Posted to Subscribers on 8 March 2008


Dear Subscribers,

After the heat subsided, I combed the dozens of emails sent to me in reaction/response to the post on the Mother's Act.

One forwarded post was not too well formatted but the information was interesting so I will give you the link:

I assume the feature story changes so be sure you are on the page dealing with antidepressants.  There is a video as well as article, but the information appears to be the same in both.  One could selectively quote a few points made but then there would be more flak so do your own reading, research, and thinking, and concluding!

Suffice it to say, there is nothing new in the "news" that research is skewed or that we should know the cause of a problem before taking a pill, but it's nice when an MD says this in language everyone can understand.

For a while, I had a counseling service with a psychologist who had a main job in a hospital where she had to counsel many people with depression.  I told her that regardless of the facts of the case and legitimacy of the grounds for depression that people cannot hang onto the sense of being depressed if their fires are moving.  She wanted this translated into some very practical advice.  I suggested that she simply ask the patients to increase their chili intake.  We were in Santa Fe where one can spend an entire evening just discussing the pros and cons of red vs. green chili.  I told her to tell the patients to eat spicy trail mix instead of candy bars and to sprinkle turmeric and cayenne powder on popcorn and make sure the huevos rancheros are hot!  She was to make these suggestions on a Friday and assess on Monday.  No one was depressed.

So, one can have the same problems with partners, jobs, finances, grades, unwanted pregnancies, and abusive authority figures but one cannot feel depressed if the fire is burning.  This is Ayurveda 101 but Jung alluded to a similar earth-fire relationship when addressing shadows.  In reality, fire is a problem solver and while no one likes fire that is raging, it takes a certain amount of righteous indignation or passion or heat to feel motivated enough and powerful enough to make the changes that will make a difference.  Depression occurs when that fire has lost hope and as an astrologer, I know where the buttons are to kindle the fires because even if someone really dislikes most fiery behavior, there are always issues that will get a rise out of people.  That's what we want:  the arousal of fire out of smoldering embers because, as my colleague suggested, underneath the dreariness of pretending one doesn't care about anything is a lot of anger, usually anger that was buried in thquagmire of hopelessness.

Occasionally, we have some very simple depressions, like seasonal affective disorder.  I had one friend who used to phone from Albuquerque to ask about the weather in Santa Fe and when I was slow with the bad news, he hit a funk so bad that no one could drag him out until he got some of those natural spectrum light bulbs to simulate sunnier weather.  As I said, it's a simple example of a principle, but this does not change the fact that there are often reasonable grounds for having gloomy feelings.  My point is merely that even if such reasons exist, the feelings cannot persist if the fire starts moving.  The energy that arises here gives a sense that the problems can be tackled and this is the first step towards digging one's way out of emotional black holes.

Some people have really bad tempers so they (not to mention others) might be afraid of fire so they think they are doing the world a favor by hiding in gloom, but this is a fake place to hide if the cause is anger that is denied.  However, it can easily explain why someone on Prozac could lift the lid on depression and go on a shoot out.  I am a big fan of something equivalent to martial arts for such individuals because they learn to use force judiciously, responsibly, and with foresight.  This is still fire but the difference is recklessness versus mastery.  By neglecting to teach people respect and appropriate timing and self-discipline, we are not forcing fire to mature.  We are causing fire to deviate and this is dangerous.

Best wishes,





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