tongue – communications may be affected. It can also feel unduly stressed/reticent to think, act, perceive or even feel if shying away from the pressure of the Pluto Opposition.
Pluto represents the force of crisis in our lives and can lead us to deep awakenings through an engagement, and eruption of our shadow selves. Browbearing, overbearing, controlling and violent behavior can ensure when Pluto’s energies are harnessed without care. Capricorn, where Pluto is in right now, relates to status, achievement, being in the public eye, social recognition, and the institutions of the ‘status quo’ which have been under so much pressure to reform since the start of the Uranus-Pluto square.
When in a Mercury-Pluto opposition, one may feel the need to kowtow or submit to another who is ‘playing unfairly’ or simply pushing through their agenda with brute force. There is little subtlety when Pluto’s energies are unleashed.
On the other hand, there is a strong possibility (according to Gargatholil) that whomever you are playing out these Capricorn energies will play the opposing role to yours. If you are the ‘powerless victim’ (Mercury under siege), the person representing Pluto will likely appear ruthless and overpowering. Know that these are just perceptions, and that – once the intensity of this aspect ceases to have such an influence – those perceptions may also shift back into non-existence.
As Pluto is in retrograde, the ‘crisis’ element that this planet brings is often felt at an internal level, erupting out of nowhere from within your own consciousness!
The Mercury-Pluto opposition may also highlight an aspect of your mind that remains in (unacknowledged) shadow. It may bring out a part of you which you’d sincerely hoped to leave in a closet someplace. You may also make mental breakthroughs (or for some, breakdowns, as well) today if you are able to handle the energies of this intense opposition. You may develop a different way of perceiving your ‘shadow side’ and assessing its true origins and impact in your life.
I hope this information helps. Blessings to all,
Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
I was studying the interrelationships between house cusps and decided to make a little list. I figure as I study and internalize my understanding of these connections, I can become a better astrologer.
Cusps are fairly important things – they are the start of the boundaries of each house an astrology chart. You can think of them as ‘energetic gatekeepers’ that allow some energies to filter in certain ways, and channel the rest in different directions. When we say that a sign ‘rules’ the cusp, we simply mean the astrological sign that the cusp is situated in at its start.
The four house cusps that we consider the most often are the Ascendant (1st house), Nadir (4th house), Descendant (7th house) and Midheaven (10th house). We associate these houses with the signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn and with the energies of self, family, partner and society. Personally, I would also call it the Conscious-Ego/Sub-Conscious/Shadow/Super-Ego as represented in the birth chart.
Interestingly, the Sun is close to the Ascendant at dawn, the Midheaven at Noon, the Descendant at Dusk, and the Nadir at Midnight.
Now, everyone is born with different cusp rulers, varying by sign, degree and minute – and that is dependent on longitude, latitude and timezone as well. There’s plenty of great resources out there that tells you what each sign means if it falls on one of the four cusps listed above (google helps).
Also, not all charts have neatly divided house cusps as shown in the image – sometimes they cusps are very irregular indeed! And a totally different shape is generated by way of the aspects they form with one another.
It is important to note planets that conjunct cusps, if any, and include the cusp in your astrological calculations. If we allow ourselves to consider the Vertex and other ‘hypothetical’ points in astrological reading, there is no barrier to considering the cusp as an object in itself. Significant cusps may form key configurations that would be otherwise missing without their inclusion.
It is vital to get the correct time and location of your birth. Astrolog is a wonderful free software (the one that I use) that helps you tweak settings manually to make ultra-precise charts. Be advised of time zone differences.
For those curious as to what their cusps are and what that means for them, I would encourage you to do some online research. It’s a great resource which will may also whet your appetite for astrological self-study.
CUSP RELATIONS: MAGIC 12
Given a geometrically regular chart like this, with equal cusp sizes, I did a little calculating and charting and came up with a list of ‘cusp relations’ as I’d term them. They give you a sense of the flow of energy that astrological charts intrinsically hold. This is more for those interested in the technical-mathematical side of things.
Be aware that when more systems integrate the 13th constellation Ophiuchus (the serpent bearer) into our understanding of astrology – all these relations collapse. But astrology is a living art – as our understanding of it evolves, so so we (and vice versa). So for now, this is true – but it won’t be as true in a few decades.
A geometrically regular chart like this has 12 Sextiles / Trines / Oppositions / Yods / Squares / Semisextiles. These make 2 Grand Sextiles, 4 Grand Trines, 3 Grand Crosses and 6 Mystic Rectangles.
1 & 3
2 & 4
3 & 5
4 & 6
5 & 7
6 & 8
7 & 9
8 & 10
9 & 11
10 & 12
11 & 1
12 & 2
2 Grand Sextiles
4 Grand Trines (12 Trines)
12 Yods, 12 Active oppositions
3 Grand Crosses, 12 squares
6 Mystic Rectangles
Just a few details for those wanting to get a deeper feel of astrological cusps and their interconnectedness.
Blessings to everyone,
~ Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
Image: Astrolog screenshot
There are days I love to be wrong,
To know I mis-took all along,
My mind is forced to look again,
At things once different, now the same.
A shift in rigidity comes about,
Neural wiring re-forms without a doubt,
When I is you, is me, is we,
To awakening, this is the key.
Dissolve, dissolve damned dogma!
Past scripts, narratives and messy histories,
Flush it down, set it free,
Whoops… was that my identity?
That part that smiles and stays true in the storm,
When you know what you knew then was never wrong,
Nor was it right, or true, or free, or strong,
Just a little something you put in a form.
That is you my friends, you all along,
Free to shift, morph and sing a different song,
An idea dropped and philosophy forgotten,
a burden dissolved and joy begotten.
That is you, all right, all wrong…
That is you, weak and strong,
Spirit, undefinable and immortal,
Soul, free of beliefs, thoughts, perceptions – all in total.
Round the bend of certainty, past the corner of doubt
Behind that stone, the one called Mis-Take,
Sitting silently in a little rut,
Peek-a-boo, I see you!
Come out, come out, come out!
~ Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
– – – – – –
Image: Meyerheim Versteckspiel by Friedrich Eduard Meyerheim, available in the public domain, found on Wikipedia
I have found, through my own journey, that I have always been my best teacher. That doesn’t mean not taking advice, or not seeing other perspectives outside of your own …
To me, being your own teacher is about taking responsibility for your spiritual journey and your emerging (awareness of) power. You make your own choices, you do the work you have to, you direct your learning to heal the parts of yourself you need to and respectfully seek out those who can facilitate different parts of your journey which you may feel you need help with.
It’s about ‘owning’ your spiritual experience and not delegating growth or the pursuit of knowledge to others – even if you pedestalize them as teachers, mentors, gurus, etc. Well, that is one part of it.
Another part of it is having the humility to ask help when you need it and to accept that your truth, no matter how strongly you feel about it, is no better than anyone else’s.
So.. yeah… Be Your Own Teacher. You always have been and always will be. You just have to remember
~ Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
What an eventful day. I feel so very blessed.
Today, out of the blue, I received an invitation to attend a second, special graduation ceremony hosted by the British Council and British High Commission in Malaysia – to be held in Kuala Lumpur. They extended the invitation to all Malaysians who graduated in the UK in the past 15 years. The second graduation will be in late September.
Co-incidentally, I graduated on the 18th of July 2013 – tomorrow would be an exact year since that event – this year’s graduation ceremonies are taking place at my University as I write this! Talk about Divine Timing 🙂
My parents were not able to attend my official graduation ceremony in the UK [shown] and there was a sense of deep hurt and longing – coincidentally this was also the time of the Grand Sextile (July 2013) and other wild energies. My friends and others close to me were there in attendance and everyone brought so much love to that day – it was not one without challenge. But through it all, I had this deep regret that my dad (in particular, as my mum had seen me during my undergrad ceremony) could not be there to see it.
Fingers crossed, all goes well and my parents will actually be able to see me ‘become a doctor’ for the second time 😀 Same degree though (PhD in Politics).
I feel as though this prayer I was holding so close to my chest, my gut, my inner child was truly and blissfully answered.
So Thank You Universe.
~ Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
My name is Dr. Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD.
I was born in Malaysia, of ethnic Tamil (South Indian) heritage and have been skipping across the globe (North America, Europe, Asia) since I was 16 on merit-based scholarships and awards from various universities.
I was one of those kids who read a lot and began using encyclopedias when I was 4 – in my early teens, I was certified as having a Mensan IQ of 172, in the top 2% of the global population, i.e. a genius-level score. (Thank you mum for letting me follow my own curiosity, for teaching me how to stand up for myself – and for the encyclopedia set). After finishing primary school at 11, I basically took my education – and my future – into my own hands. In other words, I am auto-didactic/a self-taught learner.
I finished my high school education at 13 after months of intense self-tutelage, completed my Bachelor’s in record time at 19, skipped a Masters, and then completed a 100,000 word doctoral thesis (PhD) at the age of 25. Here’s a link to an interview where I speak about all of this (in Tamil) – this was aired in July 2013 on the ASTRO network.
I consider myself a self-made woman, driving herself but acknowledging the role of roots, conditioning influences and the wider Universe in making that happen.
In between all this academic ‘stuff’, I engaged myself with several years’ worth of social work, contributing what I could to the social, educational and general improvement of the Malaysian-Indian community, alongside my father Mr. Thannambikkai Balasubramaniam – the man who coined the phrase ‘Thanmunaippu Payirtchi’ (Self-Confidence Seminar) in the Tamil language and made motivational seminars accessible to all segments of the Malaysian-Tamil community.
Speaking on stage is something that I have been very comfortable doing and have addressed crowds (in person) of about 3,000 people and have spoken on numerous Tamil-language radio and TV programs in Malaysia. I have also taught students ways to educate and empower themselves (as I did) and have raised awareness on the brain and its remarkable capabilities. Recently, I was also featured as a guest speaker on Intention Radio, a multi-national radio platform with a global audience.
You can also look at my LinkedIn profile to get an overview of the various professional and academic chapters of my life thus far. https://www.linkedin.com/pub/bairavee-balasubramaniam/40/56/82
My academic interests have varied and evolved through different phases of my life. When I was little, I loved astronomy, astrophysics and neuroscience – and so began my first degree in the US (on scholarship). There I received an introduction to the liberal arts and my taste for politics and justice grew – I then switched my major and my university and studied International Politics and History in Germany. My life-perspective (as an ethnic minority, as a woman) kept evolving through this time and I found myself with a scholarship to study Gendered Ceremony and Ritual in Parliament as part of a 5-year research project at the University of Warwick, UK. Those who’d like to view my thesis can do so here: http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/54359/
Through my academic studies of the world and its political institutions, after years of study I finally realize that I am (and happy to be labeled as such) a post-structural, post-colonial, feminist academic. One who seeks to write and live by the works she invests her energies into – which brings me onto a totally different facet of my life – one which I am integrating into my public, social and academic identity (and vice versa).
In addition to the identities described above – I am a priestess, a holistic astrologer, a spiritualist, a writer, a poetess, an artist and a bunch of other things that I keep evolving into.My spiritual journey intensified when I went through several years of soul-searching during my PhD in the UK, and I have undertaken numerous pilgrimages to sacred sites in India, Nepal, the UK, Malaysia (so far) – all of which have deeply moved, transformed and awakened parts of me that I did not realize I had. Now I know, and here it is.
I run several pages dedicated to my spiritual and astrological explorations on FB which currently (as of 23.1.2015) reach nearly 10,000 people and continue to grow. I write regularly and publish on my FB public profile and network with spiritualists all across the globe.
One reason I wanted to make this profile and ‘go public’ as it were was to accept the different facets of my identity – a decidedly liberal academic – a post-colonial, post-structural political scientist – a internationalist- a Malaysian-Tamil – an ethnic minority – a public speaker – a motivator – a priestess – a woman – a feminist – a Goddess worshiper – a star-lover – a poetess – and to demonstrate (to myself first of all) that they can all coexist in one person.
So here’s to co-existence and creation.
Vanakkam, Namaste and Blessings to all,
Dr. Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
Use the contact form below if you would like to get in touch