People come to astrologers for many reasons, but a big one is to unlock a mystery, put perspective around an area of life that has become a tremendous source of pain or confusion. Often they (we) are conditioned to think our life should be otherwise. Pick any subject. Love relationship; now that’s supposed to be all hearts and roses, right (feel free to insert your own rant/ expletive here)?! Many have a hell of a time getting into a relationship, and if we’re ‘lucky’ enough to be one of those few who had it all figured out at an early age, we probably walked into a relationship from hell and earned every ounce of courage and wisdom we have now, there. Looking for meaning in any personal difficulty, most especially when it’s tragic, can be unfathomable from the mind’s perspective. But from the heart (and soul) view it’s a different story.

The moon, aligned with Cancer is the heart and soul of the birth chart. From the heart and soul’s perspective there is only one purpose for human life, and as far as I can tell it’s spiritual growth. We are not here to have it easy. We are here to grow, and to love in spite of it. Growth is an easy word to say, and everyone wants to grow. But it’s like the word ‘change’ or even ‘transformation’ or ‘freedom’, it goes down a little too easy. We are excited about the thought, but have your worst fear come true and growth is scary. Because growth involves difficulty, lessons and initially, pain, the mere suggestion of growth pushes all our fear buttons. As Ram Dass said, and I’m paraphrasing, All fear…. is fear of change and growth.

Fear is something I’ve been hearing in my clients lately. After a session I receive one of two responses: either I receive an exultant THANK YOU in a gushing soul expansive email, or something like this, Wow, my life is so difficult. Ugh. Naturally, I’ve been wondering whether I’m a pariah. Naturally, as an insecure Cancer, I’ve been thinking I must be giving negative readings to some people, and positive ones to others. But I am the same person for each different person, and when asked the big questions from people want to know how to soothe their existential ‘ouch’, it is rarely a pat and dry read. The response to this varies as what I’ve discovered is, at least initially (because some clients I never see or hear from again) some will courageously use the information to dive into their lives with gusto, while others get dis-couraged.

This questioning arrived me at this thought: this is about how we each see the world. Do we see our selves, our journey, through social pressures outside, or from a spiritually based world within? Capricorn is the sign of the big SHOULD. We should be married by now. We should have a stable career, family and own a home. We should be perfect. In a shadowy Capricorn or status quo worldview we think, Bad things aren’t supposed to happen to good people, and suffer that misunderstanding (and I’m referring to shadow qualities with Capricorn because Pluto is in Capricorn). As a balance, Cancer looks within and sees the outer world work (problems) as a reflection of her inner world work. Cancer says: My soul must be wanting to learn something from this experience, otherwise I wouldn’t be having it. As often as Capricorn is perceived as a greedy curmudgeon, or alternately a success story, Cancer is perceived as a bit of an emotional wreck. But look again. Cancer people do some of the hardest work going: the work of personal and psychological integration, and that’s the kind we don’t get paid for in degrees, success stories. This is courageous and it’s daring and it’s fear-facing and it’s invisible work, so it’s also something Cancer born and moon people don’t get credit for doing. But we do it.

We’re constantly roped into chasing false, empty achievements at the cost of a satisfying inner life – even under the guise of inner peace. In a Vogue excerpt from the book Poser: My Life in Twenty Three Yoga Poses, the author talks about her almost erotic obsession with perfecting a certain yoga pose, the lotus, the ultimate symbol of aspirational yogini-dom. She twists herself into painful positions to achieve it, despite knowing she was ‘cheating’, just so she could see herself in the beautiful repose. Her teacher was onto the whole shtick. Telling her students that this little beautiful pose was the most deceptively dangerous one, she said “It’s the pose that people who don’t do yoga imagine when they think of yoga… When we try to fit our bodies into an idea, it’s dangerous. We stop feeling from the inside and start taking cues from the outside about what we should be doing. This can lead to injury, and even worse, dissatisfaction.” Smart woman.

We can use yoga, shortcomings, not having a lover yet, a failed marriage, astrology, your mom wants you to be a doctor… into a reflection of our big SHOULD. Maybe it’s true, as my husband said this morning, there are two kinds of people: those who appear to have it easy externally, and those who silently and invisibly do the work of spiritual growth. The former folks are public figures, he suggested, and wear our everyday badges of ‘success’, while the latter are unseen. Probably it’s less external and more of a choice, and that choice rests in our perspective, how we hold the circumstances of our lives. Here’s questions I’ve explored with clients lately: What if  your life is absolutely perfect as it is? What if your life is an answer to a collective debt or family karma… and you’re paving the way for everyone’s freedom? What if todays hardships are purifying past karma? Maybe all we have to do is really love who we are, from the inside. What a relief.