Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Full Moon in Gemini

“And ye shall know The Truth. And The Truth shall set you free.”--John 8:32

As a consulting astrologer, I am used to working with clients who, for whatever reasons, have shunned traditional therapies. Some time ago, I met a client who had been involved in (she so hates the word ‘victim’) a very violent crime.

Be warned: This is a description of a violent sexual crime and its impact on the client. It is not an entire transcript and is published at the request of and with full consent of the client.

Both the astrologer and client post this recount as a testament to the power of astrology—not only as a predictive tool but one to allow deeper insight into and facilitation of the healing process. Both also felt the timing was appropriate for the journey of the Moon from its New Moon phase in Scorpio to its Full Moon in Gemini opposite Sun in Sagittarius.
Event Chart
The client reports she has been living with a terrible secret and is now ready to discuss the event which up to now she has refused to do in any detail. Upon discussion with the astrologer, she agrees to decline public disclosure of natal details because “the chart speaks for itself”. Transit Pluto’s opposition to the Chiron of the event suggests a wound that needs to healed: indeed the client describes feeling as if “shrapnel were making its way to the surface.”

The client begins her story by describing the effect the crime has had on her: self-loathing, bouts of self-harm, debilitating panic attacks and an overall feeling of a lack of safety. With the Moon opposite to Uranus, both square to Mars in the event chart, it is apparent—without natal details—that the event was a traumatisng one and perhaps one that makes the client, in her own words “very, very angry”. The symptoms became fewer and further apart in time but would not lessen in intensity, periodically returning as if the crime had only recently happened. What might startle the average person could lead to a full blown panic attack for the client. Over time, the client was able to manage symptoms with self administered cognitive behaviour therapy but was still—and is still--vulnerable to severe anxiety and what the client now recognises as acts of self-hatred.

The client blames herself for the event, indicating she had verbally retaliated to a shoplifter who had been sexually suggestive as she worked alone on the night shift in a convenience store. Jupiter opposite to Saturn, both square to Mercury could possibly indicate the sense of false security the client felt as she stood up for herself as well as her decision to fail to immediately report the shoplifting crime as per company policy.

Venus and Pluto are both in Scorpio, trine to the Moon and Jupiter in Cancer, speak of the over-confidence in checking suspicious noises in the back of the store. The client had thought she would be chasing off raccoons, not the heavy-set, bearded customer she had chased out of the store hours before. She describes that he jumped on her out of nowhere and forced her to her knees.

“His weight and strength were overwhelming,” she says. As she struggled to push him away, she heard the unmistakable click of a trigger.
 The client stops talking for a minute as if gathering her thoughts.
“I knew exactly what was going to happen. I knew I didn’t stand a chance of getting away, that this guy was pissed off and was going to show me what happens to girls who run their mouths.” She recalls being angry with herself because she had forgotten to wear a belt with her uniform trousers. The whole shift she had been annoyed at having to keep pulling up waistband and now her forgetfulness was what made it so easy for him to rape her.

With her head pressed on the concrete floor, her arms and legs immobilised, she could do absolutely nothing as she heard him spit on himself. The client mutters that even as she was being raped, she couldn’t keep her mouth shut. Mercury conjunct Mars is the apex of the T square. Between gritted teeth she asked: “Is that all you got?”

For a second, she thought she had gotten to him and that it was all over. He withdrew from her, then roared. In the event chart, Mars in combust: the shock and shame of what had happened next ensured she would never speak of the crime to anyone.

He pulled her head back by her hair and bit her hard in the shoulder as he came. At some point he had dropped the gun (she had been terrified he would accidentally pull the trigger) but it remained out of her reach. He slapped her several times around the head and pushed her away as if he were the one who was disgusted by what had happened. He laughed at her as she dressed. He picked up the gun, kept it aimed at her the whole time, and told her repeatedly that if she told anyone he would be sure to tell the details of what had happened in a public courthouse. As if to punctuate his point, he stepped up to her quickly. The client shielded her face, thinking she could protect herself. His kick (with heavy boots) landed squarely between her legs and before he left, he promised her she “wouldn’t be able sit for months.” She didn’t doubt him.
On his way out, she heard he had simply hit the ‘no sale’ button on the register, emptied it and some seconds later the bell of the front door indicated he had left. He got away with around $50.

The client says she knew immediately that she had to cover up the sexual aspect of the crime. The movie “The Accused” had come out recently and she was well aware of how rape victims were treated. A medical exam would reveal the extent of her injuries. She did not want to have to give public testimony to what had happened and the thought of putting her parents through such an ordeal was what had gotten her to her feet, to the bathroom to clean up and partially wash away the evidence and later lie to the police about the full extent of the crime.

The Moon conjunct Jupiter trine to Venus should have indicated the client would find solace in women. Instead the client insists that she felt the women police officers had tried to psychologically bully her into admitting there had been a sexual assault. During the interview, the client remembered she had been on her period during the assault and was only reminded of this during a bout of severe cramping caused by the deeply wedged tampon. The women police officers had questioned why the client requested to use the bathroom, implying it was to perhaps wash away evidence. The client had stoically stayed in her seat even though it was—as the perpetrator tacitly promised—excruciatingly painful. As time went on, the client felt that telling her story would provide an opportunity for other women to judge her—this extended to her own mother with whom she had a very troubled relationship. At the time of the assault, the client had been having a sexual—and experimental--relationship with another woman. The client never spoke directly to her girlfriend again. She said for several years she was repulsed and frightened by other women, a feeling only alleviated after the birth of her first child which she describes as an “unquestionable commitment to the female sorority.”

Like the mythological rape of Persephone, reflected by the event chart’s Venus-Pluto conjunction in Scorpio, the client was very aware that there was no going back to the way things had been before. The client is quick to point out that she had happily disposed of her virginity several years before the event and that sex had been a happy and even joyful activity with male friends. She had never felt uncomfortable or coerced and that she shared a bed with the men in her life in exactly the same manner she might share a beer or a laugh or a game of sport. The client was fascinated with the weakness men had when it came to sex and that she had never felt she understood a man until she experienced him in the throes of an orgasm. The “girlfriend phase” had been fairly platonic and more for the shock value than anything else. The client could not bear the thought that her girlfriend would be able to intuit what had really happened—hence the reason for the abandonment.

Neptune conjunct Saturn possibly explains the extent to which the client was prepared to deny she was having difficulties dealing with the aftermath of the ordeal. She began to drink heavily to quell the panic of being alone in small or enclosed areas. Sleep was intermittent and unsatisfactory. It was several weeks before the internal injuries had healed enough for the client to feel ready for further sexual encounters. She was keen to get a move on as a means of proving she had not been affected by the rape. One evening, fuelled by vodka, she publicly and crudely propositioned a former lover. This led to a loud and violent confrontation with a potential partner of her former lover, an arrest by campus police and a referral to the drugs and alcohol abuse centre. For the eight weeks of the compulsory outpatient treatment, the client refused to engage with counsellors, vigorously refused medical help for the frequent and severe anxiety attacks (which the client felt she was able to pass off as anger) and completely denied there were any problems.

Uranus opposite the Moon can mean emotional isolation and possibly the fear of emotional encounters.  The client says that she held everyone at an arm’s length away. When she wasn’t drinking, she was studying for her university diploma in open, public areas. Eventually she realised she had completely closed down emotionally and upon graduation, moved to a different city for a fresh start. The physical distance from the scene of the crime meant she could live even further in denial.

The client was uncertain about what to do with her story for some time. She felt it was far too sensational for publication and was concerned about burdening friends and family with her own emotional baggage. Yet she now feels that living with such a secret has allowed her to avoid facing up to this life changing event and that this in turn continues to give power to her attacker. There remains a very strong inherent issue of control: the client feels that any sign of pity would “severely piss her off”, does not want what she disparagingly calls “professional help” from conventional practitioners and is fairly preoccupied with not wanting to be seen as a victim.

“I feel enough time has passed that I can cope with what happened to me. It’s all a part of my story and has made me who I am. I survived it and I have lived to tell the tale. But I’m just not sure telling other people the tale serves any useful purpose other than to be something mildly scintillating to read.”

 Nevertheless, she felt the time was right for the truth to finally set her free.

About the Astrologer

Alex Trenoweth was voted Best International Astrologer, 2015 for her dynamic presentation on Astrology and Education. Her book, "Growing Pains" is an exciting development in astrology as it combines classroom teaching experience, sound research and the potential to have a positive impact on struggling adolescents, parents, teachers and those who have been labelled "at risk". For queries, consultations or syndications, please contact Alex via or leave a message in the comment section.   

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