On Astrology, Astrologers, Learning–and The Peeling of Life’s Onion

As a person with a Scorpio rising and a dominance of planets–all of my sociable (terrestrial) planets and luminaries (Sun and Moon) below the horizon–I’m frequently misunderstood and even accused of things I’m not. It brings to mind a conversation I had some time ago with another astrologer (I haven’t asked his permission so it would be unfair of me to mention it in more specific ways than how I will here), the result of his having realized most people didn’t understand the role his second house plays in his astrological chart.

This particular individual said Taurus on the 2nd house cusp led many to assume he’d be very focused on money and earnings. He’s not. For me, on examining the chart, I realized the value he saw was in the learning process: He has Mercury in lovely trine to Jupiter, but it’s out of sign and might be misunderstood perhaps because of that. But this is an astrologer who values the mind, who values the workings of the mind and the priceless gifts we can glean from knowledge itself.

I’ve never forgotten that exchange we had back then perhaps because it’s so vastly different from one of my first interactions with a member of the professional astrological community in my first year of studies in this field. My own teacher was a gem. I’m sorry he didn’t stay in the field. He never told me why he left, and we’re no longer in touch. But he had introduced me to an old school astrologer who had a Mars-Saturn hard aspect in square to my natal Mercury. She told me I had a “difficult” chart and seemed to show ever-increasing accusatory tones with each encounter. In contrast, I found her cold, insensitive, biting, and castigating. I have a few more adjectives I could add here; but you get the point, I’m sure. That experience as well has never left my mind because it taught me what I didn’t want to be. I’ve blown it a few times. Hopefully that makes me human.
Crystal BallNon-astrologers don’t always get it: This isn’t a field in which we draw out the crystal balls while putting on black robes and pointy, wide-brimmed hats. I hope the majority of us don’t have warts on equally pointy noses, bony fingers with nails way out to there…and evil cackles in our voices. We’re each human. We make mistakes in judgment, but we try–genuinely–to give the best observations we see in what we do, regardless of whether we come from the Eastern or Western schools of astrology, whether we work with Tropical or Sidereal zodiacs, employ traditional, modern, classical, evolutionary, integrated, karmic, spiritual, Vedic, Naadi, KP, or any other methods that use basics of the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the Nodes known by Vedic astrologers as Rahu and Ketu–or the additional bodies of Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Chiron, precession (or not), and any host of other methods we might use. Some will work with asteroids. Some don’t. I’m in the school of “don’t” at least for the most part. Presumably, however, nearly all of us try to do our best.

Astrology is not a field in which one can employ what I call (adopted from a dear friend who worked with the United Nations, Educational Division, about 20 years ago) the “sari ‘n’ curry fast food at the mall approach.” It requires thoughtful response to each situation, with a consideration of the natal chart whether we’re speaking about personal/individual astrology or mundane astrology. It demands sensitivity to the situation that can be said to be analogous to the doctor’s need for great bedside manner.

We’re moving into the next Saturn-Neptune hard aspect we saw some years back. It’s the Peeling of Life’s Onion, with which you are already familiar if you’ve been reading my writing for any length of time.This is one cycle I’m glad comes around with such frequency because we seem to be very slow learners. Saturn is reality. We need this in the cold, bright light of day.
Peeling of Life's OnionNeptune soothes, puts us in a dream mode at times but sometimes in one that’s more spiritually connected. It serves as a mother’s gentle hand on our foreheads when we’re ill, the dulcet angelic voice in a Catholic Church where the singer lingers on the notes to
Ave Maria

or a gospel choir’s voices with “Amazing Grace

(even US President Obama brought tears to my eyes–not in a bad way–when he sang this some months ago in South Carolina in remembering those who died in the brutal killings at a church there),

or the exquisite notes of
Kol Nidre during the Jewish High Holy Days

…the mantras and slokas of Hinduism.

It offers us artistic views into the lives of others when we read great literature or see a painting whether by Picasso, Chagall, Monet or one of the countless others who have blessed this world. And it enables us to travel in our nighttime dreams or astrally through meditation. For that matter, Neptune offers us the venue through which we can meditate as well.

But when these two bodies are in hard aspect, we have the opportunity to move through our lives with a cross between our attempts to raise the blinders from our eyes at the same time we’d rather not see. The transit is excruciating especially when it hits the natal chart. Depending on what body it’s hitting in the natal chart, we can wonder whether we’re losing our minds, whether everyone around us has lost theirs, or simply get confused about what’s truth and what’s not, what’s real and what’s imagined, whether we dare to hope and believe or give in to total despair. The Peeling of Life’s Onion. It fits, you see.

Now I really hadn’t planned to write this today. I had other things to do, but perhaps the time is right. The encounter is not uncommon to any astrologer, and many will protest and swear I’m speaking about them just as others will protest and say, “But, but, but… there’s reason at times to be so negative!” Sorry. I disagree.

While it’s true that there are rough periods in our lives, and many of us–yes, even astrologers–often stress over those times, the whole point of looking at what’s going on is also to offer alternative directions based on what we’re seeing in the chart. There is never “nothing” (deliberate double negative here) to do. It can be a matter of urging alternative action with suggestions to assist based on the strengths the individual has in the chart as well as the dynamic interactions from the transits. You guide the individual to use the best qualities and to subdue the worst ones, to modify what’s going on so there are glimmers of hope that might be seen.

Is it always that way? No, but you don’t make conclusions that all is hopeless and make feeble gestures of how the person needs to wrap his/her mind around the situation that’s not only untenable but simply not possible to achieve. I could be talking about any number of situations, but some of the cases to which I’m referring focus on health and other such highly delicate issues.

In public especially:
No, you do not have a right to ask if the individual is ready for such and such a case.
No, you do not have a right to ask why the situation is as it is.
No, you do not have to say you understand if you really don’t.
And no, you do not have the right to ask the arrangements related to the situation.

In private, unless you have training in this area, leave it to the “big kids.”
Beyond that, stay innocent, be sensitive and loving without being phony.

In the long run, you’ll learn more by shutting up and listening. 

Mark Twain apparently said (but who knows? There are a lot of quotes attributed to his having said them, and they weren’t.), “[He] was endowed with a stupidity which by the least little stretch would go around the globe four times and tie.”

In short: THINK before you open mouth and insert both arms and legs to their final joints. Do the same before you write!

I said that.

Namaste, I love you.

©2015 Michelle Young