Saturn and Venus

I’ve been thinking about Saturn and Venus in an astrotheological context, and considering the archetypes present in culture.

In the Avengers movies, Thanos is Saturn. His character originates from Titan, a moon of Saturn. He wants to bring order and balance to the universe, like Saturn, and he will kill his children to do so.

Gamora is Venus, green like new life, alluring and deadly like nature. Saturn must kill life to create order. When his task is finished, he is killed by Thor, the Sun god. Of note, Thor has lost his eye, like his father Odin did for wisdom, and also like Horus.

Here is the Thoth Tarot card of the Universe, followed by stills from Avengers: Infinity War. The imagery of the woman contending with Saturn, crushing the head of the snake, foreshadows the use of time travel to defeat Thanos. Gamora is resurrected by time travel, at the cost of her love for Quill and redemptive arc. Without graves, there would be no resurrection, to quote Nietzsche.

Death is the secret of life. These are ideas I’ve been playing with lately, like in this poem, “Die Daily.” I learned on Monday that I failed my board exam, and that my months of effort had been fruitless, while everyone else in my class passed. I’m going through the grief process, and reconciling myself to retaking it in June, after some intense, transformative study.

I decided to get an apartment near my work, and live apart from my wife and three children for the next three months while I study. It will save me a ninety minute commute daily, and allow me to do what I need to. I can’t help but feel like I’ve let them down. It’s wrenching to think about my kids without me.

But the core of Saturn, Death and order, is diamond. The rain on Saturn is diamonds. Link to article. Extreme pressure turns our dirt into beauty.

Further thought on Saturn and Venus; this passage makes me think that Jesus was Venus to the apostles, and his father was Saturn:

John 15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

Residency Sendoff

My program requested a few sentences for their alumni newsletter about my time with the program and memorable experiences. My brain being what it is, I can only think of snide quips. Here are some:

“Did you always want to help people? Ha ha! We own you now. Prepare to help people so much that you feel like a piece if shit all the time as you shovel the endless snow piled in front of you in a vain attempt to reconnect with your original motivation and purpose. Do you like feeling like a machine? Get used to it!”

Ok, more words there than I expected.

“Did you take a career in medicine in a Batman-like attempt to cancel out your own trauma and loss by helping and protecting others in your same situation? Well, I hope you like putting bandaids on gaping wounds and a full frontal experience of agony and misery from people who you’ll struggle not to identify with.”

“Remember TV shows like House, MD? Remember how you wanted to feel smart, essential, and rich? Guess what? Money means nothing to you. You feel stupid all the time, everywhere, at everything. People need you, but there’s lots of other doctors. You’re just a white coat and a name on their medical record.”

“Everything always hurts and gets more painful. It never changes. It’s excruciating agony. But you’ve put in too much time and it’s too much money to walk away from, and you have a wife and kids to support.”

“Your patients are sick, and you’re a robot dispensing cookbook medicine for them. You don’t get to think. You don’t get to enjoy anything. You get locked in a cage for ten hours a day.”

“These people who are meant to teach and supervise you will make you want to cry, make you want to die.”

Vitriol

Sulfuric acid

Burns me, dissolves the lesser

Man, all that is not

Gold. So surgerize

Me, cut me open and bleed

Me dry, the pain makes

Me more alive. I

Can take it, pour it on me.

Revelation’s fire.

It’s Not Your Fault

I failed my board exam. I had spent months studying, and done everything I thought I could and I should. I bombed it.

I have to retake it in June, and hope to still graduate residency in time. I’m really upset about it.

I pray that it’s a glitch, a electronic error on the part of the testing administrator, and this will all be a bad dream. But it brings me back to dark places.

I’ve spent the past few months writing reflective journal entries about my life. I am starting to recognize how many harmful patterns in my life are the result of what I went through as a kid, terrified and humiliated and neglected, beaten by my brother and verbally abused and sometimes physically abused by my dad, neglected by my mom, and made to watch her have sex when she and her boyfriend were drunk, and all the kids were in one hotel room together.

I was starting to heal, as difficult as it all was. Now I’m questioning myself all over again. And I have to go back into study mode, where I have to sit at a computer all day, mentally roasting myself while trying to stay focused.

I thought I had gotten to a place where I could get back to my writing, creative and spiritual interests, and move past all the hurt and shame and pain of the past. But it’s still here, and I have to live in that pit for another three months.

I’m reminded of this gut wrenching scene, Matt Damon and Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting: https://youtu.be/ZQht2yOX9Js

For all the internalizers out there, the ones who always had to be strong, smile and say that nothing was wrong, they were fine and didn’t need anything. For those who saw what no one else saw, and bore what no one should bear. For the lonely and the devastated, for all who suffer in silence when they want to scream. For the marks that don’t show and the wounds that won’t heal.

Being an abused and neglected kid, you never leave the pit. It stays in you. I relate to this sequence from Tom Kong’s Mister Miracle, because I always want someone to see the good in me, accept the hurt I’ve felt, and help me to move through it. I have to become that person for myself. I have to hug that boy, and tell him he’s loved and wanted and doesn’t have to prove anything.

Space Monkey

They all revise my

History as if they were

Always on my side,

But I remember

What I really am to them:

A space monkey, the

One they pinned their dreams

On, kept in a cage, fed drugs,

Forgot on weekends.

Strapped in a tube and

Shot into space. They don’t know

How cold it is here.

Their show of support

Rings hollow as I labor

To save a world

Not my own, drifting

Further from who I am and

My still beating heart.

A space monkey... | Monkey in space, Astronaut artwork, Monkey art