Friday, March 20, 2009

Astrology, a love story.

When I was in college a good friend of mine told me she wanted to do my astrology chart. At the time I thought astrology was something totally bogus. I worked in a bookstore and all I associated it with were the dumb girls with long, fake nails snapping gum who bought The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need or Love Signs. Still, this friend was so cool and I liked her so much that I said ok, let's do it.

I'll never forget the night we did my chart together. On the floor of her dorm room we looked up each sign based on the time I was born in the back of a book (The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need, in fact.) As we did so, we discovered that, besides my Aquarius sun and Pisces Mercury, all of my other personal planets and rising sign are in the earth signs (Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo.)My friend started looking at me sideways. All fire and air, she was sure she wasn't compatible with earth signs (we ha
d a falling out about a year later. One of the reasons she gave for breaking the friendship was that she couldn't handle my Capricorn moon....) The books she had weren't any good and, like most shallow astrology books, they also tended to slam earth signs. The words of praise they use are "practical" and "reliable" but they make it pretty clear that, in their opinion, earthy people are B-O-R-I-N-G. That night I went to bed feeling pretty depressed.

Later I guess I had a few options: I could have decided astrology was bogus after all. I could have just forgotten about it. But I felt this burning need to prove that the reading had been wrong, that being earthy didn't mean I was boring.
Whenever I had a free moment at my bookstore job, I would skim through every astrology book I could get my hands on, both good and bad. What I learned, besides that being earthy doesn't mean you aren't interesting, is that astrology is an incredibly complex art. Planets, signs, houses, aspects, elements, and all of those things are just the basics. To learn to read them is like learning a language and mastery is only something that comes with a lot of time and practice.

Astrology soon became a sort of secret hobby, secret because I didn't tell everyone about it. I know so many people still think it's a load of phooey and I didn't want to get in the position of having to defend or explain myself or to become a missionary, trying to bring in new converts. And I got a lot out of it. I don't pretend to know why, but if you read a correct natal chart of a person (day, exact time and place of birth)it is as individual as their finger print. (If anyone is interested by the way,, the website set up by Liz Greene, can give you your natal chart and a fairly decent explanation of it, though a computer reading can never really go into depth like a reading with a person....) Astrology can help you accept parts of yourself you don't like or have been resisting. It helps you know yo
ur limitations- you will never really be like Suzy or Mary, so stop trying- but it also points out your potential. Astrology helps break you out of that egocentric mode of judging everyone based on your own perception. People have different needs and ways of expressing them and have a right to these differences. Maybe so-and-so will never be your best friend, but accepting that they are just being themselves is somehow liberating.

Liz Greene runs an astrology school in London. My astrology-introducing ex-friend I used to fantasize about going there. I thought off and on over the years about embracing my secret hobby and finally making it a public one. But London is so expensive and I could think of no other reason for going there. Then, one day on a whim, I googled Astrolgy Berlin and found out that there is an astrology school here as well. I checked the school out first to make sure it was serious, then immediately signed up for their year-long weekend intensive course.

Little did I know that, in that course, I would meet my future husband.

I don't want to go into the story of how we came to be, but I ca
n say that it was not love at first sight. But once we did get together we both pretty much knew that that was it. Like me, he has an air sun sign (Libra)but underneath, instead of earth, he is a big pool of water signs (pisces, cancer, scorpio). If we hadn't met in the astrology course I don't think there is any way we would have gotten together. We moved in different circles and our attraction and compatibility wasn't obvious right away. Now that we are married and have two daughters I can't imagine anyone who would fit me better.

So, I guess you can say, ultimately for me, astrology was a love story that brought me a family. Something I would have never guessed all those years ago on the dorm room floor of my now ex-friend....

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