The Alchemy of Transforming Fate to Destiny
First published on Myss.com.
I had written an article some time ago titled Fate vs. Free Will in which I explored the issues that surround Fate and the capacity to choose our paths in Life. It’s a very deep subject that has now become the theme and title of my upcoming book for Hay House. In fact, when writing that article, I remember thinking to myself, “This would make a great book!” Since that article, my understanding has continued to evolve, as it always will, regarding the Fate of our lives and our Free Will. I’d like to share with you some of my insights regarding Fate……..and now what I understand to be its companion: Destiny. Just how do these two forces dance in our lives? One primary thing I have learned is that you can’t have one without the other as they are bound inextricably to the human experience. And we must forge a relationship with our Fate to begin a dialogue with Destiny…..once again, let’s go back in time.
We make our destinies by our choice of Gods
When the ancients ( by ancients I am in some way referring to all ancient cultures, but more specifically the Babylonians and Greeks as the western psyche is derived largely from their mythic legacy) created their myths, and then projected them onto the stars and planets – just what were they really doing? To define this via a contemporary/archetypal perspective, we must understand that the ancients were projecting onto the heavens their own inner processes, drives, archetypal patterns, complexes, fears, and intuitive understanding of the cosmos. They took their psyches and hung them upon the stars. In doing so, they mapped a universal archetypal architecture which reveals the inherent structure of creation in our solar system – a cosmic blue print in the sky of our collective creative process! For the ancients this was primarily motivated by a need to exert some control over the fate of their lives, and perhaps later on, a way of discerning the will of the Gods so that they could please them; producing a more fortunate relationship with these perceived external Forces. In my lectures, I usually crack a joke in how the stars that we call constellations don’t really look like two fish, a bull, a lion, scales, etc, come on now! Yet, the ancients saw these things because as they looked up, they saw aspects of themselves in which they tried to discern their Fate and Destiny.
Because we are all connected to the continuum of collective consciousness, the ancients bequeathed us a very important legacy; which has been consolidated into the modern day astrological model. They mapped out a fundamental archetypal framework of this solar system, its rhythm, timing, and the mythic creative process of our psyche. It was through my passion for, and work with astrology that I began to perceive this so clearly.
In terms of the law of correspondences which states, “That what is above is as that which is below,” the astrological chart cast at the exact time of your birth mirrors an archetypal map of your celestial task of transforming Fate into Destiny. Though it can be immensely helpful, you don’t necessarily need a birth chart, nor a complete knowledge of astrology to begin grasping just how our inner Gods and Goddesses must be heard and propitiated to initiate an inner transformation of our archetypal fate. But you do need to understand the fundamental ways in which archetypes function.
From Fate to Destiny...
In my work, I have come to realize that my primary function as an intuitive and as an astrologer is to help people understand the fundamental agreements they made with this Universe before coming here, how can they best fulfill the terms of such, how they are connected to life through cycles, and what are their archetypal patterns and complexes that need to be integrated into a single concept of Self. In many ways, we are talking about one’s Fate, and I am helping each client understand their Fate, so that by forging a relationship with it, a dialogue with Destiny begins. I have realized that the complexities of our life’s ‘cosmic contract’ can be summed up as two fundamental agreements, one is made with ‘Fate’ and the other agreement is made with ‘Destiny.’ Fate includes the archetypes you have agreed to fuse your soul with this lifetime in the process of co-creation and the way you are connected with time on earth. These are both things that were predetermined before you incarnated on the planet. We each have been contracted to certain limits for a purpose that ultimately trumps our Western desire to transgress all of our limitations and become anything we want to be (I have found this desire is often the by-product of a cultural spell – not an authentic need.) That being said, many of us have similar if not the same archetypes or gods that we are bringing through our psyches – so why is it that some of us seem to make such a mess of things, while others seem to birth gold?? We must look to the Soul and Consciousness that is animating an archetype to find that answer, as that is what determines how that archetype is facilitated into the world; and how we consciously manifest our archetypal patterns/life is Destiny!
Thus the first key is the awareness of archetypal patterns and complexes. Awareness can open up a plethora of options on how to creatively work with them; such that two inner needs that on the surface may seem to conflict with each other can, through consciousness, learn to work together creatively. So I know you are asking, ok, Robert, what the hell does that mean……..? Let me break it down (this is where I start to rap – just kidding!)
A common manifestation that I see quite often deals with something we all struggle with: relationships. I have seen, time and time again, a fundamental conflict in relating that highlights one’s intrinsic need for deep emotional intimacy with a partner, colliding with one’s need for autonomous freedom - how do you reconcile that?? Based on culturally indoctrinated models of relating, most of us have adopted a co-dependent model of how to be in a relationship that polarizes us against our own wholeness, such that one person in a relationship tends to do much of the emotional processing and caretaking (usually the female), while the other is more cool, detached, adventurous, and unavailable emotionally (usually the male.) Based on which part you are living out or embodying, you will attract the opposite in a partner like a magnet – which, in spite of your best intentions, can feel like Fate. And it is, because you are fating yourself to magnetically attract that which you cannot recognize as being partly you! As life is a continual journey toward more encompassing states of wholeness, this is the making of the ‘tales of woe’ we have all lived and heard all too often. Take a moment and look at your relationships, how many of you can see that you have perhaps played out both ends of this spectrum, so in one relationship you were the needy, clingy, caretaker, rescuer, and mother/father to someone else. And then in the next, you were more emotionally removed and feeling trapped by another’s perceived co-dependent neediness, which only seemed to stifle your need for adventure and freedom? Well folks, only when both needs are recognized within you as being your needs, and you take responsibility for those needs, can you awaken conscious choice regarding who you love and draw into your life. When you have that going for you, then you can manifest an interdependent relationship with another by magnetizing that for your life, this is Destiny! Seeing the archetypes that are in conflict (which in this case could perhaps be the Mother and Adventurer – or Rescuer and Hero), that is your first step forward – and this, my friends, is one example of how you change Fate into Destiny. In my workshop we’ll explore many more.
Destiny, which is the fullest range of potential and self-expression you can actualize in this lifetime, isn’t engaged until you can creatively orchestrate the archetypes of your psyche into a symphony in which all voices are heard and honored; all parts of your nature are embodied and held in esteem.
Speaking of themes of intimacy, let’s look at the upcoming Mercury Retrograde in Cancer.
Mercury Retrograde In Cancer
July 4th-July 28th
To summarize briefly what a Mercury retrograde cycle is: When looking in the sky at the planet Mercury we usually perceive it as moving in a forward motion through the heavens, this is called “Mercury direct”….then every 4 months or so, it appears to go backwards in the sky due to our earthly orbit operating in tandem with Mercury’s orbit around the Sun. This apparent backward motion – and I say “apparent” because it’s not really going backwards – lasts for about 22 days. When Mercury is direct we are engaging with life in a very forward way and not overanalyzing actions. Making decisions seems to be in greater harmony with the forward movement we want to take on our path in Life. Yet we are also more driven by the personality and ego during such times, and tend to not allow for too much reflection and introspection generally speaking. All the while we are forging forward; the Universe is giving us guidance via intuitive data that we tend to miss because of our busy minds trying to run the show due to our wants and needs. In an effort to keep the Tao of the Universe in balance, we are given a three week opportunity to reflect and re-evaluate our choices and direction in various areas of our life symbolized by the astrological sign Mercury is retrograding in, allowing for a more informed wisdom to emerge while we slow up a bit and redirect our Life – this is the Mercury retrograde period. When we resist - via our ego - this introspective time, then Mercury as a messenger, shows up in the “Trickster” form that everyone is all too familiar with. This is the phenomena that you always hear about; electronics breaking down, accidents, miscommunication, thwarted plans, etc. These are all agencies through which the Universe operates so that you’ll slow down and pay attention to the message the Gods have for you!
And here we are again, the Gods are delivering a message both collectively and personally to us that we have needed to hear as a reminder of just what our ‘Cosmic Contract” is, and Mercury, the herald of the Gods, is ready to deliver, but are we ready to listen?? The “set up” phase of this Mercury retrograde began on June 18th. This is because on June 18th, Mercury entered into the degrees of Cancer that it will eventually retrograde over again while it backtracks for 3 weeks back out of a small entrance into Leo; making Cancer the main theme of this upcoming retrograde period. This Mercury retrograde doesn’t technically begin, however, until July 4th. Mercury will stay retrograde until July 28th, when it stations direct bringing with it a new Cancerian soulfulness to our thinking, communicating, and perceptual processes.
Before I decode the theme of this upcoming retrograde, I think it’s notable to add that the three Mercury retrograde periods of this year are all in water signs (Pisces, Cancer, and Scorpio.) I didn’t write much about the last retrograde because I had tackled the Astrological Ages in my last article – but it was in Pisces…….What all this has in common is that this year we are called to re-evaluate the quality of emotional connections we have in our lives with each retrograde. This demands that we use these times to understand better our own personal psychology. We must be willing to receive the emotional data that leads us to new breakthroughs regarding our inherited psychological traits, needs, and unresolved psychic complexes in our unconscious. In Jungian terms, this year’s Mercury retrograde in the water signs is about activating the “feeling function” of our consciousness so we may come to understand our emotional life on all levels – from the personal to the collective. This demands an investigation into our personal values and our subjective responses to the world around us. Now onto this upcoming retrograde in Cancer….
Cancer is a very subjective energy, and deals greatly with our personal unconscious and sense of origins, i.e. family. The archetypes that constellate around this sign, or cluster around it which will activate in our lives would be: The Mother, The Rescuer, The Child, The Nurturer, Betty Crocker (ok, I made that one up!), and the archetype of Family and Home itself. My sense is that what will be up for review and introspection this next retrograde are the ways in which we need to feel emotionally connected to others in terms of tribe and family. You may want to spend the retrograde period asking yourself what you need to feel deeply loved and supported emotionally in your relationships to others, and how do you communicate those needs? I sense many of you will be addressing the ‘family psyche’ that you are connected to, which will perhaps be activated by latent emotional issues surfacing. So, that old grudge you never resolved with your sibling, mother, father, may come up in July……..or perhaps the ‘pink elephant’ that sat on your table at dinner growing up, that no one talked about is finally addressed on some new level. The Child Archetype will be activated too because fundamental family issues always reference our childhoods and the parenting we received. Yet, it’s the emotions that matter during this retrograde, and perhaps more importantly, how you were mothered growing up will be a main issue this retrograde. Yes folks, get ready to deal with your fundamental mother complex!
I feel that each of us will need to become more fluent in the language of feelings as they relate to the Deeper Self during this retrograde such that we understand the hidden reactive and subjective aspects of our minds. Our own needs to be nourished must be acknowledged; our own cup must be full before we can fill another’s – something many of you may need to renegotiate with the ‘others’ in your lives. More mundanely, you may simply want to redecorate your home to bring in more nurturing energies to your life, as the home resonates with Cancer as a symbol of security.
In addition, the feminine and receptive aspects of our psyche will need to merge with a new outlook and perspective on life to bring us up to date with our purpose, growth, and authentic needs. No matter what area you are needing greater balance in, this next retrograde will address the imbalance as it relates to the integration of your own archetypal feminine energy, regardless of your actual gender – that’s a head’s up for the men out there!
The first two weeks of a Mercury retrograde cycle are usually the most difficult because something is trying to birth from the unconscious on both a personal and collective level. This demands often that Mercury show up in his “Trickster” form – tricking us into taking a good look at ourselves! The more you fight, the worse you make it, so let go…..breathe, and ask our dear Hermes what message he has for you from the Universe and your Soul. By July 18th, we reach the midpoint of the cycle as Mercury conjuncts (joins) the Sun in Cancer in the sky, delivering the main message and theme for you regarding this retrograde cycle. Don’t rush about thinking it’s over yet though! Your psyche will still be too caught between two perspectives to make clear judgments, and more time needs to be allotted for a fully informed solution regarding your needs for inner emotional security and connectedness with others. Save the big choices of your life until sometime after July 28th, when Mercury goes direct again. Then you might have just enough insight to make some wise, informed, and new choices which build a deeper emotional network for your life. I’ll be crying, processing, feeling, remembering, and reaching for deeper levels of loving right along with all of you. I hope this can serve as some small guidance for you during this cycle of time.
Have a wonderful summer.