Stepping Stones or Stumbling Blocks

A talk given at the Sabian International Conference in Newark, New Jersey
on July 29, 1994, by Ellen Best Lagerwerff, PMAFA & PAI

I started with thinking I had a good excuse to not give a presentation because I have not been feeling too great lately and I thought that is a good excuse. But as many of you know, I am widowed since 1978 so I live with little greyhounds to communicate with and bring some excitement into my life.

From the moment I get up in the morning until later in the evening when I like to watch the news on TV, I have very easy music going on, very low, but it doesn't make you feel alone. I am not lonely but am alone and the music helps, very easy music in the background. Occasionally there is the spoken word in between and suddenly I feel my head and my ears all alert because I hear words but I don't know in what respect because I had not been aware before it came to this point. I heard, "The Chinese symbol for CRISIS is the same symbol as for OPPORTUNITY. I thought, gee, I now have no more excuse to not speak up during the next meeting. Because it made me immediately think of the meaning of progressed squares.

If there are people here who do not know what progressed squares are, I can maybe go briefly into it but if not necessary then I can leave that out. What it does mean is that any time that a planet which moved on after your birth makes an exact 90 degree aspect with a natal planet in your chart that is called a Progressed Square. And if you happen to know this will happen ahead of time you know that there will be a crisis coming and that it's entirely up to you what you do with it. It's your free will. And I learned from Marc Jones that the progressed square crisis happenings give you the control over events, as long as you don't jump the gun and start too early making things happen the way you want it because then the crisis is still to come the moment you just are trying to get yourself into the center of your new ongoing.

The focal point is always just to sit back and wait until there can be no mistake that the crisis is right there for you to pivot on, either around or up — or down, if you let it get the better of you.

But going back to this Chinese symbol, we have a member in our Sabian Assembly who is a Professor teaching Chinese. So that same day I called him and I said, "Is this the case, what I heard that the same symbol is being used in Chinese for crisis as well as for opportunity?" He said, "Yes, but there is a little more to it. It's more a matter of chance and of having reached a crisis situation like in an illness when the fever reaches its peak and then will subside." So I asked him, "Can you give me the symbol itself?" And he gave me a copy of a page of a Chinese-English dictionary with his signature. So when we were bringing forth the names of our members who are not here physically but are with us otherwise during the opening session I did not call his name. But now when his page is being passed out here at conference, he too is here with us, right here.

I made use of that symbol as my own stepping stone for giving this presentation for making people aware that whenever crisis occurs in your life — and that doesn't necessarily have to be during a progressed square, which you may not be aware of when you are not an astrologer and not interested in even looking that up for yourself. But do remember that at the very same time, if you sit back and wait, and make up your mind what it is exactly that you want to change, and how you would like to change it, then WAIT and the opportunity will be given to you. And then make the change, be very good at it, and never change your mind that that's where you are going to go from now on. And that's really all I wanted to say, how we can use our crisis situation either as our stumbling blocks — make the crisis overwhelm us and get lost in it — or use it as our stepping stone to turn around the corner, which can be horizontal or upward. If you stumble it will be downward but those are the focal points in our lives. That is what I found in mentioning that THE pivotal point is what that symbol means.

Ellen Lagerwerff joined the invisible network of Sabian Assembly members on April 1, 1995. She was born in 1919 on Java in the former Dutch East Indies, was educated in the Netherlands, and emigrated to the United States in 1959.

Her unique perspective on life and dedicated work with the Sabian Assembly is gratefully acknowledged and fondly remembered.

This article has been reprinted, with permission,
from the Sabian News Letter, Vol. 25, No. 3 (Silver Anniversary Issue