Posted by: Zane Maser | October 29, 2010


Many of you may know about panic attacks, those terrifying, debilitating episodes that strike out-of-the-blue, where our nerves run amuck in heart-pounding fear and in the desire to flee fast-of-foot anywhere but where we are! It’s a fact that some individuals who are in the grip of a severe panic attack, fearing they are having a heart attack, end up in the emergency room of their local hospital.

A few nights ago, I had a full-blown “pain body attack” the likes of which surprised both my husband and me. I hadn’t had an incident of this scary intensity for a long, long time. But this one must have been lurking in the shadowy depths waiting for the fortuitous moment when my “ego” defenses were vulnerable—the ego being a false sense of self. It sprang like a stealthy cat in the full force of an attack of ancient, emotional pain resurfacing.

The “pain body” has been defined by Eckhart Tolle as the energy field that not only surrounds us (and goes before us) but that lives within the cells of our body.1 It is comprised of old but still very alive, active emotions and memories, accumulated and nursed since childhood and beyond into the present day. As with any “body,” the pain body needs “food” to both survive and thrive, and its food is the energy of emotions of a similar or compatible vibratory frequency.

The pain body is a highly addictive entity, thriving on negative thinking, unhappiness, regrets, hostilities, guilt, resentments, non-forgiveness, and the emotional dramas within relationships that get triggered and enacted on a regular basis. Any sort of uplifting, positive, joyous thought is inedible (not a vibratory match) to the pain body’s incessant need to enhance its own strength and keep us stuck in the same old, deeply worn emotional groove.

Following an acute pain body episode, I always wake up the next morning from a fitful, restless night with a throbbing psychological hangover. It’s not exactly the type of wake up into enlightenment the Buddha prescribed! But intense pain and suffering can be useful catalysts for greater self-awareness. Each time the pain body gains supremacy in moments when our ego is running rampant all over the place is an opportunity to see the pain and ego for what they really are—illusory parts of our selves that have no existence apart from the energy, thoughts, and time we give them. As Tolle reminds us, “suffering is necessary until you realize it is unnecessary.”

Each occurrence, when viewed with acceptance and peace of heart, is a chance to lessen its powerful grip and to wake up to an even greater degree to our essential self.



Almost under a Cosmic Mandate to take a new look at old emotions, my pain body attack came at a time when Venus, the planet related to love, values, and finances, is invisible in the night sky. She is neither an evening nor a morning star at the moment, but has descended to make her way through the “underworld” in what is termed her “retrograde” period. She retraces her path about every 18 months or so and apparently “moves backward” in the zodiac for approximately 40-43 days while traversing the powerful inner world.

As Venus begins her forward mode on November 18th, going back over the degrees she had already passed over (until December 20th when she encounters new degrees), we all have this celestial window to essentially re-make our self in Venusian ways and values, which more appropriately fit the person we are now. It’s best, however, to refrain from making any sudden or unwise decisions, but certainly relationships, for example, can end, begin, be renegotiated, or grow wonderfully deeper in Scorpionic fashion.

These inward-looking “retro” days are meant to be spent in a review or reassessment of Venusian concerns or issues (i.e., the enjoyment of life; the urge to relate in love, romance, marriage; personal magnetism, sociability, beauty, attractiveness, style, money, earnings, spending, possessions, harmony, balance, peace, aesthetics, creativity, artistic pursuits). Any of these areas can potentially be renewed and refreshed! A previous “flame” or relationship may reappear, giving the opportunity to resolve something pivotal that remained unfinished and incomplete.

Venus is currently moving backwards in the emotionally intense sign of Scorpio, a potent energy much associated with extremes, deep desires, power, fiery passions, shrewdness, secrets, shared resources, healing, and transformation. Scorpio is all about getting to the bottom of things, so this is a brief but favorable time to reflect deeply about our patterns of interaction, to make changes and revisions, to tap our inner strength and resourcefulness in ways that are a greater personal asset. Our truest desires may become much more apparent so that we have the emotional strength to make target corrections and thereby release what we no longer value or want in our lives.

Because Scorpio’s intention is to take us to the depths, the emotional ghosts and demons stored and catalogued in our pain body become more accessible and transparent. These subconscious energies are thus more readily available to release, and we are able to transcend old patterning and emotional dances and story lines, if we choose to engage in the profound inner work of catharsis and healing during this auspicious “retro” time frame.

Old chapters of life may end now while new ones of greater value gather momentum as the year draws to a close. We can consciously take into the New Year the things and relationships that make our heart glow brighter, built upon a more solid, updated version of our true, essential self. Much to the dismay of the sneaky pain body and with the assistance of this Venus retrospective, we can intentionally diminish its unsuspecting hold over us and greatly reduce the instances when the pain body has an unmitigated, ugly attack.

Venus governs the principle of what we repel and attract. As we become lighter and clearer, more harmonious and at peace within, more in touch with our inner beauty, we are better able to attract with ease the higher manifestations of Venus, goddess of grace and love.

Similar Offerings:

• Beware The Stinger Woman! (the inner, critical saboteur)

• Ego Benders

• The Ego’s Sneaky Version of the 23rd Psalm

• Ego Speak, Heart Speak

• Shrouded in “A Dark Night”

• It’s All Your Choice

• Self-Acceptance Heals the World

• Resilience

• Venus: The Rose of Perfection

• Free Association: Peace


  1. Eckhart Tolle. 2006. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. Plume Books, a member of the Penguin Group.


Text © by Zane Maser, 2010. Schematic of Venus’ orbit around the Sun gratefully used from Wikimedia Commons. All rights of Zane Maser and SunnyCat Astrology reserved worldwide.

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My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband.

If you are interested in an astrological consultation and/or a specific question answered by a horary chart, please visit SunnyCat© Astrology.


  1. Great post. Can’t wait to read the next ones 🙂

    • Thanks, glad you are enjoying the posts.

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