Find the Medicine for the Poison of Imprisoned Pain
Updated: Sep 7
The process of Life is a continuum where the variety of experiences and factors intersect and connect constantly, to reveal a ‘whole’, consisting of many parts. The problem is though that us humans have become so split in our thinking, that the microscopic view we give to the parts we experience, split us from any insight we gain for not realizing the connections of these parts to the whole. This loss of seeing the big picture may be our demise in critical times. Let me demonstrate this principle through a personal experience in the story that follows.
For the last thirty years or so, I suffered intense migraine attacks. For those of you who know, migraine is not an ordinary headache. At times it gets so bad that pain medication, usually triptans, cannot stay in my body because of the vomiting, and I need a triptan injection. The pain can be so severe that it feels that life is not worth living. Living with constant migraine or the anticipation of an attack, affects everything in my life; all my relationships and whatever I do. I became ultra-conscientious about doing tasks that I love time-effectively, calculating the possibilities between pain and no-pain. When I am without pain, I fear the times when I am incapacitated, so I use every moment as best I can to do the most I can.
For years I have searched for answers and tried every therapeutic modality and medicine possible, with no success. Besides all the conventional and psychological approaches, I also investigated alternative, esoteric, dietary, and all possible avenues for relief. The neurologist tried Botox injections on my head, that did not change a thing. I reacted with a violent allergic reaction to the preventative monthly Emgality injections. The fact that there were no medicine or approach that helped killed all hope for permanent pain relief. I had to resign my treatment method to the triptan medication and lifestyle adjustments, that only gave temporary relief when attacks struck. But my search for answers to my suffering continued. Every year I joined the migraine world summit in hope to learn of a solution, only to be disillusioned.
I practice observing my dreams, synchronicities, and the astrological transits daily. Astrological planetary transitions happen in the background of every personal and collective life event in the world. With contemplation, the mythology and archetypal resonance of these planetary transitions can be observed in every experience, mostly after the fact when all the synchronicities and life factors are assimilated and the connections between them recognized. The archetypal resonance is mostly not interpreted purely intellectually, but intuition and an appreciation for recognizing the creative manifestations or symbolic expression of these archetypal potentialities is needed. I find it amazing to draw the connections between everyday events, my personal experiences and internal emotional awareness, and the planetary transits. These observations and contemplations help me to personally know how the mythology expresses itself and how the astrology connects with practical life. It also helps me to know why things are happening in the timing that it is happening, so there is reason behind the events and when the aspects are ‘heavy’, they are not there to punish or destroy, but to support consciousness and changes in attitude towards more constructive actions.
Observing and understanding healing opportunities and the evolution of my life process is constantly happening in the background while the action of making and creating art happens in the foreground. My creative self-expression of all that I am, have lived through, and unconsciously feel is manifested in my fabric art. Sometimes what I make is just pleasurable and sometimes what I make is part of my self-development and evolution of soul and spirit.
Over the last six weeks my migraines became exponentially worse, to the extent that I had constant pain. The triptans gave short term relief and the pain would reappear up to twice a day. I became desperate because I don’t want to use so many triptans and always try to manage the intake to the minimum. No other medication or migraine management techniques worked. I also experienced other strange symptoms over the last six weeks, like swollen gland nodules on the back of my head and behind my ear and in the fold of my elbow. I complained to my General Practitioner who send me for x-rays on my arm! I felt that this was totally misdirected and off target. Another time I had severe pains in my abdomen at which she gave me antibiotics and send me for a sonar scan, which of course did not show any abnormalities. At the same time my upper right back gums in my mouth, began to hurt more than usual and become infected. A visit to my dentist frustrated me once again as I complained every six months over a period of 10 or so years, when I had a dentist cleaning and consultation, about that area in my mouth feeling sensitive as if there is something wrong there. X-rays usually revealed nothing, and they then usually reassured me that the root canals on those teeth should not be give me pain, making me feel silly. Previously I was given repeated root canal treatments on the same two teeth second and third from my wisdom tooth, after which the sensitivity would remain. I started to favour chewing on the left side of my mouth to avoid the pressure pain. This time I insisted on getting a second opinion and the newly referred ophthalmologist diagnosed an infected and cracked wisdom tooth which could be the culprit of not only the body symptoms but also the migraine! The previous orthodontist repeated root canal treatments on the same two teeth adjacent to the wisdom tooth, not identifying the wisdom tooth as the culprit of the discomfort. And again I had to go back to my general dentist to be referred this time to a specialist for the extraction of the wisdom tooth, which meant more delays and waiting for appointments, and in the meantime, suffering more days of pain.
To distract myself from the constant pain and to avoid taking more pain medication, I do art.
I was busy working on a project that I thought related to a call for submission at an art-quilt show called Imprisoned. The image I used in my project haunted me from the day I photographed this man in Varanasi, India, ten years ago. At that time I was keen on photography as art. Gerald, and I were visiting India for his work, and traveled through India to make the most of the trip. The man that caught my eye sat in a pose that depicted all things painful and sad. I felt his imprisoned soul. I saw a universal human in this figure and could not get it out of my mind, thinking and observing all the pain in the world as well as the pain that I keep on suffering. At another time I visited a Glass factory where I photographed glass bottles. I decided to put the figure of the man inside the bottle in my first photographic art-version. Then I turned it into black and white later. Later I translated this photographic version into an embroidered piece. Now I needed to do another version of it in a new way.
(See original image and the first processed version of the idea and the subsequent versions which later became fabric art; the first black and white version and currently working on the second version in fabric and thread painting.
Over the last six months, while working on the coloured version of the figure, depicting imprisoned pain, I intuitively added a snake. The bottled-up pain was now going through an alchemical process. The bottle is ethereal and therefore not grounded. The colours are of fire, air, and water. (This part reminded me of the fire and water elements connected to the small intestine meridians, mentioned below where I describe the meridian of the small intestine and the heart). The person themselves is earth, salt, and lead. I kept on asking myself questions about the bottled-up pain, alchemy, and the snake in the healing process. Woken by pain early one morning, I looked at the astrological ephemeris to see what astrological transits were happening in that moment. I wondered how the current transiting planet Pluto to my natal Chiron, will manifest. Hoping that the roots of my ‘wound’ and pain, will be revealed during this two-to-four-year transition. Pluto usually symbolizes the surfacing, uprooting or revelation of hidden and buried secrets or causes of a situation. Depending on the position in a natal chart, Chiron symbolizes the area in one’s life and soul where one carries wounds of the past and present. At the same time Saturn is transiting into the sign of Pisces, and the planet Uranus into the sign of Aquarius. There are many other transits to consider during a time phase, as no transit happens in isolation. Solar and Lunar eclipses are also at play. The current solar eclipse happened to be square (90 degrees) from my natal Chiron as well. Usually though the outer planetary movements are slow and more significant to set up the circumstances for the faster planets to trigger the incidents of opportunity for insights and action. The planet Mars happened to move ever closer to the opposition to my Natal Mars, so I expected some action connected to sharp objects.
While thinking of Pluto and Chiron, I looked at my Star Chart apps on my iphone, to see what was happening in the actual sky at that moment. Both the Star Walk and Sky Tonight apps opened with these images of Ophiuchus holding a snake! Wow! I needed to know more about Ophiuchus and the snake.
According to Wikipedia, Ophiuchus is considered the god of medicine by the Greeks who named him Asciepius. He was the son of Apollo and Coronis. At the time, while pregnant by Apollo, his mother had an affair with a mortal. Ophiuchus was rejected by his own furious father to punish his mother. Chiron raised Asciepius as his own son, teaching him the art of healing and hunting.
In one situation, a son of King Minos, fell into a jar of honey and drowned. Asciepius was called to help for he was known for his healing abilities. While contemplating the body of the dead boy, a snake came towards it and Asciepius killed it with his staff. A second snake came towards the dead snake and put a herb into its dead partner’s mouth which revived the dead snake. Some believe the herb related to what we know today as aspirin. After contemplating what he saw the snakes did, Asciepius resurrected the dead boy with his herbs and words which he repeated three times. He became known as the most powerful healer who can resurrect the dead. Snakes are associated with transformation and medicine today and is on the logos of all things medical related. This is only one version of the mythology of Asciepius/Ophiuchus which explains his connection to snakes and medicine. Orphiuchus was immortalized by Zeus by setting him amongst the stars as the 13th constellation. However, this 13th constellation is not part of the 12 official zodiac constellations. There are also other stories telling of the left and right sides of the snake that Ophiuchus is handling in the star constellation, the one side relating to poison and the other to medicine. In homeopathy it is believed that the poison becomes the medicine. I noticed the similarity of Ophiuchus’s childhood story to that of the Magician Archetype. Ophiuchus had little support from his own family but was looked upon kindly and supported by the immortal Chiron, who thought him healing principles he could practice on others through his keen and perfect observations of synchronicities which he applied creatively.
The use of herbs and the words repeated three times, by Orphiuchus, struck me as significant. I remembered my studies in essential oils and my use for instance of Frankincense for inflammation, which I happen to use during sever pain on my tooth. I love to use the essential oils for the appropriate ails. I also know that verbalizing intent is powerful. This I learned in my studies in hypnotherapy and the application of that principle in my psychological practice.
Immediately I made the connection between my unconscious and intuitive need to put the snake around the captured person in the bottle. At that moment the words and title of the work came to me as: Find the medicine for the poison of imprisoned pain.
I now had more hope to find that medicine for my own pain after so much time. Consciousness of the layers of physical, mental, and spiritual parts of the wounds is now aligned on an even deeper layer than before. The stars need to be aligned to find the answers to our continual questions. There is a time for everything. At the peak of the pain during that early morning I spoke to Divine and send an S.O.S., asking for help with the relief of the pain, repeating the S.O.S. three times.
The strange symptoms I suffer all made sense in the light of the latest discovery about my wisdom tooth infection. The lymph node swellings on my head that comes and goes, the stomach pain and the severe migraines that goes away when I am on antibiotics.
I found this Teeth Reflexology chart on the internet, one of many that shows the same information, saying that the upper right wisdom tooth corresponds to the meridian of the Heart and the Small Intestine. Is it possible that the infection in my tooth has anything to do with the pains and sensation of nausea in my lower stomach and the occasional pain over my heart, of which test results always show now maladies?
According to meridian theory the small intestine meridians in the body point to people who suffer obsessions with what is right and wrong in life. They fear judgment and fear doing or being wrong in their perceptions. They are meticulous in their analysis of events, and observe the minute detail of facts, emotions, and character in people. This meridian is about separating the Pure from the Impure, like the Alchemist who puts everything through a purifying fire to cleanse out the impure. Neil R Gumenick, the founder and director of the Institute of Classical Five-Element Acupuncture Inc, in Los Angeles, describes the Small Intestine Meridian’s job to ensure that only the pure that is taken in and distilled from life observations, goes through to the Heart meridian. This is how the Heart gets involved. People with an affected Small Intestine and Heart meridian, fears judgment and therefor have difficulty digesting or assimilating the fallible in life. In other words, they tend to be perfectionists while extremely observant and intentionally analyze, notice, and acknowledge the qualities in others.
I discovered, and wrote about, this quality also in the Archetypal equivalent related to the Magician essence, found in the Major Arcana of the Tarot, which do relate to one of my own Archetypes. In my booklet Mirrors to Your Soul, Keys to unlock Divine Archetypal Portals, 2016, I describe this Magician Archetype as the Multidimensional Idealist. The Divine portal of this archetype connects us to unconditional love and acceptance and the recognition of the infinite creative potential of the Universal Life principles of the interplay between constructive and destructive energies. People who are born into and identified with the human aspect of this archetype experience first a pressure during childhood of having to stand alone and become prematurely mature, sometimes without much support. They lose their spontaneity and childhood innocence because of this and have a serious and moralistic outlook of life. They sometimes became loners or feel like outsiders, which make them feel judged for their insight or mature morality. No-one have to teach them morality, they intuitively know what is right and what is wrong. Their life challenge is to accept themselves unconditionally like they do most others, speak up for their needs and beliefs, be less anxious and more spontaneous. Questioning themselves constantly is constructive but doubting themselves is detrimental. This Archetype could be speaking loud and clearly to me through this challenge right now in my healing opportunity. The Divine portal to access for this Archetype is trust; both in Divine and self, and bring back the joy, innocence, and spontaneity of the Divine energy of the Creative Magician in me. The Divine essence of the resonance with this archetype is about brining insight to humanity about sustainability of choices in personal behaviour that enhance the 'whole'; suporting community. Healing happens over time like pealing the skins around an onion. When the time comes for another layer to be uncovered to an even deeper healing, that is when we discover more levels of development.
Another search on the internet brought my attention to this image of the nodes in the head. The highlighted nodes in the picture, are the ones that swell and itch from time to time at the lower back of my head and behind my right ear. Is it possible that the infected wisdom tooth is the reason for these swollen nodes? My general practitioner gave me steroid ointment to treat it with a year and again six months ago, not knowing what causes a swelling to appear and reappear on different areas on the back of the head. The dermatologist looked at the swellings and gave me a stronger potency of steroid ointment. Did the physicians not know about nodal and lymph swellings in that part of the body? It seems to me that only symptoms are treated with no idea of the origin or even a desire to find the root causes of symptoms. Physicians do not seem to be healers but technicians who only deal with symptoms. Pharmacology is abused to treat symptoms and not to help heal root causes of symptoms. Are there no dynamic thinking or consideration of differential diagnosis any longer?All the divisions of the healing professions are working in isolation without a holistic view of a human being's complete functioning, or making the connections between the different aspects of the human body, mind and soul.
My theory at this moment is that this wisdom tooth was the poison in my body all along. We will have to see what happens now when the tooth finally gets extracted on April 5, 2023. There were so many theories about the migraine and so many attempts to heal. I am a little scared to be disillusioned again. But what can I do but hope and act with new awareness in body, mind, and soul. The wisdom-tooth extraction may be yet another layer among others to the unfolding of the mystery. The medicine is said to be close to the poison. I want to swop my human fears and conditioning with Divine guidance and trust flowing through the Divine Archetypal portal into and through my life. There is a reason that I needed to work on this latest art piece to express how physical, emotional, and spiritual pain can imprison us. Our whole world seems to be imprisoned in pain too. Hopefully we can also find the medicine to heal our world too, as the transiting time is not only personal but also collective.
The process of Life is a continuum where the variety of experiences and factors intersect and connect constantly, to reveal a ‘whole’, consisting of many parts. Make the connections between the parts to find answers for life’s troubles, like Orphiuchus did.
The extraction procedure happened to be exactly two days prior to the Full Moon, and transiting Mars exactly two degrees orb to oppose my natal Mars! It is known for Mars energy to manifest earlier than the actual exact degree aspect. How accurate can Astrology be? It is known that eclipses come in affect around a month early. This is true in my case, because the unfolding events started to happen around a month before the April 20 Solar eclipse at 29 degrees Aries, which is exactly square my natal Chiron (which has everything to do with wounds and healing). The transiting Pluto conjunct my natal Chiron has been working in the background in my psyche, preparing the way for these faster planetary events to trigger the actual actions required for the cleanup and transformations.
Now only time will tell how the rest of the healing will unfold. I am curious and trusting.
It seems that our society functions, in general, by killing surface fires only, without diving into the origins of problems. We operate with a superficial attitude in our healthcare, political, organizational, business sectors, and education systems. We also do not recognize the links between the problems we face in life, society and the world, and the underlying rot that we continually ignore as the causes of these problems. We are driven only to kill the surface fires while underneath the surface, neglected root causes of the problems we face worldwide on all levels, become volcanic powers that are in danger of erupting in destruction any second. Our blindness for making links between all the human dimensions and the universe is driven by greed, fear and immediate gratification.
I trust that our humanity will wake up soon to find the medicine for the poison of our imprisoned pain.