If you're new to my horoscopes, yesterday's horoscope about the medical intuitive was a great example of the spirit of my work and it's engagement with important community topics. Part of my gift or calling, as I've understood it so far, has to do with sharing my personal experiences in direct relationship with astrological or spiritual observations or insights. All of my twenties I studied confessional memoir and essay writing in back to back graduate programs, and as my work in those programs developed I found my way to daily blog writing as my honest to god favorite form of writing. I had all kinds of professors tell me I was wasting my time, and yet it was through a blog called RealitySandwich and an amazing community of visionary bloggers that I had my first book published, a confessional memoir about ayahuasca healing. Because of the success of that book I was able to launch my astrology practice and through its success partner with my wife to open a yoga studio. Still, at the foundation is my daily sharing and reflecting through the written word.
When I began writing daily horoscopes in the spring of 2014 it all got started because I had hit a dead end with a new book I was writing. The book just wasn't coming out right and in the sadness of that realization I went into prayer asking God to show me what to do with my beloved writing practice if another book wasn't happening yet. I was led to consult the I Ching and it gave me a simple piece of advice (enigmatic at first): small things are great things. I couldn't figure out at first what "the greatness of the small" was referring to...then suddenly it hit me....in light of no longer working on my book I had started writing short little daily posts and people were responding positively. Then it was clear...until I'm not trying to force a book into existence, these daily horoscopes are the right way to stay in service to others through my writing. When my kickstarter finalized last year the total dollar amount I took home just happened to be a few hundred dollars greater than the advance I received for my first book. As a result of that hard, daily, simple service I was supported and affirmed in an even "greater" way than a published book from a major publishing house. To me that is amazing, and it's why I am currently fundraising for another year of doing this work. Whatever the results, the real reward continues to be the practice itself. My writing is my prayer life.
This also leads me to reflect more generally again on yesterday's experience. After sleeping on it and praying and listening last night for many hours afterward I came to some important personal conclusions as well as astrological insights. Here they are:
* It was my first time meeting with a medical intuitive, and it eliminated much of my skepticism about the power of psychics, mediums, and intuition generally. There are clearly people who carry very powerful gifts and abilities. As I see it these are divine gifts and I am in awe and admiration at the hands of divinity and its work in the lives of gifted people. The woman read things in my life that were profoundly specific and accurate, without "knowing" me and without any trickery. I know this as much as the heart knows anything clearly. For this I am deeply thankful because seeing someone "see" in this way I felt the return of a child-like awe in my heart. In this way, Neptune was on full display and he very much offered a kind of feet washing for a somewhat bitter part of myself.
* Secondarily, I am deeply thankful for what I felt was a very clear and helpful set of insights surrounding my physical health symptoms. The reason I met with the intuitive (in addition to simple curiosity) was to discuss some very strong reactions I tend to have in my body, but also through my moods, in relationship to various environmental and lifestyle factors. To hear someone suggest that there is nothing wrong with me but that I have strong stress responses because of PTSD felt both accurate and validating. However, the way the woman communicated all of this to me was intimidating, impatient, and very aggressive. She took it very personally that I was skeptical of her recommendation of a "mood stabilizer" and immediately related the decision back to her own choices as well as the choices of other "GREAT" psychics or healers. She lambasted and over simplified a decade's worth of very deep and profoundly healing ayahuasca work that I had done, and though I appreciated her insights about the stress of ayahuasca and how it may actually contribute to PTSD, after more reflection I have to say that I sincerely disagree with her. Without the guidance, teaching, and penetration of my heart by the plant medicine I wouldn't be here today, and her words were not the words of someone who has any personal understanding or experience with the work of that path.
* Next, one of the questions I had going into the experience had to do with the difference between "reading" and "remedying" for others. Throughout the history of astrology this has been a contentious issue. Just because we can read doesn't mean we can or should remedy. The experience yesterday taught me two valuable things as a practitioner. One, I feel affirmed in my belief that by honing our craft as astrologers we can indeed become more accurate and specific in our readings (less vague and psychologically general). Two, I feel affirmed in the idea that remedying is by far more difficult and personal. For now in my own practice I will continue to focus on reading as clearly as I can and when it comes to remedying I will continue to offer general support/broad suggestions and optional referrals to other specialists.
To some extent, any remedy we use, any remedy that works, is granted to us both by grace or divine intervention as well as inner discrimination and discernment. Helping nudge an individual toward their own healing or guidance requires more patience and humility on the part of a practitioner than what I experienced yesterday, and when this quality is lacking from a practitioner I believe we should guard our hearts and minds. What is being recommended may become quite twisted compared to the lucidity of what was "seen."
* This leads me to a few insights regarding the Saturn/Neptune dynamic overall. After sharing my experiences publicly yesterday and very directly asking for a minimal amount of opinion sharing while I processed the experience I received an overwhelming amount of opinions. Granted I felt very deeply loved and supported by the vast majority of sharing that was offered, the experience became a kind of secondary reflection on the Saturn/Neptune square. Is it possible that the entire new age demographic has a kind of cultural PTSD? Is it possible that we've all been hurt by life, that we all have overly sensitive responses in the body, that we're too eager to share these experiences and too eager to remedy one another?
I watched people say the following things:
* Don't go on meds at all costs
* Do go on meds, drop the pride
* They worked for me
* They were like demons inside of me
* Real healers don't use meds
* Real spiritual people don't use meds
* Real healing is personal
* Real healing isn't about medication or not medication
* Try this, try this!
* Don't try this, don't do that!
* "I know you said you don't want too many opinions..BUT"
* Everyone has PTSD, get over it
* PTSD is very serious and real healers shouldn't have it
* Can I get the name of that woman, she sounds legit
* I would never see that woman, and I hope you don't listen to her
* I am an intuitive, psychic, healer, doctor, and if you want a second opinion, an even better remedy, etc...
I can honestly say that each of these opinions came from people I believe have good hearts and sound minds. While some of the opinions above might seem extreme, they also felt honest and truly concerned about my health in most instances. However, seeing it all come flooding through at once, and being in the practice of turning my eyes to the heavens, I couldn't help but observe Saturn and Neptune at work.
Honest, serious, and rigid insights and opinions...the utter lack of boundaries (both by myself and others) and personal projections pronounced like cosmic laws. The psychic and the witch, the healer and the insanity of the saint. The confessional martyr and our never ending ailments.
We shouldn't be so fast to think that the presence of the spiritual automatically means the presence of "truth." When Neptune was discovered in 1846 the Moon was in her fall in square to a debilitated Saturn, and many traditional astrologers have ascribed to Neptune an overall malefic quality...something like a debilitated Moon/Saturn combination. When the intuitive I spoke with started bragging about her "Neptunian abilities" in relationship to the 12th house, I couldn't help but recognize the traditional delineation of the 12th house as the joy of Saturn, and as a house of black magic. Not because I felt she was inherently evil, but because she was very impressed with herself, and relatively unaware of her manipulation and power tactics when suggesting her "remedy" compared to the accuracy of her intuition. To me this affirmed some of what the traditional astrologers had to say about the 12th house...at the very least it is a complicated house, and like the planet Neptune it shouldn't be idealized or over simplified as simply "mystical" and "imaginative."
This might sound on the surface a little harsh, but to be clear I see deep value in all the symbols of astrology, and it's my belief that beyond their subjective relationships to earthly things (joy and suffering of all varieties) they are each intimations of something that goes beyond such dichotomies. However, my experience yesterday also affirmed to me the need for more powerful spiritual boundaries within my own studies of astrology. It did this while simultaneously confirming the presence of the supernatural powers that participate in astrology, far beyond the simplicity of any logical rules or organized principles. That's an amazing blessing, and it was a confirmation for me that both archetypal and traditional values can and should work in harmony in astrology.
So, last but not least, what will I do with what she told me about PTSD? Well, the first thing I'll do is remember that although I have some pretty intense sensitivities in my body, my mind and body are in very good health overall and I feel very healthy most of the time. After honest reflection, I don't feel resonant with her advice to take a mood-stabilizer, though I have no judgments against those who do or those who have found healing through them. At the same time, I've decided to take a serious look at some personal therapeutic work geared toward treating PTSD symptoms (the hyper sensitive reactions I sometimes have in my body). As I mentioned yesterday, it's fitting that just a month ago I became very interested in the unique approach to healing PTSD that one of my original mentors, Hamilton Souther is currently developing. In addition to this my wife is helping me create some extra dietary and herbal support, which has been greatly clarified thanks to the intuitive's insights.
To close, I'll say again what I said yesterday. The last time Saturn/Neptune occupied these signs, in square to one another, the Salem witch trials were taking place. Sometimes I can be too puritanical, and so I don't want to go witch hunting. At the same time, nobody wants to be taken advantage of by powerful spiritual forces, force set on bending others wills to their own.
Prayer: Thou burning sun with golden beams, thou silver moon with softer gleam, thou rushing wind that art so strong, ye clouds that sail in heaven along, thou rising morn in praise rejoice, ye lights of evening find a voice, thou flowering water, pure and clear, make music for the lord to hear. Dear mother earth, who day by day, unfoldest blessings on our way, the flowers and fruits that in thee grow, let them the glory also show...and all you of tender heart, forgiving others, take your part, ye who long pain and sorrow bear, praise God and on him cast your care. And thou most kind and gentle death, waiting to hush our latest breath, thou leadest home the child of god, and the way our teachers trod. Let all things creator bless, let us worship here in humbleness.