Loss as Lessons for Growing Consciousness

Colored Pencil with Digital Mirroring by Stephen Russell, 2022, All Rights Reserved

Of all the houses in the birth chart, the 6th, 8th, and 12th seem to cause more anxiety and negative fantasization than any others. Among the many activities seen in these Dushthana or difficult houses are ones that nearly everyone has some form of trauma, anxiety, or fear association with including non-believers in metaphysical practices.

The 6th house is the house of health and healing, service to others, and pets. Not so menacing, right? However, it is also the house of losses due to accident, illness, injury, and the actions of other people — sometimes called the house of enemies. Here we also find the employer/employee relationship, particularly the bad actors that occasionally misappropriate value from the owner of a business, that is to say the dishonest employee.

The 6th house is also an Upchaya house, one that strengthens in the second half of life,. It provides an opportunity for the native to gain experience in dealing with both its difficulties and benefits on a smaller, less intense scale before the full force of the house’s power is unleashed.

I have a long history with my own 6th house owing to its being located in Saturn-ruled Capricorn — the judge of karma oversees this sign of deepest learning and gives difficulty, delay, and sometimes pain or loss related to the house, not to punish, but to insure I am working toward a higher purpose. In mutual aspect with Cancer in my 12th house of general loss, transformation, and transcendence, Capricorn aspects a debilitated Mars in planetary war with Venus, and the Moon all in the 12th house.

For a chart such as mine, with a Leo Ascendant, Mars is a Raja Yoga Karaka via rulership of the 4th house and 9th house. This is generally a highly auspicious planet for Leo, but debilitated in Cancer and faced with a fierce Venus conjunct the Moon, well, let’s just say that all three planets, during their major Dasha periods, taught me some difficult lessons: two separate cancers, an auto-immune disorder, painful divorce, and for a time, the abandonment of my spiritual path as it seemed to be creating nothing but problems.

I’m sharing this to make a point, that losses, difficulties, illness, and pain do not have to be harbingers of doom. In fact, I’ve come to believe that when we don’t shy away from the lessons afforded by such events, the word loss isn’t really appropriate. Losses are almost exclusively temporary conditions, assessed by their impact in the moment.

It is our abilty to choose an appropriate response that ultimately determines the effect over time of these events. Responsibility is the ABILITY to RESPOND. Certainly some of these events have the capacity to work permanent changes on our physical bodies and minds, to alter relationships forever, and to in a simple listing of before and after, to appear to have diminished the material substance of our lives. However, long experience with not only my chart but that of many others, both well known and unknown, quickly shows that loss, pain, delay, and the negative words we use to describe these events are really talking about a temporal condition, like reading the time on a clock.

Close study of the astrological chart and associated reports in 100% of the cases I’ve examined, shows that these so-called awful events and experiences were in fact the key to unlocking a door to learning and growth that took the diligent student toward ultimate freedom, called moksha in the Vedic texts, by leaps and bounds compared to those who didn’t embrace the opportunity to learn and grow.

All great rewards have a counterbalancing force, but avoiding the lesson or denying the possibility of there being a better life available because of losses can swiftly send us down the karmic slope to the past, where the pain of having to repeat the lessons is often far greater than simply learning from present experience.

Failure to respond in a way that releases the energy of loss leads to it becoming trapped in our bodies, minds, and nervous system. But energy, like lightning, will find its way to ground. Repressing feelings, shortcuts and avoidance of healthy grieving will eventually lead to the energetic loss finding its own pathway out into the world, usually as anger or chronic illness, often at the worst time and always inappropriate for our best interest.

Cultivation of creative, positive outlets for grief that acknowledge the feelings but don’t seek to avenge or tear down any part of life allow the energy to release back into the world, returning us to a balanced state and giving us the freedom to eventually let go of the past without blame or shame, finding a whole world of possibilities right where we left it before the loss interrupted our flow toward fulfillment.

Among the myriad possibilities for response, two stand in my experience as particular effective: the creative arts, especially when we go at them playfully with no agenda, and getting interested in helping others disempowered by loss to find their way back toward life.

It’s all a process, like the turning of the heavens, the burning of a fire, and the growth of a plant from seed to fruit. Nothing can rush these natural phenomena; they take as long as they take. But refusal to walk the path is to fall down the spiral that transforms pain into suffering.

To recap the process: LOSS—>ACCEPTANCE —> GRIEF —> EXPRESSION WITHOUT DOING MORE HARM —> RELEASE OR DETACHMENT —> FREEDOM is how every pain and suffering we encounter is designed to unfold.

When we sow the process in our lives we end up enriched even by the most extreme forms of loss.

The art that appears with this post was my grief response to being sick and alone with COVID 19 this past week. I needed to see that reality remained even in the shadow of the disease. Using the fingerprint of my Sun finger (the dominant hand ring finger), and acknowledgement of the Sun as the light of life and truth, led to this topographic representation of a decorative piece for my chest and shoulders.

I’ll be well soon. And carry the light of this design with me always.

2 thoughts on “Loss as Lessons for Growing Consciousness

  1. Hi Stephen,
    I received insights from this email. I don’t understand all the house/planets/signs and their relationships but I understand the processes you speak of and the flow of energy. Blocked Samskara’s came to mind, which I’ve been reading about and the need to allow their ‘unblocking’ for energy flow through the chakras, bringing peace from releasing the old pains, trauma experiences leading to illness as well. I recently read Michael A Singer’s ‘Living Untethered’, which informed me of the notion of blocked Samskaras, something I want to look into further.
    Anyway, your writing resonated with me. Thanks. I hope you are well from covid soon.
    Take care
    Andi Day

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. I find your image mesmerizing and the creation of it an excellent example of the point you are making. It is a microcosmic example of the alchemical process—turning lead into gold.


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