Maritha on Counseling

Maritha Pottenger

We continue this issue with a focus on potential ways to strengthen the various sides of life (symbolized by the astrological alphabet). Please remember to choose options appropriate to your life situation. I hope you will use these ideas to stimulate your creativity in conceiving other options.

LETTER FIVE (Sun, Leo, Fifth House)

Clues to possible underdoing: heart problems, low self-esteem, fear of being noticed. Attracting arrogant, grandstanding individuals who seek constant applause. Feeling life is dull; judging yourself as insignificant.

Possibilities for building Letter Five in your life:

Fire: Play charades, get involved with amateur theater. (If self-blocking is strong, it may be necessary to do a lot of visualizing and imaging to first build up the security to act. For that—see the water section.) Take advantage of opportunities to be the center of favorable attention—through playing a musical instrument, singing, dancing, teaching, joking or any activity which puts you where other people will notice and applaud what you are doing. Be with young children and practice a childlike spontaneity and joy. (If you practice enough, it becomes instinctive and natural spontaneity emerges.) Hang out at a playground and try out the swings and slides and merry-go-rounds. Play at whatever you most enjoyed as a young child. Seek out fun situations which encourage your playful, fun-loving side.

Earth: Be in the sunshine more. Go sunbathing if appropriate. Buy and wear more gold in your clothes and jewelry. Surround yourself at work and home with more golden, yellow, orange and warm, vibrant colors. Take up jewelry-making. Make lists of EVERY compliment you receive each day and acknowledge them to the person appreciating you. Go over your lists each night before bed to remind yourself of what people have noticed about you. Do more activities which offer opportunities for positive feedback. Keep track of your pulse in times of relaxation after exercise. Establish an aerobic routine to encourage the development of a healthy heart. Buy yourself toys or goodies which encourage your inner child. Make lists of those qualities in yourself which you like the best, which you feel proud of—and make a point of noticing and encouraging those qualities every day.

Air: Read about royalty. Take acting lessons, improvisational theater, Psychodrama classes or other forms of learning dramatic presentation and stage presence. Talk to a good salesperson about his/her most successful persuasive techniques. Ask your most magnetic friends what they do to present a powerful appearance and have a strong emotional impact. Dialog with your inner child about what s/he would most like to do. Discuss your feelings about children with friends and associates. Figure out what you accept about children and what you tend to reject and apply that to how you treat your younger self. Write your own epitaph in terms of what you would like to have said when you pass on—and take steps to bring those accomplishments into being.

Water: Spend at least five minutes every day in a relaxed state, imagining yourself onstage—being applauded, teaching a very well-received class, gaining a great bonus through your supersalesmanship or otherwise receiving much attention and positive feedback. Visualize yourself being noticed for your sparkle and dynamism. Begin by focusing on those qualities in yourself which you find most admirable; visualize those qualities being applauded by those about you. Each week, increase the degree and amount of your vibrancy and accomplishments. See yourself becoming more and more fascinating, more and more admirable, more and more a star. Dig into your memories of times when you felt good being the center of attention and replay those experiences again and again, making them very familiar. Make a list of affirmations supporting your right to be significant and your specialness. (E.g., “I am becoming more and more exciting. I enjoy being noticed by people in a positive way. I deserve to be applauded. I am a loving and lovable person who deserves the best in life.”) Keep those affirmations in obvious places and practice them every day. Each night, before bed, recall the ten best moments of that day, when you felt really good about yourself and/or were positively regarded by people around you. Relive those feelings and enjoy them.

LETTER SIX (Mercury, Ceres, Vesta, Virgo, Sixth House)

Clues to possible underdoing: A lack of efficiency in the life, problems handling details. Health blocks or inhibitions about being productive and effective on the job. Attracting excessive criticism from people around you. Intestinal problems. Feeling surrounded by nit-pickers.

Possibilities for building Letter Six:

Fire: Each day, do at least one thing which gives you a feeling of accomplishment and productivity—whether a very small or very large project. Be sure you choose a task which you can manage in one day. Establish an exercise regime which will help to keep you healthy. Take action to improve your diet with very small, gradual steps.

Earth: Make lists of how you can improve your productivity on the job. Break the needed steps into the smallest units possible and then begin implementing them step-by-step. Analyze your nutritional habits and needs; critique your health habits. List needed improvements on paper in terms of small, bite-size goals. Meet one small goal each day (or week) as you slowly—but steadily—work toward greater health. Buy filing cabinets, file folders, notebooks or other tools to bring more order and organization into your life. Write up a possible schedule for your average day, to help clarify what you want to accomplish and to help decide what is necessary to do each day. Design a budget for your finances, remembering with any analysis, to look for the smallest components, to break things down to little steps that are relatively easy to take. Garden more. Be with the earth and appreciate green, growing things. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and help to raise them if possible. Write things down—to help remember them, to aid your analytical powers, to share with other people. If you have been talking about writing, stop talking and begin writing by setting aside a certain amount of time each day (even if only one half hour) to write. Make small commitments that you can easily carry out and feel good about. Surround yourself at home and at work with images of the rich, brown earth, growing things and fertility. Buy more clothes which evoke those images.

Air: Take seminars or read books on time management. Discuss with other people how they keep their lives organized. Observe the work habits of highly productive people and learn from them some useful procedures. Talk to any colleagues about ideas for improving on-the-job efficiency. Discuss with friends or experts or people whose opinions you trust the best methods for maintaining good health. Watch people who have been healthy for years and years and analyze what you believe they do that is most effective.

Water: Design affirmation to support your body and repeat them often each day. (E.g., “Day by day, I am getting healthier and healthier. My body brings me more and more joy. I feel better and better.”) Visualize your body looking the way you want it to look; clip a picture from a magazine to put by your mirror if that will assist you in the imagery process. Do some brainstorming about what you might do to bring more productivity into your life; allow your imagination and inner wisdom to suggest options. See yourself achieving more and more on the job, becoming more and more effective. Visualize your increased productivity in a step-by-step process, imagining each new move and seeing it successfully completed, seeing yourself happier and attaining more and more.

LETTER SEVEN (Venus, Pallas, Juno, Libra, Seventh House)

Clues to possible underdoing: Lack of balance, absence of equality, challenges in one-to-one relationships (including playing doormat, excessive competitiveness, savior/victim associations, etc.). Kidney problems or difficulties with the sugar balance in the body, skin ailments.

Possibilities for increasing Letter Seven in life:

Fire: Walk on a balance beam (or curbs or tightropes); play on see-saws. Take up judo, aikido, Tai Chi or other martial arts which teach the art of centering and balance. Take up gymnastics, skiing or other sports which help to develop a good sense of balance. When walking, running or moving, focus on your own inner center and sense of strength radiating out from within. Play at tennis, ping pong or other sports which involve a rhythmic taking of turns. Go ballroom dancing, square dancing or take up team sports with your partner; engage in activities which require cooperation with one another.

Earth: Get your colors analyzed and replenish your wardrobe (to the extent you can afford) according to those colors which enhance your attractiveness. Indulge in a beauty make-over session. Pay more attention to the way you look and take steps to appear even more visually appealing. Analyze the assignment of household tasks and responsibilities and discuss them with those people who share the household with you. Reassign tasks to ensure more equality if necessary. If you are not being equitably treated in your work, begin collecting a portfolio of substantive evidence to prove your case and open the possibility of redress. (You may also wish to change your job if that is economically feasible.) Sign petitions and work to assist the establishing of justice and equality where you believe it is missing. Practice moderation in your daily activities.

Air: Expose yourself to great visual art (photography, architecture, painting, graphics, interior decorating). Take classes in painting, sketching or other visual forms of expression. Attend fashion shows. Discuss beauty with friends and gain a sense of your own personal style and fashion which is most complimentary to you. Read, discuss and go to seminars, classes or workshops on relationships. Discuss your feelings about fairness, justice, equality and even-handedness with those near and dear to you. Talk with your partner (“significant other”) regarding your feelings about your relationship and what steps the two of you can take for further enhancement. Take advantage of opportunities to play “devil’s advocate.” When someone takes a stand, mentally come up with the polarity position and then figure out a compromise middle-ground. Take up debating or other activities which give you an opportunity to see both sides of a question.

Water: Visualize yourself experiencing harmony and beauty in your life. Imagine yourself creating and appreciating art. See yourself involved with mutually supportive people, working together as a team. Imagine your household running smoothly, with everyone contributing. Create affirmations supporting your ability to have a rewarding relationship and your right to justice and equality. (E.g., “My relationship is becoming more and more rewarding. My partner and I feel more and more pleasure. Daily I contribute to increasing fairness in the world.”) Look to your daydreams and night dreams for artistic inspiration. Visualize yourself remaining calm and centered when disagreements occur, opening yourself to seeing the other person’s point of view and working toward a reasonable compromise. Meditate on the Tao.

LETTER EIGHT (Pluto, Scorpio, Eighth House)

Clues to possible underdoing: Extremes of self-indulgence around food, drink, sensuality, sexuality or monetary matters. Sensual or sexual blocks, problems with sexual organs or diarrhea. Attracting power-hungry, intimidating, controlling, jealous or possessive individuals.

Possibilities for increasing Letter Eight in the life (see also Letter One ideas as Mars co-rules Scorpio):

Fire: Make love more often in ways which are mutually satisfying. Take satisfaction in setting limits on your intake of food and drink; enjoy the material sensations to the hilt and then enjoy the sense of self-mastery gained from stopping at exactly the point you had planned beforehand. Engage in physical activities which give you a sense of greater strength and stamina (be it body-building, running, swimming, etc.). When you undertake challenging projects, hang in for one step beyond where you would like to give up. Build your physical endurance.

Earth: Discuss your financial situation with those in your household and work out a reasonable plan of action in which everyone can cooperate. Make up a budget and stick to it as much as possible (but be flexible when the situation calls for it). Make lists of what pleases you most in bed and choose optimal times for discussing your preferences with your partner. (Go for one small step at a time; do not demand lots of changes all at once.) Encourage your partner to share his/her preference as well. Consider the food and drink you enjoy the most, and set up a sensible dietary plan (which you would be willing to follow long-term) which maintains control but still gives you enough pleasure to stay motivated. Practice the “broken record” technique of assertiveness training to get what you want or get out of what you do NOT want (by constant repetition). Devote a few minutes every day to full concentration, training yourself to screen out noises, distractions and irrelevant information.

Air: Take seminars or classes on power and learning to own your own power. Talk to people who you feel are very strong and can easily get what they want in the world. Find out how they move, how they dress, how they use gestures and body language, how they use tone of voice, emphasis and other cues to come across as an authoritative person. Read about world leaders. Read, study and learn about successful financial policies and dietary habits. Think about in what areas of life you most want a sense of mastery and control. Plan steps which will enhance your power in those areas.

Water: Visualize yourself feeling calm and relaxed during confrontations with a sense of inner strength and ability to cope. Make up affirmations to assist your developing self-mastery (e.g., “Daily I control my intake of food and drink more and more easily. I find great satisfaction in consuming moderate amounts of food, drink and money. I enjoy setting limits on my material indulgence. My approach to finances is sensible and moderate.”) Imagine your interactions with a mate around money and sex; see the two of you discussing touchy issues with sensitivity, empathy, intelligence and mutual support. Practice feeling a sense of great inner power and strength. Pray for awareness of your inner wisdom and inner power during times of stress and challenge. Act as if you feel strong, competent and able to balance your needs with those of others; with practice it will become real.

Copyright © 1985 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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