Me too. Like so many women, I have also been sexually harassed, assaulted and abused. It started in adolescence, with my body changing and the comments of the growing boys around me becoming more and more invasive, continuing throughout high school and university, and well into adulthood and into my work life.
It involved friends, colleagues, professors, bosses and complete strangers. Somehow the whole world seemed entitled to a piece of my body, and still does. And even though men do get abused too, it doesn’t usually come with the entitlement and indifference we women have learned to put up with. Men’s abuse is not institutionalised.
And there are all the others who position themselves differently on the gender spectrum, all the other who don’t fit into our black and while boxes and, in those blurred lines, somehow it seems as if all bets are off when it concerns them and nothing and everything is allowed all at once, but that is another story for another day.
What I want to share today is what I learned from my stories of abuse. First, that it was never, ever my fault. It is never the victim’s fault. No matter how you dress. No matter how you look. Or how old you are. You are not meant to know better. You are not meant to foresee all the ways that others can get to you. You can’t. And you shouldn’t have to.
The other thing I learned as that others were responsible too. The boys who laughed when one of them catcalled. The ones who looked and sighed in admiration when one of them boasted about what he had done to her. The so-called friends who plotted behind my back and arranged to leave me alone with the would be perpetrator.
We are all responsible for ourselves and, at the same time, we are all responsible for each other. If any one of those involved would have spoken up, would have dared to step out from the herd, would have been brave enough to face the rejection of the group, my life would have been different. So many lives would have been different. Yours too.
Whether we are aware of them or not, archetypes are always at play in the depths of our minds and in the breadth of our lives. The Libra New Moon sheds light on the Aries-Libra polarity. Mars and Venus. The self versus the other. How we are different and how we are the same. Where we part ways and where we come together. War and Love.
Ruled by Mars, Aries is the archetype of the warrior or the hero who can go it alone and stand up for their truth, who fights for what they believe in. Who dares to go where no one else will. In its shadow side though, Aries stands for nothing and no one but themselves and it’s everyone on their own as far as they’re concerned.
Ruled by Venus, Libra represents the part of our psyche that chooses harmony and balance. That always looks for the points of connection. The middle way and every other way but the high way. The shadow side of Libra is pleasing, people pleasing especially. Not daring to speak up lest they lose the harmony, lest the group be disturbed.
With Uranus, the planet of unexpected outcomes sitting opposite the Sun and Moon in Libra, you might find some surprising truths about yourself. Maybe you were the victim and never realised it. Maybe you were the abuser and never admitted it. Maybe you could have helped and didn’t dare to. Maybe you never even thought about it.
But Uranus also brings unforeseen solutions. Different ways to look at the same thing. New solutions to old problems. Uranus can helps us see where we are a part of the problem and how we can be a part of the solution. If we don’t hide our heads in the sand. If we stop pretending it’s someone else’s problem. If we start realising it affects us all.
Abuse is not a mark that we wear on your face and everyone can tell what’s happened to us. And yet, though it may not look different, it does feel different. For those of us who had to go through it, it can never be taken back, but we can do our best to make sure it does not happen to others. We can tell our stories and we can tell how we carried on.
I went on by never talking about it and building walls around myself. For many years I thought it was my fault and I never talked about it. Because I didn’t talk about it, I couldn’t hear about it. I couldn’t see it happening everywhere around me. And I couldn’t deal with it. I couldn’t heal it. I went on pretending it never happened.
Until I found a love that was strong enough to hold me as I was, a love that was strong enough to hold all the shattered pieces of my self and still does. That love first grew in my heart and then met me outside of myself as another when I was ready to receive it. When I was ready to receive myself as I was. Shattered pieces and all.
The answer to everything is love. Even when you think it isn’t. And the solution to everything is love. Even when you think it can’t possibly be.
This is Libra’s message and this is my New Moon message to you.
If you would like to know more about how these archetypes play in your astrological chart and day to day life, you can book a session here.