by Sheri Horn Hasan
I shuffle the small Mirror Cards deck, spread the cards face down on the table, and randomly pick one.
“Joy,” it reads. “Joy is only possible when we surrender to the richness of the moment.”
How weird, I think. I’m at the tail-end of my four-and-a-half year relationship with John and I pull the “Joy” card? It’s been only the past week or so that I’ve accepted that it’s finally, truly, utterly over. Ironically, the only relationship I’ve ever experienced joy over ending was that with my ex-husband. Ten mostly joyless years married (and three semi-joyous years prior to the wedding) punctuated only by the ecstatic joy-filled entrance of our son into our lives.
That relationship was one built around control, lack of communication, and unexpressed expectations, and I initiated my divorce happily because it meant freedom from such restriction. This relationship was one of two post-divorced “been there, done that” individuals who shunned the notion that relationships must always deteriorate and disintegrate in the end as long as compatibility, respect, and courtesy comprise the cornerstones of true togetherness–with a high dose of sexual attraction thrown in, of course.
Or so I thought…sigh…
The Beginning Of The End
“What do you mean you’d rather spend New Year’s Eve with your son than with me?” I asked John, the hurt in my voice obvious.
“Well, no, it’s not that—I don’t—I mean, it’s his friend’s parents’ party and they’re only inviting a few people,” John responded defensively. “And besides, Stephanie can’t accompany Matt, so I’m his ‘one-plus!’”
“So, you’re saying that you’d rather be your son’s ‘date’ than do something with me, or invite me along as well?” Pretty obvious slap in the face, if you ask me, I think…but I respond: “Well, I guess if that’s what you want, then go ahead. Just recognize that I’m not sure how I’ll feel about you after the fact…”
I was being honest. I’d been rejected before—in some ways it was the story of my life–and I sensed this was a pivotal point in our relationship. At the same time, I couldn’t force him to do something he didn’t want to. I hated making anyone feel obligated, and clearly he didn’t value being with me on the holiday, though for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why.
We’d always been pretty loose about holidays, since we both had teenagers who lived in different towns and hung out with different friends. So we shared holidays together when convenient, but spent time with our own kids when it wasn’t. Now his kids had turned eighteen and nineteen, while my son was seventeen and spending New Year’s Eve with his dad. This holiday was a no-brainer, I thought.
Upset, I looked again at the transits to my natal astrological chart. A professional astrologer, I’d cringed when I’d seen the planet Saturn transiting opposite my natal sun several months before, as the classic interpretation of this is the end of a relationship. I know the universe is benign and always operates in our best interest, and that it gives us not necessarily what we want, but rather what we need—but did I really need to lose this relationship? And, if so, why?
Since Saturn represents the authoritarian parent from our childhood, I knew the manifestation of the energies inherent in its opposition to my natal sun represented an attempt to teach me about behavior patterns that required examination right now.
Saturn—known to be one of the most important planets to watch as it makes its twenty-nine and a half year cycle around one’s natal chart and “touches” planets or sensitive points there—always means serious business and never fools around. I knew I was being asked to “own” my inner authority, but I remained in the dark about exactly how to do that and prevent the loss of my relationship with John at the same time.
My Heart Belongs To Daddy
The truth is I’ve always attracted men who are emotionally unavailable. I know this, yet the pattern never seemed to change! But this relationship was different, I lamented, it was supposed to be the real thing!
Maybe I only felt that way because–already in my late forties when I met John—I’d experienced marriage, and figured it was now about finding someone with whom mutual attraction and true compatibility coexisted. I thought we had that–what went wrong? I beat myself up with this question and, as usual, these kinds of thoughts brought me back to my relationship with my father.
Nearly seventeen years after his sudden death at the age of sixty-nine due to complications from chemotherapy, my father’s loss still loomed large in my life. A brilliant, emotionally elusive man who taught mathematics and physics at Wagner College on Staten Island, N.Y., for thirty-five years, my father ran a tight ship at home. I idolized him, even though he proved to be a benevolent dictator. I remember how futile arguing with him in my childhood was when my brother and I wanted to stay up an extra half an hour to watch the end of some television show. The answer was always “no!” And he meant it.
My father operated the planetarium at Wagner for a few years and taught courses on astronomy and the history of mathematics. My tenth birthday party included a trip to the planetarium for a private show, which at the time everyone considered way cool…
He used to give me books about Greek mythology that told timeless archetypal stories about the origin of the many constellations—ones he’d point out as they’d shine so beautifully, illuminated against the backdrop of the nighttime sky. He introduced me to individual stars and the meanings behind them. Betelgeuse, Aldebaran, and Sirius were household words during my youth.
He taught me also the meaning of the word “googol”–the number “one” followed a hundred zeros, and “googolplex,”–a googol multiplied by itself, which needless to say, is quite a large number. One year I found a birthday card for him that I said “I love you a googolplex!” Pleased, he chuckled as I beamed from ear to ear, pleased at myself for pleasing him.
It took until after his death when I was thirty-eight to understand how lost I felt without him. Gregarious and eclectic, he was a natural teacher. Students either loved him or hated him, but always he was his authentic self. A family man, he was nevertheless too bright not to have outside interests, and by the time I reached my early teens he devoted many hours to running Wagner’s ice hockey club and worked as a statistician for the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils. In short, often he wasn’t around, and I found myself tagging along at times just to feel included in his life…
Raised in the Jewish faith, my father was a “Kohen,” or descendant of the high holy priests of the Temple of Jerusalem. Throughout Judaic history, the designation Kohen is passed from father to son hereditarily, and among its distinctions is that they are the first to be called up during Torah readings in temple. Though females are not accorded the same distinction, I always understood myself to be a proud Kohen descendant regardless.
You Can Go Back Again
Two years ago I began to study past life regression. I wanted to learn about my own past life karma and to facilitate regressions for others. I enrolled in a series of modules in Deep Memory Process regression work, a methodology pioneered by Roger Woolger and taught by DMP practitioner and evolutionary astrologer Patricia Walsh.
DMP is based on the principle that at death, when the soul leaves the body and attempts to ascend in order to reincarnate, it carries with it “cellular memory” from the body it is vacating. For example, if one died violently in a past life, the imprints left on the body remain with the soul despite reincarnation. Regression work is healing because it reveals how a person died and can explain why we experience specific emotional blocks in this lifetime.
During my regression I saw myself as a young woman circa the mid-1800’s in my mother’s house taking care of her as she lay dying. Somehow I knew my father had passed years before. She dies, and I realize I’ve dedicated my twenties to caring for her, never taking the opportunity to leave, marry, and raise a family of my own. I’m left with the house as my inheritance, and some money in the bank. Naïve, all I know is that I have no parents or family and some gold coins in the bank.
Alone and depressed, I walk to town (our house is on the other side of a small wooded area, separated from the main town—strangely similar to my childhood home in this lifetime) to visit the banker and request my inheritance to take home. I saw myself walking through town carrying a small burlap bag filled with gold coins—my parent’s entire life savings, now mine.
As I reach the edge of the woods, suddenly I’m attacked from behind. Three men have seen me nonchalantly carrying my bag of gold and decided to rob me. One man grabs me from behind and, surprised, I drop the bag. The other two scramble to retrieve the bag of coins, and I break free and run through the woods into the clearing that leads to my house. All three chase me across the clearing in hot pursuit, determined to leave no witness to their crime. They catch up with me, throw me to the ground, and suffocate me.
Now, as I reflect upon the end of my current relationship, suddenly I realize with stark clarity that I’ve never fully honored my own “gold”–a metaphor for my inner strengths and talents—in this lifetime! Saturn’s been saying: Don’t devalue your own true gifts, passed down to you by your parents–respect your intrinsic value, integrate it into your core self and stop taking it for granted!
And in that instant it dawns on me: I’d never perceived what I possessed internally to be worth protection! Suddenly I realize I must understand my own true worth and protect what is mine. I can no longer treat casually my own true gifts. When I do, I remain uncommitted to myself, and then manifest around me those who cannot commit to me! After all, how can they when I fail to make the inner commitment to fully appreciate myself?
I marvel at this revelation, pick up the “Joy” card once again, and read: “Maybe you’re questioning where the joy is in your relationship, but chances are that this situation is familiar to you, even from when you were single. For joy is not ‘out there.’ It’s in you, and always has been…young children jump for joy and with joy…”
Suddenly I totally get it: My joy is inherent because I am such a wonderful gift! L’Chaim!