Choice Points, Trigger Points, and Turning Points


astrology, crisis, trauma

How are you? 2020 may just be the year this question carries extra weight because every one’s answer will be different, and we all need some extra care. The economic and political uncertainties triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic are not over yet, and undoubtedly weak and vulnerable points in our societies and communities have been exposed in recent months.

It is a privilege to be trusted as a Tarot and astrology reader because I find that I frequently meet old and new clients at their choice points. Even before I began as a reader, when I worked in retail, phone customer service, and mingled in my travels, I would meet individuals who somehow felt comfortable enough to share what they were going through, and the dilemmas they faced. (Actually, this began even earlier in my school days. Without understanding why or how unusual it was, I tended to attract friends with difficult or unusual backgrounds. I thought it no big deal to listen to their stories without judgment. Considering what an opinionated loudmouth I was sometimes, I think they came to me because I acknowledged early and often that life wasn’t candy and rainbows. Bright ray of sunshine, was young Janet.)

Choice Points

Around 2013-2014, I seemed have to “leveled up” to and began to hear confessions from strangers of a different sort–I met people who talked about meaning, spirit guides and unexplained yearnings, sometimes we’d start dropping names of books and authors, including those associated with reincarnation and starbeings (don’t @ me, I’m open on these but not fanatic). Some of these meetings were odd and memorable–a retail temp job in Singapore once had me standing for a long conversation with an American tourist who just wanted to drop his Silicon Valley life and start over in Bali or Chiang Mai. I didn’t give advice (I generally avoid it), but I did utter “choice point” for the first time. Since then, these choice points have one thing in common: It’s either we go back to the old, familiar and “dead”, or find a second wind, a second life, doing the thing we really care about but scared us before.

Whenever we step over that threshold, everything before that feels like side quests. They got us the XP, loot and armor we needed to go on the next big adventure.

I generally envy people who can get to choice points without needing crises to spur them into big decisions. In my own wandering, it’s been astrology that showed me that lives and attitudes can differ widely. Some birth charts have owners that kinda “swim along” with the changes; others resist, while yet others have trauma and tests obvious in their chart that can make them vulnerable to the next thing:

Trigger Points

In physiotherapy and massage, trigger points are tender, hyperirritable focal spots in taut muscles that feel like the center of pain. And “triggered” has become common in online parlance to describe (as its meaning in Psychology) an involuntary reaction activated by a stimulus related to a previous traumatic experience.

For purposes of this post, I’m using trigger points to refer to sore spots and tender wounds in our psyche. To me, these trigger points (eg. the positions of the Chiron, Dejanira, and Child asteroids, and the moon at birth) can be seen in our astrology charts. They will have different positions and prominence in different charts, thereby producing people with different sensitivity. Trigger points can also be activated and (di)stressed by transiting planets to those points (“shit happening in the sky”), and by the people around us.

So, extra-sensitive people will have charts (and families) that make them so. No amount of shaming, tough love, or calling them snowflakes or “strawberries” (the local equivalent, due to their ease of bruising) is going to make them different. They can cover up, but not change their sensivity. A number may become artists, healers, psychologists, and writers; generally people who use their sensitivity to make sense of things and create finely nuanced work. Their palms will tend to have many many fine lines, instead of only a few dark (“brutish”) ones. 

Side Note on Trauma and Sensitivity

Hypervigilance is the state of hypersensitivity to the environment and other people that can be caused by trauma and/or an underlying mental health issue. It’s heartening in “woo” forums to see a growing awareness of early trauma/CPTSD and its lingering effects; including empathic abilities (experiencing another person’s emotional and/or physical state without visual or verbal confirmation) and sometimes, the “clairs” associated with psychic abilities.  

I don’t believe all empaths or people with the clair-abilities need to have experienced trauma or complex PTSD, but there seems to be overlap, and I see hypervigilance as the “negative” result that tends to affect one’s emotional and physical health. The heightened sensitivity also does a number on one’s nervous system–aspects between Uranus, Mercury, and Chiron have become something I take note of in astrology charts. The stronger the aspects between these, the more someone may be able to intuitively “tune” and pick up what other clods may not (sorry not sorry). 

Side note within the side note: Overwhelm and the fear of overwhelm are real issues for empaths and HSPs–Highly Sensitive Persons. When in a hurry, I recommend grounding techniques. When there’s time and a massage table in the vicinity, I recommend Alpha Alignment. That’s going to be another post one day.

Trigger Activation

This is not-fun territory, so I’ll try for brevity. Prominent pain or trigger points can be activated by transiting planets or Other People. It would be nice if we could go through life without getting activated, but I  also don’t believe any growth comes from avoidance. I believe the perfection of astrology and the higher design of it all shows that none of us are meant to go through life unchallenged, no matter how “numb” we may be. Saturn, Uranus and Pluto transits make sure of that.

As not-fun as it is to be triggered and stressed (especially on a regular basis as happens with CPTSD), there always seems to be a  lesson to be learned–and sometimes to forgive–about ourselves. 

At the end of the day, I have to give Mahayana Buddhism some cred here: Suffering helps us develop compassion. But neither do we need to stay in that suffering. We have opportunities to get out at the next:

Turning Points

I believe we’re going through a collective turning point. (I hate grandiose pronouncements like that, but. The current planets give reason.) 

Photo by Aviv Perets from Pexels

There’s a planetary traffic jam in Capricorn right now (Jupiter, Pluto, Saturn,  Pallas), and they’ve been hanging out, retrograding and dragging their feet in my 12th House near my Ascendant, making this a 12-year-long (so far) dark night of the soul that began when Pluto entered Cap and conjoined my natal moon in 2008. It’s been 12 years of hard lessons around listening to my inner self and my spiritual and emotional needs after a life of trying to live like a respectable robot and only feeling or revealing what I thought others could accept.

That I wrote the above is also a result of the last 12 years.

This is an example of a life-changing transit, and no one currently is being spared. However, with charts and individuals all being different, its length, depth, and area of influence will be different for us all.

This is what I mean with the collective turning point. Hard aspects, eclipses, planets in their rulership, activity and squares in the cardinal and fixed signs for the rest of 2020 mean we’ve still got quite a roller-coaster ride ahead. Some mad, masochistic part of me (Gemini Mars, probably) can’t wait for the experience, and the exquisite inspiration it will undoubtedly provide. Let a girl have her kicks. 

In the meantime, I say, buckle in. And also: How are you?

Title Banner: The Tower card from the Thoth Tarot.


About Janet

Janet is the artist and creator behind the Self-Love Oracle. Drawing fantastical subjects since childhood and holding a B.A. in Journalism, she's worked in tourism and publishing, and is currently studying Counseling Psychology. After her experiences with motherhood, divorce, Tibetan Buddhism, healing, and the supernatural, she pushes others to heal through self-exploration and self-expression. She can be reached for her intuitive and creative services here.

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