by Annette Gordon
Our biography can be called an unfinished work of art, the constant potential to develop as human beings, and within it we meet our karma through events and relationships in life.
Biographical counselling acknowledges that there are rhythms and phases in life from our birth to death. Although our biographies are unique, there is an overarching signature, a theme to each phase which connects us all. Most of us can recall for example the period of adolescence with its struggle between dependence and independence, the emotional, physical and social upheavals and the changing perception of authority. When we recognise and explore life in these terms, we may identify helpful or unhelpful patterns, or consider life themes which have accompanied us. Through this process biographical work may enable us to begin making sense of our experiences in new ways that can lead to a new sense of freedom and activity.
What shall I do? Why is this happening to me?
I feel scared/helpless/angry/anxious/depressed/alone.
Why does this keep happening?
These are some of the inner struggles we can face today. Outer structures that gave us stability in the past are falling away, and there’s a greater intensity in confronting existential questions that growing numbers of people experience.
Biographical counselling has an understanding of the human being based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner, the scientist, philosopher and spiritual scientist. At its heart is the picture of the individual as a being of body (our physical nature), soul (with its thoughts, feelings, impulses, desires and longings) and spirit (the eternal element within).
It recognises the uniqueness of each person’s biography whilst acknowledging that we are all interconnected; any individual step that we take is also a step for humanity as a whole, contributing to social renewal. It enables us to gain a freer relationship to the past, awaken to the present and listen to what is calling from the future.
Our Moon Nodes
Throughout life there is a particular rhythm, connected to the time of our birth, which has significance for us. This is the ‘moon node’, the time when astronomically the sun and moon are in the same conjunction as at our birth, a period of 18 years, 7 months and 9 days. Referring to an approximate period within our biography, the moon nodes open up insight into our life task, what we have come here to do. We can experience a shedding of our past and the light of an inner rebirth. We may also experience the shadow through struggle, challenge or resistance that we need to overcome and to potentially strengthen our being.
The first moon node around 18 and a half is when we are becoming more aware of our own personality and independence, a time often of leaving home to study or begin work, of going out into the world.
The second is around 37 when there can be renewed reflection on our work and may involve change in career path. Our inner values are changing and we may question our social connections; have I found my people?
Our third moon node is about 55 and a half, a time when our physical body is becoming less resilient and we are taking stock of our lives, our mortality is now in focus; have I made my individual mark on the world?
The fourth at 74 and fifth at 93 can be times when our working through previous challenges develop an inner wisdom to be shared with those around us, a gift of these later ‘years of grace’.
To reflect on our experiences in biographical counselling with the bigger picture in mind creates a context that helps us to imbue meaning on what comes towards us, to recognise opportunities and not feel the victim of life in the struggles of our time.
About Annette Gordon
Annette has been counselling since 1994, working mainly in private practice, school settings, in general practices and in the voluntary sector. She works with adults, children and young people, couples and families who may be struggling with issues such as relationship difficulties, life crises, anxiety, depression, lack of confidence, low self-esteem, trauma, anger and loss. This can be on a short or longer-term basis.
Annette integrates various modalities into her practice, including biographical counselling, the person-centred approach, solution-focussed work, cognitive behavioural therapy, systemic family therapy and the use of creative methods.
She has been working as a counselling supervisor for over 20 years.
During the current lockdown restrictions, Annette is offering counselling via phone or Zoom video calls on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. To find out more or to arrange an appointment please contact 07963 190317.