From the Archives: How Life Should Be

Every cloud has a pink lining

As the old cliché goes, every cloud has a silver lining. Or maybe a pink one. Photo by Pat Paquette, all rights reserved.

I posted this article last summer on my personal blog, The Pisces Chronicles. The situation I was writing about is behind me now, but I was struck by how strongly it connects to current circumstances. The messiness of the past year and a half has all been feeding into a healing process. If my life is any indication, then we’ve been in a flow. Sometimes we can only see it when we look back and realize how far we’ve come. If you keep a journal, go back a year or so, and let me know whether you feel this phenomenon, too.


I’ve just had a life-changing experience that has had me more than a little distracted. This is not something I can write about on my blog, as it’s far too personal, but I already have learned some lessons and gained some valuable insight, and this much I’ll share with you. It definitely ties in with the themes of enlightenment and other issues we’ve been discussing here.

The experience initially was one of intense joy, a taste of how life should be, followed by implosion and a few days of intense pain. A body that isn’t used to so much positive emotion would react like that! And, as I’ve said so many times here, sometimes you have to grit your teeth and bear the pain of reopening an old wound in order to heal. Put another way, you may have to blow yourself apart in order to put yourself back together in better order.

My acupuncturist in California many years ago introduced me to the concept of receiving a taste of something. An event happens, or someone comes into your life, and it seems like a miracle. But it’s fleeting or gets ripped away. Initially, you curse the cruel twist of fate and wonder what you did to deserve this. But as Beth put it, it’s a glimpse of the reward you’ll get for meeting a challenge and passing the test. This almost always requires change. The few times it has happened to me, a new degree of enlightenment was part of the process.

An anonymous reader left a comment on my previous post to the effect that there’s no such thing as enlightenment, “unless we mean just absence of thought altogether or some big but probably useless psychedelic blowout.”

This is the myth of enlightenment. It is not some blissed-out state you reach, and suddenly that’s it, you’re “enlightened.” It happens in successive stages, and it never ends. You can slip backwards and have to repeat some of the steps. Evolutionary astrologers would say that you even may have to reincarnate to go through “skipped steps.”

It’s also a myth that once you’re enlightened, pain and suffering cease. The pain is even more intense. Why? Because you no longer try to avoid it by deliberating numbing yourself with drugs, alcohol, or other means of escape. The difference between “enlightened” pain and the other kind is that it runs a natural course. You don’t stay in it. It flows through you, it transforms you, and then it’s gone.

Now, you might rightly ask, “If enlightenment is going to bring me even worse pain, why would I want to be enlightened?” I don’t know that there’s a good answer to that, except that, like true love, there is no reason for it. You can’t say “I love John because he’s tall, handsome, smart, and kind.” You love him because there is an irrepressible bond between you that defies all attempts to explain or control. Like love, enlightenment finds you, and not the other way around.

As for the astrology, Pluto’s fingerprints are all over the scene. My natal Pluto is retrograde at 29 degrees Leo, and transiting Pluto currently is retrograde at 29 degrees Sagittarius, in a perfect trine. In my natal chart, Pluto is square my nodal axis. Noted evolutionary astrologer Kim Marie told me a couple of years ago that this was a powerful indicator of a “skipped step.” Kim says that Pluto represents the soul, both individually and collectively, and that his passage through Sagittarius “shakes our foundations, crumbles them in order to create larger, more natural foundations, both physically and spiritually and everything else in between. Evolution takes place one way or another.”

It’s still too early to tell, but it feels to me like my recent experience has connected me with my Plutonian power and that my challenge, in order for that taste of joy to become an all-you-can-eat buffet, is to use it and use it wisely. I’m working on it.

Much love and many blessings,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat


6 thoughts on “From the Archives: How Life Should Be

  1. Seejung

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful posts Pat! My natal Pluto is retrograde at 29 degrees Leo as well, and the last 2 years have been quite difficult; however, I’ve found that if I let the current carry me, rather than try to swim, the pain seems to be of shorter duration and lesser intensity. Quite a surprise for someone with an Aries sun!


  2. Pat Post author

    Thanks, Deb.

    Seejung, I know what you mean. My Sun isn’t in Aries, but it’s in the first house, which has some similarities to an Aries. The bigger obstacle, though, was continually running into snags. After enough of those, you get hypersensitive and are on alert, even when the sun is shining. Learning not to fear, no matter what, is a very big deal, and you can’t get to Joe’s Tao until you can get past it. Primal fear is very Plutonian.

    Land does appear to be in sight now. Not sure I recognize the place, but it’s all part of the excitement and suspense. :-)

    Working on the new week’s forecast, will be back in a bit…


  3. inishglora

    lol well I’m no Zen master, Pat, but let me share this from the French writer Andre Gide: “One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” I’m glad land has appeared on your horizon! You’ve been at sea, on a number of levels, for a long while.


  4. hitchhiker72

    Pat, thank you for re-posting this article. It really resonated with me and I really like the point you make about experiencing something painful as ‘receiving a taste of something’ before it happens.


Comments are closed.