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Lynn Hayes

Robert, this is a beautiful article. I've been lurking for sometime but came out to thank you for this. I particularly like the paragraphs from "The Quest." I have Pluto in the third house conjunct Moon and nadir, and I am fascinated by the transformation of the death process and these paragraphs are an eloquent expression of what I believe to be true.


Hi Lynn -

Thanks for the compliment. I pondered a looooong time about whether to post anything on this subject, since it's hard even to think about such things, much less comment in a public forum. Many are wary of exposing their raw pain, but I wrote the work precisely so those who are shipwrecked in hell know they are not alone, and what to expect as they move through deep feelings.

What you read is just a portion of "The Quest" which itself is a little section toward the end of the book. There is more that will interest you, given what you have written here. Everything in the book is experiential, and describes what I found happening during my own and others' grief process.

As one with Neptune in the 3rd conjunct my nadir, I can identify with your experience, since both Neptune and Pluto are forces that deal with ultimates in existence. And FYI, Neptune rules my 8th, and since it's in the 3rd it's not surprising I would write about 8th house matters.


i moved from my homeland to a foreign land 3-4 years ago and everything got taken away, its not quite like a physical death and i really don't know who has passed away - me myself or those i left far away - but its very hard to rebuild everything about and around yourself. sometimes we just have to move on and leave them be.


Abacus - Deaths come in many ways and forms. Ultimately, all forms pass away, and are replaced with forms more attuned to who we are in the now. We grieve many things, and it all shows us the mystery of what we have to learn about radical love, compassion, detachment, forgiveness, and the determination that we will be as happy as we make up our minds to be, regardless of which one or more of the seven sacred wounds we have to endure to find our way to our highest destiny and wisdom. And when it's time to move on, there's not much else to do, except breathe and love and breathe and love and breathe and love and... It's all an adventure in learning how to adapt, and love, and take a larger point of view on what is possible.




Sure. We've all been in a form of hell at one time or another. And it sure is great when the process of grieving is complete, as then leaving hell is natural and spontaneous, and results in lightness, clarity, and a sense of the possible.


Thanks for your opinion, Robert. My friend had just lost her father and I don't know how can I help... even what to say... I'm just trying to spend with her all my free time to share her grief.


Hi Sally - Usually when a friend of mine loses a loved one, I try to do meditations toward helping the departed person's eternal Spirit navigate through the "heavenworld," trying to send them thoughtforms so they get free of fear and confusion at being in another world entirely.

I believe any form of practical service you can do for your friend as she moves through her grief is also supportive, whether cooking, maybe hanging out doing laundry, or just offering walks in the park or by the ocean or wherever, depending on where you live.

Sometimes nature walks help, at other times digging in a garden and planting something. Sometimes silence, sometimes presence, sometimes solitude, always "running interference" with the world and its pressing nonsense, and reminding your friend of the love that was, is and will be. You must truly be a good friend.


Dear Robert, I thank you for writing on bereavement, one of the most difficult of states to negotiate.

My present loss is a little different. I am going through a divorce after almost twenty years of marriage, one lovingly supported by friends and family but which could not sustain itself. In this period when things fall apart and the centre seems not to hold, your website which I stumbled upon a few months ago, and an astrology column I have been reading for a couple of years, have kept me on a more or less even keel through the many months leading up to it into the present.

As I navigate this immense process of grieving while dealing with the legalities and the concomitant pressures of forging a new path in uncharted territory, away from family and most friends, away from the land of my birth, away from home as I knew it, away from the resources that were once at my disposal, I take some of my guidance from your page and find a calm in the knowledge that the difficult times - the Grand Irrationality - have not been mine alone and that these times call for noble and right action.

It is time to find wisdom in the suffering that this living bereavement brings and I remind myself that we are not given more suffering to endure than that which is within our capacity to endure.

When I lost my father and then my mother, the grieving was of a different vein. This, where the notion of death is less tangible, but no less present, is the more difficult to accommodate because forgiveness of the other and of oneself for pain received and given, constitutes a necessary part of the healing and of the transformation of the loss into something that can transcend this immediate plane of present suffering, and also help retain and cherish the numerous and deep blessings that came of that same marriage.

The trines you had written about did make a difference, and today, after the solar eclipse, there has been an unexpected and deeper articulation of possibilities, and a confluence of seemingly disparate elements reaching a strange harmony, and offering new meaning.

Your column has made it easier to receive the kindness and generosity that used to be my lot to give. I learn about humility and about the true nature of kindness, I learn what is indispensible and what is not, and I thank you again for holding my hand, as you do countless others, through the most difficult time of my life.

I am an April Taurus with an Aries Moon, life path 9 and 2006 is my personal year 1.



Hi Tara - All loss is lousy, yet it does teach us detachment and appreciation of what and who is left when it's over, and those friends who have stood with us as we navigate through the grief as best we are able. I've also lost a long-term marriage, so thanks for telling me that some of what I've been offering has helped you stay on a "more or less even keel." I couldn't use the words I do unless I had been there at one time or another.

It sounds like you've been thrown on a quest, and sometimes that's the best thing to do when you really don't need anything that's familiar reminding you of what has been. Just don't let your brain stuff distract from the great and deep heart strengthening that is going on, now that you're withdrawing from all the projections, and withdrawing your own.

Glad you know you're not alone in the Grand Irrationality, and see how we're ALL going through it, which is throwing us all into some pretty strange stuff. I believe that if we reference our heart, then regardless of how much things make little or no sense, we will still know what to do and not lose our integrity as we move through the soup. I also feel that the suffering we go through is our authentic experience that no one can deny or take away from us, and a means by which we serve those we meet who also suffer from similar afflictions on their own life path. Pass it forward, and all that.

Losing parents is its own grief, which I have not experienced so far. I have lost many, many friends over the years, and quite a few of them never made it to 40, which has its own jagged edge. The death of a long marriage is fairly devastating, in that you grieve all that could have been but never will be. That's part of what inspired my post earlier today.

I have found my forgiveness came easier as I moved on into my new life, with new experiences and time to reflect on everything while the raw wound healed. Once it's healed a while, it's not so constantly painful, since the wave form diminishes if we don't feed it. It's not that time heals all wounds (though time wounds all heels!) but that with subsequent experiences, we have more time and space to see the larger process without focusing on the bomb blast that just happened. And of course, it always helps to move the conditional love into an unconditional space, since there's really nothing else to do in this impermanent world.

Very happy you've reached a degree of harmony and meaning as a result of what you read here. You will again be able to offer kindness and generosity to others once you have a chance to recharge your magnetism for awhile. And you're welcome. I'm told I'm a pretty good "hand holder" so thank you for that. Saturn lower square your Sun is a real trip, isn't it? The eclipse on your Moon fits what's happening, but with Saturn trine your Moon it's probably going to yield long-term stability and a new adventure once Mars conjuncts Saturn in June, and that point gets vitalized late July into August.

Jupiter opposing your Sun shows you will be discovering a greater purpose, and need to keep the initiative in your own hands as you cultivate a form of expansive self-expression. It clearly indicates that Mars is the key to your success in the near future, as it rules your Solar 7th and therefore rules Jupiter in your Solar 7th. Sorry you're going through a hard time, but I know you'll distill heart strength from it. Thanks for opening up and being so complimentary in your time of grief.


Hi Robert,

I really enjoy your blog and find it very insightful.

My mom (b. 4/14/41) died very unexpectedly from a heart attack on 4/25/06. I am also an Aries (b. 4/15/71 at 12:15 a.m. NYC) and was hoping for some insight into this difficult time. I know that Uranus is squaring my moon in Sag.

I am really allowing myself to grieve during this time, and this is opening up a whole new way of relating to my dad which is a good thing. I am also feeling some guilt because I am self-employed and my ambition is really lacking. I am hoping to move in the direction of being a film writer/director. I know this is vague, but any insights you have into astrology trends at this time would be much appreciated.


Hi cb - First, let me express that I am sorry you lost your mom so young. It was certainly a Saturn lesson, and no doubt matured you in many ways. Remember there was a Solar Eclipse in Aries not long ago, so our tribe is already in motion into the new, saying goodbye to an old way of seeing ourselves and our light.

If you need to grieve, there's no other time but when it's time. Each knows this for themselves, and we never should miss that sacred moment in time to honor something far deeper than the white noise of our external existence. That's why when we're doing deep inner work our outer work suffers. It's because we're focused on other things.

Inevitably the mind rises to judge that something is not "getting done" in the outer world. Of course it's not. You're not focused on outer world things when you're in the grief world. When the mind intrudes, it may be a signal to begin small steps of re-entry, or it could be just the monkey mind running in circles, since that's how it makes its living. Then concentration on the realizatons of the heart is important, since there's a shift going on, and experience to be processed. The formula is realization, application, and then skillful utilization of the wisdom distilled from the experiences of realization and practicum.

As an Aries, you can't do it any other way than the way you understand, so since it's unique to you, flow with it, move on to new electricity, and stop fretting that it does or doesn't look this or that way. Pioneering views are just that - entirely new perspectives not relatable to what went before. Listen to your heart, be alert to signs of a current that could direct you to your intention, and move slowly into the stream. As an Aries, I'm also having to do that in my own way as well, FWIW.

Mars conunct Saturn moving into a trine in your Solar 5th will be good for playing at your work and working at your play. Mars will track it, Saturn will crystalized it over the next two years. Jupiter in the Solar 7/8 is good for regeneration and pushing upward for the next few years. You just need more natural and spontaneous self-confidence of self-expression, appropriate to your matured self as a result of the profound loss. Find a way to turn the experience into an expression appropriate to the needs of our times, and you're on your way. Aum Namah Shivaya!


strugling to cope w/passing of my 23 year old son,i feel cheated it,angry,phisically and mentally tire i having a hard time with this,contant thoughts of what went on dur5ing his illnes,how hard he fought


Hi Paul - First, let me express my profound condolences for the loss of your son at waaay too young an age. It is natural for all of us bereaved parents to feel like we were cheated of the great times we assumed would come. I felt a million years old and tired beyond description for awhile, but eventually doing my grief work helped me not feel so heavy all the time. I also tried to not let anger dominate my feelings, as it deflected me from the grief I was feeling. I wrote about that in the book. I didn't cram it down, but I also didn't want it to overwhelm my more tender feelings just below the surface.

It is very hard to have hung in there so long fighting a disease and still not have a happy ending. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason for what happened or why, and all we can do is grieve the best we're able, breathing and loving and breathing and loving and getting through the night. And of course, since I know you love your son unconditionally, that deeper loving connectedness with him will ultimately heal your pain, and enable you to make it through the night. There will eventually be a day that follows this dark night of your Soul, even though it may not seem that way right now. Hang in there, and do whatever it takes to heal your grief. If you want or need to, please email me. Again, please accept my sincere regrets and condolences. We are truly the "world's most reluctant club."


I cannot thank you (and everyone who so generously posted on this subject that's now gradually escaping taboo status...) enough for this.

My (we call her "infant", since there were 9 years between the former "baby" sister's and her birth...) infant sister's Dad just passed. There were (2) energetic repasts, and I didn't see or know how to succeed (family history) in creating space, especially for her to be supported in non-escapist attending of her grief initiation.

A pattern had been set, when, nearly a decade ago, her spouse and the father of her children also transitioned.

Reading this, I intuit that even Scorpio Moon privacy will allow in this healing energy source;-)

Robert and community: you manifest such welcome and abundant humanity;-)

Gratitude & Shalom;-)


Hi IZWH - You bet. Of course, you and all others who share the experience of losing a loved one are welcome, since grief is one of the most powerful feelings of all, and can both destroy and regenerate a life in difficult and miraculous ways. I believe healing comes as we recognize we are Eternals bonded by Unconditional Love, and so can accept the Way of things without getting hung up on unhelpful actions, feelings and thoughts. Definitely thanks for posting. Aum, blessings, and L'chaiim!


once again Robert, you open your heart and heartfelt wisdom pours out
revealing our connectedness and humanity

aum shanti



Hi Michele - This was the first post on the subject. I had pondered for quite a while if I should share anything of my journey to hell and back, and figured that if this could serve to comfort even one who is shipwrecked there, then I should publish it. Same with the book. It was many years before I decided to make it available to the world rather than just to those bereaved who found themselves in a group where we could share our experiences. There are many in our world who feel ashamed, powerless, sad, frustrated, and all the other complex feelings that come with such a loss, and our modern world seems indifferent to the fact that we cannot simply "put it behind us" in a day or week or month or year. So much sadness, so much pain, so much suffering, with few roadmaps and guides but a lot of judgment, both harsh and well-meant, usually aimed at "helping" us suppress the hard edges of our pain. Eventually we'll restore "right relationship" with ourselves, each other, and our beautiful Earth, but only as we end the present heresy of separateness and see the one life that we are all. Thanks for the work you do. Your love and commitment to a better life and world were/are evident in the eyes and hearts of those students I met.

Dina Kerik

Robert, I found this post after my first posting on the T Square for the end of March 2008. I have to tell you that I got great comfort from reading it. I'm no novice to death. My entire birth family is gone from disease or murder. I've lost many, many friends and loved ones over the years - just before these last 3 this month, another dear friend passed in September 2007. I 'get' that I have to deal with abandonment issues and have definitely become more compassionate to others. Thank you for this article. It was what I needed to read here.



Hi Dina - You bet. I answered your comment on the other post, and as you now know, I recommended this article, as well as the ones I wrote Jan 9 2007 and Jan 9 2008, since they continue the theme begun here. My condolences on the loss of so many of your family, especially through such violent means. As you have read, with me it's been my friends over the years. My parents BOTH just had birthdays, 83 and 77, and yet I've lost so many friends before they could hit even 35 that for awhile it was very surreal. As for abandonment, remember that just because their bodies are gone does NOT mean "they" are not existing in a body of subtle but eternal Love. Every time you go to your heart and love them unconditionally, you are with them, and they with you. I'm sure you're already more compassionate as a result of your experience of loss, with all the love that must be distilled from those difficult moments. As I wrote, "love and breathe and love and breathe and love and breathe and love and..." As long as we're loving, as long as we're breathing, then life and love go on and on and on. And when we're not breathing, then we're still loving and loving and loving and... Bless you for your courage. Aum Shanti.


Hi Robert
I have just come to this article, guided to no doubt because of the extremity of my grieving, and the karmic storm I find myself in. It is destroying me I know, but after 57 years of trying to survive a birth family system, spending a lot of time and money on self-work, various spiritual practices and life journey work, I just about realise I’m done it by the karmic payload.
My mother died four years ago, a deeply talented, but unfulfilled woman, whose wings were clipped by the times she lived in, as well as my controlling, coldly angry, intensely selfish father. I was always the toxic waste dump for this family system, parents offloading their loathing of the other on to me. I moved away, but kept on propping up them, and chose to stay child-free (somehow always knowing I had to end this karmic line). My mother’s health was bad from the day she married and she was the identified patient, the difficult one, the one that had been labelled depressed, sick, difficult.
I gave way with exhaustion a year after her death, and now find myself badged by the family (father, sister) as the sicko my mother was labelled as. Her karmic legacy in the family history has been passed to me. I understand her pain much more now she has passed on (especially as this would be her Uranus return year had she lived). My father has turned his cold, emotional violence, anger, deceit (Neptune conjunct sun) onto me. I can separate physically, but not my psychically. He’ll die before me I assume, all my angry, hurt, child-like feelings will lead to yet more karmic poison unless I can be delivered from this.
My data are Sun 11th, Cancer; moon (conjunct Uranus) 10th, Cancer; Merc (conjunct Pluto & S Node) 12th, Leo; Venus 11th, Leo; Mars 3rd, Scorpio (exact with father); Saturn 2nd, Libra; Uranus 11th, Cancer, Neptune 2nd, Libra; Pluto 12th, Leo; Asc Virgo.

I know you don't have time to deal with all this stuff in a comment stream, but others may connect with it, and it's helped me to connect with you by writing it down.


Hi Moira - Since I already emailed you, this is for those who can identify with your situation. First, my condolences on the death of your mom. It's natural to grieve given what you've been going through, and I'm truly sorry that you don't have the support system that you should. I suggest that you totally detach from allowing any more emotional battering from your dad and sibling. You get to draw a boundary here, and it doesn't really matter what they think or say. Be compassionate, indifferent, and regard whatever they think/say as being focused on someone other than you, since in fact it IS focused on someone you're not.

This is about you withdrawing from the toxic emotional enmeshment of the family system. It's important that we set our own agenda, doing our own thing in our own way, so that others will eventually see that we will not give power to them to hurt us through conscious or unconscious actions. Really, this is about us, not them and their projections.

You wrote "I can separate physically, but not my psychically. He’ll die before me I assume, all my angry, hurt, child-like feelings will lead to yet more karmic poison unless I can be delivered from this." I suggest you stop being angry, since it's not helpful to your self love or esteem. Forgive it, release it, or express it in a productive way rather than spin your wheels. We've all been hurt countless times, so chalk that up to being human. It hurts, but we don't have to suffer one instant longer than we choose, since we can always set a new course right here right now, and remember the good times throughout our life and determine for ourselves what our future experiences will be.

Child-like feelings need to become adult feelings, so that we may know our evolution. The quickest and best way to fight the evils you describe is to make progress in the good. That way you know you're not trapped in another's perceptions, and you get to chart your course whether anyone else approves or not. Stop giving away your power to ghosts and echoes of memories of perceptions of memories of perceptions of...

Everything is between Cancer and Scorpio on the left half of the chart, putting you squarely in control of your own destiny. You may just be too timid through losing sight of your larger objectives and purposes. But you have enormous power to change things in radical ways, are totally protected against everything and everyone except yourself, and just need a more public and social service focus. Your chart indicates you can only be hurt by another when you're not learning the lesson any other way. The instant you get the lesson, the other vanishes. That may explain why some people have unexpectedly and suddenly disappeared from your life.

Transiting Jupiter in your 5th shows a creative need or the need to play. Saturn in the first puts us in a rigor. I've had it there the past 2 1/2 years, and the discipline has been good for me, though sometimes difficult. Claim your direct experience and the wisdom of your life, and stop taking what others say personally. It simply doesn't matter what hostile people think about us.


Hi Robert

a very deep and heartfelt thank you for these hugely sustaining insights, and for your kindness in connecting with me personally so rapidly. Your generosity of being is joyful, thank you.



Hi Moira - You're most welcome. Grief is in fact a very difficult, but universal, part of navigating the human condition. Those of us who learn healthy ways to deal with it must pass it forward.

Rosemary Abbadessa Lettiero

Robert: Hi, I lost my dad 5/6/07 and life is not the same nor will it ever be. I had a phone/ taped reading from you last year and you forcasted a wonderful year but the loss of my father continues to impact every part of my life. Grief is so hard .

My mom is now left alone as she was so dependent on him. I help her as much as possible.
Can you please check my chart to see if it will get any better soon. ? I was born 11/26/54 in New Haven 9:54 am . I wrote to you just when he died in May 2007 and set up an appointment with y ou shortly after that.
My daughter gave birth to a beatiful baby, my son is graduating from law school and getting married this summer and my little one (age10) is doing great, however, all is really not that good without my dad.
I am new in astrology, I love your articles.
Maybe this eclipse February 2009 is a turning point for me?
Work I think is going Ok for me too.
I read you are away for the next few days.
Hope all is well for you and I thank you for your help.


Hi Rosemary - Now that I'm off the road I can respond thoughtfully. I am sincerely sorry that you're having such a hard time with the loss of your dad. But death is a part of life, and it is a blessing when a parent dies before their children.

Counting your blessings, congratulations on becoming a grandmother! That's a major blessing in anyone's life! Also congrats on your son's major life transition into what sounds like a very nice potential future. Also glad your youngest is doing great.

Losing a parent is usually difficult, and life isn't the same. But it's something that happens to all of us who outlive our parents, and teaches us to let go of conditional love (since the condition of the parental form is no longer with us on Earth) and take it to a timeless, unconditional place of infinite gratitude for knowing a higher, broader connectedness with All-That-Is and the others in your "Soul field" which include your parents. Though it will be sad from time to time, if you don't play to the sorrow you'll find a greater Love and Wisdom than you've ever felt before.


Thank you. I am getting through this, some days harder than others.


Hi Rosemary - Well, life comes and goes in waves, as does grief. I included several useful grief rituals in my book "Love Dad." Keep breathing and loving, breathing and loving, until you feel the timeless peace of knowing you and your loved ones are Eternals, and only temporarily "separated," though of course that could never be, since we are truly oscillating between Sentient Love incarnate in forms and formless forms for Eternity.


I really need to give this site to my best friend/ neighbor. She recently lost her husband of 33 years and i feel she could learn a lot from your paper/ this site. God Bless
Texas, USA



My husband died about 1.5 years back. He was merely 35 years, had no health problem, but just died one day suddenly..possibly due to a cardiac arrest. We were together for almost ten years when I lost him... the most beautiful years of my life. He was a loving husband and a doting father. I have been trying to deal with this loss, but pretty unsuccesful. I suppressed my grief for a long while so that I may help my lil kid cope with her grief; she has been able to do it but I find it very difficult to deal with it. I am fairly disengaged in life; even though I have been blessed with possibly the most wonderful child. I am probably dealing with my karmic debt - I till date question why this had to happen to me? It was too early for my life to see such an untoward destiny.

I am trying to cope with my loss - Your words are very inspiring; though dont know if/when I will be able to implement it . I stumbled upon this site today; may be destiny has something in store ...........


Hi GC - I'm dating a widower now who lost his wife way too early as well. We are friends from way back before either of us were married, who never dated, but always had a solid/close friendship with good communication. The new relationship developed from the old one - as friends trying to help each other through loss (my daughter moved out around the same time to live with her rather emotionally abusive father; while the loss isn't the same - my daughter is still here - it was still a loss).

I think the one thing that helped us on this journey was to embrace the emotions as soon as we felt them. It was somewhat easier to do as my BF and I were able to share those emotions together - but we both grieved, and allowed it to fill us up, and then talked through the releasing. You can't release what you don't embrace. The experience helps make up who you are now, and what you will become. It's OK to cry - it will help you learn to laugh again.

Peace & blessings, GC. I am sorry for your loss.

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