United Astrology Conference 2012

Oh my goodness I can hardly see straight.  It’s been hours since I slept, but the important thing is I’m almost packed!  Look, the point is, I’m heading off to New Orleans for a massive astrological conference for SEVEN DAYS in just a few hours!  The good news is you don’t have to stay behind, Precious Treasures!  My friend Donna asked me to participate in a seriously fun project called Postcards from UAC wherein a bunch of us will be uploading videos and pictures and sharing them with all our friends who can’t make it this year.

To find out more or just to follow along go to uacpostcards.blogspot.co.uk   I made my first vlog ever and posted it there couple hours ago and I’m absolutely sleep deprived enough to think it’s acceptable to post it here.

If you aren’t completely put off my my crazy rollers, please feel free to follow me on my new twitter feed!

Vitamin T

The trouble with astrology is that it’s primarily, as Rob Hand puts it, a diagnostic tool.  Once you’ve figured out your problem (or problems, as the case may be) you’ve still got to deal with it.  Oh sure, there’s a whole host of things you can do to alleviate whatever situation you find yourself in and astrology can help you figure out what they might be.  Heck, if you’re into that sort of thing you can even go to a Vedic astrologer and get yourself prescribed some remedial measures – wear gemstones, pray to a specific God, what have you.  But at the end of the day no astrologer’s going to fix you, because astrology can’t fix you, it’s not what it’s there for.  I’m sure this is why Nick Dagan Best created his tagline, “be your own damn guru!”

The point is, at the end of the day it’s on you to walk your path.  Ain’t no one gonna fix you but you.  Or in my case, me.

I’ve suffered from depression most of my life, and studying my chart combined with a boatload of therapy has left me with the impression that nothing’s going to help me so much as creating some sort of philosophical discipline.  Fortunately with Saturn going through my 9th house and Jupiter transiting my Saturn right now I’m in an optimal position to take up some spiritual / philosophical training.  My mum (naturally) found this crazy amazing meditation course for me that’s non-secular in origin, been going on for decades all around the world and is just generally pretty fantastic.  So I’m three weeks into an eight week course and so far even when I hate it I’m getting results, so I’ve got to say thumbs up.

We’ve been focusing a lot on creating awareness of physical sensations and the breath as a way into the present moment.  This stuff isn’t completely unfamiliar to me, I’ve read a few books by Thich Nhat Hanh and been to a couple different Buddhist mediation classes, but practicing every day (or at least trying to!) is a whole other ball of wax.  Often it’s really just torturous, to be honest with you.  Especially since really what I want is to transcend my problems and difficulties (cue strings) and this practice is about engaging with them openly and honestly.  Blech.  Seriously, whatever happened to just repressing crap like normal adults?  Oh yeah, that’s why I’ve been depressed since I was eleven.  FINE.  You see how it is, three minutes in my head and I’m dying for a way out.  No wonder I watch so much TV

So anyway, I’m teaching myself to pay attention to the present moment, to be in the now, not the past or future and to concentrate, really concentrate on what’s actually physically happening right this second.  We’re asked to approach our meditations with a “child’s mind,” no matter how often we’ve done it to engage each time as if it were the first time.  Which is making more and more sense to me, as something I’ve noticed is that whenever I’m with my nephew, T, the practice comes naturally.  His focus is so intense, so absolute, so genuine and whole that for moments at a time I will forget about everything else but what it takes to roll a train across my leg.


Rumi said (about the Sufi’s), “A short time in the presence of the Friends is better than a hundred years’ sincere, obedient dedication.”  I think I know just what he means…

My Mum, Mighty Mary

My mother was a hippy. She denies it, though, she says, “I never did any drugs!”

To which I always say, “yes, but I spent the first year of my life in a backpack picketing Safeway’s because they sold grapes!”

“Well that proves it,” she replies, “hippies were anti-intellectual and anti-activist!  I was definitely not a hippy!”

“Uh huh,” I’ll say, unconvinced, “and we lived in a log cabin for three years that you and dad built with no running hot water or a bathroom!”

This is usually where she starts to look a little uncertain, so I’ll pounce with what is really the showstopper of my argument, wailing, “Mom, we didn’t have a TV until I was FOURTEEEEEN!!!”  And then we both fall over laughing. Here we are with my grandmother, doing just that.

Our most significant Astrological stats are that my Moon is conjunct her Sun (at 20 and 19 degrees Libra respectively) and my Ascendant is conjunct her Descendant  (at 9 degrees Aquarius).  Plus, with Saturn opposing her Sun natally – and hence my Moon as well, I suppose it’s only  natural she’d have a Saturn riddled daughter.  In short we understand one another pretty well.  It wasn’t always like that, of course, with so much Saturn we didn’t make things easy on ourselves or one another for most of my adolescence.  But once I became a nanny to twins in my early twenties and got over myself we found each other again.  Since then our relationship has been mostly very, very good.  Pretty amazing, really.

My mother would like you all to know that I am wrong, and the word “hippy” doesn’t mean what I think it means. I would like you all to know that my mum is the first best thing that ever happened to me and that, right there, is the single best thing that could ever happen to anyone.

Here she is at Thorung La Pass after celebrating her 70th birthday trekking for three weeks in Nepal.  I know I’m really lucky to be over forty years old and have a mother I still look up to and want to emulate whose good opinion of me matters so much.  Of course, she’s always telling me to stop needing her approval, she claims she can’t understand why I would even think that matters, and with Saturn going through Libra right now, I have the feeling this might be the year I actually kick that habit.  I just hope she’ll be proud of me if I do…

12th house 1st step

On the eponymous TV show, Dexter, a serial killer goes into NA to placate his girlfriend who mistakenly believes he’s a heroin addict. Although Dexter’s there under false pretenses, he begins to fall under the sway of the twelve step program and under their watchful guidance he begins to accept who he really is. I’m only through the middle of the second season so I don’t yet know if that works in his favor at the end of the day, but watching it last night at 1:30 in the morning after promising myself all day I would be in bed by 10:00, I found myself wondering if I shouldn’t try a twelve step program myself.

Hello, my name is Wonder, and I’m a TV junkie.

I listened to an MP3 lecture Michael Lutin gave at UAC recently about “The Power of the Sun,” in which he said that the thing you must do when you lose energy is that thing your sun tells you to do as indicated by sign and house position. Which struck me, ’cause it occurs to me that people with 12th house suns like mine need to lose energy in order to gain it. Basically the whole nature of addiction is all bound up in somehow escaping yourself, which is totally a 12th house need. And Neptune, natch, but let’s stick with the 12th house, ’cause it so neatly aligns with my 12 step metaphor.

Anyway, it occurs to me that once again I’m tempted to blame a problem on my chart, but since the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem, I can’t do that. I repeat: my name is Wonder, and I’m a TV junkie. This blog is my methadone, my meeting, and the splenda in my decaf. It’s my escape from my escape.

Stay tuned…


Trimming the Christmas Tree

I’ve been thinking a lot about the 4th house and family matters lately.  With Saturn transiting my Moon which is ruled by Venus (which Pluto is conjunct right now, thank you very much!) which also rules my 4th house, I guess it’s only natural, but I’ve noticed that every time I’m with my family I’m really really happy.  It’s an area in my life I’ve worked really hard at (no joke, with Saturn retrograde in my 4th house natally…) and it’s really been paying off lately.  Having a brand-new baby nephew hasn’t hurt either…

Tuesday night I trimmed the Christmas tree with my brother and sister-in-law and baby t.  It’s the first proper tree the three of us has had as adults, and the truth is we probably wouldn’t be doing it now if it weren’t for him.

Who makes everything better, not just Christmas…  but Christmas for sure is WAY more fun with a child.  Who knew?  It’s like we’re reliving the best times of our childhood whilst we invent his.

I mean look at him – it’s not like he’s going to remember any of this.  But my brother and Jules and I are really super excited about our tree.

Jules really wanted white lights while JP and I would have prefer colored (we all had colored growing up, but Jules always wanted white whilst Jeremy and I are pathologically nostalgic about our childhood Christmas).

Jules won the light fight though, mostly ’cause she’s super organized and on top of it and did all the shopping at Target and JP and I are pretty much just trailing in her wake.  Here she is (sorry the pic is so blurry) wrapping the garland around the tree.

Actually, it’s not just my shaky hand and dim light that makes the picture blurry.

Jules is also just super fast.

Like a birdie.

And what do you know, the white lights look really pretty…  Something I’m feeling really hard during this Saturn transit is that the past is always there to be remade, recreated, and reinvented.  We can rework even the crappiest scenes from our childhood until they help us make sense of who we want to be in such a way we’re grateful for them.  In this way every moment is precious and golden, and the ones that come easy are just cake.  Gorgeous, Glorious Cake.

Christmas Future, my Little Chickadees!  Always present, never here!  I don’t actually know what that last part means, but suddenly I just feel real good and happy…