Recently a cute post on Facebook by a spiritual teacher proclaimed: “Your height is your karma; your weight is free will.”
This pretty succinctly sums up the differences between fate (or what you are given to deal with as your karmic predicament), versus choice (or what you can manipulate with your intentions).
When I work with the client’s natal chart, I can’t help but see their karmic patterns. In astrology, it’s a precept that whatever occurs to you before the age of seven (the first quarter cycle of Saturn’s passage through your horoscope) is your karma. Before that, you can’t exercise choice because your judgment hasn’t developed sufficiently and your options are limited given that you are dependent upon your caretakers. There are many people whose karma might be unpleasant during these formative years. Some of those people have karma that is beyond the definition of unpleasant, veering towards trauma, abuse, and even worse. But for now we will speak of patterns that are within one’s power to overcome and survive.
It’s easy to see why a person would resist the concept that their painful experiences must be defined as their self-chosen karma.
It’s easy as well to frame it as though the terrible things that happened to an innocent person, especially in the very early years, are bad and undeserved, and that the person is a victim. This is the traditional way that our society looks at abuse and trauma, nor is it untrue, for it not only wounds the sufferer but tears at our hearts.
However, once we understand that the universe is “a teaching and learning machine” designed to bring us to our greatest potential, we can look at karma differently. The whole point is to take responsibility for our actions, and to realize all consequences as that which we ourselves set in motion. ALL IS CHOSEN. To really understand karma is to wake up to see that there are no “innocent victims” but only that which we chose as painful circumstances in order to learn compassion. This wisdom is not bought cheaply.
So when an astrologer says to a new client, “You chose your parents”, or explains that “your grand fixed cross guaranteed that you would endure at some point, especially early on, a drastic and very difficult experience”, the person often can’t accept that, can’t integrate it into their beliefs and worldview. There is great resistance.
But all karma is equivalent to lessons in the school of Earth.
And all karma represents the lessons that we signed on for. Yes, we chose the pain before incarnation to balance out previously unconscious and harmful actions, or to set us on a course – a life mission – to assuage others’ suffering and to change the world in some ways for the better.
The bottom line is that, by accepting this recognition of your responsibility for your karmic dilemma, and choosing to go forward from that place of psychological insight and spiritual evolution, you no longer resist your karma. You work with it. You see the lesson in all its distress as necessary for soul growth. And your worldview changes – sometimes 180 degrees.
At this point, you can be called “enlightened” for now you are truly on the path. Understanding karma is the key to that.
Judi Thomases is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire online magazine.
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