“Never go to bed angry. Stay up and fight.” Phyllis Diller
“Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry.” Lyman Abbott.
“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.” Chinese Proverb
I’ve been making some profound connections of late. Recently I had begun doing some research on anger’s effect on the brain. I had a theory that as we all have been repressing our emotions since the beginning of history that we literally have suffered brain damage from the suppression of such emotions and as a result have not been “whole.” I had read about such in my meanderings into brain science in the past few years. But now, having become so aware of deep feelings of intense rage which exacerbate my headaches and witnessing a nascent creativity to which I’d never known might reside within me, I began to understand that perhaps a result of my getting in touch with my long dormant emotions was in actuality lighting up new areas of my brain as I became more comfortable in feeling and processing all of my emotions.
In the truly mysterious ways in which our lives unfold, soon after beginning my inquiry, I began reading a sequel to a book that I read several years ago, The Eight. Katherine Neville’s latest novel The Fire is an astounding romp through occult history. My attention was grabbed early on as I realized that this was not just a pleasure read. There were references to the Phoenix and the Firebird, the Swan, symbols related to numbers, Chess, ancient wisdom, hidden agendas, etc. Almost each new page was pregnant with new meaning for me as I tested what I’ve learned over the my lifetime as a student of economics, history and religion. Neville’s novels are complex stories of historical interconnections which only someone with a larger view of history might provide.
I learned in her book an explanation of the Firebird which I had previously mistakenly assumed was the Phoenix. I’ve been anxiously awaiting a personal Phoenix rising out of the ashes of my former life. “The Firebird is nothing like the Phoenix, which bursts into flame each 500 years and rises from its own ashes. The tale of the Phoenix is one of self sacrifice and rebirth. The Firebird gives up its golden feather…to bring Prince Ivan back to life. When the Firebird appears, the message to be understood is “Recalled to Life.” Always watching intently for omens, I wondered, was I finally being called back to life? I have spent the last 14 plus years hunkered down in abject poverty, doing what I’ve been calling my soul’s work. I had consciously taken up a personal quest to get in touch with a whole, healthy feminine energy to balance out the extreme masculine energy which defines and distorts our world. My path, as I came to call my spiritual journey has taken me far afield into, of all things, astrology and ancient medicines—thus really ancient studies of electromagnetic energy. Both disciplines taught me important lessons, long forgotten through history, about balancing energy. This knowledge was known throughout antiquity in both the East and West and forms the basis of our sciences and mathematics.
Lately my long endured research into energy led me to conclude that my personal planetary ruler as recently ascertained is Pluto. Pluto is the ruler of Aries—a fiery planet ruling a fire sign. Over the past 13-14 years, Pluto was transiting through Capricorn an earth sign which relates to how individual insecurity’s manifest. Capricorn is contractive: certainly my life contracted accordingly—I have been almost singly focused on my personal work. Now Pluto is in Sagittarius another fire sign, but one of societal reform and expansion. So you might say that I have a passion for societal reform.
All of this is definitely personally significant but more importantly globally significant. The quote above indicated that the Phoenix rises every 500 years—I had long, as a student of history, been aware of such important historical cycles, the last of which culminating after the European Renaissance into the Age of Discovery which seemed to portend at the next passage of Pluto through Sagittarius the birth of the United States. At first I thought that perhaps these major societal transitions occurred at each passage of Pluto into Sagittarius, but as the orbit takes approximately 248 years, it must relate to every second completed orbit--but as can be seen in the example just sited the next transit may complete the promise of the first. Thus it is time for another huge societal leap which is to be punctuated with a Pluto/Uranus square which will be exact in 2012. (This connection revolutionizes the 500 year major transitional cycle.) The last time Uranus and Pluto formed a major aspect in the sky was in 1966. The 60’s were a time of major societal upheavals. We witnessed the women’s movement, civil rights and massive demonstrations over U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war, etc.
As a small child in the 1960’s, I witnessed and became a P.O.W. in the war between the sexes through my parents struggle’s with their own personal imbalances. The time had not yet arrived for those struggles to be dealt with consciously, either personally and societally, but those issues that the new Uranus/Pluto cycle stirred up certainly formed the basis for my personal ‘internal’ work and, I believe, our work now as a planet.
As I progressed through reading The Fire. I found this quote: “Yeats Aengus…had the fire in the head that shamans everywhere believe is the source of enlightenment, illuminating visions of other realities. The shamanic journey begins and ends in the mind.” Tom Cowan, Fire in the Head
This seemed to represent an answer to my recent inquiries into the emotional impact of anger on the brain. As fire has a purifying effect, so then might repressed anger have such an effect on us. I am reminded of how the output of volcanic eruptions remineralize the depleted dead soils thus allowing new life to arise from an enriched new earth.
So there is an upside to anger. Our willingness to get in touch with the fire within and finally see clearly what is illuminated about our ailing world, can ultimately purify our lives and restore the fecundity of our planet. I was reminded of this while perusing YouTube to hear selected music videos. I listened anew to the Dixie Chick’s “Not ready to make nice.” This song was the group’s response to the extreme backlash, which included death threats, after lead singer Natalie Maines’ offhand comment on a London stage as the U.S. prepared to invade Iraq. When Maines impishly smiles at the line in the song, “It turned my whole world around, and I kind of like it,” I understood her trial by fire. There is no turning back, but then there is no desire to turn back. Our work is before us—in the words of The Trammps, “Burn baby burn.”