There exists a thin line between the self-reflection and analysis and narcissistic vanity and/ or fatalistic self-justification or auto-suggestion. This has become ever so evident with the prevalence of camera phones, social media and the powerful medium of cinematography and TV.
While introspection is an extraordinarily valuable tool for personal growth, the over-analysis of ‘self’ and its subsequent myopic decompartmentalisation has fostered a culture of low self-esteem, a high awareness of perfectionism, unrealistic self-expectations and an attitude of entitlement. I cannot help but observe a perpetual state of futurism and dissatisfaction, as well as unreachable expectations, especially from those who believe that they are ‘doing’ the work and therefore deserve to ‘attract’ abundance, wealth and a style of love that is free from the shadow and having to ‘fix’ the other person.
Ironically, this emphasis on individualism and self-expression has contributed to an increased sense of isolation and aloneness, despite the increased ‘connectivity’. In Ireland, this is also evident in the schooling system, as a culture of diversity which ironically encourages both labelling and inadvertent categorisation of children as young as four years of age, is conditioning youngsters to believe that they have a condition. This has been a constant source of frustration in my professional work, as often what is on-the-spectrum-behaviour is accounted for by the scripts and patterns of their birth moment, often arising in my interpretation of their natal chart without my prior knowledge that a ‘condition’ exists.
I recall interpreting the chart of a day old baby and innocently mentioning to his dad not to worry if he is ‘diagnosed’ with speech and learning difficulties and requires ‘special’ attention education. I didn’t realise that this father was upset with me – how dare this man say such heinous things about this blank canvas innocent. Yet, when his son was encouraged to attend a psychologist at three years of age, we had another consult to manage the father’s perception of his son and to help him better understand the normality of his son.
And I see this all the time with adults who seem to be hell bent at labelling themselves so that they have a ‘reason’ to ‘explain’ why they are the way they are, without necessarily considering that there maybe a deeper issue in society arising that is encouraging this myopic self-obsessive focus. We do live in a world that encourages individualism within a tight range of what is defined as individualism. Ironic that, eh? In the same way that no-one has the same birth moment, therefore no chart can be rendered to generalisations, doing away with the notion of the ’12 sun sign columns’ or everyone with Mars-Pluto is a seething, vengeful, obsessively passionate, dictator, since no Mars-Pluto aspect operates in isolation, is in the same position in a horoscope or indeed has the same ‘consciousness’ applied to its polysemic manifestation.
Yet, the obsession with self is something that we are moving through, as a western collective. Don’t get me wrong, categorising people based on their psychological or mental status can have several advantages. It can facilitate an effective communication among professionals by providing a common language to discuss symptoms, behaviours, and treatment strategies. Diagnostic labels can guide clinicians in developing tailored intervention plans, allowing for more targeted and efficient therapeutic approaches. Moreover, labels can help individuals and their families better understand and navigate the complexities of mental health conditions, reducing stigma and fostering a sense of validation. In educational settings, labelling may enable the implementation of appropriate accommodations and support systems, promoting the academic success of individuals with specific psychological needs.
But, there are notable drawbacks, such as stigmatisation, discrimination, fatalism and justification as labels can lead to preconceived assumptions, a fatalistic justification, and a reliance upon medication to treat the issue, as the issue is often seen as being biological and therefore can be solely treated with meds, leading to pathologising differences rather than recognizing the diversity of human experiences. These labels may also oversimplify complex and unique human experiences, potentially overlooking the individuality of each person and the rise of self-fulfilling prophecies, where individuals may internalise and conform to the expectations associated with their label, limiting their personal growth and potential.
Just as we removed the power of the Church from the State, we are now dealing with the power of the Pharmaceutical and Corporate institutions from the State, and how that is infiltrating the education system and the workplace, raising ethical concerns for me about the commodification of mental health, along with encouraging division, isolationism and narcissism.
This will be a major focus for our collective consciousness in the coming years, reflected in the transit of Pluto through the landscape of the unique inner voice that each of us had, a voice that is been drowned out in the cacophony of conformist individualism. Speak your truth, as long as it is our truth, makes for an ironic twist to our world, an issue that many seem to be oblivious to, as we drive headlong into censorship of individual voices in favour of the One voice.
The toxicity of mono-thought, along with the illusion of self-expression is about to be deeply exposed and is the landscape that will become ever so familiar in the years to come.
Reflections on Pluto’s last steps in Cardinal Earth, before venturing into Fixed Air conjoined Altair.