Acting On A Feeling vs A Primal Drive

lizard reptile braingoddess write on How Much Of What You Do Is Subconsciously Driven

“I get feelings, and try to act on them. I don’t usually know where they come from, and even when I try to figure it out, it takes SO much more energy to try and logically explain them-and even then, I’m not sure if I’m coming up with an explanation or rationalization-it’s much easier to just listen to them and go on. And they’re always right, so why fight it?”

goddess – this is interesting to me. My first thought was that my feelings were wrong all the time. I don’t mean to be judging feelings, I understand your feelings are your feelings but as an example last night a friend called me on the verge of panic.

Her feelings were coming in hard and fast as she reacted to some stimulus in her life and her direct request was that I flip her switch somehow because she did not want to go where she was headed – DOWN.

Lucky for both of us, I was able to do what she asked me to. She wound having a stellar evening as opposed to losing her footing and spinning out over her feelings which may have been right or rational but would have taken her to a very dark and destructive painful place.

dog-chasing-cat.jpgI have the same capability. I am extremely reactive and can easily go down some garden path due some feeling I have that may be at least somewhat less than rational. So on this front, you and I may be very different but here is my point:

I don’t connect “feelings” or “fleeting impressions” with a drive from the subconscious. For me this is much more primal. I am not acting on a feeling I had. It is more as if I am acting on auto-pilot like a dog sees a cat and the dog chases that cat without a thought or feeling whatsoever.  Let’s say I am conscious of the fact I am acting without consciousness I will be back with an example of that. But I think the key difference here is you are talking about Neptune and I am talking about Pluto??

Do you distinguish between acting on a feeling and acting due some primal drive?

23 thoughts on “Acting On A Feeling vs A Primal Drive”

  1. I was going to comment along the same lines as Ewinbee. I also distinguish between intuition and emotion. But sometimes people describe intuitive impressions as “feelings” too so maybe that’s what Goddess was talking about more than emotional feelings.

    Emotions are always valid but seldom wise. Intuition for me is always best heeded.

    I can’t decide what percent of my actions are unconscious though.

  2. I find that with both 12th house and scorpio in my chart I function from both these places. I think acting out of impulse is good and acting out of feeling is fine too. The problem with subconscious is that sometimes it translates to nonconscious. and this is where aquarius comes in.

    The subconscious is not a bad place at all though, unless you have issues from the past that get stuck there unable to surface. Then this can be a problem. for example you are unconsciously not feeling your emotions.. You can act with drive as much as you want, but unless and untill the feeling part becomes a conscious expression of who you are, all sorts of feelings, and therefor unconscious words actions, or the lack there of can stunt a healthy emotional spiritual life. I don’t mean being happy all the time, or crying at everything that is a little bit sad. Laughter is probably the best remedy for overly sensitive feely types like myself. Primitive Drive….v.s feeling… hmmmm I think its all about how you are wired and deal with stuff. Whatever works for you.

  3. I distinguish between feeling and intuition. Feelings let me know my current temperature. Intuition is deeper… it seems to be more concerned with whether or not I’m in some kind of danger, and it doesn’t pop up with messages for me all that often. Certainly not compared to feelings, which I have all the time about just about everything.

    I almost always listen to my intuition, which is usually a flat-out “do this” instruction. Feelings are more like raw data, I have to put them through the mill, sometimes for years, before I get what they mean.

    So that may be the same thing you’re talking about, but I’m not sure.

    Incidentally, the above leaves me operating on conscious decisions most of the time. Intuition lets me do what I want as long as I’m not doing anything that’s going to get me bonked on the head, and feelings, well, they can be dealt with.

  4. totally. emotions are transient and easy to manipulate.

    when my subconscious tells me to go do something i try to get out of its way and move. it’s like a form of trance state. i do it a lot when i’m dancing but it transfers to less physical things as well. i think dancing is how i train myself to work with it, consciously. as much as that’s actually possible….

    uhm. many jungians will say that a lot of projections and shadow material comes out of repressing what the subconscious (pluto) is trying to say rather than learning how to work with it and trust the deepest Self. it can get really batty if it’s crammed up for too long and turn pretty nasty trying to get out. like a cornered rat.

  5. that’s funny….when i read the subconcious blog, my first thought was “how can you tell what’s intuition from what’s subconcious?” because i can’t.i guess i inadvertently equated the two.

    i have neptune in scorpio, though, so there is probably a lot of melting of the two energies for me. and i have very strong vigro (and therefore pisces). thinking and feeling are not two seperate beasts for me at all.

    i do get the majority of my intuitive impressions via emotion. i may feel uneasy or angry or unsettled or whatever. for me, especially if i don’t have a “rational” explaination for it, it’s a clue something more is there. sometimes, it’s the “something is rotten in denmark” even though i don’t know what, and occassionally it’s trigger from the past, too. so maybe that’s the difference. subjectively, the two feel pretty similar to me, though.

    i do get the autopilot thing sometimes, but i also considered that primiarly intuition, like when i get into the zone with something and stop thinking it. or somehow i’m just functioning under stress when it’s too much to proccess right then…that could just as easily be subconscious guiding, i guess, or maybe a combination of both.

    i do consider my emotions a barometer to how things are going in my life, and trust my feelings to be pointing out what’s important, even if i don’t know why. and i use them as a guide when during stormy times…i work on consciously moving to what “feels a little better” to me, without needing a ration reason as to why. i use emotions as the light to guide me through.

    it’s very interesting to see how different people experience it.

  6. I also immediately equated acting on those subconscious primal drives as being wrong. I have made a real ass of myself at times because I reacted impulsively. Sometimes it has saved me in a big way from certain situations. So I think it can work in more than one way.

    Intuition to me seems to be more calm. It presents as a steady quiet sort of comfort and knowing as opposed to a frantic feeling or judgement that I try to rationalize, which I think stems from ego.

    I do find myself thinking,”Why did I say that to her? Why am I talking about this with her? Why did I just go off like that to this person?” This happened last week right before that full moon and then ended up turning into some synchronistic events that may have gone unnoticed otherwise.

    I like what Des said about stuff getting trapped there and playing into it. I am sure this happens to me too with 4/8/12th business.

  7. I’m a very Saturnine person, so for me those emotional impulses come from a place of deep fear — often irrational. I try very hard to stamp it out before I have a panic attack.

    Intuition is an entirely different thing for me. It feels rational. The only difference is it’s not coming from empirical information but from other senses. But maybe that’s my Mercury inconjunct Neptune/Neptune conjunct ASC talking.

  8. I’ve been trying to figure out the difference for a while now. I want something that’s really downright foolish and nigh-impossible, and I keep trying to figure out if this is some sort of higher call or just me being needy. Like if it’s the first one, I have to obey/pay attention and if it’s the second one, I’m “off the hook, I’m just crazy, ignore it!” It seems to be a fine, fine line with this one as to what it is. I finally gave in and stopped with the “You’re just crazy” and gave into the “I guess you’re called to that somehow for whatever reason.” This seems better, but I am still stumped as to how it’s gonna play out.

  9. Well, so far no one has related experience that feels akin to my own which is rare. Now I am going to have to figure out what the hell.

    Unless one of you Plutonians want to surface that is.

  10. I understand that Pluto rules the 8th house, the DNA and the kind of subconscious patterns that are on the basis of our compulsions. Compulsions are triggered by feelings that evoke past experiences. And Neptune rules the 12th house were we find our (and the collective) unconscious prior to any experience and connected to the source of life and its principles. So, if we act on Pluto (the same old feelings > compulsion) we will perpetuate suffering, while the dis-solution of negative patterns are the realm of Neptune and comes from the Heaven in us – as a grace – if we let it. If autopilot is Pluto or Neptune, I think it depends on the pilot.

  11. I can understand the primal drive thing but my Gemini side has spent a lot of time dismantling it and trying to understand it. I think my inner dog chased a lot of cats when I was younger but it’s on a leash now.

    Maybe with planets in all of the water signs, including Saturn in Pisces and an 8th house Cancer Venus I’ve learned to limit the primal drive so that it can be expressed within certain contexts.

    This morning Cash the border collie and I worked on obedience. He wanted to chase the cat and I wanted him to walk calmly by my side. I’m sure there are better ways I could say it but I think I’ve spent my life so far domesticating my inner dog.

    And of course that’s not to say that I think having a powerful primal drive that works for you is a bad thing. Mine was a bit rabid when it was off leash.

  12. Well, I have Moon conjunct Neptune so spent a bunch of time sorting what was mine & what was someone else’s emotional crap and have a pretty good handle on that now.

    However, when i think Pluto/Scorpio primal stuff, that’s the survival voice that says “don’t go there! bad situation!” And the reason I’ve walked away from certain people without batting an eye. I have Mars/Mercury in Scorpio [12th house]with Pluto sq Mars.

  13. I operate most of my waking life on autopilot. I figure if something requires my alert attention my proximity detectors will go off. they’re pretty sensitive and I rely heavily on them. I’m rarely, if ever, let down. scorpio mars, full 8th house.

  14. I was at a party and met an older man. I was drawn to him from the start but didn’t know it was chemistry and attraction because he’s outside of my usual age range for dating. But my first encounter with him held some gut reactions where I knew I wanted to get to know him. The next time I saw him we chatted and he mentioned to me that he thought we had chemistry. My gut reaction was “oh you noticed”. Then I spent the next few days trying to rationalize away the attraction. Finally I realized it was causing more energy to deny it then to just see where it would lead. I realize that my relationships often start from the gut like this.
    I’m learning to deprogram my mother’s worry in my head to allow more access to my intuition. Yoga helps.

    In general i think we are all more conscious now. And sometimes that holds a feeling of disconnect as we can see we are doing something, and that might not make sense to us, but we are able to trust it’s taking us somewhere in a way we weren’t able to before. AND that it’s important to go there. We are now guided from deep within ourselves rather than an external guidance system. The external guidances are actually making less and less sense.

  15. HHhhhmmmmmmm……..

    I act on different kinds of feelings. I have a good deal of empathy and pick up on the emotions around me, and these impressions have a profound affect on my actions, reactions and choices… (Neptune conjunct the MC)

    For me, Intuition is more of a rightness or wrongs about a situation or thing.

    Then there is Knowing something, were you just KNOW… I think that’s Pluto for sure.(Pluto Sextile Midheaven, Pluto in the 7th house almost on the cusp with the 8th, )??

    When I think of Primal drives, It’s more like an automatic impulse. I think of SEX or acquiring food, taking a bullet for a friend, or…. basically survival functions…(sun, mercury, moon, venue, mars in Scorpio)

    I mix these impressions up all the time, like going with the primary drive when the intuition is saying DANGER! Or when I think I KNOW something, but it’s really empathy… It’s hard to keep it all straight with the Aquarius rising, Jupiter in Pisces, in the 1st house, and Saturn in Cancer in the 5th. Pulling on all the Scorpio, Neptune in 10th in sag, and Pluto 7th and Uranus 8th house in libra. There is an great deal of pushing and pulling, expanding and contracting, deep soul diving, and siting around trying to figure it all out…. 🙂

  16. Ooh! I just took a workshop on Trauma and the Brain. So maybe this will connect with astrology somehow, maybe not. You can delete it if you want But I wanted to add it since it relates to how we feel and how that occurs in the brain.

    But when one is traumatized, the pre-frontal cortex loses out to the limbic system (the reptile/emotional part of the brain). This wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that the pre-frontal cortex is also the part where you interpret OTHER people’s emotions and body language. So, your feelings could be panic because you are thinking “Run! This person is furious!” but you could be misreading the other person’s cue.

    Which is also why, when one is in a full blown panic attack, it is difficult to reason yourself out of it. It takes practice and mostly talking yourself out of it before it strikes.

    Another tidbit. Meditation increased mindfulness which thickens the pre-frontal cortex. So the more attuned you are to your own feelings, the more “reasoned” you become. And that in turn allows one to be more honest and aware of our feelings and how we act on them. One system affects the other- limbic(so?) and pre-frontal. So that’s why some of the best treatments for traumatized persons involve meditation, yoga, visualization and the stuff science used to scorn.

    There’s this whole thing about memory and the two systems, but I forget (hee!). The book “Children in a Violent Society” also has a big chapter devoted to the witnessing of brutality and how that changes our ability to feel and empathize with others. Poverty and racism have also been shown to physically impact the brain.

    Makes one think twice about our impulses, no?

    —Drea, cancer with a sh*tload of gemini/mercury.

  17. I am not sure one can actually distinguish between the two actions Elsa . Perhapsd afterwards in the analysis wash up one might be able to self reflect how and why their reactions worked the way they did. There are two types of feelings (in a simplistic theory) Surface feelings and character feelings.

    If you draw a horizontal line, the character feelings will be under the line. Character feelings are in one’s “bones”. They are a part of one’s character. A person may have character anger, where by their anger is a baseline aspect of personality. Surface feelings are everyday common reactive feelings, the pure ones being sad, scare, anger, happy and hurt. If you know what the character feelings are, one can look to see how they might emerge as a part of the surface feeling opperation. In that way the surface reactive feelings can be driven to a certain extent by character feelings underneath. Someone who is always angry on the surface may have character feelings of scare underneath. That may be a paranoid disposition whereby the angry reactive feelings is protective of the unknowing scare beneath.


  18. Dude. Acting on a primal feeling as opposed to a fleeting emotion. Yes. I guess this is why people say I have “luck.” I can orchestrate *this* part of my life/brain/thinking/action consciously (feeling). And I can allow *this* part to take care of itself (primal urge).

    I can describe it like this: I’m never going to go hungry. And I’m never going to be alone. And I’m never going to be without love. I don’t even have to worry about that shit, it takes care of itself. And when it doesn’t that’s when life ends.

  19. wow, Kashmiri, that is pretty awesome. I wish I could do the same! I worry about all of those things, even when I don’t have to.

    Feelings vs. primal drive? Feelings ebb and flow, one day you feel one way, the next day the opposite. I never act on my feelings because I do this see-sawing thing. Instead I just sleep on it until I reach a balance over and over again. Usually, if I keep returning to the same feeling over and over again I take it as correct and then I feel free to act. Primal drive is different though because there is no ebb and flow. It’s a compulsion/impulse – you just do it, again and again. It may be inappropriate or out of context of course, but the key is that it is a consistent response. When I have no clue what to do, I don’t go with the feelings or the primal drive, I go with the intuition. Feelings can come and go, and impulses may be inappropriate, but intuition is usually correct. Truth is, when all the ‘stuff’ clears away, we end up seeing the essence of a situation as we have been seeing it from the beginning. It is always there, we just have to be willing to see it (and believe it). I have 9th house Mercury in Pisces conjunct MC, 6th house Neptune in Sag. three way exchange 🙂

  20. I think the best example that I can give, since we seem to be separating “intuition” with “feelings” is that . . . I met a guy recently. He’s quite nice and has been pursuing me in a very gentlemanly way for almost a year now. We finally met, my “intuition” wasn’t sending up any red flags. But I was afraid he was a commitment phobe. Afraid he’s too into his work. Worried that he didn’t want to have something long distance. Hmmm . . . what’s all this? Well, it’s my “feelings” and those feelings are tied to any number of things – projection, subconscious yearnings and unconscious “memories” and wishes and, most of all, FEAR. What I think was happening was a combination of projecting my own stuff onto him and also being afraid he might not be in it. But nothing in my gut really told me that. Had I really been in danger (like the guy was just plain nuts) my stomach woulda literally been churning with that real sense of threat.

  21. Autopilot? It doesn’t feel like it for me most of the time.

    My intuition comes most of the time at a sudden, lightening bolt thought or feeling (like, I suddenly feel uncomfortable) and if I don’t analyze, it’s right on.

    Wait, that’s autopilot, right? My Pluto is connected to my moon and all sextile my Neptune …. and connected to the leg bone…haha

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