I’ve been depressed this month – but as I’ve been making my way through this narrowed space I realized that I’m coping with this depression better than I ever have coped before.
I realized that over the last few years I have picked up a lot of knowledge about the meaning and mythology of depression, from a variety of angles, astrological and otherwise.
So this time when depression onset (and I distinctly saw it come over me), I made different choices – like instead of being private and withdrawn, reaching out to my friends for help processing. Or, instead of making up a huge story about how this feeling might last forever and counting on all my possibilities and hopes in life diminishing — realizing that’s part of the archetypal complex of depression and not giving way to it. I have given myself significant liberty and self-compassion and have also recognized myself in archetypal landscapes I’ve studied at depth – like Saturn’s realm or the Underworld. And so I’ve had the best map I’ve ever had in my life thus far.
One of the things I was depressed about was my inability to come up with a new creative project idea I was excited about even though I had a desire to create something. I knew better than to trudge through on executing ideas I was lukewarm about just to hold onto a sense of being a productive or creative person.
So I took some time for myself and engaged with my studies and work. It’s not like I was depressed every moment of the day – I have been enjoying the things that ground me and enjoying cooking and connecting with clients and spending time with friends.
But still I kept returning back to this feeling of being dead inside or feeling existential dread. And still I kept meeting that part of my experience, listening to it, working with it.
But one evening in the middle of a life-changing thai massage which I could feel moving around all my stuck energy – I finally had a creative idea I was excited about, which is to share what I’ve learned about depression as an archetypal experience.
It grieves me that a heavy part of our collective mythology about depression is that depression is simply a chemical experience that happens in the brain, and is to be treated chemically.
I don’t doubt that’s one manifestation of it (chemical) happening simultaneously with other factors – but I have long been deeply skeptical of it being posited as THE reality. I was on medications when I was younger and I did not have a good experience with them. (I know others can, so I don’t want to shame anyone who is on medications or finds them helpful.) Since then, I’ve approached emotional distress and depression from a variety of other lenses which have offered me far greater healing and integration. I’ve been able to alter the feelings I have in my body and baseline mood levels by other means.
Depression happens on multiple stratas of experience – it can be a response to not resonating with the structures of our lives and our roles that we play, it can be a matter of something dietary happening in the gut, it can be a calling from the soul that a bigger life is in store for us but first we have to loosen our attachments to old and limiting bonds. So to truly understand and work with depression, I’ve found it helps to have a mythology of what depression is archetypally, beyond the material layer of reality.
Because it is a series of ideas about depression and grief which have given me the framework to meet this time period with grace (I would say!) and to understand it as a meaningful process, I’ve decided to put on a free webinar with these liberating ideas. I’ll be drawing from astrology, depth psychology, perinatal psychological theory, ayurveda, and more.
MYTHOLOGIES OF DEPRESSION
November 4, 2018 11 AM PDT
Sabrina Monarch is a soul-centered Evolutionary Astrologer who publishes weekly astrological forecasts, works with clients and teaches. She has been collecting astrological experience for over a decade. She is a novelist and is currently pursuing her masters in Philosophy. She also enjoys kundalini yoga, meditation and ashtanga yoga.