Taking a Step Back

I’m learning a lot about how I want to practice astrology.

I’ve been spending a lot of time analyzing charts from a linear and circular statistics standpoint, rather than interpretation. I think it’s possible to find patterns and correlations within friend groups and social circles — these may not “prove” that astrology is real, but would certainly strengthen its legitimacy. I hope to do a blog post soon summarizing more of the studies I’ve been reading about.

But regardless of how much I enjoy math and data, I do very much enjoy chart interpretation. My issue is that I don’t think it practical to use astrology for predictive work; the symbolism is too broad and it creates too many possibilities, making it very unlikely to accurately predict anything useful. Many astrologers do use it for predictive work, and some are very good at it, but I personally struggle to get on board.

What I’ve really enjoyed is using the birth chart as a jumping-off point, and letting the conversation flow naturally from there, referring back to the chart as needed. I’ve had excellent conversations with individuals by starting the conversation with the elements — which one dominates, which are lacking or struggling, and how the essence of the elements may present in their personality. It has been helpful to start off with broad strokes, and then concentrate on specific areas from there.

Feedback has been great so far. Folks have said they prefer this open, collaborative discussion rather than unidirectional predictions or assumptions. They feel they can disagree with me or my interpretation in ways they couldn’t with other astrologers. As a result, by the time our conversation is over, whatever skepticism they had about astrology as a whole have largely evaporated, and they’re in awe of the potential that has unfolded for them.

Despite the widespread popularity of horoscopes, it seems people generally don’t like to be told who they are. They want help understanding, sure, but ultimately they want to define it for themselves. The funny thing is I don’t think I’m alone in practicing this way, but people seem to have preconceived notions and don’t understand how malleable astrology really is.


 

On a personal note, I am still self-conscious about this hobby and sharing it publicly with others. My intent for this blog was to work through some of that, but as my spotty post history will tell you, I’m struggling to do that.

I set very high standards for myself, and I berate myself if I don’t meet them. I want to do everything and nothing all at once, but focus and follow-through are formidable foes. I’ll draft up a blog post, but upon re-reading it, decide either: a) I don’t deserve to have an opinion, or b) my writing is too vague to make sense of, and I will delete whatever I’ve written.

I’m trying to be less critical of myself; to be less of a perfectionist, and more of a completionist. I’m publishing this post knowing it is not very good, and there are a lot of things I want to change about it, but it is more important that I just publish the damn thing.

So, fuck it. Publish.

The Head & The Heart

I want to be better about writing but I don’t know where to start. I have a running list of astrological topics to cover but every time I sit down to write, nothing comes out.

I’ve never been good at identifying and asking for what I want. This is one of the few ways I relate to my Pisces Sun — I don’t “want” anything for my own sake, but for others. The fish’s immersive nature creates a nebulous, mysterious ego, one that adapts to fill whatever gaps surround it.

My Leo Moon, by contrast, is pounding on my internal doors with a list of demands: creation, expression, validation, attention, give me all of it, goddammit. I badly want to appease her, but how do I satiate those needs when my ego wants nothing? My Moon is my one and only fire placement, and I don’t know how to handle it; it’s literally out of my element.

Heart on fire, head under water.

In astrology, progressions are the idea that once we are born, the movement of the planets reflect the trajectory of our life, with each day equating to one year. So, the location of the planets 30 days after your birth mirrors your life at 30 years old.

My Sun has progressed from Pisces to Aries, and it certainly feels like breaking the surface, at long last, after an eternity spent underground. I’ve been ingrained with the wisdom and adaptability of Pisces and the knowledge of all that came before it; and I am finally taking a form of my own and setting off on a new path.

Trouble is, my progressed Mercury is still hanging back in Pisces.

In a few years’ time, my Mercury will make its way to Aries, and my hope is then I will have an easier time articulating my individual wants and needs. Maybe then my mind, freshly-ablaze, can help my Leo Moon to get what it wants.

I appreciate what Pisces has gifted me, but I am ready to break new ground and forge my own path. In the meantime, I’m making progress. I am still under water, but I can see the surface. And when I get there, I will be on fire, and I will be unstoppable.

Personal: Jupiter in Scorpio

I am gaining momentum. Shaking off the retrogrades of the last several months, I am ready to move forward with what I have learned and enact the kind of real, productive change I’ve been looking for.

Jupiter in Scorpio

Scorpio is in my 6th house of self-improvement, health, and work. My ideal kind of work involves research and digging, unearthing that which is hidden. When Jupiter first set foot there in November 2017, I first thought this transit might indicate a promotion, and with it, a shift in my responsibilities. I had just talked to my boss a few weeks earlier about moving teams and taking on more responsibility. How Scorpio fit into the mix I wasn’t sure, but I was open to finding out.

Jupiter went retrograde in early March, when my partner was in the hospital and I had to take time away from work. His accident had little if anything to do with Jupiter, but its retrograde certainly mirrored this setback. Fortunately, during this time I was able to devote plenty of time to learning astrology, and more importantly, understanding what type of work I enjoyed doing. The probing nature of astrology research (Scorpio!) was an interesting comparison to my day job, and with a break from the latter I was able to see clearly what I found fulfilling.

Jupiter went direct in July, months after I’d both gone back to work and subsequently quit. My unemployment benefits had been denied, I had no job prospects, and city life was beginning to feel suffocating. I’d been casually eyeing rental properties for a while, but finally my partner and I settled on a new apartment further outside the city, in a much quieter town, for less money. We knew this was a much-needed change of scenery for several reasons, not least of which was our self-discipline. We moved in with a list of new intentions for managing our day-to-day lives, our well-being, and our responsibilities. This period felt like a reset in a lot of ways. Our old apartment carried a lot of emotional baggage with it, and leaving it all behind left me freer to move forward.

Jupiter, now direct, leaves its shadow period in October, crossing my Part of Fortune before moving along to Sagittarius the following month. I started a new job last week, and for the first time I feel cautiously confident in my ability to make a good impression. It’s an organization I’ve been in before, near some familiar faces, doing work I have experience with (!). I feel like I am possibly the best version of myself ever, confident in who I am, how I carry myself, and what I’m about. Most importantly, I’m going into it with no expectation for what this means for my career. With astrology as my hobby, I know how to feel fulfilled while working a 9-5, something I’ve been struggling to understand for years. This new job is a huge step toward determining what I want my work life to look like.

I’m not sure what Jupiter’s brief stint with my Part of Fortune will bring, but I hope it gives me the last little boost I need to find a sense of direction. So far, its retrograde through my 6th house has allowed me to dig into the kind of work I find fulfilling, and reexamine what kind of work is worth doing.

Of course, there are plenty of other things going on in the sky right now. Jupiter’s not responsible for all of this change I’ve been experiencing. Mars’s retrograde, after all, involves my MC (and let me tell you I have been feeling it) and Uranus is on its own adventure in my 12th house, but as always, I am grateful for whatever little nuggets of insight astrology brings me. I am tremendously excited for the next six months.

Drained

There’s a lot I want to write about, but whenever I sit down to do it my mind goes blank.

It’s been an emotional few weeks. I’m working on ways to appropriately handle my anger and it’s ugly, but it’s progress. Not only is my natal Mars in chill-as-hell-borderline-lazy Taurus, but it’s in my 12th house, making it hard for me to see.

The 12th house is one of the most challenging houses to explain to newbies — it’s the house of Self-Undoing, which naturally sets off alarm bells to anyone unfamiliar with the term. Alternately, we can call House 12 “That Which is Hidden,” which captures the subconscious, and institutions like hospitals and prisons.

When we say “self-undoing,” we mean the loss of ego into a greater whole. The house preceding it, House 11, is about large communities, our crowd. Communities struggle when there’s too much ego from the individuals within them, and thrive when the individuals come together with a common goal. This common goal requires a loss of ego, requires each person to say, “This is not about me, this is about something bigger.” Ergo, Undoing the Self.

So what does that mean for a 12th house Mars? I’m still working on this myself, but my gut says I am motivated by either a) things that are farthest removed from my own ego and identity, or b) something in my subconscious that is hard for me to pinpoint. Or both! Either way, Mars is already somewhat muted by Taurus energy, so it’s an all-around challenging placement to understand.

The good news is I’m reading and learning about emotions, and better ways to control them. I’ve never been an angry person, but I’m learning now that’s because I’ve always repressed my anger (heyyyy, maybe that’s a 12th house tendency). This will likely be a running theme in my life that I will never fully overcome, but I’m excited to learn how to best manage this placement in an effective, useful way.

Silver lining: Taurus may be slow to start but once they do, they don’t stop. My Mars is not easily activated the way it might be in a Fire sign, but once it is, my willpower is tenacious and resilient. I embrace these qualities, and I am proud.