A good many people feel off-center, stretched-too-thin, stressed out, and ‘pulled in all directions’ these days, for a variety of reasons.
I’ve written before of this sense of feeling, in Bilbo Baggins’ words, “Like too little butter spread over too much bread,” and feeling off-center and pulled in all directions is a version of this.
For people who are more empathic or sensitive to the energies around us, this can be an all-too-familiar experience.
This is elevated not just by a natural, ‘wired’ empathy and sensitivity — which has its point, purpose, and gifts — but also from conditioning to be ever dispersed ‘out there’ — always on the lookout, ever responsive to others’ needs, preferences, pace, dictums, and agendas.
And there’s the related ’empath-sensitive survival strategy’ designed to avoid or brace one’s self for the rather unpleasant and dreaded volatility, bullying, outbursts, hissy fits, or tantrums — the control- and manipulation strategies common to certain personality types intent on getting their way, no matter what carnage they leave in their wakes. Such volatility — which is a type of normalized violence in a bully culture — feels excruciating for an empathic person.
When the squeeze is on and the general pressure-cooker energetics are heightened, as they’ve been and are, this whole potentially toxic dynamic more easily comes to a high boil, with introvert-sensitives drawing inward into a fretful, gut-knotted fetal position (whether actual or energetic!); and some extroverts or outwardly-volatile types boiling over into offloads and psychic vomit.
Fun, right? Well, what helps?
Needless to say, it doesn’t feel very good, nor are we at our most resourceful, when we’re off-kilter, off-center, and too much out there … too dispersed or spread thin.
We’re most skillfully, resiliently, and sanely able to navigate these days or cycles, or difficult, volatile people in our midst — and find intuition, inspiration, momentum, and sometimes grace as well — when we get simple, and gather back some of our energy and focus; when we’re centered and honoring foundational self-care, rather than being ‘spread too thin’, too dispersed in our energy and ‘feelers’, too preoccupied, and thus much more easily knocked (or nudged) off-kilter.
Center and the Directions
In many ancestral traditions and cultures, there is some version of the directions, whether four directions, six directions, or even seven or more. This wasn’t just arbitrary arrows on a map; there were reasons and meanings.
In some gaelic/celtic cultures, like Ireland for example, center was associated literally and symbolically with sovereignty and royalty; as well as with one’s inherent dignity, and the sort of strong-rootedness that helps one weather storms.
The center was also associated with the sort of bounty or sense of prospering — or even being better able to notice that we are in some ways prospering already — that seems to come with being truly centered … at least much of the time.
That’s why I appreciated this bit of insight and wisdom shared by Elaine Kalantarian of Blue Moon Astrology, on the the energy dynamics and themes activated by this full moon in Cancer (or similar dynamics in one’s chart):
“Grand crosses often result in a feeling of being pulled in four different directions, symbolized in the configuration by those four points/planets, shown in this simplified chart for today’s Full Moon.
“They live as if trapped in a room with four locked doors,” astrologer Tracy Marks wrote of the natal grand cross experience, “and frequently try to force each door open by pounding upon it until they have exhausted themselves.”
“Yet their situation is not hopeless, for if they position themselves in the middle of the room, they will discover a central staircase which will lead them to the roof and open air.”
“These people often feel stuck, paralyzed by their problems in their lives which seem to be unresolvable, until they turn inward and discover their own inner center. Then they are able to attain a spiritual or creative state of consciousness which allows them to rise above their mundane conflicts and view their life with clarity and objectivity.” (end excerpt)
The suggested resolution Marks makes here for native grand cross folks is good advice for us all, especially right now. For when we stop struggling, often it is only then that the best options materialize, options we couldn’t, in our prior, stressed-out, polarized state, and somewhat blind state, see at all.”*
The cross is an ancient symbol, suggestive of the directions as well as initiation, suffering, and other things depending on the time and the tradition. And the cross has its center, just as we have our center … and the powerful cauldron of our shining heart, and the womb center or second chakra as well.
From that center we see more clearly, feel more rooted, better access our innate dignity and sovereignty.
We have a greater potential for responding (rather than reacting) more skillfully and gracefully to the various ups and downs, winds and storms of Life (and other people) when we’ve tended, or are tending, our center.
Here’s to a year of more faithfully and devotedly tending the center, and visioning, intending, setting goals, and acting from there.
And if you’d benefit from a mentor, guide, and intuitive-dialogue partner to help you regain and strengthen your own center (and vision from there), send me an email about setting up your vision-session.
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Labyrinth image credit: Green labyrinth in Luxembourg City. PD image from Lode Van de Velde, PDpictures.net.
Image-Related Links: Find a beautiful post on the various crosses found in Ireland at the Irish Megaliths site.
Find Elaine’s full article on the Cancer New Moon and the grand cross here.