I was listening recently to the gifted teacher of Hawaiian spiritual traditions, Hew Len, who you too can be inspired by on You Tube. It reminded me of why Georgina and I chose this name for our new venture last year. The approach is simple, clear and powerful. He begins this interview by talking about the idea of ‘100% responsibility’. This is the notion that whatever one experiences, one is at some level responsible for creating. An appropriate response to everything is ‘It’s me’.
At first sight this is a very confrontational idea for most people in our society. ‘What, you mean that you are blaming me for the bullying and stupid boss / lazy colleague / inadequate parent / deficient partner / misbehaving child / genocidal world leader (delete as applicable) that is making my world insufferable? You know what, chum, you just got added to the list.’
Actually, the answer to the accusation is mostly yes, although blame doesn’t enter into it, and forcing the idea down people’s throats would just be a form of spiritual harassment. But 100% responsibility is saying we are at cause of all our experiences. External experiences which we find unpleasant are in some way a reflection of what Dr Hew calls ‘dead stuff’ which is unprocessed experience. Whether we think this comes from one’s past, especially early years, or whether one brings it with from past lives, or whether it is in part ancestral inheritance depends on our philosophical and spiritual preferences. But if, for example, I encounter lots of anger, or lots of ‘stuckness’, then this is the external reflection of something I’m unaware or only semi-aware of in me. As Ophelia says in response to what she thinks is Hamlet’s madness, ‘O, woe is me, To have seen what I have seen, see what I see!’ However the mistake most of us make on the spiritual path is to blame ourselves for creating this, adding to the general stress and misery! Dr Hew reminds us of Jesus’ primary teaching to love our enemies, or, as Buddhist teacher Tsultrim Allione suggests, to feed our demons. Astrologer Caroline Casey puts it even more strongly in principle number 5 of her visionary activist astrology ‘If something’s a problem, make it bigger’. What we bring to conscious experience with compassion disappears, leaving empty space, a ‘state of blank’, no data feed from the past, which allows us to respond spontaneously, creatively and with joy to what we encounter.
How does this apply to our astrological approach? Well, the birth chart gives us so much information about the ‘dead stuff’. In particular, information such as the crunchy aspects between inner and outer planets, or the tensions between very different kinds of energies in a birth chart, give the astrologer precise technical information about the parts of ourselves that we are maybe unaware or rejecting of. Bringing them to conscious recognition is the most useful part of the astrologer’s work. The acceptance is up to us!
It is possible to support this acceptance in many ways also. I like to combine astrology with the use of the Pacific flower, gem and sea essences. Indeed it was their creator, Sabina Pettitt’s newsletter this month which led me to the Hew Len teachings. Dowsing for the essence that was appropriate for this blog led me to Rainbow Kelp essence, which Sabina says is about alchemical transformation. ‘I am able to respond with my full potential.’ ‘It helps us to release, relax, and connect to our light source again.’ It’s the off switch for the data feed.