Astrology of Blame and Responsibility

In human relationships one of the most difficult things with which we are challenged is to take responsibility for our actions, or what ‘happens’ to us. The planet which immediately comes to mind of course is Saturn, Lord of Karma, who forces us to face up to the results of our actions. Hence the keyword of ‘responsibility’ which goes with Saturn.

The wayward or unaligned personality has for aeons seen Saturn as a ‘malefic’ through its own inability to measure up to the behests of the soul. Hence the prison house which the personality can be, whose jailor is the shadow or ‘dweller’.

Yet Saturn offers opportunity, freedom and ultimately liberation, with the condition that we ‘own our stuff’. This is easier to see if we can see the immediate results of our actions in this life, the law of cause and effect at work.

However it is not so easy to see when things ‘happen’ to us without much indication in this life as to the cause that bought about the effect. We could say philosophically, ‘oh that must be my karma’ and accept the situation on ‘faith’ or without much reasoning. And this is a perfectly valid way to deal with it. Or we could be hard on ourselves and make an in depth identification with our current ‘karmic situation’ and identify with the presumed or reasoned cause.

This is where it gets tricky as one can quite easily identify with a situation through guilt or an over-zealous need for ‘redemption’, and take on something that actually is not yours. On the other hand the conclusion drawn could be quite accurate. Sometimes one never knows and just lives with the situation, but usually there is a degree of blame toward oneself, or projected outwardly to others.

This latter option of projecting outwardly to othres, is the most common behaviour for humanity in general. In our aspiring to be better people we may not want to identify with something either in this life or in a past life that makes us look bad or weak. The selfish motive for many is how the situation would ‘appear’ to others, and how that would affect one’s self image (the illusory ‘ahamkara’), in the social context within which one finds oneself.

Blame is a personality trait, specifically in the dweller, or shadow, which does not want to acknowledge the existence of some part of itself. Responsibility is more of a soul quality which expresses itself through a relatively integrated personality.

So if Saturn and responsibility go together, what planet pairs up with blame? What is unconcious within us and constitutes the dweller? The Moon would be first choice, that unreasoning, sometimes irrational part of our natures. It is that part of our horoscopes that get us into the most trouble because we are unconscious of  those traits. They are only brought into awareness through engaging in human relationships and dialogue.

Therefore we could seriously consider the cardinal cross signs of Cancer and Capricorn, which Moon and Saturn rule respectively, as representing this blame/responsibility polarity. Of course this does not mean that Cancers are blamers or blameworthy, and that Capricorns are the only responsible people – although I know one or two who would have you belive that!

Mars is another non-sacred planet that is intimately associated with the dweller, particularly in the expression of anger and hate. It finds its ‘fall’ in Cancer and its ‘exaltation’ in Capricorn.

In Cancer we have the most delicate of emotional sensitivities being ‘intruded upon’ by the god of war, who also happens to co-rule the solar plexus centre, expression of those emotions. Hence Mars’ position here is perfect for stirring up the ‘mud from the bottom of the pond’ and dealing with the dweller.

In Capricorn, Mars goes to war between the lower personal materialistic inclinations and the higher spiritual sensitivities.

In this Cancer/Capricorn polarity we have non-sacred planets Moon and Mars, versus sacred planet Saturn, relating to the personality in the former, and the fusion of consciousness and form in the latter.

The Aries/Libra polarity of the cardinal cross may be even more apt in our exploration of blame and responsibility. Mars is the non-sacred ruler of Aries and initiates (aggressive) action on the physical plane. Saturn is exalted in the opposite sign Libra, which is the first sign that Aries  reaches – on its journey between Aries and Libra – where one is held accountable for one’s initial actions. It also represents where a choice can be made ‘at the point of balance’.

Here is where we see most human conflict, whether it is the ‘war of the roses’ in a personal relationship, or hawks (Mars/Aries) and doves (Venus/Libra) in the Middle East. This is where blame and lack of responsibility are most apparent.

Unredeemed Mars will use force and emotion to reinforce the personality’s will. The dweller will do anything to maintain the status quo. Unredeemed Saturn and its Ray 3 attributes will twist and manipulate a situation mentally, creating confusion in the ‘opponent’. As soon as force is employed, you can count on a degeneration and downward spiral of the situation from thereon in.

This is why personal slanging matches are simply two dwellers fighting for survival. There is no relinquishing of the ‘gained’ or ‘captured’ territory; will does not want to move over for love – this is basic to the human dweller.

Behind all this is the issue of identity, that which is threatened when asked to relate. Consider Aries, where the Sun, the symbol of personality, identity and self, is exalted. It is locked in permanent embrace with its opposite Libra, wherein it finds itself, and yet where it also can lose itself.

Hence the razor-edge path of relationships, of identity or submersion of identity in another; the love dance around the zodiac circle, where sometimes the divine conjunction (conjugation) takes place.

The Israel/Palestine conflict is an ideal place to observe this Aries/Libra axis. Both sides want an ‘identity’ in their respective states and homeland. Both are aggressive and martial, yet peace is still only a distant possibility. They both want to maintain autonomous cultures, yet there is a great synthesis of cultures going on in many western nations. This is related to Libra being prominent in the planetary horoscope at this time.

The Capricorn/Cancer axis is also strong with the Jewish Race ruled by Capricorn, and of course Cancer, with the homelands for both nations. Arafat is Cancer rising with Venus and Pluto conjunct the ascendant.

In a personal relationship when something ‘happens’ to you, such as let us say, your best friend runs off with your wife. Who is to blame for plunging you into such a profound crisis? Why have I been betrayed?

Is my best friend to blame for lying to my face, cheating behind my back and manipulating my wife? Or is my wife to blame for lying to my face, cheating behind my back and manipulating my best friend? I am innocent, right? I mean how can such bad things happen to a good person? (I think there is a book called that!)

Perhaps this person’s whole identity hinged on his relationship with his wife. Perhaps both the wife and lover were just plain mean and ran off together, oblivious to the pain that they had caused. Perhaps they rationalised it in that neither of them could communicate with the husband because he had such deep set unchangeable ways that he could not see, even if they were shoved in front of his face? Perhaps the wife felt the burden of the husband expressing himself through her only, and that he was being lazy in not addressing his own issues. Or that he was wanting mothering and she was reluctant to give it. Or that she never really wanted to be in a relationship with him in the first place, as she was still finding her identity. Now that she really found it, she knew what she wanted. Or there could be dozens of other reasons.

So what is he going to do? Is he going to blame one or both of them in righteous indignation? Is he going to hold onto the sense of betrayal and become bitter and twisted about it? Or will some responsibility kick in, and he eventually examines himself and sees that yes, there were some limiting patterns, and acknowledge them, the first step in the healing process. And might he not eventually intuit that he was the perpetrator of such a situation in another life with these two? If that were true, then he has moved to a deeper level of responsibility.

It is all a process of moving toward the truth as we become aware of the various layers in ourselves that we discard when we realise that we don’t want to be wearing that moth-eaten clothing. Peeling back these layers is beautifully portrayed in the movie “Dead Man Walking” with Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon.

Even if he were completely ‘innocent’, a healing and a moving on must occur, preferably in that life rather than drag it out to the next! Many people love their pain or miserable existence because it is familiar like an old friend. The dweller wants it to be just like this thanks, so I can wallow in my self pity, its mine and nobody else’s. Funny how we can be so possessive about those things that possess us and imprison! One at least knows it and how to manage it or maintenance it.

However, we all know how maintenance of an old vehicle is simply pouring all your money into a black hole. So we have to be courageous and daring, and get a new vehicle! And when we get it, we should drive on the wrong side of the road into the oncoming traffic at 100mph! Well now I am getting silly, but what is meant here is a mini ‘reversal of the wheel’ and a ‘taking of the wheel’ from the hands of the ‘nut benind the wheel’!

The pain of abandonment is perhaps humanity’s greatest existential problem, brought out with Jesus’s words on the cross: “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”. (It is also beautifully bought out in the somewhat sentimental “Footprints” poster)

The perennial problem of the unfolding consciousness of humanity: To evolve a personal identity for the expression of soul over countless aeons of lives. But on the fixed cross of Love we are asked to gradually give up all that we have worked so hard for because it gets in the way of love and Life! Such is the ongoing process of abstraction, as we take on more responsibility, (becoming blameless!) and are rewarded with commensurate freedoms that finally lead to Liberation.

Gemini is of course very much related to the process of blame and responsibility. Both the aforementioned Moon and Saturn have ancient relationships to Gemini. Venus is the planet which links  the Cardinal Cross to the Mutable Cross through its several exoteric and esoteric rulerships.

Gemini is the ‘tit for tat’ of the two warring brothers in the wrestling ring, as they slam from ‘pillar to post’. It is the projection and counter-projection, or punch and counter-punch that bounces from one pole to the other – just mindlessly fighting with no resolution, except for dominance of another by force.

When the brothers can embrace in the middle of the ring with the referee jubilantly holding up each of their hands (which Gemini rules), declaring them both winners, then the battle has been won. The hands are now freed to serve and heal one another.

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