Is Your Life Falling Apart? Or Is It Trying To Come Together?

The Hanged Man from The Röhrig Tarot by Carl-W. Röhrig © US Games, Inc.

One of the greatest gifts that a Jungian approach to tarot - and to my own life - has given me has been indescribably precious:

The understanding that the crisis and breakdown that I was plunged into aged 34 was not only normal, but a rite of passage.

This crisis has been one to which I have been returned time and again over the ensuing years. Again, this is normal. Again, this remains the same rite of passage.

However, what our Western world has done is to pathologise this crisis in one way or another, because it doesn't recognise it as a rite of passage. It rarely recognises it at all - especially in women. Our society and our health and mental health practitioners are failing us women, and continue to do so.

Jungians have known about this rite of passage for decades, and there are Jungian analysts out there who have specialised in working with it, and who have written about it extensively and insightfully, including Syvia Brinton-Perera, Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, and James Hollis.

Unfortunately, typical Jungian writing is so metaphorical, poetic - at times opaque - that many of these works end up preaching to a very small choir ... while swathes of women are left to face their experiences alone, unsupported by those who know and who can help them, instead turning to doctors who tend to medicate first and ask questions later (if they ask them at all).

What am I writing about?

Nothing more or less than what has come to be known as "Midlife Crisis". This is not a neutral term. It is often used jokingly, even scathingly, and diminishes not only the experience of it, but also its significance.

A Midlife Crisis is not an accident. It is not something "going wrong" - though it can feel like that profoundly.

A Midlife Crisis is an invitation. It is a natural process when we have ignored what it is that we are really here to do, and ignored who we are really meant to be.

It can present as depression - though that's a symptom, not the cause. It can present as perimenopause. It can present as hysteria or neuroticism. It is none of these things at heart, though it can mirror their symptomatologies.

And, lacking words to describe it, or a map that tells us that where we are is actually A Real Place, or a community that understands it, we tend to reach breaking point, unsupported, and end up in a doctor's chair, where we are told that we simply need to take these pills, and we can resume our everyday lives.

When the problem all along is, in fact, our everyday lives.

This has to change.

Approached differently, Midlife Crisis can be a phenomenal growth point. It can change us. It can birth the kind of authenticity that we cannot buy - either through relationships, or through our work, or through medication.

It is nothing less than the calling of our souls, and our souls want nothing less than our undivided attention and commitment.

I'm going to leave off here, but I wanted to at least start a dialogue that I am hoping to continue on this website, and in any future work that I do.

More later!

In the meantime, please do feel free to email me for more information.

For now, love,

~ Sarah

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