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.

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.

The Work We’re Called To Do

We must do the work we are called to do.

This has been a nagging thought in my head for weeks now. I think I read it from Chani Nicholas recently, though I’m not sure.

I’ve been having career troubles for the last few years, building ambition but lacking direction. I stumbled into a couple corporate office gigs that were wholly unsatisfying, but for a first-generation college grad like myself, they were almost entirely lucky breaks and I couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to continue with them.

At the beginning of 2018, I took three months away from work to care for an ill loved one. Most of that time was spent at home on the couch, just waiting for the body to heal itself, so I filled a lot of that time by studying astrology. I’d already been studying intensely for over a year, and I’d always been interested in the practice, but could never understand how horoscopes could vary so widely in their messaging when they’re all working from the same source material. I wanted to learn for myself how they were doing it.

After a few weeks, I found myself continually coming back to astrology. I couldn’t look away. It was fascinating and made far too much sense to ignore. In a way, this was especially frustrating because I was trying to keep myself from quitting my day job — even though I was on leave, I was already miserable and at the end of my rope — and it was all too tempting to spend all my time researching and thinking.

I eventually realized that I’d found the thing that makes me tick. I’m equally grateful and exasperated.

My life is filled with a wide variety of interests, hobbies, and experiences — I’m often happy to help but lack enough of an ego to be much of a self-starter. I used to think I’d be happy doing just about anything, but I know better than that now. After almost 30 fucking years, I finally found my Thing, and turns out it’s talking about feelings and helping people understand themselves through astrology.

Eventually, I turned to my recovering loved one, threw my hands up and said, “Y’know what? Fuck it. This is what my brain is wired to do. I’m gonna stop fighting it.”

We must do the work we are called to do.

I’ve never felt a calling before, but I do now. Best to just go with it.