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Nina Handwerk: Brennan Healing Science Practitioner

From Depression to Full Engagement with Life

By in Astrology with 1 Comment


The deepest journey for people with depressive and withdrawal tendencies is coming out of a hidden, barely present feeling, into a full expression of their real self. Imagine the immensity of relief of moving out of hiding from the world, saying you can’t do it, not having a clear direction, into an activated, excited, enthusiastic feeling about life. If you are someone who has lived some form of depression, you know exactly what I am talking about.


You might even know people who fit the latter description (out there, activated, excited, all those descriptors) without much visible effort on their part, and you probably look at them and wonder how did they get there? Why can’t I be more like that?

Well, you can be more like that.


In this article, I’ll discuss two distinct ways that I have learned to activate both myself and my clients towards a fuller experience of life, one that is more fun, enjoyable, and feels more true to the essence level of being. I have found that both the chakra healing/energy perspective and the astrological perspective are very useful for distinguishing which techniques will really get you, as an individual, the closest to living as your true self.


Let’s start with the energy…


Energy work for activation


There are three aspects of each chakra (energy center) as described by Barbara Brennan. Each of the centers has:


  1. A will aspect
  2. A reason aspect
  3. An emotional aspect.


Every person I have worked on who has depression or identifies with that term, has under-activity in the will portion of the chakras (typically seen as the back aspect of the chakra). Every person I see with depression also has suppression and clouding in the emotional aspect of the chakras. So treating depression in the healing room is a two-fold endeavor on my part:


  1. Activate the will.
  2. Clear the emotional body.


How do I do that? I trace back to find where the person lost their sense of purpose and will power. I do this using HSP (high sense perception), which is basically an expansion of the normal senses that allows one to perceive beyond “normal” perception. I also use evaluation through characterology. And, I ask the person to stay engaged in the process. Things start to bubble up through these methods. We might find that an overpowering energy from a parent, sibling, or close relative came in repeatedly and eclipsed their sense of their own self. So the feeling of having their own direction, outside of what someone else wanted from them, was lost. Memories of abuse, humiliation, or failure might start to surface. Perhaps the person disconnected from their guidance system because it seemed easier than facing what was going on around them in an overwhelming moment or period of life, and now they can’t access guidance when they need it. All of these patterns, as well as many others not discussed here, can lead to hypo-active function in the will chakras.


Usually, it is only once we have a sense of the origins of the under-activity/suppression patterns that the person can begin to move forward again. Once the issues are known, processed, and cleared, I can start infusing the will centers with activated, clean, new energy, giving the person a fresh feeling about life.


Sometimes, that feeling of freshness is enough to kick-start the person’s life again. But I have found that there are usually aspects that must be done by the person to maintain a pattern of activation and clarity, rather than dropping back post-session into the patterns and ways of holding that created the stuck/depressive state.


This is where a whole new way of being has to emerge through the person’s own choice to keep working at it. Momentary change doesn’t stick until you decide for yourself that you are going to live in the way that feels more empowering, happier, etc. Choice activates the will centers.


Let me repeat that: Choice activates the will centers.


Once you have made the choice to stay committed, the ongoing “homework” is very specific depending on your patterning.


If, say, your energy pattern is to become overwhelmed by other people’s energy, you’ll have to keep working on your chakra rotations, which will help you to stay open, centered, and strong around the people who are throwing you off.


If, on the other hand, your habit has been to shut off guidance to keep yourself feeling safely unaware, there could be some meditative/prayer practice created in which you receive guidance, and practice living your life in connection to what you receive. One client of mine with this type of pattern found a tremendous amount of synchronicity and flow was available to her when she began to follow guidance. It was as if a whole realm of life that previously had been unavailable to her, suddenly opened its doors. Her practice was very simple: in meditation, she would receive a word from spirit every day and focus on it all day. Often, the word that came through was extremely appro-po to the types of situations she found herself encountering throughout the day. It was fun and interesting to witness her start to open and feel more alive through the practice of finding her own guidance again without the fear that it might overwhelm her.


Whatever the plan, you have to choose it strongly enough to offset the patterning, otherwise the patterning will overpower. Because believe me, the patterning is relentless. It is deeply ingrained. It will keep coming up. And that’s fine!…if you’ve really committed. It’s this ongoing commitment, combined with the healing sessions, that really starts to make some shifts possible.


Repatterning takes continual commitment and patience. Over time, the positive, life-affirming pathways become more habitual than the destructive pathways once were. And then the conscious efforting is replaced by something much more fun: grace. Capital G Grace!


Now let’s look at an astrological perspective as another option to achieve a similar end….


Astrology as a tool for finding activation


The beauty of astrology is its specificity. As astrology chart is like a map of you, and the deeper you look at it, the more secrets it will unveil to you. Looking at a natal chart, or a transit chart, will tell us what will actually work for you individually. I can’t tell every client to go get on a bike and start riding to feel better, because that kind of intense physicality may not be a functioning option for every person. In fact, most clients just get irritated with me when I make suggestions based on what worked for someone else! Unless they can feel the personal resonance, they won’t listen, because their intuition knows that it won’t do anything for them. I had a friend once tell me that to beat the winter blues, I should do like him, and ski 65 days out of the winter. I remember raising my eyebrows, and thinking…..”Hhhmmmm. Me? 65 ski days? Bliss?…” My point being, that one-size-fits-all applies best to some clothing items, not people.


Each person’s natal chart will offer hints and suggestions as to which areas of life will activate that person at a deep level. Hearing what the chart has to say about the nature of your being and what kinds of focus in life will really take you somewhere, can be profoundly helpful to someone who is feeling stuck or out of touch with themselves.


Let’s take an astrology chart as an


Here there is a very weak moon conjunct a heavy malefic, Saturn. The moon is in its fallen sign, Scorpio, and is new, which is interpreted as a weakness because the planet isn’t reflecting any light and isn’t very visible in the sky. In psychic terms this type of moon also makes an extremely empathic, energy-absorbent person. And because it is feeling the influence of Saturn, which is sitting right next to it, the person is made acutely aware of Saturnian themes: limitation, loss, seriousness, steadfastness, and so on. So, I’m sure we can all agree that this is a person geared towards moodiness and feeling very stuck if the Saturn/Moon issue goes unchecked.


So where does a resource come in to offset the heaviness in this chart? I always look for what supports the first house, because the first house represents the person, and if the first house is supported, the person will feel activated. Here the ruler of the first house is Mercury (Virgo ascendant, 6th sign). If we then follow Mercury, we see that it is in the second house, and it is a strong Mercury (retrograde). It is supported by a strong Venus in its own sign, and is receiving an aspect from a strong retrograde Jupiter in the 8th house. A very beautiful and fortunate grouping that can really lift this person.


So, because of this pattern of strong planets influencing each other and the first house, this person will feel very activated through Mercurial, Venusian, and Jupiterian energies, as well as 2nd and 8th house energies. Through the Mercury function she will feel activated by writing, communication, and interacting. So if she moves towards these outlets when she is feeling off, frustrated, or depressed, she will get good results. Or, she can move through the Venus, which is activated by love, enjoyment, and beauty. Through Jupiter in the 8th house she can feel activated by depth work, transformation, psychology, healing, and penetrating study of deep mystery topics. So, you can see, there are a lot of options for this person to lift herself and feel more excited about life.


Her plan for ongoing healing of herself might be something like this. “When I’m feeling low, I can get momentum going for myself by:

  1. 9585762338_b929779ee7_kWriting a blog post! (Mercury)
  2. Studying a deep, transcendent mystery topic (Jupiter in the 8th)
  3. Having a classy night out with friends (Venus)
  4. Making love (Venus)
  5. Meditating (Jupiter)
  6. Going on a spiritual trip to somewhere awesome (Jupiter)
  7. Reading a mystery novel (Mercury/Jupiter)


She can add things to the list, changing and growing as she builds her life. The point here is not to ignore or try to bypass the depression. But there does come a point in one’s healing when one is ready to move into strengths and to start creating life from there. As you can see, the astrology will reveal what activates this particular person in a very specific, tangible way. For someone else’s chart it might be cooking, music, or sports. Who knows. But the chart will point us in some good directions. Often the things that the chart points to for activation will be very much things you have already found pleasure in on some level. So the process is refinement, and deepening into your knowing, so that you can feel more focused on things that bring you joy and happiness.


In conclusion:


Depression is often a call from our deeper self to expand our horizons and change our previous concept of ourselves. It can also be an over-focus on the heavy, difficult, sad parts of our being. “I feel sad and blocked and therefore I can’t motivate to do anything to help myself” is a common theme I see. Usually the depressive part of the personality has the most gravity, because you have been focusing on it for a long time. When there is one element in the environment that is really ‘off,’ it tends to attract a lot of attention. The invitation in my work is to find the source of the depression through healings, and move beyond it, with astrology as your catalyst.


Your depressive tendencies might pull you more strongly than anything else in life, but you have the power to respond as you wish. You can be pulled deeper through a fixation on what is not working, or you can turn towards something more potentially fulfilling. Once you are a few steps down that road you will start to notice changes. It does take work, but a better life is within your grasp.


To find out more about depression, energy healing, and astrology, or to schedule an appointment with Nina, please fill out a contact/inquiry form here.


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1 Comment

  1. Beth says:

    Wonderful article!  I really enjoyed the depth of information.

Nina Handwerk: Brennan Healing Science Practitioner