THE OLD BRANDING PAINS
Throughout my 30s I was obsessed with personal branding and my own professional identity.
My particular grind was how to communicate all that I am – and that is relevant to my clients – in one coherent message.
I loved grappling with the challenge but was eventually disheartened as I never quite managed to create a brand that I felt conveyed me well and fully.
Those were the years post my first Saturn return (in my 1st house) so my particular fixation was fitting.
Fast forward, 20 plus years and I’m back to the same drawing board. Only I didn’t realise this. Until today.
The astrological similarities between the two times in my life are there of course. Both Taurus North Node and Mercury retrograde are in my first house and they are activating my Sun and my Saturn.
After going through the darkness of both the outer and inner winter season, feeling some discontent and doing some soul searching I find myself in a clearing. I seem to have come out of the dense woods and can see the forest for the trees.
My larger story is now ready for me to weave. In fact, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing during the winter albeit without knowing it.
Slowly, thread by thread, I am consolidating all the disparate strands of who and how I am, plaiting them into a personally meaningful, yet not necessarily neatly wrapped, whole.
And I’m able to see my problem back in my 30s – my audience came first. Literally. I knew who my clients were before I branded my business, which meant I had to leave a lot of ‘me’ out as it wasn’t relevant to them. And yet that very omission was the source of my dissatisfaction with running my own business.
You see, with Saturn on my Asc, my body of work is me. I am the product. I am my offering to the world. The right audience is a side effect of that, a consequence.
And more importantly doing business that way is actually satisfying because that way is more meaningful to me.
I am launching the start of the rebrand process of my personal influence and work I’ll be doing in the world by announcing it here on my Darker Materials website as my first blog post – a gesture symbolising my intention to bring ALL OF ME into my WORK. My OFFERINGS. My BUSINESS. This will be all about me – as one example of how one can be – with the intention to inspire others. This will be my way of bringing greater FREEDOM, COURAGE and HONESTY to both personal and business expression by way of ART & CREATIVITY.
A LION-TAMER RUSHES FEARLESSLY INTO THE CIRCUS ARENA
The Virgo Ascendant at 22 degrees is important because it’s my natal Pluto placement. My Pluto is also my legacy (as per astro oracle card pull yesterday) and its Sabian Symbol A LION-TAMER RUSHES FEARLESSLY INTO THE CIRCUS ARENA speaks very much to my strato-volcano creative powers and the need to learn to use them wisely and constructively – in a way that is empowering and not destructive.
NB What follows is paraphrased from the Mythic Tarot book written by Liz Green about the Strength card.
The challenge is to contain this wild and dangerous animal within us, while still preserving those animal qualities essential for our vitality and creativity. (Liz Green)
In mythology the lion is always associated with royalty, even at its most destructive. It also represents the egocentric beginnings of a unique individuality. In the myth of the Nemean Lion, Heracles defeats the lion but keeps its skin for its magical qualities of offering him invincibility. Invincibility stands for a sense of inner permanence which comes from a solid sense of “I”. When we wear the skin of the lion which we have conquered by conquering the animal within us the opinions of others mean little because we are armoured in our own indestructible sense of identity
When our inner lion is left UNTAMED rage is one of his manifestations. This is not healthy anger, which might be appropriate to a situation, but a furious explosive floor-beating tantrum, when we do not get our way.
Implacable pride is another shadow expression. This is not self respect, but a bombast and inflated self importance which can make us unrelenting towards those we depend on or who steal the limelight from us.
The lion is in many ways, like the angry infant in us, demanding that the world revolve around us and destroying blindly and at random when it does not.
But if we tamed him, then we can appropriate the magical skin which in psychological terms means integrating the vital power of the animal, and making it serve a conscious and responsible ego.
Key themes: Having faith and courage in my abilities. Sublimating my animal instincts. Controlled excitement. Graceful Fearlessness. Honest Professionalism. Wise Radicalism. Restrained Passion. Coordination and skill. Superheroine. Wielding Power and Influence. Holding the whip and knowing how and when to use it.
With this degree of Virgo, there’s a need for self-discipline and mastery. One needs to be cautious but not to the extent of extinguishing powerful emotions and energies – the need is to become competent at skilfully controlling and influencing things.
Also, important is transparency or the audience can quickly become disillusioned – it is common for the lions to be well fed by the ‘Lion-Tamer’ before he ventures into the arena, reducing any real risk of danger.
All these themes speak to me very loudly.