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 NINE (Jupiter, Chiron, Sagittarius, Ninth House)

Clues to possible underdoing: problems with the liver, thighs or the handling of fats in the body, lack of faith, too much faith, faith in areas of life which are not infinite. Attracting overly philosophical, religious, scholarly people; attracting playboys or playgirls who just want to have a good time without any commitment. Fear or anxiety; viewing the universe as a threatening place.

Possibilities for building Letter Nine in your life:

Fire: Become active in sports and outdoor activities which can build your self-confidence (being sensible in how much you attempt initially and not trying things for which you are not yet prepared). If appropriate, consider an experience such as “Outward Bound” which builds confidence and faith (in yourself and other people) as well as physical strength and stamina. Expose yourself to nature. Seek the grandeur of the universe in the sweep of the Milky Way, in the sheltering vastness of a forest, in the reassuring regularity of the ocean waves. Find quiet times in nature which offer opportunities to experience a mystic connection to Life. Share a “trust circle” with friends (one person surrounded by others, all standing up, with the one in the center letting everyone around him/her provide support. The center person, with closed eyes leans in any direction, and finds unfailing support and caring). Another option is for many people to lift one person and rock him/her gently and surely, providing the experience of placing one’s faith and trust in others.

Play at anything which helps you to laugh.

Earth: Buy and wear more purple (or any colors which you associate with spirituality) in your clothes and the colors with which you surround yourself. Consider the intake of fat in your diet and make any advisable changes. Sit with pen and paper and list the five qualities you value most highly. Use the opportunity to consider your values, which seem truly yours and which might be simply absorbed from other people, such as parents. Analyze what changes you might wish to make based on what truly matters to you. Also make a list of five goals for the near future (about a month), five goals for the intermediate future (about a year) and five goals for the longer term (about ten years). Examine those lists periodically to see your progress toward your goals and to make changes as you alter what you believe, what you value, and what you want most out of life. Get involved with any project which appeals to your sense of justice. Be willing to write, lobby, send money, demonstrate or otherwise indicate your support for what you believe in. Create a habit of examining your assumptions. When you feel most vehemently about something, consider other ways of looking at the situation. Examine your beliefs, but be willing to act in support of those which you have questioned and feel are important at this time in your life.

Air: Talk with people who have a strong sense of faith. Be open to discussions about religion, philosophy, belief systems and questions about what is true. Meet people from varied religious or spiritual backgrounds and seek an overview of many world views. Read widely about moral principles, ethics, issues of truth, judgment, spirituality and the meaning of life. Ask other people what they believe and why. Find people who have had spiritual, mystical, or “cosmic consciousness” experiences and talk with them about what happened. Expose yourself to “true believers” of many varieties and pay attention to your reactions to them. Read up on “values clarification” and practice some of the suggested exercises or experiences. Examine what you consider to be “bedrock” reality and truth on which you base your beliefs. Take classes or seminars in the subjects of religion, philosophy, morality, ethics, belief systems or spirituality. Participate in discussions and interactions with other people which help you to laugh and stimulate your sense of humor. Practice always seeing another viewpoint; no matter how many sides have been presented in any discussion or situation, be open to seeing other alternatives, additional options, another way of understanding what is going on. When you are sure you have the “right” answer, ask yourself if there might be another one. Study anthropology and strive to rise above the assumptions and beliefs of the culture and family in which you were raised. Seek the widest perspective, the ability to see an experience from many different sides, with many viewpoints, and many alternatives.

Water: Design affirmations to support and affirm your self-confidence and faith in yourself (e.g., “I have the ability to live life fully and get the most out of it. I enjoy doing all that I can and trust in my abilities to reach my goals. I find reaching toward my dreams exciting and rewarding; each day is another step closer toward my desires”). Also create affirmations to support your faith and trust in the universe and/or a Higher Power (“The Universe is loving. The world is a place of goodness and support. I know that God is Good. I do my share and relax, knowing the Universe will do the rest. Love is the guiding power of life”). Visualize what you most want to happen, and meditate upon it repeatedly. See your dreams coming true. Engage in a guided fantasy wherein you are a member of the U.S. Supreme Court. What is your concept of justice? What do you believe is right and wrong? What are your goals for our country? What do you believe is most important to do, to protect, to enhance, to change, to improve our judicial system?

When you are in the physical presence of people who have communicated to the Other Side, had a near-death experience, or otherwise lived the reality of something More to life, discuss with them what happened. Seek their understanding of life, their beliefs about meaning and why we are here. Explore different possibilities and explanations for life’s purposes. Recall times when you experienced a tremendous sense of faith or trust, and recreate that feeling in your mind, soul and body. Reliving it will bring it into focus again and you can then generalize the feelings to other times and places in your life when you need that sense of trust and inner optimism that all will be well. Indulge often in the healing virtues of laughter. Pray for increased faith and confidence. Meditate and recreate your most healing and trusting moments.

LETTER TEN (Saturn, Capricorn, Tenth House)

Clues to possible underdoing: problems with the bones, teeth, hearing, knees or basic structure of the body. Insufficient responsibility, structure or organization in the life. Attracting people who are dominating, controlling, forceful, workaholics or “father figures.”

Possibilities for increasing Letter Ten in life:

Fire: Adopt a systematic exercise program to strengthen the bones and muscles (which help support the bones). Floss your teeth regularly. Take up rowing, swimming, bicycling or other activities which involve regular, systematic movements that are repetitive. Be more active on the job. Seek opportunities for increased power and control over your career. Enjoy the challenge of surpassing your past achievements in work. Build your strength and competence by taking on small tasks with a large assurance of success and then taking on larger and larger challenges.

Earth: Take calcium regularly (especially if indicated—e.g., for women who are post-menopause). Break large-scale or long-term goals into little “piecemeal” goals. Make each one into a project and reward yourself for successful achievement. Create lists of your responsibilities and duties and enjoy the satisfaction of completing items and checking them off (perhaps with a gold star). Give yourself positive reinforcement with the successful achievement of each task. Plan material constructions (e.g., carpentry, sewing, knitting, crocheting, model-building, etc.) and enjoy the step-by-step process of making your plans real. Seek physical results and measurable projects whereby you have a tangible result from your efforts. Make lists (mental or on paper) of the rewards of your career which are both tangible (e.g., salary, products created) and intangible (e.g., status, friendships with colleagues). Create ways to increase the rewards of your work and take time to notice and appreciate the rewards you do have.

Air: Talk with anyone in an executive position. Discuss how s/he experiences the wielding of power and responsibility. Explore other people’s means of determining where “the buck stops” and the limits of their own responsibility. How do they delegate authority? Analyze the laws of our land in terms of efficiency, productivity and usefulness. Consider what laws you would change—and how—to improve the way our country is run. Be willing to write and talk to people in positions of power, to suggest needed enhancements in the organization of our society. What do you feel is the proper role of the executive in our government? How much responsibility do and should people carry for their own lives and actions? How do personal and societal responsibilities intermesh—if they do? Examine your feelings about status. How do you see your status in society? What would you like your status to be? What reputation would you like to have with other people? For what would you like to be known? Take steps to make what you want more of a reality.

Water: Visualize yourself successfully undertaking significant responsibilities and see the end result as positive and affirming. Make up a list of affirmations to support your internal sense of power over your life, your career, and your ability to make a difference in the world (“Daily I grow stronger and more competent. I am achieving more and more in my work. I enjoy greater and greater power and control over my life. My satisfaction grows as I contribute to what matters in the world.”). In a relaxed, meditative state of mind, see yourself tackling projects requiring lots of responsibility and succeeding very well! Recall times when you were successful in what you wished to do, and build on those feelings and experiences in your current life. Do a guided fantasy in which you become the President of the United States. What will you do? What would your program be? What actions would you take? What responsibilities would weigh most with you? Sit quietly one day and imagine your ideal father. What qualities would he have? How would he act? How would he express his authority? What would he do? Then figure out how you can incorporate more of the qualities you seek in this ideal father into your own being and experience.

LETTER ELEVEN (Uranus, Aquarius, Eleventh House)

Clues to possible underdoing: ankle problems, disturbances in the “free flow” of the body’s circulatory systems, especially if electrical systems are involved. Attracting weird, strange, unusual, irresponsible or excessively freedom-loving individuals. Attracting chronic rebels or people who are friendly in a cool, aloof manner, but unwilling to get emotionally involved.

Possibilities for building Letter Eleven in your life:

Fire: Engage in risk-taking physical activities (using your common sense and an awareness of your capabilities to be sure you don’t get hurt) such as motorcycling, hang gliding, sky diving, acrobatics, etc. Fly as often as possible, getting your pilot’s license if feasible. Try unusual sports. Seek out the new and different. Whenever you move (by foot, by car, etc.), vary your routes to discover new sights, new shortcuts and other possibilities. Take an unusual vacation, something you would not normally do, which involves new technology, change, the unusual or the future. Be active physically with friends. Join a softball group, a bowling league or other group sports. Act in ways which accent your individuality. You might wish to create a “group sculpture” or try a number of unusual physical positions and see how you feel (e.g., what is it like to walk around backwards for five minutes).

Earth: Make lists of five unusual characteristics (physical, mental, emotional or spiritual) which you have, five unconventional beliefs which you have and five situations in which you feel a strong need for freedom. Use the lists to stimulate your thinking and analyze what you feel is conventional, what is unconventional, when you need freedom, when you are willing to conform. For one month, follow a program whereby you deliberately accentuate something unusual every day (and each day it is something different than the previous days). For example, you might deliberately dress in a very unusual fashion one day, set up a “no occasion” surprise party for someone another day, alter a firmly established custom or routine another day, etc. Notice your reactions as well as the reactions of other people. Rearrange your living environment so that there is more open space. For one week, experiment with giving people “extra room” when you are interacting. Stand half again as far away as you usually would; note your feelings and the reactions of others. The next week, stand half the distance away you normally would (twice as close as is “normal” for you) and notice your reactions and those of other people. Play with computers. Put new technology to work for you. Repair machinery if feasible; practice trying to figure out what the mechanical problem is, even if you have no experience or training.

Air: Talk with people you consider unusual and try to enter their perspective. Take seminars, classes, read books on increasing your natural creativity and inventiveness. Participate in exercises to stimulate your originality (e.g., take five minutes to think of all the different ways you could use a Styrofoam cup—such as: to bail water, to hold a potted plant, as a platform or base for something you wish to be raised above the ground, as the receiver of a homemade telephone, crumpled up as ground cover to help retain water in the garden, etc.). Brainstorm without censoring your ideas. When problem-solving, set aside time for everyone to simply blurt out concepts and possibilities, no matter how far-out and analyze them objectively later. When all the reasonable viewpoints on a topic seem present, look for yet another point of view. On a regular basis, adopt the outlook of an extraterrestrial; imagine you are out in space, from another planet, observing the Earth and earthlings. What conclusions would you draw (as an extraterrestrial) from watching how you behave and what you do? When you find yourself in a challenging situation, ask yourself “What am I assuming?” and seek other approaches which will improve the situation.

Water: Visualize your body as an open system, with many different currents flowing through, all moving smoothly, with no blockages. If you have any areas of physical tightness of pain, imagine an electrical current, or white light, or the petaled patterns of a chakra moving in to clean out and clear up the area. See the tension swept away and dissolved, with a fresh, free flow established. When you feel “stuck” mentally, visualize a clean, clear stream sweeping out mental blocks and bringing in freshness and creativity. Meditate on openness, on space, on freedom, on movement in any direction at any time. Create and utilize affirmations to support your uniqueness and originality: e.g., “I enjoy seeing new perspectives. I rejoice in my ability to be original which grows daily. I take a positive pride in my individuality. I am unique and irreplaceable.”

Do a guided fantasy where you are a member of Congress. What would you make the laws of the land? How would you work with other members of Congress? What principles are important for groups of people who interact within a society? How would you support the individual within a framework of group cooperation?

LETTER TWELVE (Neptune, Pisces, Twelfth House)

Clues to possible underdoing: problems with the feet, dissolving ailments, or any mysterious illness; attracting spacey, confused, overly idealistic people, victims or con artists.

Possibilities for building Letter Twelve in your life:

Fire: Get involved in active forms of beauty, anything involving grace and motion (e.g., dancing of any kind, skiing, skating, gymnastics, diving, Tai-Chi, etc.). Fight for a cause in which you believe. Assert yourself around issues involving beauty and ideals. Experiment with Sufi or other energetic approaches to seeking spirituality. Seek the runner’s “high” (if appropriate). Walk, run, demonstrate and otherwise act to promote a better world, something closer to your dreams and visions. Role-play your dreams.

Earth: Create tangible forms of beauty, be it in the garden, with sewing, painting, sketching, etc. Make lists of where you find beauty in the world and experience it often in your life (e.g., watch more sunsets, visit more art galleries, see more flower gardens, be in the mountains, at the ocean, etc.). Break your vision of Utopia into small, achievable steps which will take you in that direction and apply those steps to your life. Do something every day which gives you a sense of being uplifted, inspired, refreshed and renewed. Figure out what is necessary to improve the world, to make it more like your visions of perfection and make a small contribution every day toward making your dream come true.

Keep a dream journal and work with your dreams. You may wish to draw dream characters, to dialogue with them, to sculpt them, to dress like them, or otherwise bring them into your life.

Air: Talk with people you find inspiring and uplifting. Seek out individuals who have experienced “cosmic consciousness.” Look for individuals who have communicated with the Other Side, or had a near-death experience and returned. Talk with people who have a strong sense of faith, of trust, of connection to something Higher. Be in their presence and open yourself on an intuitive level. You may feel something, hear something, see something (e.g., auras, colors) or just have faint impressions (perhaps nothing initially). See yourself as a sponge, receptive to absorbing feelings and emotions from others. Relax and seek to tune in psychically; be open to an empathic connection.

Study comparative religion. Investigate mystical experiences. Learn about how other people, other cultures, other times sought that sense of connection to All There Is. Seek out experiences with nature which give you a sense of Oneness. Take classes or seminars which encourage the right brain functions (e.g., drawing from the right brain side). In conversations and discussions, strive for a global perspective. Take your point of view and try to expand it to the Infinite.

Water: Visualize the connectedness of all Life. This could be any kind of image which fits for you (e.g., seeing pulsating energy waves in everything, with lines of force connecting everything in the universe). Practice using your psychic ability (e.g., ask for feelings or impressions about who is calling when the phone rings, what letter will be in the mail, getting “vibes” about people you meet, etc.). In any situation, listen below the words; be open to your intuitive impressions and take advantage of all opportunities to check them against physical reality. Deliberately strive to “tune in” to other people. Create and practice affirmations supporting your intuitive side and your ideals. (“I gain more and more valuable impressions about people. My dreams and visions give me more and more inspiration and support. My ideals in life provide a solid foundation for reaching out. I feel safe and secure in a Loving Universe.”)

Recall times when you felt a sense of connection to something Higher, a sense of ecstasy, a satisfied idealism, a “rush” of feeling from beauty or some other strong, emotionally moving experience of inspiration. Relive that experience in your memory. Seek times when you can recreate it, and you will find more and more moments when you can once again feel uplifted. Focus on any flashes of ecstasy you have and deliberately strengthen them through repetition and paying attention.

* * * * *

In all cases of focusing on strengthening one side of life (or another), remember to use your own personal creativity and preferences. What works best for you will not be exactly the best for someone else, but each of us can be stimulated by the approaches and concepts of the others who share our world.

I wish all of you many self-affirming, pleasurable, interesting, reassuring, exciting, productive, balancing, intense, uplifting, achieving, unique and inspiring experiences in your “juggling acts” of the twelve letter alphabet of Life.

Copyright © 1986 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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