Q: When is a dislocated shoulder an invitation to ride the wild horse?A: When the shoulder injury is an old one responding to the intense energies of a cardinal grand cross.
My husband and I were camping in Goblin Valley, Utah for spring break a couple of weeks ago. It’s desolate country that beckons to the untamed parts of us. We hiked up Wild Horse canyon to photograph a panel of Barrier Canyon rock art, which is between 1500-4000 years old. The images, beautiful and strange, conjure up forgotten memories of hunting, gathering and communing with the mysteries.
On the way back down, I slipped on some loose rock and fell hard. I must have put out my hand to catch myself because I dislocated my shoulder. The pain and shock were immediate. When I could calm my breath and gingerly move my arm, the joint reluctantly popped back into place, leaving me weak, sore, and vulnerable. Just an accident, I thought, reminding me that I don’t bounce as easily as I used to.
I first dislocated my shoulder in high school. I was a cheerleader in a small Nebraska town and remember when it happened. I was cheering, jumping around, and got carried away. I brought my arms up so vigorously that my shoulder popped out of place. Since then, my shoulder has dislocated a few times when I moved my arm the wrong way. When that would happen, I’d curse like a sailor, be sore for a day or two, and promptly forget about it. Not this time.
I went back to work in my massage therapy office, taking care with my right shoulder, which wasn't improving. Over the next few days, I noticed that nearly every client who got on my table was complaining of pain that mimicked an old injury. These clients hadn't had any obvious accidents. Their pain seemed to flare up out of nowhere. As I worked with them, it became clear their current complaints were linked to a larger pattern in their life. In order to fully heal, they were being invited to go deeper.
It’s funny how we can see things for other people and miss the obvious in ourselves. When my shoulder didn't seem to be healing up as usual, I eventually began to wonder if I wasn't being offered a chance to look at an old life pattern in a new way. Duh!, as Homer Simpson would say. So I went into meditation and thought about my original shoulder injury. What came to me were the words “trying too hard”. I suppose those words accurately describe a person who dislocated her own shoulder while doing a simple cheer. Who worked so hard in college she wouldn’t allow herself to get a grade below an A. Who avoided trying things that she didn't think she would be good at.
Over the years, I've made peace with that part of myself. I thought I’d let go of the limitations of that perfectionist persona. After all, I’d left my engineering work to become an intuitive energy healer. Not a choice that a younger version of me could have made. And yet, my shoulder seemed to be telling me that, in some ways, I’m still trying too hard. With that realization and my inner commitment to follow up, the pain in my shoulder eased considerably. A few days later, I also received body work and energy work from a friend and wonderful healer, which helped me on multiple levels: physical/structural, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
Right after my meditative “aha”, I received an email from another friend containing a description of the astrology of this month from Alana Fairchild. It turns out that during April, “the planets create a crucible for intense spiritual alchemy. Between two eclipses, a lunar eclipse on 14th April and a solar eclipse on 28th April, which of themselves are stimulating of change in consciousness, an additional and powerful planetary alignment will take place. This alignment is a cardinal grand cross, which is currently forming in our skies, and will become exact on 23 April 2014.”
I’d never heard of a cardinal grand cross before, but according to Fairchild, four power-player planets (Jupiter-Mars, Uranus-Pluto) square up with each other, creating a force of planetary friction which stimulates both crisis and potential healing. That seemed an accurate description of what my clients and I had already begun to experience. The potential for us during this time is to dispense with fear, to be bold and to claim our right to love, empowerment and especially our freedom. The key is to look to our heart to bring compassion and wisdom to any painful and chaotic situations. I especially liked Fairchild’s advice to “ride that wild horse energy of 2014 without hesitation, into new consciousness, and the new world being born.” Although I didn’t know it at the time, I was already in the saddle during my painful hike out of Wild Horse canyon.