By guest blogger Mary Swanson
Back in the ’70’s in Iowa City, Iowa, there was a store called “Things, Things & Things.” It was a very up-scale store for Iowa. It was filled with exotic things from all over the world, things you definitely would not find in the Hardware Store, Five & Dime or Sears, which just about covers the shopping possibilities back then.
I remember walking around that store like I was in church. Those beautiful, rare things… crystals, silks, incense, batiks… appeared to me like religious icons. I wanted to bring their auras into my little apartment and have a window onto another reality.
It was the first time I remember wanting Things.
As life progressed, I wanted other Things… Things to make life easier or me more productive or just to keep up with what everyone else had. My children needed Things, I needed to be an adult and have certain Things…. Endless streams of Things poured into my life. I had to buy or borrow, and then fix or clean or replace or store or sell or give away Things, Things, Things. Sometimes I feel like most of my energy is given to taking care of Things.
I’m thinking about Things because I’m getting ready to move, painting the inside of my house and taking apart my gallery/performance space. I’m changing the structure of my life and suddenly all these Things are staring me in the face.
I’m also thinking about Things because I’m in a Saturn Transit. Saturn is a symbol for the part of the psyche that deals with All Things Physical. Saturn helps us understand what is tangible, undeniable and must-be-dealt-with. There’s no escaping Saturn. In the language of astrology, he ‘rules’ Time, Boundaries and Mastery.
Saturn is always asking us to adjust our physical reality to reflect the essence of who we really are.
All my Things are being put to the “Saturn Test”:
If all these Things represent something about me … Does this Thing help me or hinder me in the Present Tense?
Some Things are wonderful. Some Things are dear friends who’ve traveled with me for years. Some Things hold the memory of a relationship or special moment and I keep them with me because of that magical holding. Some Things are just plain wonderfully functional. These Things clearly help me.
Most of the Things in my face are not so wonderful. I’m standing & looking at these Things… There are so many of them… Where did they all come from? Why do I keep them? Do they shape themselves to me & form a relationship without my being aware of what’s going on? Are they some kind of secret enemy?
Are all these perfectly useful but not-magical or particularly functional Things the physicalization of all the unconscious stuff I don’t want to deal with? Is this mountain of Things a physical representation of my unexamined co-dependancy? Secret longings? Unconscious hurts?
I mean, who am I taking care of all this stuff for?? What is this weird attachment to things???
Things, like Saturn, slow you down. And like all things Saturn… Time, Boundaries & Physical Reality, Things show us what we don’t necessarily want to see. We bump up against them in a kind of reality check.
If I’m not sure why I’m holding onto something, am I really holding on to something?
If Physical Reality is created by the projection of our own unconscious fears, hopes, denials… do I have the courage to clean out all that unconscious stuff? If I let go of mountains of Things, will I change?
Do I have the courage to ask “Does this Thing help me or hinder me in the present tense?” and believe my saturnian answer? (Saturn says: What hinders me feels restrictive, What helps me feels like a friend.)
Do I have the courage to let go of these manifestations? Do I have the courage to dance with all these Things, embracing and letting go as if it were nothing but a dance?
I found this youtube video that helps– I listen to this with the volume turned up loud.