We each arrive at this moment as little parts of a much larger body: the solar system.
We all know the Sun, have probably moved our bodies into and out of it’s warmth and radiation.
We all know the Moon.
Whether we see her – white against the blue of a daytime sky or shockingly large as she rises some evenings – or when we sense the rise and fall of the natural world in escalated traffic patterns, nights with greater or lesser activity in the local ER, or how apogees and her fluctuating speeds show up in tide charts.
She looks to be around the same size as the Sun when full, but it never had to be that way. Their similar appearance is a miracle of distortion and distance.
The Sun and Moon do more than just impact life on Earth, or enable life on Earth. The underlying pattern of everything here assumes their existence. Their cycles are foundational to all of our organized thinking.
Along with temperature and organizing our little bit of the cosmos, the Sun and Moon gave us markers for measurable time.
Time is our environment. We live inside it. Just as with our living ecosystems, time relates to us through many different qualities. Beyond Sun and Moon. Beyond clocks.
Time wouldn’t exist to us at all, creatures of matter that we are, without the velocity and mass of each planet in our solar system. It doesn’t just quicken and slow according to our perspective. It sharpens and thrashes reality. It has storms of overlapping cycles that tug and shape the space and experiences we’re able to have with our human perspectives of past, present, and future.
As planets loom together and apart, astrologers mark time in more and more complexity. It’s a shame most people don’t understand that clock time is such an extreme simplification of tracking time. We’re all awash in deep pools with qualities that shift like predictable weather, more cyclic than linear. And from our smallest cells within our individual mundane lives all the way out to the largest groups we know of, we all respond in line with the time we were embodied. As above, so below.
Truly, the planets are just the largest most easily noted keepers of these massive cycles. The ingredients of meaning-making are elegantly clustered around each planetary body. If it were only a way to help organize our minds as we strive to understand life, it would still have some value. But it goes way beyond that. The correlation of real events and planetary configurations is undeniable to me at this point. There is real information to be had from studying how to interpret planetary motion.
I hope there are parts of you that haven’t forgotten how time is full and alive and describable. That it’s not an empty thing. It has features and characteristics, mappable patterns and pockets of relative retreat. There are eras of craggy peaks where harshness and resolve are easier to find than softness. There are eddies of confusing emptiness and distracting mirages. There are times where grief is easy and comfort comes through. There are moments of relief and times of action. Time can teem with life and richness and pleasure-inducing capabilities. It can also dry and harden and close things down.
And you. You were born into this shifting stream at a very particular point. You are part of it, made of it and from it. The push and tugs of the moment you were independently embodied is your baseline. You wear the weather of the time you were born without trying, already dressed for the warmth or rain or challenges that you carry within you into each room you enter. You belong. We all do.
The events and people who arise when Venus squares off against Mars are very different from those that get described by Venus and Jupiter’s alignment. Desire will hit us differently when Venus is a morning star compared to her evening star phase; or when she is at her brightest or her most dim, or when she is completely obscured by the light of the Sun, or when she’s moving more quickly or slowly in relation to Earth.
These qualities flex and change and cycle back in spirals. Like your patterns. Like your quests towards you-ness. To fully grasp the wonder of it all, we need the moments behind you and the ones that are far ahead.
It has taken centuries of violence to separate and mechanize this many peoples out of a close relationship with the planet we live on and all the lives that we are entwined with, in cause and effect with.
In different and specific ways, we are exploiters or exploitable, along with our beloved Earth. Separation from the simple magic of natural cycles was a key tactic to this end:
“Eradicating these practices was a necessary condition for the capitalist rationalization of work, since magic appeared as an illicit form of power and an instrument to obtain what one wanted without work, that is, a refusal of work in action.. Magic, moreover, rested upon a qualitative conception of space and time that precluded a regularization of the labor process. How could the new entrepreneurs impose regular work patterns on a proletariat anchored in the belief that there are lucky and unlucky days..? The revival of magical beliefs is possible today because it no longer represents a social threat. The mechanization of the body is so constitutive of the individual that, at least in industrialized countries, giving space to the belief in occult forces does not jeopardize the regularity of social behavior. Astrology too can be allowed to return, with the certainty that even the most devoted consumer of astral charts will automatically consult the watch before going to work.” (Federici, Silvia; 2014)
Astrology continues to function, reflecting our day-to-day mundane existence as well as our higher ideals. The will of the exploiter is expressed as strongly as any underdog. As below as above. As a tool, astrology has been used to advise dictators and presidents, slavers and eugenicists. It is only as reliable as the astrologer who translates it, and can only speak on subjects the astrologer has encountered. It drips with bias. It is a powerful tool.
The astrology I practice is not radical by nature. But it could be. It can be.