ZIGZAGZINE, Stories #5: 'Family ties, Close by and Distant'


Ideals are for growing

Most people have their ideals. They direct themselves to things of importance to them but of which it does not matter in the first instance whether they can be put into effect. It can be somebody's ideal to comprehend connectedness. In this way it is my ideal to feel connected to somebody, be it only for a short time, and to understand something of our both being different. That is what I look for from the start. From the first beginning, attachment to people has been an essential and subjective need of mine. I think that I endlessly assailed my mother with questions, that I asked for her attention and warm nearness incessantly. Ad nauseam for her but never tiring for me.
I think it goes without saying that, if one seeks to understand something emotionally, one needs many subjective experiences. It also goes without saying that, if one seeks to understand the essence of something, one needs both intense and rather trivial experiences. Experience with positive and negative aspects of what you seek to comprehend emotionally. Therefore with closeness as well as with its counterpart. Experience with incomprehension, with rejection, with unspoken intentions or an indistinct agenda, with various social settings, or rather with being alone, for instance. I have had plenty of experiences of that sort and they have been at least as indispensable to me as experiences with empathetic people, with the unselfish love of my father, with the warmth of a group of people, with enjoying life all by myself in order to finally be able to comprehend a little about people's differences. And thus comprehend a little about myself.
The ideal that I try to substantiate, that I have made into my aim, is not only to understand connectedness between people but also to find something to hold on to within myself. Understand myself, form an emotional foundation, know how self governing works and how I as a human can give an acceptable form to the care and responsibility for myself in an environment which is sometimes warm and understanding but not always.


Being shut out

Close by and Distant

"On the day that my father had died I was sitting in my room by myself crying. I hoped that mother would still come to me and would tell me that she was no longer angry with me. This did not happen.

When I came home from school at a quarter past twelve in the afternoon and came running up the stairs I was not allowed into the sick-room. Father had died. He had been sick for a long time. After two severe operations in 1944 he had caught tuberculosis. The days and weeks before he died I had been sitting at his bedside in the little spare room. He wanted somebody with him and I was the only one who could be with him. I did not have too much homework, as compared to my older brother. I was eleven years old. We listened to the radio together. I still remember some episodes of a radio play. If the play ended before nine-thirty, mother allowed me to stay up till then. At times he said something in connection with what was on the radio. This all happened in the fall of 1946 and the electric heater was on. Some time before he died he had called all of us together and said his farewells. I do not remember what he said to the others, only that he astonished me by asking me to promise to take good care of mother.

After supper mother, John and me and my little brother Wil and sister Lia were together in the living room. It then sank in that now and never again would I be able to go and sit with him. I think I started to cry. Perhaps it was my crying, but in any case something happened that gave cause to me being sent away. The wording was: 'You can't grieve as much as we do. We are grieving. You could sit with daddy all the time while we could not. Get out of our sight.' I went up to my room. It was cold."


My ideal is for exploring feelings and values creatively

With father's death his function for my life had ended, at least in as far as his physical presence was concerned. He meant everything to me, I loved him and he clearly loved me. He quite often blindly stood up for me against my brother. I know he had a strong feeling for justice but apparently he did not always check the facts in the heat of the moment! When he was no longer there to run to, as I always did, it is true that I felt alone and deserted but he always remained my anchor. I felt and knew that he had loved me unconditionally.
The recollection of the moment that I had been shut out has come fully to the surface and has fallen into place only about a year ago. I still knew how I sat one evening upstairs in my cold room, that I cried and hoped in vain that mother nevertheless would come to me. What had preceded this I did not remember. Of course I remembered my home-coming shortly after twelve while, unusually, the district nurse was still there talking with mother in the doorway of the sick-room. What happened at that time has remained with me clearly. Vaguely I knew the text 'Get out of our sight' which had been said to me once. As I said before, at the end of 2001 I suddenly became aware of the fact that these disconnected memories belonged together and that all three had taken place on the same day. Too painful memories, I think, only surface when you are ready for them. When time is ripe. It appears I was ready only last year.
In the days, weeks, even years after that day I often hoped, while sitting in my room, that father would know how desperate I was and would comfort me.
Because I simply did not remember the event while mother was still alive we never talked about it. We talked about a great many things together but I never spoke about my feelings.


The story in review

Skip this part just now?
My process of opening which follows the introvert Scorpio pattern has been discussed, not only in earlier parts of the story-line, in ZZZine #5. Since that approach has been used several times now this seems to be the right moment to apply a new technique. In ZZZine #16 I have announced this possibility which shall be worked out in full in ZZZine #19. This method, in short, starts from the idea that every human ability develops according to its own process. These characteristics and processes stand, that goes without saying, not disconnected but they are interwoven and form a unity. We can observe the process of every factor in the birth chart separately and will always find therein again all other factors in different phases, having other functions as a consequence. We are literally choosing a different approach.
In the texts given below we will look at the functions of interpreting, of self governing and of consistency in my birth chart, together with the tools in the form of the properties with which they make aspects. For the purpose of comparison you will find, whenever you move the cursor over the picture of the function at hand, the picture of the process of the function of opening or of my initiatives toward the environment.

Concise descriptions relevant to the story

Terms and symbols
(move the cursor over the links)


Interpreting one's own experiences

The significance of Jupiter lies in the exploration of one's personal aim, in growth and recovery. It is the starting point and end of the process of finding oneself ideals, of believing in possibilities, of interpreting events against either an adopted or one's personal framework of goals, of applying one's suppleness and resilience.

The map of the process of my approach to the world (bring the cursor over the picture) shows that I can apply my expansion and interpret function actively in the first phase of that process. The aspects of the interpret function connect it with other functions in the last four phases of its own process. In short this amounts to the fact that, in interplay with these four functions, I initiate essential experiences with which can be worked on the objectification of the personal aim, therefore of meaning, in those last phases.

Jupiter or the expansion and interpret function:

Seen from the ASCENDANT or the function of opening, Jupiter is located in the 1st phase.

fig.1: The process of the development of Jupiter
Click for the birth chart

- The goal of this process is to be concise and practical. After all I use the introvert Scorpio pattern (see the pattern-line) for this extrovert function. My need to interpret my experiences in the environment, to grow and to recover, are of an inquiring character.
  1. The need to interpret is being replenished self-evidently by my need for subjective experiences concerning powerlesness, negation and rejection and by my need for subjective experiences concerning attachment and wordless engagement. Both of these needs do this by exploring;
  2. The need to interpret is being replenished by the necessity to show myself and thus ask for reactions, where the results can be tested and be given a consistent form;
  3. The need to interpret is being stimulated by my need to empathize with how other people's feelings work and are being shaped intuitively;
  4. The need to interpret answers my need to over and over and in ever changing variation of irritating exchange put energy in social relations.
- JUPITER in the 1st phase in SCORPIO, starting point and end of the process  of  interpreting,  growth  and re-establishment, is connected with other functions via the following aspects:
  1. trines with both PLUTO and with the MOON in the 9th phase in CANCER;
  2. a square with the MIDHEAVEN in the 10th phase in LEO;
  3. a sextile with NEPTUNE in VIRGO in the 10th phase;
  4. a semi-sextile with MARS in LIBRA in the 11th phase.
The function of opening, the relation with the environment which is seeking the essential thing, is situated in the background, in the solution phase of the expansion and interpret function. Conversely, the expansion and interpret function is situated in the first phase of the function of opening and can easily be expressed. Searching for the heart of the matter is the goal which both functions have in common.

The function of self governing and the function of consistency are within the interpreting-process occupied with gathering structured knowledge and trying to find an equivalent footing respectively.

The ASCENDANT in this process of interpreting experiences is located in SCORPIO in the 12th phase (and is not related with Jupiter).


Neither the SUN in the 3rd phase in CAPRICORN, nor SATURN in the 4th phase in AQUARIUS, are in aspect with Jupiter.


Controling my individualization myself

The Sun, the symbol of self-government in order to accomplish individuality (in the sense of: undivided twofoldedness), as beginning and object of the process of wanting to control the development of the essentially singular in unity with one's environment. In the present time every person wants to realize himself and create a personal place in his environment.

The map of the process of my approach of the world (bring the cursor over the picture) indicates that the symbol of self governing, a person's most important quality really, is under considerable pressure from difficult aspects with three important functions. The aspects of the self governing function connect it with functions in the phases one, three and six of its own process. In short it amounts to the fact that, in interplay with these three functions, internally I myself work on the development of my individuality by applying self-government.

The Sun or the function of self governing:

Seen from the ASCENDANT or the function of opening, the Sun is located in the 3rd phase.

fig.2: The process of the Sun
Click for the birth chart

- The goal of this process is to be consistent. After all for this extrovert function I use the introvert Capricorn pattern (see the pattern-line).

My need to govern myself has a detached, discreet, and step by step way of structuring:
  1. The need to have self government is being challenged to co-operate with my need to have power over my subjective working on knowledge and, indirectly, with my need to connect myself with my subjective working on knowledge. In case things don't work out, the solution lies in the 12th phase in Sagittarius: integration by exploring things, by telling the story, in learning to believe in myself;
  2. The need to have self government constantly experiences a contrast between my own initiatives and my demanding need to find a good form in the direct social surroundings. Every initiative for governing calls for this contrast;
  3. The need to have self government must put a lot of energy in the need to compare experiences and collect knowledge again and again from ever new perspectives

The relation with the outside world, necessary to gain experiences, is in this case a function of the 10th phase: testing the practicability and consistency of my own controlling measures. It makes use of the introvert Scorpio pattern and thus initiates in a concise and practical manner, not particularly tactful but rather provocative unless Jupiter (expansion and interpretation) is activated.
The tenth phase with the Ascendant and Jupiter is, in the process of self government, to be found in the sign of Libra and thus feeds the 1st phase via the planet Venus (the reference- or adaptation function).

- The SUN in the 1st phase in CAPRICORN, point of beginning and end of the process of self-government in order to accomplish individuality,
is connected with other functions via the following aspects:
  1. an opposition with PLUTO (in conjunction with the MOON) in CANCER in the 6th phase;
  2. a semi-sextile with SATURN in AQUARIUS in the 1st phase;
  3. a square with URANUS in ARIES in the 3rd phase;

The ASCENDANT and JUPITER are located in this process of self governing in SCORPIO in the 10th phase (and do not aspect the Sun).


Consistently giving meaning and structure

The significance of Saturn concerns giving the care and responsibility for oneself a realistic form. In a (developmental) psychological sense that implies a determining and practicing of one's own limits and conquering one's fears which usually originate from youth. This striving for consistency and maturity is done by steering a course in time, by applying the appropriate 'built-in' security mechanism by going step by step and either tightening or easing off the reins. The objective here is of the utmost importance for the person, here one looks for the highest possible perfection of oneself.

The map of the process of my approach of the world (bring the cursor over the picture) indicates that this quality occupies an important place because of difficult aspects with three of the most important functions. The aspects connect the function of consistency with functions in the phases twelve, three, five and six of its own process. In short, it amounts to the fact that I, in interaction with five functions, internally and in the background, discreetly look for ways to give meaning to my life and try to realize that objectively.

Saturn or the function of consistency:

Seen from the ASCENDANT or the function of opening, Saturn is situated in the 4th phase.

fig.3: The process of Saturn
Click for the birth chart

- The goal of this process is to attain equivalence. For this introvert function I use after all the extrovert Aquarius pattern (discussed in the pattern-line). The need to be consistent has the character of innovation and crossing boundaries:
  1. The need to be consistent is being challenged to co-operate with my need to work towards a result by expressing myself creatively and thus evoking reactions. Sometimes things wont work out, the solution lies in the 12th phase in Capricorn (and the three functions which are present there): integrating by searching my own involvement and by taking distance, by objectification;
  2. The need to be consistent is supported in a stimulating way from the background by my need to have self government. The function which is directed towards social contacts is being fed from the 12th phase of completion and integration not only by the self government function but also by the relate- and adaptation functions Mercury and Venus;
  3. The need to be consistent has to continually express itself creatively and continually integrate the essential feeling of powerlesness and the essential feelings of belonging;
  4. The need to be consistent is being stimulated by my need to break through the limits and take initiatives to acquire knowledge. It adds an active interest in new perspectives and new means of communication.

The openingprocess, the relation with the environment which is seeking the essential thing, is in this case a function of the 9th phase: exploring more possibilities for growth, signification, limitation and consistency. It uses the introvert Scorpio pattern and thus starts with concise and practical initiatives, not particularly tactful but rather provocative, while with Jupiter (expansion and interpretation) I can tell stories.
The 9th phase of the consistency-process with the Ascendant and Jupiter is located in the extrovert sign of Libra and feeds the 12th phase via the planet Venus (the reference- or adaptation function).

- SATURN in the 1st phase in AQUARIUS, starting point and end of the process of consistency, of signification and limitation, is connected with other functions via the following aspects:
  1. an opposition with the MIDHEAVEN in LEO in 6th phase;

  2. a semi-sextile with the SUN in the 12th phase in CAPRICORN;

  3. an inconjunct with PLUTO and with the MOON in CANCER in the 5th phase;
  4. a sextile with URANUS in the 3rd phase in ARIES.

Both the ASCENDANT and JUPITER are located in this process of structuring and gaining maturity in SCORPIO in the 9th phase (there are no aspects with Saturn).


How do I deal with these things now?
Let me just put this ideal in the frame of my philosophy of life

My interpretation tells me that I have a great need of connectedness with my mother, that I have a great need of warmth and can be deeply emotional. My stories indicate that my mother was often incapable of meeting that need in full. And sometimes not at all.
My interpretation also tells me that my self-respect and my self-confidence are vulnerable and could be denied and that I would be using security mechanisms in order to procure learning time for myself. My stories indicate that I have always strongly resisted people who make decisions for me or think they know what I think or feel or am. People who wrongfully use authority. I have experienced how it feels when somebody else determines your life and you are so helpless that all you can do is surrender. That you end up hardly knowing what you feel or want and who you are.
My interpretation tells me that I am afraid of being shut out. My stories reveal that I am an Einzelgänger who is always drawn towards other people but finds it difficult to stand up for my own needs.

Knowing this, many years ago I chose very consciously to open myself for my feelings, for all feelings about whatever small things however strange or alarming they could be. That, I think, has been the basis on which all kinds of memories could turn up again and on which I could continue developing myself. Little by little, my sense of self-esteem re-established itself, I have got to know my identity better and I have used a little courage in contacts with members of my family.
In the year following father's death my life in school was quiet and safe. I passed my entrance examination smoothly and entered the Lyceum. At first the environment there was possibly not safe and supportive yet, at any rate, the fact is that by the end of the year I was not promoted. That low point, which I relate to my loneliness and the confusion at home in that period, was followed by quiet years at school. I felt reasonably accepted although I did not really belong.
When, about thirteen years after the incident, I spoke for the first time about the death of father with someone I trusted, it was reassuring. In the following life filled with work, with study, with marrige, I paid little attention to my feelings. Only when I got time to start painting did I get room for myself. At the end of that period mother died and later also my brother John, and I was able to share my feelings about that with others. Now I have come as far as to be happy about the fact that I can cry for the unhappy child I was then.

However, taking time to get to better know your feelings is one thing, I needed a philosophy of life in which I could frame these emotions. That frame was also indispensable as a basis for my ideals, in order to be able to control my own life. I had no longer a philosophy of life since I had thrown the old religious story overboard. Every business company with self-respect needs its own concept (according to Peter J. Drucker, management guru). One should think such a thing must surely be a useful tool for a human being? But how does one fill in a philosophy of life? I started a search for the meaning of my own life. Along the way I found two stimuli: a self-help group and astrology.
How did I use the two stimuli to make a personal concept my actual and active philosophy of life?
As a start I needed to take my time. I needed to give myself a lot of attention, what I do and how I acted and that takes time. Much time. The patience I found in the self-help group supported me in that. But especially the openness, learning to share with others your worst experiences, learning to look fear and uncertainty in the eye, have given me self-confidence again.
Additionally, I needed an exact map of my space-time continuum with an interpretation which gave me full space. I needed a lot of time in order to take in the immense amount of information and the possible meanings in my birth chart. Thinking in opposites, contrasts and differences was new and strange to me. The complementary notions in the birth chart have been especially useful to me because I found in them the living space I needed. I can use every function in my birth chart in two ways. The choice is mine - which does not say that I can change them quickly.

By now I experience my detached connectedness with my environment and I even have a better understanding of how life works. I have come closer to that ideal of mine! Study and work still continue however.
Because I do not want to steal anyone's own discovery I shall not reproduce in full the contents of my philosophy of life. I shall however, as before, be open about it in cases where a certain basic point comes up for discussion. I have drawn attention to the tools I have used. Self-help groups can be found in all sorts and sizes all over the world. Opposite parts are present in everybody's birth chart, always as integral part of one's own situation and of one's own life.