Wednesday, 2 March 2016

SOCIETY AS OUR SURROGATE FAMILY (the vital "Vertical Axis" of the Zodiac)

Every time I yield to the temptation of eating a delicious Greek candy I find myself crossing a high speed avenue, in order to get to my favorite pastry shop. There is a footbridge crossing over to the other side of that avenue and I often use the elevator to get up to it. The elevator is a modern, see through one (even playing some lounge music). Inexplicably though (or not that much so) it is vandalized! Its glass paneling is broken at various points, as if wildly kicked or clubbed...And there is graffiti all over. It somehow makes me sad to see a communal benefit like this elevator in such a state. You see, all the citizens of my area are benefiting from it, thus it should be kept as clean and intact as possible. Not everybody though is thinking it that way. To some it is rather a target where they are unleashing their rage...But why?

I am pondering on this every time I get in that elevator...I am thinking of who those people might be, who are venting their anger over that defenseless elevator...Most probably they are young – you see the older ones are more “socially conformed”. Maybe these are some youngsters whose father/mother did not give them the pocket money they were expecting. Or maybe their parents are quarreling and do not pay enough attention to their particular adolescent/ post-adolecent needs...Or maybe some girls spurned them out..Who knows...All we can see is their rage that is permanently impressed upon the elevator's glass paneling...For some reason these people are blowing off steam on that defenseless elevator, vandalizing a communal good.

I have studied some psychology and I can see a sort of “freudian transfer” going on here. In reality, these youngsters would like to confront face to face their indifferent parents, their tough bosses or the spurning girls so that they pay them back the emotional pain they have experienced. But for various reasons they cannot - and this makes them even more furious. So, they are resorting to a feasible to them alternative solution: to damage communal goods they can lay their hands on! Like this elevator, which their parents, spurning girls, or bosses will eventually make use of - indirectly receiving thus their rage. So, these guys in order to avenge their own privately induced emotional pain are ultimately “damaging” society at large!

The fact is that this kind of “rage transfer” is not limited just to the hot-tempered youngsters. The older ones have their fair share too! There is on Youtube a documentary on the worst spy in the history of the USA. It is entitled: "Most Dangerous Double Agent in FBI History - Robert Philip Hanssen".Hanssen (an Aries man with Moon in Pisces) was for 20 years selling vital USA secrets to the Russians! During his childhood his father – a tough and aloof Chicago police officer – was constantly disparaging and humiliating him! And after his arrest Hanssen confessed to the bureau's psychiatrist that the FBI was filled with characters just like his father, “authoritarian, demanding, never willing to praise or reward him”! That is why he decided to hit back and with no remorse betray his very country, damaging it beyond all means! I was impressed by the fact that Hanssen “transferred” his grudge towards his father over the entire FBI personnel! And furthermore, that he ultimately sought to avenge his painful early years by damaging his entire country! From an astrological point of view, I perceived a strong “Cancer - Capricorn axis” emphasis being at play here.

                         Cancer - Capricorn: the vital “Vertical Axis” of the Zodiac

The signs of Cancer and Capricorn are called "cardinals". The two are located the one across the other in the zodiac circle (diametrically opposite). They constitute the "vertical Axis" of the zodiac (or a zodiacal “Tree of Life”). Cancer is located at the basis of that axis (at the lowest point of the zodiac) and Capricorn at the top of the axis (at the highest point of the zodiac). Actually, the Cancer - Capricorn “polar duet” is forming (as every other zodiacal “polar duet”, for that matter) a sort of a “Yang - Yin” pair. These two cardinal signs are constantly interacting but at the same time are ever found in a dynamic equilibrium as a whole - seen from the outside. Each sign is somehow “reflected” into the other. And every change in one of them is triggering a “counteract” change in the other. We could say that there is a “recompensatory process” taking place among these two cardinal archetypes. And in this “recompensatory process” ultimately lies the reason why we are transferring (positively or negatively) our privately-induced emotional states onto the wider society!

According to psychology, our early years in life are extremely important. They constitute the foundation upon which our entire adult personality is based. Our childhood experiences mold and shape the “spinal chord”of our adult temperament, state of mind, overall character. And it is next to impossible for an adult to be well balanced, emotionally sound, mentally alert, confident in him/herself, open to the people around him/her and happy unless s/he has been properly loved, nurtured, encouraged and stimulated during his early years in life. In the horoscope these fundamental loving and nurturing energies are archetypally set in the sign of Cancer / in the Fourth House (the cusp of which was called by the hellenistic astrologers “Hypogeion” - basement that is). Not by chance the sign of Cancer lies at the very lowest part of the zodiac - such a position is explicitely stating the Cancer's “fundamental” nature for us humans.

So, the “watery” sign of Cancer harbors the all important for our development and formation energies of loving and nurturing. But then, by extrapolation this implies that its diametrically (polar) opposite sign of Capricorn not only does not encompass such energies but it pretty much lacks them! We could actually say that the sign of Capricorn is harboring energies that are as alien as they can get from the ones of loving and nurturing (not by chance the Moon, the “planet” ruling the sign of Cancer, is characterized as “Debilitated” when located in the sign of Capricorn)! But if such an hypothesis holds any water then we are facing a serious problem here. Because we are having a zodiacal sign that is not providing to its “holders” some very fundamental and vital for their well being energies!

How can this be? Is the sign of Capricorn a “flawed” one? Well, foremost astrologers like Dane Rudhyar and Liz Greene - who are specialized in psychological astrology - have extensively written about the profound insecurities and complexes characterizing the planet Saturn, which is ruling the sign of Capricorn (meaning that those saturnine complexes are somehow embedded in Capricorn). No doubt that a person that did not receive his/her due amount of loving and nurturing in his childhood might very well harbor serious psychological deficiencies in his/her adult character. But as we explained before, the polar opposite signs develop what we might call a “recompensatory process”. Thus, the sign of Capricorn in order to redress its lack of cancerian nurturing energies has developed a very particular “recompensatory mechanism” that I will explain below! If it didn't possess that mechanism then we should call Capricorn a seriously flawed zodiacal sign!

                         The deprived early years of the archetypal Capricorn

Although I don't have in my hands a survey officially attesting this, all my life I have been encountering Capricorns having a problematic relation with the entity we call “family”. They are often coming from cold, strict, aloof, poor families and during their childhood they have experienced all kinds of hardships. They lost their father or mother early, their parents were very demanding and disciplinarian, ever enforcing on them duties and in general some heavy for their childish shoulders burdens. And they had lived in a somehow “sterile” family environment, where there was very little room for the display of affection or joy and where they received very little encouragement or praise. And what is even worse, there are characteristic cases of Capricorns who were completely abandoned by their parents and who grew up in the cold and impersonal environment of an orphanage!

I recently watched the interview of a famous Capricorn who confessed to the hostess that for very long in his life when he was seeing children who had even one of their parents by their side he was feeling completely shattered! In every single such occurrence he was overcome by a sense of colossal injustice and taken over by a heavy grievance. The pain was unbearable, an obviously recurring pain that bred in him a lifelong resentment against every single kid that had a parent/parents. And this ultimately led to a general resentment against the entire society!

We would expect from this Capricorn man to become a bad lot in his adult life. Surprisingly though he did not. Fueled by his inner bitterness and fervently seeking to rectify the unfathomable injustice he suffered (being abandoned by both his parents) he worked very hard after he left the orphanage. He remained largely undistracted by the usual youth enjoyments, outings and “idle living”. With the substantial amount of money he earned he enrolled in a prestigious acting school. He was rehearsing for hours and hours in front of his mirror, becoming a shining example in the acting school. He then began his career by initially taking small roles in theatrical plays or in the movies (knowing him I believe that he shrewdly used all his connections and devices - especially his charm - to get the jobs and rise high). Gradually he became a well known and respected name and he is today a leading actor in major theatrical plays. Thus, he is daily basking in the applause of the spectators, who are ever admiring and loving him – in a way his actually non-existent parents never did! He has had his own family and kids too but he is actually divorced. He is receiving though so much love and adoration by the wider society! That's Capricorn at its best!

Ultimately, what led this man to excel is the fact that he applied in his life the “recompensatory proces” I mentioned before. He didn't have a family and that element alone might have totally crippled him. But he somehow transmuted his colossal resentment and turned it into a driving force, into a fervent desire to achieve important things in his life and distinguish himself both professionally and socially. As a Capricorn he instinctively knew the “secret” that even if someone never had a family of his own, life is offering him/her a second chance to have one. And I am not implying here just the family we may create with our own partner. The secret is that society itself is acting as a sort of surrogate family to us!

You see, when you have a good professional/social reputation then society treats you really well (even if you don't have a lot of money in your pocket)! It treats you that well and “tender” almost as if it were your maternal family! Let's say you are a well known doctor/lawyer in your area (all too often people with strong Capricornian elements in their chart become doctors). Wherever you go you will be meeting people paying attention to you, greeting you or even complimenting you (for curing them or their relatives, for winning their case in the court etc.)!

Even more so, when you are a famous doctor/lawyer etc and you visit i.e. some restaurant or music hall you will be drawing the attention of the entire personnel over you! Obviously, it will be an honor (and a very effective marketing) for the specific restaurant, the music hall etc. to have a recognizable, respected citizen, a sort of celebrity in their premises. So, as soon as this (even local) celebrity comes over they will lead him/her (and his/her eventual company) to the very best table, they will offer him/her the best service possible, they will grant him/her the most delicious plates. Thus the restaurant or the music hall owners and personnel will be treating this distinguished citizen with much care, interest, warmth, almost as if they were his/her own paternal/maternal family!

                                       Transmuting Society into our Family!

This is a very interesting but relatively uncharted aspect of the human nature! There is out there a somehow indestructible, perennial “family” of ours waiting to pamper and reward us (if we have been “good children” of course. I am explaining this in the next paragraph)! Even if we were allotted the cruel fate of not having a maternal/paternal family of our own, there is still a future for us, because later on in our lives we are given - thanks to the Capricorn's “recompensatory process”- a chance to turn the entire society into our “family”!
But there is a catch here. Society is not acting as a surrogate family to everyone but only to its most distinguished members (in reality, society may become extremely tough and ruthless to an average Joe)! It is its most renowed members the ones who society is coddling and pampering, in the way a mother is coddling and pampering her children. Capricorns are very much aware of this fact, that's why they are ever striving to excel and become important in life, both professionally and socially.

So, behind every ambition, behind every professional/social achievement of ours lies a fervent desire to turn society into our “family”! Let me explain this in more detail. Being a doctor or a lawyer are two of the highest esteemed and top ranked professions in our society. But you are not becoming a doctor because you like your patients' debilitating conditions. Nor because you love being interrupted in your coziest moments by emergency calls. Likewise, you don't become a lawyer because you desire to be continuously annoyed by some actually indifferent to you and stressful affairs regarding other people... In all honesty, you become a doctor or a lawyer for the prestige and the money of it! You emerge as a doctor/lawyer etc. mainly because you want to become socially important, to be admired and respected by the people around you. There is a strong egotistical drive hidden behind such a wish and obviously it is not by chance that Mars - the planet of raw egotistical drive - is exalted in the sign of Capricorn!

Somehow and to a certain extent, there is a “shortcoming”, a “complex” hidden behind our desire to “achieve” in the wider world! The more we have been “denied” things in our early years the more motivated (cosntructively or destructively) we become in our adult life. Thus, indeed some kind of “flaw” lies at the core of our successes. Of course I am not excluding here the eventuality of a well pampered in its childhood individual achieving important things (professionally/socially) in its adult life. All I am saying is that the individuals who did not receive much affection and rewards in their childhood are more motivated to achieve things in their adult lives.

You see, when you have had a nice childhood you usually feel complete inside you, you feel good with yourself. You then wish to imminently experience your completeness and share your well-being with the people around you. Thus, you get more easily carried away by the omnipotent allurance of the “here and now”, by the idle chatting of casual companies (especially if they comprise members of the sex you are attracted to), by any carefree situation. And if you have been well pampered in your early years then you are more unwilling to engage in activities that give you a hard time and do not immediately reward you! You prefer to live an easy life - at the cost of not accomplishing much. Meaning that the real achievers might ultimately be the ones who are probably feeling a little bit unconfortable within the context of a casual company, who do not get much reward in the “here and now” and who thus prefer to retreat behind the curtains and work hard in order to achieve something “big”. Some big achievement that will ultimately draw upon themselves the society's admiration and pampering.

In a certain sense, the big achievers are actually trying to fill some fundamental “void” in themselves. An illustrious historical case comes to my mind at this point: according to his biographers, Alexander the Great was disparaged by his father Philip, who was bragging that had conquered almost the entire southern-eastern Europe (and it was a great deed back then for a small greek kingdom to have conquered a whole chunk of Europe). But ultimately Alexander exceeded by far his father, as he conquered almost the entire world - or at least the known in his era world! Apparently, his father's scorning became a major motivation for Alexander the Great to accomplish his legendary deeds that will be eternally admired!

We might have never suspected that, but behind every imposing skyscraper or other mega-construction, behind the great missions, the life saving inventions and discoveries lies a more or less wounded child that craves to be admired, recognized and loved by his/her surrogate “mommy”/”daddy” the society! So, somehow all the major accomplishments in the history of humanity are stemming out of some sort of promordial “deficiency” within the soul of the“achievers'”, out of some kind of “complex”! Think though how much our societies have benefitted and advanced out of this inherent human “deficiency”! Think how much behind we would be as humankind if we didn't harbor such a powerful, creative “complex” within our souls!

Thomas D. Gazis
Copyright: Thomas D. Gazis

P.S. This article was first published in Greek. My friend Theo Phalieros assisted me in its English translation
       Since 2010 I have been presenting the ideas of this article in various seminars.