And now for something entirely different.
Once or twice in this blog I’ve “come out” as an astrologer. Oh, it’s not my job, just my avocation/hobby for about 35 years. Given that I have the attention span of a 3-year-old (probably why I get on so well with toddlers) that’s saying a lot!
I want to set the record straight on a few things about what I mean when I say “astrology.” Because a lot of people probably don’t know it’s been around and studied somewhat seriously for thousands of years. Many of you probably are thinking of the pabulum published in most papers and magazines (note, there are a few really good astrologers who write for some magazines – but they are so much the exception). I got into astrology for the same reason I find Myers-Brigss and other ‘personality typing’ systems – because I was looking for a way to understand myself and my fellow travelers this time around.
There’s a rather robust strain of modern astrology that is fairly psychological in nature – like psychology it’s purpose is precisely what I described above – helping people to understand themselves and others.
There are also strains that focus on prognostication. I’m less enthralled with that overall.
Here’s how I often describe it. If you were born before 1991 you probably remember September 11, 2001. Do you remember your own emotions that day? Could you put to words what you felt the collective zeitgeist (a great German word meaning “temper of the times”) was on that day? I’ll bet you can, right? If you’re old like me, you can probably also conjure up the zeitgeist on 11/22/1963.
And I’ll bet there are some days in your own life whose temper of the times is as palpable to you as that ice cream cone you ate today – you can feel it. maybe the day your first child was born. Or the day your mama died. Or your wedding. Or when you got that job you wanted so much. You can still FEEL those experiences.
Well, we swim in a sea of “vibes” as we used to say. And we take each breath from the airstream of potentiality. A million possibilities. They’re all there, all the time – we (often) do the choosing, but we choose from a certain set of possibilities. What I decided to do for dinner tonight was from the realm of possibilities for someone in Barrington, Illinois of a certain ethnicity, socioeconomic status, et al.
And like the clock tells me that it’s 9:17 PM, but did not CAUSE it to be 9:17 (merely dutifully reports) I believe that one’s natal horoscope dutifully reports the zeitgeist that was present at the moment and the place you came upon the scene. And I think that early imprinting affects us a lot. We all have predilections, ways of being.
The main reason astrology has kept me interested for close to 40 years is that in my experience it seems accurate. In the same way that something like Myers-Briggs does (that is, there are always some parts that are spot on, some that are sorta like me – or like you – and some that just don’t totally fit). It’s rich, multilayered and open-ended. That is, real astrologers who know their stuff shouldn’t be saying “well, you have to be like thus and such because you are an Aquarian.”
You’ll probably hear more from me on this topic over time, but my friend John asked me a question on Facebook email the other night and I realized I’d alluded to astrology here and hadn’t ever said much about why it has held my attention.
So don’t write and ask me “I’m a Scorpio and my boyfriend is a Gemini – is that compatible?” or “Will I ever find a job again?” – I don’t see it as that kind of magical thinking. But if you want to understand things about why you do your life the way you do, I’ve found it to be pretty helpful. As they say in some other circles in which I travel “Take what you like and leave the rest.”
And —- for you astrologers out there – I’m sun in Aquarius, moon in libra, Gemini rising (and Uranus conjunct the Ascendant, trine the sun, plus mercury & venus in Aquarius – OF COURSE I’d be into astrology!).