Astrological Themes of Self-Abandonment

Until recently I hadn’t quite understood how “unwholey” and lost I felt. Why it seemed I was constantly looking to others for a sense of identity or meaning…Why I felt so outside of myself and constantly wanting to orient to someone else. The word “orient” means “to face the East” and the rising of the sun…our constant way to orient. I felt the pain of not being the center of my own universe. I have Sun conjunct Chiron and it often shows up by me having difficulty having a personal center (as the sun is to us) or identity. I’m great at building others up, wanting them to shine, reflecting their glory and meanwhile feel a sense of despair around my own worth. The Sun represents our center, where we get our energy, and our spirit. When Chiron or Neptune impacts this sense of self, we can become an empty or wounded vessel needing an other to fill us. 

For the past several years I’ve wanted to start my own business and yet have such a lack of confidence in my often considered “masculine traits” such as focus, embarking on goals. I’ve wanted a man to hold this for me, feeling attracted to men who are entrepreneurs or in positions of power. I’ve projected my image of a savior, healer, and guru onto everyone but myself. I’ve worked as a publicist building up others and helping them get attention. I’ve been attracted to men solely for my idea that they are somehow more enlightened or powerful than I. 

I’ve shamefully played the role of damsel in distress in hopes of finding someone to save me from myself. (This quality of wanting a rescuer or needing someone else to give direction, are both very Chironic and Neptunian qualities.) I’ve hoped to be the wife of a great man so that I could revolve around him instead of myself. (Several wives of presidents have had Sun-Chiron combinations.) Conversely I’ve dated “lame ducks” who need emotional support and then hurt me deeply. With the powerful ability to reflect to others their sense of self, I have been a magnet for those with low self-worth similar to my own. Really what I was doing all along was self-abandoning and giving my power away. (Even writing this now I feel my solar plexuses ache.) 

In a nutshell, self-abandonment is the tendency and things we do to avoid painful and difficulty feelings. It can be everything from addictions to people pleasing. Ultimately it is a learned pattern of relating we can inherit or adapt to from society or our families or origin (I do think women are more often self-abandoning than men).  While, self-abandonment may or may not be associated with a certain astrological complexes, I have certainly found some culprits in my own chart that could play a major role such Neptune, Chiron, Mercury, and Mars. I believe each of these planets have their own flavor of abandonment, in particular if they are aspecting the Sun as our personal center.

When we self-abandon, we then require a savior/rescuer, and create co-dependency patterns. And this self-abandonment is a major cause of pain and suffering in our lives…particularly in relationships. When we abandon ourselves we make someone else responsible for our feelings of self-worth and well-being. In fact the word abandonment comes from Old French meaning “at will power” implying that the power doesn’t reside permanently and is at discretion of something else. When you abandon yourself you have to use all sorts of tactics and manipulation to control the situations in order to maintain a sense of self in relationship to someone else. Sounds like a perfect disaster plan for co-dependency and helplessness if you ask me (while you didn’t I am sharing it anyway).

“Wounds don’t heal by avoiding them. Wounds heal by exposing them, consciously making the effort to learn from them and ultimately love them.” ~Meredith Marple

This sense of helplessness and heartache is something we then attempt desperately to avoid in relationship and within ourselves, and rightfully so—it is painful. Here are some of the major ways we abandon ourselves and avoid emotions based on work by Margaret Paul (link) and adapted by me:

  • Judging ourselves ("You are not good enough." This is definitely  Saturn talking)
  • Ignoring our feelings by staying in head (Do you tend to an emotion when it arises or ignore it? This could be associated with people who have a lot of Mercury)
  • Addictions (Fill our pain with something else, more common with those with a lot of Neptune)
  • People pleasing (avoiding ourselves entirely to focus on someone else or becoming responsible for them in some way and may show up more frequently with Venus aspects)
  • Making others responsible for you (Emotionally, Financially, Organizationally, Physically, Relationally, or Spiritually—I see this as Neptunian and puer/puella as well as having a strongly aspected Sun)
  • Emotionally (your happiness and self-worth dependent on how they feel about you…this seems like Moon-Chiron aspect to me)
  • o    Financially (refusal to take care of yourself financially, expecting someone else to handle it)
  • o    Organizationally (not take responsibility for your own time and space, consistently late, or messy)
  • o    Physically (not taking care of yourself physically by eating badly or something else that has negative consequences on your life)
  • o    Relationally (not speaking up for what you want and need to keep peace)
  • o    Spiritually (make your partner your source of love rather than your own relationship to a divine entity)

Neptune began its retrograde journey this week ushering in contemplation about dreams, fantasy, intuition, and our connection to the divine. This dreamy planet when moving backwards may show us where we are out of touch with reality or where we may have lost ourselves without boundaries. Having Neptune in relationship to one’s moon or sun (or having the sun or moon in a water sign such as Pisces, Cancer, or Scorpio) often can have a “lost at sea” quality where the person may be unable to find his/her own sense of self. When our sense of self/identity isn’t strong enough we are more likely to self-abandon. 

Conversely, in astrology the asteroid Chiron represents our major life challenges and the things that hold us back. We don’t “heal” Chiron, as its lessons are there for life. Chiron doesn’t go away it only continually shows us what we need to learn over and over, and over again (as is my case). A few months ago I wrote a post about Chiron, but still struggled to understand how it impacted me. Currently Chiron is in Pisces (ruled by Neptune) combines both of these themes and offers a time for us to notice how they combine to create wounds of self-abandonment. Chiron is squaring the Sun exactly, shining conscious light onto its powerful hold.

I realize the tendency to self-abandon isn’t just an overnight fix, as much as I have wanted it to be. The rest of my life (Chiron is a life lesson after all) I may struggle with this dynamic in myself to want to leave myself for others, and especially men (representing the sun), though I know it will never be as bad as it was before as I have brought the pattern to consciousness more so than I have before. So I have been filling myself up with myself over and over again...feeling my power center and even doing power poses as often as I can remember. I have spent time calling back my energy and getting out of reactive mode and into intuitive mode allowing myself to make decisions based on what I want instead of others.

It is a slow process to reprogram myself to be in tune and centered, to create energy that is "grounded and bounded." With Chiron in Pisces, I remember loving our wound of self-abandoning can’t come from just self-love, unless that love is actually a reflection of the divine. We return to wholeness with Chiron and Neptune through knowing our worthiness and taking responsibility for ourselves and our connection to the divine as the place to turn for our “wholeyness” and worth. In this we self-sustain and self-nourish and slowly but surely find we can navigate our own ship without going abandoning overboard…if we really pay attention--self-abandon less and less.

“With Chiron aspecting the Sun, we are called upon not to shine,for ourselves alone, but for the greater glory of God.”-Melanie Reinhart