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Oh My Stars

I have some important news to break to you. The world is not in fact round. It’s not flat. The world is square.

Okay, admittedly, it’s more rectangular than actually square, but it is defined by 90 degree angles. Think about it: think about how much time you spend on your phone or your computer or looking at a television or a movie screen. Think about how much time you spend reading books. Think about how much time you spend looking out or into windows. Look at the walls around you at home. No matter where you go, your world is delineated and contained and constrained by 90 degree angles.

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In astrology, two or more planets separated by approximately 90 degrees are said to be in a square aspect to each other. It is commonly accepted that of all the aspects, the square is the most challenging. With a square between two planets, there is frustration and anger and friction and tension. The two planets are working at cross purposes to each other. But when handled properly, you’d be surprised at how useful that sort of thing is. The real trick, of course, is handling it properly.

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Everywhere we look, our world is divided into the people who agree with us and the people who are idiots… or so we like to think.  Those lines intersect but they are never parallel. We know what’s right and we argue about it on Facebook and Twitter, and the people who reflexively disagree with us argue back. No ground is given or gained. Nothing is resolved and no minds are changed. Am I right?

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Squares provide energy to a personality. They can be the great driving force behind one’s life. Conjunctions are usually too focused on whatever they want to pay attention to anything else, or whether getting that thing it wants is worth the damage. Sextiles are delightful and creative and charming but tend to be lazy and useless on their own. But the squares? Squares demand answers from ourselves and from our lives. And those answers are rarely easy.

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One year ago today, I watched a man on the street being choked to death by a police officer. There was anger and protest and lawsuits and such, but what really came of it? The family was compensated for their loss in the only way our world knows how to — in cash. As for the guy who choked the life out of Eric Garner? You know, the guy with those previous complaints against him? He got reassigned to a desk job, but he’s hoping to return to active duty soon. Happy Anniversary!

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As we get older and wiser, it seems that are squares are easier to cope with in a constructive manner. Either that or we learn how to ignore them or avoid them or work around them. Either way, there’s a case to be made for squares getting easier to deal with as life goes on.

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One year on, how much has the death of Eric Garner really changed things? It may have raised awareness of some important issues with some people, it may have made for some small difference, but the last time I looked terrible injustices like that were still happening. Maybe I’m just not old and wise enough to have incorporated that day into my persona yet, but I’m still angry. And to tell you the truth? For all the times I still stop and pause and stare off into space to recall that day, you’d think if it was going to do me some good it would have by now.

Maybe I’m just not old and wise enough yet. Yeah, I’m sure that’s it.

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The squares drive us. The square makes trouble and raises questions and rattles cages and confronts us with situations we would probably rather not face. As the old saying goes, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The squares your birth chart are the most painful steps we must take. And although we might consider them the “worst” of the astrological aspects, perhaps sometime… perhaps after a lifetime of labor and understanding and stupidity and argument and heartbreak… they can make for real change. This, in the long run, may make them the best of all aspects.

Yet somehow it’s like there’s always one more river to cross, isn’t there?

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