A couple of years ago, I started searching for videos predicting the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election, not data-based predictions but ones based on the US Sibly chart or the ones that used the then contenders’ charts. As I listened to astrologers opine about planetary placements, I watched because, at that time in my life, it felt like it would take a miracle, one that seemed like it was out of our hands. The election was over in November and I felt curiously bereft. The videos still showed up on my timeline and the chatter about planetary conjunctions portending great upheaval simmered to the top.
COVID hit and I was hooked. I consumed videos that peddled different end dates for the pandemic. Amid the noise, a few people stood out for their consistently balanced take on mundane astrology. Soon, I was following planetary transits and tracking predictions because it gave me something to take my mind off the anxiety that came with being hunkered down at home with all of my family in it.
Astrology has been a part of my life for as long as I remember. I knew by the time I was in school that you do not set out for important events between 7:00 and 9:00 am on Mondays. I knew enough that electional astrology was an important factor in picking dates for house warmings, weddings, and signing contracts. I turned twenty-one and with that birth chart synastry became a huge part of my life.
For a five-year period, I saw many yellow-tinged charts enter my home. I accompanied my mom to astrologers where she would hold out two charts for the astrologer to pore over and pronounce grave verdicts on. The astrospeak was strange to me. It was a curious observer then, watching with the amusement of a skeptic, not giving weight to either good or bad outcomes.
A decade later, I was on the other side, imploring my parents to take my chart to an astrologer to find if children were in my future. They did. I set store by that belief that children were in my future. It was a crutch, a crucible to place my fears and hopes in.
Another decade later, I am now learning the art that is astrology. I speak of it amongst my friends and peers. I am not ashamed of my interest. Often, I am met with curious looks. Sometimes, people are uncomfortable with me dabbling in an esoteric subject, one at odds with my background as a woman of science. For the first few months after I enrolled in a course, I kept quiet, only ever speaking of it with my family. Of late, I have been posting on social media and being open about my interest in it. To me, it is similar to my interest in writing and the telling of stories. They are both passions that consume me. One offers a reprieve from the grind of my daily life by providing alternate lives to escape in, the other offers a way to exercise my brain cells, apply pattern matching algorithms, and memorize obscure glyphs. Mostly, astrology, I find, is about archetypes. It is about watching patterns in the charts I come across and drawing conclusions.
There is an element of divination, making it the part that is uncomfortable to be open with. When I see a chart, my eyes are drawn to certain things. Of the possible delineations, my mind jumps to a few with what I can only call an inner knowing. Context matters, like all else.
Mostly, I view the study of astrology as that of a cosmic weatherperson. The planets are Oracles, speaking a language I am training myself to understand. They tell me when to expect a rough patch so I can have my seat belt on. They tell me when I can relax, unbelt myself and take that stroll down the aisle to use the bathroom without fear.
Astrology is fascinating in its history. India has an unbroken tradition lasting over two thousand years of practice. Hellenistic astrology, which is what I am learning dates back to an equally ancient time. The stories that come as part of the archetypes for each planet are riveting. They help me visualize and layer meanings of places, planets, and topics.
I have no idea where I will go with this next. All I know is that for the foreseeable future, I will be dabbling in the stars and the tales they have to tell me. And, also that I will have no qualms about wearing my interest in the esoteric on my sleeve.
It is fated, you see.