Astrological Musings

One of my favorite non-astrology sites is Tim Boucher’s blog Pop Occulture. He had a post a few days ago that is just fascinating about the purpose of magic. Tim quotes David Abram who complains that the real purpose of magic should be to save the planet rather than facilitate individual healing. Tim argues for a more ecological approach to spirituality:

What exactly is one’s “self?”

Where does it come from? What does it look like? What is it made up of? Is the self made up of memories, of feelings, of thoughts, emotions, experiences, the past, present, future, the influences of other people, the effects of your environment, the soul, the heart, the mind, the body, your DNA? Which one of those is it?

The short answer: it’s all of those and much more.

The long answer: the self is an ecosystem, a complex web of interlocking relationships. Parts of your self are made up of your experiences of other people which you have internalized so thoroughly over the years that you now think of them as you. In fact, you might make an a convincing argument that the overwhelming majority of the self is actually made up of other people.


So it seems that an ecological understanding of the self may be the “missing link” between saving your-self and saving the world. Ecology doesn’t just mean nature, plants and animals (although those all fit within it), it means what are you a part of and what is a part of you? How large are you able to expand your notion of who you are and what you are made up of? Are you ready or able to give up small artificial boundaries that you have drawn or been drawn for you about what constitutes “you” and “not-you?” . . . How does your ecosystem interlock with and affect other ecosystems – both of equal size and complexity, of smaller and of larger scale? What effect do your words, thoughts, feelings and actions have on that ecology?

This is an appropriate discussion for the opposition of Saturn to Neptune, because Saturn seeks to apply distinctions and Neptune dissolves them. For Neptune there are no boundaries, artificial or not – everything is interconnected and the Self becomes lost in the experiences around it. For Saturn, however, the Self is isolated and alone, unencumbered by the stories of others an acting solely and individually – yet never lonely.

Each of us has a different experience of this ecosystem that Tim describes and much of this depends upon our astrological nature. Those with a watery nature are more likely to have more permeable boundaries and a more connected ecosystem; those with fixed planets and strong Saturn will be more rigid. Still, his point is an important one: we are none of us an island and each of us have a tremendous ability to impact everything that we touch. Expanding our intention to others around us and the collective as a whole may serve to effect positive change to a greater degree than we think.

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