Obesity, Friend Or Foe
With so much ongoing talk about the rising problem of obesity, the transit of Venus through Cancer seems like a good time to write about the issue in terms of astrology and the background shown through planetary symbolism. Since it comes from strange connections and blockages in the trio of Moon, Venus and Jupiter, we must acknowledge both its positive and negative roles. Very often, people will say that they “eat away their feelings”, trying to numb the pain or the frailty of heart. The comfort that comes through it is often described as us reaching for mother’s support that is meant to be found in the essence of Cancer. However, it would be wrong to narrow the view down on our basic mother-child relationship when the sign of Cancer carries emotions and information from our entire ancestral line, with all its aspirations and horrors, beliefs and troubles, talents and losses.
The Trio of Happiness…
… is the trio of Venus, Jupiter and our master of emotional fluency – the Moon. When these planets are challenged, especially when all of them are in some way bruised, a person is very likely to find ways to numb their emotions by turning to different dulling substances from the outer world. Some will find comfort in alcohol, others in drugs or medication, while some turn to food to provide them with much needed satisfaction they tend to squeeze out of other areas of their lives. In these terms sadness (Moon) and guilt (Venus) combine in a loop of damaging convictions (Jupiter) that keep us on scales of invisible balance between our emotional and mental worlds that cannot seem to find the right meeting point.
Guilt is usually the main contributor to the issue, as it keeps one in the loop of inadequacy, no matter how hard they try of how firmly they decide to lose weight at some point in life. Challenged Venus may carry loads of guilt, the goddess of balance between lack of love for Self and imposed love for Self that also isn’t love at all. She understands that one will feel guilty if they gain too much weight, so it becomes a matter of control of Self and the constant inadequacy of the image we show to the world. On the other side of our scales (and less visible one but equally important) is the guilt for even trying to be fit and skinny, as “everyone” tells you – YOU MUST LOVE YOURSELF NO MATTER HOW YOU LOOK. So there’s the guilt for wanting to be something different from what you are today. Now keep in mind – this is a PRIVATE MATTER. If we don’t love ourselves as obese or skinny or bent or troubled or lost, should we just give up because others told us to? We must keep in mind that many of the people promoting moral judgment of self-love for those who struggle with weight gain never dealt with the issue in the first place. So, how would they know what one should or shouldn’t feel? On that matter – how could anyone ever know how anyone else should or shouldn’t feel? We cannot be this hard on ourselves in our attempts to be happy.
Self-love is a personal issue, based on personal convictions and beliefs, and on the image of Self that no one from the outer world can EVER see. It is intimate, hidden as a gem inside our belly, our fourth house and our Moon with its dark side as well, and it might depend on any form of moral judgment for Self, including the vain, posing, superficial one – I want to be beautiful within realms of collective approach to beauty. To expand our own approach to what is beautiful, we must have a strong basis in emotional support and connections with the humankind, and no approach should be dismissed just for the sake of not being vain. What is truly important here isn’t to hold on to moral convictions that are “righteous” in the eyes of the world (Jupiter in Capricorn), but to moral convictions that we feel are TRUE in our hearts (Jupiter in Cancer). When we CAN do something to change and reshape our reality in accordance to our inner truth, every problem becomes much easier to solve. This is when opinions of others become less relevant. We are allowed to wish, want, yearn, crave, we are allowed to eat, starve, hesitate, get lost, we are allowed to be fragile and wounded just as everyone else, even if they show it seemingly less than we do. It comes down to all of us being allowed to feel.
The real struggle with any form of dependency including food, is the one deep bruise, the feeling that we don’t wish to cope with, rather than the way our reflection in the mirror looks. This feeling may be terrifying and so dark that no other person in our life wishes to see it either. It is the place where we feel invisible and thrown away, cast aside until we do something, conditioning that comes from dismissal of behaviors and feelings. This is a child within that isn’t allowed to cry, get angry, scream or move. It is perhaps a distant memory of a child from our family line that wasn’t allowed to breathe. Now with this in mind, however dark or morbid it might seem, we may all be reminded how many different feelings we carry from the line of our ancestors that never got resolved. There are traumas in our systems that we don’t understand or see clearly, and they don’t make us vain or superficial but quite the opposite. Before approaching any issue in life, we must open horizons to truly understand those dealing with different forms of avoidance, invisible aggression, pity, disrespect or judgment.
Of course, self-love is the key and the problem-solver here, but it needs to be real, founded on belief in the purpose of our own emotions (Jupiter exalted in Cancer), focused on personal wellbeing and tenderness with our ACTUAL needs (Moon exalted in Taurus), healthy boundaries and the sense of safety and grounding that can be achieved in other ways than eating. If we look at it as our defense mechanism to cope with life, it might be easier for one to detach and see it as an issue that can be resolved.
The Sense of Protection
Body weight itself is the matter of Mars, on a practical, down-to-earth plane. It represents our need for grounding, hence our need to protect ourselves from the impact of the outer world. Not only are these mechanisms of self-preservation necessary, but they are in fact keeping us alive. When we are overeating (overdoing other things as well) it comes from the need to protect our fragile inner world from imposed convictions that weaken our willpower and make us doubt our emotions. Since sensitive emotional boundaries cannot be seen with the naked eye (also a matter of Jupiter that only sees clearly through one’s heart), a person will often block their own emotional flow and try to control how they feel towards others. Now, a truly liberating fact is - emotions cannot be controlled for real. Each attempt of control, however temporarily successful, will leave its mark and consequences we’ll deal with later on anyway. The only healthy way to approach Self is to embrace our emotions until they pass in their natural tone, show their clear message, and with it, the true purpose they have in one’s life. Any other approach to our feelings will negatively affect our physiology, our unconscious world and circumstances surrounding us.
Bruises to the heart are natural and the system of support we create can only be built on honesty for Self and us choosing to allow our anger, sorrow, resentment, mushiness, and even hate, to show us the way. When we allow ourselves to clearly see how much sadness we carry within, we will also see the sadness in others and feel less alone, this leading to us feeling less sad as well. We are all insanely fragile and breakable, no matter our defense mechanisms that get us through the days. Typically, people who hurt us the most are sharing our issues and get entangled, just as we do, in a victim-aggressor relationship that we need to find a way out of. High body mass offers protection from intrusions, from people we don’t understand, as our negative image of Self shields us, allowing us to hide and feel insecure enough to not get into contacts that aren’t good for us in the first place. Trust has to be earned when you are insecure and buried under layers of personal protection, and this is the first line of defense against toxic relationships and imposed attitudes. Even though obesity seems like a health hazard only waiting to kill us, this self-destructive approach to life is what we feel protects us from things we see as “worse than death”, obviously.
So to begin with, we must never underestimate our emotional depth or its wisdom. Physiology is way smarter than our minds can ever be, and speaks in different ways about things we don’t yet understand. Damaging weight issues are always a matter of emotion and self-protection, of feelings that overcome the importance of health itself, and the value of such an inner struggle shouldn’t be dismissed in any way. We get big or breakable for a reason, as our bodies show us that there is something we aren’t seeing clearly enough.
To start dealing with such problems, our confidence must grow and our Sun is to get stronger, so we can see that our feelings are never mistaken in their flow to show us the way. What we recognize in people who are in our lives today might be out of place and wrong, but this only speaks of past and ancestral issues that we are holding on to and replaying right now. To separate the now from any other moment in time, we must dive in and see what our feelings represent to us, how deep are fears are rooted, and where our core of self-denial actually lies. If we feel bruised and insecure around others, maybe we should simply spend more time alone. If we see ourselves as vain while we wish to look good on our Instagram photos, maybe we should embrace this need as our own. If we are hungry, maybe we should eat. But whatever the issue, we must see WHY we are alone, shy, hungry or vain, rather than simply judging ourselves. This is where self-love is to kick in, behind it all, for it is perfectly fine to feel vulnerable, hungry, angry, lost or in need of approval from others, starting with our parents, of course. None of these needs defines our authentic core, but represents only a piece of emotion we have today.
We cannot hate our shield of protection or our frailty and move on from defense mechanisms that aren’t healthy. Instead, this is what we must love, our deepest desire to be free, self-sufficient and at the same time lazy, always satisfied and smiling. Once we start loving our own need to be happy and relaxed, we may start loving our bodies just as they are, and influence them in ways that change our habits and truly make us balanced. Our ability to enjoy food is in fact the foundation for a healthy lifestyle as our body informs us what our authentic personality and our physiology need. Still, this doesn’t mean we always understand its language properly with the set of convictions and moral norms we’ve been dealt with through contact with other people. So, what really needs to change is what we see, for only with our perspective in place can our shields be put aside as we find peace right where we are today.