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The Vexing Issue of Self-Esteem 

  • Eric Francis Coppolino

Jupiter has taken up residence in Leo for the next year, which in our astrological microcosm is a real change of pace. Mars is now making its way through the last degrees of Libra; it will enter Scorpio next week and then form an exact square to Jupiter in early August. If Jupiter in Leo is about passionate expression of life, Mars in Scorpio joining forces with Jupiter is going to push that with a jolt.

I have a thick folder full of charts for July and August with asteroids and notes drawn all over them, and every time I look at them my mind goes back to the topic of self-esteem. The more I consider this range of topics, and the more people open up to me about their reality, the more obvious it becomes to me that underneath our political, social, and economic crises (they are all related) is the issue of self-esteem.

I'm even finding that this is relatively easy to explain—perhaps because people relate to the issue of not valuing themselves, and know that it has a way of taking over their lives. Yet one thing I am noticing is that lack of self-esteem takes so many forms that it's often difficult to identify. Many of them are so encrypted into the culture, they are sold to us as normal.

A great many others involve sexuality, which is sold to us as abnormal despite being the most normal thing in all of existence. In our society (and many others) sexuality is infused with guilt, to the point where most people cannot experience sexual expression without some infiltration of guilt, or a total seizure. This is a problem. One reason it's a problem is that in order to heal your self-esteem, your creativity, and your sense of existence, you will need to tap into your core creative energy, which is also your sexual energy.

I will offer a metaphor. Let's say you're driving or riding along in a car. The engine (of most cars anyway) is running on gasoline. In a human, this is the equivalent of vital force, which on the physical plane and a broad spectrum of other nearby planes of reality is the same thing as sexual energy, desire, and impulse—the core vitality that procreates, co-creates, and all-around creates the human experience.

When you turn on the CD player in the car, that is run by electricity. But the electricity making the music is created by a generating device that draws energy from the engine. If you turn on the headlights, same thing. If you turn on the wipers, same thing. If you charge your cell phone, same thing. In this way, all the nuances of that car are created from the same pool of energy at the core—the fuel running the engine, which burns and releases energy that can be used many different ways. If you cut off that core flow, then none of the peripherals work.

Humans work the same way. The cutting off usually comes in the form of judgment. When we misinterpret or misunderstand that core energy reaction as bad, as sinful, as sick or as troubled; when we deem it a bad thing and are ashamed of it, then we start to choke off our vital force.

I am aware of a few problems with applying my theory (which is not really my theory; I'm speaking for an old tradition), even if it happens to be valid. One is the reaction, "Are you saying that to address my self-esteem problem, I have to deal with my sexuality?" Yes, that is what I am saying; among other things, that will come up in the process.

Another is the hot mess that is sexual and relational reality in our era. We do not live in a moment where it seems vaguely appealing to experience or express a higher level of consciousness on these themes. We live in violent, angry times, which people are papering over with iPhone apps and bits of glitz and glam to help them feel better for a moment. A lot of that paper is money.

Once you peel off those layers, it's necessary to address the shadow side of sexuality. It's difficult to write a convincing marketing pitch for that, but I'll give it a sentence or two. Unprocessed shadow—guilt, shame, sexual injury, any form of secrecy connected to intimacy, the feeling of having skeletons in the closet, and many other forms of the stuff—all consume creative energy. Remember that plenty of our shadow material, maybe most of it, comes from our ancestors, in particular our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents—not necessarily some wanderer in the Egyptian desert, but someone we've actually met.

Speaking of Planet Waves

  • Eric helps you unlock your self-esteem.


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