Do you remember the first time you saw a picture of a unicorn?
Maybe it was one of those pre-Raphaelite remakes with a lovely woman cradling a unicorn’s head in her lap (no layered symbolism there!) or a cartoon in which the unicorn shoots rainbow hearts out of it’s horn. While part of you said “not real,” another part of you said, “hmmmm… wonder if they eat apples?”
There are many kinds of belief. There’s the belief of your mind, a form of believing which wants to be rational and absolute (the brain refuses to remember that it can be faulty or manipulated). The mind wants it’s truths clear, precise, known.
Then there are the beliefs of the heart, soul, or body, none of which are tied to the mind’s rationality. Dreams, shamanic journeys, intuitions, and our spiritual beliefs fall into this second category.
This dichotomy is the difference between what I think of as your daylight mind, which logically navigates the complexities of the modern world, and your nighttime self, which knows life is softer and that shadows are multi-layered. Neither form of belief is “right” and both are valid.To live wholly we must find balance between the two in the same way we balance light and dark, inhale and exhale.
Thus, I believe in astrology… and I don’t believe in astrology.
I’ve been indulging an astrology addiction forever. It started when I was a kid, secretly eyeballing the newspaper’s horoscopes while pretending to look at the comics. Then it was a small obsession: a weekly dose of Rob Brezsny‘s Free Will Astrology downed like a shot to get me through long hours building models and drawing elevations during architecture school. Years later, I’d feed my astrology fix in the subway, thumbing through The Village Voice as I waited for the F train to take me home from my rambles in the East Village.
Astrology is a great big cosmic metaphor and one of many doors into the collective unconscious.
The collective unconscious has long been one of my favorite hangouts. The term “collective unconscious” was coined by psychoanalyst Carl Jung. It describes a place of wild wisdom that you can only find with your eyes closed. It’s a place that all people have equal access to. It holds itself to the penultimate non-discrimination policy so you can enter regardless of color, creed, race, religion, gender, sexual preference, and anything else you (or anyone else!) can dream up, because to the collective unconscious, we are all one.
So if you’re not a person who remembers your dreams or wants to analyze your Freudian slips but still wants to access the collective unconscious, astrology might just be a fun door to stroll through. As a bonus, the movings of the cosmos have been used in conjunction with plant medicine for thousands of years: the moon pulls the tides and the water table, which directly affects plant growth. This simple fact links earth and everything which grows upon her with the stars and the night sky. As above so below.
When I think of myself as living between earth and sky, the context for my life broadens. My troubles seem a little smaller and the world around me is a mystery I get to unwrap.
So each new moon, I pause, check what’s going on astrologically, and reflect on what’s going on my life and how it syncs up with what’s going on in the larger world. Lately, I see this same pause happening on social media accounts that I follow and with the women in my own communities. The serendipitous synchronicity of different peoples’ observations is always astounding. Even while our rational minds may refuse to fully believe in astrology, we find ourselves in-sync and responding to a collective energy. When I think of myself as living between earth and sky, the context for my life broadens. Click To Tweet
Astrologically, we’re currently in Pisces, the final sign of the zodiac before the astrological year begins again. Soon the sun will cross into the sign of Aries, a sign associated with fire and new beginning.
How do you want to emerge from the cocoon of winter and begin again? When you come to fiery life, will you be like a candle or a bonfire? What images and symbols will you call on to guide your heart (a unicorn maybe?), even as your rational mind lays its plans for the coming spring?