Astrology has gotten a bad rap in our culture. Other cultures with deeper and richer histories use astrology to inform many of their decisions. In India, the first letter of a child’s name is determined astrologically. Important dates and the selection of partners would not be considered without an astrology consult. Where it becomes confusing, I believe, is that it is not black-and-white. There is a spectrum of possibilities that can be expressed by the placement and the geometry of the planets.

Being born in July, I was born when the sun was in Cancer. Those born under the sign of Cancer are usually very dear, in my humble opinion. They can also be overly dependent and moody. Yes on all counts. Mars and Uranus were next to the sun. This means that I’m identified with athleticism and I am likely a revolutionary. The challenge comes from all of that being conjunct Saturn. Saturn is a planet of constriction. People with Saturn influence can have difficulties with power and authority and bouts of depression are likely. So everything powerful in my chart is influenced by Saturn’s constriction and oppression.

That is enough for me to be repelled by the study of astrology. Except that, when you look at astrology as a road map to transform yourself, it is a useful tool for transformation. I can see the physical limitations on the athlete in me and the question that comes to mind is, “how much do you want it?” A quote comes to mind a quote by Pema Chodrun, a Tibetan nun who has written many  helpful books and  articles:

“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.”
― Pema Chödrön

Not all charts are as demanding as mine. Not all life circumstances are as demanding as mine. Actually, there is something comforting in knowing that my road map is demanding. This has been reflected back to me from many directions.  During the moments when I question my courage, the times when I wonder if I failed somewhere, there is comfort in knowing that this was perhaps part of the plan. With the New Age teachings of “law of attraction,” it is easy to misinterpret this and feel that we have brought these challenges on ourselves. I have certainly fallen into that hole more times than I care to remember.

What I have come to know in healing through this illness, I have learned that the universe is a safe place. This is different from what I felt before the illness, especially in my unconscious mind. Now I understand better what has been referred to as the “bigger picture.” And the bigger picture always is about love and optimism. If I find exceptions to this rule, then I know I’ve discovered a part of me that has not been addressed deeply enough.  t

There have been many gifts in working with this illness. I tend to believe it was through this illness that I could do the most effective work. After all, with the symptoms comes the Renaissance.