Oh My Stars

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I got into an argument with a Facebook friend last night – And oh my, how Facebook has changed our definition of “friend” – about one of the world’s current major conflicts. You know, the sort of thing where Group A is trying to kill Group B and vice versa. That sort of thing happens all the time, so why even bother mentioning who Group A and Group B are?

The friend in question is a metaphysical practitioner – I won’t mention what kind. You undoubtedly know the sort of person who we are talking about: one whose website and public statements are generally dripping with love and light and sunshine and lollipops and an unlimited buffet of good karma for all. Except that last night, he referred to “Group A” as cockroaches, and I took exception to that. Not because I have a particular horse in the race between Group A and Group B, but because it has been my experience that when one group of people start thinking of another group of people as cockroaches, Very Bad Things happen.

For further information, please consult “Human History.” While you’re at it, you can listen to the soundtrack.

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Strangely, my efforts to point this out went unheard. This, despite the fact that both some of his ancestors and some of mine qualified as cockroaches in the eyes of some others in past. If you look far enough back in both history and your DNA, odds are good you come from someone else’s cockroaches too somehow. True story!

I had no idea I would be writing this on the 70th anniversary of the arrest of Anne Frank, but it seems appropriate. But show me a day on the calendar that isn’t the anniversary of someone trying to stamp out cockroaches and I’ll write about this subject then, too.

Go ahead, look that day up. Let me know what you find.


So what does all this have to do with learning astrology? Listen: I will now teach you the most important astrology lesson, for free.

Although astrology is a means by which to understand people by breaking down their birth charts into bite-size chunks and determining how those chunks all work together, we must never, ever forget that we are dealing with humans first. If you see a decent doctor, he should see you as more than just a collection of symptoms.

Part of understanding the foibles of human beings is understanding that you are one yourself. I try to do this myself, and yet it’s far too easy for me to fall into the trap of seeing people as a function of their birth chart. Once you understand astrology, it’s easy to see how your brother has a bad temper because he has Mars square Uranus in his birth chart. It’s tempting to think in terms of “my ex is so inflexible because he/she is a Capricorn,” or “my boss won’t get his/her nose out of my business because he/she is a Gemini, and they’re always up in your grill about the details,” or “of course dad was an alcoholic, look at all the Pisces in his chart!” or whatever.

Any or all of these could be contributing factors of course, but they aren’t excuses. And they certainly aren’t an excuse for you to dismiss the essential human dignity of another person.

Even cockroaches are more than just their birth chart.


So: the most important planet in astrology is the one you’re on right now, surrounded by all those people you know so well and not at all, all attempting to get a handle on The Human Experience and occasionally, in spite of ourselves, getting it right. And when we approach others with that knowledge, the insights astrology can provide are profound and practical and enlightening and real and right.

Ready for Lesson One now?


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