Belonging: Family and Group Levels–Addressing a Human Need From A Spiritual Perspective

If there is one thing that people underestimate the power of, it is the power of connection–of feeling like someone belongs where they are. Human beings are, by nature, social. I would even go so far as to say that they are tribal. When a person is outcast or has a feeling of being “outside” the tribe, the wounds run deep.

Just the other day, for instance, I saw a snippet of television concerning an Iraq war vet. The segment concerned his finding a job. The military did and does indicate that ex-soldiers are highly sought after employees. The rationale goes that if you enlist, you will be utilizing skills and expertise that transfer and translate to the working world. Astrologically, the best way of thinking about this energy would be Saturn. Saturn provides order, control, respect. The appeal then is for a person to enter the military to utilize Saturn there such that when they come into the business world, their Saturn experience transfers. So far, so good.


Sup? I’m Saturn. The Military is fond of me–so long as they are me.

The problem, though, is that what the military teaches one to do as its chief aim is kill people. It is true that not everyone kills people in the military, but the expectation is that one MIGHT need to kill someone, and so everyone gets boot camp and learns how to potentially kill someone else in the event it becomes necessary. This part of the military is astrologically best symbolized as either Mars or Pluto–probably both together. Mars is the action principle–aggressiveness. Pluto is the death principle.

How many board meetings have you seen that utilize Pluto? Saturn and Mars to some extent are rewarded in business, but Pluto other than the intensity to make profit is not rewarded in the way the military honors it. What one learns as a soldier are some transferable skills such as discipline, but what one is REALLY best suited for once one is a solider is to continue being a soldier. Why is this so?

We must go back to our opening paragraph. The military provides folks with a sense of belonging. It attaches a person to the “group”. The soldier I saw on the television program was having trouble finding a job because he was on medication for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He had received his trucker license and had applied at places that were allegedly desperate for truckers, but they did not hire him ostensibly because he was medicated for PTSD due to his military experience which, no doubt, involved killing people and survival. The one thing he missed from the military? The sense of belonging. He did not regret his service, he said. He was happy to have done what he could. Yet, once he had done what he could and received his complementary parting gift of PTSD, the tribe ejected him. The tribe ejected him because it viewed him as incapable of doing his original task–namely soldiering–which gained him the additional problem of PTSD.

It would seem then that the military creates the artificiality of belonging in order to help convince people that their fellow soldiers are their “family”. Whereas a normal family might try to address the issues of another family member, in military land the illusion falls short once one is no longer useful. The military is not the only one to evoke the family dynamic. The mafia does it more literally. Charles Manson did as well. Many corporations tout the family concept. In all situations, there is the artificiality of belonging fostered to allow whatever entity is advocating the concept the leverage to more or less manipulate those within the dynamic. If one wishes to test how far the analogy of “family” goes, one need only get sick, or otherwise no longer be of use to the institution in question.

One first learns how to belong to a group in a family unit. As one becomes older, one seeks to belong to groups at different levels of abstraction on the basis of that first family experience. People have a natural need to belong, and those who are loners tend to be the exception and not the rule, and are often regarded with suspicion. If no tribe wanted you as a member, perhaps it is because of something you are. If no tribe wanted you as a member, maybe this one doesn’t either. If, out of the starting gates, one lacks a family dynamic, it makes it exceptionally difficult to find something to alleviate what was missing.

The spiritual perspective is about the only saving grace in such an instance. When one learns that one belongs in the universe regardless of what happens biologically, or family-wise, or anything otherwise, and the belief becomes unshakeable, then it doesn’t matter what has or has not happened in one’s family. All other roads taken in an effort to achieve a sense of family will ultimately prove ephemeral or malformed. Any effort to find a tribe or group with which to belong will fail too–because people are imperfect. They are as imperfect at a tribal level as they are at an individual level. Being hungry for a family experience is fine, so long as one realizes whatever family experience they get is in fact a family experience–even if it blows. Should one become ejected or otherwise kicked out of their tribe, then it becomes dire they find their spiritual roots. The only tribe, family, or group we ever belong to is in the stars. The rest is just so much window-dressing and distraction.