Friday, April 23, 2010

Another posting clipped (and edited) from a recent exchange of facebook messages.

Sometimes I wish I were more conscious of my psychic connections - with a twelfth house Mercury trine Moon, it's like not noticing you're floating on your back in silvery pool of subconsciousness imagery while your going about in the everyday world - then you run up against one of those people in suits on their way from Starbucks to their office cubicle and you suddenly feel the meaning of life getting drained from your psyche.

Not that I'm unlike them in many ways - driven, focused, headstrong,'s a rather complex contradiction, isn't it?

There's an interesting phenomenon afoot, that question of whether computer-based interaction is 'real' - most of my friends think its a joke, which only creates one of those puzzled, wha...expressions on my face, followed by that familiar feeling of "oh bother, I knew I was fooling myself once again...I'll just go bury my thoughtful contributions somewhere now." :) Well, computers are ruled by Uranus, which governs the expression of Aquarius, so I suppose, you could tell those scoffers, get used to it. But I secretly think they have a good point - I know I need to better balance my use of screen media with more tangible types of interaction.

Writing, and sharing it with others, is what seems to be leading me out of the family 'prison' and into meaningful connections with the kinds of people I want to be with.

I couldn't exist in a job that didn't involve taking time to smell the roses, or native spicebush, as it were. It brings to mind the biography I read of Teddy Roosevelt's early life - it's worth getting through the over-detailed parts for the portrait of someone who never let formal titles and responsibilities get in the way of an boyishly energetic pursuit of understanding the natural world. And there is something absolutely essential about that to me (my Venus retrograde - I was born when Venus was closest to the earth, and we are very sensitive). It's almost a religious belief. In fact, that is what I wrote my college entrance essay about - and I remember how one of my close friends at the time giggled at the title - at least that's how I interpreted it. I didn't value astrology then, only thoughtful science. Hmmp. That's kind of funny and interesting all at once.

I have an interesting example/story that relates to discriminating between helpful and less than useful psychic connections - but first, let my try to convey the fact that my moon-mercury trine is paired with a juno-vesta trine, which adds in the elements of focus and a wistful longing for commitment that is both self-contained and requires a relationship before it becomes devotedly productive.

When I moved back here in the summer of 2007, my folks were moving out, and my dad, I've gradually come to realize, thinks the products of his internal cogitations have to apply to others. He insisted I save, read, and use a lot of newspaper articles and consumer type magazines so that I know the expert way to take care of the house. And he watched where I put them to make sure I was following the dictates he had decided were the proper ones. (I might be sounding a little harsh here, but understand I love him dearly - I just don't get my own space when I'm around my family, and I need that more than anything else in the world).

I piled them in my old laundry basket with other things, old and new, to be sorted later, and there they sat, mostly undisturbed, for the next two years, during which time I frenetically researched, planned, purchased, and planted many native plants and gardens around the house. I crashed and burned more than once doing the process - feeling crazy after spending too much of his money on them, overselling myself and him on my big plans (I've already told you about that part of my personality), and wearing myself out on work that wasn't yielding the practical or emotional returns that I should have asked for. But...he doesn't just know HOW to say no in a respectful and firm way.

So, I guess you could say it was up to me to figure out what was going on, and I think I've turned a corner on that, though naughty habits are soooo hard to get away from. I voluntarily work in my gardens so much more readily than pursuing paying work or doing things that help me get grounded in local social networks. It doesn't help that deep gnawing anxiety much, but I have to admit, it makes many of my days peaceful and relatively pleasant, which they have not been for a lot of my adult life.

A lot of what I did to turn that corner involved repeatedly doing things to get kudos online for my writing and other activities, which in turn gave me the strength to do nothing for enough days to finally get grounded in my true values. What I just wrote reminds me of the 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus' guy on tv. (I stared at that book every time I rode my bike over to Encore Books in Manoa Shopping Center during the 1980s - I guess I felt like it was another one of those many things I had to study and learn about, but never did, because it seemed like so much work and not enough return). Anyway, its not just women who need kudos -- every man has a Venus in his birth chart, too!

My holiday experience this past year was greatly intentional. I intended to unplug from the many distracting, shiny temptations and deeply seated feelings of obligation that the season always taunts us with. Because I knew if I didn't there would be that false happiness that ends in a confusing mess of angst-filled depression and painful loneliness. I accomplished goal by taking several hours on each of several days for a week or so, and doing nothing but search for pictures of animals in the ceiling tiles above my head. I came out of the holidays feeling more grounded without having had to isolate myself from the obligatory family function, which, for better or worse, I need just as much. Another difficult-sounding contradiction.

So, to return to the story, just a few months ago I finally got around to sorting through and organizing those old articles - and what did I find but a squirrel's cache of brochures, clippings, and class handouts about gardening and native plants. The way I figure it, I must have subconsciously being 'getting to work' on these un-acted-upon plans and ideas that were piling up like snow drifts in the attic (or would it be subbasement?) of the collective mind that lives around this house.

I guess it was a way of secretly expressing devotion to my family while creating a 'safe' or acceptable space for trying out my own creative ideas. Around my family, certain kinds of creative impulses are simply not expressed - or at least not without getting smothered in false praise and half-hearted encouragement or unintentionally, but cruelly batted down as childish nonsense.

That is the subject of another essay that would also delve into my overwrought sensitivity and the default position of self-victimization in dependent relationships - you know, where everyone acts like they've forgotten how to think for themselves in a rational manner for the purpose of creating solutions and easing emotional stress; so, they stay mired in dead patterns of interactions - or ones that no one has thought to try breathing life into because they're resenting the dead feelings of interactions they think their stuck in! - I'm guilty of that, 'yo.

Before I get to that, just let me wrap up this story by explaining that it was around that time that I started writing long journal entries - six, ten, twelve pages in the little bound books I buy from Staples. And, of course, then I find that a fellow teacher in the adult education program that I'm teaching is creating a journal writing class that upcoming semester.... And kiddingly I wonder, do these supposed subconscious connections ever surface at the time I devotedly start a project based on them? The intuitive answer at this point seems to be, "As soon as you can handle being consciously connected to these communities of people and your own emotional subconscious."

I guess you could say I am working through my own issues around being a spokesperson for various causes - in astrology it's part of the polarity of Leo (self-expression and ego attention) on one end of the teeter-totter and Aquarius (service to the community and subservience of ego) on the other. I am finally getting some clarity in how this polarity works in my life - and how it hasn't. It always stops my little Virgo helpmeet in its tracks when someone says something like, "What? Are you being a cheerleader for _(such and such cause)_ today?" I think, to get karmic on 'ya here, that it was a major role for me in a past life - to work hard in service of larger causes and not pay attention to my little, personal, ego needs. I've just begun settling around the idea that there is a spiritual legitimacy to being selfish and its not less desirable than being community-minded if its true to who you are. Writing sermons again : ).

I'm not sure of when that moment occurs when a decision is made to set up a blog of my own, what part of me makes it, and how it should look, but gee, I think that's what I want to do and maybe I was just waiting for an opportunity to get a little encouragement and example from someone else. Gee, also, I should probably include a version of this because I've said some things that are much more clear to me now, having worked out this particular way of saying them - I mean, I think I can describe the basic function of my entire mystic rectangle now! And that's got to be the first step in getting enough practice and insight into astrology to write a book and become a much-adored, best-selling famous author, and....and...(oops - heading backasswards again on my life's path...)

My passion for astrology seems not so much mathematical to me as geometrical - I can get obsessed by numbers and statistics, but I can only be passionate about the patterns they form and describe - and the imaginative possibilities they can create for a person in their life. '
I've been posting notes on facebook occasionally for a couple years, and lately I've begun some extensive journal writing. Posting things brings a little bit of useful discipline to the process and puts it all 'out there' so its been witnessed by the universe and the blogging server, if by no one else. This is my most recent facebook note, which started as a reply to a email.

Lately, I guess you could say, I've been 'throwing myself' into situations of reasonable responsibility and structure - as well as meaningful solitude (as befits a Saturn-ruled Capricorn) - and trying to pull back from my usual stance of rebelliousness and escape, which I guess I usually back by philosophical rationalization; it's always an easier avenue to pursue, but not often the better one (the Uranus-Pluto trine to the Sun and sextiles from each to Neptune, as well as the first house Mars-Venus-Icarus cluster in Aquarius and Saturn and Juno in Pisces, perhaps?).

I'm still rather reluctant to give up the whole "romance of words" kick, but it serves me pretty well and impresses (and helps) others enough to be fun and useful in a pretty good way. Lately I have been living with the idea of what it would be like to commit to develop things such as writing, teaching, and astrology. That would mean stepping out from the shadow of my family patterns, opening myself to potential, interrelationship, and criticism, and all of the emotions and doubts that ensue. Knitting and gardening, I've become reasonably and genuinely skilled at. It is gratifying to have developed a plan for my life and kept honing it, so that now, three years after returning to the area I grew up in, I can say I have a broad range of things that I have become more confident about and successful in out of sheer hard work and determination to learn, reevaluate, and persevere with.

Having had the last vestiges of my first full-time post-PhD job thoroughly stripped from my grasp in 2006 was necessary and desirable in the greater scheme of things, though understandably painful. Supporting myself financially is still the big gap in the structure, as is fitting in socially, but I've made a lot of progress in ferreting out the ways of thinking that make up that spider web of dependency and ill-conceived behaviors, and I'm also working a little more willingly at parting with them for the sake of things I'm coming to realize are more valuable. Occasionally, I find that I can let my energy shine openly for a short time. I also seem to be more adept at discerning the kinds of energies and activities that are right for me, and stronger in my ability to refrain from going too far in another direction before I have to do some serious recovery. I'm glad to have found things and people that matter to me, seem to fit who I am, and have the potential to be satisfying, if they aren't already - I guess the most important thing to say is that my sense of who I am is one of those things.

For the first time in many years, the discipline of geography does not play a role directly in my activities, although I am always gathering and assimilating information about my immediate environments and exploring ways to share what I see and learn that have both 'soul and science'. My presentation of such a traditional academic subject still lacks enough creativity and imagination and, above all, healing purpose, I guess you could say, to be worthwhile to me, but that may prove ultimately to be an excuse, and I'll work toward finding a way to make it be those things I need it to be. I'm trying to find that kind of satisfaction by teaching astrology instead, and as long as I have my audience, I feel a little better about it each time I begin a new class.

My census job and the ensuing social interactions is an example of my efforts, and it has been the usual roller coaster of rigidity, over-disclosure, paranoia, retreat, and a finding of balance, all while trying to 'stick with it.' Being surprised when a neighbor/childhood-friend'
s-mother finally put her house on the market last week and getting an invitation to my grad school department's party at the annual geography conference almost threw me into yet another episode of extreme self-doubt and crazy thinking. I'm learning to give up trying to get an answer by figuring it all out - I just try to marvel at the machinations of the process in some wry, yet sincere philosophical way and patiently observe what I need to learn - perhaps this befits a triseptile between a twelfth house Capricorn Sun and a fifth house Jupiter in Gemini. This week, I was greatly helped by a class session with my current astrology student who during our extended conversation reminded me again of the many faces of grief - and grief avoidance. I realized how many things I have striven to learn to do and perform with perfection and panache largely because I forgot what simple grief is and how to feel it.

I usually feel like there is still some major hurdle, some kind of work I am just not doing yet, but I hope that I can keep slowing down into more of a "normal" unconventional human being now - simply trust the thrust of my life into society or communities/families and my own ability to find a way to participate in it all that really does honor who I am, (perhaps with fewer big words and important sounding ideas, even). In the meantime, I am grateful for the opportunities that are coming easier now, or at least with less time spent struggling with hopeless feelings and denials.