Oh My Stars

Oh My Stars


Standing In Borrowed Light: Why I Love Astrology

posted by Matthew Currie

Why do I love astrology? There’s more than one reason for that, but two in particular come to mind.

First of all: it works. Yes, I know how crazy that sounds to a lot of people. Speaking as someone who is familiar with science and technology, the scientific method, and astronomy, I know just how nutty that sounds to a lot of people. Hey, I myself have a Ninth House Saturn, and am prone to skepticism about a lot of things. But having seen astrology work over and over and over again for decades now, it would be crazier to not believe the evidence I’ve seen.

Now, most people don’t go around saying things like “I love my microwave oven!”  just because it works. But if your microwave oven could help you understand yourself, the other people in your life and how you relate to them, and could correctly predict the forces you’d face in your future and could suggest ways to deal with them, and could let you know when bad times would end and when better times would come and when the optimum time to open a business or start looking for a relationship or change your investments around would be, you’ve love your microwave oven too.

The other reason I love astrology? It’s all about the Connectedness Of Things.

***

My life was changing. I could feel it in my bones and I could read it in my transits.

Due to a perfect confluence of both cosmic events and the vagaries of finding affordable living space, last year I found myself standing on the sidewalk in San Francisco, a block from my home at the time, watching a lunar eclipse in the early evening. Due to that fortunate coincidence of geography and city planning, I had the perfect spot to see the Moon turn blood red in the gap between two buildings.

I stood there and watched the eclipse progress, fully aware of all the science and the astrology involved, yet my experience was greater than both, and contained both.

I played this song on my phone while the eclipse was reaching its peak:

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As the Moon reddened, passing into Earth’s shadow and lit by the rays of the sun refracted through our atmosphere, others who had probably been less aware of either the occurrence or significance of the event stopped and join me. By the peak of the eclipse and the end of the song, I was standing there gazing up the Moon along with a young couple holding hands, a grandmother on a walk with her grandchild, someone of uncertain gender, and a homeless guy.

We all stood there in the Moon’s borrowed light, and despite our differences we were all in exactly the same place at exactly the same time, experiencing the exact same sense of awe. And then we all moved on with our lives.

And somehow, in that moment, I had the feeling deep inside myself that despite all the change and potential peril ahead of me… it would all be all right somehow.

If there’s a single true and correct answer as to “why I love astrology,” part of it is in that scene somewhere.

***

Regular readers of my blog may wonder why, all of a sudden, I am being misty-eyed and poetical an’ stuff about things. There are two reasons for that. One of them is that I think from time to time we all need to remind ourselves of our place in the Universe, and that place is both magnificent and humble, and I think astrology does a good job of that.

Also: in my next blog entry, I’m going to tear a strip off of a skeptic who writes for io9.com who… like many skeptics… is getting it totally wrong about astrology, and I thought generating a peaceful mood first would help me not get too carried away with it.

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    Endlessly…

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    Year of The Horse

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    Will a moon so bright ever arise again?
    Drink a cupful of wine and ask of the sky.
    I don’t know where the palace gate of heaven is,
    Or even the year in which tonight slips by.
    I want to return riding the whirlwind! But I
    Feel afraid that this heaven of jasper and jade
    Lets in the cold, its palaces rear so high.
    I shall get up and dance with my own shadow.
    From life endured among men how far a cry!

    Round the red pavilion
    Slanting through the lattices
    Onto every wakeful eye,
    Moon, why should you bear a grudge, O why
    Insist in time of separation so th fill the sky?
    Men know joy and sorow, parting and reunion;
    The moon lacks lustre, brightly shines; is all, is less.
    Perfection was never easily come by.
    Though miles apart, could men but live for ever
    Dreaming they shared this moonlight endlessly!

    (Shui Tiao Ko Tou)

    –Su Tung-P’o
    11th Century ACE

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